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WEN GN400i Spec Review

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

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Price History
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Price history for the WEN GN400i
Latest updates:
  • $418.20 - April 25, 2021
  • $427.95 - April 8, 2021
  • $428.81 - March 7, 2021
  • $429.67 - February 3, 2021
  • $430.53 - January 2, 2021
  • $431.39 - December 1, 2020
  • $438.56 - November 30, 2020
  • $436.57 - November 29, 2020
Data source: homedepot.com
Since: November 20, 2020
  • Highest Price: $451.99 - November 20, 2020
  • Lowest Price: $418.20 - April 25, 2021

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 a nutshell, the WEN GN400i is a compact and lightweight portable inverter generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • Handcrafting enthusiasts who wish to work on-the-go
  • Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
  • Camping and tailgating hobbyists looking for a portable power source

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 WEN GN400i in use

The WEN GN400i

The WEN GN400i's engine, 212 cc OHV 4-stroke, fueled by gasoline, can deliver 120V. It provides a running wattage of 3500W and reaches a peak wattage of 4000W. Additionally, as the generator is parallel capable (WEN Parallel Connection Kit (opens in a new tab) not included), it can be linked to a second unit for more power.

The inverter generator features a conventional pull-start mechanism. It is rated for a noise of 67 dBA (less noisy than an office).

Thanks to a fuel capacity of 1.85 gallon, the GN400i can operate 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 features the following 3 AC outlets:

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

It also sports 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports with which you may charge electronics, for example mobile phones or tablets, conveniently.

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. The device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.

The 66.1 lbs of the GN400i's dry weight enables you to use it anywhere you will ever need. Furthermore, the open frame of the generator further helps when holding and moving it to a different place.

Features

Panel of the WEN GN400i

The GN400i's control panel

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

A built-in fuel gauge allows for a quick, easy and convenient check of the fuel level of the inverter generator.

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.

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the WEN GN400i, the following accessories are also included: oil, funnel and tool kit.

Emissions

The WEN GN400i is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and therefore, can be used in forested areas.

Product Videos

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).

  • Weight-wise, the WEN GN400i has only 66.1 lbs, which renders it one of the lightest generators which produce 3000 to 4000 rated watts.
  • As this inverter generator can emit noise as low as 67 dBA, it finds itself in the average expected noise for this kind of 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.
  • The GN400i's autonomy is somewhat low end compared to devices of its power range, as it reaches only around 7 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 Honda EB4000X, which is able to run for 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. 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.

Here's a list of the most popular specific comparisons:

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
Peak amps33.3 amps
Run time @50% load7 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
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.

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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 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 homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
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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