Reviewers say the Honda EU2000i is just about perfect if all you need is a small, portable, quiet inverter generator. "The machine that revolutionized the small-generator industry is still out in front, with flawlessly easy pull starting, quiet operation and excellent power quality," says Roy Berendsohn with Popular Mechanics. However, the Honda isn't as quiet or fuel efficient as the Yamaha EF2000iS (Est. $1,100) , according to CampingLife.com.
Light-duty inverter. "Compact, fuel-efficient and quiet, the EU2000i delivers 1,600 watts continuously -- with a 2,000-watt surge -- enough to handle a small travel trailer's electrical needs," says Bruce Smith with Field & Stream. The Honda EU2000i's inverter technology, which converts the power it generates from AC current to DC, then back to AC again, produces a surge-free current that's safe for running delicate, expensive electronics like computers and TVs. If you overload it, it'll shut itself off. As you might expect from a small power inverter, the EU2000i has just two 20-amp AC outlets. It boasts a DC outlet for charging batteries.
Limited capability, but performs well. Reviews say the Honda is capable of running a few household appliances as an emergency generator. One eHam.net user powered his in-home heat, sump pump, two sump pumps for neighbors, a refrigerator, Internet, television and lights. Because he couldn't run both the refrigerator and the heat at the same time, he just switched back and forth as needed. "The small 1.1-gallon fuel tank limits run time under a 900-watt load to about four hours," according to Field & Stream. However, a few owners report that the EU2000i ran for 10 hours or more on a single tank of gas.
One of the quietest models. Most owners confirm the manufacturer's estimate of 59 decibels at the rated load of 1,600 watts, or 53 decibels at one-quarter load. That's about the noise level of a normal conversation. Editors of CampingLife.com say the 46.3-pound Honda EU2000i is the most compact and easy-to-carry inverter they tested, and owners almost universally agree. Many say it's easy to change the oil, and the EU2000i will shut down automatically if its oil runs low. CampingLife.com editors also praise the simple start sequence, although they pan its narrow fuel opening, which can make refueling slow.
1. Camping Life Magazine
The Honda EU2000i is compared to two other similar generators, the Generac iX2000 and the Yamaha EF2000iS. Editors assess factors such as noise level, fuel consumption and ease of use on each model. Testers call the EU2000i "quiet and reliable," although it can sometimes be hard to start.
Review: Editors of CampingLife.com, Portable Power, June 2, 2011
2. Popular Mechanics
In this comparison of four 2,000-watt generators, Popular Mechanics names the Honda EU2000i best overall. Editors say it turns in a flawless performance, excelling at starting easily, operating quietly and providing quality power. Its only drawback is the lack of a fuel gauge.
Review: Which Small Generator Is the Toughest?, Roy Berendsohn, Not Dated
3. Field & Stream
Field & Stream compares four portable inverter generators, including the Honda EU2000iA. Editors consider each model's noise level, power quality, ease of use and weight. The review also measures the generators' fuel consumption and converts this figure to watts per dollar.
Review: Portable Power, Bruce W. Smith, February 2007
4. Camping Life Magazine
CampingLife.com compares five portable inverter generators, including the Honda EU2000i. This older review provides details on power output in watts, decibel level, weight and run time per tank of gas. Rich Johnson praises the EU2000iA for how easy it is to carry as well as its low noise level.
Review: Compact Generator Shoot-Out, Rich Johnson, June 7, 2006
5. Electric Generators Direct.com
About 100 owners review the Honda EU2000i here, giving it a score of 4.8 stars out of 5. Favorite attributes include that it's quiet, lightweight and easy to use for light-duty applications, such as camping. Editors at the website list the Honda as the third best inverter generator.
Review: Honda EU2000i - 1600 Watt Portable Inverter Generator (50 State Model), Contributors to ElectricGeneratorsDirect.com, As of February 2014
At this website for ham radio enthusiasts, readers are invited to post reviews for different products of interest, including portable generators. Although just a few accumulate enough feedback to make it significant, the Honda EU2000iA falls into that group. Users rate this inverter favorably, giving it 4.7 stars out of 5 in nearly 100 reviews.
Review: Emergency/Portable Power, Contributors to eHam.net, As of February 2014