You must have come across the brands WEN and Predator when looking for affordable generators. There is no doubt you would love using these two generator brands as they are highly rated. Even if they are affordable, they outperform other models for their price.
To see just how good these generators are, we will consider the WEN 56380i and the Predator 3500 generators. They will always give you the best power and reliability that you need to handle a lot more applications.
First, let us look at some considerations to put in mind when looking for the best portable inverter generator.
Table of Contents:
What to Look For
Open Frame vs. Closed Frame
The open frame and closed frame designs are the most common you will ever get with generators. It might be the reason you get a lot more people getting confused about how to proceed when it comes to choosing the best design.
Both designs will have pros and cons. Sometimes you have to pick the one that works for you in the long run.
Most portable generators now have a closed frame or encased design. This type of design gives the generator a clean look that many people enjoy. The last thing you would want is to end up with a generator that bores you with its look after a few months.
The closed frame generators will also have handles molded into the case or foldable to still improve the look of the generator.
In case you want the open frame generator, you will like it for having multiple places to hold when lifting. The same cannot be said for the encased generators.
Electric vs. Recoil Start
The starting mechanism of most generators would either be electric or manual.
There are times when the generator would have both methods. The electric will be for normal starts, while the recoil mechanism for backup purposes.
The electric start makes it easier to start your generator with ease all the time. It might be the reason you get more people opting for such a generator as they know it would give them the best performance always even during cold starts.
Luckily, the newer model generators that have a recoil system can also start with ease too. You simply have to consider how many pulls are necessary to start the generator. A good model would offer you just one pull or two to start the generator.
The transportation of the generator is essential for anyone who wants to buy a portable generator.
Look at the features that make transportation easy. This will include the size and weight of the generator.
For a portable generator, you need a lightweight generator that is still compact. Looking at the product description, it will be easy to learn more about its dimensions and its overall weight. As such, you can be sure to end up with a highly portable generator.
To make transportation easier, some models will have wheels and handles for moving the generator around. These are some additional features to always keep in mind too.
You can never go wrong with the right power output from a generator. It is why we recommend that you get yourself the best model with the right power output depending on the application.
Look at what is available as the rated power and the peak power. Having the right power for the job makes it easier to enjoy using the generator without much of a problem.
We always recommend that you do not overload your generator. The last thing you want is to start dealing with additional repairs when they can all be avoided.
Always follow the recommended rated power to keep the generator working effectively as expected.
Fuel Efficiency and Type
The fuel efficiency is also important if you are going to pick the best generator for the money.
To learn more about the fuel efficiency, look at the runtime of the generator. It is from the runtime that you would know how many times you might have to refuel the generator.
For those who want to use the generator for overnight applications, go for a model that delivers more hours per a single tank of fuel. This will help you end up with a generator that does not need refueling all the time.
Keep in mind that the fuel efficiency is also affected by the load size. If you tend to use a lot more electrical load at any given time, then you should expect to have less runtime.
The generator maintenance needs cannot be overlooked. No one wants to keep repairing the generator when it is supposed to be working. It is why we recommend that you get yourself a generator that gives you more performance without requiring too much maintenance.
The customer reviews are a nice place to learn more about the maintenance needs of the generator. Do not buy a lowly rated generator. This is because it is likely to leave you with a lot of maintenance issues.
The WEN 56380i generator is often a top choice for most people who want a quiet and compact portable generator. The RV travelers and those people who love the outdoors will enjoy using the generator more often.
Homeowners would also love it as it can work as a power backup for their homes when there is a power outage. Here are more reasons to buy the generator.
The Power Output
This generator is all about giving you more power output for the money.
The rated power is 3400W while the peak power is 3800W. It is common to find people getting confused about the two types of power.
The rated power is what will be available throughout when the generator is running. It is why you will find it also being called the running watts.
As for the peak power, it will be available when the generator is starting and when there is a large current draw by the load. It does not last for long.
Having a THD rating of <1.2%, this generator is what you need for sensitive electronics. The power is a clean sine wave output meaning you get clean stable power on overall.
To make it a portable generator, the manufacturer designed it to be compact compared to other units that have the same power output.
The dimensions are 23.2 x 18 x 20.1 inches. It is possible to fit this generator into an RV without it taking up too much space.
The generator weighs 110.8 lbs., making it a lightweight generator for the power that it makes. It will be easy to see more people using this generator for its compactness and lightweight nature.
The generator also has a wheel kit and folding handle. These two features make the generator generally good in terms of usability. It is easy to push it around until you get to where you need to set it up.
The Control Panel
The control panel is where you get to all the information about the generator and how to run it better.
The model’s control panel has a digital data center. This provides you with the important information you need to know when the generator is running.
Some of the information you will get from the control panel includes the running hours, power output, voltage, and so much more.
There are some light indicators on the panel too. Pay attention to these light indicators as they will give you important information on the operation of the generator.
Having a built-in fuel gauge on the panel gives you all the important information you need to know when it is time to refuel the generator. No need to run the generator until its fuel tank is empty.
Operating Time and Noise Level
This generator has a fuel tank capacity of 2.2 gallons. This is better than what you get with the WEN 56200i generator.
For this fuel capacity, the generator delivers an impressive 8.5 hours when running at 50% load rating. It is easy to see that the generator is fuel efficient for the power it will be generating.
As for the noise, that is not a big deal considering the noise rating is 57 dBA at 23 feet. Even when you have it running in the background, the generator will not make a lot of noise for your home or camp.
It is why some people might use it overnight without worrying that the neighbors might complain.
Since it has an electric start, the users will have an easy time starting it. There is also the recoil mechanism for backup starting in case the electric method fails or the battery is low on power.
Predator 3500-Watt Inverter Generator
To give the model above a better comparison, we have to consider the Predator 3500-watt generator. It is also a nice choice for anyone who loves camping, tailgating, and so much more. Because of its power output, this generator can come in handy for home power backup too.
One thing that will make more people consider getting the generator is its power performance.
We find that it comes with a peak power of 3500W and rated power of 3000W. If you have to power many more electronics, then the power that this generator makes should be good enough for you.
Always make sure that you do not overload your generator. The last thing you want is to start repairing your inverter because the generator was overloaded.
This generator also features the parallel connectivity option. If you ever need to power more electronics at the same time, you can connect it to another compatible generator to double the power.
With a THD rating of <5%, the generator is also ideal for sensitive electronics. You can easily run the electronics off the generator and not worry about their safety.
Weight and Size
You always have to consider the size and weight of any generator before buying. For a portable generator, this one has a compact size that many will love.
The generator has the dimensions 22.8 x 17.3 x 20 inches. Anyone who wants to use this in an RV, it should not be hard to find space for it.
The model also comes with an encased design. This makes it look better compared to the open frame generator.
The generator has a weight of 99.2 lbs. making it one of the best to buy for the money if you also want it to be portable.
Having two handles and a wheel kit further improves its transportation. You can simply push it all over the floor to where you want.
When it comes to using this generator, you will like how easy it is to do so. This is thanks to having controls that are easy to read and use generally. The manufacturer made sure that you have it easy operating the generator even if you are new to using it.
The digital control center has all the important information you need to know how the generator is working. There are some light indicators to alert you in case of a problem of when there is the need to shut down the generator.
Because generators run on fossil fuels, there is the need to learn more about the emissions of the generator you are buying.
Like for this generator, it is both CARB compliant and EPA approved. You will always enjoy using it knowing that the noise pollution is kept to a minimum.
Having the spark arrestor makes the generator ideal for using in forested areas. You always know that the chances of starting a fire are kept to a minimum.
How do you start using a brand new generator?
The generator will come with all the important instructions that you need to follow before starting the generator. In most cases, it will involve adding oil to the generator, and turning a sequence of levers before starting the generator. Make sure that you follow the procedure based on the manual provided by the manufacturer.
Is the WEN 56380i generator portable?
For its size and weight, many people will find this type of generator portable. Also, it features wheels and a collapsible handle. These two will further make it easy to move the generator around without much of a problem.
Are WEN generators safe to power sensitive electronics?
Yes. A good example is the WEN 56380i generator that has a THD level of less than 1.2%. This means that the generator provides clean steady power that the sensitive electronics need. You can use it more often without worrying that the electronics might get affected.
Is it easy to use the Predator 3500-Watt Generator?
Yes. The generator comes with a nice control panel with everything you need to learn about it. You can also find the outlets on the same panel to connect to different devices. Users also find it easy to use because of the comprehensive manual that comes with the device. If you have any more questions, then the manufacturer customer support team is ready to help you further.
So, if you are in the market for a generator with more power, then consider the two models reviewed above. We find that they are both good in terms of reliability, safety, and ease of use. These are important features anyone would want in a generator.
If you have to settle for one, then the WEN 56380i generator can be a nice choice. It has an impressive power output higher than what you get with the Predator model. It is also cheaper considering it makes more power. Thus, you will end up with the best value for money.
The Predator 3500-watt generator is not bad either. It is reliable and requires less maintenance. You should find it easy to get yourself using this generator more often for its runtime too and safe power.