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Firman W02981 Spec Review

The Firman W02981 is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 2900 W and a starting wattage of 3200 W.

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Description

The W02981 is an inverter generator, having low THD (clean power for electronics and sensitive equipment), quiet operation and fuel-efficient economy mode. It’s ergonomic encasing and integrated wheel kit makes it easy to transport for those weekend camping getaways. This generator features 3200 starting watts and 2900 running watts, with a reliable recoil start system. (source: Firman (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Firman W02981

In a nutshell, the Firman W02981 is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • Amateur DIY lovers
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
  • RV travellers looking for even more independence

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Firman W02981's design includes a gasoline-fueled 171 cc Firman Max-Pro Series OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120V output, it gives a running wattage of 2900W and also a peak wattage of 3200W. In addition, the device is parallel capable (Firman parallel kit (opens in a new tab) not included) and thus, can be linked to a similar or compatible unit for added power.

At a noise rating of 59 dBA (less noisy than a refrigerator), the inverter generator is started via a conventional pull-start mechanism.

With a full tank, the W02981 can operate for up to 9 hours (fuel consumption around 0.2 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 1.8 gallon.

The W02981 produces a clean sine wave: thanks to a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), your sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets.

Outlets

The control panel features the following 3 AC outlets:

Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
120V 30A (TT-30R) receptacle

It also sports 2 DC outlets: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy and a 5V USB port with which you may charge electronics, for example mobile phones or tablets, conveniently.

With its TT-30R receptacle (TT as in 'Travel Trailer'), this Firman generator is RV Ready.

Portability

As the Firman W02981 is an inverter generator, its encased design (L23.2 x W17.8 x H17.9 in) offers more aesthetics than a conventional, open frame product. This type of design is the most modern and convenient way to recreationally generate power.

The W02981's dry weight of 82 lbs lets you use its power anywhere needed. Additionally, it can be easily moved with the help of its wheel kit (⌀5") and its folding handle, once it is on the ground.

Features

Panel of the Firman W02981

The W02981's control panel

The W02981's control center features a convenient meter, which displays voltage, frequency and lifetime hours to aid you with the monitoring of its status and activity.

In addition to this info, some light indicators allow you to instantly see if the generator is overloaded, the generator is ready and its oil levels are insufficient.

As far as security is concerned, the generator can be used with a peace of mind, as it features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off.

Besides the classic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab) to get you promptly started, the Firman W02981 also comes with some accessories: battery charging cables, oil, tool kit and funnel are included.

Emissions

The Firman W02981 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and thus, may be used in forested areas.

Product Video

The Firman W02981 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Firman W02981 compare to generators of similar power (between 2500 and 3500 W).

  • Regarding its weight, the Firman W02981 only weighs in at 82 pounds, which means it's one of the lighter generators in the 2500-3500 rated wattage range. In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the WEN GN400i, standing at just 66.1 lbs.
  • With a lowest possible noise of 59 dBA, this inverter generator places itself amongst the more quiet of the products delivering similar power. If you are concerned with noise, check out the Honda EU3000iS, which is one of the least noisy generators in its power range, with a noise rating of just 50 dBA.
  • Regarding its autonomy, the autonomy of the W02981, reaching up to 9 hours at a 25% load, can be considered as low end, compared to other products of a roughly equal output. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Honda EU3000iS, which is able to run for up to 20 hours.
  • Even though run times are undoubtedly important, they are dependent on the fuel capacity to a large extent. For a more wholesome picture, we must take into consideration the fuel consumption of the generator. This inverter generator has an estimated fuel consumption of roughly 0.2 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load, rendering it somewhat average compared to devices of a similar output. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.13 GPH, the Energizer eZV3200P is a device you should look out for.
According to our stats, the following comparison is pretty popular: Firman W02981 vs Firman W03081.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 2500-3500W generators, the Firman W02981 is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • In the expected price range
  • Several accessories included
  • RV Ready
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight for its kind (82 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (59 dBA)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No electric start
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the Firman W02981 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyYes
FuelGasoline
Engine171 cc Firman Max-Pro Series OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts2900 W
Starting watts3200 W
Running amps24.2 amps
Peaks amps26.7 amps
Run time @50% loadN/A
Run time @25% load9 h
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets
  • 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (TT-30R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A receptacle
1x 5V USB port
Data centerVFT
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankSteel, 1.8 gal
Fuel gaugeNo
Misc
Weight82 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)23.2 x 17.8 x 17.9 in
Noise (lower limit)59 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit and battery charging cables
WarrantyLifetime
SeriesWhisper
Other model numbersW3200i

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

About FIRMAN Power Equipment

Founded in 1999, Firman Power Equipment is a company with a short, but established history in the power equipment industry. Based in Arizona, the company offers an immense range of products, including power tools, automotive equipment, storage utilities, work wear, but most importantly, a wide selection of generators of all sizes, designs and outputs. Interestingly, Firman is a wholly owned subsidiary of the China National Machinery Industry Corporation - a somewhat well renowned company in China and acts as a de facto distributor of their products in the US.

Warranty Information

The Firman W02981 is covered under a lifetime warranty. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Firman generators, please consult Firman's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-FIRMAN1 (844-347-6261).

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeElectric fry pan15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Blender400850
Radio100100
Total2192 W3192 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Toaster oven800800
Slow cooker270270
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2315 W2905 W
For workGrinder14002500
Paint sprayer600600
Bug zapper8080
Total2080 W3180 W
How much oil does my firman w3200i take (Asked July 19, 2020)

Oil capacity is 20.3 oz.

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