To get the best value for your money, you must select the correct generator for your needs. But with so many brands on the market, how can you identify the best one? For instance, is Firman better than Honda, or vice versa?
To determine which of these generator brands is the best, you must compare them based on the following attributes:
The manufacturer plays a more prominent role than many consumers realize. Most people know the Honda name. They also trust it. Why? Because Honda started producing small engines in 1953. According to Honda’s official platform, they finally added their generators to the market in 1973. This is good because it gives them decades of experience.
The brand has manufacturing facilities in various locations around the world, the most prominent being Swepsonville in North Carolina, USA. The 11,000 sq foot facility started churning out Honda products in 1993. This gives the brand decades of experience.
Unfortunately, Firman falls short in this category. The brand belongs to SUMEC Group, which came into existence in 1978. This gives SUMEC an edge because they’ve spent the last few decades innovating new technologies.
However, Firman is far younger than SUMEC. According to SUMEC, you can trace Firman’s origins to 2001. By 2007, they had a solid line of generators with customers in nearly a hundred countries around the globe.
They have a reputation for selling clean and efficient equipment. So why does the brand attract suspicion in some circles? Because technically, Firman is Chinese. You will find the company’s headquarters in Nanjing, China.
Some consumers associate China with cheap, unreliable, and inefficient products. Firman has argued in some places that its experts engineer and produce their generators in the United States.
However, this recall notice from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission proves otherwise. The 2019 notice warns consumers about the Firman P03615 generator. The product was recalled because of leaking gas, which posed a fire hazard.
The recall affected roughly 19,000 units. The document has identified China as the country in which the generators were manufactured. What does this mean? It’s hard to say. One assumes that some generators come from China while others are made in the United States. Either way, Firman’s origins may worry some people.
A Honda generator’s biggest weakness is the price tag. Honda units are too expensive for some people. Consider the Honda EB6500. It will cost you $3000. On the other hand, a Firman 9400 generator is just $700, even though it delivers more power.
Naturally, the manufacturer comes into play here. Firman hails from China, and Chinese products are usually cheaper than their American counterpart. Therefore, a Firman generator’s friendly price tags shouldn’t surprise you.
Firman is the brand people buy when they need a new generator, but they have to stay within a strict budget. In fact, some experts may encourage you to buy Firman in the short term while you save up for Honda in the long term.
You can’t use this category to compare Firman and Honda generators. This is because both brands offer numerous generator models that fit every price range and power bracket you can imagine.
In other words, you won’t find a Firman generator with a power rating that Honda doesn’t offer or vice versa. Once you determine your need, you can identify a model within either brand capable of meeting that need.
That being said, Honda is known for making reliable heavy-duty engines. This gives them the edge.
Like the power, you can’t compare Firman and Honda using this category because you can find a unit from either brand that fits your requirements. Admittedly, because of their heavy-duty engines, Honda generators tend to be heavier.
This makes them less portable. That being said, you can find a Honda generator that meets your weight and portability criteria if you search for it. If convenience is your priority, you wouldn’t be wrong in favoring Firman generators because they are lighter and more portable.
But that assumes that portability matters to you. If it doesn’t, you can select any model that fits your needs, regardless of whether it’s Honda or Firman.
Firman generator provide more power even though it was so much louder. On the other hand, the Honda generator was quieter, but it also brought less power to the table.
You might be tempted to conclude from that example that Honda is quieter than Firman. But that conclusion is wrong. The Honda unit in question was quieter because it had fewer features and less power. The Firman machine was louder because it had more features and power.
You see this in other devices. More power tends to equate to more noise, although that isn’t always the case. Of course, Honda generators are generally quieter than Firman generators. Consider this Generator Bible list which explores the quietest portable generators.
Many of the generators on the list are Honda. But Firman doesn’t get a single mention. This RV Geeks list is the same. It mentions several quiet Honda units but no Firman. This makes sense. Honda has been in operation for several decades, which has given them the time to develop efficient noise-reduction technology.
Honda comes out on top here. The brand produces high-quality products that last decades. Even when you find a Firman unit with more power, you can’t trust it to stand the test of time. Remember that many Firman generators originate from China.
Both brands have features that overlap. But some aspects stand out. In the case of Firman, you can expect the following:
- Portable units
- Multiple fuel options
- Decent warranties
- Certification from the EPA, cETL, and other notable agencies.
Where Honda is concerned, you can expect the following:
- Heavy-duty engines
- Quiet operations
- Easy accessibility
- You can link some generators to increase the wattage.
Honda is the overwhelming winner here. Everyone has heard of Honda. Many consumers have never heard of Firman. This makes more sense when you consider that Honda has been in operation for more years.
Technically, you can acquire a Firman generator regardless of where you live by buying the unit online. However, Honda is easier to find because they have a vast network of dealers that sell, repair, and maintain the brand’s generators.
Honda wins here as well because it has a proven track record. People expect Honda generators to last several years if not decades. Firman is a gamble because they are so new.
Firman is the riskier option. A contributor to this Cruiser Forum discussion has made a salient argument. Because the Honda brand is so old, their generators have more views online. On the other hand, many people you consult have never even heard of Firman.
This could explain the goodwill surrounding Honda. Regardless, the overwhelming belief is that Firman generators won’t last as long as their Honda counterparts. But since Firman units are less expensive, you can experiment with the brand without losing as much as you would if you bought a costly Honda generator that died within months.
Which Is Better, Firman Or Honda Generator?
You would be hard-pressed to find a consumer that prefers Firman to Honda. Honda is more durable, more reliable, and quieter. It is also more fuel efficient. Firman is only in the running because it offers more fuel options.
Additionally, you can get it for a cheaper price. You can settle for the brand in an emergency. But if you want a longer-lasting unit, stick to Honda. Therefore, you need to determine what you want beforehand. If you don’t mind a cheaper unit with louder operations, buy Firman.
If you’re willing to pay the brand’s exorbitant fee to acquire a generator that won’t disappoint you, go with Honda.
Best Honda Generator
The Honda EU2200i is the New York Times’ top pick for a good reason. It offers the following:
- 2200 Watts
- 46.5 Pounds
- Super Quiet
- Suitable for camping, residential and commercial use.
- 48 – 57dBA.
- You can parallel two identical models to get 4400W.
- A single tank can keep the unit running for 9.6 hours.
Best Firman Generator
If you’re looking for a generator that won’t disappoint, try the Firman P03603. It offers the following:
- Gas (Power Source)
- 125 Pounds
- 3650 Watts
- 4550 Surge Watts
- OHV Engine (Lasts Longer).
- 5 Gallons (Fuel Tank).
- Wheel Kit.