Residential gas generators have been around for decades, but it was only in 2008 that Honda pioneered the first ever portable gas generator. Their Honda Portable Power System was the first of its kind, and it allowed homeowners, travelers, campers, workers, and hobbyists to enjoy a reliable alternate energy source anywhere, on-the-go.
Needless to say, Honda has cemented its place as one of the best portable power generator manufacturers, boasting a line of premier models that deliver dependable, sustained energy with excellent, long-wearing build quality. How do we know? We conducted research to provide a Honda EU2200i review and to learn more about the brand’s top-shelf portable gas generator, and it didn’t disappoint.
Relatively tiny at just 46.5 pounds, the Honda EU2200i is compact yet robust, delivering reliable energy that’s both clean and quiet. But is it really the workhorse you need? We weigh in with our definitive review.
- Fuel type: Gasoline
- Starting watts: 2200W
- Running watts: 1800W
- Voltage: 120V/150V
- Amperage: 18.3 amps
- Engine type: Honda GXR120 Inverter
- Displacement: 121cc
- Fuel tank capacity: 0.95 gallons
- Engine oil capacity: 14 ounces
- Cooling system: Forced air
- Run-time: 3.2 hours at maximum load; 8.1 hours at 1/4 of the maximum load
- Noise level: 62 dB at maximum load; 53 dB at 1/4 of the maximum load
- Starting type: Manual recoil
- Receptacles: 20A 120V Duplex
- DC Output: 12V, 100W (8.3A)
- Dimensions: 20” x 11.4” x 16.7”
- Weight: 46.5 lbs (dry); 53.6 lbs (full)
What’s in the box?
- EU2200i inverter generator
The Honda EU2200i is one of Honda’s top-tier portable gas generators, boasting a wealth of features that make it convenient, reliable, and practical for a variety of applications. Not quite sure what sets it apart? Here are some of the EU2200i’s features that are worth looking into.
- GRX120 Four-Stroke Engine – Honda’s GRX120 is a heavy-duty engine that was originally designed to power 175-pound heavy duty ramming equipment. Incorporated into the portable EU2200i, this brawny core provides stable, reliable, and long-lasting performance that can survive heavy shop abuse and frequent household use. Low maintenance, low vibration, and low noise, the GRX120 four-stroke engine is both efficient and hassle-free, perfect if you’re not too savvy when it comes to generator care.
- Inverter Technology – Portable generators are great for those times when you need to breathe life into the very bare essentials. We’re talking about gadgets and devices used for work and communication – those that you might need to continue using while you wait for the electricity to come back or if you’re lounging about outdoors.
Incorporating inverter technology into the EU2200i’s engine, Honda manages to provide users with clean, reliable, and stable power that’s perfect for sensitive devices. The EU2200i makes the ideal companion if you’re planning to power up gadgets like laptops, smart phones, and TV sets, thanks to its consistent and stable electrical current that’s less prone to surges.
- Eco Throttle – The Honda exclusive Eco Throttle feature is an automatic technology that adjusts the engine’s performance to match your requirements. Depending on what you hook up to the generator, it meets your needs by producing just enough power. This doesn’t only save on fuel consumption, but also helps to reduce noise and emissions for longer and cleaner operations.
- Fuel Efficient – The EU2200i is impressively efficient with fuel consumption. The tiny machine can sustain some pretty demanding appliances and devices despite its relatively small fuel tank. With less than a gallon of gasoline, your EU2200i can power a 1500W air-conditioning unit for a little over 3 hours, or a bunch of other smaller devices like mobile phones, laptops, TV sets, and small kitchen appliances for up to 8 hours depending on the load.
- Parallel Connection – Need more power? The Honda EU2200i comes equipped with a parallel outlet that lets you connect with another EU2200i or its predecessor, the EU2000i. This doubles the available wattage, letting you power more devices or more intensive appliances that might require more energy.
- Silent Operation – The Honda EU2200i is a relatively silent machine, generating just 62 dBs of noise at its maximum load. That means you’d still be able to sustain a normal conversation around the generator without having to raise your voice to be heard. Residential users can also rest easy knowing that their generator won’t be much of a disturbance for their sleeping neighbors.
- Improved Air-Cooling System – One of the improvements that Honda made sure to incorporate into the EU2200i is its improved air-cooling system. The larger ventilation area effectively reduces the air intake resistance inside the generator’s case, and thus allows more air to cool the internal parts for better temperature regulation. For you, that means a generator that’s always cool to the touch, minimizing the risk of injury and, of course, the potential for heat damage to the engine.
- Fuel Shutoff Valve – Keeping your generator running when there’s barely enough gas to run it can damage your engine. The EU2200i’s Fuel Shutoff Valve makes sure that your generator continues to operate only until the fuel inside the carburetor is consumed, shutting off the generator before it reaches critical levels and protecting the internal workings from potentially damaging outcomes.
- Intuitive Control Panel – A likely first impression of the EU2200i is that it’s a pretty stripped-down machine. The control panel features just the duplex outlets and a few indicator lights that tell you more about your generator’s performance. Lights for low oil and overload hazard tell you when it’s time to make adjustments to protect your engine from potential damage. A switch that turns Eco Throttle on and off can be found just next to the outlets, and on the left side of the generator’s body, the recoil and Fuel Shutoff Valve sit for easy access.
- OSHA Compliant – The EU2200i’s design complies with all of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirements. So, if you were hoping to find a portable generator that you could use on your professional job site, the EU2200i guarantees supreme safety and efficiency to reduce the hazards in your workspace.
- EPA Approved – Gas generators, even the smallest ones, produce carbon monoxide as a byproduct. When unregulated, strong emissions can put the environment and your health at risk. To guarantee your safety, the EU2200i is approved for residential and commercial use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Simply put, this means the generator won’t cause neither environmental nor health hazards when used according to its user manual instructions.
- CARB Compliant – The California Air Resources Board is another entity that helps to ensure the safety of automobiles and machinery like power generators for both the environment and personal health. The EU2200i is a CARB-compliant portable generator, which means it meets the stricter requirements of the California-based board, producing a marginal amount of emissions that make it safe for use in both residential and commercial applications.
A Review of the EU2200i
The descendant of Honda’s best-selling portable gas generator, the EU2200i boasts an updated design that promises even better performance than its EU2000i predecessor. At a glance, the compact little machine might look unassuming. Its modest 46-pound body is lightweight and impeccably petite. But the generator’s impressive build makes up for it, featuring a solid body that’s robust and durable, exuding the qualities of a well-built machine that’s designed for the long-haul.
Simple and straightforward, this machine is stripped of all those fancy bells and whistles that can complicate operation. The streamlined body features an intuitive control panel that showcases everything you need to get started on its use. Two 20A 120V outlets are plainly displayed across the generator’s front side, with three accompanying indicator lights that provide information on oil level, overloading, and output. To the left of the front-facing control panel, you’ll find the manual recoil start and the Fuel Shutoff Valve.
Maintenance-wise, the tiny generator doesn’t call for a lot. An oil change now and again can help ensure smooth and hitch-free operations. But other than that, there’s not much else you need to do. This effortless maintenance is made possible by Honda’s powerful GRX120 engine that’s built for heavier abuse than what you’re likely to use your portable generator for. In effect, it’s a lot more capable of keeping up with your needs, minimizing the risk of damage, wear, and tear.
With a run-time of 8.1 hours on 25% its maximum load, the Honda EU2200i promises excellent fuel efficiency that can sustain all of your basics for hours on end. Its 1800W running wattage can sustain most of your essential electronics, devices, and appliances, as well as the typical range of power tools you might use at a job site.
If all of that hasn’t got you sold just yet, it’s also helpful to know that the EU2200i is one of the most silent portable generators out there. At 1/4 of its maximum load, you can expect noise levels of just 52 dBs, letting you run your machine without causing too much of a ruckus.
All of these features considered, the EU2200i makes a suitable generator for both residential and job site use. Needless to say, you can’t expect it to sustain power-intensive appliances, tools, and devices all at the same time. But the generator exceeds expectations when used for the bare necessities, providing clean, reliable, and sustained power that’s easy on the gas. So, for those short-lived unexpected power interruptions, or those modest jobs that require the use of a few power tools, the EU2200i delivers just the right performance.
As you might know though, there is no such thing as a perfect portable gas generator. For all the positive points that the EU2200i proudly showcases, it does have a few design dips and flaws. First, the machine doesn’t have a number of the basic indicators you would expect from a gas generator. These include an hour meter, a load meter, and a voltage indicator. Fortunately, they can be purchased as aftermarket accessories.
Second, the generator’s oil fill and drain plug could have been better positioned. The awkward placement means you’d have to spill oil somewhere on the floor or on the generator’s body during an oil change. Dealing with that mess too often – especially if you plan to use your generator on a weekly basis could be a pretty big inconvenience for some users.
Positives & Negatives
- Ultra-portable design is lightweight yet well-built, allowing seamless ease of storage and transport
- Inverter engine generates clean, sustained energy that’s less likely to sputter or surge, protecting even the most delicate of gadgets
- Excellent engine build and cooling system promises a long, reliable lifespan that can survive frequent and heavy use with ease
- Low maintenance design doesn’t call for much more than a regular oil change
- Fuel efficient engine uses less than a gallon of gas, but may last up to 8.1 hours depending on your load
- Intuitive design lets you operate your generator like a pro, without having to glance at the user manual
- Awkwardly placed oil drain plug means you’ll always spill some oil when emptying the engine oil
- Doesn’t come with an hour indicator, voltage meter, or load meter, so you may have to buy those separately
About the Manufacturer
Honda is one of the most prominent Japanese automobile manufacturers to date. Their range of motor vehicles include cars, vans, trucks, and motorcycles, which have all seen success and strong patronage worldwide. But aside from their core automobile line-up, the brand also produces a range of power products – an industry where they’ve earned top-tier status as well.
Presently, Honda’s selection of power generators and alternate energy sources compete closely with other prominent brands, including those that come from North American companies like Champion and Generac. According to the company’s statistics, they’ve sold some 6.3 million power products across the globe, and that number continues to grow with the release of better and more efficient models like the EU2200i.
The Competition – A Comparison Table
|Honda EU2200i||Generac IQ2000||Wen 56200i|
|Run-time||3.2 hours at full load;|
8.1 hours at 1/4 load
|2.85 hours at max load;|
7.7 hours at 1/4 load
|3 hours at max load;|
8 hours at 1/4 load
|Fuel tank||0.95 gallons||1.06 gallons||1 gallon|
|Starting type||Manual recoil||Manual recoil||Manual recoil|
|Noise level||62 dB at max load||53 dB at max load||60 dB at max load|
|Weight||46.5 lbs||46.5 lbs||48 lbs|
|Number of outlets||2||2||2|
|Parallel capability||Yes – WEN 56421 Parallel Connection Kit||Yes – Generac 6877 Parallel Kit||Yes – Honda 08E93-HPK123HI Parallel Cables|
Set of 2 generators + parallel cables
The Generac IQ2000 and WEN 56200i are some of the Honda EU2200i’s closest competitors, offering a combination of features that are almost exactly like Honda’s crowning portable generator. While all three of these generator models run on gasoline, the EU2200i excels in terms of fuel economy, boasting the longest run-time and wattage despite having the smallest fuel capacity.
With a wealth of safety features contained in a compact, lightweight body, the EU2200i doesn’t only excel in terms of hazard control, but also leaves its competitors in the dust when it comes to build-quality. Its extra-durable body doesn’t vibrate during operation, shedding light on the world-class process that goes into manufacturing it.
Sure, the EU2200i might not be best-in-class in terms of silent operation, and neither does it have as many outlets as WEN’s entry. But it definitely doesn’t lag far behind. Without comparison, the EU2200i is actually notably silent. If the number of outlets turns out to be your main concern, an extension cord can make for an easy solution. Altogether, the EU2200i’s durability, fuel-efficiency, and safety give far more value for every penny you spend, making these minor flaws easily forgivable.
The Honda EU2200i uses SAE-10W-30 oil. You can buy it from Honda or any other brand. If the low oil indicator light is on, then that means your generator is due for a refill. You can also manually check the oil level by peering inside the oil reserve. It’s considered properly filled when the oil reaches the edge of the interior oil tank while the generator is placed on level ground.
With a running wattage of 1800W, the Honda EU2200i can run most appliances, devices, and power tools. But it helps to consider its limits, since running power-intensive electronics all at once can overload your generator.
To illustrate that point, certain air-conditioners require 1,500 watts to run. Because the EU2200i can sustain up to 1,800 watts, it would theoretically be able to run some air-conditioning units. But keep in mind that that leaves only about 300 watts in excess, which you might be able to use to light smaller devices like a mobile charger, a music player or radio, or a few light bulbs.
Another thing worth considering is the amount of time that the generator can sustain that kind of demand. By maxing out the load, you also shorten the generator’s run-time. To keep it operational, you’d have to refill the gas after burning up the fuel it takes to sustain power-intensive devices. The lower the demand, the longer the generator can run between refuels.
You can plug an extension cord into a power generator to increase the number of available outlets. But experts recommend using heavy-duty extension cords intended for outdoor use to minimize the potential hazards.
Theoretically, yes you can. But it depends on what you want to power. If you’re running a 7,000 BTU rooftop RV air-conditioner, you’ll need around 700 watts of power to keep it running. That leaves you 1,000 watts of left over power to divide among your other essentials. Since air-conditioning units tend to be energy hogs, you can consider sacrificing the regulated temperatures for more power to run your other appliances.
Another thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that the EU2200i comes with a fuel tank that measures less than a gallon. That would mean that maxing out its load with the requirements of an RV would require refilling the small workhorse at least once every three hours.
Finally, the EU2200i doesn’t have a TT-30 RV outlet. This means you’d have to purchase the separate paraphernalia to hook your generator to your RV since it isn’t an RV-ready model. To augment that problem however, Honda offers the EU2200i Companion model which features a 30A outlet that can accommodate a transfer switch for RV use.
Yes. To run the Honda EU2200i on propane or natural gas, you can purchase a fuel conversion kit. These are also available from third party brands as an aftermarket purchase. Keep in mind though, buying from an unauthorized dealer and having it installed by the same can void your generator’s warranty. Make sure you’re choosing an accredited kit from a registered dealer to keep your warranty intact.
To Sum up
Is the EU2200i right on the money? Some might say that it comes at a steep cost considering its close competitors’ lower prices. But with the Honda EU2200i, you’re getting more than just an alternative energy source. The well-built machine promises excellent performance that lasts, serving superb fuel efficiency, safety, and power that outperforms most of its competitors.
Now, the question – is it right for you? Our Honda EU2200i review has revealed that the best-seller can cover a wide variety of applications and needs. But if you need a gas generator that’s small enough for transport and storage without compromising on power, the EU2200i becomes an even more obvious purchase. Certainly, it won’t be strong enough to power your entire household. But with just enough energy for all of your bare essentials and a little extra, this power generator serves up practical use that you can rely on for years to come.