DuroStar DS4000S Review

DuroStar DS4000S1The DuroStar DS4000S is being reviewed all over the web these days as an inexpensive portable generator option that’s great for limited emergency power. But while many people may sense that this generator is a great deal, we’ve actually compared its value – watt for watt – with the rest of the top generators today, and based on this we can honestly say it’s a not a great deal –  it a screaming hot unbelievable deal at its current sales price!

Nevertheless, like most other things in life, it’s by no means perfect, and may not be sufficient for your particular needs. Please read on for our in-depth review and concluding thoughts/opinions.

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Engine Displacement & Power Output

The DuroStar DS4000S uses a 7 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine that pumps out a total of 4,000 surge watts and 3,300 running watts.

As you can see by playing around with our wattage calculator, this is just enough power to run a few larger appliances, like a sump pump, small air conditioner and full-sized refrigerator – in addition to some lighting or other smaller wattage comfort items. As a result, the DS4000S provides a good emergency power option for those folks who are not looking to run many large appliances.

Moreover, with this more limited power, you might be able to avoid using a transfer switch altogether, unless of course the appliances you want to support are hard wired (like many sump pumps are).

Runtime & Fuel Type

This conventional generator uses unleaded gas and has a 4-gallon fuel tank, which will let you get about 8 hours of total runtime, assuming the unit’s running at 50% load. This is pretty average for a conventional generator in our experience.

Fortunately, however, you won’t have to ever wonder when you are about to run out of gas, because it comes with an easy-to-read fuel gauge.

Start Type

This is a manual pull start generator, which is pretty much expected given its smaller size and budget pricing. In any event, we don’t think you really need electric start with this one anyway.

Panel Outlets

Two 120V, 20-amp, 3-prong outlets

One 120-volt, 30-amp twist-lock outlet

Noise Level

This particular model comes with a muffler system that brings the unit down to 69 decibels of sound during operation, a bit louder than ordinary conversation. Relative to most other conventional generators, this is pretty good. However, considering its smaller engine size, we were hoping for it to be a bit quieter. By comparison, the much bigger Westinghouse WH7500E we just reviewed – that produces 7,500 running watts – produces just 71 decibels, only 2 more than this DuroStar! Call us spoiled I guess.

DuroStar DS4000S3Size & Portability

Well, it’s not big as far as conventional generators go, measuring 20 x 27 x 22 inches; but at about 90 pounds, however, it’s not something you are going to throw around very easily – at least not very far.

As a result, this model’s “optional” wheel kit may be necessary if you are not up for dragging it around.

But if you are going to go that route, you might getting the DuroStar DS4400 instead, which comes with a wheel kit and a bit more power – for just $100 more.

Product Warranty

The DuroStar DS4000S comes with a basic 1 year limited warranty.

Price & Value

OK- this is where the DS4000S really blows away the completion. At just about $300, this portable generate delivers an astounding 11 watts of electricity per dollar of purchase price!

If you don’t believe us that this is exceptional, compare this with more than 70 other generators in our Ultimate Comparison Guide – you will see this model topping the list under the “Watts per $” score.

What does this mean? Well, it says that there is no better conventional generator that we’ve surveyed that delivers so much power for so little money. No tricky math there.

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DuroStar DS4000S Reviews & Consumer Ratings

This model has earned an impressive 4.4 out of 5 stars based on a total of 179 amazon.com reviews.

Not surprisingly, these very happy customers most often expressed shock and awe at how inexpensive this generator is for what it delivers.

Yet, in addition to pure purchase value, it is evident from these reviews that this model is extremely reliable, starting easily and performing well under a variety of conditions – including use as an emergency power source during some well-known storms that hit the country recently.

Users also generally noted that it ran relatively quietly – or at least no worse than expected.

There were few negative comments made about this generator, as you can expect given its rating. And most of these seemed to result from shipping or maintenance problems, and other sorts of issues unrelated to actual performance.

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Overall Pros/Cons

PROs CONs
Outrageous value! Needs the optional wheel kit
Fairly quiet Not CARB-approved
Easy to start One-year warranty
Very reliable

Additional Features & Considerations

  • Low oil shutoff
  • Steel frame construction
  • Fuel gauge
  • Volt meter
  • Circuit breaker

Please note that this model is not CARB-approved. As a result, it’s not for sale in California.

DuroStar DS4000SConcluding Thoughts & Opinions

The DuroStar DS4000S is first and foremost a ridiculously cheap portable generator for the wattage it produces. In fact, as we mentioned earlier, it delivers more watts per dollar than any of the more than 70 top-rated generators we’ve examined to date. For the life of us we can’t figure out how you can make a generator like this and sell it for so little, but heck – who cares!

But if this were just a cheap generator that would be one thing – the DS4000S is actually an extremely reliable model that has been tested in some of the worst weather this nation has felt in a very long time. Consequently, you can be sure that it’s built well and to perform under tough circumstances, earning over 120 perfect 5-star satisfaction ratings as a result.

The only reason why we’d steer someone away from this unit is if they needed additional power. For example, while you can power a large fridge/freezer a sump and probably another big appliance, this thing will not light up many circuits in your home, and it most likely won’t even budge your central air conditioner.

Nevertheless, if you are only looking to power the basics during an outage; or if you want this generator for some limited offsite power, then dollar for dollar, there is not better deal on the market today!

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One Comment

  1. tom padla says:

    Brought the ds4000s about 3 months before sandy hit me here in jersay the generator was under 3 feet of water did not even tried to start it until today with snow storm coming ,emptied the old gas out new gas in 2 pulls and it started right up and putting out power, would recommed this unit to everyone all it needs is a muffler canyou help with this

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