Generators are great for supplying power to your RV or for using as a back-up power source in the case of a hurricane or power cut, however shopping for the right brand - and knowing which one to trust - can be difficult, as well as finding a generator that fits both your needs and budget.
Today we’ll be looking at WEN generators.
WEN was founded by Nick Anton back in 1951 and since this time, has been building “high quality and affordable power tools” for the American market.
WEN originally became known for merging tools and electricity to produce their range of generators, and today these are some of the most popular in the industry, particularly in terms of affordability.
If you’re looking to find out more about WEN’s range of generators, keep reading. We’ll be taking you through the best WEN generators on the market, along with everything you need to know before purchasing.
We’ve also provided a handy 'frequently asked questions' section at the end to cover any burning questions that might be running through your mind.
So, let’s take a look at our top pick…
OUR TOP PICK
This inverter generator is pretty similar to 56203i, and is the same in terms of design and portability.
Whilst it also produces 2000 surge watts, it has a slightly lower running power of 1600 and runs for 9.4 hours quarter-Load.
It’s also slightly heavier, weighing 50lbs, and operates at 53 decibels which is still considerably quiet.
The 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine is EPA III and CARB compliant making it ideal for camping or powering your RV.
This generator is also ideal for construction sites or uses in the case of power outages, and it also produces clean, consistent power to prevent damage to sensitive electronics such as smartphones, tablets, televisions, and computers.
This generator includes two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and one 5V USB port for charging your devices, it’s also parallel-ready to allow you to link it up with other WEN inverter generators and increase your power capabilities.
- 2000/1600 watts
- EPA III and CARB compliant
- 9.4 hours on a quarter load
- Portable thanks to carrying handle
- Quiet operation - runs at 53 decibels
- Clean energy for sensitive electronics
- Parallel capable
- Lower wattage and run time than 56203i and little difference in price
The 56203i is super quiet, and when operating it’s no louder than a normal conversation, producing just 51 decibels at quarter load.
It’s also extremely portable thanks to its ultralight body, which weighs just 39 pounds making it easy to carry, transport, and store.
This inverter generator is not only quieter than conventional models but also produces 2000 surge watts and 1700 watts of clean power to allow you to safely charge up any sensitive electronics such as phones, tablets, and televisions.
It’s more energy-efficient, too, as the Eco-Mode feature allows the motor to automatically adjust its fuel consumption to match the load, which will save you not only gasoline usage but money, too.
It has a fuel shut-off feature to maximize durability and product lifespan by using up the remaining fuel in the carburetor before shutting down, plus it has a range of outlets, including two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle, and two 5V USB ports.
You can also connect the 56203i to two other WEN inverter generators to increase overall wattage.
- Inverter generator
- Ultra-quiet - 51 dB
- Produces more stable, cleaner power for sensitive electronics
- Eco-Mode for energy efficiency
- Fuel-shut off for increased durability
- Portable and lightweight design
- CARB compliant
- Runs 10.8 hours at quarter load
- Grounding rod and wire not included
The WEN 56180 generator is an all-rounder, and it’s EPA III and CARB compliant so you can use it in all 50 states and needn’t worry about having to check if your generator meets environmental standards.
This generator is ideal for camping and powering up your RV thanks to its lightweight, portable design, as well as the included spark arrestor, which permits usage while camping in national parks and forests.
While this isn’t as quiet as inverter generators, the operational volume of 63 decibels is relatively quiet and with 1800 surge watts and 1500 running watts, you’ll be able to run your microwave, television, sump pump, computer, refrigerator, blender, slow cooker and more.
The 56180 can run at half-load for 7.5 hours off of 1.1 gallons of gasoline, while the engine offers 98cc of power and an internal air-cooling system to help regulate temperature.
The low-oil feature automatically shuts off the 4-stroke OHV engine to prevent the system from damage which will promote durability in the long run.
- 1800 starting watts and 1500 running watts
- Lightweight and portable - perfect for camping
- EPA III and CARB compliant for use in all 50 states
- 1.1-gallon gas tank
- 98cc OHV engine with internal air-cooling system
- Low-oil automatic shut-off to protect the engine
- Spark Arrestor
- Two three-prong 120V receptacles
- One 12V DC receptacle
- Not the quietest generator, which may be annoying if used for camping/ at proximity.
- Insufficient wattage for larger power needs.
If you’re looking for a versatile dual-fuel generator, look no further: the DF1100T allows you to easily switch between gasoline (11,000 surge watts, 8,300 running watt) and propane (9,500 surge watts, 7,500 running) with the simple turn of the selection dial.
The voltage also easily transfers from 120V to 240V, which is perfect for transfer switches and emergency back-up power.
This generator is started up with an electric start function that powers up the 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine with the turn of a key, providing ultimate convenience.
The 6.6-gallon tank provides up to 8.5 hours of half-load run time, or use the included 47-inch LPG hose for immediate connection to a propane tank.
Despite the large wattage and engine power of this generator, it still offers portability features too, including a handle and wheelset to make transporting this heavy generator slightly easier.
- Dual fuel - runs on gas or propane
- Up to 11,000 surge watts and 8,300 running watts
- 6.6-gallon tank provides up to 8.5 hours of half-load run time
- LPG hose included
- Powerful 457cc Air-cooled OHV Engine
- Digital LED Hour Counter
- Automatic Voltage Regulator and Overload Protection
- Wheel and Handle Kit
- 120V/240V (AC), 12V (DC) Voltage Capability
- It’s heavy - weighs 214 pounds
This portable inverter generator is RV-ready to power up all your appliances thanks to the 212 cc 4-stroke OHV engine that produces 3100 surge watts and 2800 rated watts of power.
The TT-30R outlet provides up to 23 amps of quiet power for your RV, while the clean energy produces a total harmonic distortion of less than 1.2 percent off from a true sine wave, meaning this inverter generator handles even the most sensitive electronics with ease.
The included spark arrester also allows for use in all national parks and forests, making the 56310i ideal for campsites.
This generator is also EPA III and CARB compliant for use in all 50 states.
With a dBA rating of 57, it’s not the quietest inverter generator, however, the built-in wheels and collapsible handle make this generator easy to transport, while the Eco-Mode option allows the generator's motor to automatically adjust its fuel consumption to extend run time and engine life.
- Super quiet 3100/2800-watts, with 23 amps to power your RV
- 212 cc 4-stroke OHV engine
- Clean power suitable for sensitive electronics
- Spark arrester allows use in national parks and forests
- EPA III and CARB compliant
- Collapsible handle and wheelset
- Eco-Mode makes this generator more energy efficient
- Not as quiet as you’d hope for an inverter generator
Conventional generator vs. Inverter
WEN offers a variety of generators, including both conventional and inverter models. Inverter generators have become popular for their efficiency and quieter operation.
They’re generally more expensive than conventional models and are designed to be more portable and lightweight, too.
While conventional generators tend to run full-throttle regardless of the load they’re operating, inverter generators adapt their power output to the requirements of the connected load, meaning they don’t use all of the fuel unless they need it.
This means you save fuel and as a result, money, as you’re not refilling the tank as often. Because of their adaptability, they supposedly produce a lower level of noise, too, making them a good choice for RVs and camping, where noise-levels may need to meet certain regulations.
They’re also ideal for powering more sensitive electronics such as laptops and smartphones, as they produce a “cleaner” energy for charging up your devices.
It goes without saying that a higher wattage output allows you to power more items at once, as well as larger appliances or systems such as the air conditioner in your RV.
Whilst it can be tempting to opt for the lower watt generators as they’re often cheaper, don’t forget it’s a good idea to go for a larger generator than you need, rather than a smaller one. This is particularly useful in the case of a power outage.
It’s also worth noting the watts required to power the appliances you want to run on a generator. This information is readily available online, and there are even websites that will calculate the generator size you need to power your tools and appliances.
Do you intend to use your generator on a campsite, on a building site, or just around your home for power tools or as a source of back-up power?
Consider whether or not you need your generator to be portable. Whereas most WEN generators are advertised as being portable, some are certainly easier to carry or transport than others.
WEN generators can range in weight from 39 pounds to over 200 pounds, so even if the generator seems to be compact, ensure that it’s easy to transport.
For example, some have multiple handles while others have a collapsible handle and wheelset so you can conveniently pull it.
Whether you’re using your generator at home or for camping, the noise level is an important consideration, as you want the generator to run as quietly as possible whilst still providing adequate power.
This is especially important if you intend to use the generator on campsites in national parks and forests, as you should ensure that the noise does not exceed any noise restrictions (usually 60 dB).
Inverter generators are known to produce less noise pollution than conventional models, however, many manufacturers will insist their generators are the quietest, so be sure to check their decibels rating and prepare to take this with a pinch of salt, as such ratings are usually taken from a particular distance, or when the generator isn’t running on a full load.
Gasoline or Propane
Most WEN generators run on gasoline, however, some may have dual-fuel capabilities which means they can be linked up to a tank of propane for immediate power.
The main difference between gasoline and propane is that propane doesn’t degrade, whereas gasoline does, so you have to use it up more quickly.
Propane is also better for the environment, as it doesn’t release as much carbon monoxide as gasoline does, meaning it’s better for you, too.
Propane is also cheaper to buy, as it doesn’t have the same supply and demand conditions as gasoline. The drawback is that propane won’t provide your generator with the same wattage power as gasoline will.
Depending on which state you’re living in, your area may be subject to certain environmental laws.
For example, residents in California must ensure that all of their heavy equipment, machinery, and cars which use combustible fuel such as diesel, natural gas, and propane are CARB-certified to meet the state’s emission standards.
This can be difficult with other brands, as many generators are off-limits to California residents for this very reason, however, the advantage to WEN is that most of their generators are CARB-compliant, meaning they’re perfectly safe and legal to use in the state.
It’s also worth noting that they’re EPA III compliant, too.
WEN generators are pretty durable and hold up well even against some of the higher-end brands, however, they are designed to be more affordable, and therefore, these aren’t generators that are going to last a lifetime.
There are a few different elements built into these generators to promote their lifespan, however, such as the low oil shut-off feature which protects the engine, and the Eco Mode found on some of the inverter models, which promotes durability and improves fuel efficiency.
You can also ensure maximum longevity from your generator by carrying out regular fuel checks and servicing your generator every few months.
Affordability is one of the key selling points when it comes to the WEN brand. Whereas Honda generators can cost into the thousands, even WEN’s largest generators are affordable.
It’s also possible to get a lower-wattage WEN generator for under 500 bucks, however, it’s worth considering the cost of running the generator, such as how efficient the unit is and the type of fuel it runs on.
Benefits of WEN generators
- Wide choice of generators, from conventional to dual-fuel, to inverter generators.
- Trusted American brand manufacturing since 1951
- Affordable alternative to some of the more expensive brands such as Honda
- CARB compliant options that are accessible across all 50 states
- Designed with portability and ease-of-use in mind
- Some parts may be less durable due to the lower cost/quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are WEN generators any good?
WEN generators are well-known and generally are renowned for being affordable and good quality generators.
The brand is known for its powerful OHV engines and excellent portability features such as collapsible handles and wheels for easy transportation.
These features have made them a popular choice for RV-owners and campers. They’re also significantly cheaper than other options on the market, yet produce excellent power output capable of running a range of appliances and devices.
Where are WEN generators made?
WEN generators are made in China, but the company’s main headquarters is in Elgin, Illinois.
What size generator do I need?
The most thorough way to calculate what size generator you need is to make a list of every appliance you want the generator to supply power to.
Then you need to determine the starting and running wattage of everything on your list, and then add the wattage together- this figure should then indicate to you the most appropriate sized generator for your needs.
WEN’s generators span from 1000 watts to 13000 watts, catering for a wide range of energy needs. It’s also worth considering the physical size of the generator.
If you intend to use it on a campsite or anywhere else outside of your home, ensure it is portable enough to easily transport, carry and lift.