When it comes to generators, Honda has long been the Cadillac of brand names – but the consumer also paid a price for the quality – sometimes as much as 4 times the cost of other generators with similar features.
Take for example the line of Powermate Generators that are powered by Honda engines, This is nothing new actually as Honda has been providing engines to other manufacturers for years in a variety of devices. In 2006, Briggs and Stratton – started using Honda built motors in some of their machines including lawnmowers.
So the question has to be asked, if a cheaper generator such as Powermate or Powerboss is powered by Honday, then aren’t you really getting a Honda generator for a great price ?
The answer is Yes and No. Let’s use for example the Powermate 8,750 Watt 13HP Gas Powered Portable Generator being sold online by Amazon. This heavy duty, power your house and the neighbors house generator is one of these models that has a Honda motor in it. It’s retail price is $1144 compared to the Honda EB6500 – the closest comparible model produced by Honda under their line of Generators which retails for a MSRP of $2749 – a whopping $1600 difference in price for essentially the same motor. Both are powered by the Honda GX390 Engine.
Interestingly though, the Powermate Model, using the same motor, puts out 7000 running watts to a maximum 8750 watts – compared to the Honda models rating of 6500 watts that caps out at 7000 watts and runs at 5500 watts.
So essentially you get more power, higher surge power and the exact same reliable motor for $1600 less ? Is there something we are missing here ?
When we open the hood of two units – one could argue the Honda is made with not just a Honda engine but also Honda parts. The Honda has 6 power outlets compared to the Powermates 5, and the Honda runs at 75 dba compared to the Powermate’s noise output of 78 dba.
The Honda EB6500 allows you to switch between 120 and 240 power output – where the Powermate does it automatically. The advantage of the switch control is that you can isolate tools and devices to the specific plug rather than sharing power across the network output. The Honda also has a 3 year warranty compared to just 2 years for the Powermate PM0497000.04. The Honda does way 22 pounds more than the Powermate ( 198lbs to 220lbs )
The Powermate has an 8 gallon fuel tank – which is 25% bigger than the 6 gallon tank that comes with the Honda. The big difference though is that the Powermate isn’t allowed for sale or use in California as it’s non CARB compliant where the Honda model is. One of the biggest advantages though the Honda 6500 has is it’s push button electronic start.
In checking the reviews of the Powermate on Amazon, it has a 4 out of 5 star rating with 45 reviews with the only complain being power variations at high surge draws. This is hard to compare to the Honda model as there isn’t the same forum or review sites that the Powermate is scrutinized with.
For the price variance – you are getting a generator that is equal in power and features to the Honda for a lot less money – but you do have to give up a few things along the way.