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Honda EM6500SX Spec Review

The Honda EM6500SX is a portable open frame 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 summary, the Honda EM6500SX is a portable generator especially useful for:

  • RV travellers looking for even more independence
  • People occasionally participating in outdoor fairs, festivals or events
  • Food truck owners who want to ensure that their business is fully self-contained and does not rely on potentially unreliable external power
  • Homeowners who want to be sure of their ability to power their fridges, cooking tools, heating and lighting equipment during power failures
  • Professionals who want to be able to deliver results, even during a power failure

The following sections will present you in detail its power characteristics, the different outlets it offers, its overall portability, the extra features it benefits from, and any relevant emission compliance details.

Power & Run Time

The Honda EM6500SX in use

The Honda EM6500SX

The Honda EM6500SX is powered by a 389 cc Honda iGX390 OHV 4-stroke engine. It delivers 120/240V, runs on gasoline and offers a running wattage of 5500W as well as a peak wattage of 6500W (and even up to 7000 W thanks to the iAVR technology).

The generator features a simple traditional pull-start mechanism and also a simple and elegant electric starter (battery included). It is rated for a noise of 64 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a normal conversation). The EM6500SX can also be remotely started, offering further convenience (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).

As the EM6500SX has a relatively high THD (<10%), it is not recommended to use it to power sensitive electronic devices.

Outlets

The control panel features the upcoming 6 AC outlets:

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

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

This Honda generator isn't quite RV Ready, but it features an L5-30R receptacle, allowing a simple RV connection through an L5-30P to TT-30R adaptor. Besides, due to the featured twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the EM6500SX is transfer switch ready: you may connect it to a breaker box to power your household during a power outage.

Portability

The Honda EM6500SX has a conventional, open frame design, of the following dimensions: L41.4 x W27.8 x H28.3 in, which offers support and allows it 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). Still, once it is on the ground, its wheel kit and its folding handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.

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.

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.

As for its accessories, apart from the previously mentioned features, the Honda EM6500SX also comes with the basic documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), allowing you to start it right away. 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).

  • At a dry weight of 231.7 pounds, the Honda EM6500SX is one of the heavier devices which can produce between 5000 and 6000 running watts. If weight matters to you, one of the champions in this power range is the WEN GN6000 with only 119 pounds.
  • As its lowest possible noise is rated at 64 dBA, this generator qualifies as one of the more quiet of the products of similar power. If you’d prefer a less noisy device, one of the most quiet devices, which share the same power range with this one, is the Honda EU7000iS, whose lowest noise levels reach just 52 dBA.
  • Autonomy-wise, with around 9.8 hours on a full tank at a 50% load, the EM6500SX is on the low end when compared to other generators of a similar power output. 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 Cat RP5500, with around 15 hours.
  • While the run time is an important parameter, it is dependent on the fuel tank’s capacity and thus, doesn’t say much on its own unless we consider fuel consumption as well. 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 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
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 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 generator size calculator.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeMicrowave (1000 watts)15001500
AC (10,000 BTU)15002200
Sump pump (1/2 hp)10502150
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Radio100100
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total4397 W5497 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Radiant heater13001300
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.

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

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