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Honda EM6500SX - 5500/6500W Portable Generator

The Honda EM6500SX is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 5,500 W and a starting wattage of 6,500 W.

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Description

Zoom on the Honda EM6500SX

In summary, the Honda EM6500SX is a portable generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • People occasionally participating in sporting competitions, open-air performances and outdoor festivals
  • Food van owners who know that just a short power outage could lose them hundreds of dollars
  • 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 EM6500SX in use

The Honda EM6500SX

The Honda EM6500SX houses a 389 cc Honda iGX390 OHV 4-stroke engine, which provides 120/240V, consumes gasoline and delivers a running wattage of 5,500W along with a peak wattage of 6,500W (and even up to 7,000 W thanks to the iAVR technology).

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

The fuel capacity of 6.2 gallons allows the EM6500SX to operate for around 9.8 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.63 GPH).

The EM6500SX is unsuitable for the powering of sensitive electronic devices 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 with which you may charge your batteries with ease.

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 dimensions of the Honda EM6500SX, which are L41.4 x W27.8 x H28.3 in, and its typical, open frame design provides stability and enables the generator to be raised above ground level. This type of design is ideal for tough environments and heavy outdoor use.

As the generator's weight is 231.7 pounds, manually moving it or transporting it may be challenging, despite the fact that it is technically considered 'portable' (movable). 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

The generator allows for a quick, easy and convenient assessment of its gas level, as it is equipped with a built-in fuel gauge.

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

Along with the aforementioned features, from an accessory standpoint, the Honda EM6500SX'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.

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, but NOT CARB-compliant. Thus, it cannot be purchased or sold in California.

However, it features a spark arrestor, so it is adequate for use in forested areas.

In addition, the unit meets the ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 safety and performance requirements.

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. If you are concerned by weight, one of the champions in the above-mentioned power range is the Genmax GM6000XiE, with a dry weight of just 106.9 pounds.
  • Since this generator is rated for a lowest possible noise of 64 dBA, it can be considered as one of the more quiet of the products generating similar power. If noise emissions are important to you, one of the least noisy generators of this power range is the Honda EU7000iS with only 52 dBA.
  • 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. If you consider autonomy on a single full tank as one of the deciding factors, one of the generators in the same power range that offers the highest run time is the Predator 6500, with around 14.5 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. Compared to its peers, this generator is not exactly fuel efficient, compared to similarly powerful devices, with an estimated fuel consumption of 0.63 GPH at a 50% load. If you wish to acquire one of the most gasoline efficient products of this power range, the A-iPower SUA7000L, with a fuel consumption of 0.36 GPH could be in your good books.

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

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
  • Not CARB-compliant
  • 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 watts5,500 W
Starting watts6,500 W
Running amps (@120/240V)45.8/22.9 amps
Peak 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
  • 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
Weight231.7 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)41.4 x 27.8 x 28.3 in
Noise (lower limit)64 dBA
THD< 10%
ComplianceEPA, ANSI/PGMA G300-2018
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedBattery and wheel kit
Warranty3 years
SeriesDeluxe
Other model numbersEM6500SXK2AN
UPC786102007429

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 generator size 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 and the EM6500SXK2AN?

These model numbers refer to the same unit, but simply include more or less information regarding its specs, production batch, etc. Read how Honda name their generators.

Your review states the em6500sx neutral is bonded to the frame. Page 61 of the owners’ manual says the system ground is not connected to the AC neutral wire. Which is it? (Asked March 18, 2021)

EM6500SX control panel with neutral bonded to frame

Does the Honda em6500SX generator have a tracking device on it GPS (Asked July 15, 2021)

The unit does not feature a GPS tracker.

does it charge onboard battery while running (Asked October 30, 2021)

The generator charges the battery while the engine is running.

Where is the Honda EM6500SX manufactured? (Asked February 01, 2023)

The EM6500SX is manufactured in China.

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