WEN Portable Generator Review: When Enough Is Too Much

WEN 1800W portable generator
WEN 1800W portable generator

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Okay, this first part has nothing to do with the WEN generators themselves or their quality (which is fine), but I have a problem with the WEN website and it’s attempt at…humor?

Bear with me or just scroll down to where the review starts if you’d rather not read my petty rant.

Virtually every description of the many models of WEN generators starts with a “Remember when” question like these.

  • Remember when you had power at the tailgate?
  • Remember when you had a compact and lightweight portable power generator?
  • Remember when you had clean and efficient portable power?
  • Remember when the power went out?
  • Remember when you went on that camping trip?
  • Remember when you were at the mercy of the electrical grid?
  • Remember when you cowered in fear during potential power outages? It’s time to throw back your head and cackle at nature’s petty attempts to rain on your metaphorical parade….

The description then ends, “Remember WEN.” Get it?

I love a good pun as much as the next guy, but these are just too corny. The first three of them don’t really make sense in this context. Assuming I could answer “yes” to each of them, that would mean I already had a portable generator, in which case I probably wouldn’t be here now looking for another one.

The last one really goes overboard. If nature only made “petty attempts” to rain on my parade, I wouldn’t be needing a generator.

My rant ends here. Sorry, WEN. Now on to the good stuff.

If you’ve had enough of my ranting (or just skipped over it…and I wouldn’t blame you if you did) and just want to check the pricing and availability of WEN portable generators at Amazon, you can click the links in the list below. (I realize there are really too many from which to choose.)

If you want to skip ahead to a certain section of this review, you can click a link in the box below.

How Do the Lower End WEN Portable Generators Compare to Each Other?

Since there are so many WEN generator models, I’ll group them by power output (and thus price) so you can better get a handle on how they compare to each other.

Take a look at the table below to see how the WEN 1250 watt through 2000 watt generator features and specifications compare. You’ll be able to see at a glance which one has all the items you need.

Starting / Surge Watts125018002000
Running Watts100015001600
Tank Capacity (gal.)0.71.451.0
Run Time* (hrs.)
Displacement (cc)609879.7
ReceptaclesTwo three-prong 120V; two 5V USB ports; parallel connection portsTwo AC 120V 12.5A three-prong wall outlets; one cigarette lighter style 12V DC outletTwo three-prong 120V; one 12V DC; USB port
Dimensions: L x W x H (in.)17 x 9 x 16.520 x 15.75 x 16.82522.25 x 12 x 19.25
Shipping Weight (lbs.)31.65754.4

*At half load

Each of these generators has low oil shutdown and overload protection, so you shouldn’t have to worry about damage to the unit for lack of oil or an attempt at overloading the system.

The 1250 watt and 2000 watt inverter generators have a spark arrestor so you can safely use them in national parks and forests. Being inverters, they should be quieter than the others listed here.

If you want more power and flexibility, you can get a second identical generator and connect them (model 56125i, for example) using the optional Parallel Connection Kit.

How Do the High End WEN Portable Generators Compare to Each Other?

Take a look at these tables below to see how the WEN 4750 watt through 13,000 watt generator features and specifications compare.

Starting Watts475055007000
Running Watts375050005500
Tank Capacity (gal.)
Run Time* (hrs.)111110**
Displacement (cc)223389390
ReceptaclesTwo 120V (5-20R); one 30-amp 3-prong (L5-30); one 120V RV (TT-30R)Four 120V 20A three-prong outlets; one twist-lock 120/240V 30A outlet (L14-30); one cigarette lighter style 12V DC outletFour 120V 20A three-prong outlets; one twist-lock 120/240V 30A outlet (L14-30), one car charger style 12V DC outlet
Dimensions: L x W x H (in.)27.4 x 17.9 x 18.527.6 x 21.1 x 22.127.4 x 21.8 x 21.5
Shipping Weight (lbs.)120190200

*At half load
**Some sources report 10 hours, others say 11.

Starting Watts900013,000
Running Watts700011,000
Tank Capacity (gal.)6.58.0
Run Time* (hrs.)97.5
Displacement (cc)420Twin cylinder
ReceptaclesFour 120V 20A three-prong outlets; one twist-lock 120/240V 30A (L14-30); one 120V 30A twist lock; one car charger style 12V DC outletFour 120V 20A outlets; one 120V 30A RV outlet; one 120/240V 30A twist-lock (L14-30); one 125/250V outlet L14-50R (50A); one 12V DC car charger style outlet
Dimensions: L x W x H (in.)27.4 x 21.8 x 21.527 x 32.5 x 24
Shipping Weight (lbs.)230344

*At half load

All of these high end models have an electric start with recoil backup. This is pretty much standard practice among portable generator manufacturers. These larger units really need an electric starter so owners don’t have to work so hard just to get the machine going.

Another feature these all have in common is wheel and handle kits. When a generator gets over 100 pounds, to make it truly portable, you need wheels to roll it around and a sturdy handle to do the toting.

I suspect, though I was not able to verify, that these all also have the following features. I would think that, if the lease powerful and expensive of them has an item, all the others above it would too.

  • Digital readout
  • Voltage regulator
  • Spark plug
  • Spark plug wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • 2-year warranty

What’s the Verdict on WEN Portable Generators?

Ninety percent of WEN portable generator owners are very satisfied with their machines. Most of the few that aren’t had some sort of shipping trouble; that is, the generator was damaged in transit or pieces were missing.

Here are a few “headlines” from comments of those who are happy with their WEN generators (edited slightly for readability).

  • Got me through hurricane Hermine
  • Good unit, plenty of power
  • Works like a charm
  • A nice compact unit that was easy to assemble the wheels
  • Super value for the price

Click here to find your WEN portable generator at Amazon now!