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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
I would not recommend that anyone buy this generator or any other Black Max product!
I bought this generator at Sam's Club in Casper, Wyoming, for a little over $300.00, on December 15, 2012.
Shortly after buying it the weld on one of the front feet broke, no big deal, I simply put a brick under it when I run it...no problem (I will have the foot re-welded in the spring if the generator lasts that long) . Next the plastic instrument panel broke loose from the bolts that hold it (caused from vibration), again no problem, my wife and I have a small farm, I tied it together with bailing wire and it works okay (this part can't be fixed, it is just cheap plastic).
This past weekend when I was using the generator the governor rod broke and the generator idled way up and wouldn't throttle down. Shut er down, can't run it like that, not for long anyway. I called Black Max on Saturday and the tech said that the closest service center was in Cheyenne, Wyoming which is 5 hours away from me; I told him I simply needed a part and I could snap it in myself so he sent me a pdf of the generator and I was told that he would get back with me on a phone number to call to purchase the defective part (even though it is under their so called warranty) as soon as he found the number. I am still okay with that, it is a really cheap and simple rod. All I need is the part and I can fix it.
Well, the customer service rep didn't call back or email me by Monday morning so I called Black Max again. The first rep hung up on me when I asked why they couldn't just send the part to me. So I called again (I am very persistent) this rep told me that Gardner Inc. could sell me the replacement part. He gave me their phone number and I called them. Nope, they don't sell that part, but they told me the manufacturer of the engine could sell me the part, they said that Ducar makes the engine but they didn't have a phone number for them...I'd have to call Black Max to get their number. By the way there is a Homelite sticker on the pull rope housing.
I called Black Max again and was told by another customer service rep that this company is not set up to service the engines they build and that she will call me back today with a phone number I can call. She hasn't called yet...and I don't expect her to.
Anyway...after talking with several customer reps yesterday, the representative I spoke with Saturday called and told me that the pdf breakdown he sent me Saturday was incorrect and the company that made or assembled the engine is Roto US and he gave me a phone number to call. I called them and was told that the contract that they were negotiating with One World Technologies, Inc. (the makers of Black Max) had fallen through and that they had nothing to do with them. He gave me a phone number to Roto US.
So I made another phone call. The woman who answered the phone did not answer Roto US as I was expecting, but when I told her I must have the wrong number because I was trying to call Roto, she assured me that I had the correct number and she transferred me to someones voice mail. I left a message stating the part I needed and my name and phone number, but no one has ever called back. Big surprise there.
Any way I went to the Black Max website and left a request for support, of course I stated the part I needed and how I was very disappointed with the customer service so far. The following are the final correspondence with Tom Clinkscales at Black Max:
02/19/13 09:55: Tom,
I used your service center finder and was not surprised when it did not come up with one at all within 100 miles of my home (that was the farthest it would allow in the search).
Sir, I was told yesterday that there is a service center in Cheyenne, Wyoming, that is 5 hours from my home. I do not expect that your company would have authorized service centers on every corner or in every town, but I would expect that parts for your generators would be available for purchase by customers who wish to buy them.
I am not asking for, nor do I want warranty service, I simply want to purchase a new part to replace the defective part so that I can snap it in myself!
The Black Max generator cost me a little over $300.00, The part I need would cost less than $10.00; it would not be intelligent for me to drive 5 hours one way to take the generator to the nearest service center, drive back home (5 hours), and then turn around and make the same trip to pick up the generator when it was repaired; with gas at almost $4.00 per gallon it would just be stupid for me to do so.
All I want is the part! I know what the problem is and I am fully able to fix it...if I could get the part. If the authorized service location can get the parts from Roto, why can't I just purchase the part from the service center and have them mail it to me? This is not a complicated process or it shouldn't be. There has got to be a way that I can purchase the part and have it sent to me.
Work with me here. This shouldn't be a complicated process.
All I want is the part! I am 60 years old and I can fix it myself! If One World Technologies, Inc. is the only entity that can purchase the part, well that is a problem for the unfortunate customer who lives hundreds of miles from an authorized service center isn't it? Make the parts available to the customers who are willing and able to fix the mechanical defect. All I want is the part!
One World Technologies, Inc. or their authorized service center could purchase the part and let me buy it from them! All I want is the part!
Respectfully,
Stanley

The part in question, the governor rod, is not available to send out directly to you. The generator will need to go in to your nearest authorized service center for the warranty process to be implemented.

Best regards,

Tom Clinkscales
One World Technologies, Inc.

In conclusion, I will find a governor rod, after all these generators are all made in China and the parts are basically the same. I may have to buy several before I get one that is the correct length...but I will find one.
I would not recommend this generator to anyone, it is cheap and the Black Max company doesn't back their products at all. Look at Champion's 4000 watt generator, yes it is made in China, they all are, but their customer service is outstanding and the parts are available.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 14, 2013
I had a 5kw Troy Bilt generator for several years, and while it did perform somewhat dependably, the breakers were weak in it, and were an absolute nightmare to reorder. They would get weak, and not reset, or once reset, a kilowatt would pop them again.

A couple of years ago, my wife talked me into taking a look at Sams Club for the BlackMax 4550 generator. I did, and kinda grumbled about it at first, I didn't really want to step down to a 3.6kw generator, but since the 5k's have gone up so much in the past few years, I agreed that it was better to have something than nothing, and I bought it, not expecting much.

I actually have been pleasantly surprised. I have used it quite a bit, from running power tools on it, to powering the RV when out and about. It is a good, solid machine. The one I have has the OHV heads, and the motor really looks like a Honda-type mower motor, but am not sure if it is a Honda or a Yamaha in structure. The breakers are solid, and to-date, don't show signs of kicking or weakening. I did have one trouble with it when I bought it, and others had complained about the same issue at the time to Sams Club, and that is that they couldn't 'kill the generator' when they turned it off. Turns out, that the white wire that also served as the circuit for the low-oil sensor was broken mid-wire, and so it couldn't 'kill' the motor when you turned it off. That took me two hours to hunt down, but once I did, I simply cut out the damaged wire and spliced in a new segment. All sensors and switches work perfectly now.

Overall, a much better machine than the Troy Bilt unit, and definitely a good work unit to throw into the back of your truck, if you need power 'on site'. It does NOT have a 220-v plug, but does have the L14-30 RV three-pronged 30-amp service 110-v plug (pretty handy to plug your RV with 30-amp service directly into).

If you are wanting 220-v, or that 5kw sustained power, look upwards to the Black Max 7k generator. This little guy isn't it, but if you want to run a drill, or a skillsaw, or power your 30-amp service RV, or just keep the essentials running at home when the power goes out, this unit will do the work.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2014
Delivered Nov.15th 2013 and did not open box until Dec 18th. No issues with shipping time (1 week) or delivery damage. Problems started after opening box. Per instructions added oil gas etc. and started 1st pull, after 2 hr break in tried to load gen. at 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 load. engine surged badly up to 2000 watt load and had to apply 1/3 -1/2 chock to get engine to run smooth.Then saw that Metal gen. head metal mounting bracket was broken, looking more closely and found air filter cover and housing cracked and broken. took in for warranty repair Jan. 8th 2014. Called 1-800# and found repair location 5 miles from my home in Allentown Pa. (local- ACE hardware store) Great, Not so bad so I dropped it off for warranty repair. Took about 1 week and got a call It was repaired under warranty at no cost. Picked up and test ran again, Still had bad lean carburetor- surging issue and called repair center. I was told carburetors are not covered under warranty at all even if bad right out of the box. I can not run generator now without risk of engine damage, so I now need to pay for a carb. replacement on a brand new generator. Learn from me to buy a generator from a local store were you can return it when defective right out of the box. Also Sams club had a 3 year warranty and I got the 2 year extended warranty and still have a broken generator right out of the box that is not covered under warranty. May be a good generator but can not run after 3 months to let you know.

Thanks,
Ed Semenas
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
I just got my Black Max 3650 generator home and set up was a breeze. Took 20 minutes at the most to have put together and another 5 to to add the provided oil and my fresh gas. Followed instructions and started on second pull. Have not run under load yet which is why 4 stars. If runs well under load will make 5 stars. I bought this generator at Sam's Club for $299.99. Can't beat the price and it seems like a great little generator.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2012
Had bought it a few months ago, but didn't open the box until hurricane Sandy 2 days ago. Setup from open box took 15 minutes (just had to screw the wheels on, pour the engine oil, and add the gasoline) and the generator started in 2 pulls. Worked great. I was able to run the refrigerator, TV, phone, and lamp simultaneously. Ran it for a few hours and it worked great.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2012
Bought 3 days after Sandy hit. Easy set up incl wheels10 minutes] . Started first pull. Supplied power for 12 days .Ran 2 refrig.,several lights ,Tv [dvd's].Ran extension cord to power strip[fused] and plug in all used to that strip.Great job by this little generator and easily moved with handle and wheels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2015
I needed replace a generator stolen from our travel trailer. They got away with a Champion 3500 watt machine which was bullet proof. I thought, since the reviews on the Black Max were decent I'd pick one up from Sams. I bring it home, fill it with oil and gas, give a pull and it came to life without issues. I took a better look at the generator and the stator cover wasn't installed properly. I go back to Sams and exchange it for another... Sams treated me well. I get home prep the second generator and it starts without any issue... three minutes later something came loose in the electric end and was rubbing on the rotor... I put it back in the box, took it back to Sams and they refunded my money. I'm not saying they're all bad but the two I tried were terrible! I went to home depot and purchased a Power Stroke gen set. Prepped it and it came to life without issues, plugged the trailer into it and she pulled the load from charging batteries whilst running the AC... I'm happy with it.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
I thought this model had a honda engine , but not so.It started up and was fine but we have not had to use it yet.
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