WEN 56202i Review – How Does this Generator Perform?

WEN generators have very quickly gained massive popularity in the US recently. They are universally praised for their quality build and solid performance while costing much less than many other better-known competitors (see the current price). WEN 56202i is one of a few inverter generators in their offer. It is a very quiet inverter designed specifically for those who need a reliable small generator for camping, tailgaing or plenty of other occasions.

How does WEN 56202i perform? Can it rival the more famous gens like the Honda with low price tag? We’re gonna try to find out the answers in the following WEN 56202i review.

8.7 Total Score
A Really Good & Affordable Generator

WEN 56202i is a very solid and inexpensive inverter. It is one of the best generators in this price range we've found. With its quiet operation and quality engine, it can easily compete with much pricier generators. A very good choice for camping or other situations when a quiet portable generator will come very handy.

Performance
8.6
Design
8
Noise Level
9
Ease of Use
9
PROS
  • Super quiet
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • CARB compliant
CONS
  • Less recognized brand than eg. Honda

Check the Latest Price on Amazon


WEN 56202i – at a glance

WEN 56202i is the slightly larger sibling of a very succesful and super popular inverter generator – WEN 56200i. 

These two generators share a lot of things in common. In fact you might find it hard to tell the difference between them.

The design of WEN 56202i looks a bit different than in case of the WEN 56200i with a bit more “boxy” layout. However, it is still very similar to WEN 56200i and it’s very easy to confuse these two.


Both are 2000-watt generators as clearly mentioned on the label.

However, this refer to the number of starting watts they offer. 

The running wattage is where the two differ.

WEN 56200i has got 1600 running watts while WEN56202i has slightly more – 1700 watts.

This is not a big difference at all. However, it might make a change if you are planning to use your gen to run specific larger appliances such as an RV air conditioner. In such cases every additional watt really counts and gives you more peace of mind knowing that your generator can handle your equipment.

WEN 56202i is an inverter generator. This means it’s smaller and more portable compared to the conventional open-frame generators. It is also much quieter (we’re going to talk about its noise level more later). It’s also safe for powering modern electronic equipment. You won’t have any difficulty using it to power your computer, TV or a tablet.

What you can instantly notice is the large variety of outlets available. WEN 56200i offers 2 x 15 amp 12V AC outputs, 1x 12V DC and a 5V USB port.

The control panel of WEN 56202i comes equipped with 2 x three-prong 120V receptacles and 1 x 12V DC receptacle. You can also find two 5V USB ports for portable electronics. That’s one more outlet than in case of WEN56200i – a little but nice handy addition.


WEN 56202i Specs

Wattage: 2000 Starting / 1700 Running Watts

Outlets: 2 x 15A 120V AC, 1 x 12V DC, 2 x USB ports

Noise Level 51 dB @ 25% load

Weight: 38.6 lbs 

Fuel Type: Gasoline

Dimensions: ​17.3 x 11.5 x 17.7

Fuel Tank Capacity: 1 gal

Engine: 79.7 cc 4-stroke OHV

Run Time: 7h @ 50% load

Starting Method: Manual recoil

What I like about WEN 56202i

One of the things I loved about WEN 56200i is how quiet it is. 

This is the exact same strong selling point in case of the 56202i.

At 25% load, it makes approx. 51 decibels of noise. This obviously depends on how far you measure it from.

If you leave your generator working several feet away you’re going to hear the noise comparable to an idling car engine.

At higher loads it’s obviously bound to become a bit louder. However, even at the highest loads, the generator stays well below the 65 dB threshold which is usually the maximum generator noise level stipulated by campgrounds in the US.

The generator is very lightweight too.

I was actually amazed to see that the WEN 56202i is even lighter than the 56200i. It weighs only 36.8lbs – almost 10 pounds less than its cousin.

This makes it one of the easiest generators to carry around.

It also has a slightly longer run time.

At 50% load you can get up to 7 hours of continuous operation.

This means you get an extra hour as compared to the 56200i.

The handle is not the most comfortable we’ve seen but this is certainly not a big problem.

Last but not least – the price is a really strong selling point of this WEN generator.

Numerous positive reviews confirm that the WEN generators cost much less than the brands like Honda BUT perform nearly as well.

These are very trusted and reliable generators. They are very commonly quoted as the best alternatives for Honda or Generac gens.

WEN 56202i is no exception. It is a very solid genset available at a very affordable price.


Any downsides?

To be honest I can’t find anything I really dislike about this generator. Especially at this price, there is simply nothing to complain about!

Some people might find it a very major nuisance that the generator does not have any automatic fuel consumption mechanism like the Eco-Throttle system in Honda gens. In order to activate the fuel-saving mode (called “Eco mode” by WEN) you need to press the button on the control panel. This is a very minor drawback though.


WEN 56202i – Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use it a campground?

Sure, it’s a very quiet generator and you can definitely use it at a campsite. Bear in mind though that many official campgrounds have the regulations forbidding the use of generators of any kind during the so-called quiet hours (usually at night time).

Where are WEN generators made?

WEN generators are assembled in China. To be honest, it’s hard to find a generator nowadays which is NOT made in China. Having said that, the Chinese generators have improved A LOT in quality over the last few years and can easily rival more expensive Japanese or American competitors.

Can it be used in parallel with another generator?

Yes, as long as both have the same wattage.

You need to use a parallel kit (sold separately) to connect two gens to each other. The bulletproof solution is to use two exact same inverter generators (in this case 2 x WEN 56202i) to ensure smooth running and no compatibility problems.


Conclusion – should you buy WEN 56202i?

If that’s an inexpensive, quiet, lightweight and reliable small generator you’re looking for – then yes, WEN56202i is a good choice.

Along with its sibling 56200i it’s one of the most recommended affordable portable inverter generators currently being on sale.

8.7 Total Score
A Really Good & Affordable Generator

WEN 56202i is a very solid and inexpensive inverter. It is one of the best generators in this price range we've found. With its quiet operation and quality engine, it can easily compete with much pricier generators. A very good choice for camping or other situations when a quiet portable generator will come very handy.

Performance
8.6
Design
8
Noise Level
9
Ease of Use
9
PROS
  • Super quiet
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • CARB compliant
CONS
  • Less recognized brand than eg. Honda

Check the Latest Price on Amazon

Wattage: 2000 Starting / 1600 Running Watts

Noise Level: 53 dB @ 25% load, 59 dB @ 100% load

Fuel Type: Gasoline

Fuel Tank Capacity: 0.95 gal

Run Time: 8h @ 25% load, 3.4h @ 100% load

Outlet: 1x 120V 2000W max. (16.7A) 1600W rated (13.3A)

Weight: 45 lbs 

Dimensions: 20.2″ x 11.4″ x 16.7″

Engine: Honda GX100 98.5 cc

Starting Method: Manual Recoil

My name's Craig, I am a general contractor currently living in Dallas, TX. I've worked with different kinds of electric tools throughout my career, including the portable generators. In my spare time, I love going camping and tailgating with my family and friends. I've created this site to provide honest advice for people looking for the right portable generator and other related equipment for work and leisure.

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