WEN 56180 Gas Portable Generator Review – Buy or Pass?

The WEN 56180 gas portable generator is an Amazon best seller. A user-friendly alternative power source, CARB and EPAIII compliant, it is available in different technical configurations, with different wattages.

In this article, we will analyze the basic model, designed to work on 1800 starting watts and 1500 running watts. Here’s what you should know about it:

WEN 56180 Generator Review

Most of our readers decided to purchase a WEN 56180 for emergency powering. While it won’t take too many devices at the same time, it can serve your needs well.

You’ll only need a better understanding of its technical capabilities, which, by the way, are more than decent.

As mentioned, WEN 56180 can generate up to 1800 Starting Watts and 1500 Running Watts. Its OHV four-stroke engine with 98 cc and 4 hp features a special internal air-cooling system.

This ado would regulate temperature and prevent it from overheating.

In terms of fuel, consumption, and maintenance, it works on gasoline, equipped with a 1.45-gallon gas tank.

Boasting a full load fuel consumption of 0.386 gallons/hour, it should work for up to 7.5 hours at half load.

If you’re curious about the outlets that this model provides, we’re talking about:

  • Two three-prong 120 V and 12.5 A receptacles for AC
  • One 12V DC outlet, the cigarette-lighter style

These were the main technical traits of this gas portable generator. Nevertheless, we cannot close this section without mentioning 3 other interesting features:

  • Low-oil shutdown that will interrupt functioning when running out of oil, thus safeguarding it from getting damaged;
  • Spark arrestor for enhanced security and safe usage in forests or national parks;
  • EPAIII approved and CARB-Compliant.

The design of WEN 56180

As a portable generator by definition, WEN 56180 measures 17.7-inch depth x 15.9-inch height x 17.7-inch length x 19.9-inch width.

Moreover, it has a decent weight of only 50 lbs, making for a small and lightweight unit, easy to carry around.

The unit doesn’t have electric start, so the only option is a pull handle. Even so, the mechanism is usually reported to start from the first pull.

READ MORE: Goal Zero Yeti 150 Review

Fully equipped when out of the box, you’ll still have to fill it with gas and oil before using it. On this occasion, you might notice something that many of our readers complain of – the weird positioning of the oil fill tube.

The fuel gauge makes for a handy indicator, yet it doesn’t compensate for the difficulty of adding oil in it.

The noise level of this gas portable generator

This model comes with a muffler, just like the WEN56200i does. In theory, this attribute should considerably reduce the noise level during functioning. In practice, WEN 56180 has an operational volume slightly higher than the other model, of 63 dB.

Even so, the unit can be less noisy than some would think. To give you a practical comparison term, the noise is less than moderate. If two people would be having a conversation next to it, they wouldn’t have to raise their voices.

WEN 56180 Gas Portable Generator Review

What customers say about the WEN 56180

This small but mighty gas portable generator is considered one of the best value-going for a unit of its size. Many users are often surprised by how well it performs, compared to the expectations they had.

Most of them appreciate that the WEN 56180 starts very easy. It also seems to put out enough power for the most basic and various charging needs.

And another big plus that it carries is the fact that the manufacturer provides US-based customer service. That way, when dealing with unpleasant malfunctions, using the toll-free customer service contact is always handy.

But such problems are rare, users complaining about design faults rather than malfunctions. The oil fill tube, as previously mentioned, is a tad inconveniently placed.

READ MORE: WEN 56200i Review

Filling it with oil can, therefore, be a bit challenging. One solution signaled is to use a 60cc syringe for inserting the oil much easier, with some PCV tubing at the end of it.

Another apparent design issue of WEN 56180 relates to the position of the pull starter, right behind the main frame structure. Like mentioned, most of our readers said that it starts from the first pull. Nevertheless, those who don’t get that lucky are somewhat unhappy with its placement.

The pros & cons of using this gas portable generator

WEN 56180 is compact, lightweight and portable. Ideal for taking it to camps, job sites, or whatever emergency situation, it still comes with many other benefits:

  • It is a best seller on Amazon, for a lot of good reasons;
  • WEN 56180 is suitable for all kinds of devices, from smartphones and PCs to microwaves, TVs, and even refrigerators;
  • It is safe to use, thanks to the EPAIII approval, CARB compliant features, and the spark arrestor;
  • It has automatic voltage regulation, even though it doesn’t include a built-in inverter, like the WEN56200i does;
  • WEN 56180 doesn’t require mixing oil and gas, therefore maintenance is easier;
  • It provides enhanced autonomy, thanks to a considerably larger fuel tank.

On the downside, WEN 56180:

  • Can be a bit louder than other WEN models, even though it comes with a muffler, because of its open-frame design;
  • Doesn’t include a grounding wire – users would have to do the grounding by attaching a ground wire of at least #12 to its ground lug;
  • Doesn’t come with wheels either, like other WEN models, which would have made it easier to move around;
  • Has a design flaw that makes oil refill a bit annoying.

Warranty & support terms for WEN 56180

WEN 56180 falls under the terms and conditions of any other WEN generator. If you’re familiarized with the offerings of this manufacturer, you can expect to benefit from a 2-year warranty on this product.

Depending on where you’re purchasing it from, you should also benefit from a 30-day money back guarantee. If interested, ask if there is any way you could buy a 3-year or 4-year protection as well.

Have you been using this unit for some time and you’re experiencing some problems? Do not rush returning it to the retailer. Use, instead, their customer service toll-free number (800) 232-1195 and you should get instructions on how to proceed.

Final considerations on WEN 56180

We’ve said it before, but we can’t say it enough. This is a best seller; it comes with a tempting price tag, and seems to do a great job.

Are you willing to get over a bit of noise? Can you refrain from getting a nervous breakdown whenever changing the oil? Then you definitely need to try this particular generator from WEN.

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