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Honda EM5000SX Spec Review

The Honda EM5000SX is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 4500 W and a starting wattage of 5000 W.

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Description

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
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • 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 following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Honda EM5000SX in use

The Honda EM5000SX

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 features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and also a convenient and easy-to-use electric starter (battery included). It is rated for a noise of 63 dBA (just slightly more noisy than background music). To add further convenience, the EM5000SX can 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 powering of sensitive electronic devices with the EM5000SX is not recommended due to its relatively high THD (<10%).

Outlets

The control panel includes the following 6 AC outlets:

Two Duplexes 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
120V 30A (L5-30R) receptacle
120/240V 30A (L14-30R) receptacle

It also sports 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A output allowing you to easily charge your batteries.

Even if this Honda generator isn't quite RV Ready, it still allows for an easy RV connection via an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor, thanks to its L5-30R receptacle. Besides, since the EM5000SX bears a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, it is transfer switch ready: it is easily connectible to a breaker box and can power your home in case of a power outage.

Portability

The design of the Honda EM5000SX is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L41.1 x W27.8 x H28.3 in, offering support and stability and enabling the possibility of raising it above ground level. The device has been designed for tough environments and demanding outdoor use.

Although this generator is technically considered 'portable' (in the sense that it can be moved), its 226.4 lbs make it incredibly difficult to manually lift and transport. 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.

Features

Panel of the Honda EM5000SX

The EM5000SX's control panel

Thanks to a built-in fuel gauge, the generator allows you to quickly, conveniently and easily check the gas level at a glance.

From a security point of view, the generator is equipped with an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off (Oil Alert®), giving you a peace of mind during use.

Besides the features previously mentioned, accessory-wise, the Honda EM5000SX comes with the usual documentation and owner's manual (opens in a new tab) needed to get you promptly started. An official storage cover is available, as a separate purchase.

CO Minder

CO Minder of the Honda EM5000SX

CO Minder monitors the ambient CO concentration

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

Honda My Generator App

Honda My Generator helps you monitor your unit

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.

iAVR Technology

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.

Emissions

The Honda EM5000SX is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. It can therefore be sold and purchased in all 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor and therefore, can be used in forested areas.

Product Videos

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).

  • A weight of 226.4 lbs makes the Honda EM5000SX one of the heavier devices in the 4000-5000 rated wattage range. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the Pulsar PG5250, with a dry weight of only 99.5 lbs.
  • 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. For those who are looking for a less noisy device, we suggest the Yamaha EF4500iSE. With just 58 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
  • As the EM5000SX offers around 10.5 hours run time on a full tank at a 50% load, it falls within the average autonomy range among the generators of a similar power. Furthermore, considering the run times, one of the generators which have a roughly same power output, with the highest autonomy, is the Dewalt DXGN4500, as it provides around 15 hours.
  • The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. This generator is somewhat less fuel efficient than devices of comparable output: its estimated fuel consumption reaches 0.59 GPH at a 50% load. If not satisfied with the afore-mentioned fuel consumption, you may wish to check out the Pulsar PG5250B. With a fuel consumption of as little as 0.33 GPH, it is one of the most efficient generators currently on the market.

Here's a list of the most popular specific comparisons:

Price comparison

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

STRENGTHS:
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Remote start
  • CO Minder
  • Mobile app
  • iAVR technology
  • Quiet for its power (63 dBA)
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • On the expensive side
  • On the heavy side (226.4 lbs)
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the Honda EM5000SX and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterNo
PortableYes
Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine389 cc Honda iGX390 OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil, Electric, Remote
Power
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz, DC: 12V
Running watts4500 W
Starting watts5000 W
Running amps (@120/240V)37.5/18.8 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)41.7/20.8 amps
Run time @50% load10.5 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationiAVR
AC outlets
  • 2x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120V 30A (L5-30R)
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
DC outlets1x 12V 8A output
Data centerMy Generator App
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tank6.2 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight226.4 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)41.1 x 27.8 x 28.3 in
Noise (lower limit)63 dBA
THD< 10%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedBattery and wheel kit
Warranty3 years
SeriesDeluxe
Other model numbersEM5000SXK3AN, 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.

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About Honda

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.

Warranty Information

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?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Clothes iron12701270
Radio100100
Total3487 W4962 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Slow cooker270270
Pair of small speakers4545
Total3595 W4015 W
For workTable saw18004500
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Bug zapper8080
Total2130 W4830 W
What is the difference between the EM5000S, the EM5000SX, the EM5000SXK3AN and the EM5000SXK3AG?

The final "G" in "EM5000SXK3AG" indicates that the unit is CARB-compliant. The final "N" in "EM5000SXK3AN" indicates that the unit cannot be sold in California. 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).

Couldn't find the right answer for you? Ask your own question.

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Honda EM5000SX
9.3 Total Score
1 review
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Price
7
Value
10
Quality
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Performance
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1 Review
  1. 4.65
    Price
    70
    Value
    100
    Quality
    100
    Performance
    100

    Had this generator 4 years. Usually lose power about 3-5 hours once a month, winter time I usually lose power at least once for multiple days. Have a 1300sq.ft home, electric hot water, oven, and stove top, and water well. Never had an issue with output. Clean power. With it hooked up, its almost as if the power never went out. All my lights are LED, so that helps. I am mindful of what’s running at the same time. When taking a shower, you’ll hear the furnace fan and pellet stove fan have a little bit of drone to it until the hot water tank and well kick off, just too much demand. You can use a burner/oven/coffee pot/microwave (not all at the same time) and there is zero drone. If you’re mindful of what your doing and not running everything that’s high output at the same time, it’s a great machine, and it’s fantastic on gas usage. With it had a display or simple meter for wattage output. Fuel gauge is simple and easy to read, oil change is a breeze.

    + PROS:
    • Run time, easy quick start, noise, 7000 peak starting wattage.
    - CONS:
    • Price, no display for output
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