For anyone looking to buy an affordable 6000W portable generator, the WEN GN6000 is worth considering. This size generator provides a wonderfully versatile balance between power output and portability. The WEN GN6000 has the watts to supply most of our requirements for home, outdoor, RV, and jobsite electricity.
A generator producing 5000 running watts and 6000 peak watts can be quite expensive. They are portable, but not exactly lightweight. Regardless of what you’re paying, there will be certain specs and features that make one more desirable than another. When your budget is less than $600, there are several options, not all equal. If we ignore the unknown generator brands, you’ll most likely be comparing the WEN GN6000 to similar products from Champion, Westinghouse, or Briggs & Stratton. After a quick price comparison between these brands, the WEN 6000W generator is the cheapest. Prices will vary, this is just a basic overview of generator prices.
When a generator is cheaper than its rivals, the question always becomes about quality. Is it worth buying the cheapest option? Often, the cheapest means some sort of compromise. The cheaper generator may not be as durable, or it may be lacking in certain features that the generator buyer considers to be important. To give you an idea of what your alternatives are, I’ll also be reviewing the Westinghouse WGen6000 and Champion 100519 generators. This will provide a reasonable comparison as to what you can expect from the WEN GN6000.
►More Power, Better Value — Westinghouse WGen9500 (read review)
Of the three generators we’ll be reviewing, the WEN model is the cheapest but may not hold up to everyone’s expectations. WEN generators have a reputation of being a bit rough around the edges. They tend to be noisy clunkers and not as refined as some of their more expensive competitors. In this regard, the WEN GN6000 bucks many of the expected trends. It is, surprisingly, the quietest of the three generators featured in this review. This model has impressed me with its reasonable fuel consumption. It is a modern machine, certainly a notch up the scale when compared to many of the smaller WEN generators. Though, the other two generators have several attributes to justify a higher price tag.
In the more affordable generator market, my first choice is usually Westinghouse. These generators tend to display the highest level of durability and some quite remarkable engineering. When comparing the Westinghouse WGen6000 to the WEN GN6000, I’m leaning toward the Westinghouse generator. Perhaps this is just a personal thing, I’ve great admiration for the brand. The Westinghouse generator is a good deal more powerful than the others featured here. It has the largest and, probably, the most durable engine of the three. It is, however, considerably more expensive than the WEN generator. If budget is your number one priority, the WEN GN6000 is going to be the one to go for.
The Champion (100519) 6250W Digital Hybrid generator has a distinct advantage here. This is one of the cheapest inverter generators per watt and Champion has a petty solid reputation in the medium duty domestic generator market. Though it is, by far, the most expensive when compared to the Westinghouse and WEN generators.
Before deciding which generator to buy, I suggest you read the reviews provided below. I’ll be scrutinizing every aspect and specification of each model. As always, I’ll offer my own insight and opinions which may (or may not) be of value when deciding which is going to be the best 6000W generator for you. Though, in the case of the Westinghouse model, we’re talking about a peak output of 7500W, placing it in a slightly different class to the other two.
Before diving head-first into the reviews, I’m going to list the advantages to each model. This might give you a quick reference to your personal priorities.
- WEN GN6000: Cheapest. 6000 starting watts; 5000 running watts. Quietest (68dBA). 2-year warranty.
- Westinghouse WGen6000: Most powerful: 420cc engine, providing 7500 starting watts; 6000 running watts. Best fuel economy. 3-year warranty.
- Champion 1000519: Low HD inverter supplied power – safe for sensitive electronics. 6250 starting watts; 5000 running watts. 3-year warranty.
Review : WEN GN6000 Generator
- Generate up to 6000 starting watts and 5000 running watts
- 3.4 Gal. fuel tank provides up to 7.5-hours of half-load runtime
- Compact design combined with wheel and handle kit maximize portability
- Packed panel includes 2 standard household outlets (5-20R), one 30 Amp TT-30R RV outlet, one 120-Volt/240-Volt L14-30R outlet, one 12-Volt DC outlet and a 120-Volt to 240-Volt voltage selector
- Includes a 4-stroke CARB compliant OHV 272 cc engine and a 2-year warranty
When I first saw the WEN GN6000 price, I have to admit my expectations were fairly low. You may find it costing less than $500. Though, at this price, the wheel kit will not be included. Since this generator weighs 119 pounds, I’d consider the wheel kit to be more of a necessity than an optional extra. If we include the wheel kit into the price, it ends up costing a little over $500. Still one of the best prices for a generator with a peak output of 6000W (5000W rated load).
The WEN GN6000 is powered by a 272cc, 4-stroke, OHV engine. This engine displacement is a little lower than I’d have expected for a generator of this size. Yet it delivers the 5000W specified running power quite effortlessly. The engine speed is quite normal, at 3600 RPM. It should hold up well to most operating conditions. Fuel consumption is better than the average 6000W generator at 5.5 kilowatt-hours per gallon. The large 3.5 gallon gas tank will give you 7.5 hours runtime at 50% load (2500W). This is perfectly convenient for most users, be it at home or to supply an RV. A fuel gauge is fitted to the metal gas tank, making it easy enough to know when it’s time fill the tank.
This looks like a pretty solid, durable generator, mounted to a robust metal frame. The optional wheel kit includes dual fold down handles with rubber grips. For this class of generator, the weight is very reasonable, and dimensions are as I would have expected. Weight: 119 LBS; height: 17.2”; width: 16.9”; height: 17.2”. It is actually lighter than most 6KW generators. Due to the fact that it does not have an electric starter. By eliminating this, and the battery, several pounds have been shed from the overall weight.
The muffler is way larger than most other cheap generators, resembling an automobile design, as opposed to the lawnmower type muffler that is more common on cheap generators. This makes the WEN GN6000 one of the quietest open frame generators. Rated at 68dBA, it isn’t much louder than a normal speaking voice. The muffler includes a spark arrestor. These two factors increase the appeal for people buying a camping generator. It won’t be as noisy in a campsite. It is also safe for forests and national parks. Emissions are suitable for all 50 states (EPA and CARB certified).
Starting the WEN GN6000 is done the old-fashioned way. The fuel valve and choke lever are on the engine. A switch on the control panel is used to engage ignition power. There’s no easy start dial, and you have to start it manually, by tugging on the recoil starter rope. As I mentioned above, you don’t have the luxury of electric starting. At this price, the omission of a starter motor is, in a sense, an advantage. The extra components and battery add to the manufacturing cost. Instead of reducing the price by cutting corners on more essential items, like engine and alternator, they’ve chosen to forego the less critical luxury items. Good common sense when your aim is to provide a cheap, yet reliable generator. The recoil starter works well, and the WEN GN6000 is known to start quite easily.
The control panel is easy to understand, with everything you need, and some nice extras, not always found on generators in this price range. A selector switch is used for 120V or 120V/240V AC power. Below this switch, are two main circuit breakers, each rated at 20A. This is a departure from the conventional 2-pole breaker typically used for 120V/240V generators. Though the end result is the same. Each of the 20A main breakers will supply a single pole connected to the 2-pole 120V/240V alternator. Allowing for a split load of 20A plus 20A (40A total) when supplying 120V. At 240V, the total between both poles will allow for a peak load of 20A. All breakers are of the push to reset type, which is common to most portable generators.
Two standard 120V 20A (5-20R) outlets are supplied by a single 20A breaker, positioned directly above the receptacles, making it easy to identify. The 120V 30A (TT-30R), RV outlet has a 30A breaker at the outlet. The generator also has a 120V/240V 30A (L14-30R) outlet, making the WENGN6000 a transfer switch and RV ready generator. The 120V/240V outlet is supplied by the two 20A main breakers. The color decal on the control panel designates an area for each outlet and the corresponding breaker (or breakers). When a circuit trips, there is no guesswork involved. It also has a 12VDC (8.3A) DC port for charging your leisure batteries. A pretty comprehensive digital display provides easy to follow data: voltage; frequency; total running hours and session running hours. A small mode selector button on the digital numeric display is used to select the desired information display.
Having scrutinized every specification, and conducted a lot of research into customer experiences, I have to say: the WEN GN6000 is quite a remarkable machine. I’m not one for cheap generators, so this conclusion is quite unexpected. Though, I would not begin to compare the GN6000 to a similar generator from brands like Honda or Yamaha. Considering the price difference, it wouldn’t be a reasonable comparison. In the light to medium duty domestic generator market, the WEN GN6000 can be held in highest regard. It’s delightfully affordable and the savings will continue for as long as you own the machine, thanks to its very reasonable fuel economy. With a 2-year warranty, and an expansive dealership service network, this is a budget-friendly generator that you can buy with confidence.
Review : Westinghouse WGen6000
We can’t, in earnest, make a direct correlation between the WEN GN6000 and the Westinghouse WGen6000. The WEN generator is much cheaper and doesn’t supply as many watts as the Westinghouse model that we’re reviewing here. There is some common ground though. Both these generators can be considered excellent value for money in their respective classes. Technically, they are both classified as light to medium duty domestic generators, used mostly for home and camping power. Though, in my experience, Westinghouse portable generators are a cut above the average medium duty machines.
Not quite in the same league as industrial grade Honda and Cat generators, but pretty close. Apart from more power, I’d consider the high quality standard a good reason to favor the Westinghouse WGen6000, despite the higher price tag. It’s not as expensive as the top brands but can compete with them on most levels.
The power output is the most obvious advantage that sets the Westinghouse generator apart from the other two in this review: 7500 watts starting power, with 6000 continuous watts. This should be sufficient to supply an average with home with most the of electricity needed during an outage. With the exception of a central AC, water heaters, furnace, or electric stove, you should be able to use all your normal electrical equipment around the home, without tripping the generator. Although the Westinghouse WGen6000 has the capacity to supply any of the high-current equipment that I listed as exceptions, this would limit your ability to use much more power for other, more essential large appliances, like refrigerators, microwaves, and washing machines or dishwashers.
The Westinghouse 420cc engine has proven to be one of those wonders of the engineering world. It has all the hallmarks of old school, never say die, durability. The cast iron sleeve is a good example of this. Despite being a doggedly tough workhorse, this engine is also refined and ultimately reliable. I’m yet to find any real complaints about this engine. It’s been around long enough now to say, with a good degree of certainty, that this engine is both durable and incredibly reliable. In line with emission standards, this engine is EPA and CARB certified.
Apart from being a dependable engine, it is also one of the most economical. At 5.91 kilowatt-hours per gallon, you won’t be spending too much on gas. In addition to this, the WGen6000 has an enormous 6.6 gallon gas tank. This makes for wonderfully convenient runtimes. At 50% rated load (3000W), the Westinghouse WGen6000 will keep you powered up for 13-hours. Running continuously at 1500W (25% load), you’ll get an incredible 18-hours runtime. A fuel gauge is fitted to the gas tank. The Pulse-Flo muffler (with spark arrestor) does a good job of keeping noise levels reasonably low, 72dBA. Okay, not as quiet as the WEN GN6000; but this is a more powerful generator, with a much larger engine. In this context, the noise levels are perfectly acceptable.
When considering portability, the WGen6000 doesn’t fare as well as the WEN GN6000. Taking into account the larger engine and alternator, much bigger metal gas tank, and the heavy-duty 1¼” steel frame, this is obviously going to be a heavier generator. It also has the advantage of an electric starter which, together with the battery, adds even more weight to the generator. Cumulatively, all this makes it 75-pounds heavier than the WEN generator: 174 LBS vs 119 LBS. Fortunately, the wheel kit is standard equipment for the Westinghouse WGen6000. You’ll sure need it. The loop handle has a foam grip for some extra comfort, and the 10” X 2.5” wheels make it fairly easy to maneuver this hefty machine over just about any terrain.
The control panel is designed for ease of use and practicality. Starting the generator is made easy with a single switch. You also have the reassurance of a recoil starter. For those times when the battery runs low. 2 X duplex (5-20R) outlets, provide 4 standard 20A household receptacles, with individual circuit breakers. Using two circuit breakers for these outlets has its advantages. If one circuit trips, the other continues to supply power. These outlets also include GFCI protection. It has a 30A 120V/240V transfer switch ready outlet, but no TT-30R RV outlet. A little disappointing but not a big deal. Adapters for this type of setup are inexpensive and easy to find. The WGen6000 has no DC power outlets. A main 2-pole circuit breaker supplies all the outlets. Additional safety and protection from damage comes in the form of plastic covers for all the outlets. The Westinghouse VFT digital data center displays voltage, frequency, and lifetime running hours.
The Westinghouse WGen6000 has been heralded as a No.1 best seller on Amazon for quite some time. That says a lot. At around $600, it is competitively priced for such an accomplished machine. The power output is perfect for keeping your home powered up during an outage and is one of the best 30A RV generators. Exceptional value is accentuated by the durable quality, low maintenance, and low fuel consumption that this generator offers. Westinghouse has established a comprehensive dealership network across North America and offer a 3-year warranty on the WGen6000.
Review : Champion 100519 Generator
Continuing along the theme of best value for money generators, the Champion (100519) Digital “Hybrid” inverter generator deserves some accolades. Depending on where you look, this generator may end up costing almost twice as much as the WEN GN6000. Though we cannot make a simple assumption based on price alone. The Champion 100519 is an inverter generator, producing 6250 starting watts and 5000 running watts. To provide some context, this Champion generator costs roughly the same as the Honda EU2200i inverter generator yet provides more than double the power. This makes it one of the most affordable inverter generators for the wattage it delivers. Certainly, great value for money.
The fact that they have chosen to call this a Hybrid inverter generator can cause some confusion. I know I found this title a little misleading at first. We normally associate hybrid technology with dual fuel generators, that can use either propane or gas. This is not the case here. I think they chose to call this a hybrid generator because it’s an open frame machine. Most inverter generators are enclosed in a slick looking plastic housing which reduces noise levels. The Champion Digital Hybrid generator isn’t exactly quiet at 69dBA. It’s a little louder than the WEN GN6000 but quieter than the 6000W Westinghouse generator. The noise level is more than acceptable for its size.
While you don’t have the advantage of a silent generator, you still get clean, low Total Harmonic Distortion (THD), inverter supplied power. This is a great advantage when using TVs, computers, and other sensitive electronic equipment. The reason why inverter generators have become so popular is that they protect these devices from damage that results from high THD. I don’t have official THD specs for the WEN GN6000. I’d guess this could peak at around 25% when running close to full capacity. The Westinghouse WGen6000 is specified at <23% THD. Generally, portable generators reach around 23% – 25% maximum THD. In contrast, the Champion 6250W inverter generator is specified at <3% THD. This is pretty much the industry standard for top inverter generators. This is what you’re paying for and is the reason why the Champion model is more expensive than the other two generators in this review.
Unlike many inverter generators, the Champion 100519 does not accommodate a parallel kit. This means you can’t use two generators in tandem. Most inverter generators include this as a means to double your power output, using two generators simultaneously. Not such a big deal, since the Champion is one of the most powerful inverter generators, with 6250 peak watts and 5000 running watts. It has the advantage of an Economy Mode. A switch on the user interface allows you to run the generator at the normal RPM or reduce the engine speed when the power demand is less than 25%. This lowers noise levels and fuel consumption.
I really like the incredibly powerful engine fitted to this generator, 301cc. In my opinion, bigger is better when it comes to engines. A larger engine will never have to work as hard to deliver the same power. This equates to less heat and friction, resulting in less wear on the engine. Typically, a larger engine, doing the same job as smaller version, will last longer. Though this is a pretty thirsty machine. Champion generators tend to be less fuel efficient than most others. Even with the economy mode engaged, the Champion 100519 produces a pretty miserable 4 kilowatt-hours per gallon. At 25% load, you can expect around 13.5 hours runtime from the 4.2 gallon gas tank. Like the other two generators, this one is also EPA and CARB certified.
The Champion Hybrid Inverter generator rates quite well for portability. At 121 pounds, it isn’t at all heavy for its size, only 2-pounds heavier than the WEN GN6000. Like the WEN generator, this one has no electric starter. This gives it a weight advantage but, of course, you have to use human power to start the engine. A wheel kit provides the ability to move this machine around quite easily.
I’m a little disappointed to see no TT-30R RV ready outlet. I would think that the RV market would be a target audience for this generator. The WEN GN6000 is the only RV ready generator out of the three options in this review. None the less, the Champion control panel has everything else you could wish for, and then some. Like the Westinghouse WGen6000, this one also has plastic covers protecting the outlets. There are 2 X 20A 120V (5-20R), standard household outlets with individual 20A circuit breakers and GFCI. It also has a transfer switch ready 120V/240V 30A (L14-30R) outlet. In addition to the AC outlets, it has a 12VDC automotive style outlet, ideal for charging 12V batteries. The IntelliGauge digital display is similar to the WEN and Westinghouse generators, displaying voltage, frequency, and operating hours.
The crowning glory, for anyone considering the Champion 100519, is the low THD inverter. Priced to compete with standard generators, that don’t offer the same clean power advantage, it is certainly a bargain. Champion portable generators are popular for both recreational outdoor use and home backup power. The brand offers an affordable option for those who aren’t prepared to pay premium prices for a heavy-duty machine. The Champion 3-year warranty places this generator up there with the top brands, and you get lifetime technical support.
Which Portable Generator is Right for You?
Three very different generators, costing anywhere from about $500 to around $1000. They may seem to have nothing in common. But there is one trend that defines this generator review, excellent value for money. Each generator featured here offers, in one way or another, the best quality and performance for its price.
The WEN GN6000 is exceptional if you’re looking for the most watts for your buck. Cheap, but in no way nasty, it encompasses the type of quality that we would expect from more expensive generators. No frills, just the basics, you’re not paying for extras. The WEN GN6000 is, possibly, the best budget generator for a large RV and includes an RV ready TT-30 outlet. The peak power output of 6000 watts, with a running capacity of 5000W offers perfect versatility. During the hurricane season, or any outage, this generator will keep you comfortably supplied with electricity at home. It can be connected to your main electric panel, using a 30A transfer switch. The tenacious WEN can handle quite a few circuits, with enough amps to supply your refrigerator, air conditioner, sump pump, and quite a bit more. Finding a similar generator, with the same power, and quality standard, anywhere close to this price, will be an enormous challenge.
The Westinghouse WGen6000 is inexpensive yet can stand proudly alongside some of the very best 6000W generators on the market. Better yet, you have 6000 watts of power that can be used continuously, with a boost of 7500W when demand increases for short startups. Although more expensive than the WEN GN6000, the Westinghouse generator offers more than a higher power output. It will, most likely, outlast either of the other two generators in this review. It is also the most fuel efficient of the three. If you can afford to pay more for this generator, it will make sense in the long run. You’ll be buying a wonderfully reliable machine, that should last for decades, all the while, saving on running costs.
There’s a growing demand for inverter generators. Modern electric equipment is becoming increasingly dependent on electronic technology. We generally think of the obvious in this regard, TVs, stereos, and computers. Though, just about every household appliance uses a CPU or some other form electronic circuitry. This is why so many generator buyers are prepared to pay extra for a low THD inverter generator. Though prices, especially for a high-wattage inverter generator, can be become prohibitive for some. This is where the Champion 100519 Digital Hybrid inverter generator earns its stripes. This is a high tech machine, supplying clean, pure sine wave power at an affordable price. You may not experience all the benefits that you would with some of the more expensive inverter generators, like quiet operation and parallel connectivity, but you’re getting clean power. This is essentially why we buy an inverter generator. The slight disadvantage of foregoing some of the bells and whistles is offset by the price. Keeping with the general theme of this article, the best value portable generators.