In this guide, you’ll find reviews of the best WEN generators. Our focus when choosing the top WEN generators was on 5 points: price, power, environmental standard compliance, portability and features.
Here are the best WEN generators:
- 1. Best Value for the Money: WEN 56203i Super Quiet Ultra Lightweight 2000 Watt Portable Inverter CARB Compliant Generator w/Fuel Shut Off
- 2. Best for Camping: WEN 56200i 2000 Watt Gas-Powered Portable Inverter CARB-Compliant Generator
- 3. Best for RVs: WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800 Watt Portable Inverter Electric Start Generator with Fuel Shut-Off
- 4. Best Dual Fuel: WEN DF475T 4750 Watt Dual-Fuel 120V / 240V Portable Electric Start CARB Compliant Generator – Transfer Switch Ready
- 5. Best for Home Backup: WEN 56475 4750 Watt Portable Electric Start Generator with Wheel Kit
- 6. Lowest Price: WEN 56155 1550 Watt 4-Stroke 98cc Portable Power CARB Compliant Generator
Scroll down for our WEN generator reviews.
WEN Generator Overview
The first generator was invented in the 1830s, but today’s personal generators wouldn’t even be recognizable to the top minds of that era. Like with every piece of technology, we’ve come a long way since the Faraday disc. I mean, the earliest generators didn’t even provide power, just proved the point that we could generate currents. Luckily, engineers ran with the idea and eventually progressed to what we have today.
There are not many people who have never heard of a generator. Even those who don’t know what a generator is, but have been camping, to a tailgate, or spent time on a construction site have certainly heard generators. They aren’t as loud as they used to be thanks to refined engines and more advanced technology. Even so, you still usually know when a generator is running near you.
So what does a generator actually do? Their application varies based on user preference, but at their core, a generator provides portable power supplied by a fuel source. The biggest benefit is that they do not need to be connected to a larger electrical system and can independently provide power.
We hope that you aren’t reading this article because your power is currently out. Hate to break it to you, but it’s a little late for the outage you’re experiencing right now. While it might be agonizing right now, power outages are one of the main drivers in getting people to buy their own generators. Other situations where generators are extremely common are for people who frequently camp (RV or tent), tailgate in a large parking lot or in construction areas where electricity is not yet running.
WEN got into the game in the early 1950s. Since then they’ve dedicated themselves to providing safe, efficient and durable machines. Besides those main components, they’ve placed a special emphasis on producing machinery that you do not need to be an engineer to operate. In other words, you could know very little about generators and still safely operate their machines.
WEN Generator Reviews
Here’s how this is going to work. You already read our opening spiel. Next, you’ll find out some more information about a half dozen of WEN’s top offerings. We try to break each of them down similarly so that you can do a side-by-side comparison of sorts and see where each generator has an advantage over the others. After the individual WEN generator reviews, we give you a few final things to think about as you pick yours out. Once you’ve read our entire guide, we think you’ll have to tools and background to decide what WEN generator will work best for you.
The Best, Affordable, CARB-Compliant WEN Generators Reviewed:
1. Best Value for the Money: WEN 56203i Super Quiet Ultra Lightweight 2000 Watt Portable Inverter CARB Compliant Generator w/Fuel Shut Off
WEN 56203i 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Review
The WEN 56203i is a portable inverter generator. This model features a 2000-starting watt capacity and 1700-running watt capacity. It is an ideal generator for running various pieces of technology around your home. In the eyes of most, there is hardly a better blend of clean power and efficiency for charging phones or running computers and televisions. While the capacity is not among the largest on the market, it is capable of running a few small personal appliances at once.
One of the bigger benefits of an inverter generator is fuel efficiency. While the WEN 56203i has just a one-gallon fuel tank, it makes up for its small size by only supplying as much power as needed. While using 50% of available power, you can expect a single gallon to last for around seven hours.
While we’re going down the list, another benefit of an inverter generator is noise level. For the WEN 56203i in particular, even if you were standing right next to it, you’d hardly notice it. This is in large part due to the quiet nature of inverter technology, but also an engine of the quieter side.
Need a little bit more power? You can parallel any two WEN generators together—and even then, it’s still pretty quiet.
To start the WEN 56302i, it’s as simple as giving the recoil system a pull. Since it is a smaller engine and machine, the labor intensity is relatively low.
Weight & Portability
Without fuel and oil, this generator weighs 39 lbs. Because of its weight and compact body, this means it’s a generator just about anyone can carry. While there is no integrated wheel system, a handle on top of the body makes transportation easy.
Compare the WEN 56203i to the WEN 56200i reviewed below.
Original Retail $449.99
2. Best for Camping: WEN 56200i 2000 Watt Gas-Powered Portable Inverter CARB-Compliant Generator
WEN 56200i 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Review
When we need to charge our electronics, but don’t have access to traditional power, we have to think outside the box. In recent years, we’ve started to think in the box with better results—that is, the box of an inverter generator. The WEN 56200i limits harmonic distortion to between .3 and 1.2%. This all but eliminates the risk involved with running electronics off portable power.
WEN 56200i portable inverter generators are built to provide a maximum of 2000 surge watts. For running watts, that number is 1600. If you’re worried about overloading the generator, you don’t need to be. On the control panel are indicators that alert you if you are approaching dangerous levels. If you aren’t paying attention, the machine will shut itself off.
Sticking with the theme of inverter generators being quiet, the WEN 56200i runs at around 51 decibels. When you choose this WEN generator, there’s no yelling over the noise. In reality, you’re more likely to forget it’s running than you are to be disturbed by it as the noise will fade into the background.
Fuel & Runtime
With a one-gallon gas tank, WEN stays on brand ensuring that despite the volume of fuel involved, it will still last an extended period of time. Running at a quarter load will get you just over nine hours. When using half the power, you will get around six hours of run time. To start the 56200i, you need to use the recoil system.
Weighing a hair under 50 lbs., this generator is light and compact enough that it can be carried by one person. Aided by lightweight inverter technology, there is hardly a tailgate or campsite this cannot travel to. As long as the handle remains intact, which since it’s a WEN it will, all you have to do is carry it with you.
Compare the WEN 56200i to the WEN 56203i reviewed above.Original Retail $431.71
3. Best for RVs: WEN 56380i Super Quiet 3800 Watt Portable Inverter Electric Start Generator with Fuel Shut-Off
WEN 56380i 3800 Watt Portable Inverter Generator Review
WEN 56380i generators are among the most powerful inverters you’ll find. Not only is it powerful, but its intuitive nature makes it perfect for new generator users that need a bit more power than most. At its peak, it produces 3800 watts. While running, its capacity is 3400 watts.
As we start to get into bigger generators, the gas tank size increases but we do not lose the efficiency of an inverter generator. The WEN 56380i has a 2.2 gallon gas tank and will last for around eight hours while operating at half power. Also still not a concern with a larger engine—noise level. This WEN inverter generator runs at about 60 decibels.
Electric & Recoil Start
When it comes to starting method, you have two choices. You can either take the easy route and make the electric start method your main option, or use the recoil system. In reality, the recoil system serves a backup to electric starting. Most people will only use it should something go wrong elsewhere.
Weight & Portability
Among other inverter generators, the WEN 56380i is far from the lightest, weighing 110 lbs. To make up for the increased weight, WEN attached to small wheels to the bottom of the base. While they are not necessarily all-terrain tires, they make it easier transport this across different types of terrain.
More details at Wen ProductsOriginal Retail $744.75
4. Best Dual Fuel: WEN DF475T 4750 Watt Dual-Fuel 120V / 240V Portable Electric Start CARB Compliant Generator - Transfer Switch Ready
WEN DF475T 4750 Watt Portable Electric Start Generator Review
Who doesn’t like a little more choice than the bare minimum in their lives? For us, the more versatility, the more freedom it provides. The WEN DF475T is a dual fuel portable generator. For those wondering, dual fuel means that it runs using gasoline or propane. Based on your fuel choice the generator has varying capabilities.
Should you choose gasoline as your fuel, the WEN 475T will produce more power. Gasoline power produces 4750 surge watts and 3800 running watts. With propane, the numbers are slightly lower at 4350 surge watts and 3500 running watts. Regardless of your fuel choice, this machine runs around 70 decibels. Not the quietest machine on our list, but no so loud that it will cause any consistent disturbance.
Tank Size & Runtime
Built into the generator is a four-gallon gas tank. With a full tank at a half load, you can expect around 11 hours of run time. When you choose propane, you do not put the fuel directly into the generator, but hook up a tank. For the DF475R, a 20-gallon tank is recommended. Using one of these will get you about seven hours of run time using half of all available watts.
When generators start becoming powerful enough to run full size appliances, engine size must increase. At this point, it’s no longer feasible to utilize a pull start system. To make your life easier, the WEN DF475T comes with an electric start system meaning your generator runs with the twist of a key.
Weight & Portability
Weighing more the 100 lbs., the easiest way to transport the WEN DF475T is using the fold down handle and two wheels attached to the frame. If you’re feeling ambitious, there are carrying handles built into the frame that you can lift it by as well.
Compare to WEN 56475 Review BelowOriginal Retail $463.38
5. Best for Home Backup: WEN 56475 4750 Watt Portable Electric Start Generator with Wheel Kit
WEN 56475 4750 Watt Portable Electric Start Generator Review
The WEN 56155 is very much your traditional generator. It looks, sounds and operates exactly how most people think generators do. The biggest elevating factor here, the WEN difference. Thanks to a fuel-efficient engine and increased durability, the WEN 56155 is a generator you can use for years on end. Surge level for this generator is 4750 watts and running capacity is 3750 watts.
Gas & Runtime
While conventional generators are not as efficient as inverters, this one does more than its fair share in getting the job done. For this unit, a full four-gallon tank will last around 10 hours using half power.
Running Noise Level
As one would expect with a traditional generator, the WEN 56155 is noticeable while on. On the scale of more powerful generators, this ranks pretty low on the noise scale. After all, when it comes to a generator powerful enough to run your biggest appliances, you’re going to need to tolerate a bit of noise.
Electric Start System
Starting has never been as easy as with the WEN 56155. This generator features an electric start system that can be operated without a key. For anyone who has used a key-start system while camping, you also know that you could easily lose that key. Let’s be honest, that would ruin your trip in an instant.
Weight & Portability
Weighing about 110 lbs., carrying is not possible for a lot of people. This is especially true since the frame itself is larger than other similar powered models with no side smaller than 17 inches. The WEN 56155 comes with two all-terrain tires that attach directly to the metal frame and can traverse even the most difficult paths.
Compare to WEN DF475T Review AboveOriginal Retail $499.99
6. Lowest Price: WEN 56155 1550 Watt 4-Stroke 98cc Portable Power CARB Compliant Generator
WEN 56155 1550 Watt Portable CARB Compliant Generator Review
The WEN 56155 is a conventional generator on the smaller side. It is an ideal portable generator to have around the house if you want to keep the lights on during a power outage. Due to its traditional engine and setup, it is not recommended to run sensitive electronics with. It is rated at 1550 surge watts and 1350 running watts.
Tank Size & Runtime
Considering the 1.1-gallon gas tank and non-inverter setup, you wouldn’t expect the WEN 56155 to be as fuel efficient as it is. Running at half power, a single tank will last between seven and eight hours. As a traditional generator, it is a bit noisy. However, since it has an engine on the smaller side, noise level is similar to a larger inverter generator. At this size, it won’t cause much of a disturbance while running.
What looks like a miniature engine surrounded by a metal frame provides more value than one might think at first glance. Among the smallest traditional generators produced, the WEN 56155 is a viable option for those that want backup portable power, but don’t want to spend a ton or have excess wattage.
Recoil Start, Weight & Portability
The WEN 56155 portable generator starts using a recoil system. To transport this model, your only option is to carry it. Thankfully, it’s not as bulky or heavy as other traditional generators. Weighing about 55 lbs., most people can carry this on their own using the handles built into the frame.Original Retail $224.80
WEN Generator Buying Guide
If you’ve made it this far, we’re guessing you’re committed to buying a WEN generator. Well good for you. It’s not a stretch to say that nearly anyone who has bought a generator hasn’t gotten at least one good use out of it. A good majority probably even frequently feels grateful for this piece of machinery.
One guarantee we can make is that if you’re one of the people reading this during a power outage we talked about in the intro, you’ll be happy to avoid this situation again by getting yourself a WEN generator. Even if your power isn’t out, reading this much info tells us that somewhere inside your head you’ve made the decision that it’s time for a generator of your own.
Traditional or Inverter—what’s right for you?
There are two main types of generators, traditional (conventional) and inverter. A traditional generator is usually bigger, louder and more powerful. An inverter of the same wattage will be lighter than its conventional counterpart. But, the most powerful of this style doesn’t even come close to traditional power. The biggest benefit besides noise level of a WEN portable inverter generator is that it reduces harmonic distortion. By limiting these levels, an inverter generator is safe to run electronics that cannot withstand any kind of surging power without being destroyed.
A traditional generator isn’t guaranteed to destroy your phone or computer, but the increased harmonic distortion makes it not worth the risk. We live in the 21st century; there’s hardly anything more important in our lives than our personal devices.
We don’t buy the paper anymore, we read it on our phone. We don’t listen to sports on the radio. We have them in full HD on a 60” TV. There’s no compromise. Going without electronics isn’t an option. If you’re like most people and keeping your phone charged is as important as having running water, buy an inverter generator. Don’t think twice about it, just go with this option.
What am I really buying?
The answer is simple; peace of mind. For nearly every person that has one, a generator is backup power used only in the case of emergencies and recreation. In the first of these scenarios, being able to get some type of power back dramatically improves an unfortunate situation. In the second, losing your power source would disrupt your activity and negatively impact your good time.
Despite two very different situations, one thing remains constant. A reliable generator makes things better. When you need power, you don’t want to have to think twice about where it’s coming from. You just want to be able to go into the garage, pull out old reliable and go about the rest of your day. Having the right generator allows you to do that.