Honda Inverter Generator Overview
Power. It’s about as broad of a term as any, but everyone seeks it in some way, shape or form. In this guide, we’re seeking knowledge of a different type of power. We’ll be looking at things that produce voltage, more specifically, Honda Inverter Generators. Most people are familiar with how generators work, (those things you use when your power goes out) but inverter generators are a relatively new way of harnessing energy which carry their purpose out a bit differently than their predecessors.
A number of the generators in this review are also featured in our Best Honda Generators review.
How Inverter Generators Work
The first step of the production process comes from the alternator generating multi-phase AC power, which is later converted to DC power. After this step, the inverter turns this power back into AC, and smooths and cleans it in preparation for output. The entire process relies on a special microprocessor which runs the entire conversion operation, as well as the engine.
Why Honda Inverter Generators Are Better
Waste is a waste. When you allow energy to escape during the conversion process, you are reducing efficiency and watching your dollar signs burn. To the relief of consumers everywhere, Honda has been able to streamline their process so succinctly that their power borders on the quality of “line power.”
When you think of generators, you think of noisy, gas-guzzling machines that are just as likely to keep you up at night as they are to provide warmth in the cold of Winter. What if we told you that Honda has figured out a way to keep you warm without producing decibels equal to that of a rock concert? 10 years ago, I would have said don’t hold your breath, but thanks to Honda’s eco-throttle, this dream is now a reality.
Honda’s are of a rare breed in the sense that unlike most other generators, they do not run at full throttle at all times. Eco-throttle technology instead controls engine speed so that it is only producing what is required, thus reducing waste and noise. Besides reducing engine noise, Honda generators are equipped with materials designed to dampen overall noise.
The benefits of eco-throttle are two-fold. On one hand, you’re getting a quiet, but powerful generator. On the other hand, Honda generators are amongst the most fuel efficient out there. While traditional generators require their engines to run at 3600 RPM, Honda’s are able to run considerably lower without sacrificing any output. Since eco-throttle is an intuitive and responsive controller of sorts, it is able to cut consumption of fuel by 40%.
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Honda inverter generators. Below, we take a look at some of their top offerings and give a breakdown of the key features that will have you running to get your credit cards out.
Video from Honda with additional information about their Honda EU series inverter generators:
Scroll to the bottom of this page for additional info and our buying guide.
Here are the best generators from Honda with inverter technology:
1. Best for Most Uses: Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
At the size of a boombox (don’t mind the dated reference, we all remember those), the Honda EU2200i packs a punch courtesy of 2200 watts of power. Tipping the scales at just under 50 pounds, you’ll have no problem carrying this out to the campsite or wherever you might need it. Currently, the list price is just under $1,150, with some slight variation in price based on the seller.
At 2200 watts, the ideal application for a Honda inverter generator of this size is powering a TV, refrigerator, computer, coffee pot or any other appliance of a similar size. Due to the limited power it provides, the EU2200i is better served providing secondary power support to an RV or working in collaboration with another generator for more strenuous tasks.
When you fill the .95-gallon tank, there’s a possibility that your EU2200i inverter generator will run for about 8 hours straight, with a minimum of 3 hours at full throttle. The beauty behind inverter technology and the eco-throttle system is that you can stretch out a single tank for extended periods of time and focus less on running the generator and more on the activities on hand you should be enjoying.
The last thing someone operating a generator wants to worry about is making sure that the proper level of oil is inside, despite that not having an adequate amount will prevent the inverter from running properly, or at all. When the time comes, and it will, the EU2200i has a large, easy to access opening, oil spout and drain gutter for quick and stress-free oil changes.
The Honda EU2200i gets an overall rating of 4.5 stars and has features with equally impressive ratings. The EU2200i gets a 4.7 star rating for portability and at 4.6 star rating for noise level. To round things off, maneuverability, lightweight and value for money all come in at 4.5 stars.
Key EU2200i Videos from Honda
Honda EU2200i Generator Operation Video
Honda EU2200i Generator Maintenance Video
Honda EU2200i Generator Storage
Original Retail $1,139.00
2. Best Jobsite Inverter: Honda 662250 EB2200i 2,200-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Being in the middle isn’t always a bad thing. With varying needs, it’s important that there is an option for everyone. The Honda EB2200i falls in the middle (closer to the smaller side) and is also on the lower end of the price spectrum. With this Honda inverter generator, you’re getting 2,200 watts with a list price under $1300.
Honda likes safety, and so do we. The “Fuel Off” position goes a long way in the safe turning off of this Honda inverter generator. After switching to “Fuel Off” the generator will continue to run until it exhausts most of the fuel already in the carburetor, finally turning the engine off once it is safe to do so. This feature is also designed to prevent fuel from going stale and makes things easier when the generator will be stored for extended periods of time.
As mentioned in our intro, this product comes equipped with the eco-throttle which regulated engine speed and output as needed. Thanks to this innovative control system, a single tank of fuel can last up to 8 hours, contingent upon workload. Keeping things on the quiet side, Honda designed this unit to run between 48 to 57 dBa, louder than a library, but quieter than most conversations.
The EB2200i is a top choice for those spending extended hours on the jobsite. Weighing in at 47 pounds despite a relatively small frame (20.0″ x 11.4″ x 16.7″), this unit is compliant with a variety of workplace criteria. Besides being OSHA compliant, it is also LA-ETL and CARB conforming.
With 2,200-watts of power, this generator has no problem running multiple industrial tools simultaneously. Combining it’s convenient sizing and compliance with multiple professional standards, it’s not surprising at all when you see this unit as jobsites across America.
Key EB2200i Videos from Honda
Honda EB2200i: The Perfect Worksite Generator
Honda EB Industrial Series Generators
3. Best 3,000 Watt: Honda EU3000IS Super Quiet Gasoline Portable Generator with Inverter Technology
A heavy-duty generator is just that, heavy. At 131 pounds, the Honda EU3000iS is not the heaviest inverter generator on our list, but will likely require the efforts of two people to carry. Given the effort required to carry this unit, you’ll be facing the challenge of supplying power for more than one person, a challenge the EU3000iS is more than ready for thanks to its 3000-watt capacity. Even with a list price of nearly $2300, you’ll be getting every dollar’s worth when this generator is running at full power.
To put in perspective the power of the EU3000iS, it can produce 13,500 BTU AC units and is capable of operating full-scale appliances. We’re not just talking toasters and Keurig’s; we’re looking at furnaces and refrigerators. If you’re thinking this isn’t going to be enough power for you when everything is running together, Honda offers an optional cable that allows you to run a second EU3000iS.
By allowing the two powerful generators to collaborate, you spread the workload, making things even easier on the machinery. Worried about overloading your inverter generator, Honda has you covered there as well with circuit protection that will trip the machine before its overloaded.
One thing that has scared people off from generators in the past was the fluctuation of power coursing through the system that made it impossible to run things that might be damaged, such as computers and other electronics. The inverter aspect of this generator makes it so that the power is clean and smooth, the type of power that won’t damage your most expensive and important gadgets.
With an inverter generator this big, you can keep it running for hours on end. To get more specific, a full 3.4-gallon tank will run anywhere from 7 to 20 hours, thanks to the efficiency of the eco-throttle.
Key EU3000iS Videos from Honda
EU3000iS Generator Operation
EU3000iS Generator Maintenance
EU3000iS Generator Unpacking and Setup
4. Best Heavy Duty: Honda Eu7000is Inverter Generator with Electronic Fuel Injection
Our most powerful (and expensive) inverter generator, the Honda EU7000iS provides 7,000 watts and has a list price of just under $5000. Despite the large price tag, the power that it provides is unparalleled. The EU7000iS might weigh a couple hundred pounds, but is easily transported thanks to a pair of high-quality wheels and handles that easily fold down for when the generator is stationary.
The higher price tag brings with it more advanced technology and a user-friendly interface. The i-Monitor system makes wattage, engine speed and diagnostics readily available for the operator of the system. This is even more valuable as in the event your inverter generator goes down, diagnosing the problem is not a challenge, avoiding costly misdiagnoses.
Thanks to electronic fuel injection, and an electric start feature, only as much fuel as needed will be used. Additionally, the advanced system eliminates engine choke and helps cut back on carburetor related issues. When the 5.1-gallon tank is topped off, you’ll be able to run the generator between 6 to 18 hours, thanks to the guidance of eco-throttle technology.
Just like all Honda products on our list, the ratings are above average. The EU7000iS gets a 4.5 star overall rating. Something everyone wants to hear, since they won’t be while it is running, this generator gets a perfect 5-star rating for noise level. Other features that have been received well are 4.7 stars for maneuverability and 4.5 stars for value for the money.
Key Eu7000is Videos from Honda
Connecting a generator to your home – Honda Generators
Selecting the right size generator – Honda Generators
5. Best Value: Honda EG2800I 2800W 120V Full Frame Portable Inverter Gas Generator
A mid-sized option, the Honda EG2800i supplies 2,800 watts when operating at full capacity. In line with its middle of the road power limits, the list price is just over $1100.
Considered a mobile unit, it weighs about 67 pounds and can be carried using metal handles that enclose the generator. The metal handles double as a protection mechanism for the main body, completing a 360-degree case for the engine. Although it is not fragile, it is always nice to have additional protection, especially on something that might be used outside or in less than ideal conditions.
Honda Oil Alert is a function which detects when your generator is running low on, you guessed it, oil. Once the low level is detected, it will power the generator down, protecting the inner workings from suffering damage. A full tank is equal to 2.1 gallons of fuel, meaning that this is a smaller sized tank. Even with the lower capacity, you can still run this inverter generator for up to 12 hours thanks to the eco-throttle system.
When the EG2000i is running, it’s hardly even noticeable. Combining the function of a large muffler and the inverter technology, Honda was able to keep noise far below the level of traditional generators, operating between 62 and 67 decibels.
The EG2800i holds steady near the top of its class, earning a 4.4 star overall rating. Living up to its billing as an easily portable unit, it gets a 4.6 star rating for maneuverability. The EG2000i get s 4.4 star rating for noise level and a 4.2 star for value for the money.
Key EG2800i Videos from Honda
EB2800i and EG2800i Generators – Operation
EB2800i and EG2800i Generators – Maintenance
EB2800i and EG2800i Generators – Storage
6. Best 1,000 Watt: Honda EU1000i Super Quiet Inverter Generator with Eco-Throttle
Honda Inverter Generator Buying Guide
Keeping things in perspective
For most people considering the purchase of a generator, inverter or not, there is a good chance they are not an expert in the field—see having to read this guide. Since we are not all experts in electricity, power and combustion, it is our duty to perform extended research before making a purchase so that we can buy a generator that will adequately serve our needs.
Despite advances in technology and the inclusion of more safety features than any other time in history, there is always concern regarding safety when operating powerful machinery. Considering this above all, we need to do our homework if we want to keep ourselves and our families safe while using your generator.
Before you run over to Home Depot or Amazon and buy the first inverter generator you see, here are a couple more things we want to keep in mind. These tips double if you’re still on the fence about whether you’re going to go inverter or traditional.
Mobility & Portability
Inverter generators are small and made of lightweight materials. Because of this, they can be stored in small places and transported in car trunks, among other places. Gone are the days where you need a big pickup truck to move your generator from place to place. Most inverter generators come equipped with a handle and are small enough for a single person to carry. As they start to increase in size and power, wheels are attached to make things easier.
Comparison to Other Types of Generators
Compared to conventional generators, inverter generators are lighter and less bulky. Despite features such as wheels and handles, the sheer size of traditional generators restricts their mobility and even with a user-friendly outward appearance, most people will have trouble storing, retrieving and moving traditional generators.
A lesser known style, but still in the family, silenced generators succeed in the fact that they are much quieter than other generators on the market. The major downside to this type of unit is that they are enclosed by an acoustic cabinet (trying to keep things quiet), but in order to achieve such an outcome, the overall size of the unit has been enlarged to ensure that the most noise possible is drowned out. Inverter generators might be louder than this type of unit, but thanks to Honda’s eco-throttle, the fluctuation of engine speed is able to make up for some of the noise discrepancy.
The Big Picture
Let’s take a look at this as a comprehensive problem. Inverter generators will not be most people’s first choice for powering their homes. Instead, for homeowners, it is a secondary option for when disaster strikes and you need quick and immediate relief. For those utilizing generators in industrial shops and areas without access to traditional line power, the luxury of mobile power is a lifeline of sorts. Inverter generators can be taken anywhere, carried by anyone and operated at any time. When you’re looking for a secondary source of power, there aren’t many options that compete with inverter generators.