Winco Generators (Best Winco Generator Review Plus Brand History)

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Best Winco generatorGerhard and John Albers developed a wind generator in 1927. Referred to as The Windcharger, this device provided power for power radios by charging the radio’s six-volt storage battery. It did not take long for friends and family of the Albers to start requesting Windchargers for themselves.

The brothers took their business to Sioux City, Iowa in 1935 to start manufacturing their wind generator. Word spread about this device, getting the brothers recognition all over the world.

During World War II, the brothers got busy creating other generator-related items for military ships and aircrafts. At this time, they developed the Dynamotor. Following the war, this creation became the inspiration for the 2FS, a two-bearing generator. These generators were used for man lifts and pressure washers.

The company’s Power Take Off generators were developed in 1950. A tractor’s power takeoff drive was responsible for running these Winco generators. In 1952, they introduced a full line of generators that were engine-driven and portable for both industrial and commercial applications.

As the company continued to perform research and development, they created a portable generator automatic idle control in 1955. This made it possible for Winco generators to get better fuel efficiency, quieter operation and a longer engine life.

While working on this Winco generator review, we discovered that it was in 1964 when the company introduced designs for their Full-Power and Maxi-Watt generators. These designs allowed for greater voltage capacity. Packaged standby Winco generators hit the market in 1970, complete with the ability to connect to a power grid using a transfer switch.

This company became known as one of the biggest suppliers of construction and rental generators in the mid-1970s. By 1978, they started manufacturing their water-cooled Winco generators.

Introducing the Dynamaxx Winco Generator Line

In 1982, the company developed their Dynamaxx generator line. This line of generators was designed for both commercial and industrial needs. By 1987, this line also had models designed for the residential market.

Portable Winco Generators

This company introduced its portable generators in 1990. These were manufactured under the Dyna name. The purpose of these generators was to give people something that they could easily move around for everything from home backup power to powering tools at worksites.

These lightweight small generators are practical for most people. The smallest options are a good choice for things like camping and other outdoor activities since they provide power for lanterns and mobile electronics.

Tri-Fuel Winco Generators

It was in 2003 when Winco introduced their tri-fuel generators for the residential market. These were designed to provide clean power that can accommodate all of the electronics you normally use in your home, from smartphones to air conditioning systems.

One of the most important decisions to make when choosing the best Winco generator is which type of fuel your generator uses. While researching for this Winco generator review, we found that some of the generator models manufactured by this brand can accommodate three different fuel types.

Tri-Fuel Winco generators can operate using natural gas, unleaded gasoline and liquid propane. In most cases, you would use natural gas when you connect the generator to the structure’s grid using a transfer switch.

All of these fuel types have their advantages. With natural gas, you never need to refuel since it will be connected to the natural gas line that is already feeding the structure.

Liquid propane usually comes in a 20-pound tank. With this option, you will need to replace the tank when it runs out, but tanks of this size are typically long-lasting.

With unleaded gasoline, you can obtain the fuel at any gas station. You can also keep some fuel on hand when you need to refill the tank quickly. Choose the generator with a fuel tank capacity that gives you the run-time needed.

This brand of generator is fuel efficient no matter which type of fuel you choose. It will ultimately come down to personal preference and convenience regarding which fuel type is best for you.

Future Plans for Innovation

In 2000, the company started looking at some of their older generator models to find ways to make them better. This allowed them to take some generators that were previously for commercial use and make them more flexible so that you can also use them for home backup power.

During this time, they also started working on designing new products for power generation. This resulted in innovations, such as their tri-fuel generators. It also provided some ideas for new generators that the company is currently working on.

Winco Products and Sales

This company averages $17.45 million a year in sales for their generators and associated products. Their sales primarily come from the variety of generators. However, they do have other products that you can use along with a generator.

They sell generators in the following categories:

  • PTO
  • Emergency standby
  • Portable
  • Diesel

You can also find transfer switches for this brand’s generators. These switches allow for a fast and safe transfer of power when the grid electricity fails. For example, if you have a generator and transfer switch at home, if there is a power outage, the generator will know that it is time to turn itself on to restore your home’s electricity until grid electricity is restored.

Common Features of the Best Winco Generator Options

While working on this Winco generator review, several common features of Winco generators stood out. Getting more information about these makes it easier to see which ones you can benefit from.

Electric Start

Many generators from this brand come with an electric start. This allows you to get the engine going fast and with little effort. Some of the models have a key that you turn just like you do when you are starting a car. Others have a button that you push to start the engine.

High-Quality Engines

Winco uses several brands of high-quality engines. Some examples include Honda and Briggs and Stratton Vanguard. These engines are rigorously tested to ensure that they have the power and durability needed to keep up with frequent use of the generator.

Other features like idle control are available on some models to help to protect the engine. Idle control can also help to reduce the noise coming from the generator.

Low-Oil Shutdown

This feature further protects your generator’s engine. Oil is needed to keep the engine lubricated. If there is not enough lubrication, the engine can sustain damage. With this feature, the generator turns itself off should the oil level get too low, helping to prevent damage to the engine.

Low Harmonic Distortion

When harmonic distortion is too high, this could result in damage to any small electronics, such as smartphones, that you connect to the generator. Winco designs their generators to have low total harmonic distortion so that you can get power to these small items without needing to worry about power surges and other types of related damage.

Outlets and Voltage

Different generator models have different outlet types. You can consider what you need to plug in and choose a generator that has the outlets to accommodate your essential items. Many of the models can handle both 120 and 240 volts, letting you connect big and small electronic items.

Some models have overload protection. This prevents you from exceeding the maximum wattage of the generator to prevent damage to the unit and the items that you plug into it.

Durable Materials

Winco uses a variety of steel and metal types. The alternators often using copper windings and durable insulation. With these materials, you can use the generator often without worrying about premature structural integrity problems.

Solid Run-Time

Many of the generators manufactured by this brand have higher than average run times. This allows you to use them at worksites, for example, and get approximately eight hours or more out of a refueling. Due to this, you can save a lot of time and you will not have to worry about the generator shutting off due to low fuel when you need electricity the most.


Generators from Winco come in a wide variety of sizes. Those that are heavier often either come with wheel kits or they are equipped to have a kit installed. The wheel kits have handles to pull the generator easily, and the wheels are the never-flat type.

Ease of Use

Winco designs their generators to be easy to use. You will find the controls in one area so that everything you need to start, control and monitor your unit is easy to find. Because of this, you can learn how to use the features within a few days.

The Following Are Among the Best Winco Generator Options

To ensure that you choose the best Winco generator, it is important to compare some of their most popular models. This makes it easier to see which of the Winco generators offers the specifications and features that you need.

Winco Electric Start Tri-Fuel Generator

Electric Start Tri-Fuel Generator

The Winco Electric Start Tri-Fuel Generator allows you to get it started quickly. Simply turn the key to start getting the power that you need for a variety of devices. You can connect items that require 120 and 240 volts.

This generator has 12,000 starting watts and 10,800 running watts. You can run this generator using natural gas, unleaded gasoline and liquid propane. If you opt for unleaded gasoline, the device’s fuel tank can hold up to 15 gallons of gas. Regardless of the fuel type that you choose, this unit runs for about 14.5 hours at half load.

It runs at 78 decibels, making it relatively quiet. Know when you need to add more fuel due to the fuel gauge on the outside of the unit. This generator comes with a portability kit, allowing you to move it around easily.

This generator comes equipped with an industrial-grade Honda engine. It has an OHV design for improved durability and efficiency. The low-oil shutdown ensures protection if the oil level gets too low during operation.

What We Liked

  • You can use a transfer switch with this generator
  • There are several fuel choices to run the unit
  • The wheel kit makes it relatively easy to move around

What We Didn’t Like

  • It may require a professional to connect this generator to a natural gas line

Winco Vanguard Engine Generator

Vanguard Engine

The Winco Vanguard Engine Generator has 9,000 starting watts and 8,000 running watts. Due to its size, you can power most items with it, making it a good choice for a worksite or for your home.

Its fuel tank holds about seven gallons of gasoline. You can also connect this generator to a natural gas line or use liquid propane. When you run the unit at half load, it will run for about seven hours.

A tubular cradle serves as a frame for this generator. It is made from steel and has a powder coating. This combination ensures that the exterior of the generator is protected to reduce the risk of premature damage.

To start this generator, you just push a button. This allows you to get it started quickly when you need some electricity. Its powerful engine functions at 16 horsepower. The engine brand is the trusted Briggs and Stratton Vanguard.

What We Liked

  • It has a powerful and durable engine
  • This generator is a good choice for sensitive electronics
  • The unit is a good option for emergency backup power

What We Didn’t Like

  • It is louder than comparable generators

Winco Generator Portable with Electric Start

Portable with Electric Start

The Winco Portable Generator with Electric Start has 18,000 starting watts and 15,000 running watts. It operates on gasoline, allowing you to obtain fuel easy and fast when you need it.

This generator’s fuel tank can hold up to 15 gallons of fuel. When you run the unit at half load, you can expect approximately 10.5 hours of run-time. The fuel tank is made from metal, ensuring optimal durability. Its fuel gauge makes it easy to know when you need to add more gas.

There is an hour meter on this generator, allowing you to track its operation so that you know when to perform maintenance. Take advantage of the electric start to get the engine working quickly.

It has low total harmonic distortion. Because of this, you can power your mobile devices uses this generator. The unit has 120/240 single-phase voltage. This allows you to also connect larger electronic items without issue.

What We Liked

  • This device has an hour meter
  • You can install a wheel kit
  • The generator has a long run-time

What We Didn’t Like

  • It may be noisier than similar units