Zoom on the Honda EM5000SX
In a nutshell, the Honda EM5000SX is a portable generator mostly geared towards:
- RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
- People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
- Homeowners in need of an emergency backup power for their essentials
- Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure
In the sections ahead, the power characteristics, availability of various outlets, the portability, and any additional features of the device shall be discussed, including its emission compliance information.
Power & Run Time
The Honda EM5000SX's core is the 389 cc Honda iGX390 OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120/240V, it provides a running wattage of 4500W and a peak wattage of 5000W (and even up to 7000 W thanks to the iAVR technology).
The generator is rated for a noise of 63 dBA (just slightly more noisy than an office). Its starting mechanisms include a conventional pull-start mechanism and a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). Moreover, to offer you even more convenience, the EM5000SX can also be remotely started (via the My Generator App).
With a full tank, the EM5000SX can operate for around 10.5 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.59 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 6.2 gallons.
The control panel includes the following 6 AC outlets:
It also sports 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A output allowing you to easily charge your batteries.
Even though this Honda generator isn't quite RV Ready, its L5-30R receptacle allows an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, as the EM5000SX holds a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: you'll easily be able to connect it to your breaker box to power your home during a power outage.
With its dimensions of L41.1 x W27.8 x H28.3 in, the conventional, open frame design of the Honda EM5000SX offers stability and allows the generator to be raised above ground level. The device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.
Even though this device may be technically portable (as in movable), manipulation and transportation without special equipment can be a challenge, as it weighs 226.4 pounds. Nevertheless, it can still be moved quite conveniently with the help of its wheel kit and its folding handle, once it is placed on the ground.
Thanks to a built-in fuel gauge, the generator allows you to quickly, conveniently and easily check the gas level at a glance.
As for its security measures, the device features an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off (Oil Alert®), letting you use it with a peace of mind.
Along with the aforementioned features, from an accessory standpoint, the Honda EM5000SX's box includes the typical documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), which will help you start your generator promptly. An official storage cover is available, as a separate purchase.
Honda's CO Minder is a system that monitors the ambient carbon monoxide concentration, and automatically stops the engine if the sensor detects a CO level of or exceeding 800 parts per million (ppm) at a given time, or an average of 400 ppm for 10 minutes.
A CO alarm indicator will flash for about five minutes, during which it will be impossible to restart the engine.
While it’s a welcomed additional security feature, remember to always take your generator outside (opens in a new tab).
Honda My Generator App
The Honda My Generator App (available on iOS and Android) makes owning the EM5000SX even more flexible and convenient, whether you are depending on it at home during a power outage, or enjoying an adventure at a remote campsite.
The app connects your unit and your phone via Bluetooth, across a 75-foot line of sight, giving you valuable information about your generator's operation and many additional features in the palm of your hands.
With it, you can easily monitor a range of information such as output power, lifetime run hours, oil life, or estimated remaining runtime. You’ll also receive warnings and notifications to remind you of routine maintenance.
Even better, the app allows you to control multiple, compatible Honda generators from a single mobile device, and to remotely start and stop the EM5000SX without a key fob.
Honda’s iAVR (opens in a new tab) (Intelligent Automatic Voltage Regulation) reduces voltage fluctuation by up to 50% over current AVR systems.
In conventional generators, when a load is applied, the engine’s rpm drops, which causes the voltage and frequency to drop as well, until the rpm recovers.
iAVR is a combination of the DAVR (opens in a new tab) technology and the iGX (opens in a new tab) engine technology, which serves to provide advanced and instantaneous engine rpm control when a load is applied.
As a result, voltage and frequency are precisely regulated and the EM5000SX is able to produce a starting wattage above the maximum rating, for up to 10 seconds. Therefore, thanks to iAVR, the EM5000SX is able to “overclock” itself above its 5000 starting watts and provide up to 7000 W.
The Honda EM5000SX is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Thus, selling and purchasing this generator is allowed in each of the 50 states, including California.
Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and therefore, can be used in forested areas.
The Honda EM5000SX versus other generators
The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Honda EM5000SX compare to generators of similar power (between 4000 and 5000 W).
- At a dry weight of 226.4 pounds, the Honda EM5000SX is one of the heavier devices which can produce between 4000 and 5000 running watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the Pulsar PG5250 with only 99.5 pounds.
- Since this generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 63 dBA, it can be considered as one of the more quiet of the products generating similar power. If you are concerned with noise, check out the Yamaha EF4500iSE, which is one of the least noisy generators in its power range, with a noise rating of just 58 dBA.
- Given that the EM5000SX reaches an autonomy of around 10.5 hours with a full tank and at 50% load, it is placed within the average autonomy range of similarly powerful generators. If autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Dewalt DXGN4500, reaching around 15 hours.
- Autonomy holds its importance, however, it is largely dependent on the generator’s fuel capacity and so, it is nonsensible to discuss it without mentioning fuel efficiency as well. This generator is rather wasteful, compared to other devices within the aforementioned output range, when it comes to gasoline consumption, as it reaches roughly 0.59 GPH at a 50% load. If you are concerned with gasoline efficiency, having a fuel consumption of just 0.33 GPH, the Pulsar PG5250B is a device you should look out for.
Here's a list of the most popular specific comparisons:
As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 4000-5000W generators, the Honda EM5000SX is on the expensive side of the price range.
While certainly not the cheapest of its kind, purchasing it would most likely also mean enjoying the reliability of a high-end product.
The bottom line
- GFCI Outlets
- Remote start
- CO Minder
- Mobile app
- iAVR technology
- Quiet for its power (63 dBA)
- Decent run time
- On the expensive side
- On the heavy side (226.4 lbs)
- Low fuel efficiency
Features and Specifications
|Engine||389 cc Honda iGX390 OHV 4-stroke|
|Starting system||Recoil, Electric, Remote|
|Voltage||AC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V|
|Running watts||4500 W|
|Starting watts||5000 W|
|Running amps (@120/240V)||37.5/18.8 amps|
|Peaks amps (@120/240V)||41.7/20.8 amps|
|Run time @50% load||10.5 h|
|Run time @25% load||Unknown|
|Automatic Voltage Regulation||iAVR|
|DC outlets||1x 12V 8A output|
|Data center||My Generator App|
|Fuel tank||6.2 gal|
|Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)||41.1 x 27.8 x 28.3 in|
|Noise (lower limit)||63 dBA|
|Security||Low oil and overload protection, CO monitoring|
|Neutral||Bonded to frame|
|Accessories included||Battery and wheel kit|
|Other model numbers||EM5000SXK3AT1, EM5000SX31, EM5000SXK3AG|
Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.
Founded in 1948, the Japanese Honda Motor Company has gained notoriety for consistently producing top quality engines, motor-powered vehicles and devices. Over the years, the company has gained a strong reputation in the motorcycle, automobile, but also power tool industry. Honda’s power tool division has been producing power tools since 1953, including tillers, mowers, blowers, sprayers and of course, power generators. While the company has expanded globally and moved a majority of its production out of Japan into other Asian countries, Honda is to this day known as a legend among the generator manufacturers.
The Honda EM5000SX is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Honda generators, please consult Honda's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-770-497-6400.
Questions & Answers
What can it power?
|Item||Running Watts||Starting Watts|
|At home||Sump pump (1/2 hp)||1050||2150|
|Furnace fan (1/2 hp)||875||2350|
|Refrigerator (energy star)||192||1192|
|Total||3487 W||4962 W|
|For camping||Radiant heater||1300||1300|
|Pair of small speakers||45||45|
|Total||3595 W||4015 W|
|For work||Table saw||1800||4500|
|Electric fence (25 miles)||250||250|
|Total||2130 W||4830 W|
What is the difference between the EM5000S, the EM5000SX, the EM5000SXK3AT1, the EM5000SX31 and the EM5000SXK3AG?
The final "G" in "EM5000SXK3AG" indicates that the unit includes the CO Minder technology. Regarding the rest of the model names, as a rule of thumb, they refer to the unit itself, but simply include more or less information regarding its specs, production batch, etc. Read how Honda name their generators.
Did the Honda EM5000 are inverter? Silent? (Asked July 01, 2020)
The Honda EM5000 is not an inverter generator. It is rated at 63 dB(A).
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