With portable generators, there’s usually a tradeoff of reduced power for increased ergonomics and portability. It’s ease-of-use takes priority over actual function.
With the Champion 100302 and Honda EM4000S, that’s not the case. In this comparison, you’ll get to see two powerful portable generators with lots of modern features going head to head.
Learn more about what makes these two so good and how to evaluate generators by reading this article.
What to Consider
The biggest factor in picking a portable generator, wattage is divided into two terms; starting watts and running watts.
Starting watts is the amount of power your generator generates during startup, and it’s also the maximum it can supply.
Running watts is the power that your generator can comfortably produce without the risk of overloading. While you can reach the starting watts, it’s not good for your generator to be always at full speed.
When buying generators, always make sure that the wattage is enough for whatever you’re going to use it for, and if you can, try getting one with some extra wattage to give yourself some flexibility.
With portable generators running on fuel, you’re going to want one that doesn’t waste too much gas as that can be painful on the wallet.
For better efficiency, look for a product that has a good projected fuel consumption rate and if possible, try looking for a generator with inverter technology or economy mode.
Compatibility with electronics
With electronics such as phones and computers so important in our lives nowadays, they mustn’t get short-circuited when plugged into your generator.
For better compatibility, find a portable generator with stable power output. In particular, try looking for one with <6% THD, AVR, or inverter technology.
Champion 100302 4000-Watt RV Ready DH Series
The Champion 100302 generators are manufactured by US-based Champion Power Equipment, a global brand founded in 2003.
It runs on a 224cc Champion engine with inverter technology and Quiet Technology. It comes with a 120V 30A RV (TT-30R), two 120V 20A household outlets (5-20R), and a 12V DC automotive-style outlet. For better convenience, it also has a dual USB adapter and battery-charging cables.
Enormous amounts of power
The Champion 100302 has enormous amounts of power in its 224cc engine that’s able to produce 4000 starting wattage and 3500 running wattage.
With this amount of power, it’s a suitable device for most kinds of applications, may it be for casual use or more advanced and commercial use.
While this generator can easily power all of the appliances in your home, this model isn’t your best option if you’re just looking for a backup power source. It’s not that it can’t do the job, but having a 4000-watt generator just for a backup home power source is an overkill.
It has so much power that we reckon it can fully power two homes at once, and maybe with a little bit of extra wattage remaining.
This generator is more well-suited for commercial and challenging applications such as food stands and construction projects.
If you’re looking for a generator that offers good flexibility in terms of power, the 100302 is as flexible as it gets.
It can be used for advanced applications, and you can also use it at home for times such as power outages, typhoons, and for leisure. But, if you’re looking for a backup power source, the 100302 is a hell of a device, but it can be too good for your needs.
Inverter technology improves fuel efficiency
This generator has inverter technology that adjusts the engine speed based on the power load. It reduces the fuel needed by the engine since it always doesn’t have to be on full throttle all the time. It’s an advantage over generators with engines without inverter technology that run on full power all the time.
According to Champion, this generator can run up to 17 hours on 25% of the power load using its 2.9-gallon fuel tank. That’s 17 hours of getting 1000 watts, which is enough to power a regular house.
Furthermore, Champion 100302 has an economy mode that improves fuel efficiency, which you can use to extract more runtime from the generator.
With inverter technology and the economy mode, Champion 100302 is a generator that will prove its worth more and more over time with excellent performance and savings on fuel costs.
Help your sensitive electronics with Champion’s clean electricity
Most sensitive electronics get fried when plugged into generators that don’t have enough features for cleaner and stable electricity.
With the Champion 100302, your sensitive equipment such as mobile phones and lab equipment are already safe due to the clean and stable electricity produced by inverter technology.
However, there are still more ways to keep things safe, and Champion did it with this particular model. First, it has a total harmonic distortion rating of just <3%.
If you’re not familiar with THD, electronics are safe with generators with 6% THD or less. With less than half of the maximum THD for electronics, you don’t have to worry about plugging all your devices to this generator.
Also, since it has cleaner and stable technology, it’s kinder to the environment compared to most generators in the market.
This generator should be powerful enough for most applications, but you never know when you’ll need more power. The Champion 100302 is ready for this situation with its parallel connection feature.
According to Champion, this model is compatible with parallel connection with two 2800-watt or higher inverter or digital hybrid generators. To do this, though, you need to buy the separately sold parallel kit.
While you’ll rarely need this feature, it’s still nice to have. You never know when you’ll need more power, but as people say, it’s better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it.
Improved user experience with RV-ready outlet and Quiet Technology
This generator has an RV-ready 120V 30A RV outlet that can be of great use when you like traveling via a recreational van during camping trips and vacations.
If you plan on bringing it wherever you go, you’re going to be in places where running a loud generator isn’t an option as it can irk the people around you. It’s why Champion’s Quiet Technology will be of great help because it’s only as loud as 64 dBA from 23 ft.
While it isn’t the quietest generator, a little reduction in noise is still a great feature, especially for a generator as powerful as this one.
The Champion 100302 has various additional features that make it a complete portable generator.
It has a recoil start using Cold Start Technology that helps you use the generator, especially when it’s been a long time you haven’t used it, or it’s cold weather. It also has a low-oil shutoff sensor that shuts the engine down when engine oil levels get to a dangerously low level.
Furthermore, it’s a CARB-compliant and EPA certified inverter, which is a good thing since it’s qualified with high standards.
Honda EM4000S Electric Start Generator, 3500W
The EM4000S portable generators are manufactured by Honda’s Power Equipment division. As almost everyone knows, Honda is a worldwide brand known for its cars and motorcycles.
This portable generator houses a computer-controlled iGX series engine with 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts.
It also has the iAVR feature, full-frame protection, reinforced standing legs, GFCI protection, USDA-qualified spark arrestor/muffler, a low oil shutdown feature, a 120V/240V selector, and electronic ignition.
A 4000-watt generator that can go for 5000 watts
The Honda EM4000S is a 4000-watt generator with 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts, which should be good for great applications such as commercial buildings, moving businesses, and construction projects.
It’s also good as a backup home power source, but it may be too good as this generator may have too much power for the needs of a regular household.
This generator is also good if you’re going to use big equipment, especially in construction projects, as it can supply 5000 watts of electricity for 10 seconds only to help start big equipment.
Just like the Champion generator, it’s a portable generator that you can use for multiple purposes and it should have more than enough power for all of your backup electricity needs.
Good fuel efficiency
According to Honda, the EM4000S can run up to 16 hours at half of the power loads using its 6.2-gallon fuel tank. It’s not inverter technology-level efficiency, but it’s still good and can save you a lot in fuel costs over time.
When you buy a portable generator with as much wattage as this one, you will run more devices and need more power, and you will need more fuel for that. That’s why you need to get the most performance from every bit of gas to make your money worth it.
Stable electricity with iAVR
While your priority equipment is those you really need like refrigerators, heaters, and stoves, you’ll also need to plug in communication and entertainment devices such as televisions and computers.
With the Honda EM4000S, you won’t have any problem doing that as its Intelligent Automatic Voltage Regulator(iAVR) keeps the power supply stable regardless of the power load on the generator.
Safe and durable
Other than the iAVR, the Honda EM4000s has a lot of features going for it in terms of safety and durability.
First, it has full-frame protection to make sure that your generator won’t get damaged when physically hit or dropped. It also has reinforced standing legs that make the generator stand with a better foundation.
Furthermore, it has 2 duplex outlets for home use, but it’s better because it has GFCI protection. If you’re not familiar with what GFCI protection or ground-fault circuit interrupter is, it protects you from electric shock by turning the generator off in the event of a ground fault.
It also has a USDA-qualified spark arrestor/muffler that prevents fires by destroying the hot particles from the exhaust.
For the engine, it has a low oil shutdown feature that saves the engine from damage caused by insufficient oil.
These features help a lot, and it makes this generator a great option that’s powerful, long-lasting, durable, and most importantly, safe.
The Honda EM4000S is a good portable generator, but it’s made even better by its various additional features.
It has a 120V/240V selector switch that offers you more flexibility by having options of which voltage to use, and it allows you to power equipment with high wattage requirements.
It’s also easy to start this generator because of the electronic ignition. If you want an easier startup, there’s also the optional remote start feature.
With the Honda EM4000S, you have a portable generator that’s good at what it’s supposed to do and also very easy to use and user-friendly.
How much do portable generators cost?
Portable generators cost a few hundred dollars upon purchase. However, that’s not all of it. First, you’ll need to pay for the fuel costs. You will also need to include all maintenance costs, such as oil changes and parts replacement.
Where can I get replacement parts?
You can get replacement parts by contacting the manufacturer and ordering the part you need. It’s the best option if you want a genuine and safe product. You can also try aftermarket parts, but you have to deal with the possibility of these parts not working well.
Can I use it inside my home?
No. Generators use gas, which results in exhaust fumes with hazardous carbon monoxide. If you wish to power your home appliances, place your generator outside, and use an extension cord that can reach inside the house.
This one’s a pretty close fight.
First, both the Champion 100302 and Honda EM4000S produce 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts. With both having so much power inside its portable design, both portable generators are good options in terms of power.
However, the Honda EM4000S comes away with its ability to produce 5000 watts for a limited time to help start equipment with higher wattage requirements.
However, the Honda EM4000S can’t be paralleled with another generator, unlike the Champion 100302. While the Honda is better by itself, the Champion offers flexibility with parallel connection ability. Considering this, it’s a close fight, but the Honda still has the advantage.
When it comes to efficiency, the Champion 100302 has the edge. The Honda is a good portable generator fuel efficiency-wise, able to run 16 hours at half of the power loads using its 6.2-gallon fuel tank.
On the other hand, the 100302 can go for 17 hours at just 25% of the power load or about 8 ½ hours at half load, and that’s with a smaller 2.9-gallon tank as well. This efficiency is thanks to inverter technology, which isn’t present in the Honda.
Next, the Champion is also better when it comes to electronics because it has stable energy due to inverter technology, and it also has <3% THD.
In terms of safety and durability, the Honda is better by far with its iAVR, GFCI protection, spark arrestors, and low oil shutdown.
On the other hand, the Champion only has inverter technology which makes it safer with stable electricity. However, looking at it, the Honda EM4000S is better, hands down.
Lastly, both the Champion 100302 and Honda EM4000S have good additional features, but the Champion comes away with it because it offers better flexibility and a wider range of applications. After all, it’s an RV-ready portable generator.
To conclude, the Honda EM4000S is a high-powered and reliable portable generator that offers good usability. However, if you want the same characteristics with added flexibility, the Champion 100302 is a better product overall.