Yes, buying a generator is tough, especially when you’re torn between very similar products in the same price range.
You need to examine every little detail as each one can make your investment worth it.
While that’s a tough predicament, it’s even tougher to choose between very different products in different price ranges. It’s tougher to compare each detail, as they are all very different.
What to consider
If there’s one factor that’s most important when it comes to generators, wattage comes pretty close to being the one.
In a nutshell, wattage dictates how much power your generator can supply. For every generator, there are two types of wattages that you need to look at, rated wattage and peak wattage.
First, rated wattage is the number of watts that your generator can consistently supply without risking hazards due to overloading.
On the other hand, peak wattage is the actual limit of watts that your generator can supply. While generators can easily reach peak wattage at any time, avoid doing so as you’re risking overloading, which can cause generator damage and other safety concerns.
If you’re confused, imagine you have a portable generator with 2000 rated wattage and a peak wattage of 2400. It means your generator can simultaneously power multiple devices at rated wattage without any concerns. However, you can also reach the 2400 peak wattage, but you’re risking damage to the generator and yourself.
For safety, always avoid reaching peak wattage. However, if you can’t avoid it, you might want to look at a generator with higher rated wattage.
Since you will need fuel to run your generator, you need to make sure that your generator has good fuel efficiency to maximize its performance and minimize fuel costs.
A fuel-inefficient generator will cost you in the long run because as time goes by and you use your generator, the fuel costs will add up, and you’ve already lost a lot of money before you even realize it.
Since you’re looking for a portable generator, you should find a portable one and not just “portable” on the label.
A generator can give you many benefits but these benefits can be for nothing if the generator isn’t ergonomic enough. You’re buying a portable generator, which means that you want one that you can bring and use anywhere with ease.
For ergonomics, look for sleek and lightweight generators that have ergonomic features such as handles and wheels.
A side note though, the more portable a generator is, there’s a chance that you may have to settle for something less in other areas such as wattage, fuel tank size, etc.
Pricing is one of the biggest factors that can make or break a buyer’s decision, as there are a lot of choices at different price points. It also doesn’t help that portable generators cost at least a few hundred dollars.
There are a lot of overpriced good products on the market. Yes, they are good, but they aren’t a worthwhile investment. On the other hand, there are also a lot of cheap substandard portable generators from questionable brands that can only give you headaches.
Be a wise buyer, don’t spend too much, and don’t spend too little. Set a budget, know your priorities, and pick a product that you can afford and is best suited for your needs.
The Westinghouse WGen3600v model is manufactured by the Westinghouse Electric Company, a power & electricity management firm that can trace its roots all the way back to the 1840s.
Westinghouse has a reputation for making reliable and affordable generators. The WGen3600v is one of their more affordable models.
The Westinghouse WGen3600v portable generator comes with 3600 rated watts and 4650 peak watts. This makes the model adequately powered and able to run multiple devices simultaneously without always being at the peak wattage.
The WGen3600v can do this while still having the capability to raise the demand by up to 1050 more watts if needed.
If you want a reasonably priced generator that delivers good wattage and is just good enough for regular electricity needs, this Westinghouse generator is the right model for you.
High fuel efficiency
According to Westinghouse, the WGen3600v portable generator has a 4-gallon fuel tank and can power your devices until up to 13.5 hours at 50% of the power load on a full tank.
The WGen3600v may be a good choice for you if you’re planning to use your generator in intense environments such as natural disasters, construction sites, and power outages.
If there ever comes an emergency where you need electricity for lengthy times, the WGen3600v will be there to hold your back by maximizing the fuel you have left.
The Westinghouse WGen3600v portable generator is also good to bring during vacation and camping trips as it’s RV-ready with a TT-30R 30 amp receptacle and an L5-30R 30 amp receptacle. As a safety measure, the manufacturer added rubber covers to all outlets to prevent shock and electrocution. If you’re going on a trip and it’s going to be fun, the rubber covers can prevent you from danger especially when you’re under the influence of alcohol.
However, don’t expect to be able to plug your electronics to this generator as it has a high Total Harmonic Distortion(THD) rating of <23%. Why? Generally, electronics with sensitive circuits are prone to short-circuiting when powered by a generator with greater than 6% THD.
If you’re looking to power your electronics with a generator, you might want to look elsewhere as this model has a high chance of frying such devices.
Compact and fairly silent
The Westinghouse WGen3600v weighs at 99 lbs and is sized at 23.3″ L x 17.5″ W x 18.7″ H, making it lightweight and portable.
This weight hits right at the sweet spot, not too heavy, and not lightweight either. It will still take some energy and effort to move this generator around, but it’s generally portable and compact enough to not be a hassle.
However, Westinghouse could’ve done better in portability by adding wheels and a handle to make it easier to move around.
When it comes to noise levels, the WGen3600v also hits the sweet spot with a 68 dBA operating volume, which is not that silent, but silent enough to be not too much of a disturbance to you and the people around you, especially your neighbors.
Equipped with various features
Other than the aforementioned TT-30R 30 amp and L5-30R 30 amp outlets, the Westinghouse WGen3600v portable generator also comes with a 120V Duplex 5-20R outlet which will be useful for use in environments other than RVs.
Furthermore, to help you maintain the generator’s fuel levels, Westinghouse also added a fuel gauge to the generator, making it easier to monitor. It also has a low oil shutdown feature that will help the generator maintain sufficient oil levels.
For added safety, it has automatic voltage regulation and overload protection to keep you and your devices from danger.
While generators are relatively safe machines, models with added safety features such as the WGen3600v are always better.
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 portable generators are manufactured by Yamaha Motor Company Limited, a Japanese motorized products company.
Yamaha is a globally-famous brand that is known for manufacturing products with excellent reliability and durability.
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 only has a rated wattage of 1600 watts and peak wattage of 2000 watts, which is decent enough and can power most of your basic devices. It has a gasoline-powered engine with a 1.1-gallon gas tank.
While it’s not short on power, it’s very close to being so. It’s decent, but nowhere near the Westinghouse WGen3600v’s rated and peak wattage.
To help offset this, the EF2000iSv2 comes with the TwinTech technology which lets you connect two EF2000iSv2 portable generators to get up to 30 amps of max power.
If you’re not looking to power multiple devices and appliances with your generator, and wattage isn’t necessarily your top priority, you should take a look at this model as it comes with other features that can make up for its disadvantages in power capacity.
Unlike the Westinghouse WGen3600v, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is an inverter generator.
While other types of generators always run their engines at full speed, inverter generators are designed to change engine power based on the demand rather than always running at full capacity.
Due to this, inverter generators produce better fuel efficiency. Also, with the generator running at slower speeds, it has lesser emissions and runs more quietly.
The EF2000iSv2 is so portable that you can carry it with one hand, as it weighs only 44.1 lbs and has dimensions of 19.3″ L x 11.0″ W x 17.9″ H.
While it doesn’t have wheels, you wouldn’t need one because it has a handle that’s good enough as it’s very lightweight and easy to carry. You also won’t have to worry about where to place this model, as it can fit in most spaces because it’s not as bulky as other portable generators.
If portability and ergonomics are your main priority, the EF2000iSv2 is as portable as portable generators get.
User-friendly additional features
If you’re looking for a portable generator that has many additional features designed to make your life easier, the EF2000iSv2 has you covered.
Yamaha equipped this model with the Smart Throttle technology which adjusts engine speed based on the power load, improving fuel economy and also reducing engine wear and noise.
Speaking of noise, the EF2000iSv2 has a special muffler designed to reduce operating noise. According to Yamaha, it’s as loud as 51.5 dBA at 25% of the power load and 61 dBA at full power.
Furthermore, it also has various safety features such as an electrical overload breaker which is intended to prevent damage by turning itself off if the generator overloads.
You also won’t have to worry about the changing engine oil levels damaging the engine, as it has an oil watch warning system that will notify you when the oil levels reach dangerous levels.
With such features, you won’t have to worry about learning the generator’s characteristics because it’s all straightforward and the generator already does most necessary things by itself.
How much does it cost to own a generator?
Aside from the generator’s price upfront, there are also progressive costs to consider.
Using a generator requires fuel, which depending on fuel efficiency, can factor into progressive costs. Your generator will also need periodic maintenance, such as oil changes and parts replacement, which also costs money.
How long will my generator last?
It depends on 3 factors, your generator’s age, how much it’s used, and how it’s maintained.
Generally, they can last for decades when they are well-maintained. If you’re willing to perform the necessary maintenance, then you can expect your generator to be with you for many years to come.
Also, keep note that even unused generators need maintenance and the occasional startup to ensure that everything is in alright.
Are portable generators safe?
Yes, portable generators are safe, but you can also do certain things to improve safety such as sticking to the rated wattage and avoiding the peak wattage as this may cause an overload.
Furthermore, make sure that the devices and appliances plugged into the generator are compatible with it and safe to use. It will also help to use good oil and fuel.
While there are many other safety precautions that you can do, there are models out there with good additional features focused on safety, and that’s always better.
In terms of design, Westinghouse has a more traditional approach, prioritizing function, wattage, and capacity rather than user-friendliness and ease-of-use. Yamaha went the other way, prioritizing user-friendliness with modern features, but lacking when it comes to wattage and capacity.
The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is a little overpriced. Yes, it comes with many modern features, but it disappoints with its meager 1600 rated watts and 2000 peak watts. A generator’s main purpose, even a portable one, is to supply electricity, and this model can’t do that at a high level.
If you’re not looking to power high-demand appliances and devices and you’re just looking for a generator that’s ergonomic and easy to use, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is a very good choice.
It’s also good if you just want a generator for vacations, camping trips, and other casual activities, as you can carry it almost everywhere.
On the other side, the Westinghouse WGen3600v: It isn’t as easy to use as the Yamaha, and it’s much heavier and bulkier, but it leaps and bounds ahead in power with 3600 rated watts and 4650 peak watts.You can get 2000 more rated watts and 2650 more peak watts.
It’s not portable as the Yamaha, but the wattage alone more than makes up for the difference in portability. The WGen3600v is also the wiser choice in the long run, as it’s more adequate for different situations.
During emergencies and bad situations, you can trust the WGen3600v to provide your electricity needs for long periods and at a high rate. Even if you try your best, you just can’t do that with the Yamaha EF2000iSv2.
If you’re on a budget and you want to make the wiser purchase, you should go for the Westinghouse WGen3600v. It’s cheaper, more flexible, and you’re better off with it in the long run.
If ergonomics and portability are your main priorities, and you have the money, the Yamaha EF2000iSv2 is also good because it comes with many impressive features. It’s a very impressive generator, but it also fails in some areas.
Yes, both devices are good in their areas, but the Westinghouse WGen3600v has better value for money, which makes it the wiser and better choice.