When all you want is a small generator to power up your work tools, your RV’s refrigerator or electronic devices when you are camping, choosing the generator to buy can be confusing. There are dozens of generators capable of handling your work, but you can’t tell exactly which one will provide the best value for you. Do you buy an expensive generator that offers more than you need? If not, you’re probably looking for a reasonably priced product with the most essential features for your needs. The following PowerPro 56101 review below explores the features one of the best rated budget portable generators.
With a maximum 1000 watt capacity, this is not your average emergency portable generator. It is smaller, more suited to handle few appliances and devices. The PowerPro model is owned by the better known WEN brand and comes packed with the following features.
PowerPro 56101 Main Features
WEN makes most of their generators’ engines in China. It’s no different for PowerPro 56101 which features a 2HP 63cc engine. Although small, the engine is able to produce a maximum of 1000 watts and 900 running watts. Now that may not look like a lot of power, but you would be surprised how many contractor tools the generator would be power. For someone who holds small outdoor parties, the 900 watt engine could also be of great service.
Something else worth noting about this engine, however, is that it’s a 2 stroke engine. Fuel used for the generator must be mixed with oil for it to operate. According to PowerPro, you should mix 2.5 oz. of oil for every one gallon. Some online reviewers say the fuel to oil ratio recommended by the manufacturer is quite high, in which case you can consider using less oil for every gallon. Take caution not use too little oil though, as the oil is meant to lubricate engine parts.
Size and Portability
Being a small generator, you can be certain that you will have no problems carrying it around. Its weight is a meager 36 pounds, while it measures 12 x 14 x 13.5. Of course, it also features a handle for comfortable holding as you carry it with you. Although it doesn’t always happen, generator experts advise that you avoid placing small generators in direct sunlight for too long. This will help prevent overheating.
This PowerPro model is one of the quietest gas powered portable generators you can find on the market. It produces noise at an estimated 60 decibels when placed at a 20 feet distance although some online reviewers report it’s noisier than 60 decibels. All the same, its estimated noise production level is the average noise a typical human conversation produces.
Similar to many low budget generators, the PowerPro generator relies on the conventional recoil system to crank its engine. Although that’s a common scenario, it should be noted that the generator’s recoil is plastic made and can break easily. In fact, most of the negative comments online reviewers have about the generator have to do with the durability of the recoil. If you decide to buy the portable generator, ensure that you replace the recoil with a more durable system.
Ease of Maintenance
PowerPro 56101 may only be a small portable generator, but it asks for maintenance too. Take care of it by mixing oil with fuel proportionally, checking and replacing the air filter and cleaning it for better durability. Luckily, you don’t have much maintenance work while using the portable generator, but it’s important to check all its important parts and replace the worn out areas for a better service life.
Power Outlets and Control Panel
The generator has two main types of power outlets: a 5-20R 120V outlet to help you power typical tools and a 12V for charging such tools as a car battery. There are no limitations as to what you can use these power outlets for, however, as long as the appliance or tools that need to be powered require minimal wattage. Its control, on the other hand, is minimalistic. It’s located on one side of the machine, showing the voltmeter, circuit breaker, and the power outlet prongs.
Value for money
You could buy a lot of items with $130, but this generator’s features provide great value in the long run. If you are a contractor who needs to power up tools on the go, such a small portable generator is a must have.
Design and Build
The PowerPro model is a small compact machine. Most of its parts are made from plastic to keep its costs down, but with good maintenance, it promises great durability. Of course, you must replace the recoil and constantly take care of it through maintenance, but this is after all what makes a generator durable.
PowerPro 56101 Pros and Cons
- Small and portable. The portable generator is small and light enough to help you carry it around wherever you go. Its comfortable handle and support pads further make it comfortable to carry and place anywhere you are working.
- Eco-friendly. One of the best aspects about the generator is that it meets EPA and CARB certifications.
- Fuel Efficient. Although small, the PowerPro utilizes one gallon of fuel for up to 5 hours. Normal portable generators can use 4 gallons of fuel in the same amount of time.
- Affordability. Even though it compromises on several features, its $130 price is better than you’ll get for most generators with its capability.
- Features a voltmeter to help you manage power usage properly.
- Weak recoil system. The plastic recoil provided for the generator reportedly does not last for long.
- Only features one 120V outlet.
- When idle, the portable generator can be too loud.
- Can handle very few appliances.
The PowerPro 56101 is a small 2 stroke generator best suited for someone with minimal power needs. But if its portable design and 900 watts production capability can meet your needs, there are many good reasons to buy it. Its price to start with is more than reasonable. You will conveniently like its handle, and not to forget that you need little maintenance for it. And as noted in our PowerPro 56101 review above, this portable generator is perfect for camping.