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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding value, August 28, 2005
By 
David Gancarz (Central Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Makita G6100R 5,800-Watt 11 HP Portable Power Generator (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
After weathering three hurricanes last year here in central Florida, we decided to take the plunge and invest in a generator. We were looking for one with enough power to run our refrigerator, ceiling fans, lights, television, microwave, computer, and miscellaneous small appliances (coffeemaker, fans, etc). We also wanted the machine to be portable so it could be stored in our garage when not in use and moved outside by one person when it needed to be run. It should be gasoline powered, relatively fuel efficient, and affordable. Finally, we wanted to be able to hook the generator into our house circuitry so as not to have to deal with extension cords. Connecting to the house circuitry meant installing a transfer switch for safety and to meet National Electric Code requirements. A transfer switch allows you to power essential, pre-selected branch circuits (refrigerator, living room, dining room, for instance) from either utility power OR generator power, but never both simultaneously. The transfer switch does the very important job of electrically isolating generator-powered branch circuits from utility service. Without it, you would be energizing service lines outside your house, creating an extremely dangerous condition; for instance, you could electrocute utility crews working to restore power. The transfer switch configuration also requires the generator to supply 120/240VAC power, which is what is used to power the transfer switch/subpanel.

For the list of items we wanted to power, 5000W is the correct size. A larger generator would be needed if we wanted to run our central air conditioning system, the hot water heater, and/or the electric range.

We visited the usual home-improvement-superstore suspects to look at 5000 Watt generators. TroyBilt and Generac are well under $1000 and certainly affordable, but they are made by Briggs & Straton and are of poor quality, in my opinion. I bought a brand new TroyBilt/B&S power-washer some years back and after about 6 months the seams in the plastic gas tank came apart, causing it to leak gasoline when filled more than part way. I bought a new Toro lawn mower with a B&S engine which suffered the exact same fate - the seams in the plastic gas tank failed. Perhaps I am just unlucky with B&S products. But for me, I am not interested in owning another one.

Honda generators were very nice and have a well-deserved reputation for reliability. However, they were just not affordable - at least to us. If I were a site contractor and was going to use it every day, then maybe I could justify the $3000+ cost, but certainly not for a machine that was going to spend most of its days sitting in the garage.

We settled on a Makita G6100R generator and I have been very happy with it. The 6100R is identical to the Robin Subaru RGV6100 -- evidently rebranded under the Makita name. It is powered by an 11HP OHV, 4-cycle, air-cooled Robin Subaru engine which, according to the literature, has an aluminum alloy block with cast iron cylinder liner, electronic ignition with automatic timing adjustment, dual ball bearing supported crankshaft, automatic decompression system, and splash type lubrication. The generator is brushless, self-exciting, 2-pole, single phase and generates 20 Amps on each of the two 120V output circuits for a total of 40Amps (20Amps at 240VAC). The 5-gallon metal gas tank will, reportedly, allow it to run under full load for about 7 hours. This generator is also available with an electric start (model G6101R). The one I bought (G6100R) has a recoil-type starter (pull cord). I had no problems starting it, whatsoever. It starts very easily. I also purchased the Makita 110004-A 2-wheel mobility kit, which I highly recommend. Without it, you are looking at close to 200 lbs of dead weight to move around.

I purchased a Gen/Tran PowerStay 200660 manual transfer switch, which allows me to switch up to 16 branch circuits between utility power and generator power. When in operation, the generator sits OUTDOORS and away from HVAC intakes (avoiding the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning) and plugs into a Reliance PR20 power inlet box using a 10-foot L14-20 power cord (20A @ 120/240VAC). A 50-foot length of 10AWG 4-wire Romex runs from the power inlet box, through the attic, and connects to the transfer switch next to the main power center (breaker box). Basically, you start the generator, then switch the transfer switch to open the Utility breaker and close the generater breaker, thus supplying generated power to all the branch circuits wired into the transfer switch subpanel. A nice side feature of this setup is that when the utility power comes back on, power will be restored to those branch circuits not routed through the transfer switch (such as air conditioning). Therefore, you will know right away when the utility power comes back on.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makita Generator 12/2/00, December 2, 2000
This review is from: Makita G6100R 5,800-Watt 11 HP Portable Power Generator (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
As a custom homebuilder, I have owned many different brands of generators including Honda, generac, coleman, yamaha, and John Deere. This Makita has been as good or better than any and is easily the best for the dollar. Especially well liked by my men is the auto idle feature along with the fact that even at open throttle this unit is very quiet, very important whe running 8 hours a day. The only problem I've had so far in 6 months use is a broken starter rope.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makita Quality at a Great Price, March 7, 2003
By 
This review is from: Makita G6100R 5,800-Watt 11 HP Portable Power Generator (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I decided to upgrade my generator from the 2500 watt Coleman I was using. It would barely run a refrigerator. We had a terrible ice storm here in Durham NC a few months ago. I was without power for three days and we were luck it was only that long. I did alot of research into generators. Here's what I found. Honda gens are wonderful but expensive. Grenerac is garbage for long term use. Read the reviews if you doubt. Makita built by Robin compare feature to feature and quality wise with Honda. I like the way Robin builds their engines, all ball bearing construction. No sleave bearings here. I have use this gen twice so far and it will power my whole house no problem. The control panel on this gen is well layed out. I used a outlet box with a twist lock plug to feed power into my main pannel. By the way Amazon has the best price on these gens.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Generator for the price!, February 26, 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Makita G6100R 5,800-Watt 11 HP Portable Power Generator (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
Just recievd the Makita G6100R 6100 Watt Generator and was very impressed on how it worked. Filled with oil and gas, gave one pull on the starter cord and started to run. Ran my entire house on the generator (with a 20 AMP twist lock plug wired into my circuit panel)for 5 hours with no problems. Has great features normally found on higher priced models. Idle switch is great along with smooth and QUIET running Robin (Subaru made) engine. Can't beat the price either! Get the wheel kit, this generator is heavy!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makita Quality Standards, July 7, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Makita G6100R 5,800-Watt 11 HP Portable Power Generator (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
As anyone who has thoroughly done their generator shopping discovers, this Makita generator is not made by Makita, and is sold under at least three different brand names. Regardless, it does have the Makita label on it, and that meant something to me having owned many high end Makita tools for years, and having found virtually all of them as better choices than my past preferences of Milwaukee, Porter Cable, etc.

I have not used this generator extensively, so my findings are preliminary. So far, fit, finish, layout, components, etc. all appear high quality. The thing starts effortlessly and immediately and is super quiet. I had narrowed my choice down to this Makita and a comparable "middle of the road" Honda unit. The Honda unit was my first choice, but price dictated the Makita purchase. If this generator was in everyday use I would have likely gone Honda (never had a bad Honda product, and I own lots of 'em).

Although previous reviewers have discounted the Robin engine, I feel Robin's Subaru affliation, and past affiliation with Wisconsin engines ought to be worth something. For the price, the only other comparable units had Briggs and/or Tecumseh engines, both of which I stopped using decades ago after repeated sour experiences.

Only less than positive comment: The manual is cryptic. A bit better overview of uses of the various outlets would be good. Not necessary if you have good common sense, but you'd think legal counsel at Makita would mandate otherwise!

UPDATE 02/05/2011 The Makita G6100R has stood well over the test of time. This generator continues to start first pull...well not all of the time, but certainly 75% of the time...never a difficult start over the years. It also has more available surge power than ever anticipated. Whereas no generator I have used in the past was capable of starting my 120V 5HP split phase motor on a wood planer, the Makita will...not without complaining a bit, but indeed the Makita feature of being able to provide up to 150% of rated capacity for up to 20 seconds is enough to get the 5HP spinning....keeping that 5 HP running is literally no sweat.

I just finished running the Makita G6100R almost non-stop over the past four plus days as we have lost our power due to an ice storm. The Makita is wired into a transfer switch, and powers my 2HP 220V water pump, freezer, fridge, and sundry lights and outlets. It purrs along wonderfully, never even approaching capacity! My only "complaint" is a minor one...that is, when the generator is running under minimal load (but idle control has not yet kicked in...in other words, still under some small load), it does not always running smoothly at full RPM. It will run perfectly smooth about 95+% of the time, but does occasionally miss a beat...just a minor blip. There is no real high speed adjustment on the carb (gotta love EPA regs which mandated this carb change!), so the engine pretty much has to run the way it was set at the factory. My complaint is a minor one, and may simply be a spark plug that is on its way out. I'll check shortly. All in all, I would buy this generator again, especially appreciating the price it is today, which has risen over 230% since my purchase! Better than my portfolio did over the same period...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What they said...., December 18, 2007
By 
This review is from: Makita G6100R 5,800-Watt 11 HP Portable Power Generator (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
The reviews above pretty much say it all...these are really excellent generators, especially considering the reasonable prices. Don't worry about the Robin engines...they are exceptional. I say this as a former generator technician. The only thing equal to these is Honda, but you'll pay for the priviledge.
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