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Firman W02981 - Spec Review

The Firman W02981 is a quiet and compact 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:

  • Handcrafting enthusiasts who wish to work on-the-go
  • Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The Firman W02981 is powered by a 171 cc Firman Max-Pro Series OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 2900W as well as a peak wattage of 3200W. Additionally, as the generator is parallel capable (Firman parallel kit (opens in a new tab) not included), it can be linked to a second unit for more power.

The inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism. It is rated for a noise of 58 dBA (less noisy than rainfall).

The fuel capacity of 1.8 gallon allows the W02981 to operate for up to 10 hours with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.18 GPH).

As the W02981 produces a clean sine wave, with a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), sensitive electronics may be plugged in the AC outlets safely.

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 3 AC outlets:

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

In addition, it provides 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.

Thanks to its TT-30R receptacle (TT stands for 'Travel Trailer'), this Firman generator is RV Ready.

Portability

Thanks to its closed inverter generator design (L23.2 x W17.8 x H17.9 in), the Firman W02981, is more esthetical than a typical, open frame generator. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.

The W02981's dry weight of 84 lbs lets you use its power anywhere needed. Additionally, it can be easily moved with the help of its set of 2 wheels (⌀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 showing you voltage, frequency and lifetime hours to aid you with the monitoring of its status and activity.

In addition to this info, the device’s light indicators will display if the generator is on overload, its oil levels are insufficient and the generator is ready.

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

With the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), letting you start the generator quickly, the Firman W02981 also comes with several accessories, including: tool kit, oil, battery charging cables and funnel.

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, making it usable 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).

  • Weight-wise, the Firman W02981 has only 84 lbs, which renders it one of the lighter generators which produce 2500 to 3500 rated watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Generac GP3300i with only 59.5 pounds.
  • With a lowest possible noise of 58 dBA, this inverter generator places itself amongst the more quiet of the products delivering similar power. If noise emissions are one of your priorities, you may be interested in the Honda EU3000iS, one of the least noisy generators similarly powerful as this one, rated for 50 dBA.
  • The W02981's autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its power range, as it reaches only up to 10 hours at 25% load on a full tank. If concerned with autonomy, one of the products of a comparable power output, which offers the highest run time, is the Champion 200914, boasting with up to 22 hours.
  • The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. This inverter generator reaches an estimated fuel consumption of 0.18 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load, making it average, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Energizer eZV3500P, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.13 GPH, may be the right generator for you.

Here's a list of the most popular specific comparisons:

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 (84 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (58 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
Peak amps26.7 amps
Run time @50% loadUnknown
Run time @25% load10 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 tank1.8 gal
Fuel gaugeNo
Misc
Weight84 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)23.2 x 17.8 x 17.9 in
Noise (lower limit)58 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel, tool kit, and battery charging cables
Warranty3 years
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.

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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 warranty for up to 3 years. 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 size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Hair dryer18001900
Mixer200200
Total2192 W3192 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Toaster oven800800
Cell phone charger2020
Total2300 W2720 W
For workGrinder14002500
Drill600900
Bug zapper8080
Total2080 W3180 W
How much oil does my firman w3200i take (Asked July 19, 2020)

Oil capacity is 20.3 oz.

Does this invertor have an inline gas shut off? (Asked October 03, 2021)

The unit has a fuel valve knob. Turning it off will allow you to let the generator run until it stops from lack of fuel, and to dry out all remaining fuel in the carburetor.

What kind of oil mine did not come with oil (Asked January 16, 2022)

For general, all-temperature use, SAE 10W30 is recommended.

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