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Lifan ESI 860i-CA Spec Review

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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Set an alert for the Lifan ESI 860i-CA - Current lowest price: $192.75
Price History
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Price history for the Lifan ESI 860i-CA
Latest updates:
  • $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
  • $173.30 - December 14, 2020
  • $178.10 - December 11, 2020
  • $168.10 - November 4, 2020
Data source: homedepot.com
Since: August 24, 2020
  • Highest Price: $193.38 - January 8, 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:

  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
  • Amateur DIY lovers

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 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.

With a noise rating of 58 dBA (less noisy than a quiet suburb), the inverter generator features a simple traditional 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).

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

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

It also sports 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.

Portability

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is an inverter generator and has an encased design of the following dimensions: L14 x W9 x H13 in. Thus, it is more aesthetical than conventional, open frame products. This type of design is the most modern and convenient way to recreationally generate power.

With a weight of only 23 lbs, the ESI 860i-CA may be viewed as a lightweight and portable generator. As it can be moved by a single person without much effort, the generator and its power can be enjoyed on-the-go. This convenience is further enhanced thanks to its handle (molded in the case) that allows you to carry it with ease.

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

From a security standpoint, the product offers an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.

Along the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), useful for starting the generator right away, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA's package also includes these accessories: battery charging cables and tool kit.

Emissions

The Lifan ESI 860i-CA is CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

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

Product Video

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).

  • As for its weight, the Lifan ESI 860i-CA weighs only 23 pounds, making it one of the lighter generators in 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.
  • Since this inverter generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 58 dBA, it can be considered as one of the more quiet of the products generating similar power. For those who are looking for a less noisy device, we suggest the Honda EU1000i. With just 42 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
  • The ESI 860i-CA’s autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its power range, as it reaches only around 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 around 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. This inverter generator has an average fuel consumption among comparably powerful devices, as it reaches 0.13 GPH (gallon per hour) at a 50% load. 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 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 sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeDVD player350350
Radio100100
Cell phone charger2020
Total470 W470 W
For campingRV refrigerator180600
Bug zapper8080
Total260 W680 W
For workElectric fence (25 miles)250250
Bug zapper8080
Total330 W330 W

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