Wen Portable Inverter Generator Review

Wen Portable Inverter GeneratorProduct Overview

Are you in the market for a powerful and reliable generator for camping? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Inverter generators are a great, portable power solutions for families with sensitive electronics to charge or anyone that appreciates compact, lightweight portability and fuel efficiency in their generator.

Portable inverter generators are also great companions on hunting trips, RV trips, on remote job sites, at block parties and tailgates before a game and even in emergency situations like power outages. Wen’s 56203i Portable Inverter Generator has a great capacity for power and includes some great safety features that make this a long-lasting tool you can use for camping trips in many years to come. This quiet generator will help you make family memories.

What is an Inverter Generator?

Traditional and inverter generators have the same end goal: to power your appliances reliable by transforming fuel into energy. For running an internal combustion engine, both traditional portable generators and portable inverter generators use fossil fuels (like oil and gasoline).

The different between a standard generator and an inverter generator is that inverter generators use a phenomenon called electrical induction. In this process, generators transform mechanical energy into electricity. Then, voltage is induced inside a magnetic case by a conductor’s movement, typically wire coils.

Increasing engine rotation generates one block wave of AC energy in a traditional generator. In order to produce the regular 120-volt, 60-Hz electricity widely used in the US, the engine must operate at a constant speed of 3,600 rpm, regardless of the load, or the amount of electrical power you require.

In an inverter generator, on the other hand, more AC electrical energy can be produced for each rotation of the engine. The only problem is the energy produced is raw (it can’t be used in its initial form). In order to work with your appliances, it needs to be converted into DC power.

So in an inverter generator, an electronic inverter turns the DC power (the raw energy initially produced) into standard AC power. Unlike the AC power produced by standard portable generators, this AC energy is in sine waves (instead of block waves). What this means for the consumer is that the resulting power (known as clean power) can be safely used with your more sensitive electronic devices (like computers, laptops, cameras and smartphones).

Another key difference between an inverter generator and a standard portable generator is that the inverter generator’s engine speed is variable. This means the engine speed can slow down or speed up based on the load it’s carrying. If you only have a few lights attached to a generator, the engine slows and your fuel will last longer. The energy efficiency of an inverter generator is a huge benefit. Not only do you save money on fuel but you also save your engine life.

Benefits of an Inverter Generator

In most inverter generator reviews, sites boast the benefits of the inverter generator. So what exactly are the benefits to buying an inverter generator over a standard generator? If they both run on the same fuel and they’re both portable, aren’t they essentially the same thing? The fast answer is no!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the benefits of an inverter generator.

  • They require less maintenance
  • They’re more fuel efficient so you’ll save fuel and money
  • They run more quietly
  • They’re lighter weight and more compact
  • You can safely connect an electronic device like a computer or a laptop to this power source without worrying about damage to the device.

Features to Look for in an Inverter Generator

If you’re searching for a high quality portable generator and you’ve decided that an inverter generator is best suited for your power needs, you still have a wide selection of generators to choose from. We’ve put together a list of some great features to look out for when you’re choosing an inverter generator.

  • Power modes like ‘boost’ or ‘eco/power saving’ modes are great added features to help you regulate your generators engine. A boost mode lets you surge power when appliances require it and an eco- or power saver mode will help you run your engine efficiently when you don’t need much power. If the inverter generator you’re looking at doesn’t have these mode options, it’s likely the generator’s engine automatically regulates the engine, so don’t worry that it won’t run efficiently on its own.
  • Portability features like wheels, a handle or an extra mobility unit are great to have depending on the weight of the inverter generator. Since higher wattage generators tend to be heavier than lower wattage generators, look for these portability features to be included with the generator. If they’re not, see if the same company makes compatible wheels, handle or a cart. You’ll be glad you can easily move your generator regardless of its weight after a long day hunting, working or when you’re packing up your camp and ready to get home.
  • Control panel features are nice to have on a generator. Control panels with well-labeled outlets and switches are great. An even better upgraded feature is an LCD indicator that lets you read input and output levels and even tells you how much life you have left in your generator and give you engine temperature reads.
  • Noise level is usually lower in an inverter generator but how loud a generator is can vary widely from one generator to the next. The noise level of one generator can even vary depending on how much wattage the generator is running. Be sure to consider your usage and check customer reviews on the actual noise level of a generator. If you’ll be an a location where a noisy generator is going to be a nuisance or even illegal, you’ll need to be sure you’re getting a generator that complies with the environment.

Running generators in parallel

You may have noticed that many portable generators allow for parallel connection, but what does that mean exactly?

If you need more wattage to you RV or campsite than one portable generator can handle, you definitely don’t want to size up to a bulky generator that you can’t carry or pack. The alternative is to run multiple generators in parallel.

If you have high electrical needs, you can purchase two portable generators as well as a parallel generator kit to double your power. As long as your generators are designed to run in parallel, there’s no downside to running generators in parallel.

Be sure to purchase a kit that’s compatible with your generators. Kits clip to your generators with no fussy installation or extra tools. Once your generators are connected you can run and use them as you normally would, it couldn’t be simpler!

If you’re interested in learning more about running generators in parallel, check out this detailed resource.

Drawbacks of Inverter Generators

Like with all types of generators, there are some small downsides to inverter generators that you should consider when choosing a generator.

Portable generators can emit carbon monoxide. Look for a generator with a CO indicator or automatic shut off to reduce your risk of exposure.

Inverter generators can be pricy, consider the cost of the portable generator versus the wattage capabilities it has when deciding on a unit.

Compared with the maximum running capabilities of standard portable generators, inverter generators have lower power maximums. The highest wattage you’re likely to find on an inverter generator is 4000 watts.

Inverter Generator Information

Back in 1951, when Wen was founded by Nick Anton, the company made a huge impression on the industry by bringing electricity together with tools. This idea obviously gave rise to the power tools we know and love today. Wen brings this innovative attitude to all of their products.

Wen has a wide range of tools and other products designed to help workers everywhere. Their 2000 watt portable inverter generator is a handy accessory for workers, outdoors men and campers everywhere.

With this model you can expect a running wattage rating of 1700 and a surge rating of 2000 watts. This is the perfect amount of power to run an air conditioner or even a television. Extra features on this compact, lightweight portable inverter generator make it so easy to operate efficiently.

With clean power you can safely charge your smartphones and tablets or power your laptop wherever you are. An inverter generator is great to take out camping or on your next RV or hunting trip.

Pros

  • 79.7 cc 4 stroke OHB engine is EPA III and CARB compliant.
  • Has two 3-prong 120 volt outlets, one 12 volt DC outlet and one 5 volt USB port built in.
  • Operates at 51 decibels when running at a quarter load which is quieter than other similar generators.
  • With ports for parallel connection you can add another generator for more operating power if needed.
  • Eco-mode for fuel efficiency is a great option for user control.
  • Built in carrying hand for easy transportation.
  • Great safety features like low oil shutdown and overload protection as well as indicator lights so your generator and your devices are protected from damage.
  • Easy to start with the built in recoil.
  • Dip stick is included and conveniently located for checking the oil.
  • USDA approved spark arrestor so you can safely and legally operate this generator in a national park.
  • 2 year warranty included and helpful customer service line available.

Cons

  • Refilling the fuel container without spillage may be difficult.
  • Oil may need to be changed often.

Maintaining your Inverter Generator

Like any engine powered machine, an inverter generator requires some routine maintenance. Not only does routine maintenance keep your inverter generator running smoothly and efficiently, it also keeps it running safely. Here are some tips for maintaining your inverter generator.

  • Before you do any maintenance on your generator, make sure the unit is turned off with all wired disconnected and has completely cooled down. Always perform maintenance on your generator in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.
  • Check the oil in your inverter generator after each use. You should also change the oil right away after the very first use.
  • Change the oil every 6 months after the first use.
  • Check the air filter before every use and clean when needed or every 3 months. To clean your air filter, use warm water and dish detergent then dry completely. Dip the filter in a clean oil bath and remove excess before replacing.
  • Adjust the spark plugs every 6 months and replace every year.
  • Clean the spark arrestor using a wire brush every 6 months.
  • Replace any parts that show signs of damage as soon as possible.

Summary

Wen’s portable inverter generator has everything you need to make your outdoor adventure great. Why rough it while camping when you could have hot food, a cool tent and fully charged phones? Don’t let your RV appliances go to waste once you park the vehicle, attach a generator so you can run your water, keep your fridge and freezer cool and even use the lights and microwave without running down the RV battery.

Every emergency prepper needs a portable power solution, having this inverter generator will give you peace of mind the next time there’s a big storm in the forecast. Even if the power goes out, you can still keep your important appliances powered. With so many uses for an inverter generator, what are you waiting for?