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WEN DF400i Spec Review

The WEN DF400i is a quiet and compact dual fuel inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3200 W and a starting wattage of 4000 W.

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Description

Zoom on the WEN DF400i

In a nutshell, the WEN DF400i is a quiet and compact portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
  • Amateur DIY lovers
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source

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

With its dual-fuel technology, the powerful and versatile WEN DF400i provides an output of 120V. While gasoline-powered, it gives a running wattage of 3200W along with a peak wattage of 4000W. While propane-powered, it provides 2900 rated watts and 3200 starting watts. In addition, the device is parallel capable (parallel kit not included) and thus, can be linked to a similar or compatible unit for added power.

WEN’s Auto Fuel Selection technology automatically selects the fuel source (LPG or gasoline) depending on availability and prioritizes LPG. Thus, if a propane tank with enough LPG is connected, the generator will automatically use LPG. If no propane tank is connected, or if there is not enough LPG remaining in the tank, the generator will use gasoline.

Enjoying a noise rating of 58 dBA (less noisy than a refrigerator), this inverter generator can be started thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism, but also to a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included).

Regarding its running time, the DF400i, with a 2.2 gallons fuel capacity can operate for around 8.5 hours at 50% load with a full tank of gasoline (fuel consumption around 0.26 GPH). When using propane, it can run for around 9 hours (on a 20 lbs tank - propane consumption around 0.52 GPH).

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the DF400i produces a clean sine wave, with a <1.2% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 3 AC outlets:

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

Additionally, it features 3 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports with which charging of electronics like mobile phones and tablets is made convenient and a 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style) receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.

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

Portability

As the WEN DF400i is an inverter generator, its encased design (L23.2 x W18 x H20.1 in) offers more aesthetics than a conventional, open frame product. This type of design is the most modern and convenient way to recreationally generate power.

Even though this device may be technically portable (as in movable), manipulation and transportation without special equipment can be a challenge, as it weighs 100 pounds. Nevertheless, it can still be moved quite conveniently with the help of its set of 2 wheels and its folding handle, once it is placed on the ground.

Features

Panel of the WEN DF400i

The DF400i's control panel

To help you monitor the DF400i's status and activity, its control panel is equipped with a digital data center, giving you information on the lifetime run hours, power output, fuel level and voltage.

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

The fuel level of the inverter generator can be determined quickly, easily, and conveniently with the help of its built-in fuel gauge.

The fuel shutoff feature turns off the flow of fuel, allowing for the DF400i to use up the remaining fuel from the carburetor before automatically shutting down. This helps fight the build-up and blockages caused by stagnant fuel inside of the carburetor, minimizing maintenance while prolonging the unit’s lifespan.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the WEN DF400i, the following accessories are also included: tool kit, funnel and propane hose.

Emissions

The WEN DF400i 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 Videos

The WEN DF400i versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the WEN DF400i compare to generators of similar power (between 2500 and 3500 W).

  • With a dry weight of 100 pounds, the WEN DF400i finds itself in the expected weight range for generators able to produce between 2500 and 3500 rated watts. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Generac GP3300i, with a dry weight of only 59.5 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 EU3000iS. With just 50 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
  • The DF400i's autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its power range, as it reaches only around 8.5 hours at 50% load on a full tank. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Predator 4375, with around 16 hours.
  • While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. This inverter generator, with an estimated fuel consumption of just 0.26 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, is one of the more fuel efficient generators, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Westinghouse iGen4200, with a fuel consumption of 0.17 GPH could be in your good books.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 2500-3500W generators, the WEN DF400i 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
  • Electric start
  • Parallel capable
  • Dual Fuel
  • Auto Fuel Selection technology
  • Inverter
  • Quiet for its power (58 dBA)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent weight (100 lbs)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No remote start
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the WEN DF400i 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
FuelDual Fuel (gasoline/propane)
Engine212 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Power
 GasolinePropane
Running watts3200 W2900 W
Starting watts4000 W3200 W
Running amps26.7 amps24.2 amps
Peak amps33.3 amps26.7 amps
Run time @50% load8.5 h9 h
Run time @25% loadUnknownUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets
  • 1x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 1x 120V 30A (TT-30R)
DC outlets2x 5V USB port
1x 12V 8A (cigarette lighter style)
Data centerPower output, fuel level, lifetime run hours and voltage
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tank2.2 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight100 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)23.2 x 18 x 20.1 in
Noise (lower limit)58 dBA
THD< 1.2%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
Accessories includedFunnel, tool kit, propane hose, and battery
Warranty2 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.

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About WEN

WEN Products, founded by Nick Anton in 1951, is an American power tool manufacturer and distributor, which claims to have a part in the development of modern chainsaw, soldering devices and wet sharpeners, through its research in random orbital technology. The Illinois based company expanded its distribution network to include various power tools, such as presses, drills and of course, power generators. As a distributor, WEN’s portfolio largely consists of branded products of different manufacturers, imported from Asia.

Warranty Information

The WEN DF400i is covered under a warranty for up to 2 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of WEN generators, please consult WEN's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-847-429-9263.

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 homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Freezer8101750
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2557 W3557 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Radiant heater13001300
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total2545 W3135 W
For workGrinder14002500
Belt sander11502400
Total2550 W3800 W

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