Portable inverter generators come in handy during power outages, especially to customers who have loved ones who rely on medical devices such as electrical oxygen concentrators, dialysis machines, and ventilators. These medical devices provide critical support to patients, and users could suffer life-threatening emergencies if they fail. They are sensitive and need clean electricity to operate smoothly.
Investing in a portable inverter generator, such as the WEN 56380i, allows you to prepare for such eventualities. It also gives you access to clean electricity anywhere, anytime. This way, you can work and engage in recreational activities such as camping and tailgating whenever you need to. This article gives a brief overview of the WEN brand and an in-depth review of the WEN 56380i 3800-watt gas portable inverter generator.
An Overview of the WEN Brand
The history of the WEN brand dates to the 1950s when the company was incorporated as a power tool manufacturer. The company expanded its line of products over the years to include lawnmowers, generators, hydraulic cylinders, and accessories for its appliances. This way, WEN has set itself as a one-stop-shop for DIY enthusiasts and woodwork professionals.
Its portable generators give you the flexibility to undertake your projects during power outages and in remote locations. WEN generators include inverters that produce clean electricity, which you can use on sensitive electronics such as computers and hand-held devices. WEN also has dual-fuel models which run on both propane and gasoline. The models give you the flexibility to use multiple fuels, which is a good thing, especially when one type of fuel is scarce.
WEN Products has its headquarters in Elgin, Illinois. The company has partnered with leading retailers in the North American region to make it easy for customers to access its products. You can also buy WEN products through e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Lowe’s, Walmart, and eBay. WEN has approved service centers across the North American region to help it deliver fast and quality customer support services.
What Makes WEN a Good Brand
Although WEN is best renowned for woodworking power tools such as sanders, saws, planers, and jointers, its generators have been well-received by consumers. It has generators such as the WEN DF1100T, that have enough power to run heavy-duty appliances or provide backup power for residential/commercial establishments. Moreover, these units are portable, allowing you to use them on remote worksites.
Its portable generators are designed with the customer in mind. For instance, models that support the dual-fuel feature allow you to choose between gasoline and propane, depending on your preference. The two fuels have distinct qualities that make them appealing to customers. For example, gasoline is readily available and provides higher power output than LPG.
However, it has a high CO2 emission level that contributes to global warming. It also has a short shelf life of three to six months. This means that if you do not use your generator for the next three months, your gasoline stock may be unusable.
On the other hand, liquid propane produces 27% less power than gasoline. However, it has lower CO2 emissions and, therefore, it is a better option for protecting the environment than gasoline. The good news is that you can store propane indefinitely without worrying about it going bad. This feature means that you always have a reliable source for your power backup generator. Moreover, you can increase the runtime of your generator by connecting it to a larger propane gas tank.
WEN generators are designed to withstand harsh environments. The larger models come in an all-metal open-frame design, which has several advantages. For instance, the all-metal construction increases the generator’s durability. It also makes it easy for multiple users to carry the unit, thus increasing its portability. Heavy WEN generator models usually come with never-flat wheel kits and foldable handles, which makes it easy for one person to move them.
Smaller models such as the portable WEN inverter generators feature beautiful, compact designs with easy-to-carry handles. One person can grab the small models like a briefcase and move the generator from one point to another.
When it comes to pricing, WEN generators are in the affordable range. They have superb performance and therefore give you value for money. The company offers a 2-year warranty on its portable generators. It is also easy to locate WEN-approved service centers for your generator maintenance.
The WEN 56380i 3800-Watt Gas Portable Inverter Generator is one of the popular WEN inverter generators in the market. Here is an in-depth review of its salient features:
The WEN 56380i has starting and running wattages of 3,800 watts and 3,400 watts, respectively. This power output is enough to power most home appliances such as refrigerators, sump pumps, TVs, freezers, and washing machines. You can opt to run individual appliances by connecting them directly to the generator. Alternatively, you can hook up the 56380i to your home mains circuit. This way, you can plug your appliances into the wall sockets. Take precautions and never connect the generator directly to your house mains. Doing so will cause power backflow on the grid and can cause fatal electric shock accidents to utility workers repairing transmission lines. Work with a qualified technician to install a transfer switch to connect your house to the generator.
Do not worry if your power requirement is higher than the rated output of this model because it has a parallel ready capability. This feature allows you to connect a similar model to the unit, effectively doubling your power output. This modular feature gives you the flexibility to scale up or scale down your power output to match your needs. It also allows you to save on fuel consumption when you need less power.
This portable inverter generator produces clean electricity with total harmonic distortion below 1.2%, which allows you to power sensitive electronics such as computers, smartphones, and medical equipment. This feature allows you to use electricity from the generator without the fear of damaging your appliances. As you use this unit, avoid overloading it by ensuring that the total applied at any given time does not exceed 3,400 watts. This way, you will avoid damaging the generator and the connected appliances.
This WEN 3800-Watt gas portable inverter generator runs on a four-stroke OHV engine with a 212 cc displacement. This engine is super quiet with a noise level of 57dB(A). With this portable generator, you can go camping without the fear of exceeding the noise limits in most campsites. You will also have no noise complaints from your neighbors if you are using the unit in a residential area.
The WEN 56380i engine runs on gasoline and consumes about 0.26 gallons per hour at 50% load. With a 2.2-gallon fuel tank, this engine can run for 8.5 hours non-stop at 50% load. This runtime is sufficient to support your critical home or office appliances, especially during day power outages, especially when your utility company is servicing the transmission lines. Also, if you are a digital nomad, this generator can power your computer for a whole day at full tank.
Ergonomics and Portability
The 56380i has a portable design that features a collapsible handle and never-flat wheels. It weighs only 99.2 pounds and comes in a compact design that makes it easy to transport and store the unit. This inverter generator has an electric start mechanism that lets you turn on the engine with a push of a button. You will not have to struggle to get the unit running. It also has a recoil pull-start mechanism which serves as a fallback when your battery is low.
The good news is that the battery will auto-charge when the generator is running. You can set the engine to auto shut off. This way, the engine consumes all the fuel in the carburetor before shutting down on its own. The feature eliminates fuel gumming in the carburetor, which results in tedious maintenance routines. You can opt to turn off the engine manually by hitting the off button. This option comes in handy when you want to turn off the engine during an emergency.
Another feature that makes this generator easy to operate is the digital meter. The display unit allows you to see the load level, voltage, frequency, runtime, and fuel level at a glance. It also has an indicator that lights up when the engine oil is low. In addition to the above features, the unit has an eco-mode that adjusts the engine throttle to match its load. This mechanism prevents the engine from overworking when on low load, thus enhancing its durability and saving you on fuel and maintenance costs.
The WEN 56380i generator has an organized panel that gives you quick access to various controls and power ports. Each control is labeled for easy access. If you are a new user, you will not waste precious time figuring out the functions of different controls. Its electric start switch has start, run, and auto-off settings.
The control panel has both AC and DC outlets. The AC ports include two three-prong 120V 15A 5-20R receptacles and one 120V 30A NEMA TT-30R RV-ready outlet.
The DC outlets include one 12V DC receptacle and two 5V USB ports. The multiple outlets allow you to plug multiple appliances into the generator and run them concurrently if the total load is below the rated wattage.
WEN generators come with several safety features to allow for safe operation. For example, the low-oil level shutdown feature is activated when the engine oil falls below the minimum required level. The low oil indicator lights up, and the engine shuts down to protect the crankshaft from getting damaged due to inadequate lubrication. Always check the engine oil level before each use.
Another safety feature that comes with the WEN 56380i inverter generator is the grounding nut. It is advisable to ground the unit when using it to protect your appliances and the generator from sudden power surges. This feature shields you from dangerous electric shocks.
WEN 56380i Care and Maintenance
The WEN 56380i inverter generator comes with a detailed user manual that outlines how you need to care for and maintain it for optimal performance and prolonged lifespan. For example, the manufacturer recommends users check the engine oil level before every use and after 8 hours of operation. You will need to add more oil when below the recommended level and replace it after every 25 hours of operation.
Some of the accessories you need to clean and replace periodically include the air filter and spark plug. It is important to note that some maintenance procedures, such as cleaning the combustion chamber and carburetor, may require technical skills. In such cases, it is advisable to use the services of a company-approved technician. Avoid servicing a generator when it is still running to prevent fatal accidents and damaging the unit.
Where Can I Use the WEN 56380i Portable Inverter Generator?
You can use the WEN 56380i for many applications. For instance, this model can act as a backup power generator for a medium-sized home or small office. Its 3,400 W output allows you to operate a wide range of electrical appliances. If you want a power backup solution for your whole house, you can purchase a similar model and connect the two generators in parallel to double your power output to 6,800 watts.
This feature allows you to run heavy-duty power tools, which you can use for a construction or DIY project in remote areas. With a full tank, this generator can supply you with electricity for a whole day at 50% load for an uninterrupted performance.
Its portable feature and high-power output allow you to use it for outdoor activities such as tailgating, camping, and RV tours. If you have an RV, you do not need to buy a cable adapter. Simply plug it into the generator’s 120V 30A NEMA TT-30R port, right from the box, and power your caravan.
This inverter generator produces clean power with low THD (<1.2%), thus making it an ideal choice for powering sensitive electronics such as computers and research equipment. The beauty is that you can use the generator anytime, anywhere due to its lightweight and low noise level.
User’s Opinion About the WEN 56380i
Most customers love this generator because it is easy to use, maneuverable, durable, and portable. It also has a low noise level and gives users value for money.
Some customers received defective units and had to spend more money to return the generator. Luckily the company offers a 2-year warranty on this generator. So, if you receive a damaged unit, you can request a refund or replacement from the company.
|Engine Type||4-stroke, OHV|
|Amperage||28.3A @ 120V|
|Tank Capacity||2.2 gal.|
|Max. Runtime||8.5 hours @ 50% load|
|Dimensions||23.2″x 18″ x 20.1″|
|Noise Level||57 dBA|
- Inexpensive compared to competitors
- Simple design
- Easy to use
- Starts and runs smoothly
- Excessive oil consumption
Comparing WEN 56380i 3800-Watt Gas Portable Inverter Generator With Similar Generators
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The WEN 56380i has a runtime of 8.5 hours at 50% load.
WEN recommends the Synthetic 5W-30 engine oil for all temperature ranges.
The WEN 56380i weighs 99.2 pounds.
The WEN 56380i has a noise level of 57 dB(A).
WEN inverter generators are good alternatives to most brands in the market. They are quiet, affordable, and have a high-power output. They also come with a parallel ready feature.