Generators are vital machines that every homeowner and outdoorsman should consider purchasing. A portable generator is the more versatile type of generator that you can take to wherever you need power. They come in handy in a wide range of situations, from power outages to tailgating parties.
Some portable generators take versatility to a whole other level by being able to run off of either gasoline or liquid propane. One such model is the DF475 from WEN, a portable generator that’s strong enough to power a home, yet compact enough to take with you outdoors. But is this dual fuel portable generator any good? Let’s find out.
Surge and Running Wattages
Surge watts is the amount of power a generator can provide to kick-start your appliances to life, whereas running watts is what a generator can provide on a consistent basis. You never want to overload a generator beyond its running wattage rating since it can cause damage to the motor. Thankfully, this generator has circuit breakers to protect the motor from overload.
Since this tool can run on either gasoline or liquid propane, it has two different surge and running wattage ratings. When running on gasoline, the DF475 generates 4,750 surge watts and 3,800 running watts. When switched to liquid propane mode, it generates 4,350 surge watts and 3,500 running watts.
Don’t be surprised by the variance in the surge and running watts between the two different fuel sources. Liquid propane is naturally less efficient compared to gasoline when converted into electricity. It’s a shame that this unit doesn’t have a storage compartment for liquid propane.
120V and 240V
Different appliances require different voltages to operate. You may even find that your home has both 120V and 240V for certain rooms. With a flick of a switch, the DF475 can provide energy for either one, making this a great machine for use when out in the open road or at home during emergencies.
With the DF475, you don’t have to worry about tugging on recoil cords and praying to the generator gods that the motor will turn on. Instead, insert a key into the ignition and turn it to start. To turn the machine off, twist the key in the opposite direction and detach it from the ignition. Easy peasy.
Tank Capacity and Runtime
If you take this generator outdoors, then you need to be aware of how large the fuel tank is and how long it’ll provide power. The DF475 comes with a moderate 4-gallon tank and generates power for up to 11 hours when running at half capacity (1,900 watts). There isn’t anything too spectacular about the runtime of this machine since, on average, most 4,000-watt generators can supply about 10 to 11 hours of power on a full tank.
When switched to liquid propane mode and using a 20-gallon tank, this generator will provide power for just a little over 7 hours.
On the control panel of the generator, you’ll find a wide selection of different outlets to plug your appliances in. There are two 120V 20-amp standard outlets and a single 12V DC outlet in the shape of a cigarette lighter receptacle. To connect this generator to your home, you can plug in a power cord with a NEMA L14-30R plug to your home’s inlet box.
The whole point of a portable generator is that it can be taken to wherever power is needed, whether it’s in a remote area to kick-start power tools, in the outdoors to power a portable fridge, or even at home to light up your house. The DF475 weighs a hefty 108 pounds (dry weight) which can be quite a bit too much to lift alone. However, there are two handles on either side of the tool so two people can carry it without dragging them down. In addition, the DF475 comes with two massive rubber tires. Wheeling the unit across all terrains – grassy, smooth, and rocky – is easy thanks to the never-go-flat wheels.
Digital Hour Counter
When operating a generator, it can be quite easy to lose track of time. Thankfully, this portable generator comes with an LED digital hour counter which displays for how long the machine has been running. However, there is no estimate for how much longer the generator will continue producing electricity, so there’s still a bit of guesswork involved.
Overall, we think that the WEN DF475 is an exceptional portable generator. The only criticism we have for this tool is its lack of a storage compartment for LP tanks, but we don’t consider that a deal-breaker. This portable generator delivers a ton of power for activating several moderate- to large-size appliances (portable fridges, TVs, and even a single portable AC). The fact that you can choose which fuel source to convert into power with a turn of a dial (gasoline and LP) is a huge plus for people who have the option of choosing one or the other.