Compare Portable Power Generators: WEN, DuroStar or Yamaha?
(WEN 56180 vs. DuroStar DS4000S vs. Yamaha EF2000iS)
Author: Maurice Savaryego, M.Sc.Eng.
Though power outages are not frequent in the US, they do happen under stormy conditions, and when they do, having a generator becomes critical as it will allow you to run small kitchen appliances like your coffee maker or slow cooker as well as the larger ones like your refrigerator or your TV set, and it will allow you to recharge your smartphones and computers.
Generators can be either stationary or portable. Portable generators cost less than stationary ones, they don't need complicated installations, and they can also be used for various outdoor activities such as camping, boating, tailgate partying, etc. But as they run on gasoline or propane, one needs to be careful and mindful of storing carefully large quantities of fuel.
An important question to ask when looking for a portable generator has to do with its size. Portable generators are rated for their starting power (also known as the surge power) and their running power. This because many electric appliances and devices need a certain level of power to run continuously, but they also need some extra power to start. For a refrigerator/freezer, for instance, which is the appliance probably most used with portable generators, the running power is around 800-900 watts and the surge power could go up to 1000 watts. So, when deciding which size generator to get, you should consider one that can provide the totality of surge and running power required by all the appliances and electric devices you will be powering at the same time. The user guide that comes with electric appliances and devices usually provide the power requirement of the unit.
Note: If the portable generators compared below do not provide the total power you need for the appliances you will need to power all at the same time during a power outage, please click All Portable Generator on Amazon to find a generator of suitable size.
Comparing The Selected Portable Power Generators
The following table compares the various features that come with these three portable power generators (please read the explanations to the table notes that follow for a better understanding of the features):
Table Notes 1-9 Explained:
- WEN includes two 120V 12.5 Amp AC, 3-prong outlets (standard household plugs).
- DuroStar includes two 120 Volt, 20 Amp AC, 3-prong outlets (standard household plugs), and one120 Volt, 30 Amp AC twist lock outlet.
- Yamaha includes two 120 Volt, 13.3-16.7 Amp AC, 3-prong outlets (standard household plugs).
- WEN includes one cigarette-lighter-style 12V DC outlet.
- Yamaha includes one 12 V DC, 6.5 Amp outlet. The generator comes with the DC connector so that batteries and other 12V applications can be powered from it.
The following pictures show in more detail the outlets available on each of these three generators:
- WEN has a 98cc OHV engine with forced air cooling system.
- DuroStar has a 7.0-Hp OHV engine with forced air cooling system.
- Yamaha has a 79cc OHV engine with forced air cooling system.
The Yamaha EF2000iS uses an innovative inverter system, which produce cleaner and higher-quality electricity than most other generators. The energy is produced in the form of pure sine waves, which are cleaner and more reliable than the energy produced by most commercial power sources. This means that you won't have to worry about any damage to be caused by unrefined energy when you power your delicate electrical appliances. Note also that the generator is equipped with an electrical overload breaker that prevents any damage in case of unexpected overload.
Thanks to its Smart Throttle feature, the generator automatically adjusts engine speed to match the load, saving fuel, reducing noise as well as engine wear.
Low-oil shutdown feature safeguards the OHV engine from damage. This feature comes with all three generators.
Spark arrestor permits usage while camping in national parks and forests.
- With respectively 63 db and 69 db noise levels, WEN 56180 and DuroStar DS4000S generators are not exactly super quiet, but they are not so loud either that you'd need to raise your voice when talking.
- Yamaha EF2000iS uses noise reduction technologies to ensure quieter operation. The generator has noise-absorbing glass wool construction which helps dampen noise even during heavy operation, and together with the super-quiet muffler and vibration-isolating feet, noise is kept to a minimum (around 51.5 db).
CARB is an acronym for the California Air Resources Board which is the "clean air agency" in the government of California.
For exact price information of these portable generators, please refer to the Amazon section below.
So which of the three power generators to choose?
However, as you may have noted, there is a large price difference between the Yamaha EF2000iS and the other two generators considered here. That is because the Yamaha generator comes with some additional features not found in the other two generators compared above:
- It uses an innovative inverter system, which produces cleaner and higher-quality electricity than most other generators, so you don't have to worry about damaging delicate equipment with unrefined energy.
- Thanks to its Smart Throttle feature, the generator automatically adjusts engine speed to match the load, saving fuel, reducing noise as well as engine wear.
- It uses noise reduction technologies to ensure quieter operation.
- It is lighter and has bag-like carry handle which makes it easier to carry around.
- It comes with a 3-year warranty.
Compared Portable Power Generators on Amazon
- When you click the WEN product link image, additional generator power sizes will also be offered to choose from.
- When you click the DuroStar product link image, you will also be able to purchase the generator with a wheel kit.
All Portable Generators on Amazon
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