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Review of the WEN 56475 Open Frame Portable Generator

4750 Starting Watts, 3750 Running Watts on Gasoline

Electric Start: Yes

Weight: 112.5lbs

Noise: 67dB


Should You Buy It?

This is a popular generator offering reasonable amounts of power, and many owners recommend it as a good choice when it's available. 

It's also equipped with an electric start, which many prospective buyers want or need. And compared to some of the more premium brands, it's very affordable.

So yes, this should be on your shopping list of potential buys if and when you can find it.

Key Points about the WEN 56475

Lots of satisfied customers
Electric start
Digital information display
An affordable choice
Deficient Customer Service
Dealing with warranty complaints
Quality control problems
Quite heavy

Overview of the Generator

We have here a medium powered and competitively priced open frame generator with an electric start from WEN. It's a fairly compact unit that's good for job site work, powering an RV and on camping trips, and for some useful home backup in an emergency.

Controls and Features

WEN-56475-Control-Panel variant

There can be some minor differences in the control panel, as illustrated above, but all of them include a digital display showing an accumulated run time to help you manage maintenance schedules. There are also LEDs for low oil, operational readiness, and overload. 

This model comes with a battery as standard to power the keyless electric starter. You also have a recoil cord with which you can get it going if for any reason the electric starter is not working. A low oil sensor shuts the engine down to protect it from damage if the level is too low, and you can't start it until you've filled it up.

There is no fuel shutoff included with this model. You therefore must drain the carburetor (and some even say the fuel tank) before storing the generator for any length of time. This is important because fuel goes bad quite quickly causing blockages that prevent you from getting the generator going, probably just when you need it. Many portable generator owners recommend the use of ethanol-free gasoline and the addition of a fuel stabilizer, and we've put together some information on what these are and what they do.

For equipment connection, it includes 2x120v receptacles (standard household 5-20R), 1x30 Amp 3-prong receptacle (L5-30), and 1x120v RV receptacle (TT-30R).

As it's EPAIII Certified and CARB Compliant you can use the generator in all 50 states. And it can be used safely in National Parks and camping grounds as it comes equipped with a spark arrestor.

In terms of operating time it can run for up to 10 hours at 50% load on its 4-gallon fuel tank.

WEN offer a 2-year warranty on all their inverter generators.

Here you can read the WEN 56475 manual.

Power Output

The generator is powered by a 223cc OHV engine producing 4750 starting watts and 3750 running watts.

An automatic voltage regulator and overload protection goes some way to protect your electronic devices. But this generator is not an inverter and cannot be compared with the protection provided by that technology. Most advise the use of a UPS/line conditioner before connecting equipment that incorporates sensitive electronics to avoid potential damage from spikes and surges in the output.

Be aware that altitude can have an impact on the amount of output any generator can deliver, so if necessary take into account the altitude of where you live or plan on using the generator.

Also, you should not operate any portable generator at its full rated value for long periods, never mind 24/7. Best not to exceed 75% to 90% for a longer engine life, so bear all of this in mind when doing your calculations over how much power you will need from your generator.


This open frame model weighs 112.5lbs. It includes no-flat rear wheels and a foldable handle to help in moving it from place to place. The no-flat wheels are intended to combat the problem of pneumatics deflating over time. But in practice a lot of owners discover too late that the no-flat wheels develop permanent flat spots when left standing for extended periods. For this reason some owners replace them with the pneumatic type or find a way of propping the unit up to take the weight off the wheels.

Noise Level

The generator has no pretensions of being quiet, having a noise level of 67dB when idle and 74dB under full load. 

Published levels don't really mean much until you stand close to a generator, and that has become increasingly difficult nowadays. And as there are no established standards for taking such measurements most manufacturers do it their own way, making like for like comparisons more difficult.

What Most Buyers Like

This is a popular generator with most owners recommending it to others because of its ease of assembly, electric start, and affordability. But a few of these recommendations are from buyers who admit they haven't yet used it.

WEN supply buyers of this model with everything they need to get it going for the first time, except fuel.

What Some Buyers Like Less

Some generators seem to have been mishandled during transit, possibly due to their weight. This has resulted in damage, including to the engine mounts.

A few say the noise level is higher than the 67dB advertised. And at least one owner thinks the generator doesn't produce its advertised power output. Other complaints include how awkward the oil fill is, and the lack of an automatic choke.

Surge Wattage 4750
Rated Wattage 3750
Rated Voltage120V
Rated Amperage31.25A
Engine Type4-stroke OHV single cylinder
Cooling System Forced air
Fuel Tank4 Gallons (15L)
Oil Capacity17 fl. Oz
Run Time 50% Load11 Hours
Noise Idle67dB
Noise Full Load74dB
L/W/H (inches)26.6x17.1x17.3