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DuroMax vs Generac Generator (2020): Whose Portable Generator Stands Out?

Gasoline-fueled generators provide plenty of power for homes during outages, and they make camping and tailgating a lot more fun, too. Thankfully, you can get some serious wattage from midrange generators these days, such as the DuroMax XP5500EH and the Generac GP5500. Here’s a spec breakdown of these two powerful portable generators along with our recommendation of the best one to pick depending on your needs.

DuroMax vs Generac Generator Comparison Chart

ModelDuroMax XP5500EHGenerac GP5500
DuroMax XP5500EH 5,500 Watt 7.5 HP Portable Electric Start Dual Fuel Gas/Propane Generator  
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TypeGasoline / PropaneInverter
Engine4-Cycle OHCOHV
Displacement225cc / 7.5 hp389cc
Starting SystemRecoil, electricRecoil
Max AC Output5,500 W6,875 W
Rated AC Output4,500 W5,500 W
Voltage120V / 240V120V / 240V
Max AC Current45.83A (120V) / 22.92A (240V)57.3A (120V) / 28.6A (240V)
Rated AC Current37.50A (120V) / 18.75A (240V)45.8A (120V) / 22.9A (240V)
DC Output12VNone
Fuel Tank Capacity3.96 gal7.2 gal
Run Time8.92 hrs at 50% load10 hrs at 50% load
Noise Level69 dB71 dBA
Low Oil ShutoffYesYes
WheelsYesYes
HandlePush-typePull-type
Dimensions25″ x 22″ x 22″27.25″ x 27″ x 25″
Weight127 lbs171 lbs
CertificationsEPA, CARBEPA
Warranty3-Year Limited2-Year Limited

Engine and Power

The Generac GP5500 provides more power and consumes more fuel than the DuroMax XP5500EH.

DuroMax vs Generac Generator Engine and Power
Despite their model naming conventions, the DuroMax XP5000EH (left) and Generac GP5500 (right) are definitely not on par with their wattage outputs.

It would be easy to assume that the ‘5500’ in the model names of these DuroMax and Generac generators refers to how much power they produce, and that would be correct. However, they point to different outputs, and it’s where the key advantage of the Generac GP5500 lies. It has an AC running watts of 5,500 watts but its maximum starting watts can reach 6,875 watts. In comparison, the DuroMax XP5500EH’s maximum is already 5,500 starting watts, and it only has 4,500 running watts.

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This means that if you require a lot more power to run all you need in your home, the Generac GP5500 can more reliably give it, enabling you to start large machines such as AC units and water heaters. It will also perform well for small to medium work sites and power several drills, saws, and more. Meanwhile, the DuroMax XP5500EH will be able to accomplish much the same, though you might be limited into running fewer appliances.

Another key difference between these two is that the DuroMax XP5500EH has a 225cc hybrid engine that can be powered by either gasoline or propane. This provides some flexibility in fuel choice and can result in some nice savings. You’ll get slightly reduced wattage by using propane, but it should reduce costs as well. Meanwhile, the 389cc gasoline engine of the Generac GP5500 is undoubtedly more powerful and fuel-hungry.

Running at 50% load, the 7.2 gallon tank of the Generac GP5500 will empty out in 10 hours on average. The DuroMax XP5500EH will stop an hour earlier when operating under the same load, but it would’ve consumed only 4 gallons of fuel. This makes the DuroMax a lot more fuel-efficient, needing about 0.44 gallons per hour compared to the 0.72 gal/hr of the Generac.

Convenience

The DuroMax XP5500EH is easier to start and slightly quieter than the Generac GP5500.

DuroMax vs Generac Generator Convenience
You can push the DuroMax XP5500EH easily where it needs to go.

DuroMax fitted the XP5500EH with a keyed electric start as well as an E-Z recoil pull start, making it easier to start, while the Generac GP5500 only has the recoil pull. Once they get going, the DuroMax model is also a bit less loud producing noise levels of 69 decibels, while the Generac reaches upwards of 71 dB. At these sound levels both are highly recommended to be placed as far as possible from where people are going to be, but you should also keep the neighbors’ ears in mind.

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Both DuroMax and Generac generators are housed in open frames made of hardened steel. They’re equipped with never-flat tires so they can be easily moved out of storage and into position. They utilize different handles though, with the DuroMax XP5500EH opting for a dual handle that lets you push the generator while the Generac GP5500 has a single centered handle that lets you pull it along. With its more powerful and larger engine, it’s no surprise that the Generac is much heavier than the DuroMax.

It’s worth noting that you’ll find more outlets on the Generac GP5500 than on the DuroMax XP5500EH. It has 2 120V 20A duplex outlets, 2 GFCI outlets and a 120/240V 30 A twist lock outlet, all of which are covered and have their own circuit breakers for better protection. Meanwhile, the DuroMax generator lacks the non-GFCI outlets, and none of its receptacles have covers. Its control panel does have a voltmeter though and a 12V DC outlet, which are not present on the Generac model.

Features

The DuroMax XP5500EH is CARB compliant and has a longer warranty than the Generac GP5500.

DuroMax vs Generac Generator Features
Using propane for fuel can lessen the impact of the DuroMax XP5500EH on the environment.

Both DuroMax and Generac made sure that these generators follow the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so as long as they’re placed outside and aren’t near any windows, their emissions won’t harm anyone. In addition though, the DuroMax XP5500EH is also approved by the stricter California Air Resources Board (CARB), allowing them to be sold and shipped to the state. Its hybrid engine’s ability to use propane also dampens its impact and makes it a bit more environmentally friendly.

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Finally, DuroMax includes a 3-year limited warranty on the XP5500EH while Generac only provides a 2-year limited residential warranty for the GP5500. It’s highly advised that you inspect these warranties more closely to determine which parts and services are covered, and you should also ensure that there’s an authorized service dealer near you.

Verdict

The DuroMax XP5500EH is a more cost-effective backup power solution than the Generac GP5500.

The lower price point and better fuel efficiency of the DuroMax XP5500EH makes it the generator choice that’s easier on your budget. It produces sufficient power to get all of your essential appliances and lights running during emergencies without consuming a lot of fuel. Even better, you can switch to propane and save even more and only get slightly less output. You’ll also be able to start the XP5500EH faster more reliably, and move the generator around with less effort.

There’s no question that the Generac GP5500‘s best strength is its power, and that might be exactly what your home needs. If you wish to be able to run more machines and equipment, whether at home, on worksites, or at campsites, the GP5500 will deliver the power you need.

Last update on 2020-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.