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Last Updated on December 24, 2021
Need a portable generator to take power with you wherever you go? Heading out into the wilderness on a camping trip? Or planning a fun day of tailgating? Maybe you have some DIY projects on in the garden, or perhaps you even have a day out hunting planned.
All these activities can be ruined if you don’t have a power source. So a portable generator could be just what you need. Wen is a leading brand of generators with some high quality portable inverter generators to choose from.
The 56200i and the 56202i are both great options and actually have some similar core features. But which one is better? What are the differences and which one should you go for? The Wen 56200i was one of the most popular Wen generators when it came out, as it was said to rival the Honda EU2000i while costing a whole lot less.
But since then, Wen released a newer model, the 56202i, but does it offer a lot more and is the upgrade worth it? We will dig into the features below and compare the two. Take note though, if you are looking for the 56202i, you might notice that it now has a new version called the 56203i.
So don’t worry if you struggle to find the 56202i, the W56203i is pretty much the same thing.
Wen 56200i Vs 56202i at a Glance
For the quick overview, we’ve listed the pros and cons of the two generators here at a glance for easy comparison.
Wen 56200i Advantages:
- Slightly cheaper
- CARB compliant
Wen 56200i Disadvantages:
- Less power
- Shorter run time
- Fewer USB ports
- No fuel shutoff
Wen 56202i Advantages:
- More power
- Longer run time
- Extra USB port
- Lighter weight
- Fuel shutoff
- CARB compliant
Wen 56202i Disadvantages:
- Slightly more expensive
Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is the Wen 56202i. With higher wattage capabilities this generator can power more appliances than the 56200i.
It also has a longer run time, has fuel shutoff and an extra USB outlet and is more compact and lightweight. A no brainer!
What’s the Difference Between Them?
Now let’s take a look at the key features of the two generators in detail to see how they compare to one another.
Power & Performance
First things first, how much power do these two have behind them and what can they handle?
The Wen 56200i has a decent amount of power for the size. It has a starting wattage of 2000w and a running wattage of 1600w, which means it can use 1600 watts of continuous power. This should be enough for a variety of appliances from charging electronics, running computers or even televisions.
It uses a 4-stroke 79.7 cc OHV engine which runs smoothly and provides flawless power. Actually it uses the same type of engine as Yamaha inverter generators. We love that the 56200i is both EPA III and CARB compliant meaning that it meets air pollution standards and runs much cleaner than non CARB-compliant generators.
Concerned about attaching your sensitive electronics? Don’t worry, the generator uses Sine wave technology to make sure your phones, tablets and computers etc are safe. If you need more power, this generator is parallel compatible and can be linked up to a second generator but you need to buy the kit separately.
The Wen 56202i on the other hand, has even more power on offer. Although it has the same 2000 w starting wattage, it has a continuous running wattage of 1700w. This means it can run more appliances, from laptops to televisions to power tools, and provide more power for your activities which is always a plus.
Like the 56200i, the 56202i uses a similar 4-stroke 79 cc OHV engine. The engine runs on gasoline but is also EPA approved and CARB compliant. This means both generators are totally legal and able to be sold across all 50 states and are cleaner for the air.
Finally, the 56202i also produces a clean sine wave, and has <1.2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD) meaning that your sensitive electronics can safely be plugged straight into the AC outlets without worrying. This generator is also parallel compatible but the kit is sold separately.
Verdict: The Wen 56202i wins here as it has 100 watts more power.
If you are buying a portable generator, noise levels are important. Nothing can dampen your night camping in the silent wilderness than a generator whirring like a freight train.
The Wen 56200i is a pretty quiet operator, running at around 51 decibels at a quarter load capacity. This can be compared to the sound of a microwave or a normal conversation which means that it is unlikely to disturb you much. This means it can be taken to quiet getaways without disturbing you too much.
The Wen 56202i actually has the same noise emissions as the 56200i at 51 decibels too. Considering this generator offers more power and features, the fact that it is able to run at the same noise level is pretty impressive.
How does this compare to other competitor brands? Well for comparison, the Honda EU2200i, a similar but high-end competitor runs at 48 decibels, one of the quietest on the market. So for the price, these noise levels are good.
Verdict: Both, the two generators have the same noise output.
Now let’s take a look at the run time. The last thing you need is your generator cutting out halfway through your power sawing or watching a game.
The Wen 56200i has a run time of around 9.4 hours. This is calculated for when the generator is running at around a quarter capacity load. 9.4 hours gives you a good long time to run all the appliances you need and is unlikely to run out in one standard use. It has a 1-gallon fuel tank capacity which can easily be refilled for more power.
The Wen 56202i comes out on top again here, with an improved run time of 10.8 hours. This is more than an hour of extra time of continuous use which can make a big difference to your day.
So if you know you will be out for a long time when using your generator you might prefer the 56202i. Oh, and the fuel capacity is also one gallon, just meaning that the generator is more fuel-efficient, but won’t be heavier to carry around. Win-win!
Verdict: The Wen 56202i has a significantly longer run time and is more fuel-efficient.
Design and Usability
Now let’s take a look at the design, both in how the generator looks and feels, but how easy it is to use.
The Wen 56200i is a modern-looking portable generator that comes in an attractive black and orange design. It is fairly compact with measurements of 18 inches by 11 inches by 18 inches and weighs 48 pounds.
This means that it is pretty compact and easy to carry around and store. Particularly because of the useful inbuilt handle on top. The generator also has an easy-to-operate control panel so using it couldn’t be easier.
The control panel has a simple 3-in-1 switch with on, off, and choke settings. There is also a reset button, USB port, 12V DC receptacle, parallel connection, AC 120V output back here. As well as indicator lights to show you oil, overload and output, and even an eco-mode button which you can engage to extend run time.
Now let’s check the Wen 56202i. It has a similar sleek, orange and black design and is compact and easy to carry. But it actually comes out on top with a more compact and lightweight design.
It measures 17.3 inches by 11.5 inches by 17.7 inches and weighs just 39 pounds meaning that with the handle carrying it couldn’t be easier.
It has a similar control panel set up with a 3-in-1 power switch, reset button, 12 V DC receptacle, parallel connection and AC 120v outlet like the 56200i.
But where this model really shines is that it has an extra USB port (2 in total) and a fuel shutoff feature meaning that it uses up the remaining fuel before shutting off automatically.
Verdict: The Wen 56202i is more lightweight and compact as well as having an extra USB port and fuel shutoff feature.
Finally a quick note on price.
As the Wen 56200i was released first it makes sense that the upgraded model, the 56202i was released at a higher price. As the 56200i is generally cheaper, many people may prefer this as you can still get a decent array of features for a cheaper price.
BUT, be aware that now on third-party sites like Amazon, you can actually find the two for almost the same price, in which case it is a no-brainer to go for the improved 56202i model.
Verdict: The Wen 56200i is slightly cheaper.
So now we have looked at the two generators in detail, what is the bottom line? Well it seems we have a clear winner with the Wen 56202i generator.
It has higher power, will last longer, has upgraded features, is more lightweight and all at a similar noise level and price point to the Wen 56200i. What’s not to love?