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Lifan ESI 860i-CA Spec Review

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is a quiet, compact and lightweight inverter generator with a rated wattage of 600 W and a starting wattage of 700 W.

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Lifan ESI 860i-CALifan ESI 860i-CALifan ESI 860i-CALifan ESI 860i-CA
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Set an alert for the Lifan ESI 860i-CA - Current lowest price: $203.35
Price History
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Price history for the Lifan ESI 860i-CA
Latest updates:
  • $203.35 - April 18, 2021
  • $192.75 - April 15, 2021
  • $198.31 - April 8, 2021
  • $192.75 - January 9, 2021
  • $193.38 - January 8, 2021
  • $183.30 - December 22, 2020
  • $173.30 - December 18, 2020
  • $183.30 - December 15, 2020
Data source: homedepot.com
Since: November 4, 2020
  • Highest Price: $203.35 - April 18, 2021
  • Lowest Price: $168.10 - November 4, 2020

Description

Zoom on the Lifan ESI 860i-CA

In a nutshell, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • Camping and tailgating buffs looking to enhance their experience
  • DIYers who wish to improve their efficiency with tools

In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability, and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA houses a 40 cc (1.25 hp) Lifan OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 600W along with a peak wattage of 700W.

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

The ESI 860i-CA can operate for around 3 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.13 GPH), due to its fuel capacity of 0.4 gallon.

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlet, as the ESI 860i-CA produces a clean sine wave, with a <2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

Outlets

The control panel includes the following AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

It also sports 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle allowing you to easily charge your batteries.

Portability

Since the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is an inverter generator, its closed design (L14 x W9 x H13 in) has an esthetical advantage over conventional, open frame devices. The featured design follows the latest trends and is ideal for easy and recreational use.

Weighing just 23 lbs, the ESI 860i-CA can be considered a lightweight portable generator. The device can be easily moved by just one person and thus, its power may be enjoyed on-the-go. It can also be carried without effort with a featured handle (molded in the case), further improving its convenience.

Good to know: This unit ranks 1st in our list of the 10 smallest portable generators.

Features

Panel of the Lifan ESI 860i-CA

The ESI 860i-CA's control panel

The light indicators show you if the oil level is too low, the generator is ready and the generator is overloaded.

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.

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA also is packed along with the following accessories: tool kit and battery charging cables.

Emissions

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.

Product Videos

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Lifan ESI 860i-CA compare to generators of similar power (between 500 and 1500 W).

  • In terms of its dry weight, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA stands at only 23 lbs, meaning that is one of the lighter devices of the 500-1500 rated wattage category In terms of weight, one of the champions in their power range is the Sportsman GEN1000i, standing at just 20.3 lbs.
  • With a lowest noise rating of 58 dBA, the inverter generator is one of the more quiet of the generators of similar power. If noise emissions are one of your priorities, you may be interested in the Honda EU1000i, one of the least noisy generators similarly powerful as this one, rated for 42 dBA.
  • As far as autonomy is concerned, providing around 3 hours of runtime with a full tank at a 50% load, the ESI 860i-CA falls into the low end in comparison with other devices of a comparable power output. If autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Pulsar PG2000, reaching around 12 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. Standing at an estimated 0.13 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load, this inverter generator is somewhat average in this area compared to other devices, within the aforementioned wattage range. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Ryobi RYi1000, with a fuel consumption of 0.08 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 500-1500W generators, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is on the cheap side of the price range.

It can therefore be a really good buy if you're looking to acquire a budget generator.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • Inexpensive
  • Several accessories included
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (23 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (58 dBA)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent fuel efficiency
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • Only 1 AC outlet
  • No electric start
  • No parallel ports
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the Lifan ESI 860i-CA and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine40 cc Lifan OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts600 W
Starting watts700 W
Running amps5 amps
Peaks amps5.8 amps
Run time @50% load3 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets1x 120V 20A (5-20R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A receptacle
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tank0.4 gal
Fuel gaugeNo
Misc
Weight23 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)14 x 9 x 13 in
Noise (lower limit)58 dBA
THD< 2%
EmissionsCARB
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedTool kit and battery charging cables
Warranty3 years
SeriesEnergy Storm

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 Lifan

LIFAN, or rather LIFAN Power USA, is a rather small and new company, based in Arizona. LIFAN’s range is comprised of engines and related products, such as pressure washers, water pumps and of course, generators – of which there is a surprising variety, including inverters, portable generators, but also high output, standby home generators. The company admirably admits that their primary (and most likely only) manufacturing facilities are located in China and their goal is to provide affordable products above all.

Warranty Information

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA 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 Lifan generators, please consult Lifan's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-866-471-7464.

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 homeDVD player350350
Radio100100
Cell phone charger2020
Total470 W470 W
For campingRV refrigerator180600
Bug zapper8080
Total260 W680 W
For workDrain cleaner250250
Bug zapper8080
Total330 W330 W

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