Why are Honda Generators So Expensive?

Have you been in a situation where you suddenly lost power? Usually, the first thought is, “I wish I had some backup power right now.” Whether it’s camping, a job site, or at home, sudden power loss can sidetrack your entire schedule. That’s why you need a generator. However, you need a reliable generator for sensitive personal equipment. And that’s where Honda generators come in. 

Honda generators are some of the best globally, but they often come with a pretty steep price. Honda generators are expensive due to their fuel efficiency, excellent build quality, and brand trustworthiness. It’s no accident that Honda generators are so widely recognized and trusted.

Here are some of the main characteristics and qualities that Honda generators possess that often justifies their expensive price tag:

  • They are highly fuel-efficient.
  • The company has massive brand trust.
  • They can power sensitive personal consumer electronics.
  • They have a superior build with top-shelf material.
  • They’re easy to use, especially with the electric start models.
  • Most importantly, they are super quiet. 

A lot of people, just like you, invest in a product that solves their problems practically. Therefore, we’ll explore what makes Honda generators a top choice. Additionally, we’ll run the numbers and see how Honda generators stack up against a competing brand. 

Why are Honda Generators So Expensive?

The cost of a Honda Generator is likely to catch you off guard if you are looking for a low-budget option. The lowest end of the EU line is about $975. The EU1000i is a small 1000W generator for light usage meant for small personal appliances. Still, it incorporates the same features as other more advanced generators in the same class. 

The popular EU2200i is an upgrade from the EU2200. You’d pay $1200 for the 2200-watt machine. However, if you wanted a customized EU2200i specifically for your camping needs, you’d have to fork out $1500 for the Camo-skin version. 

Prices can go up to $5000 for a commercially viable Honda EB10000 capable of producing 10000 watts. To justify the costs of the products, you have to know the benefits. 

1. Honda Is a Reliable Company

Honda produced its first generators in the 70s. However, it had already established itself as a global brand about two decades before that. Companies with such a rich history undergo changes that put them at the forefront of what the consumers want. They evolve with the consumers’ needs to develop products that match the present and future energy trends. 

Brand appeal is a valuable currency. People are willing to pay premium rates to deal with companies that show commitment to superb workmanship. 

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2. The Generators Have Fuel Efficiency Features

Fuel efficiency drives most buyer purchase decisions. Honda generators use Eco-throttle and Auto-throttle. These two features reduce the load on generator engines to make sure you’re only running the needed load. Generators typically run at 3600RPM to produce 120V of electricity. Honda generators don’t have to run at full capacity when you only need less power. 

3. Inverter Generators Cost More

Inverter generators take all the features of a conventional generator and pack them into smaller, lighter, and quieter units. You get more convenience, more portability, and cleaner power. Inverter generators use fuel to produce 3600 RPM, which then produces 120 volts. However, it becomes hard to maintain the 3600 RPM, leading to power fluctuations that could ruin your equipment. 

Inverter generators can maintain the 3600RPM while continuously adjusting to the voltage. That means no brown-outs, power spikes, or voltage inconsistency. 

4. Safety Features

It’s difficult to put a price on safety precautions. CO Minder technology is a superb feature that gives Honda generators a competitive advantage over other generators in their respective class. Though you are supposed to operate a generator a few feet away from an enclosed space, the Carbon Monoxide detector and automatic shut-off feature are helpful. It’s great for personal safety, and you play a role in reducing carbon emissions in the environment. 

Commercial Honda generators have the GFCI feature. GFCI (Ground-fault circuit interrupter) is a safety feature that allows fast power shut-off if there is an accidental stray of electric power to the ground. Accidents such as water damage or wire breakage are common. GFCI is the feature that would shut off the Honda generator in as little as 1/40 of a second. 

5. Excellent Resale Value

If you buy a small honda generator for general appliances and want to upgrade to something bigger, you can sell the one you have for a good percentage of the original price. Honda generators are good at maintaining their high performance for a long time. Therefore, the person getting it as a second owner from you also gets excellent run time from a well-maintained generator.

If the interior mechanics and exterior construction still hold after a few years, the second owner gets a generator working at top condition for only a fraction of the price. 

6. They’re Highly Convenient

Honda generators have the design aspect focused on making the machine as convenient as possible. Whether you use it as a camping generator, home generator, or worksite generator, convenience comes in many ways. Two notable convenience features are weight and portability. The commercial line of Honda generators has larger wheels, so you can wheel them around a job site. 

Also, some models have the Quick Start option. You can fire up the generator at the press of a button. If a button press sounds like a nifty feature you’d want in a generator, you should look at these models. 

  • Honda EU3000iS
  • Honda EU7000iS
  • Honda EM Series

To truly understand how good Honda generators are, let’s see how they stack up against another highly-rated generator brand, Champion. 

Are Honda Generators Worth the Money?

Right off the gate, you’re likely to find a $1000+ price tag on a Honda generator. There might be more affordable options within that price range. Still, Honda generators are worth the money. You can consider them an investment. For instance, one of Honda’s premium picks, the Honda EU2200i, does clock in at $1100 in some stores. These are the features you’d get if you went for one: 

Easy Start

Sometimes you’re in a rush to get the power back up. Or you want to set up quick at a campsite. You would have to put in extra effort on the pull cord to get the generator started. Not with the Honda EU2200i. All it takes is one cord pull, and the EU2200i will run. 

Bluetooth Connectivity

Having the power in your hands to manage a generator’s operation is super convenient, especially if the generator is not close to your location. Bluetooth connectivity comes in handy when you’re in the wild or during choppy weather. 

Carbon Monoxide Safety Feature

A lot of people keep their generators indoors. Unfortunately, it can pose a risk if the room has insufficient circulation. Carbon monoxide accumulates in the room, and there’s a risk of it spreading if the room is attached to the house. That’s why the EU2200i — and other Honda generators have a built-in carbon monoxide detector, the CO-Minder. 

Not only does the detector detect the toxic over-accumulation, but it also automatically shuts off the generator. 

Clean Energy

Other than the EU2200i, there are other Honda generators. And they come with one feature that gives them a slight edge against other generators. Most people use generators to power personal items; computers, coffee machines, phones, and other power-sensitive electronics. It would be terrible if a power spike fried all that equipment. 

Honda generators have inverters. Inverters are essential in generators since they control wave frequency. The result is that you get clean power and run sensitive equipment even on the most powerful Honda generator. 

Three-Year Warranty

A warranty might be a testament to how a manufacturer rates its product. Honda generators have some of the best materials and great technology. The manufacturer tests the product enough to know how long it can go without problems. As such, they stand behind their product. 

A 3-year warranty on a generator is generous. Other models such as the Eu10i carry a 4-year residential warranty and a 1-year commercial warranty. You can be comfortable spending upwards of $1000 knowing you can have any problems checked out in the first 3 or 4 years of its use. 

Quiet Operation

Quiet operation is another highly valued feature in generators. For example, The EU2200i operates at 48 to 57 dBA.The more powerful EM6500SX produces 64-66 dB(A). We use these generators in shared areas such as homes. We use them in parks where loud rumbling noise could irritate nature and contravene local park laws.

The quiet operation doesn’t only make a great value proposition for investing in a generator. It also makes it convenient when all you want is some peace, quiet and backup power. 

Why Are Honda Generators So Quiet?

Honda generators are what are known as inverter generators. Fuel combustion in a conventional generator accounts for a lot of the noise you hear as it runs. However, inverter generators cut out the shaking and use noise-suppressant casing to reduce the noise. There is less movement in the generator even when the engine gets over 3000RPM. 

Also, an inverter generator generates power in 3 phases. It converts high-frequency alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) then inverts it back to AC. the result is a smoother wave that doesn’t just create smooth power. The smooth curve reduces the noise output to a hum. 

There are technological features that make Honda generators so quiet

  • Eco-Throttle
  • Auto-Throttle 

How Eco-Throttle & Auto-Throttle Reduce Noise in Honda Generators

Eco-throttle is a feature in EU series generators that allow engines to run at just enough capacity to reduce the strain on the generator’s 4-stroke engine. The generator doesn’t need to run at full capacity most times. For example, you need less power to run one laptop than when you’re running five other appliances. 

The Eco-Throttle feature adjusts speeds to match only the output needed. Therefore, you’re not just getting quieter operations. You’re also getting fuel efficiency out of your Honda generator. 

You can find Auto Throttle in most Honda EB and EM model generators. Auto Throttle is a feature that increases fuel efficiency and keeps your generator in top condition for longer. Ideally, the feature raises the RPM when you apply load. It then allows the RPM to revert to idle when you remove the load. The Auto Throttle feature is vital to why the EB and EM models also have quiet operation. 

Are Honda Generators Better Than Champion Generators?

Champion is a relatively new brand if you compare it to Honda. Champion is a 2003 company, while Honda has been in power equipment manufacturing for years. Pound for pound, it isn’t easy to point out a clear winner going by the brand since they are both top sellers. 

The better generator depends on individual needs. 

Champion generators are marginally better if you are looking for a cost-effective option. However, if your focus is primarily on quiet operation and fuel efficiency, Honda generators edge out Champion generators. 

Honda EU3000iSChampion 75537iHonda EU2200iChampion 2500
Fuel Tank Capacity3.4 gallons1.6 gallons0.95 gallons1.1 gallons
Engine Type196cc Honda GX200 engine171cc Champion OHV engine121 cc Honda GXR120 Commercial Series79cc Champion 4-Stroke engine
Rated/ AC Output (Running Watts)2800W 2800W 1800 W1850 W
Size Dimensions(In inches)
( L x W x H) 
25.9 x 17.6 x 22.025.1 x 17.3 x 18.3 20 x 11.4 x 16.7 21 x 13.7 x 20 
Maximum AC Output(Starting watts.)  3000W3100W2200 W2500 W
Weight131 lbs96.6 lbs47.4 lbs39.5 lbs
Operating Hours for every 25% load20 hrs at 25% load8 hours at 25%8.1 hours11.5 hours

Noise Level
50 dB at 25% load58 dB from 23 feet48 dBA53 dBA
Fuel TypeGasolineGasolineGasolineGasoline and Propane
Warranty3 Years3 Years. Lifetime technical support.3 Years3 Years

Similarities Between Champion and Honda

  • Both these generators are quiet. Honda generators are slightly quieter. That makes them both suitable for camping, home use, or recreational areas. 
  • They share the inverter feature. However, Consumer Reports rates the Honda EU2200iTAG the best in Small class and the Honda EU7000(worth $5500) the best in Large class. For reference, small class refers to super portable generators mainly for recreational purposes. Large class generators are generators that can push out 5000 watts or more. 
  • Both brands have generators in their respective classes that are highly portable. The generators are either easy to carry, or you can wheel them around. 

Where Champion Shines

Champion has put a lot of thought into convenience. For example, you can use both gas and propane in a Champion generator. You’ll appreciate having more than one fuel source when you’re out in the wild with dwindling gas. Switching to propane gives you more run time. 

If we are talking range of products, Champion has a surprisingly wide range. They supposedly have 102 portable generators and 15 home standby generators. That puts you in a comfortable place to choose a specific generator for a very specific need. 

Champion generators have more outlets. You can run multiple types of equipment at the same time on a Champion generator. Some, like the featured Champion 75537i, have four outlets. 

  • 1x 120V 30A RV (TT-30R)
  • 2x 120V 20A (5-20R)
  • 12V DC (with cables)
  • 2x USB adapter

Where Honda Shines

Honda generators have several power stabilization technologies that ensure your appliances are safe in case of surges. They have iAVR (Intelligent Automatic Voltage Regulation) technology,  CycloConverter technology, and Automatic Voltage Regulator tech. 

You can harness more power if you parallel connect two similar Honda generators. That means you can bring two or more Honda generators on your next trip and use them to draw more power. The best part is, they are compact enough to fit in your RV or camper. 

Are Honda Generators Made in China?

Honda makes their generators in several countries, including Japan, China, France, India, Thailand, and the US. The main assembly happens in Japan, where the parent company is based. They distribute the generators to global locations all over the world. 

In comparison, Champion generators are American-made. The company has facilities in Jackson, Tennessee, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Toronto, Canada.

Conclusion

Honda is a solid generator brand. Spending extra on a Honda generator is an investment towards keeping your equipment safe. However, as you can see, there’s not much of a difference with another well-built competitor brand. The decision to spend more on a Honda generator depends on your preference. 

Sources

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections since 2002. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and an FHA 203k Consultant. I started PickGenerators.com to help people better understand whole-house and portable generators.

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