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Lifan ESI 860i-CA Spec Review

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

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Description

Zoom on the Lifan ESI 860i-CA

In summary, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source
  • DIYers who wish to improve their efficiency with tools

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 Lifan ESI 860i-CA is powered by a 40 cc (1.25 hp) Lifan OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 600W as well as a peak wattage of 700W.

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

With a fuel capacity of 0.4 gallon, the ESI 860i-CA may run for around 3 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.13 GPH).

The ESI 860i-CA produces a clean sine wave: thanks to a <2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD), your sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlet.

Several examples of what the generator may allow you to power simultaneously are:Note: The examples above are based on a maximum load of 75% and estimated wattages. The devices also may not be able to start at the same time. For a more accurate estimation, use our wattage calculator.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

Additionally, it features 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle allowing you to easily charge your batteries.

Portability

As the Lifan ESI 860i-CA is an inverter generator, its encased design (L14 x W9 x H13 in) offers more esthetics than a conventional, open frame product. This modern design aims to provide an ideal power solution to recreational users.

Labeled a lightweight portable generator, the ESI 860i-CA weighs just 23 lbs. As it can be moved by a single person without much effort, the generator and its power can be enjoyed on-the-go. Further convenience is provided by a handle (molded in the case), as it allows you to carry it effortlessly.

Features

Panel of the Lifan ESI 860i-CA

The ESI 860i-CA's control panel

When the generator is ready, the generator is overloaded and the oil level is too low, you will be informed by the featured light indicators.

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 a user manual to get you promptly started, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA also comes with some accessories: tool kit and battery charging cables are included.

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, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.

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).

  • Weight-wise, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA has only 23 lbs, which renders it one of the lighter generators which produce 500 to 1500 rated watts. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above mentioned power range is the Sportsman GEN1000i, with a dry weight of just 20.3 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 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.
  • The autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its power range, as it reaches only 3 hours at 50% load on a full tank. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Pulsar PG2000, which is able to run for 12 hours.
  • Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. 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 are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.08 GPH, the Ryobi RYi1000 is a device you should look out for.

Price comparison

As you can see from this dynamic chart, when compared to other 500-1500W generators, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Where to buy the Lifan ESI 860i-CA?

You can easily buy your Lifan generator online. You will benefit from a convenient delivery and avoid carrying the heavy package yourself. Here are a few reliable online sellers:
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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% loadN/A

Features

GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationNo
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
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

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 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. Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-866-471-7464.

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