Durostar DS4400 And DS4400E 3,500 Watt Portable Generators Review

DuroStar DS4400 Portable Generator

DuroStar DS4400

The Durostar DS4400 and the Durostar DS4400E gas powered portable generators are marketed by Max Tools. These generators though made in China are known for their durability and efficiency.

They are also very affordable as well as economical to use. The main difference between the Durostar DS4400 and the Durostar DS 4400E is that the DS4400 only has a recoil start system while the DS4400E has both an electric start as well as a recoil start system.

These generators are promoted to deliver 3,500 watts of continuous power while being able to surge up to 4,400 watts, however breakers limit this to an output of 3250 watts.

Check on Amazon DuroStar Model: DS4400 or  DS4400E

Power Output and Generation

The Durostar DS4400 and the Durostar DS4400E portable generators have a 7 hp 208 cc air cooled engine with quiet exhaust and spark arrestor. The motor has four isolating motor mounts for vibration isolation. As well it has a low oil shutoff sensor to help protect the engine.

Outlets:

The ussable outlet configuration has two 120 Volt 20 Amp 3-prong outlets (5-20R) Note that the manual refers to these as L5 outlets, they are not the twist lock, but are standard duplex outlet. Also there is one 120v/240v 30 Amp twist lock (L14-30R).

Although advertized as a 10A 12V utility connection the units are rated at 8.3 amps for this circuit to be used for charging a battery or running 12V devices which are not sensitive to high harmonic distortion.

The stated rated output is 3500 Watts, but you have two circuits available to use each with a circuit breaker at 13.5 amps.  At 120V each cicuit can produce 1620 watts at the breaker rating for a total of 3240 watts. Using the 240V circuit you have 13.5 amps available in each leg. The stated rated watts are using either a rounding up for amperage or a higher voltage of 130V for rating.

The set up allows you to use both 5-20R outlets at 13.5 watts each, but to use the L14 socket requires manual switching to use the 240V in the split phase condition such as connecting to a transfer switch.

Also noted that the owners manual has a nice chart on what wire sizes to use based on length and amps.

Fuel Type and Noise Levels:

Fuel Tank View

The Durostar DS4400 and the DS4400E portable generators are designed to run on gasoline. They have a fuel tank capacity of 4 gallons and can run for about 8 hours at 50% load capacity on one tank of gasoline according to the manufactures listing. However, the owners manual published this data to indicate up to 14 hours for the DS4400 and the DS4400E at 12 hours. Where inclinded to believe the 8 hour number for 50% load, and the larger numbers for 1/4 load.

Noise:

These generators produces a noise level of 69 Db which makes them a bit noisy, but comparable to other units with these type of open configurations.

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Dimensions and Weight

The overall dimensions of the Durostar DS4400 and DS 4400E portable generators are 23 x 17 x 17 ( L x H x W ) inches as described in the owners manual. However, posted dimensions for some online sites are showing dimensions of the significantly larger and may have them confused with a shipping box or another generator.  The Durostar DS4400 weighs in at about 115 lbs while the Durostar DS4400E  at 130 lbs.

At gas at 6 lbs per gal, and you have another 24 lbs, pushing overall wieght to near 150 lbs..

Engine oil capacity is 20 oz and standard good grade 10-30W is used. For cold (below zero F) or hot ( >85 degrees F) ambient conditions alternate oil weights are detailed in the owners manual.

Typical Uses and Needs

The Durostar DS4400 and the Durostar DS4400E portable generators are capable of producing about 3,250 watts of continuous power and surging up to 4,400 watts. They can be used as a backup source of power for your home in times of power outages to run the essentials in your home. Being portable they can be moved wherever they are required, this makes them ideal for job sites where you need to run power tools and other equipment.

They can also be used to supply power to your cabin in the woods to run your electrical appliances. You could also use them to power the electrical appliances in your RV when camping.

Display & Control Panel, Start-up

DS4400E Control Panel View

DS4400E Control Panel View

The control panel of the Durostar DS4400 and the DS4400E generators is located on the side of the generator. When you face the DS4400E you will find the engine ignition switch at the extreme left. This switch is used to Start/Run and Stop the engine of the generator. On the Durostar DS4400 you will have the engine switch which is used to Run and Stop the generator. To the right of this switch you will find the Voltmeter and below this meter you have the 12 Volt DC outlet with the circuit breaker that controls this outlet. To the right of the voltmeter you have a duplex 20 amp 120 Volt AC outlets and next to this on the right you have the twist lock 120V/240V 30 amp AC outlet and next to it on the right you have the 120Volt/240 Volt Voltage selector switch which lets you switch the current from 120 Volts to 240 Volts. To the right of the toggle switch you haven the main Circuit breaker which controls the generator and below it you have the ground terminal.

Startup
The Durostar DS 4400 is equipped with a recoil start to start the engine of the generator while the DS4400E is equipped with an electric start. Here are the steps to be taken to start these generators.

  1. Make sure that there are no loads connected to the generator.
  2. Make sure that the generator has a proper ground.
  3. Turn the Main circuit breaker to the OFF position.
  4. Turn the fuel valve to the ON position.
  5. Move the Choke lever to the closed position.
  6. For the DS4400 turn the Engine switch to the ON position. Then pull on the recoil rope till you feel a resistance then pull sharply.
  7. For the DS4400E turn the Engine switch to the Start position and hold it till the engine starts.
  8. Once the engine starts and runs for about a minute move the Choke lever halfway to the Open position. Wait another 30 seconds and move it all the way to the Open position.
  9. Let the generator run for a couple of minutes before connecting any loads.

Shut down

  1. Shut Off and disconnect all electrical loads from the generator.
  2. Switch the main circuit breaker to the Off position.
  3. Allow the generator to run for a few minutes without any load.
  4. Turn the Engine switch to the Off position.
  5. Turn the fuel valve to the OFF position.

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Additional Features

Here is a list of some of the main features of the Durostar DS4400 and Durostar DS4400E portable gas powered generators.

  1. They use gasoline as fuel.
  2. The DS4400E has an electric start.
  3. They have a heavy duty steel frame with 4 point fully isolated motor mounts for smooth and quite operation.
  4. They have a wheel kit and handles which make it easy to move it.
  5. They have an all steel 4 gallon fuel tank with a fuel gauge.
  6. They have a low oil shut off to protect the engine.
  7. They incorporate an idle control which holds the RPMs at a constant level for fuel savings and noise reduction.
  8. They have a voltmeter.

Care and Maintenance and Use

Proper and timely maintenance will help you get your Durostar DS4400 or DS4400E generator running at its best which not only helps in reducing pollution but will also ensure that it has a long life and gives you trouble free service. Here is the maintenance schedule for this generator as prescribed by Durostar.

  1. Before each use

    1. Check engine oil level.
    2. Check air filter.
    3. Check fuel level.

    After first month or 20 hours

    1. Change engine oil.
    2. Clean gas tank.

    After 3 months or 50 hours

    1. Clean the air filter.

    After 6 months or 100 hours

    1. Clean the sediment cup.
    2. Clean and adjust the spark plug.
    3. Clean the spark arrester.

    After 12 months or 300 hours

    1. Clean the gas tank.

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Warranty and Repairs

The Durostar DS4400 and the Durostar DS 4400E gas powered portable generators are covered by a 30 day replacement warranty and the parts are covered by a full replacement warranty for 1 year which is clearly in DuroStar’s error. The cost of transportation of the parts is to be borne by the buyer. Nothing special about their warranty and all normal exclusions apply. At the lower price points you will not get excellent warranty service.

Consumer Comments

The Durostar DS4400  and the DS4400E get overall high ratings on Amazon. The customers who bought these generators were happy with their purchase. They liked the fact they are easy to use and also the fuel economy. Some of the customers who bought these generators for their RVs were very happy with their performance and liked the fact that they could even run their ACs with them.

Some of the customers commented on the price of the generators and were pleased that they were so affordable. They also liked the fact that these generators are sturdy and well made.

Some negative comments indicate that it doesn’t pull well at full load and bogs down. There is some indication that a few folks did have some issues with poor quality of the assemble and setup of new machines.

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • They produce near 3,250 watts of continuous power while being able to surge up to 4,400 watts.
  • The DS4400E is easy to use as it comes with an electric start.
  • They are sturdy and well made with a heavy duty steel frame.
  • They are comparatively quite producing only 69 Db of sound.
  • They have a low oil shut off.
  • They can run for over 8 hours on one tank of gasoline at 50% load capacity.
  • They have an idle control that keeps the engine running at constant speed saving fuel as well as helping lower the noise level.
  • They have a wheel kit and handles for easy maneuverability.

Cons

  • They are heavy for their size.
  • It is difficult to fill the engine oil.
  • Lackluster warranty commiserate with price point.

Price

The Durostar DS4400 has a list price of near $580.00 but is available from Amazon at a lower price and with free shipping. The Durostar DS4400E has a list price near $650.00 and is also available at Amazon for significantly less with free shipping. See these current listings for more detials

Accessories

There are several accessories that you can get for your generator. DuroMax  has a generator cover for your generator that will help protect it from the elements when not in use.

DuroMax XPSGC Generator Cover For Models XP4400 and XP4400E

Also available are RV adapters that can be used with the twist lock outlet that allows you to use the full 120 Volt power from this outlet.

Conntek RV Generator Adapter with 30 Amp 4 Prong Locking Male Plug To RV 30 Amp Female Connector

You can also get a transfer kit to allow you to transfer the power safely to your home.

Reliance Controls 20216A Pro/Tran 6-Circuit 20-Amp Generator Transfer Switch for up to 5000-Watt Generators

Power cords of varying lengths with proper amp rating can be used. See our post at picking power cords to get your appliances connected to the generator power source.

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Summary

The Durostar DS4400 and DS4400E generators use gasoline as their fuel. They have a rated output capacity of 3,500 watts and a surge capacity 0f 4,400 watts these generators can be used as a backup source of power for your home in times of power outages to run your essentials. They have a long run time of 8 hours on 4 gallons of gasoline at 50% load capacity. This makes these ideal generators when you need to have power for long periods of time. They can be taken camping and also used in your RVs to power your electrical appliances. Being portable means that you can easily take them to your job site when you need electrical power to run your power tools.

DS4400:

DS4400E:

Similar Generation Units:

The following Generators are similar to the above but at different wattage sizes

DuroMax XP4400E 4,400 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator With Wheel Kit And Electric Start

Durostar DS10000E 16 HP Gasoline Powered Electric Start Portable Generator with Wheel Kit, 10000-watt, EPA Approved

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