Sometimes, you need something simple that can power one or two appliances on the go. At 39 lbs, the WEN 56105 is one of the lightest portable generators on the market, making it perfect for on-the-go applications. It keeps weight low by using a two-stroke engine and providing just one power outlet. This portable generator is perfect for packing with your tool kit or for tailgating.
What Can it Power?
The 56105 has a peak output of 1,000 watts, and can provide 900 watts of sustained power. WEN recommends limiting loads to 810 watts to extend the life of the engine. That’s equal to 8.3 amps of peak power, 7.5 amps of sustained power, and a recommended 6.75 amps of sustained power.
Like other portable generators in this class, the 56105 does not have a pure sine wave inverter. That means the power coming from the outlet is “dirty,” with fluctuations in voltage and frequency. While this is fine for most appliances, it can burn out circuitry in electronics, including computers and TVs.
The peak output helps the generator handle brief reactive loads from electric motors. This added power, required on start-up, usually isn’t listed on equipment. A good rule of thumb is to add an extra 20% to the stated power requirements for small devices.
This portable generator has enough power for handheld tools, a small circular saw, or smaller fixed tools like drill presses. The 56105 is a great choice if you want something easy to carry for portable power, whether you're working on new construction or making remote repairs.
Want portable power for your next tailgate? This portable generator should have no problem powering a four cup coffee maker, slow cooker, or a small blender. Power demands from hot plates and professional-grade blenders are just over this generator’s maximum output.
Using an extension cord increases electrical resistance. However, you should be able to use the generator’s total available power with a using a 16 gauge extension cord up to 100 feet.
Setting Up the WEN 56105
Assembly and setup is easy. The only part to add is a carrying handle, which attaches with two bolts and two washers. WEN also includes a spark plug wrench and a measuring cup for adding two-stroke oil to gasoline. Oil and gas needs to be thoroughly mixed before use, so it’s a good idea to buy a fuel container just for this portable generator.
While the frame is grounded, WEN recommends adding a ground connection when using the 56105. To do this, you’ll need to connect a grounding rod with 12 gauge or thicker wire to the grounding nut on the frame. This rod is not included.
From the factory, the carburetor is tuned to work at altitudes below 3,000 feet. WEN offers a high altitude kit with a jet for use at 3,000-6,000 feet, and one for use at 6,000 to 8,000 feet. The company doesn't recommend using this portable generator above 8,000 feet.
The foam air filter element is shipped dry. It needs to be soaked in clean oil before use.
Using This Generator
Since the engine in this portable generator is a two-stroke, it's lubricated by oil added to the fuel. WEN recommends the following oils:
- NMMA TC-W2 or TC-W3 marine two stroke oil
- JASO FB or FC motorcycle two stroke oil
This oil needs to be blended with the fuel at a 50:1 ratio, or 2.5 oz. of oil per gallon. WEN includes a measuring cup for adding oil to fuel, and bottles sized for one or two gallon fuel containers are readily available. The gas tank holds exactly one gallon of fuel.
Two-stroke engines are more sensitive to stale fuel than four strokes. This portable generator’s engine can run on fuel containing up to 10% ethanol, and it needs to be used within 30 days of purchase. If a fuel stabilizer is added, the gas can be used up to 60 days after purchase. Two-stroke oils made for use in chainsaws and other small engine equipment often come pre-mixed with a stabilizer.
The engine has a recoil starter and a manual choke. Thanks to its small displacement, turning over the engine is easy. The generator needs 5 minutes of warm up time before being used to power appliances.
Appliances can be plugged directly into the outlet, but you’ll probably want an extension cord to split the power between outlets and stay away from the noise and fumes of the engine.
This portable generator is rated at 95 dB at 13 feet (4 meters) away when running at 100% load. That’s about as loud as a lawn mower, and just quiet enough to meet California’s (AB) 1824 noise ordinance. WEN doesn’t offer test numbers for partial load, but owners often report how surprisingly quiet it is in normal use.
Users can expect the 56105 to run about 5 hours at 50% load using one tank of gas. WEN recommends shutting off the generator and letting it cool for two minutes before refueling.
Thanks to the 56105’s two-stroke engine, maintenance is simple. The oil is in the fuel, so there’s no oil to change, and the engine also doesn’t have valves that require adjustment by a professional mechanic. Here’s the maintenance schedule:
The foam filter can be reused multiple times. It just needs to be washed in soap and water, then soaked in clean oil. Specialty air filter oil can be used, but WEN says it’s also fine to soak the filter in the same oil that is mixed with the fuel.
The carburetor has a drain screw, making it easy to empty after running the generator. For long-term storage, WEN recommends starting the engine after draining to remove the last bit of fuel. WEN recommends running the generator once per month for at least 15 minutes to keep the fuel in the carburetor fresh. The tank is designed so that it can be unbolted from frame, letting you drain it without having to tip the entire generator or try to run a hose from the fuel valve.
While two-strokes have a reputation for polluting, this portable generator is both CARB and EPA compliant. It also comes with a spark arrester from the factory. This means it’s legal to use almost anywhere, including wilderness areas.
Warranty and Support
There are a lot of no-name portable generators on the market with a similar design. After all, there are only so many ways you can put together a generator that meets the size and emissions requirements of this device. However, where WEN really stands out is its customers service. Their U.S.-based customer hotline open on weekdays, and the company has service centers across the country.
WEN guarantees the 56105 for two years or 500 operating hours when used by consumers. Commercial users are covered for 90 days or 500 hours.
Summary: Handy if Your Portable Power Needs are Small
The WEN 56105 is light enough that you don’t need to think twice about carrying it with you. This makes it perfect for throwing in the back of your truck when you need to power a tool or two at a job site, or if you want to run a small appliance when tailgating. If you are interested in other portable generators on the market you can read our reviewed selections at https://constantpower.org/best-portable-generator-reviews/.
- One of the lightest, most compact portable generators on the market.
- Easy maintenance
- Backed with U.S.-based factory support and a local dealer network
- Requires pre-mixed fuel
- Can’t be used to power electronics(eg: computers, phones, tvs)