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WEN was founded in 1951 as a company which specialized in manufacturing power tools. Indeed, many everyday power tools have benefited from their expertise gathered through decades in the field.
However, WEN has also branched out into manufacturing portable generators, with the company’s electronic expertise being successfully applied to this new avenue.
The WEN 56352 is part of this exemplary history of manufacturing and expertise. It is marketed as being a sturdy companion during blackouts as well as being suitable for camping.
With a voltage regulator which produces clean power, its 3500W of surge power and 3000W of running power can power all your basic needs along with sensitive electronic equipment with ease.
Design, Dimensions & Weight
The model comes enclosed in a metal frame, with extendable handles and wheels to help manoeuvre it.
These additional features to improve mobility are unsurprising since this model weighs in at a whopping 111.2 lbs with an empty tank.
This weight makes the WEN 56352 part of the heavier models out of the ones reviewed, being almost as heavy as the Westinghouse WGen 3600. As such, there are only a few models with are appreciably heavier than it.
Rather, it is much easier to find lighter models, especially those below the 100 lb mark.
You can look at the following table to find such models:
Table: This model has one of the heavier weights
With a tank filled to its 4 gallon/15 liter capacity with gasoline, it can weigh around 136 pounds! This can easily make it prohibitively heavy in case you want to manually move it around over long distances or periods.
This fuel capacity is extremely high, with this model being tied for the highest fuel tank capacity out of the reviewed models.
This also means that this model has a long run-time of 11 hours. While there might be models with greater efficiency, capable of running for 12 hours, this model is still an extremely good choice in terms of how long running it is.
Table: This model has the highest fuel capacity
In terms of its dimensions, it is compact enough with a length of 24.4 inches, a width of 17.7 inches, and a breadth of 18.5 inches.
Power Output / Generation
The generator has a 4-stroke OHV engine with a single cylinder and a forced air cooling system.
Keeping technicalities aside, for a user this means that you must use an engine oil appropriate for 4-stroke engines or else you run the risk of damaging the engine during use.
There is no single recommended oil for this generator. Rather, the manual has a table from which you must deduce the correct oil based on the ambient temperature of the different places you use it in.
It has a surge output of 3500W and a running wattage of 3000W.
This can comfortably power basic electronic appliances such as fridges, lights, fans, or laptops during a power outage, apart from being able to provide power for an RV or trailer.
In terms of the number of models reviewed, this running wattage means that the WEN 56352 has a somewhat average output, with 5 models having a lower output and 6 models having a higher running power.
This can be seen in the following comparison table:
Table: This model has a middling output
Furthermore, despite the fact that it isn’t an inverter generator, it has a voltage regulator which ensures that the output voltage remains steady and can thus produce power clean enough to power sensitive electronics like phones or laptops.
This voltage regulator also allows you to modify the output voltage. It can switch the voltage supply between an AC of 120V or 240V.
Fuel and Noise
As fuel, the WEN 56352 requires unleaded gasoline with no added methanol and having an octane rating of 87 or above.
Most commercially available gasoline has an octane rating above 86, with gasoline with ratings above 87 being mid and upper grade.
Octane ratings of gasoline are displayed prominently on the container, generally on the front label under the brand, so finding the appropriate gasoline should not be a hassle.
The manual of this model categorically states that gasoline left open for more than 30 days should not be used.
Despite having such strict fuel specifications, however, this model is not CARB compliant and cannot be used in California.
Aside from this, it is quite efficient and has an 11-hour runtime when used at half-load.
Noise can be a significant issue for this model as it is much louder than generators produced by competitor companies such as Champion or Honda.
It produces a noise of 67 dB just while idling, which can go up to 74 dB on a full load.
This easily disqualifies it from use on campgrounds, despite WEN’s claims to the contrary.
Furthermore, since this is definitely on the louder side, it can become a nuisance if you do not have the space to keep it a sufficient distance away from you.
Comparatively, the noise level of this model while it is just idling is the second highest noise level out of the reviewed models.
When on a full load, this model becomes the only one to cross the 70 dB mark, making it the loudest out of the surveyed models.
As such, more quiet generators can easily be found. For such models, you can consult the following table:
Table: This model has a high noise level
Display & Control Panel
The displays are generally concentrated on a wide control panel, which is spacious and easily fits in the diverse controls this model has to offer.
However, the fuel valve is not located on the panel but is located right below it, making it still easy to access.
The labelling of the controls is also done in a decent size, which is not too small, making it easily legible.
The controls available on the panel are as follows:
- Voltage selector: lets you toggle the voltage between 120V and 240V output
- Circuit reset button: protects the generator from overloading
- Hour meter: lets you measure the number of hours the engine has been used for
- Engine switch: used to turn the engine on and off
- 4 receptacles: a 120V/240V AC receptacle, a 120V AC duplex, and a 12V DC cigarette lighter style receptacle
- Grounding terminal: used to ground the generator – consult the local regulations before doing so
Startup and Shut down
This model only has a manual start option, with the recoil starter cord being located on the side of the generator.
Before starting the engine, ensure that no loads are plugged into it and that the fuel and oil levels are adequate. After this, follow these steps:
- Turn the fuel valve ON
- Move the choke lever to its CLOSED position
- Flip the engine switch ON
- Pull the recoil starter cord slowly until resistance is felt. Then pull it sharply.
- Once the engine starts, slowly move the choke lever to the OPEN position
- After the generator comes on, let it run for a few minutes before plugging in any load so that its internal temperature and engine speed can stabilize.
- The shutdown procedure is extremely straightforward and simple. Before shutting the generator down, unplug all loads from the generator. After this, perform these steps:
- Flip the engine switch OFF
- Turn the fuel valve to the OFF position
This model has a few additional features which might mark it off from other generators in a similar price and power range.
- Mobility kit: this model comes with a mobility kit which allows you to attach handles and wheels to the model to increase its portability, which is integral because of the heavy weight of this model
- Hour meter: this model has an hour meter which allows you to log the number of hours the generator has been used for – this allows you to easily time maintenance
- Dual voltage: this model has a voltage switch which allows you to change the output from 120V to 240V and vice versa – however, only one out of the 3 AC receptacles is designed to give a 240V output
The WEN 56352 comes with a warranty which is applicable for up to 2 years if the model is used for personal purposes and for 90 days if the model is employed in commercial or rental usage.
Both these time periods are measured from the date of purchase.
To avail of the warranty, you must fill out the warranty card enclosed with the purchase along with a receipt of purchase as proof and send it to the Power Pro Technology address.
This qualifies you for replacement of parts and servicing of the generator free of labour or replacement charges.
The warranty does not apply to the air filter, spark plug, brush, or recoil starter rope. Furthermore, it is non-transferable.
It is also voided in cases of misuse, improper maintenance, or unauthorized alterations made to the generator.
Care and Maintenance
Proper care and maintenance of a generator are absolutely indispensable to keeping it in working order and enhancing its longevity.
Apart from keeping your generator reliable and operational, proper maintenance procedures ensure that the warranty on your model is not voided.
The manual of the WEN 56352 recommends the following maintenance schedule:
- With each use: check oil and fuel levels, check the oil cleaner
- In the first month and then every 20 hours: replace engine oil
- Every 3 months or 50 hours: replace engine oil, clean air cleaner
- Every 6 months or 100 hours: clean fuel filter cup, check or clean the spark plug
- Every year or 300 hours: clean the fuel tank
This model has been extensively reviewed on websites such as Amazon and HomeDepot by customers, whose main criticisms and commendations can be collated to give a broad idea of what customers have and have not liked about the WEN 56352.
Customers have liked:
Efficiency: many customers have commended this model on its efficiency, being capable of supplying power for a long duration of time without interruption, with the product page stating that it can supply power for 11 hours at half-load on a full tank
Steady voltage: some customers have also noted that unlike other traditional generators, the voltage fluctuations on this model were kept to a minimum thus making it ideal for sensitive equipment
Compact: some users have also praised this model for being extremely compact, being able to neatly fit into storage spaces, particularly for travel – with the high power it delivers for its size, this model, for customers, really packs a punch
Reliable: many users have greatly appreciated the reliability of this generator, with many of them stating that they used this as back-up during storms, tornadoes, or hurricanes – it fulfills all the promises that WEN makes and easily powers
Customers have disliked:
Fuel leaks: some users have complained that this model is prone to fuel leaks, with some customers stating that the model had a broken fuel tank when it arrived or developed cracks within a month of being used
Loud noise level: many users have complained about the noise level of this generator, which can reach 74 dB – quite a few customers have noted that this is louder than a lawnmower and that it is not fit for camping or for too frequent a usage as it can easily become a nuisance
Issues with starting: a few reviews of this model have noted that customers have had significant issues starting the engine, with problems being as diverse as the engine spluttering after every new load of gasoline to the valves or switches not working
By critically assessing the manual and features of this model and by collating the information made available through customer reviews, a list of pros and cons of the WEN 56352 can be made.
Dual voltage: this model is capable of providing an output of 120V and 240V, which can be changed via the voltage regulator, making it useful for powering devices requiring a voltage greater than 120V – however, there is only one receptacle capable of handling 240V which limits the usefulness of this feature
Steady voltage: unlike other traditional generators, this model provides a steady supply of electricity with little distortion or fluctuation – this makes it suitable for sensitive electronic equipment like phones or laptops
Compact size: despite being able to provide a wattage of up to 3500V (the surge power of this model), it is quite compact and can easily fit into small spaces, making it ideal for storage purposes or if you need to fit it into a vehicle for travel
Mobility kit: this model comes with a mobility kit which consists of two extendable handles and a set of two wheels which can enhance the mobility of this model and make it easier to move around
Loud: with a noise level that ranges from 67 to 74 dB, this is easily one of the noisier portable generators on the market, with many users complaining that this generator is louder than their lawnmowers – this means that it cannot be used on camping grounds, contrary to WEN’s claims and that sufficient distance is required between you and the generator while using it
Heavy: weighing in at 111.2 lbs, this generator is extremely heavy and with a full tank it can reach up to 136 lbs, making moving it around extremely hard without the mobility kit attached and tiring even with the help of the handles and wheels
Quality of components: the critical reviews by users have mainly focused on the fact that a lot of the parts of this generator do not have a high quality and are prone to breaking easily, which can be a minor inconvenience if the warranty is applicable to your generator but can be extremely costly if the warranty is expired.
It is an extremely affordable option when seen in the context of the price range of generators, which can go up to almost $2000.
The following ratings have been assigned to this model bearing in mind the comparative framework of this review:
Price: This model is very economically priced, being the second cheapest out of the reviewed models. As such, it is comparatively much more affordable than many other generators.
Noise level: This is a major con for this model, as the noise level starts at 67 dB just while idling and can go up to as high as 74 dB, making it the loudest model out of the reviewed generators.
Fuel capacity: This model has the highest fuel capacity out of the reviewed models, making it long lasting for every use, with a run time of 11 hours on a half-load. This can make it extremely useful during long blackouts.
Performance: This model has a good performance, with customers considering it to be reliable and efficient. Its dual voltage output is also steady and without distortion. However, its components have been known to be slightly flimsy and unreliable.
Ease of use: While the model is generally easy to use, with a well-designed control panel allowing for control over your generator experience. However, there have been complaints about fuel leaks as well as multiple issues with starting the generator, which hamper usage.
Overall, this engine has definite strengths in its price, which is very economical, and its fuel capacity, which allows it to run for a long time. It has a decent performance, even though there have been complaints about ease of use. Its noise, however, is detrimental to the general experience of using it.
WEN does not suggest any recommended accessories for this model as it comes with a mobility kit, obviating a need for buying one.
The only suggestion that can be made is to buy a cover for this generator particularly if you intend to use it in a hot climate.
The cover suggested by WEN can be found on their website here: http://www.wenproducts.com/store/Generator-Cover-Item-56406
This model is an economical option for those looking to power their RVs or trailers. Furthermore, many users have used this as emergency back-up during power outages.
With a decent surge and running wattage, it is ideal for households especially since it does not produce a fluctuating voltage.
It is generally regarded as a reliable generator by users, who commend it for how compact its design is and for its fuel efficiency, being able to last for 11 hours on a half-load.
Its mobility kit can also enhance its mobility for use. However, this generator is excessively loud, being noisier than a lawnmower.
This can cause an excessive amount of disturbance. Furthermore, with a dry weight of 111.2 lbs, it is heavy and this hampers transport.
Thus, despite WEN’s claims, it is not ideal for camping, especially collective campgrounds where the noise can annoy other campers. At the price point, however, users have tended to commend this generator.
It is an economical option, particularly for people looking for power back-ups for outages and does the needful, despite its few drawbacks.
It has a noise level of 67 dB while idling and 74 dB at full load.
No, it has a separate grounding terminal from which it must be grounded.
It lasts for two years from the date of purchase if used personally and for 90 days if used for commercial/rental purposes.
Yes, it does.
It is 4 gallons or 15 liters.
It lasts for 11 hours on a half-load with a full tank.
It has a dry weight of 111.2 lbs and around 136 pounds with a full tank.
Yes, it can.
Yes, it can.
Yes, it comes with an attachable mobility kit.
Yes, it is.
It has a length of 24.4 inches, a width of 17.7 inches, and a breadth of 18.5 inches.
No, it is only EPA compliant.
No, it cannot.
There is no single specified oil type. Rather, the manual provides a table from which to choose the oil from depending on the temperatures in which you use this model.