I went with the Honda.
Drove to pick it up and will start the break-in process tomorrow. The owner’s manual doesn’t mention anything about synthetic? Suggestions?
Fuel storage concerns…Gotta figure out how much gas I should keep on-hand.
Small engine guy here. Some tips.
1) Break it in with conventional 10W30 oil. Honda sells some but its expensive. The cheapest conventional 10W30 on the shelf is fine (for break in).
2) Run for 5 hours. Change the oil. Run it for another 5 hours. Then change to synthetic HIGH MILEAGE 10W30 oil. High mileage oil is thicker and has more anti wear additives and is better for a generator application.
3) If you don't want to use synthetic oil, stick with heavy duty engine oils. These are fleet oils, dual rated for gasoline and diesel. Rotella 10W30, Delo 10W30, John Deere 10W30 oils. Very good stuff.
4) Buy and use ethanol free gasoline if they sell it in your area.
5) Use blue painters tape and a sharpie marker to label your fuel cans with the date of purchase. When it gets 3 or 4 months old, dump it into the truck.
6) Use a double dose of Stabil or Startron fuel stabilizer in the fuel can
7) Run the generator out of fuel. Don't store it with gasoline in the tank.
8) Many people recommend turning the fuel petcock off and running it til it dies to drain the carburetor of any fuel. Don't bother. This method leaves a few teaspoons of fuel in the carburetor. The carburetor bowl has a drain screw attached to a clear plastic tube. Use this drain plug to drain the carburetor bowl. After you have drained the fuel bowl, put the choke on, and give the pull start rope a few pulls. Usually it will start and suck any remaining fuel out of the small carb passages. After a few more pulls, you can be certain that the carburetor is now empty of fuel, and WILL start the next time you need the generator.
9) Don't forget that a generator without an oil filter needs an oil change every 50 hours. So every 2 days running during an outage, you should be changing the oil. Many many folks blow up their generators during hurricane outages because they miss this important step. Its not a car that you change the oil once a year. Yes, it needs an oil change every 2-3 days (when in use)