Honda EM5000S Generator Review: What It Can Power, Specs, Pros/Cons & More

There are a number of retailers that offer the Honda EM5000S generator for sale. See links below to compare pricing from the top sellers.

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Overview

With 5000 watts, your options are far from limited. To make things even better, this model can jump to 7000 watts for up to 10 seconds to start larger equipment. What makes this such an appealing generator is that not only do you gain the ability to run appliances for extended periods of time with it, the added power helps to get any machine around you going, even in less than ideal conditions.

With a multitude of places to plug in, running multiple appliances or machines is slight work for the EM5000S. Even on other powerful generators, one of the most common problems we’ve encountered is not having enough outlets to take full advantage of the machine. With this Honda generator, that problem has become a thing of the past. Whether you want to run a single appliance or a half dozen, you can do so without any additional rigging.

Running at maximum efficiency, this generator can run for around 11 hours. As you add more and more appliances on, run time will begin to gradually decrease. Running at maximum capacity, the 6-gallon engine will run for around 8 hours.

There is an internal battery included with this generator. While it helps to add stability, you’ll see the largest benefit of this addition at start. One way to identify if the battery is failing is if you’re having difficulty with the electric start. Luckily, replacing the battery is a simple process.

A lot of how smoothly the EM5000S runs depends on how well you keep up with maintenance. By regularly cleaning the carburetor and air filter, you are promoting the overall health of the generator. Keep up in these two main areas and you’ll have a machine that runs well for years to come.

Despite its 200+ lb. frame, transporting the EM5000S is a breeze thanks to a built-in handle and wheels. The only time you might have an issue is lifting it in and out of your vehicle. When the time comes for this, always make sure to have a few people pitching in.

What can the EM5000S power?

On their website, Honda gives a sampling of what just 2900 running watts includes. At startup, these machines require 5300 watts. Adding much more to the equation would be pushing the limits of the EM5000S. It is important to note that if you start these appliances at different times you will never hit the full 5300 watts. Basically, in order to maintain minimal usage, start and use appliances only as you need them.

Okay so back to that example. At the wattage mentioned above, you can run a refrigerator, small furnace, five lights, a television and microwave at once. Not too shabby for a single generator.

Some other things around your household that the EM5000S can power are furnace fans, garage door openers and air conditioners. In general, it will be difficult to find an appliance around your home or in your RV that this generator cannot power. Again, one of the main features that attract people to this model in particular is the power it offers. No paralleling, no running multiple generators—this one takes care of all your needs.

Specs

  • Engine—Honda iGX390
  • Displacement—389cc
  • AC Output—120/240V 5000W max. (41.2/20.8A) / 4500W rated (37.5/18.6A)
  • iAVR Output—7000W (58.3/29.2A) for 10 sec.
  • Receptacles—20A 125V GFCI Duplex (2), 30A 125V Locking Plug, 30A 125/250V Locking Plug
  • DC Output—12V, 100W (8.3A)
  • Starting System—Electric & Recoil
  • Fuel Tank Capacity—6.2 Gallons
  • Run Time per Tankful—8.1 hrs.@ rated load, 11.2 hrs. @ 1/2 load
  • Dimensions (L x W x H) —41.1″ x 27.8″ x 28.3″
  • Noise Level—66 dB(A) @ rated load; 63 db(A) @ 50% load
  • Dry Weight—232 lbs.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5 stars

Honda EM5000S Generator Review

What we liked

Duality of Start

With an engine as large as the one that comes with the Honda EM5000S, starting it is not always so easy. For some people, pull starting an engine like this is entirely out of the realm of possibility.

In order to accommodate users of all comfort levels, Honda knew they had to be understanding. While it took a little extra effort, they were able to add an electric start feature. With the turn of a key, you start your engine and have enough power to run large appliances and machines for extended periods of time.

With an advanced electric start system, older or weaker individuals (even children too) will have no problem starting this generator. If this system fails, it does require immediate attention in order to function. As a failsafe, the ES5000S can be started using a recoil system. Admittedly, having to use this option will cut down on the number of people capable of starting the generator.

Plenty of Places to Plug In

The EM5000S has a lot of power. Nothing would be worse than not being able to take advantage of all that power.

Unless you’re using every bit of energy the machine can supply, you need multiple places to plug in. You know, for the multiple appliances you’re going to be powering. We know that extension cords and power strips are out there that increase your number of outlets, but any way you frame it, these are less safe than plugging directly into the generator.

To start, there are four plug outlets and a handful of other spots to hook various wires up to. If you want to run a single large appliance, no problem at all. If you need to power a half dozen smaller appliances, with most generators you won’t have the ability to. With the EM5000S, you will.

Consistency and Stability

When you turn on a generator, you want to know exactly what you’re getting. Not only is it essential to crafting plans and parties based on what you can power, consistency and stability translates to safety.

Honda EM5000S generators come with iAVR (Intelligent Automatic Voltage Regulation) technology. What this boils down to is being able to use sensitive electronics at the same time you need raw power to keep more demanding appliances on. If you want to do one or the other, this generator supports those demands as well.

Generators of lesser quality cannot be trusted to power electronics due to fear of shorting them out, and ultimately ruining them, that is not the case with the EM5000S. Honda was able to develop a superior combination of power and precision when compared to competitors, giving them a clear leg up on the competition.

What we didn’t like

Voltage Selector

Okay, we admit that for a lot of people this will be a plus. When we decided to put it on the “What we didn’t like” list, we were thinking of those with minimal experience in generators and similar technology. Advice for people that this applies to; learn your machine and what it can do. After all, it’s a pricy investment—we want you to get the most out of it you can.

On the EM5000S, you have the option to use a full 240 volts, or limit output to 120 volts. In many ways, this will help you increase efficiency and only use the power necessary to run appliances that are critical. If you stay on top of this, not a big deal. If you don’t know what you’re doing or are forgetful, it could lead to some confusion or trouble.

Size

In all fairness to Honda, it’s difficult to contain an extremely powerful generator in a small body. With dimensions of 41.1″ x 27.8″ x 28.3″, many people will have a hard time finding a good place for this around their property. Additionally, dry weight for this model is 232 lbs.

On the flip side, Honda protects the more delicate parts of the generator through the use of a sturdy metal frame. While the frame is essential to protecting the engine and other internal components, it only adds to the “bulkiness” of the generator. The frame doubles as an easy place to hold onto when lifting or moving the generator with multiple people—a silver lining if there is any.

Is this the generator for you?

Depending on the retailer, the Honda EM5000S will run you anywhere between $2500 and $3000. Based on price alone, we wouldn’t recommend this for any person who simply wants to have a generator in case of an emergency.

The EM5000S is tailored for those who regularly need power produced by a generator. Whether you’re a camping aficionado, live in an area where grid power is inconsistent or unavailable, or a person that finds themselves in regular need of supplemental power, this is for you.

While this is not an exhaustive or exclusive list of the types of people who should purchase this generator, it helps you recognize the intended market. The EM5000S is a generator for people who need a generator—not just want one for a rainy day.

One of the most important things to take under consideration when deciding if this is the generator for you is power. Due to the sheer amount of energy it can produce, the EM5000S will provide unnecessary power for many. If you’re in need of a generator that can power electronics, major appliances and other machinery, purchasing a powerful generator is about the only option you have.

Another major consideration is maintenance. On any machine, cutting corners leads to added costs later on. We aim to find product that limit those costs.

Things like spark plugs might wear out, but these are easy and affordable to replace. Where you (your wallet) can really get hurt, however, is with the engine. When it comes to engines, there are two things to consider. Is the engine constructed well and with quality materials? The other is, will a mechanic have any idea how it’s built when it inevitably needs repair or routine upkeep?

Honda iGX engines check both these boxes. When it comes to a Honda manufactured engine, you know that you are getting something that has been designed, built and later improved upon. With the reputation they have, it is easy to trust the product you’re going to be using to provide heat, air and power for your family in times of need.

Another major benefit of shopping Honda is that when things go wrong beyond control of the customer, they have a track record of standing behind their products. They’re willing to make necessary remedies available and, the most impressive, admit when they’ve made a mistake somewhere in the production process.

Information on Honda’s EM Series Generators

See additional information on Honda’s EM-series generators in this informational video from Honda.

Understanding Generator Safety

See the generator safety video from Honda.

How to Connect a Honda Generator to your Home

See Honda’s video on how to connect your new Honda generator to your home.

Store: Amazon

Brand: Honda

UPC: 00786102005241

SKU: EM5000S