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WEN GN400i Spec Review

The WEN GN400i is a compact and lightweight open frame portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 3500 W and a starting wattage of 4000 W.

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Picture 1 of the WEN GN400i
Picture 2 of the WEN GN400i
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Picture 4 of the WEN GN400i
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Price history for the WEN GN400i
Latest updates:
  • $449.70 - September 4, 2020
  • $448.74 - August 25, 2020
  • $448.73 - August 24, 2020
Data source: homedepot.com
Since: August 24, 2020
  • Highest Price: $449.70 - September 4, 2020
  • Lowest Price: $448.73 - August 24, 2020

Description

Remember when you had clean and quiet portable power? The WEN 4,000-Watt Inverter Generator provides clean energy, free of voltage spikes and drops, at approximately half the noise level of a standard generator. Our 212cc 4-stroke OHV engine produces up to 4000 surge watts and 3500 rated watts of power. Designed to mirror a pure sine wave, this generator limits total harmonic distortion to under 0.3 percent at no load and under 1.2 percent at full load, making it safe to run laptops, cellphones, monitors, tablets and other sensitive electronics. (source: WEN (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the WEN GN400i

In summary, the WEN GN400i is a compact and lightweight portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • 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
  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go

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 WEN GN400i in use

The WEN GN400i

The WEN GN400i houses a 212 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 3500W along with a peak wattage of 4000W. In addition, as it is parallel capable (WEN Parallel Connection Kit (opens in a new tab) not included), this power can be doubled when linked to another similar or compatible unit.

At a noise rating of 67 dBA (less noisy than an office), the inverter generator is started via a simple traditional pull-start mechanism.

With a fuel capacity of 1.85 gallon, the GN400i may run for around 7 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.26 GPH).

Sensitive electronics can be safely plugged in the AC outlets, as the GN400i 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

In addition, it provides 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports with which charging of electronics like mobile phones and tablets is made convenient.

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

Portability

The dimensions of the WEN GN400i, which are L19.8 x W13.8 x H18.9 in, and its typical, open frame design provides stability and enables the generator to be raised above ground level. This type of design is ideal for tough environments and heavy outdoor use.

As the GN400i's weight is only 66.1 lbs, it can follow you and your power needs anywhere. Additionally, the generator’s mobility is also improved by its open frame design, as it can be easily grabbed and shifted.

Features

Panel of the WEN GN400i

The GN400i's control panel

The light indicators show you if the generator is on overload, the generator is ready and its oil levels are insufficient.

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 GN400i 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.

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.

Apart from the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which lets you start it right away, the WEN GN400i also is packed along with the following accessories: tool kit, funnel and oil.

Emissions

The WEN GN400i is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

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

Product Video

The WEN GN400i versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the WEN GN400i compare to generators of similar power (between 3000 and 4000 W).

  • As for its weight, the WEN GN400i weighs only 66.1 pounds, making it one of the lightest generators in the 3000-4000 rated wattage category.
  • Because this inverter generator emits noise as low as 67 dBA, it can be considered to have a pretty average expected noise rating for a device of its power. If noise emissions are one of your priorities, you may be interested in the Cat INV4000E, one of the least noisy generators similarly powerful as this one, rated for 51 dBA.
  • As far as autonomy is concerned, providing around 7 hours of runtime with a full tank at a 50% load, the GN400i falls into the low end in comparison with other devices of a comparable power output. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Honda EB4000X, which is able to run for around 16 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. At an estimated fuel consumption of 0.26 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, this inverter generator is a rather fuel efficient one within its wattage category. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.17 GPH, the Westinghouse iGen4200 is a device you should look out for.
According to our stats, the following comparison is pretty popular: WEN GN400i vs WEN 56380i.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 3000-4000W generators, the WEN GN400i 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
  • RV Ready
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (66.1 lbs)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Acceptable noise (67 dBA)
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • No electric start
  • Relatively low run time

Do you own the WEN GN400i 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
Engine212 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts3500 W
Starting watts4000 W
Running amps29.2 amps
Peaks amps33.3 amps
Run time @50% load7 h
Run time @25% loadN/A
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
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankSteel, 1.85 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight66.1 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)19.8 x 13.8 x 18.9 in
Noise (lower limit)67 dBA
THD< 1.2%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralFloating
Accessories includedOil, funnel and tool kit
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.

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 GN400i 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 homeAC (10,000 BTU)15002200
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Vacuum cleaner10751175
Cell phone charger2020
Total2787 W3787 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Electric fry pan15001500
Radio100100
Total2790 W3380 W
For workGrinder14002500
Demolition hammer12601260
Bug zapper8080
Total2740 W3840 W
Does this model have a fuel shutoff? (Asked February 26, 2020)

This model has a manual fuel shutoff. There's a valve that you can turn to the OFF position in order to let the generator run until the fuel is used up.

Does the Wen 400i has electric start? (Asked September 07, 2020)

The unit is recoil start only.

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