NorthStar c5500 - 4500/5500W Portable Generator With Honda Engine

The NorthStar c5500 is a portable open frame generator with a rated wattage of 4,500 W and a starting wattage of 5,500 W. (Read full specs)

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Price History
Price history for the NorthStar c5500
Latest updates:
  • $1,999.99 - June 15, 2024
  • $2,199.99 - February 22, 2024
Data source: northerntool.com
Since: February 22, 2024
  • Highest Price: $2,199.99 - February 22, 2024
  • Lowest Price: $1,999.99 - June 15, 2024


Zoom on the NorthStar c5500

To sum up, the NorthStar c5500 is a portable generator tailored for:

  • RV travellers wishing to enhance their freedom and nomad lifestyle
  • Occasional participants of outdoor events, competitions, concerts and festivals
  • 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

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

Power & Run Time

NorthStar c5500 runs on gasoline, powered by a 270 cc Honda GX270 OHV 4-stroke engine, delivering 120/240V, boasting a running wattage of 4,500W alongside a starting wattage of 5,500W.

Featuring a noise rating of 70 dBA (just as noisy as a dishwasher), the generator utilizes a standard recoil pull-rope starting mechanism for ignition.

Thanks to a fuel capacity of 8 gallons, the c5500 can operate for around 15.1 hours at 50% load with a full tank (fuel consumption around 0.53 GPH).

The c5500 ensures a clean sine wave output, boasting <5% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) to protect your sensitive electronics when connected to its AC outlets.


The control panel features the following 7 AC outlets:

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

Since it features a twist-lock L14-30R receptacle, the c5500 is tailored to be transfer switch ready, making it easy to connect it to your breaker box for home power support during outages.


With a size of L41 x W32 x H29 in, the NorthStar c5500 features an open frame design, providing stability and simplified maintenance access to components, enhancing air circulation. The featured design is ideal for the outdoors and all tough environments.

While weighing 227 lbs, the generator is classified as 'portable,' indicating its mobility, albeit its heftiness may limit portability in specific situations. Still, once it is on the ground, its wheel kit (⌀10") and its folding handle can easily solve the issue of low mobility and allow for easy relocation of the device.


Panel of the NorthStar c5500

The c5500's control panel

To facilitate status and activity monitoring, a handy voltmeter that allows you to easily monitor power output anytime are embedded in the control panel of the c5500.

The inclusion of a built-in fuel gauge in the generator streamlines gas level checks for quick and convenient assessments.

From a security standpoint, the product offers an automatic low oil shut-off and an overload protection (circuit breaker), allowing you to use it with a peace of mind.

It also includes a carbon monoxide sensor. This sensor is designed to monitor the level of carbon monoxide present during the generator's operation. If the generator is positioned incorrectly and carbon monoxide levels rise to an unsafe level, the generator will automatically shut down.

In addition to the standard documentation and the user manual for prompt setup, NorthStar has also included accessory] in the packaging of the c5500.

The NorthStar c5500 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the NorthStar c5500 compare to generators of similar power (between 4000 and 5000 W).

  • Considering its dry weight of 227 pounds, the NorthStar c5500 is one of the heavier generators producing between 4000 and 5000 running watts. If you are mindful of weight, the WEN 56477i is among the top contenders in this power range, with a dry weight of 72.7 pounds.
  • If compared to generators capable of producing a similar running wattage, this generator with a lowest emitted noise of 70 dBA can be considered somewhat noisy. 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.
  • Since the c5500 boasts with a run time of around 15.1 hours at 50% load, it can be safely judged as one of the devices with the highest run time among those of a comparable output.
  • 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. In terms of fuel efficiency within its wattage range, this generator falls short: it consumes approximately 0.53 GPH at a 50% load. If you're placing a high priority on fuel consumption, the WEN 56480iX, with a low fuel consumption rate of 0.27 GPH, could be an option to consider.

Price comparison

As you can see from these interactive charts, when compared to other 4000-5000W generators, the NorthStar c5500 is on the average side of the price range.

Therefore, this generator nicely fits in the expected budget for this kind of product.

The bottom line

  • In the expected price range
  • CO Sensor
  • GFCI Outlets
  • Honda engine
  • Clean sine wave
  • High run time
  • Made in USA
  • No electric start
  • On the heavy side (227 lbs)
  • On the noisy side (70 dBA)
  • Low fuel efficiency

Do you own the NorthStar c5500 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

Parallel capableNo
RV readyNo
Engine270 cc Honda GX270 OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Warranty4 years
VoltageAC: 120/240V 60 Hz
Running watts4,500 W
Starting watts5,500 W
Running amps (@120/240V)37.5/18.8 amps
Peak amps (@120/240V)45.8/22.9 amps
Run time @50% load15.1 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
GFCI outletsYes
Covered outletsYes
Automatic Voltage RegulationYes
AC outlets
  • 3x Duplex 120V 20A (5-20R) GFCI
  • 1x 120/240V 30A (L14-30R)
DC outletsNo
Data centerVoltmeter
Fuel tank8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Weight227 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)41 x 32 x 29 in
Noise (lower limit)70 dBA
THD< 5%
ComplianceCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection, CO monitoring
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedFunnel and wheel kit
Country of originUSA
Other model numbers1654400

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 NorthStar

NorthStar is a brand of outdoor power equipment trademarked and sold by the Northern Tool + Equipment company which has been based in Burnsville, Minnesota, USA since being founded in 1981. NorthStar products include log splitters, portable generators, air compressors, and pressure washers. Their line of commercial-grade portable generators is manufactured in the US. With many units powered by Honda engines, NorthStar outdoor power tools make up a large percentage of the product line for the fast-growing Northern Tool company.

Warranty Information

The NorthStar c5500 is covered under a warranty for up to 4 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of NorthStar generators, please contact the NorthStar Customer Support: 1-800-270-0810.

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 homeAC (10,000 BTU)15002200
Microwave (1000 watts)15001500
Refrigerator (energy star)1921192
Total3592 W4592 W
For campingRV AC (11,000 BTU)10101600
RV refrigerator180600
Hair dryer18001900
Coffee maker600600
Total3590 W4180 W
For workTable saw18004500
Reciprocating saw730960
Electric fence (25 miles)250250
Total2780 W5480 W

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