Phil has been working as a technical engineer since his graduation, and has never thought of changing his profession. Also, he’s an avid fisherman and camper, so it’s not only work which makes him deal with generators.
Last updated: May 31, 2021
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When you need a reliable generator at a price that won’t break your budget, Wen has you covered. Wen’s generators are built to provide durable power in any situation and are beloved by users for their innovative designs and ease of use. When it comes to finding the best Wen generator for your needs, there are options for a wide range of power capacities and feature sets.
In order to help you find the right Wen generator, we considered a number of important features. These included not only the rated and surge power outputs, which determine how much capacity you’ll get out of your generator, but also whether the generator is an inverter or conventional model. We also looked at whether the generator runs on gasoline or another fuel, and what kind of runtime you can expect from the generator to keep your appliances powered.
We spent tens of hours researching Wen’s technical specifications, talking to service representatives, and reading customer reviews to find the five best Wen generators for every use. Our picks are highlighted in the table below, but continue reading for detailed reviews of each generator complete with pros and cons. Our buying guide covers everything you need to know about choosing a Wen generator. Finally, we sum up our three overall favorite Wen generators on the market today.
This reliable and quiet 2,000-watt generator from Wen is one of the most popular inverter generators the company offers and is good for a wide variety of uses. The generator is rated for 2,000 watts of surge power and 1,600 watts of continuous power, which is enough for a handful of appliances or tools. Plus, because it’s an inverter generator, it’s safe to use with sensitive electronics like your computer or smartphone.
The runtime of this generator is relatively short, at just six hours at 50% load. For many people, that’s not an issue, but it could be a reason to check out Wen’s competitors in this size class if you need longer runtimes. The short runtime is largely due to the small one-gallon fuel tank rather than any issues with engine efficiency.
The 56200i is relatively quiet at just 50–55 dB, which is standard for this size class of inverter generators. That low noise level is ideal if you’ll be running the generator in close proximity to neighbors or at a quiet outdoor area like a campsite.
In terms of outlets, the generator is pretty simple. In addition to two 120-volt outlets, there’s a USB port for charging small devices and a 12-volt DC outlet for charging batteries. Note that there is no breaker, so you’ll need to turn the generator off if you overload one of the outlets.
At 48 pounds, this generator is extremely light and features a large top-side carry handle. However, since it doesn’t have wheels, you may not want to carry it for longer distances. Note that the generator has a relatively tall and narrow design, which can affect where you can store it.
This large dual-fuel generator is one of Wen’s few offerings in the 4,000-watt to 10,000-watt power range. Offering 4,750 surge watts and 3,800 running watts, it has just enough juice to power everything you’d want running in your home during a power outage or to serve as a single generator for a larger outdoor event.
Like the 56352, this generator has a four-gallon gas tank and sports an 11-hour runtime at 50% load. Given the higher power on this generator, that means that the 224cc, four-stroke OHV engine is even more efficient than the smaller engine on the 56352 model.
In addition, this generator can run on propane. With a standard 20-pound propane tank, you can expect to run for up to seven hours with no decline in power relative to running on gasoline.
The generator also competes with the smaller 56352 model in terms of noise production. At a 25% load, this generator produces 68 dB of noise – still loud, but essentially at the same volume as the smaller generator. Furthermore, this generator weighs almost the same amount as its smaller cousin, while offering a larger set of never-flat wheels to get over rugged terrain.
It also features an electric starter in addition to the recoil starter, although this means you’ll need to keep the on-board battery charged. In terms of outlets, the only difference from what’s offered on the 56352 is a main breaker switch to reset all of the outlets at once – a handy addition. Note, though, that there is no LED display on the DF475T like on the 56352.
This 3,000-watt conventional generator from Wen is designed to blend versatility and power.
The generator is built around a 212cc, four-stroke OHV engine that provides up to 3,000 watts of surge power or 2,500 watts of running power. On top of that, it boasts a large four-gallon fuel tank so you can run the generator for up to 11 hours straight at a 50% load.
Note, though, that all that power can be very noisy – the 56352 produces 67 dB of noise at a 25% load and up to 74 dB of noise at a full load. That’s loud enough to be quite distracting, so if you need a quiet generator in this size class you might opt for a more expensive inverter model instead.
That said, this generator is equipped with outlets to handle any task. In addition to two standard 120-volt outlets, it has a 120-volt/240-volt outlet that can be connected to your RV with an adapter or used to power heavy duty tools and appliances. There are built-in circuit reset buttons so you can restart the outlets easily if a breaker trips. Plus, an LED display allows you to easily keep track of how much power you’re drawing and how much fuel you have left in the gas tank.
In terms of portability, the generator isn’t light – it’s over 100 pounds – but the included never-flat wheels and stow-away handles on the steel frame make it easy to roll around any terrain. Just keep in mind that you’ll likely need two people to lift it in or out of a vehicle.
Wen also provides a two-year warranty for this generator.
This massively powerful generator is an inexpensive and portable alternative to a standby generator for powering your entire home during an extended outage. The generator produces a whopping 13,000 watts of surge power and 11,000 watts of running power, making it one of the most powerful portable generators on the market today.
As you might expect, this generator churns through gasoline – but not excessively so. The eight-gallon fuel tank will run the generator for about 7.5 hours at 50% load, so you’ll need to refuel the generator roughly once per day if you’re powering your entire home.
Wen prepared the generator for heavy use with a large suite of outlets, including four 120-volt outlets, a standard 30-amp 120-volt/240-volt outlet, and a heavy-duty 50-amp 240-volt twist-lock outlet. All of the outlets have their own reset switches, and there’s a main breaker switch for the generator so you can cycle the power without turning off the engine.
Plus, the generator’s power has less than 5% total harmonic distortion, so you can feel comfortable powering sensitive appliances and small electronics through the outlets. The generator also includes an LED screen so you can monitor your power usage and remaining runtime.
Chances are, you won’t be moving this generator very far or very often. But keep in mind that because it weighs a crushing 344 pounds, you’ll need several people to move it even when rolling it on the pneumatic wheels. Beware lifting it up or down stairs, as this can be difficult even with up to four people bearing the generator’s weight.
The most noticeable downside to this generator is its noise – at 82 dB at a 25% load, this generator will wake the neighborhood. That’s to be expected of any generator with this much power, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
This small and inexpensive conventional generator brings a different design to the portable generator market. Wen opted for a steel frame with no single carry handle rather than the more standard generator design used for the 2,000-watt generator class, which can make it somewhat difficult to carry by one person. However, the steel frame does serve to protect the generator and it’s not too bulky to lift into a car.
In addition, the generator produces just 1,800 watts of surge power and 1,500 watts of running power, putting it on the smaller side of even the 2,000-watt generator class. That said, it has enough power to run several small appliances and sports a long 7.5-hour runtime at 50% load, which exceeds the runtime of many of its competitors.
The generator doesn’t have much in the way of outlets, with just two 120-volt outlets and a 12-volt DC outlet. That can make it difficult to use with an RV, unfortunately, although it is simple to plug in any basic appliance.
Given its small size, the noise level that this generator produces is surprisingly high. The generator is rated for 63 dB at a 25% load, which is a bit less louder than either the larger 56352 or DF4675T generators from Wen.
That said, this generator is priced at a bargain. If the difficult to carry design is not a severe issue for you, it’s hard to find a more capable and durable generator for the price. Plus, Wen backs this generator with a two-year warranty, which is unusual on generators that are this inexpensive.
What do we love it for?
7.5-hour runtime at 50% load
What were we disappointed with?
Design is difficult to carry
Only 1,800 watts of surge power
Things to Consider
Now that you’ve learned more about our five favorite Wen generators, how do you know if a Wen generator is the best fit for you needs? And how do you choose between these generators? Our buying guide will cover everything you need to know about choosing the right generator.
Wen generators: What you should know about them?
Wen is a venerable name when it comes to generators, with a long 68-year company history of producing high-performance tools. The company offers an extremely wide range of generator models to fit any use and budget, and relative to competitors the prices are often hard to beat. Part of the reason for this is that Wen specializes in producing efficient conventional generators, which are significantly less expensive than inverter generators. That said, Wen isn’t a budget company – they remain at the cutting edge of generator technology and have multiple inverter models available so you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your generator.
The only real disadvantage to Wen is that the company’s generator lineup is skewed towards the light-duty and heavy-duty end. Wen has relatively few generators in the 4,000-watt power range – the DF475T is one of the only generators the company offers between 3,000 and 10,000 watts of rated power.
If you need a generator that is highly portable to cover just a few small appliances on the go, however, Wen offers multiple generators to adapt to any situation.
Generator type: inverter or conventional?
Inverter generators are a newer type of generator technology that offer a number of advantages over conventional generators. Instead of simply producing AC power from the engine and outputting it to the outlets, inverter generators first convert that AC power to DC power and then back to AC power. The result is electricity that is much “cleaner” in terms of its current, which can be extremely important if you are planning to power sensitive electronics like smartphones and computers.
That’s not all, though. Inverter generators like Wen’s 56200i are often 10 dB or more quieter than conventional generators that offer the same amount of power. They’re also more fuel efficient, so you can get a longer runtime with the same size of fuel tank, and they produce fewer smoggy emissions. Another advantage, especially for smaller classes of generators, is that inverter generators are lighter and more compact than their conventional counterparts.
Unfortunately, inverter generators are typically more expensive than conventional generators. You also won’t find inverter generators with more than 4,000 watts of power, so if you need additional power you’ll need to hook up two inverter generators in parallel or opt for a larger conventional generator.
How much power do you need?
Figuring out how much power you need is one of the first steps you need to take when considering generators. The most exact way to figure out what you can power with your generator is to find the wattages of every tool and appliance you plan to run with the generator and add up all their wattages. This will need to be less than the rated wattage of your generator.
Keep in mind that motor-driven appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners will have a surge wattage requirement upon startup, which can be significantly higher than their running wattages.
To give you a sense of what different sizes of generators can power, take your home as an example. A 3000-watt generator like the 56352 can power a home air conditioner, a refrigerator and freezer, a computer, a television, and several rooms’ worth of lights. A smaller 2,000-watt generator like the 56200i could power all of that except the air conditioner, but keep in mind that this model also rated as one of the best generators to take on a boat.
How long do you need to run your generator?
The runtime of your generator – how long it can run on a single full gas tank – is an extremely important consideration when choosing a generator. The runtime is determined by the fuel efficiency of your generator and the size of the fuel tank – but keep in mind that fuel efficiency decreases as your generator approaches its rated load, so when running more appliances your runtime will go down.
Runtimes can vary widely, especially across size classes of generators. On the Wen generators we reviewed, for example, the 56352 and DF475T offer long 11-hour runtimes at 50% load, while the 56200i only offers a six-hour runtime at a 50% load. If you don’t need to run your generator for extended periods – for example, if you only plan to use it for short stints of yard work or in the evenings at a campground – then runtime may not be a major concern.
All of Wen’s generators come with essential safety features like automatic low-oil shutoff, which turns the engine off when the oil runs too low, and overload protection, which powers down the generator when you draw too much power. All of the generators we reviewed from Wen also have warning lights to indicate when the oil is running low, as well as breaker reset switches so you can turn back on any individual outlets that trip without restarting the engine. The 56200i is the only generator we reviewed from Wen that has a fully enclosed engine, which helps prevent you from accidentally burning yourself when moving it around.
Tips and tricks
There are a couple important points to keep in mind to make sure your generator lasts and that it performs at its best. First, changing the oil is extremely important to protect the engine from damage. You should change the oil after the first 30 hours of use, and every 100 hours after that.
Also keep an eye on your fuel. You don’t want to let the generator run dry when you don’t have to, but you also need to remove all fuel from the generator before long-term storage. Running the generator with stale fuel can significantly damage the engine. When you’re refilling the gas tank, make sure to allow the generator to fully cool down before pouring new gas in – a hot generator can be a dangerous fire hazard.
Wen generator prices
Wen generators are priced very competitively compared to other manufacturers within their size classes and feature sets. Prices for the generators we reviewed range from $330 for the 56352 to $1,800 for the 5613K, although most Wen generators are less than $600.
All Wen generators use an air-cooled engine, which is part of what keeps the prices of these generators so modest. Liquid-cooled generators tend to be much more pricey. However, liquid-cooled engines do offer a slight increase in performance and durability compared to air-cooled engines thanks to the more efficient cooling system.
Yes, if your generator has a 30-amp RV-ready outlet or a 120-volt/240-volt twist-lock outlet. Either of these will allow you to connect to the 30-amp inlet on your RV, so that you can power everything plugged into your RV directly from your generator. The 56352, DF475T, and 5613K generators all have a 120-volt/240-volt outlet, which simply requires an adapter cable to connect to your RV’s inlet.
Gasoline is a more energy-dense fuel than propane, so you’ll get more power out of your generator when running on gasoline. However, you also tend to burn through a tank of gasoline faster than a tank of propane since propane tanks are a standard size while generator fuel tanks are not. When running on propane, you can also connect multiple tanks one after another to avoid a break in power.
When running on propane, you can run your generator for extended periods by connecting two propane tanks with a stop-valve. However, you will want to give your generator a break after some time to allow the engine and other components to cool down. Keep in mind also that you may need to change the oil after an extended use. When running on gasoline, you cannot run nonstop as you need to let the engine cool down completely before adding more fuel to the tank.
Our three overall favorite generators from Wen are the 56200i, the DF475T, and the 56352. The DF475T and 56352 are highly similar in many ways, from their 11-hour runtimes at 50% load to their inclusions of a 120-volt/240-volt twist-lock outlet. However, given that the DF475T produces over 1,000 watts more power in a generator package that produces less noise, has a more efficient engine, and weighs the same as the 56352, we feel that this is the better choice for anyone who is willing to pay the price premium. Still, the 56200i won our pick as the overall best Wen generator largely because it’s one of the few inverter generators that Wen offers. With 2,000 watts of surge power, the 56200i is capable of powering several appliances and having juice leftover to plug in your small electronics. Plus, it’s lightweight and extremely quiet compared to the rest of Wen’s generator lineup.