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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 summary, the Firman W02981 is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • DIYers who wish to improve their efficiency with tools
  • 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 wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle

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 core is the 171 cc Firman Max-Pro Series OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120V, it provides a running wattage of 2900W and 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.

Enjoying a noise rating of 58 dBA (less noisy than rainfall), this inverter generator gets running thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

With a full tank, the W02981 can operate for up to 10 hours (fuel consumption around 0.18 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 1.8 gallon.

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

Outlets

The control panel features the following 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 you may charge your batteries with ease and a 5V USB port allowing you to conveniently charge electronics such as mobile phones and tablets.

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

Portability

The Firman W02981 is an inverter generator and has an encased design of the following dimensions: L23.2 x W17.8 x H17.9 in. Thus, it is more aesthetical than conventional, open frame products. This modern design aims to provide an ideal power solution to recreational users.

The W02981 can be taken anywhere with you, thanks to its weight of 84 lbs. Moreover, its set of 2 wheels (⌀5") and its folding handle will allow you to effortlessly shift it once it's on the ground.

Features

Panel of the Firman W02981

The W02981's control panel

The W02981 and its control panel include a convenient meter, which displays voltage, frequency and lifetime hours. This feature comes handy when monitoring its status and activity.

In addition to this info, several light indicators serve to show you when the generator is ready, the generator is on overload and the oil level is too low.

As for its security measures, the device features an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), letting you use it with a peace of mind.

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Firman W02981 also is packed along with the following accessories: tool kit, funnel, oil and battery charging cables.

Emissions

The Firman W02981 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, which makes it suitable for use 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 you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above mentioned power range is the Generac GP3300i, with a dry weight of just 59.5 pounds.
  • As its lowest possible noise is rated at 58 dBA, this inverter generator qualifies as one of the more quiet of the products of similar power. If noise emissions are important to you, one of the least noisy generators of this power range is the Honda EU3000iS with only 50 dBA.
  • Regarding its autonomy, the autonomy of the W02981, reaching up to 10 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 Champion 200954, which is able to run for up to 22 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. This inverter generator has an average fuel consumption among comparably powerful devices, as it reaches 0.18 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 25% load. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Energizer eZV3200P, 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
Peaks 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 sizing calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
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
Drill600900
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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