Firman generators are relative newcomers to the portable generator market in the US. It’s been only a few years since the manufacturer has released their first generators on sale in America. The first immediate thing which draws customers to Firman generators is their price. They often sell for half the price of the portable generators manufactured by most recognized brands like Honda or Generac. Numerous Firman generator reviews left by customers nationwide show that these generators offer a quite interesting low-cost alternative to the big expensive brands.
However, do Firman generators really perform that well? Can you trust them to deliver their job well? Or are they just cheap unreliable plastic knockoffs made in China?
We’ve researched multiple Firman generators and came to the conclusion that while these are certainly not the best portable generators money can buy, they nonetheless work just fine as long as you adjust your expectations accordingly.
Below we present you the findings of our research in the form of our honest Firman generator reviews. We have selected five Firman generators which we personally found out to be the most reliable.
Firman Generators – The Top 5
Firman W0308 3000 Watt
Firman 0308 is currently one of the most popular Firman generators. This inverter generator has got in total 3300 starting watts and 3000 running watts of power.
This is enough wattage to make it a very reasonable choice for RV.
It should easily handle a typical 13,500 BTU Air Conditioner and a few minor electrical appliances such as a microwave, a set of lightbulbs and a phone charger.
The fuel tank has got a total capacity of 1.8 gallons.
Depending on your circumstances you should be able to run this generator for up to 8 hours. Bear in my mind though that you might need to refuel sooner if you run it at a higher load.
However, if you are only planning to run the aforementioned air conditioner in your RV for the night, Firman W0308 should be able to run it without interruption till the morning hours.
W0308 has got several outlets: 1 x TT-30R 30A 120V outlet, 1 x 5-20R Duplex 20A 120V, 1 x 12VDV 8.3A and finally the USB port for charging portable electronics.
We find this generator to be very easy to operate thanks to its user-friendly control panel and the electric start.
One thing we dislike about this generator is that it’s louder than some other inverters.
The manufacturer advertises its noise level as 58dB which is already more than in case of some of its competitors.
However, this is the sound level at 25% load. The generator can become much louder if you run it at max load.
The noise level is an issue with many other Firman generators too and that’s where the company has got quite some room for improvement.
Overall we would say it’s not a bad inverter generator. On the other hand, there are other 3000-watt inverter generators costing the similar price and performing significantly better. Champion 3100-watt generator or its dual fuel cousin are some of the prime examples.
Firman P03601 3650 Watt
Firman P03601 is a typical conventional portable generator suitable for most of the jobsites or RV camping.
It has 4550 starting watts and 3650 running watts of power. This makes it just about right for powering electrical tools such as air compressors, drills or belt sanders.
You could also use it to run the most crucial devices in your home in the event of a power outage. Don’t expect to use it a complete backup supply though. You need a much larger generator to power multiple large devices at your home.
RV owners, on the other hand, could find it sufficient. P03601 can handle a 15,000 air conditioner without problems. The same applies to other equipment you might want to run in the AC (as long as you don’t try to turn on everything at once).
Depending on the load the generator can run for up to 14 hours. This time is bound to significantly shorter if you run the generator at 100% load.
Firman P03601 has got a simple design. When it comes to any interesting unique features, there is nothing to write home about. If has the standard 120V AC outlets and basic interface including the low oil level indicator.
Note that this generator is quite heavy to carry around. Sadly, you need to order the wheel kit separately which is quite a nuisance. At least the wheels are easy to attach and you shouldn’t have any problems connecting them to the generator.
Firman W03082 2100 watt
This is one of the inverter generators being on offer by Firman. It is primarily designed for such uses as camping, boats or tailgating.
It has 2100 surge watts and 1700 starting watts.
This makes it optimal for small scale use and sufficient to power one single mid-sized electrical device at a time or a few portable electronics such as speakers, laptops, phones etc.
There are enough outlets to handle all of these – 1 x 5-20R Duplex 120V 20A outlet, 1 x 12V (suitable for battery charging cables) and 1 x USB port.
You could also use it to run some work tools like chainsaws or drills.
Firman W03082 has got a 9-gallon tank. Unless you constantly use the generator at its full capacity, it should run without interruptions for anywhere between 9 to 12 hours.
It is not very heavy – at 51.6 lbs it is reasonably easy to carry around.
Firman W03082 comes equipped with a built-in muffler which helps in minimizing the noise. However, this is certainly not the quietest generator on the market and is a bit behind some of the top performers on this matter such as Yamaha EF2000iSv2 or WEN56200i.
Firman H03651 3650 Watt
Firman H03651 is a dual fuel generator which can operate both on gas and propane.
It is fully CARB compliant meaning that even the residents of California – the state with the strictest environmental measures – can legally use it there.
It has a solid 208cc dual-fuel engine complete with standard features such as low oil shutdown mechanism and cast iron frame.
The tank is not very large – it can house up to 5 gallons of gas.
This would be enough to run the generator continuously for up to 14 hours. This is provided that you don’t attempt to constantly run it at full output.
The generator has got 4550 starting watts and 3550 running watts, making it powerful enough for moderate size 30 amp travel trailers.
You can also use it at most of the jobsites (unless you are planning to run a 220V MIG welder – this generator is not suitable for these).
Firman H03651 comes with a 5.5 ft LPG regulator hose included in the kit. Propane bottles have to be obviously purchased separately.
Firman P03603 3650 Watt
P03603 is a typical mid-size portable generator clocking at 4550 surge and 3650 running watts.
It is best used for work sites or RV camping.
You could also technically use it as a home backup source of power. Although that would require to purchase a transfer switch. Note that this generator might not cooperate well with automatic transfer switches. Therefore do not expect it to automatically turn on whenever there is a blackout.
Firman P03603 has got a 208cc engine and a 5-gallon fuel tank.
It comes equipped with the same standard features most of the top-rated portable generators have, including the low oil shutdown mechanism and the steel frame for better protection.
Unlike in case of the Firman P03601, this generator has got the wheels included by default.
A great feature of P03601 is the remote start. You can turn your generator on and off using the remote control.
The manufacturer claims the remote start works up to 168 feet away, however, in reality, you might want to stand a bit closer to the generator.
Overall it is a good choice for 30 amp RVs or for various work sites requiring a solid portable generator to run for several hours without interruptions and the need of constant refuelling.
Where Are Firman Generators Made?
Firman Generators are all made in China. The company HQ is located in the bustling city of Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province. If you are biased against Chinese products or had any negative experiences with them before – rest assured that Firman is not just another random manufacturer delivering crappy plastic products for Cheap Charlies.
Firman is in fact a quite reliable manufacturer adhering to strict quality control measures, both in China and in the US. Firman generators are therefore legit products.
Firman belongs to Sumec Group – a large corporation specialized in energy engineering construction and other related services (see: bloomberg.com). Sumec is one of the members of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach) – a massive conglomerate of enterprises providing construction equipment and engineering services. Sinomach is one the Global 500 list annually published by Fortune magazine showcasing the world’s top-performing enterprises.
While rather unknown in the West, Firman generators although cannot rival Honda, Yamaha, Champion or even WEN in terms of the quality of its products – they make good electrical equipment which sells for the fraction of the price of the most of its top tier competitors.