Portable generators come in many types, from camper-sized 1800-watt models to 10,000-watt monsters that can power an entire job site. In this article we will be looking at the Honda EB4000 which is in the 4000 watt generator class. Known for the reliability of its GX range of gasoline engines, Honda has an almost legendary reputation in the generator world. So is this model right for your needs?
It depends on what those needs are.
While I probably wouldn't describe the Honda EB4000 as "compact," Honda does seem to have made some effort to take up as little space as possible. It's on par with most other professional-grade generators in this power class, and a little bigger than some budget brands. The engine sits in a one-piece welded frame that feels solid.
It has reinforced standing legs and a hanger kit in case you need to lift it. While preppers and emergency power users may not need a hanger kit, it is important to have a generator that is likely to be used on a commercial job site.
When folded, the handle fits neatly against the frame. When unfolded, they lock securely into place without any wobble. Plus, the wheels feel strong enough to support the weight of the generator on uneven terrain.
I did run into a small problem during the installation. The handle bolts have enough wiggle room to be tightened down slightly so your handles don't snap into place. Just be sure to center the catch before turning the bolt half a turn on and you'll be fine.
The Honda EB4000 alternator is not an electric start model. This is something we wish we had on all of our portable generators. However, that's one of the tradeoffs when you buy a Honda generator at this price point. So far, the dynamo has been easy to kick in—but it should be for the first few months of your relationship.
From here, we rely on Honda's reputation for quality to keep the engine starting easily for years to come. As long as you maintain your generator properly, this is an expectation you can share with us.
How to Maintain Your Generator
The Honda EB4000 uses the iGX commercial engine. The 270cc engine provides 4000 watts of running power and 5000 watts of cranking power in 10 seconds. Higher cranking wattage is what you'd expect from a professional-grade generator, helping you run more while handling the cranking surge power tools and equipment require.
This 4,000-watt generator provides enough energy to power a variety of tools on the job site. Or, if you're the kind of person who likes to be ready for anything in life, the Honda EB4000 can produce enough juice to keep the refrigerator running, some lights and, in some cases, a window air conditioner. It's important to know what you might need to run concurrently, and make sure you have enough generators to cover it.
What size generator do I need?
It's also worth mentioning that the Honda EB4000 is fully compliant with OSHA worksite emissions and safety standards. This means you can power your tools without the government slapping you with huge fines.
On the runtime side of the whole equation, the Honda EB4000 doesn't disappoint. At 50% load, the generator will run for approximately 16 hours. Under full load, Honda tells us the EB4000 can run for about 10 hours. In either case, you should be able to get through a workday without dumping more gas into the 6.2-gallon tank.
Honda gave us a reliable solution with the EB4000 generator, including a variety of outlet options for just about everything you need for job site or emergency power. All outlets are GCFI protected.
- (2) 20 Amp 125V GCFI Duplex (4 Outlets Total)
- 30 Amp 125V Locking Plug
- 20 Amp 125/250V Locking Plug
Pro tip: If you plan to hook up this Honda generator directly to your house for emergency power, be sure to enlist the help of a licensed electrician to make sure you're doing it right.
All things considered, the Honda EB4000 runs relatively quietly. When running at 50% load, this generator produces a quiet 61 dB sound. Running full bore, this guy is only around 63 decibels. 63 dB is somewhere between casual conversation and class chat, so it's quiet enough that you can still communicate on the job site without resorting to all-out yelling.
Learn About Hearing Conservation with DeWalt
price and value
The Honda EB4000 retails for just under $1900. If that seems a little high to you, you're not alone. Honda builds quality engines, and there's a reason many professionals consider Honda the gold standard. It's a bit more expensive to get the best, but Honda backs the EB4000 with a 3-year warranty to give you confidence in your purchase.
In order to get Honda quality, you need to give up a few things. The most obvious is that you can get more power from other brands for the same or less money. Remember that the EB4000 is a commercial generator, while many budget brands are not.
Another big issue is the lack of electric start. It's not a deal breaker that reliably starts the engine, it has, but it might affect some homeowners elsewhere.
There's no electronic fuel injection either, so you'll need to maintain the carburetor. That means it's not as fuel-efficient as its EFI equivalent, and it produces more emissions, among other benefits.
the bottom line
Assuming the Honda EB4000 has the power you need, it comes down to whether you value reliability over price and features. Instead of paying $1900 for a 4000 watt generator, you can add an EFI engine with electric start. But you won't get the benefits of a full Honda model that includes an iGX engine.
Main features of Honda EB4000
- 4000 watts, 120/240 volts
- Provides 5,000 watts for 10 seconds to start larger devices
- Honda commercial iGX engine
- Comprehensive GFCI Protection
- OSHA Worksite Compliant – Meets worksite emissions and safety requirements
- Long runtime – up to 16 hours
- 120/240V selector switch
- 2 wheel kit and hook
Honda EB4000 Specifications
- Model: Honda EB4000XAT1
- Engine: Honda iGX270
- Engine size: 270cc
- Starting System: Recoil
- Starting wattage: 5000 watts
- Operating Power: 4000 Watts
- Maximum Amperage: 30 Amps
- Fuel tank size: 6.2 gallons
- Run time: 10.1 H @ rated load, 16.0 H @ 1/2 load
- Outlets: 20A 125V GFCI Duplex(2), 30A 125V Locking Plug, 20A 125/250V Locking Plug
- Noise level: 63 dB(A) @ rated load, 61 dB(A) @ 50% load
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Warranty: 3 years
- MSRP: $1,899