As far as value is concerned it is hard to beat this quiet portable generator. It is portable (only 48lbs), powerful (the 79.7cc 4stroke OHV engine delivers 2000 starting watts and 1600 running watts) and best of all, quiet (51dBs at ¼ load- this is 2 dBs quieter than a Honda!) This inverter is ideal for camping, RVing, fishing, tailgating and anywhere else noise is a concern. It has a runtime of 6 hours at half load and can be paralleled with another inverter to double its output.
This quiet portable generator’s competitive edge is its aggressive pricing. A latecomer to the inverter game, WEN has done well to catch up with its competitors by pricing their units at a fraction of the price. While WEN offers many of the same features and wattage as the Honda eu2000i it retails for roughly half the price! In fact the WEN actually outperforms the Honda in relation to noise pollution as the WEN is 2 decibels quieter! You can check out the current retail price by clicking here. With its discount pricing you could buy two WEN inverters and run them in parallel thus effectively doubling your power supply- all for the same price as a single Honda inverter.
This inverter generator produces 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts. Surge/starting watts are for appliances with electric motors such as refrigerators and air conditioners which cycle or require a larger power draw in order to start. These are typically only required for a short duration. Running/rated watts, on the other hand, are the sustained watts constantly required in order to power a device.
As with all quiet portable generators reviewed on this website, the power produced is essentially “cleaned” or “smoothed” by the inverting process and is therefore compatible with sensitive electronics such as laptops and smartphones. To learn more about this process click here.
The answer is more than you may think. Some common appliances that you would be able to power include; refrigerators, freezers, coffee makers, hair dryers, TV’s, microwaves, smartphones and laptops. You would not, however, be able to run all of these appliances simultaneously. A quiet portable generator of this size is best suited for recreational applications and for the use of small power tools. If you are looking for emergency back up power or to run larger power tools you may want to consider a larger unit such as The Briggs and Stratton 30545.
In a recreational setting the WEN 56200i would allow you to make your morning coffee while simultaneously watching the news on your television and charging your smartphone. In a work environment you would be able to power a range of small hand tools such as electric drills or reciprocating saws BUT not simultaneously.
If you are looking to purchase a quiet portable generator for emergency back up applications I would suggest a larger unit or purchasing two to run in parallel. While the WEN 56200i would be able to handle a sump pump or keep your refrigerator running in a pinch these appliances can require a large initial draw (surge watts) in order to start and would therefore leave few watts left over for other applications. 1600 watts is also insufficient for powering most AC units. While you may be able to power a small 7000 BTU AC unit the generator would be running close to full load and would therefore only last a few short hours per tank of fuel. Running larger power tools or multiple tools simultaneously will also require a larger generator. The other option would be to purchase a Parallel Kit which enables you to effectively double your wattage output without doubling your noise emissions.
The control panel consists of a three-in-one power switch, an Eco Mode Switch, three indication lights, a grounding nut and the various outlets which are protected by ‘push-to-reset’ circuit breakers. The power switch allows you to adjust the choke prior to pulling the recoil cable. The Eco Mode Switch allows the engine to run relative to the electrical load being applied. When the load is increased the engine will run faster and loads are disconnected the engine will slow. This allows for better fuel efficiency and reduced noise emissions. The indication lights will notify you if you are low on oil, if the unit is being overloaded and when power is being supplied to the outlets. The grounding nut allows you to ground the unit when grounding is necessary.
Two 120v 20A 3prong household-syle receptacles.
One 5v USB port to charge sensitive electronics such as laptops and smartphones.
One Parallel Connection Port which enables you to hookup two generators and double your power output. NOTE: the WEN 56421 Parallel Connection Kit is sold separately.
One 12v DC receptacle to allow for automotive style battery charging. When using the DC receptacle make sure to turn off the Eco Mode Switch, as you want the generator to be operating at full throttle. While this quiet portable generator is capable of charging automotive-style batteries, charging a 12v battery directly is not highly recommended. This is because there is no automatic shut off and you run the risk of over charging. A better method is to invest in a separate AC battery charger that can then be powered by the 120v outlets of the generator. If, however, you are in a pinch charging directly from the 12v DC outlet will do the trick.
12v DC battery charging cables
Tool kit for assembly and maintenance
To check the current price of this unit click here