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DuroStar vs DuroMax Generator (2022): Comparing Portable Generators

Homeowners who live in hurricane-prone states or those who own campers and RVs will benefit from investing in trusted portable generators like DuroStar and DuroMax. Both manufactured by California-based DuroMax Power Equipment, these best-selling generators have different color schemes but have similar specs and features. We compare their entry-level portable generators, the DuroStar DS4000s and the DuroMax XP4000S. We further included a quick guide to the different models to make it easier for you to choose which model best suits your home.

DuroStar vs DuroMax Generator Comparison Chart

ModelDuroStar DS4000sDuroMax XP4000S
 DuroStar DS4000s GeneratorDuroMax XP4000S Generator
PriceCheck Price

at Walmart

Check Price

at Walmart

Engine7-Hp Air Cooled 208cc OHV Gas Engine7-Hp Air Cooled 208cc OHV Gas Engine
Starting SystemRecoilRecoil
Peak Watts4,000 W4,000 W
Running Watts3,300 W3,300 W
EPA CertifiedYesYes
CARB CertifiedYesYes
Output Voltage120V120V
Fuel GasolineGasoline
Fuel Tank Capacity3.96  gallons3.96 gallons
Run Time 12.3 hrs @ 50% load12.3 hrs @ 50% load
Power Panel(2)120V 20A GFCI Outlet
(1)120V 30A Twist Lock
(2)120V 20A GFCI Outlet
(1)120V 30A Twist Lock
Fuel GaugeYesYes
Low Oil SensorYesYes
Noise69 dB69 dB
24″ x 17″ x 17″24″ x 17″ x 17″
Weight105 lbs105 lbs
Warranty3-Year Limited Warranty3-Year Limited Warranty

Major Differences

They are only different in paint schemes, model names, and motor cover

The DuroStar and DuroMax generators have different color schemes and slightly different motor exterior

Taking a closer look at the specifications and features of the DuroStar and DuroMax generators reveal that they are similar and they only have different colors: yellow and red for DuroStar’s line of generators while DuroMax’s are blue and green. Apart from the colors, DuroStar generators start with ‘DS’ followed by the model number while the DuroMax models start with XP. Most generator models from DuroStar have a counterpart in the DuroMax line, but DuroMax carries more powerful models than DuroStar.

Guide to DuroStar and DuroMax Models

You can tell their specs from their model names; DuroMax carries a wider array of generators

The DuroStar DS4850EH side by side the DuroMax XP4850EH portable generator

Here are some of their top-selling models listed from the most affordable to the most expensive DuroStar and DuroMax generators:

DuroStar GeneratorsDuroMax Generators
DS4400EXP4400E, XP4400EH
DS5500EHXP5500E, XP5500EH
DS10000EXP10000E, XP10000EH
DS12000EHXP12000E, XP12000EH

The numbers following the two letters at the beginning correspond to their starting watts. For example, the DuroStar DS4000S and the DuroMax XP4000S portable generators have a starting watts of 4,000 while the DuroStar DS12000EH and the DuroMax XP12000EH generators offer 12,000 starting watts.

Meanwhile, the letters following the numbers correspond to how they are powered.

  • S: Gas-powered (typically has a recoil starting system)
  • E: Gas-powered with electric start
  • EH: Dual-Fuel technology which means they can either use propane or gas

Going back to the example above, the DuroStar DS4000S and the DuroMax XP4000S offer 4000 starting watts and can only use gas to power them. Meanwhile, the hybrid DuroStar DS12000EH and the DuroMax XP12000EH boast 12,000 starting watts and can be used with either gas or propane. Having the freedom to choose between gas or propane can be crucial during emergency power outages where gas stations cannot pump gas.

Engine and Power

These DuroStar and DuroMax generators have the same engine and peak watts

durostar vs duromax generator
The DuroStar and DuroMax 4000S run on powerful 7Hp engines

Both the DuroStar DS4000S and the Duromax XP4000S run on 7-Hp air-cooled 208cc OHV gas engines. With 4000 surge watts and 3,000 running watts, these portable generators can easily power an array of essential home appliances such as refrigerators, televisions, air conditioners, battery chargers, computers, and similar appliances. With a 4-gallon tank capacity, both can run longer than their advertised runtime of 12.3 hours at half-load, depending on your usage.

Despite having powerful engines, these portable generators are impressively quiet. With only 69 decibels, you will barely hear them from inside your house. In addition, both the DuroStar and the DuroMax feature surge arrest to so they won’t get destroyed from power surges. They further have fuel gauges and low oil sensors. When these generators detect that they’re running low on oil, they will shut down automatically to avoid damage.

If you need your generator to power tools or appliances that require higher starting watts such as well pumps, electric stoves, or welders, the higher-end models such as the DuroStar DS12000EH or the DuroMax 12000EH generators are the better fit for you. They have more powerful engines and bigger gas tank capacity to handle heavier loads.

Panel Features

The DuroStar and DuroMax 4000S generators boast fully-featured power panels

Both portable generators house a twist lock and standard outlets

The power panels of the DuroStar DS4000S and the DuroMax XP4000S house the following:

  • power switch
  • low oil alert light
  • (2) 120V 20A GFCI Outlet
  • 120V 30A Twist Lock
  • volt meter
  • main breaker
  • 20A breaker

Both these DuroStar and DuroMax generators have EPA and CARB certifications, which means you can use them in all 50 states in the US.

Design and Portability

Both portable generators are compatible with wheel kits

durostar vs duromax generator portability
Though it’s a few pounds lighter, the Predator 8750 generator is still difficult to move.

Both the DuroStar and DuroMax 4000S weigh 105 lbs and while they are both portable generators, they are not as easy to transport. For better portability, they can be installed with a wheel kit that is sold separately. Their optional 9-inch “never-flat” wheels come with a removable handle and support legs with vibration mounts.

The starting mechanism of the DuroStar DS4000S and the DuroMax XP4000S is through recoil. Their pull-start mechanism is easy and works without issues. However, if you still prefer an electric start, you can opt for the DuroStar DS4400E or the DuroMax XP4400E instead for a small price difference. The 4400E models from both brands further come with wheel kits, making them worth the price.


The DuroMax XP4000S slightly costs less than the DuroStar DS4000S, giving you better bang for your buck

Apart from their slight design variations, the DuroStar DS4000S and the DuroMax XP4000S are practically the same, so you can’t go wrong with either generator. However, the DuroMax is slightly more affordable at the time of writing, therefore giving you better value for your money. Interestingly, If you don’t mind spending around 50 USD more, we highly recommend either the DuroStar DS4400E or the DuroMax XP4400E (they cost the same) which offers more surge and running watts and a wheel kit for better portability.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Former Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about food, people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.