DuroStar DS4400 Review

DuroStar DS4400DuroStar has an impressive lineup of low-cost and very highly-rated conventional generators that have been tested over the last couple of storm seasons.

And while the DuroStar DS4000S may be the most popular among its product line for affordability, we think the DurosStar DS4400 may ultimately be the better deal, all things considered.

For more information and our thoughts/opinions on the DS4400, please continue reading our in-depth review of this model.

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Engine Displacement & Power Output

The DuroStar DS4400 uses a 208 cc, 7 HP air-cooled OHV gas engine (both EPA and CARB approved) that generates a total of 4,400 surge watts and can maintain a total of 3,500 continuous watts. It also comes with a very useful automatic voltage regulation system.

This is enough wattage to handle the basic needs of most households during a power outage, making it a good emergency power source. For instance, using our generator sizing calculator, you can see that this is enough power to support a full sized refrigerator/freezer, sump pump and a small air conditioner or space heater – plus a variety of smaller items, like lighting, radios, etc. Of course, this is not enough power to energize many circuits in our home, or run something as greedy as your central air.

Given its good but limited wattage output, you could possibly run heavy duty extension cords from the generator into your home, rather than springing for a manual transfer switch – but only if none of these critical appliances are hard-wired only (i.e., do not have a plug).

Runtime & Fuel Type

With its 4-gallon fuel tank, you can expect to run this generator (which takes regular unleaded gas) for about 8 hours at 50 percent load. This is a very average runtime for most conventional generators.

Start Type

The DS4400 uses a manual pull (recoil) start. Although this is not as convenient as electric start, as we discuss below, this model is reported to crank up very easily and reliably – normally on the first attempt.

Panel Outlets

(2) 120v 20A 3-prong outlets (standard 120V plug)

(1) 120v/240v 30A twist lock outlet

Noise Level

The DS4400 uses a specialized muffler system and is rated to produce 69 decibels of sound when operating, which is equivalent to something a bit louder than ordinary conversation. This is a good score for most conventional generators, and most people find a noise level in this range very tolerable.

DuroStar DS4400Size & Portability

This model is 25 inches long, 23 inches wide and 22 inches tall; it weighs 130 pounds. This not a super heavy portable generator by any means, but it’s enough to warrant a full wheel kit, which is fortunately included with this unit.

Product Warranty

1 year limited warranty on parts.

Price & Value

The DS4400 provides a ton of value. At its current selling price of $400, you are getting nearly 9 running watts of electricity for each dollar spent. This is definitely at the upper range for portable generators, which usually provide anywhere from 5 to 10 running watts per dollar. If you don’t believe us, compare these figures for yourself by using our Ultimate Comparison Guide.

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DuroStar DS4400 Reviews & Consumer Ratings

With an average consumer satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 23 reviewers on amazon.com, it’s fair to say that people love the DS4400. But let’s dig a little into this a little deeper to see exactly why. The following are some excerpts from actual reviews:

  • A great little generator. It powers the basics and runs for long periods on little gas. Also it’s quiet compared to most. Easy to start, lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Quieter than expected.
  • Followed easy directions for assembly (1/2 Hour) and it started on the first pull.
  • Started up with no problems, easy to assemble.
  • Start up first start! 4400 watt plenty for oil burner and lights etc.
  • ran smoothly and quietly on the very first pull…will power my heating/AC system, refrigerator/freezer and a few other critical lights and plugs.

Indeed, there were very few negative reviews for the DS4400. An the few that we did find were  not very concerning: a couple people were disappointed that it did not have more wattage, and one reviewer complained that it’s choke lever was constructed of plastic.

By far, the reviews were very positive, and confirm that the DS4400 is easy to use, easy to start and can power virtually all basic critical appliances that most people care about during an outage, like fridges, sumps, AC units and lights, etc.

In fact, many reviewers stated that this generator would still be great – if it sold for twice the price!

Read The Full DuroStar DS4400 Reviews Here!

Overall Pros/Cons

PROs CONs
Great value One year warranty
Fairly quiet operation
Usually starts on first pull
Reliable
Easy to assemble
Comes with wheel kit
CARB-approved engine

Additional Features & Considerations

  • Low oil shutdown
  • Heavy duty frame (steel)
  • Fuel gauge
  • Volt meter
  • Circuit breaker
  • Wheel kit uses never-flat tires

According to it’s description on amazon.com, this model is CARB-approved, making it available for sale in California.

DuroStar DS4400Concluding Thoughts & Opinions

The DuroStar DS4400 has a lot going for it. First off all, it provides lots of power for the price – about 9 running watts per dollar to be exact. In addition, it has very good surge capacity, making it not only an excellent emergency backup power source during storms/outages, but also great for camping, RVs, remote cabins, and jobsites.

Also noteworthy is that you are getting a decent wheel kit included in the price. For example, while the DuroStar DS4000S provides even more watts per dollar and is even more popular than this unit, it provides a bit less total wattage and doesn’t have any wheel kit.

Thus, for our money, the extra $100 bucks to get the more powerful DuroStar DS4400 and its wheel kit is worth it.

Yet another consideration is CARB-approval. The DS4400 is reported to use an EPA and CARB-approved engine, so Californians can enjoy this generator too.

Finally, this model starts up easily, with most people reporting that it cranks up immediately on the first pull. We wish all generators were this dependable!

Based on all of the above, we think that the DuroStar DS4400 may be the ideal cost-effective emergency and all-purpose portable generator for those seeking a blend of affordability, power, ease of use and reliability. Just remember that, at 3,500 running watts, this generator is still fairly limited in what it can do – it will not power everything in your house!

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