WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Inverter Portable Generator

Last updated date: May 27, 2020

DWYM Score
9.2


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We looked at the top Portable Generators and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Portable Generator you should buy.

Overall Take

You'll find that this portable generator is environmentally friendly and powerful. It's safe to operate just about anywhere, including your back yard, a construction site or at a campground. In addition to 120V and 12V DC receptacles, this unit comes with a USB port to charge your electronics. In our analysis of 37 expert reviews, the WEN WEN 56200i Portable Generator placed 3rd when we looked at the top 17 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note May 27, 2020:
Checkout The Best Portable Generator for a detailed review of all the top portable generators.

Expert Summarized Score
6.2
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,113 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
WEN Inverter Generator – Thanks to modern technology, generators are smaller, quieter and more reliable than ever. They are great to have in case you need backup power due to a hurricane, wildfire, storm or another type of man-made or natural disaster. Generators can help in so many situations, including your campsite, job site, home or small business. Buying one can make a big impact toward your emergency preparedness. Yet, you can enjoy it in the meantime for recreation.
- Rural Living
This model is ideal for camping and hunting trips because it is so lightweight and easy to carry around by its handle. Fuel efficiency is also decent, which is why the small fuel tank poses no problem for recreational use. Power can be scaled up by purchasing a parallel kit, making the 56200i a highly versatile option.
- Best Generator
What experts didn't like
You’ll also find another tier of generators available online, such as the WEN 56200i on Amazon or even cheap two-stroke models from discount suppliers like Harbor Freight. In the future we’ll try to find ways to search for the diamonds in the rough here, but most of these models have shorter warranties than the industry-standard three-year length, and they don’t have the reputation for reliability or customer support that a generator needs if it’s going to be useful to you.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Going from the reviews, one of the most common complaints is that the unit presents issues just after its warranty time ends. The WEN 56200i has a two year warranty which if you compare to some of the other manufacturers that offer 3 years warranty or even 5 years warranty is somewhat short. Another common complaint is that refueling neatly is a bit of a challenge. The fuel cap is somewhat small so you really should use the funnel that I comes with to avoid spilling gasoline. Also, look out for any damage to the unit because of poor packaging. If you bought your WEN 56200i via Amazon then you should receive either a new unit or have the broken elements replaced through the warranty. Draining and cleaning the fuel tank and changing the oil is quite the task on most small portable generators and the same goes for this model. Cleaning the fuel tank requires taking the generator apart so set aside a while every few months to perform proper maintenance.
- Best Generator

From The Manufacturer

Remember when you had clean and quiet portable power? The WEN 2,000 Watt Inverter Generator produces clean energy free of voltage spikes and drops without making all of the noise of a regular generator. Generate 2000 surge watts and 1600 rated watts of power. Our 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV engine operates at an extremely quiet 51 decibels at quarter load, quieter than a window air conditioner or the average conversation. This limits its invasiveness while hunting, camping, tailgating and restoring back-up power. Designed to mirror a pure sine wave, this generator limits total harmonic distortion to under 0.3 percent at no load and under 1.2 percent at full load, making it safe enough to run laptops, cellphones, monitors, tablets and other vulnerable electronics. The lightweight design makes for easy portability while the ultra-efficient one-gallon tank provides over 6 hours of half-load run time. 56200i This fully-packed panel comes equipped with two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V DC receptacle and one 5V USB port. Maximize fuel economy by engaging the WEN 2000 Watt Inverter Generator's Eco-Mode Throttle. This feature allows the generator's motor to automatically adjust its fuel consumption as items are plugged and unplugged from the panel, preventing the usage of unnecessary gasoline. Need more energy? Easily link up two generators using a WEN 56421 Parallel Connection Kit (sold separately) in order to share wattage amongst multiple units. Low-oil and low-fuel automatic shutdown with indication lights along with overload protection safeguard both your generator and your electronics from damage. And because this is a WEN Product, your inverter generator comes backed by a 2-year warranty, a nationwide network of skilled service technicians and a friendly customer helpline. Remember when your generator powered your electronics safely and quietly? Remember WEN.

Overall Product Rankings

5. Durostar Portable Generator
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 7
6. DuroMax Dual Fuel Portable Generator, 5500-Watt
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 0
9. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer, 167-Watt
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 0
10. Champion Portable Generator
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 2
11. Briggs & Stratton Powersmart Series Portable Generator
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 6
14. Yamaha Portable Generator
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 8
15. Generac Portable Generator
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 1
16. DEWALT Portable Generator
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 1
17. NorthStar Portable Generator
Overall Score: 6.4
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Portable Generators

It’s never a good time for a power outage. Chances are the weather isn’t ideal, leaving you to either swelter or freeze in your house for hours or, worse, days. You can’t even use a fan or space heater to keep your family comfortable. As you watch the battery on your smartphone slowly die, you continue to monitor your local utility company’s online outage report, to no avail.

A generator can keep you up and running, whether an outage lasts an hour or three weeks. Just fill up a gas can at your local station, bring it home and fill up the generator to get started. Depending on the type of generator you buy, filing up one gas can may be enough to last you multiple days, and refilling is easy.

One decision you’ll need to make before you start shopping is whether you want an inverter or a conventional generator. Although inverter generators are more expensive, they’re generally quieter, more efficient and have a longer runtime than their conventional counterparts. If your home suffers only the occasional power outage, it might not be worth the extra price to have those benefits, but you’ll appreciate them if your power ever goes out for days at a time.

How you’ll connect up your generator is also important. You can set up a small generator in a safe area of your house and individually connect the items you use directly to it. Your generator will need to be at least 10 feet from any openings to your house to keep you safe. At that point, you can run one long extension cord from the generator into your home, and then plug multiple items into that. You can alternately run several extension cords into your home for the different appliances you’ll need to use, depending on the power outlets available on your generator.

The other way to use a generator is to hook it up to the transfer switch for your house. This is the safest method since the cord method requires ensuring you have the correct gauge and length of wire. You’ll need a power transfer system, which will have everything necessary to connect a portable generator to a home. The benefit of these systems is that you won’t have to connect individual appliances. You can run the items you need as you normally would, although you’ll still want to conserve energy to avoid multiple trips to the gas station during your outage.

DWYM Fun Fact

The average power outage lasts only four hours, although natural disasters pushed that number to 7.8 hours in 2017. When natural outages were factored out, though, the average was back to four hours. This can vary by state. California consistently has the most power outages, and Texas and Vermont also topped the list in 2017. The worst power outage in history came in 1965, when more than 30 million people were left without electricity due to human error. One of the strangest power outages happened in 2017, when a truck carrying a load of chickens overturned near a power pole.

The Portable Generator Buying Guide

  • If your power goes out, chances are you’ll be using your generator for only those things you absolutely need. Still, it’s important to check the capacity.
  • For those who live in colder climates where conditions like ice storms tend to cause extended power outages, a unit with cold start technology helps to ensure you can still run it when the temperature drops.
  • One common issue with generators is a fluctuation in power that can make it difficult to run appliances and electronics. A generator with automatic voltage regulation keeps those fluctuations at bay.
  • When it comes to capacity, wattage is everything. Look for generators with a higher wattage if you’re concerned about keeping your refrigerator going while also intermittently using devices like your stove, toaster and smartphone.
  • If you plan to connect your generator directly to appliances rather than hooking it up to your home’s transfer switch, pay close attention to the electrical outlets included.
  • If you’ve ever heard a generator, you know they can be distractingly noisy. Generators are getting better about this, though. Check the dBA of generators you are considering. The lower the dBA, the quieter the generator will be.
  • In the event of an outage that lasts days, fuel capacity will be more important than any other factor.
  • Before you buy, consider whether portability is an issue. If you plan to leave it in one place most of the time, you probably won’t prioritize that feature.