A powerful portable generator for home can give you a number of benefits, whether you’re going to use one for backup power during a blackout, or for working with power tools outside, or even for camping and other outdoor trips.
Choosing the right generator will depend on your power requirements and also your budget, and if you’re looking for a powerful generator that could run large appliances or tools, then a 4000W surge / 3300W continuous rated generator would be an excellent starting point.
The DuroStar DS4000S offers impressive power for its size, and most of the features that you would expect from a model in this price range. Let’s take a look in this review and see if this is the right one for you.
Size and First Impressions
The DuroStar DS4000S is a mid-sized generator that still manages to remain portable. The design is similar to a number of models that you will find in this class, and it features a metal roll cage for easy carrying and for stable usage on most surfaces.
The generator doesn’t come with wheels mounted, however, there is an optional kit if you need these for increased portability. Most of the construction on this unit is heavy duty steel and aluminum, and it both looks and feels sturdy. In yellow and black, it is also an attractive generator.
The first impressions leave us confident that this is a generator meant for business, and if you’ve been searching for something that is more capable than smaller handheld generators, this one should feature in your comparison list.
How is the DuroStar DS4000S Powered?
Most consumer and professional generators of this size are gas powered, and the Durostar DS4000S is no exception.
It runs on standard unleaded gasoline which you will be able to purchase at any gas station, and this fuel can also be safely stored in an appropriate container, meaning that you’ll be able to stay up and running whether you are at home or on the road.
In recent years, gas powered generators have become more efficient than ever before, and the four-gallon gas tank will allow for plenty of running hours at moderate or heavy loads.
What is the Maximum Power Output of the DuroStar Generator?
This DuroStar unit is rated for 4000W surge, and 3300W continuous power. This makes it suitable for light, moderate, and heavy loads.
Surge power indicates the maximum amount of power draw that is available for short periods of time. A number of large appliances and tools will pull significant wattage when they are starting up, before lessening the power draw under normal operation.
Having such a high surge rating means that this generator is suitable for refrigerators and freezers, and even air compressors of up to .5HP in power rating.
The gasoline engine runs at 7.0HP, which is plenty for the typical applications that this model would be used for.
What is the Maximum Running Time?
The DuroStar has rated this generator for 8 hours of running time off a full tank of gas. However, individual scenarios will result in varied running times. 8 hours is the best case scenario when running 50% load, however, up to 12 hours would be possible with lighter loads.
If you are running demanding appliances or equipment from a generator of this size, then you should expect the run time to be halved, with around 4 hours of usage when running at 80% to 100% load.
Gas can easily be topped up, so for most domestic and light-contractor requirements, the running time will not be an issue.
When compared to other models in the size and price range, the DuroStar DS4000S running time is consistent with what most consumers would expect.
How Loud is This Generator?
Any gas powered generator will produce noise. One major requirement for residential users will be quiet operation, even at heavy loads.
A reasonable amount of noise is open to interpretation, and relates to preference or even the environment that a generator is used in.
Thankfully, the DuroStar runs at a relatively quiet 69 dB. This makes it slightly louder than normal conversation, quieter than a movie or music playing, and even quieter than a than a vacuum cleaner or a hand drill.
If you have been concerned about using a generator and the noise that it would produce, then you’ll be happy to know that the DS4000S doesn’t produce any significant amount of noise pollution.
Gas powered tools and appliances will always require maintenance, and there’s no way of avoiding that. However, the amount of maintenance required can differ between models, and it’s important to find a quality solution with only light maintenance requirements, particularly if you don’t have experience maintaining generators or small gas engines.
The requirements of the DuroStar DS4000S are moderate, and won’t be a problem for the average owner.
If you find that this unit suits your needs overall, then you’ll need to be prepared for filter cleaning/replacement, gas top ups, oil level checking and top ups, and general cleaning of the unit.
The spark plug will also need to be replaced after an extended period of time (usually more than 12 months). None of this work will be particularly time intensive or challenging, and the user manual explains all maintenance requirements in full.
You know how powerful this generator is, how loud it is, and even how much maintenance it requires. Now it’s time to take a look at some specific examples of what it could be used for.
Most will buy this generator for backup electricity at home, or for outdoor work with power tools. In the home, this generator will have no problem running all of your key appliances, including a freezer, refrigerator, or even an electric range/stovetop. Some appliances that it won’t be suitable for (due to high surge watts) would be clothes dryers and air conditioners.
Charging electronic devices and running computers (both desktop and laptop) will be no problem with this model.
For work outside, the DuroStar DS4000S reviewed would be suitable for an electric impact wrench, a hand drill, belt sander, jigsaw, or even a smaller circular saw or chainsaw. It can be used to run a compressor, as long as the compressor is rated around .5HP.
You can check individual wattage ratings for power tools and appliances before running them from the DuroStar generator.
Fuel efficiency was once a concern with gas powered generators. With modern units, this is no longer a major issue, and you will find that most models are comparable in terms of efficiency and the emissions that are produced. This generator meets all environmental regulations for use throughout the United States and most countries around the world.
The only time that efficiency/emission standards will not be met, is in the state of California. Generators sold there must be CARB compliant, due to stricter regulations.
How Easy is it to Use the DuroStar DS4000S?
Whether you’re experienced with generators or if you’re looking for your first one; ease of use is important.
The DS4000S is similar to a number of similar generators in the way that it is not overly complex to learn or to operate. All functions are on a front facing panel, and when the generator is started up, all you will need to do is connect your equipment.
The starting process is not overly complicated, and we will cover this in detail towards the end of the review.
Two household style outlets on the front offer AC 120V at 20A. There’s also an AC 120V 30A (NEMA L5-30) connector for hookups to systems such as an RV. This model doesn’t feature 12V battery outlets, which is disappointing considering that some more inexpensive models do have this feature.
While it will definitely provide for the needs of the average user, especially home users who need a backup power supply, the lack of a 12V output could be a problem for some outdoor users or people who are looking for a generator to use on a boat, or for camping.
DuroStar models are covered by a 30-day replacement warranty for faulty units, and are also covered by a one-year warranty that includes parts. This is a comprehensive warranty and makes for a great purchase, without worrying about expensive repairs within the first year of ownership.
Keep in mind that shipping charges for warranty claims are the responsibility of the buyer, as is standard for appliances of this size.
Country of Origin
The DuroSax DS4000S is made in China for the MaxTool company.
Now that you’re familiar with all of the features, the pros, and even the cons of this unit, you’ll be closer to making a purchasing decision. One thing that you should consider before buying, is what consumers have had to say about the generator so far.
The majority of owners have provided positive feedback, noting that the generator was simple to use and that it provided plenty of power. Owners have also given positive feedback regarding the starting of the generator, noting that it is not difficult to start and that it will often get running on the first or second pull of the starter cord.
Negative feedback has covered the choice of 30A connector on the device (it is a three pronged connector rather than the standard four pronged RV connector), and customers have also been disappointed at how quickly this generator can burn through oil. Although the oil burn issue is fairly standard for models at this price point, it’s still something that should be taken into consideration.
Overall, high review rating indicates majority positive feedback for the device.
Model: DuroStar DS4000S
Rated Wattage: 3300W
Surge Wattage 44000W
Rated Voltage: 120V
Rated Frequency: 60Hz
Assembled Product Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 36 inches
Engine Type: 4 Stroke OHV
Fuel Type: Unleaded Gasoline
Fuel Capacity: 15L (3.96 gal.)
Oil Capacity: 0.6L
Running Time on 50% Load: Up to 12 Hours
Noise Level: 69dB
The DuroStar DS4000S typically retails in the $200 – $300 price range, making it competitive with most other brands (when special sales prices aren’t taken into consideration).
Click here to check out the latest price and offers on Amazon.
- Ensure no devices are connected to the generator.
- Ensure the generator is grounded, as per the user manual.
- Turn the fuel valve to ‘ON’.
- Close the choke lever.
- Turn the engine switch to ‘ON’.
- Pull the recoil starter until resistance is felt, and then pull with more force. Allow the starter cord to recoil. Repeat the process until the engine starts.
- Once started, move the choke lever to the halfway position after one minute, and then to the full position after two minutes. The generator should be run for three to five minutes before connecting any electrical devices.
Our DuroStar DS4000S Gas Powered Portable Generator Review: Final Thoughts
This is a great generator that comes with a competitive price, and is comparable to alternatives like the DuroMax XP4400E.
Although these are very close on price and performance, sales can allow for price competitiveness which will make your final decision easier. If anything, it’s good to know that there are a number of highly capable models around this price range.
We can easily recommend this generator if it suits your power requirements. It is reliable, well made, and provides adequate power for most home or contractor uses.
DuroStar DS4000S Power Generator Summary Review
|PROS & CONS
|-Optional kit with wheels
-Heavy duty steel & aluminum construction
-Gas powered 7 hp engine
-4 gallon tank capacity
-Maximum power 4000W, Continuous 3300W
-Fuel efficiency 8 hrs running time from full tank, at 50% load
-69 db noise production
-Moderately Easy to use
-Not CARB Compliant
-2 120V outlets 20A, AC 120V 30A (NEMA L5-30), no 12V DC
-Well made generator, heavy duty construction
-Simple and familiar design that is easy to use
-No excessive maintenance requirements
-Attractive design with a strong steel roll cage
-High power rating, high fuel efficiency
-Easy to start
-RV power connection outlet
-No wheels included with the unit, which can impact portability
-Like many other generators of this size/design, this model can quickly burn oil, requiring regular top ups. The recommended oil change interval is for every 20 hours of moderate use
-30AMP plug may require an adaptor for some RV hookups
-Oil drain plug is poorly positioned, and requires tilting of the unit to drain the oil without excess leaking onto the generator frame
-No 12V battery output