The Böhmer-AG W4500i 2000W/1700W inverter generator has been attracting a lot of attention. It is remarkably cheap for the technology offered. A petrol generator, fitted with a pure sine wave inverter, has many advantages. The greatest of which is the low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). It will not damage sensitive electronic equipment, like computers. This review intends to reveal if this affordable machine can hold its own in a competitive market. We’ll also be reviewing the Hyundai P4000i and Briggs & Stratton P2400 as viable alternatives.
Before reviewing the Böhmer-AG W4500i, I did some extensive research into the generator and the brand. I have to admit, I was not too well informed at the start. I’ve read a lot of fantastic reviews, rating the Böhmer-AG W4500i as the best inverter generator. I can’t entirely agree with this. However, I should make it clear from the very beginning, this is possibly the best 2000W inverter generator for its price. The technology is world-class, and the quality standard is quite remarkable for this calibre of portable generator.
The Böhmer-AG brand has led many to believe that this is a German machine. Alas it is, like so many similar products, a Chinese generator. It wasn’t easy to uncover the origins of the Böhmer-AG W4500i. I was not, however, deterred by this. Donning my investigative reporter hat, I set about to discover the truth behind the name. After the Böhmer-AG W4500i review, you can read my findings on the matter.
CONSIDER : Briggs & Stratton P2400 — Brilliant Design!
I have to say that the Hyundai P4000i is personal favourite of the inverter generators featured in this review. It’s much more expensive than the Böhmer-AG W4500i but is more than twice as powerful. For the wattage it supplies, the Hyundai generator is incredible value for money. I have, over the years, developed immense respect for Hyundai as a manufacturer of quality affordable cars. They seem to be set to do the same in the portable generator market. You just have to look at the meteoric rise of Hyundai cars from obscurity to worldwide recognition to appreciate what I mean.
The Briggs & Stratton P2400 also has its virtues. This is one of the top-sellers from the American brand. For a realistic comparison between these three affordable inverter generators, I’ll be providing a full and detailed review of each product.
Review : Böhmer-AG W4500i (Camo)
- 24 Month Warranty – free to call UK based technical support line
- Low Emissions, Compatible with our Planet – featuring economy mode to automatically control the throttle, reducing fuel consumption
- Copper Wound Motor – offering unparalleled power and current stability
- Pure sine wave Inverter Generator – giving uninterrupted power suitable for sensitive electronics & digital equipment
- Your Power Supply – two 240V 3 pin UK plug outputs and a 12V DC output to suit a variety of power supply needs
- 2000W Startup / 1700W Constant Output
- 6 Hours (max) Run Time on a Single Tank of Fuel
- Two AC 240V UK 3 Pin Plugs
- Ultra Quiet Rated at 59dB
- Pure Sine Wave Output
- Economy Mode
- Gen-III Recoil Starter
- Dimensions 480 x 290 x 415 mm / Weight 21.5kg
Compact, quiet portable inverter generators, like the Böhmer-AG W4500i, have become all the rage amongst caravan owners. Traditionally, petrol generators have been the bane of campsites with noisy, smoke belching engines. The dawn the of quiet, low-emission, inverter generators has changed all that. While the Böhmer-AG W4500i is not the quietest generator on the market, it is rated by the manufacturers at 59dB. I’m guessing that this is lowest noise level, possibly reaching around 65dBA when running at full power. From a reasonable distance, the Böhmer-AG W4500i should not upset the neighbours.
With its camouflage detailing, the Böhmer-AG W4500i looks as though it is ready to take on a warzone, like Afghanistan or Manchester. This gives one the impression that it is ready for any challenge, even in the harshest of environments. Though this is more of a fashion statement. Which is fine by me. Why not have the meanest looking generator in the campsite?
The plastic enclosure looks to be fairly durable, I’m sure this generator can take quite a few knocks and emerge none the worse for wear. Though, I would not rate the Böhmer-AG W4500i as a heavy-duty, industrial type generator. It is a wonderful machine for home backup power and camping. The power outlets have weatherproof protective covers, as do the switches. This is most certainly a worthy outdoor generator. Though, like any portable generator, it’s not safe to use, unprotected, in rain or snow.
The 3HP engine is well-engineered. A reliable and efficient powerplant, meeting all modern emission standards. This is an environmentally friendly generator. Fuel economy is quite reasonable, providing a respectable runtime – up to 6-hours from the 4-liter petrol tank. This is the best runtime specification offered by the manufacturer, meaning that power output would need to be less than 25%, with the economy mode engaged to achieve this type of fuel economy. If you’re using around 50% of the maximum power output, an average load of 850W, you should expect approximately 3 – 4 hours runtime from a full tank. Not the best, but perfectly fine for most of us.
The alternator is also of a higher standard than would expect from a cheap generator, with copper windings. Power generation capacity is 2000W peak, with 1700W continuous running power. AC power is supplied to the outlets by a pure sine wave inverter, which guarantees clean power, with low harmonic distortion. A great benefit if you use electronic devices. These days, just about everything we use has some form of electronic circuitry, making an inverter generator almost essential for safe portable power. Another benefit of using an inverter is the option to engage the economy mode, activated by a switch on the user panel. This lowers the engine speed (RPM) when power demand is less than 25% of the rated output. If you’re only using 425W, or less, the economy mode will reduce your fuel consumption and the generator will be quieter.
The Böhmer-AG W4500i is perfect as far as portability is concerned. The generator weighs only 21.5Kg and has a strong handle at the top. To achieve this easy to carry weight, some sacrifices are necessary. As a result, there is no electric starter. Eliminating a starter motor and battery helps keep the weight reasonable and trims a few pounds from the price. I don’t feel that this is much of a disadvantage. The Generation III recoil starter is superb, and the engine starts easily, with little effort from you. An on/off switch, and fuel shut-off dial on the front panel, with a manual choke directly adjacent to it, keeps the starting procedure simple and convenient.
Power outlets consist of 2 X 240V 3-pin UK plugs and a 12VDC battery charging port. Since the Böhmer-AG W4500i is one of the best generators for camping and boats, the inclusion of a 12V outlet is most welcome. It means you can charge your deep cycle leisure batteries directly from the generator. No need for an additional battery charger. As a modern, fully compliant portable generator, safety is paramount. The generator is protected from a current overload, and low engine oil.
I can conclude by saying that the Böhmer-AG W4500i is a worthy competitor in the more affordable home and leisure generator market. I would not attempt to compare it to high-end products, like Honda or Yamaha. This should be obvious, inverter generators from the top brands cost considerably more than this one. The general quality standard has exceeded my expectations. Given that I’m not that partial to cheap generators, this statement should not be taken lightly. You have the backing of a 2-year warranty, offering good peace of mind. For about 430-quid (on Amazon), you’re getting a lot of generator for your money. Ironically, the Amazon price for the Böhmer-AG W4500i is a little cheaper than official Böhmer-AG retailer, Union Mart.
The Böhmer-AG Brand
Finding the origins behind the Böhmer-AG W4500i portable generator was quite a challenge. The Böhmer-AG brand seems to be somewhat of an enigma. Trying the obvious internet searches revealed no results. First, I tried searching the Böhmer-AG brand, followed by Böhmer-AG company. Finally, in desperation, I tried searching “where are Böhmer-AG generators made?”. The closest I got to any kind of real answer was the Union Mart website.
After many frustrating attempts, and countless pages of internet search results, I decided to take a look at the Böhmer-AG W4500i instruction manual. Here I found a few thinly disguised clues as to who owns the Böhmer-AG brand, and where the generators are made.
At the bottom of the last page of the instruction manual, I saw the manufacturer listed as Union Mart, with an address for a commercial estate in Eastleigh. Knowing very well that Union Mart is a retailer, not a manufacturer, I was not satisfied with this information. The only clue I could find, as to where Böhmer-AG generators are made, was when I checked the industry accreditation for international compliance. The notified body is listed as China National Accreditation Service of Conformity Assessment (CNAS). This is a clear indication that Böhmer-AG generators are made in China. The good news, obtained from this discovery, is that Böhmer-AG is certified with every conceivable safety and compliance standard. This put my mind at ease, to a certain degree, that this is not a second-rate machine parading as a top-class German engineered marvel of modern technology.
While I don’t have any real issue with Chinese-made products, I feel that this approach is all a little cloak and dagger. Why go to such lengths to hide the true identity of a product? Seriously? A German name, manufacturer address in the UK, and the product is actually imported from China.
Other than a personal objection to their attempt to mislead us, I’m not going to write the Böhmer-AG W4500i off simply because it is made in China. The German-sounding name is pure marketing trickery. I have to give them some credit for this. At first, I was, like so many, fooled into believing this was a German brand. Though, even genuine German brands are not entirely German-made anymore. A Mercedes-Benz may have many parts proudly labelled “Made in Germany”. Most of the less obvious components are made in China, then shipped to Germany for final assembly. BMW even has a full manufacturing plant in China. Just about everything we buy is either made in China, or uses components made in China.
Globalisation has changed the way the world does business. Jaguar, once a proud bastion of British industry (ignoring the dark age of British Leyland), is now owned by the Indian company TATA. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have been sold to the Americans. Yes, those who were once the colonised, are now the colonisers. In an economic sense that is.
Britannia no longer rules the waves, and the factories of Europe no longer rule the marketplace. This is a reality of the modern world. Whether we like it or not, China is now the manufacturing hub of the world. We cannot base our opinions regarding the quality of a product entirely on where it is made. Chinese factories produce goods cheaper than we can. That’s a fact we cannot ignore. Some of the ridiculously cheap Chinese-made goods are total rubbish. That’s no to say that all Chinese factories manufacture substandard products.
If I’m going to apply these principles to the Böhmer-AG W4500i, I’d say it’s on the better end of the scale. Not a high-end, top-quality generator. Instead, I’d rate it as a good quality domestic grade generator. Probably a better deal than most of the comparable models from well-known European, Japanese, and American brands in the same price range. Most of which, incidentally, are also made in China. Though the dominant Japanese brands, Honda and Yamaha, tend to stick to their original philosophy. The majority of their engineering, production, and research is done in Japan, with manufacturing facilities in Europe and North America to cater for the specific needs of these regions. This could be a contributing factor to the higher prices associated with these brands. By the same token, these brands have maintained a reputation for the best quality standards.
Review | Hyundai P4000i Inverter Generator
- Powered by the Hyundai IC225D 4-stroke single cylinder air cooled engine, providing a reliable power source.
- POWER : 3800w Starting / 3500w Running
- Run Time (hrs) 12 hrs @ 50% load
- Ideal for : caravans and motorhomes, power your electronics during a power outage, keep your fridge running when the lights go out, camping and much more. Versatile portable clean power.
- Easy To Transport And Store : Symmetrical design allows you to store it easily and transports in the back of a van or car.
- Weighs only 48kg and measures : 630mm x 400mm x520mm. Folding front handle and fixed rear handle. Heavy duty rear wheels.
- Suitable For Power Tools : Designed to cope with extreme inductive loads when using your power tools and electric motors with high startup currents.
- New LCD display makes it easy to monitor the performance of the generator, displaying voltage, frequency, and hour count.
- OUTLETS : two 230v sockets for use with any appliance which use a standard 3-pin 13A UK mains plug, as well as a 12v DC battery charging outlet and a USB port for charging mobile phones and ipads. It’s ideal for a variety of uses.
- CLEAN POWER : Pure sine wave output is safe to run your sensitive electronics
- Popular for large motorhome use and it’s built to be user-friendly with low maintenance requirements.
- Digital overload protection will shut the generator down should the load pass the maximum threshold. Low oil shutdown also turns off the generator if the oil levels drop too far.
- ECO Mode: Lowers the engine speed to match the load being applied.
There is little point conducting a direct price comparison between the Böhmer-AG W4500i and Hyundai P4000i. The Hyundai inverter generator is a vastly more powerful machine, producing an impressive 3800W maximum output and 3600W rated (or running) power.
If we’re going to take a more analytical approach, looking a pound per watt price evaluation, they work out at a similar price. The Hyundai P4000i is a lot more generator for the money. When you look closer at the Hyundai P4000i specifications it becomes evident that this little generator offers a lot more than simply providing extra watts. It has the features of a high-end generator, at a much lower price. Hence my opinion that this is the best value for money portable inverter generator in its class.
The Hyundai brand has come to represent impeccable quality at an affordable price. If we start off by looking at the Hyundai P4000i engine, this notion becomes immediately apparent. The 225cc, OHV engine will make sense to any flat-footed petrol head. It’s a powerful beast, yet perfectly refined. Naturally, this engine meets all the modern requirements for low emission standards and is one of the best in the fuel economy department too. The 12-liter fuel tank is suitably large and, combined with the wonderfully efficient engine, is a great convenience in terms of runtime. At 50% rated load (1800W), the relentless P4000i will keep purring away for 12-hours.
I’m not exaggerating when use the phrase “purring away”. Not only is this a superbly smooth and reliable engine, it’s also blissfully quiet. The wonderfully designed plastic enclosure helps, even further, to make this one of the quietest inverter generators in the world. The rated noise level of 58dB is quite astounding. By comparing this generator to the Böhmer-AG W4500i (once again), we can see how great this feat truly is. The Böhmer-AG generator has a much smaller engine, producing about half the power, yet it’s a little louder than the Hyundai P4000i at 59dB.
From a user-friendly perspective, the Hyundai generator is also exemplary. Starting this machine couldn’t be easier. It has the requisite recoil starter, which you’ll only need to use if the battery runs flat, as it has an electric starter. Even then, using human power is virtually effortless. In the normal course of events, you’ll simply turn the fuel dial to the on position and then press the sporty start button. It has an automatic choke, so there’s one less thing to concern yourself with. This also means that you won’t have the frustration of a flooded engine, which often results from incorrect use of a choke. Though, the automatic choke has a more functional purpose. It allows you to start the engine remotely, even when it’s icy cold. A remote-control fob is included. Pure luxury, no need to go outside to start or stop the gennie.
Personal convenience doesn’t end at the easy starting and remote-control. The Hyundai P4000i has a smart digital interface which includes LED fuel and power output gauges. At a quick glance, you’re able to determine how much petrol is in the tank and how much of the available watts you’re using. A numeric screen displays voltage, frequency, and running hours. Economy mode is available with press of a button and it has another switch to disengage the battery. This makes storing the generator trouble-free. There’s no need to manually disconnect the battery to prevent long term discharge. It also has a battery charging port, making it perfectly simply to charge the internal battery.
If you want to charge your caravan, boat, or vehicle battery, the generator is fitted with an 8A 12VDC outlet and 2 X 5VDC USB ports for charging all your other devices – mobile phones, tablets, even a drone. Ac power is accessible by two, 3-pin 240V UK plugs, with weather-tight plastic covers. Each plug is supplied by a dedicated 15A circuit breaker. If one plug trips, the other will continue to supply power and as similar breaker protects the DC output. Like many inverter generators, this model has ports to connect a parallel connection kit. This makes it possible to double your power output by connecting two Hyundai P4000i generators in tandem.
With its fairly large engine, electric starter motor, onboard battery, and all those extras, you might think the Hyundai to be an extraordinarily heavy generator. Quite the contrary, it has really impressive power to weight ratio at only 48Kg. That’s a hefty weight to lift, though this is pretty powerful generator and that will always increase the weight. For the sake of better portability, the Hyundai P4000i has a retractable handle, much like those you find on suitcases – very convenient. It also has wheels at the rear, making it really easy to lug the generator about. As long as you’re on a relatively even surface. These are not heavy-duty wheels and won’t be of any use on rough terrain.
I believe my enthusiasm for the Hyundai P4000i is warranted. It displays all the traits of a sophisticated, high-end generator. Yet, it is not that expensive, it’s one of the cheapest 3800W inverter generator. To top it off, you have the confidence of buying from a name we’ve come to trust for superb value and reliability. That trust is reinforced by a 2-year warranty.
The Hyundai Brand
We mostly think of Hyundai as a South Korean motor manufacturer that has gone from building cheap cars to becoming one of the top rivals to brands like Toyota and Volkswagen. Few realise the mammoth extent of the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company, which has been in existence since 1947. Post WWII politics in the region is pretty well known. South Korea is one of the heart-warming success stories of cold war South East Asia. This had mostly to do with sound, constructive government policies.
Originally established to promote national growth through construction and civil engineering projects, Hyundai was a government-funded initiative. It went on to become a commercial success and highly profitable. The Hyundai Motor Corporation was a later development, established in 1967.
Having achieved global recognition for their cars, the Hyundai group extended their market presence into portable generators, first targeting the European market, then moving into the incredibly lucrative North American market. Hyundai Power Equipment UK came into existence in 2013.
Though electricity generation is not a new concept for the company. Hyundai has built some of the world’s largest power stations throughout South Korea and other countries in the region. Hyundai has developed extensively over the years and has become a formidable force in the field of research and development.
Review | Briggs & Stratton P2400
CO Guard Carbon Monoxide Shutdown : Advanced CO Detection. Added SAFETY FOR YOU and your FAMILY. This patent-pending technology shuts OFF your generator when DANGEROUS levels of carbon monoxide accumulate in the generator’s operating area.
- Inverter generator technology
- CO Guard Carbon Monoxide Shutdown. Advanced Detection. Added Protection.
- Quiet and fuel efficient 79cc OHV petrol engine produces 2400 starting watts and 1800 running watts in a compact design.
- 8 hour run time at 25% load
- (2) 230V household outlets
- 12V-5A, DC outlet
- USB charger plugs
- Running reset button
The Briggs and Stratton P2400 is probably the closest competitor to the Böhmer-AG W4500i. They are priced at a similar level and are almost equal in size and weight. The Briggs & Stratton generator is little more powerful, providing 2400 starting watts and 1800 running watts. This gives the American generator a slight upper hand.
A few years back, Briggs & Stratton introduced their power series of lightweight, quiet inverter generators. Along with keeping up with times, by offering a low HD power source, the B & S engineers also sought to address some of the issues associated with the brand. A bid has been made to improve reliability and cold weather starting. I wouldn’t say they’ve been entirely successful in this endeavour, but improvements are always welcome.
I’ve helped many a mate get their tired old Briggs & Stratton generator up and running. One thing I have to concede is that these generators seem to go on forever. They never quite give up on you, though sometimes you might want them to. They just seem to become more temperamental as time passes. Sort of like an Alfa Romeo. They need more care as they get older. Considering how cheap they are, I’ve always held quite an affinity for Briggs & Stratton generators. They really are diehard machines, albeit with some nagging issues in their later years. They still outlast most cheap generators by quite a stretch.
Along with engine upgrades, increasing fuel economy and environmental compliance, the Briggs and Stratton P2400 has benefitted from a number of other engineering efforts. The 79cc engine is, for the most part, perfectly reliable. You can expect the possibility of some additional maintenance in the years to come. It is, after all a Briggs & Stratton generator. Though, with the correct care, the plucky little P2400 is going to keep you in good standing for longer than one would expect from a machine this cheap.
It has no problem starting in all types of weather. Like the Böhmer-AG W4500i, this generator does not offer the ease of an electric starter. This also means the same advantage applies in terms weight, it is delightfully portable at only 22.7Kg. It has the additional advantage of a superb “H” shape handle design and an optional wheel kit. The handle, in particular, is a great portability aid. It allows for numerous comfortable positions when lifting and carrying the generator. It’s also possible for two people to carry it with ease.
The fuel tank is slightly smaller than the Böhmer-AG W4500i, at 3.8 litres. Thanks to an incredibly fuel-efficient engine, this is not a problem. The Briggs & Stratton actually has much better runtimes than the Böhmer, providing you with uninterrupted electrical power for around 8-hours at 50% load. Noise levels are quite similar, the Briggs & Stratton P2400 has a sound rating of 58dB and has the same modern noise insulated enclosure. I like the easy access point for checking and filling the oil. A novel feature, unique to Briggs & Stratton, is the CO Guard. Carbon Monoxide sensors will detect when these levels become dangerously high and shut the generator down before harm can be done.
The control panel is fairly comprehensive. Not able to match up to the uber impressive Hyundai P4000i, but offering a little more than the Böhmer-AG W4500i. The two standard 230V 3-pin UK plugs are a given, with the obligatory circuit breaker to prevent damage from an overload or short circuit. It also includes a 12V battery charging port and a USB port. Like the Hyundai generator, the Briggs and Stratton P2400 also has the advantage of parallel connectivity for increased power output.
In the final analysis, I’ll say that the Briggs & Stratton P2400 is a prime contender in the best value small inverter generator race. It is the perfect companion for caravanning holidays, or any outdoor activity requiring portable power. If you need electricity at home, during an emergency, this little bombshell will keep the basics powered up with safe inverter power. Briggs & Stratton offer the best warranty of the three, being 3-years as opposed to 2-years for the other generators in this review.
The Briggs & Stratton Brand
Americans love their generators. It’s little wonder that Briggs & Stratton (BASCO), along with numerous other US brands, is one of the largest power equipment manufacturers in the world. Though generators are but a small part of a wide range outdoor power equipment manufactured by this industrial giant. They also own numerous other brands, supplying a diverse range of products from fridges to agricultural equipment.
The B & G history dates back to 1908. Starting out as a small, informal partnership, eventually evolving into the global corporation that we know today. Initially, Briggs and Stratton was focused on agricultural equipment. Wartime economy saw the company grow through developing technology for military applications.
The 1950’s was the time of the great American boom. This was when Briggs & Stratton, like so many US companies, truly came into their own. Rapid suburban expansion meant that petrol lawnmowers and other outdoor power equipment experienced ever increasing demand. Briggs and Stratton were ready to meet this challenge by developing the first lightweight aluminum engine in 1953. This placed at the forefront of a growing market.
The company continued to evolve and research new innovations, gathering numerous trademarks and patents along the way. One of their best-known achievements has to be the lo-tone muffler (or silencer), which revolutionized the petrol-powered garden tool market with dramatic noise reduction.
Today, Briggs and Stratton are a global manufacturer and supplier of domestic, commercial, and industrial equipment. They are best known for providing affordable generators, lawnmowers, and similar power products.