Portable generators are great tools for taking with you on family outings, but they also help tremendously during natural disasters that take down power lines. There are several important factors to take into consideration before buying a portable generator, and the most important consideration is how much power it supplies.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at four of WEN’s portable generators – the WEN 65180, the 56352, the 56475, and the WEN 56682 Gas Powered Portable Generator. They all supply different amounts of energy and have varying running times. Let’s get take a closer look at them.
Surge and Running Wattage
Surge wattage determines how much power the portable generator can supply to help kick-start appliances to life, whereas the running wattage lets users know how much power can be supplied regularly after all appliances are plugged in and functional. The 56180 has a surge and running wattage of 1,800 W and 1,500 W, respectively. This is enough to start a single furnace fan but keep two running simultaneously.
This model has a 3,500-watts surge and a 3,000-watts running. This is enough to start a full-sized refrigerator-freezer running with the leftover capacity to spare for your laptops, Smartphones, and other small electronics.
This beefier model has 4,750 W and 3,750 W surge and running wattage, respectively. This lets you kick-start several large appliances (air conditioner and refrigerator) simultaneously and keeps them running throughout the long night.
Finally, the beefiest of these four WEN portable generators supplies 7,000 W and 5,500 W surge and running wattage, respectively. Its large power supply capacity means you can keep a small household and fully-furnished RV running without a hitch.
Conclusion: The 56682 would be the best all-around portable generator for every emergency situation and outdoor outing, but you don’t want to spend more money than you need. Depending on your situation and how many appliances you need to keep powered up, any of these models could be the perfect fit. However, we feel that, in most cases, the 56180 may be a little too weak for emergencies unless you plan on powering several small-sized electronics.
Fuel Tank and Running Time
The fuel tank is directly linked to how long the portable generator can run for, but we like to look at it in terms of fuel efficiency (how much gas is consumed and how long it can provide electricity). The calculations in determining their running time are based on the units having a full tank of gas. The 56180 has a 1.1-gallon gas tank and at half load (running 900 W), you can get up to 7-1/2 hours of power.
Typically, the larger the portable generator, the more gas it consumes regardless of how many watts is being supplied at any given time. This model comes with a 4-gallon tank that runs for 11 hours while delivering a maximum of 1,500 W.
The 56475 also features a 4-gallon gasoline tank and at half load (1,875 W), you should get around 11 hours of electricity.
The largest portable generator of the bunch has a huge 6.5-gallon tank that also provides up to 11 hours of power while running at 2,250 W.
Conclusion: Our hypothesis is true: the 56180 is the most fuel-efficient portable generator among the four discussed here. However, the tradeoff is that you get a limited supply of electricity which may not be worth it, especially if you need to keep vital appliances running all night (refrigerator freezer, air conditioner, several laptops, phone chargers, etc.)
Weight and Portability
Of course, one of the most important factors that increase the overall portability of a portable generator is its weight. The weight we’re referring to is the dry weight, namely the weight of the unit before adding oil and fuel. The 56180 weighs 50 pounds and comes with handles on the left and right sides of the unit, making it convenient for two people to carry.
This unit weighs a massive 101.3 pounds, but it comes with two air-filled wheels and a pull-out handle to help users navigate the generator on all sorts of terrain. Wheels are a nice feature, especially if the generator exceeds the amount of weight we can lift.
The 56475 weighs in at 112.5 pounds and comes with a pull-out handle and two pneumatic wheels which help in absorbing bumps when gliding the unit on rocky paths and along the ground.
The largest of these four generators weighs in at 197.5 pounds. Luckily, this model also features two wheels and a pull-out handle that help move the unit horizontally. You’re pretty much out of luck when loading and unloading it from your truck or RV.
Conclusion: Looking at each of these portable generators from a simple power-to-weight ratio, we can conclude that the 56475 model packs the most punch for each pound. In terms of portability, all four of these models can be considered portable, though the 56682’s massive weight causes a lot of trouble when loading and unloading it from your vehicle.
WEN 56180 vs 56352 vs 56475 vs 56682: Bottom Line
Like with any other tool, you should only pay for what you use. If every appliance in your house or apartment requires only 3,000 W to run all day long, you shouldn’t want a generator that produces twice the amount. Similarly, if the most important appliances in your home or RV require 3,000 W, you shouldn’t get a generator that supplies only 1,500 running watts. Everything is relative to your needs, and you should make a purchase decision based on that.
However, looking at these WEN portable generators from an objective point-of-view, we conclude that although the WEN 56180 is the most fuel-efficient model among these four, the 56475 is the all-around best model. It supplies enough energy to power a whole household – e.g. fridge, air conditioner, computers, lights, and other necessary devices that need power throughout the whole day – with enough to spare if you need to run any other appliance during a blackout.
The 56475 also packs the most power per pound, and the wheels-and-handle setup makes it extremely easy to carry and navigate. As for the WEN 56682 – the largest, beefiest model here – it makes a great generator to leave at home for emergency situations, though that completely defeats the purpose of it being “portable.”
|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|