People who love the outdoors should own their own portable generator to take with them on outings. Portable generators provide energy to wherever you go, giving you the ability to keep your electronics plugged in and charged.
They’re not just great for planned family time out in the wilderness, but when a nasty storm knocks out the power in your neighborhood, you’ll be glad that you can keep your Wi-Fi and laptop running with the help of a generator.
Inverter generators are the latest development in the portable generator game, and they differ from traditional models by how they produce clean, safe electricity for your electronics and household appliances.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at two major manufacturers of some of the world’s best inverter generators: the 30651 from Briggs & Stratton and the 52600i from WEN. These are two companies that differ on some key points in business, but when it comes to their respective inverter generator lines, they share one thing in common: super-high quality. Let’s see how they compare.
|ToolPowers is supported by readers. We don't want to annoy you with display ads, but we do include links to products. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission.|
Surge and Running Wattages
Briggs & Stratton 30651
The B&S has a surge and running wattage rating of 2,200 and 1,600 watts, respectively. For a portable generator, this is a lot of energy, and you’ll be able to provide good, clean electricity for several electronics simultaneously.
The WEN has a surge and running wattage of 2,000 and 1,600 watts, respectively. Like the B&S, this is plenty of power to keep multiple electronics alive and to charge at the same time. If you plan on taking a portable generator with you to keep your mini fridges and portable ACs operational, you’ll need something with around 1,500 running watts.
Conclusion: Surge wattage refers to how much power the inverter generator can produce to kick-start your electronics to life, whereas the running wattage indicates how much power it can constantly produce to keep your electronics alive. We can’t judge whether 2,200/1,700 watts or 2,000/1,600 watts would be best for your unique situation, though we can tell you that a 200/100-watt disparity is hardly anything.
Briggs & Stratton 30651
The B&S produces about 59 decibels when running at a quarter-load. This means that while providing around 400 watts of running power, you’ll still be able to hold conversations only feet away from the machine.
At a quarter-load, the WEN produces only about 51 decibels of noise. The difference in noise production between the two models is insignificant. You’ll get about the same amount of noise while the generator produces roughly the same amount of power.
Conclusion: Portable generators are considerably less noisy than standby models mainly due to their limited power. Inverter generators, however, are notorious for hardly making any noise, even when running at full capacity. Both of these inverter generator models are super-quiet and won’t disturb you or any woodland creatures when camping outdoors. However, technically speaking, the B&S is has a lower power-to-noise ratio, making it the better option, but the difference is marginal.
Briggs & Stratton 30651
The B&S, when running at a quarter-load, can provide up to eight hours of clean energy for your sensitive electronics on a single 1-gallon tank. Although this isn’t the greatest fuel efficiency you’ll find for 2,000-plus-watt models; it’s still rather impressive.
As for the WEN, we’re glad to say that at a quarter-load, this machine can provide energy for upwards of 10 hours on a single 1-gallon tank. Once again, this isn’t the best fuel economy out there, but we’re still mightily impressed.
Conclusion: Running time is usually measured at a quarter-load of a generator’s full capacity. Generators with beefier engines usually have worse fuel economy than smaller models, but this is only because they need to provide more power at any given time. Looking at the running time of both of these machines, it’s clear that the WEN is much more fuel-efficient than the B&S, which is surprising considering their similar running wattages.
Briggs & Stratton 30651 and WEN 56200i
Without an extension cord, the number of appliances you can plug into each of these models is extremely limited. Both of these inverter generator models come with the same number of outlets: two 3-prong 120V household outlets, one 5.0-amp USB port for charging electronics, and a parallel port (more on this later). We highly recommend purchasing a generator extension cord, so you’ll have several household appliances plugged in and ready to use on outdoor trips.
Briggs & Stratton 30651 and WEN 52600i
The ability to connect two portable generators together means you get twice the power for a wide range of different appliances. Even though these two machines provide ample power for supplying power to mini fridges or portable ACs, if you need more power for operating tools such as log-splitters or welders, connecting two portable generators could be the perfect solution.
The B&S can be connected to any other product from the PowerSmart series, whereas the WEN 52600i can only be connected to another 52600i.
Briggs & Stratton 30651
Finally, one of the most important aspects of a portable generator is its portability. This means looking at the machine’s weight, handles, and wheels. The Briggs & Stratton 30651 has a dry weight of only 54.6 pounds. It features an H-style handle that allows two people to carry the unit without bumping into each other. Because of its relative lightweight, this machine doesn’t include wheels.
Like the B&S, the WEN doesn’t have wheels. This is because its dry weight is only 48 pounds, so loading and unloading the generator to and from your truck bed or RV is rather easy. It has a D-style handle on the top which is easy to grip when carrying the generator.
Conclusion: It’s understandable that the WEN is considerably lighter than the B&S because it produces less power (2,200 watts from the B&S and 2,000 from the WEN). We feel that both of these models are extremely easy to carry from place to place. Furthermore, we think that neither of these models needs wheels since they weigh less than 100 pounds each.
Briggs & Stratton vs WEN: Verdict
Now for the hard part: deciding whether the Brigg & Stratton 30651 or the WEN 56200i is the more valuable generator. Looking at the specs and features of both of these machines, we feel that the WEN is better than the Briggs & Stratton 30651. First of all, they have almost identical wattage capacities and can be hooked up to other generators (of the same series or same model number).
They weight almost the same and feature the same number and types of outlets. What makes the WEN slightly better, in our opinion, is that despite its marginally weaker motor and reduced wattage capacities, it’s way more fuel-efficient than the B&S.
On a single gallon of fuel, the WEN can provide more than 10 hours of clean energy, whereas the Briggs & Stratton 30651 can only run for 8 hours before needing to be refueled. Another way to look at it is the weight-to-power ratio, where the WEN produces more power-per-pound than the Briggs & Stratton 30651.
|21 x 20 x 14 in||26.3 x 24.8 x 22.9 in||18 x 11 x 18 in|
|46.5 pounds||122 pounds||48 pounds|