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Honda EM6500SX Spec Review

The Honda EM6500SX is an open frame portable generator with a rated wattage of 5500 W and a starting wattage of 6500 W.

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Description

Zoom on the Honda EM6500SX

In a nutshell, the Honda EM6500SX is a portable generator mostly geared towards:

  • RV travellers who wish to upgrade their experience to another level
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
  • Homeowners who want to be able to use the most necessary devices in their household, even during a blackout
  • 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 EM6500SX in use

The Honda EM6500SX

The Honda EM6500SX's design includes a gasoline-fueled 389 cc Honda iGX390 OHV 4-stroke engine. With a 120/240V output, it gives a running wattage of 5500W and also a peak wattage of 6500W (and even up to 7000 W thanks to the iAVR technology).

Enjoying a noise rating of 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a normal conversation), this generator can be started thanks to a simple traditional pull-start mechanism, but also to a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included). For additional convenience, the EM6500SX may also be remotely started (via the My Generator App).

With a fuel capacity of 6.2 gallons, the EM6500SX may run for around 9.8 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.63 GPH).

Outlets

The control panel provides the upcoming 6 AC outlets:

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

In addition, it provides 1 DC outlet: there's a 12V 8A receptacle with which charging your batteries is made easy.

While this Honda generator is not RV Ready, its L5-30R receptacle can be used for a simple RV connection with an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, since the EM6500SX 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 EM6500SX is a typical, open frame, with the dimensions of L41.4 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.

Even though this device may be technically portable (as in movable), manipulation and transportation without special equipment can be a challenge, as it weighs 231.7 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.

Features

Panel of the Honda EM6500SX

The EM6500SX'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.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an automatic low oil shut-off (Oil Alert®) and an overload protection (circuit breaker), which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

Besides the features previously mentioned, accessory-wise, the Honda EM6500SX 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 EM6500SX

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 EM6500SX 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 EM6500SX 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 EM6500SX is able to produce a starting wattage above the maximum rating, for up to 10 seconds. Therefore, thanks to iAVR, the EM6500SX is able to “overclock” itself above its 6500 starting watts and provide up to 7000 W.

Emissions

The Honda EM6500SX 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, making it usable in forested areas.

Product Video

The Honda EM6500SX versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Honda EM6500SX compare to generators of similar power (between 5000 and 6000 W).

  • With its weight of 231.7 lbs, the Honda EM6500SX is one of the heavier generators in the 5000-6000 rated wattage category. Regarding dry weight, one of the champions in the same power range is the WEN GN6000, with a dry weight of only 119 lbs.
  • With a lowest possible noise of 64 dBA, this generator places itself amongst the more quiet of the products delivering similar power. For those who are looking for a less noisy device, we suggest the Honda EU7000iS. With just 52 dBA, it is one of the most quiet devices in this power range.
  • As for its autonomy, the EM6500SX, with an autonomy of around 9.8 hours at a 50% load, is placed on the low end among the generators of its kind. Concerning the run times, one of the several devices with a comparable output, offering the highest autonomy, is the Cat RP5500, which is able to run for around 15 hours.
  • Run times are important, yet thanks to their dependence on the fuel capacity, they should be judged along with the fuel consumption of the device. This generator is rather wasteful, compared to other devices within the aforementioned output range, when it comes to gasoline consumption, as it reaches roughly 0.63 GPH at a 50% load. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the Westinghouse WGen5300v, with a fuel consumption of 0.35 GPH could be in your good books.
According to our stats, the following comparison is pretty popular: Honda EM6500SX vs Honda EU7000iS.

Price comparison

As you can see from this interactive chart, when compared to other 5000-6000W generators, the Honda EM6500SX 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 (64 dBA)
WEAKNESSES:
  • On the expensive side
  • On the heavy side (231.7 lbs)
  • Relatively low run time
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the Honda EM6500SX 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 watts5500 W
Starting watts6500 W
Running amps (@120/240V)45.8/22.9 amps
Peaks amps (@120/240V)54.2/27.1 amps
Run time @50% load9.8 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
Data centerMy Generator App
IndicatorsNo
Fuel tank6.2 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight231.7 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)41.4 x 27.8 x 28.3 in
Noise (lower limit)64 dBA
THDUnknown
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedBattery and wheel kit
Warranty3 years
SeriesDeluxe
Other model numbersEM6500SXK2AT1, EM6500SX21, EM6500SXK2AG

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 EM6500SX 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 wattage calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeSump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Furnace fan (1/2 hp)8752350
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Electric range21002100
Security system180180
Total4397 W5872 W
For campingRadiant heater13001300
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
RV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
Radio100100
Total4390 W4980 W
For workTable saw18004500
Grinder14002500
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Drain cleaner250250
Bug zapper8080
Total3780 W6480 W
What is the difference between the EM6500S, the EM6500SX, the EM6500SXK2AT1, the EM6500SX21 and the EM6500SXK2AG?

The final "G" in "EM6500SXK2AG" 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.

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