When you’re looking for an all-around inverter generator that combines the trifecta of power, portability, and a quiet engine, it’s hard to beat the Honda EU2200i generator. This inverter generator is highly versatile, making it a favorite among contractors, outdoor event planners, and even just people doing work around their yard. In our Honda EU220i review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this generator and what sets it apart from the competition.
But first, we’ll give you a quick overview of what makes this generator special. The Honda engine is incredibly quiet while still delivering an impressive 2,200 watts of surge power, which makes it a great choice for any situation where noise could be a problem, no wonder that it is considered to be one of the best quiet generator for tailgating. Plus, it’s light enough to carry around with you anywhere and small enough to fit in a car or RV.
The Honda EU2200i is a highly capable inverter generator, and many of its technical specifications are among the best in its class – which explains in part why this generator is so much pricier than its competitors. Users rave about the genuine Honda engine, which comes with a three-year warranty but is designed to last for 10 years or more. While the run time and lack of outlets for RV use on this generator leave something to be desired, on the whole, it’s hard to beat the quality of this Honda generator. In our review, we’ll break the Honda EU2200i down into several categories to give you the most information on how this generator works compared to the competition and to highlight its strengths and potential weaknesses.
The Honda EU2200i is in the class of 2,000-watt generators, offering up to 2,200 watts of surge power and 1,800 watts of continuous power. While that is relatively standard for this size class, what really sets this generator apart is the 121c Honda GXR120 engine. Honda is renowned for making engines that last forever, and the many customers who have owned and operated this generator for ten years or more without an engine failure will swear by that quality. The engine runs relatively clean and won’t leave you breathing in a cloud of gasoline emissions while you’re working. In addition, Honda offers a three-year warranty not just for residential users, but also for commercial users like contractors – something that most competitors won’t cover.
It’s also worth noting that this is an inverter generator, meaning that it converts power from AC to DC and back to AC before delivering it to the outlets. This is partially why the price of the generator is comparatively high and why the noise level is so low, but having stable electricity can make a big difference if you’re powering sensitive tools or electronics.
The inverter design also means that if you do need more than 1,800 watts of continuous power, it’s easy to pair this generator up with a second unit of the EU2200i in a parallel circuit. This essentially doubles both the running and surge wattage you can pull with a single appliance, instead of having to divide the total available power between two or more outlets. The EU2200i can also run in parallel with the Honda EU2000iK1 and EU2000iT1 generator models.
The one major flaw in this generator’s design is the run time, which is limited to just 3.2 hours when running the EU2200i at its maximum continuous wattage. The only way you can run this generator for an entire day’s worth of work is by keeping it below 500 watts, which severely limits the number and types of tools or appliances you can power. It also means this generator has limited use for powering your house during an outage, since you’ll have to turn it off to refuel every few hours.
Somewhat more frustrating, this already low run time is the result of Honda’s “Eco Throttle System”, which is specifically designed to increase the fuel efficiency of the engine. Clearly, the effectiveness of this system is limited despite adding to the cost of the generator. Honda gave this generator a relatively small 0.95-gallon tank in an effort to increase its portability and make it easier to store in small spaces.
The EU2200i has a relatively basic set of outlets, which is enough for the vast majority of users and comparable to most other 2,000-watt generators. The generator’s panel include two three-pronged 120-volt outlet like you would find in your home. Note that the generator does not offer an option to output 240-volt power, which can be limiting for contractors looking to run heavy-duty tools off of this generator.
In addition, while there is a 12-volt battery charging outlet, there are no additional outlets for life on the road such as an RV-ready outlet. The latter is especially disappointing given that the small size and portability of this generator, combined with the low noise output, make it a perfect pairing for an RV or camper van otherwise. You also won’t find a USB charging port, which is not a huge issue but would be a nice addition given that the inverter function of this generator allows it to safely power small, sensitive electronics.
This generator is extremely easy to use, which is one of its main attractions for users who don’t want to mess around with a cheaper generator. There is no electric start like you might find on comparable generators, but that is by design – electric starts require a heavy battery and can leave you without a generator if the electronics to start the motor fail. Instead, Honda equipped this generator with a recoil starter that gets the engine going within one to two pulls every time – even when starting from freezing conditions. All of the operational contact points on the generator are color-coded in grey to make it easier for you to work your way through starting the generator without having to constantly turn back to the manual for instructions.
The EU2200i has a “Fuel Off” position on the ignition switch, which is extremely helpful. When the ignition is in this position, the engine will simply run until it detects that it is running out of gas and then safely power down the engine. In addition, this function is useful for storing the generator for long periods and prevents stale fuel from collecting in the carburetor.
Honda also paid attention to the ease of engine maintenance in building this generator. The oil filter opening is relatively large and has a longer spout and larger drain gutter than most other generators. While these features might seem minimal, combined they make oil changes much faster and easier and far less messy.
This generator has a number of behind-the-scenes safety features that help to protect both you and the engine. First, it has a low-oil shutoff that automatically powers down the engine when the oil begins to run low. While this feature is standard on most quality generators, it is extremely important in preventing catastrophic damage to the engine
Another nice safety feature is that all of the outlets are wired to an electronic circuit breaker. This break will automatically trip if the generator is overloaded, preventing a dangerous surge while keeping the engine running. The circuits can be quickly and easily reset with the push of a button on the outlet panel. This circuitry also allows the EU2200i to meet USDA standards for operation in areas where spark arrestors are required, which is important for using this generator when camping in dry forests or for contractors who find themselves working in grassy fields.
Perhaps the single best feature of the Honda EU2200i is the amount of noise it produces – or the lack thereof. This generator operates between 48 and 57 dB, depending on how much power you are pulling from it. That’s about the same amount of noise as a normal indoor conversation, meaning that you won’t have to shout even if you’re trying to talk right next to the generator. For anyone planning to use this generator for camping or for use in a suburban area where a louder generator could bother the neighbors, this incredible quiet engine is a major attraction.
Like most generators in the 2,000-watt size class, the Honda EU2200i is designed to be carried by hand rather than wheeled around. However, the Honda generator is significantly lighter and smaller in size than some of its competitors, making this hand-carry far less onerous. That said, like any hand-carried generator, you won’t want to be moving it more than a few hundred feet at a time from your vehicle to wherever you need it.
The generator weighs just 47 pounds and is about the size of a small cooler, so anyone can carry it from the car or garage to wherever you need power. The generator has a single molded plastic handle on the top that offers excellent grip. In addition, a set of rubber feet on the base of the generator allow it to sit cleanly on most surfaces.
The best thing about buying a Honda generator is that you can be assured of the quality you’re getting with your purchase. The engine requires very little maintenance other than the standard oil change, and even that is made easier thanks to the large oil filter opening and drain gutter on the EU2200i.
Honda stands behind this generator with a three-year warranty regardless of whether you are using it around your house or for commercial projects, which is something that most of their competitors cannot say. Even better, there are a huge number of users who will speak to the longevity of this generator – many report it going beyond 10 years of frequent use without a single issue. While the generator may be pricey up front, that kind of longevity can be a major money saver in the long-run compared to having to purchase another generator in five years.