Re: Harbor Freight 350W Gen.
Mon, 8 Feb 1999 13:39:19 EST

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Hi Folks,

Now I don't have any feelings one way or the other about the Harbor Freight
350 W Generator. I've never seen one...but I've seen many of their brothers
and sisters, when I sold Honda Products, including Honda Generators.

The price of the Harbor Freight 350 W Generator is truly outstanding at less
than $200.00. My only advice is that you make them RUN the Generator for a
while, with you setting the same distance from it that you would on your

If you think that you, and any fellow sailors close by can stand the noise,
for the hours it will take to recharge your battery, then great. You have a
great deal!

Many times, people who had bought similar type Generators, would bring them
into our store asking if a Honda muffler would fit their Generator, or just
what could they do to make it run quieter. The sad answer is not a heck of a
lot. The noise comes from two main sources; the tiny lawn mower type muffler,
and the metallic sound of the exposed engine from all those parts thrashing

Sometimes you can replace the tiny muffler with a larger lawn mower type
without too much cost, but most of the time any replacement starts getting
costly and is very ugly to boot! The metallic sound can be deaden a little by
enclosing the Generator in a sound proof type box. But you have the problem
of providing enough cooling air and for the exit of the engine exhaust. This
I have done with very little success.

Now, if you want to spent twice the amount of money, Honda is still making a
small 350 W Generator, the EX-350. It weighs more at 19 lb. The main
disadvantage is that it has a two-cycle engine and does smoke slightly when
running at 350 Ws. It can also be run at half-speed to produce 150 W. But at
either speed this little Generator is very quite!

I owned one for several years, using it to mainly charge batteries on my boat
and Motorhome. But I have also used it to run a large fan and outdoor lights
when tent camping. Its a good little Generator, which will last a long time
without long as you use a good grade of 2 cycle synthetic oil!
It's major drawback is that it's low power output. 350 Watts is not much
wattage but if you just need a small Generator to charge batteries then it's

I haven't sold Honda Products for years, nor know anyone who does. I didn't
start out to write a novel...just wanted to suggest that the noise factor
should be considered. Maybe on the open seas and lakes noise might not make a
difference, but at campgrounds and can be a very sore point!

Bill Nolen