Powerful WEN 56200i Review – How Good/Bad Is This 2000 Watt Generator? (2018)

WEN 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator

Whether you’re thinking of investing in power backup or planning your next boondocking mission, buying a powerful yet quiet generator might easily be the best decision you’ll ever make. Going for a price that’s 50 percent cheaper than its competitors, the Wen 56200i combines fuel efficiency with quiet operation and enhanced portability. Its superior performance has so far left a few tongues wagging and if reviews posted on 3 rd party sites are anything to go by; this would be a superb find for beginners, intermediaries, and professionals alike.

  • Compact design
  • Quiet operation
  • Fuel efficient

Manual

WEN 56200i User Manual

WEN 56200i User Manual

Manual: WEN 56200i User Manual

Read and follow the safety instructions. Keep Instructions readily available for operators. Make certain all operators are properly trained and understand how to safely and correctly operate the product.

Summary:

Generators are generally designed to help make your life better by providing you with an alternative source of power. However, these systems come with a number of challenges as well. Some generators are way too noisy and that makes them difficult to use especially in residential areas. Likewise, others are too heavy and you’d really struggle to move them from one spot to another when necessary. There’s also the question of fuel efficiency. While some generators are incredibly powerful and good looking they also tend to be fuel guzzlers – and in these difficult economic times, the last thing you want to do is send a few hard-earned dollars down the drain. Keeping all those facts in mind, Wen, an Illinois-based generator has carved a niche for itself in this competitive niche since 1951. And although the brand is comparatively less popular than the likes of Honda, their super-duper innovation, the 56200i is certainly worth taking a closer look at. So, in the following Wen 56200i review, we’ll be talking about what this portable generator is capable of delivering while still reflecting on some of its major drawbacks.

Design
9
Price
8
Usability
10

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Engine4-stroke OHV single cylinder with forced air cooling systemNumber of Total Outlets(2) 120V 20A 3-prong, (1) 5V USB Port, (1) 12V DC 8.3A
Displacement79.7 ccSurge Wattage2000 W
Rated Amperage13.3 AFuel Tank Capacity1 Gallon
Run Time at Half Load6 HoursRunning Wattage1600 W
Weight48 PoundsProduct Dimensions18 x 11 x 18 in

Whether you’re a camper or family person who would like to guarantee themselves of a reliable power supply even in the middle of a national power blackout, the 56200i from Wen will blow you away with its generous features. First off, it comes with an energy-efficient engine which runs on slightly more than a gallon per night.

Despite being so minimalistic, it produces a whopping 2,000 watts worth of power. This is just enough to run your fridge, cell phones, laptops, lights, and a small (window unit) air conditioner simultaneously. In other words, that means you can keep all your basic equipment running for a whole night for $2.5 or thereabouts (the average price of a gallon of gas in the US).

The main selling point of this mini-generator is that it is incredibly quiet. In fact, it is quieter than a lawn mower and sounds more or less like a typical car engine idling. That means you can keep it a few feet away from your bedroom window and enjoy uninterrupted sleep with it running in the background.

For added flexibility, this generator comes with a built-in inverter meaning you simply need to plug it into a regular socket and are good to go. On top of that, the unit includes 2 three-prong receptacles with one of them being a 12V direct current receptacle and the other one a 5V USB outlet. If you have a phone or laptop that recharges through a USB cable, all you need to do is plug it in directly to the generator – and that leaves you with a few more free socket slots to plug your other appliances in.

Features

  • Measures 18x11x18 inches, quite compact
  • Weighs 48 pounds, easy to carry around
  • Protected by a 2-year warranty
  • Operates at 51dB which is quieter than an average conversation
  • Over 6 hours of run-time per gallon of fuel

The Design


With the 56200i weighing less than 48 pounds and measuring 18x11x18 inches, this generator is small enough to fit inside the trunk of a Ford Focus.

To make sure you never struggle lifting it up and carrying it with you, the inverter generator comes with a convenient handle – meaning you can actually carry it with one hand.

As far as looks are concerned, this one spots a black and orange color combination – making it easy to spot especially when stored in an area frequented by people. Its outer body cover is made of high-quality plastic with a few metallic surfaces and screws in place for a safe housing.

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Power and Performance


As we’ve already mentioned, this unit is not only discrete and quiet but also highly fuel efficient. You only need to fill the fuel tank up to the level marked in red and you’ll be good to go for a whole night. Its 4-stroke engine produces a whopping 2,000 surge watts although it’s rated 1,600 watts.

Of course, there are some more powerful generators out there but this one beats them in terms of efficiency and reliability. Ideal for campgrounds, tailgates or as a backup system in case of power outages, this unit produces just enough power to keep basic appliances running.

It may not power a huge A/C, but it certainly will keep a minimalistic one plus a fridge, lights, and gadgets running. Most importantly, it provides clean CARB-compliant power which makes it safe for everyone and gentle on Mother Nature.

Pro Tip

For optimal efficiency, always keep your load at below 1000 watts even though this generator has a 2000 watt capacity.


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Safety Features


This generator is generally safe and can be operated by anyone who is 13 years and above. Its built-in generator makes it a superb choice for laymen because you don’t have to install a complex network of wires and inverters to use its power as direct current. Above all, this unit has an intelligent built-in system that prevents voltage spikes and drops.

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PROS:
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to use
  • Compact in size
  • Easily portable
  • Quite well priced

CONS:
  • May require several cord-pulls to work in winter
  • Changing the oil requires a bit of work

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Things we liked about it

We like the fact that this generator is remarkably quiet. You can operate it for long hours without disrupting your neighbors. Most importantly, if you like camping away from camping sites (which are rather expensive, we must add), its discreteness ensures you don’t disrupt those around you. This is a big plus, especially for random, urban camping. Besides that, we like the fact that WEN 56200i is quite powerful. Although it may not sustain commercial operations or a large building for long, it does a pretty good job of guaranteeing power supply to average-sized households, singles, and couples. You can, therefore, bank on it to keep all your important appliances working ranging from inhalers, lights, TV, music system, laptops, desktops, fridge and so forth.

Things we didn’t like

Although it’s CARB-compliant, you want to avoid locking yourself with it in a room with limited air circulation. This is a mistake you’re likely to make on your RV as you seek to keep the generator safe, especially at night. However, that’s not encouraged because the fumes the WEN 56200i produces can easily lead to carbon-monoxide poisoning. It’s, therefore, recommended to keep it at least 5 feet away from where you are and ensure there’s adequate air circulation at all times.

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General User Experience


No matter where you slice this, you can rest assured it’ll hold its ground. Every aspect of its operation is clearly detailed in the user’s manual and we find operating it a rather straightforward process. You only need to get its fuel tank re-filled at your local gas station since it runs on gasoline – alternatively, you can simply do this yourself provided you don’t exceed the red line. Once that’s done, you’ll need to turn the valve knob from off to on and then pull the cord to get it up and running.

Ordinarily, this generator gets started on the first or second pull. You don’t have to use any major physical brute for this either. Worth noting, however, is that you may need to make several pulls if your generator has been switched off for too long or if its’ really cold (-30 degrees). Other than that, this machine gets up and running without a fuss 99% of the time.

The only thing you may find challenging is changing the engine oil. This is because you have to remove a bunch of screws in order to access the oil tank cap. You can always learn how to do this with time – but if you aren’t sure, then you may need to take the generator to the place where you normally buy your generator oil or call in someone who is familiar with generators. Basically, anyone who can handle a motor vehicle engine oil change can easily handle this.

WEN 56200i Generator 1 year review

Powerful WEN 56200i Review – How Good/Bad Is This 2000 Watt Generator? (2018)

FAQ

How do I determine the kind of appliances to run using this generator to avoid overloading it?

To determine the wattage of your appliances, you simply need to multiply its amps by the voltage. For instance, if you have an A/C unit that runs on 110volts and 7amps, then it draws 770 watts. Avoid exceeding 1,600 watts in total at any given time.

How much noise does it produce on full load?

60 decibels. Almost the same as an AC unit running at 100 feet or background music.

Can I use propane to run this generator?

No. This is a gasoline-only generator. If you’re looking for a propane-powered generator, then you’re better off purchasing a new unit altogether, otherwise, you might void its warranty.

Conclusion


There’s so much we could say in this WEN 56200i review: from its fuel efficiency, quiet operation, portability, great looks to reliability. One thing we’d like to emphasize on is that, unless you’re planning to run a heavy-commercial machine with it, this generator has all the power you need to serve most domestic needs. If you’re a quality-conscious buyer who’s looking for more bang for their bucks, this is certainly an inverter generator we’d recommend for you – any day. Two thumbs up.

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Powerful WEN 56200i Review – How Good/Bad Is This 2000 Watt Generator? (2018)
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