Up for review today is the portable generator. And not just any portable generator, but the DuroMax portable generator. Incredibly, only 5 percent of people in the US have this useful tool, yet 36.7 million residents lost power in 2017! While generators are functional in a lot of situations, they are life-saving for those who depend on electrically run medical equipment.
Stats in mind, we wanted to take a look at the portable side of generators. DuroMax has been a trusted name in generators for years. They make all of their engines in-house and are EPA and CARB-certified. Not to mention, every model has all-metal construction with copper wirings and MX2 technology—which we will get into later.
DuroMax sounds like a good option, right? Well, which one? There’s more to choosing a portable generator than just going with a good brand. There are a lot of variables that will depend on your needs. To make life easier, we have reviewed not one but ten portable generators from DuroMax. We have dug deep into horsepower and engine capacity, wattage start and run power, outlet volts, and safety. Plus, we share some tips on what to look for in a good unit and what are the most important considerations you should keep in mind.
So, if you would like to join the ranks of the well-protected, tailgate partying, job site heroes, just keep reading.
|DuroMax XP5500EH |
|DuroMax XP1200EH||18HP, 457cc||4.2/5|
To start things off we will look at our top pick, the Duromax dual fuel portable generator. This option has a 7.5-HP 225-cc OHC engine that makes this a great addition to any home or job site. Though this is a lower horsepower option, you can still power some heavy appliances and tools with a 5,500-watt start power and 4,500-watt running level. This will save you gas and propane mileage in the 3.9-gallon tank.
You will have the option between three outlets with this little powerhouse: two traditional 120-volt/20-amp household outlets and one 120/240-volt/30-amp twist lock outlet for bigger equipment. The MX2 technology allows you to run both the 120-volt outlets at the same time for 240 volts of electricity. The outlets are also GFCI protected.
Packing a punch, this portable generator is remarkably small and lightweight. It measures 22” L X 25” W X 22” H and weighs 128 pounds. It features no-flat wheels, the option of a keyed electric start or recoil, and quiet operation. This is, by far, our number one pick for best DuroMax portable generator.
If you are looking for a DuroMax portable generator that is a little easier on the wallet, here is your solution. The 208-cc OHV 7.0-HP engine is perfect for power outages, camping, and tailgating. You have control over this option with a full power panel. It features a voltmeter, circuit breaker, and three outlets. You will also not have to worry about the engine seizing with an oil warning light and a low oil automatic shutoff.
Three outlets for varied use include two household 120-volt/20-amp outlets and one higher-powered 120/240-volt/30-amp twist lock outlet. Unfortunately, this option does not have GFCI outlets. It does feature surge arrest technology, however, to keep your items safe. Another perk is the twist lock outlet which can handle lights, small TVs, or coffee pots with 4,000-watt start-up power and 3,300-watt continuous run. You also get an eight-hour runtime.
This generator is perfect for RVs and camping use as it is small and compact (17” L X 23” W X 18” H) at 92 pounds. You have a 3.9-gallon tank and quiet operation. On the other hand, you will have to purchase the wheel and handle kit separately. Though this option is not as strong as our top pick, it is the best DuroMax portable generator for the money.
When looking for a high-powered option that will be able to power almost anything, look no further than the XP13000EH. Though this model is going to be more expensive upfront, the 500-cc OHV 20-HP engine will get the job done. This option has a 13,000-watt start power and a 10,500-watt continuous run. You are also able to run this model on either gasoline or propane.
Along with the premium engine, you have several outlets to choose from. There are two household outlets and three additional options including a 120/240-volt outlet for both 50 and 30-amps plus a more sedate 120/30-amp twist lock outlet. From refrigerators to air conditioners to power equipment, you will be covered.
On the downside, this is not the best option for travel. It is 231 pounds and significantly bigger than our other options. What’s more, it is fairly loud when used at 50 percent. That being said, you will have hours of continuous use with an 8.3-gallon tank, and you can get it going with the easy start button. Although the weight makes the wheels a little hard to use, this model can compete with your stationary generator.
The number four spot belongs to a model nicknamed the beast. It has a dual fuel option between gasoline and propane, not to mention the 457-cc OHV 18-HP engine. You will have less power with this option than the one above, but only slightly. Medium appliances are good-to-go, due to the 9,500-watt running power and 12,000-watt start.
You will find this option to be cumbersome for RV or tailgating use, however, as it weighs 235 pounds. Instead, use it at home or for job sites with MX2 technology where you can run two 120-volt outlets as one 240-volt plug. Meanwhile, you have the option of five outlets including three standard 120-volt household ports; two 20-amp and one 30-amp. There are also two 120/240-volt outlets for either a heavy-duty 50-amp use or a twist lock 30-amps.
This generator has a full power panel that includes a voltmeter, circuit breaker, low oil light, and idle control. One important note is that there are no GFCI outlets, so you should be careful with sensitive electronics. It is also louder than your average portable generator. Nevertheless, this a great option for remote job sites or extended emergency home use with an extended runtime thanks to the 8.3-gallon tank.
Moving on, we have the lighter use 7-HP 208-cc OHV engine DuroMax portable generator. Like our other picks, this has the trademark MX2 technology allowing you to run two 120-volt plugs simultaneously for 240-volts. Recommended for camping, RVs, or tailgating, you can use this 3.9-gallon model for eight hours on 50 percent power.
Although it’s not as high powered as some other options, this one does have safety features down pat. All of your items will be protected with GFCI outlets. Engine seizure and burnout are not a concern either with the low-oil auto shut-off sensor and the surge arrest feature. The outlets themselves have a 4,400-watt start power and a 3,500-watt run level. You also have three outlets to choose from; two household outlets and a 120/240-volt/30-amp plug.
This generator comes with all the tools and equipment you need, along with an electric start button. It is 121 pounds, which again makes the perfect camping or barbecuing at the beach companion.
This next portable generator is a gasoline-powered model that boasts 18-HP and a 457-cc OHV engine. Your equipment and appliances have surge protection, though it does not have GFCI outlets. On the other hand, you do have five ports to choose from, and the panel includes a voltmeter, circuit breaker, and idle control to keep your RPMs at the right level.
This option is good for job sites and emergency home protection. It has an 8.3-gallon tank with three heavy-duty outlets and two standard plugs. One problem with this model is that it’s large and heavy. It weighs 217 lbs and is 30” L X 30” W X 26” H, so it can get in the way in small spaces.
As mentioned, the high horsepower does make this a good job site option with a 12,000-watt starting level and 9,500-watt run power. It also has a spark arrestor for added safety. On the downside, the keyed electric start is not consistent, so the recoil will need to be used more often. Also, like some of the other bigger models, the sound level can be disruptive especially when there’s a full load.
The DuroMax XP4850EH generator is a gasoline or propane-powered portable model that is better used for lighter appliances or equipment. It has a 7-HP 212-cc OHV engine with three outlet options. The standard MX2 technology lets you use a 120/240-volt 30-amp twist-lock outlet by combining the two 120-volt/20-amp ports together.
That being said, the twist-lock outlet will only handle so much due to the 4,850-watt starting power. If you are planning road trips or tailgating, this will be a good option. If you want to keep your heater going, we suggest another option.
Keep in mind, though, it does have a low oil shut-off sensor so you are not in danger of seizing the engine. Plus, at 125 pounds with wheels for easy travel, you can cart this puppy around without a problem.
Finally, the noise on this smaller option is louder than you would think, and the 3.9-gallon tank will need to be refilled after about six to seven hours of use at half power. Nonetheless, this is a good model for RVs, camping, and it does sport GFCI outlets.
This next option is similar to the number seven spot though this one has the choice of propane or gasoline for fuel. Likewise to the option above as well, the OHV engine has 7 HP yet is only a 208-cc with 4,400 watts of starting power. This is unfortunately low for the horsepower; hence the number eight spot.
Not all is lost with this model, however. You can run this generator at 3,500 watts continuously with three outlet options. The two standard outlets are good for charging phones, running the coffee pot, but the 120/240-volt/30-amp twist-lock is most likely not going to be used due to the start-up power.
On a brighter note, this model does have GFCI outlets, an electric key start, and a full power panel including an engine emergency shut-off, low oil sensor, and idle control. Perfect for camping and other basic charging activities, it has a 3.9-gallon tank and MX2 technology.
A bigger drawback to this generator is the runtime. You will get approximately fifteen-hours when using propane and five to six hours when powering with gas—and that’s running it at quarter-load.
The runtime and start power is not sufficient for job sites, and extended emergency use will be inefficient. In fact, we recommend that you plan on using this for short emergency purposes or tailgating trips, otherwise, you will not have the power you need.
Getting towards the bottom of the list is another high-powered model meant for heavy-duty capacity. This generator has 18 HP in a 440-cc OHV engine. It has the ability to run big equipment and appliances on an 8,000-watt consistent run alongside the 10,000 watts of start-up energy. Also standard with DuroMax is the MX2 technology. You will have the ability to simultaneously run two 120-volt plugs for one 240-volt outlet.
Your fuel is limited to only gasoline here, yet you do have the five outlet options ranging from a 120/240-volt/50-amp heavy duty outlet down to the standard household plug. Electronics are protected with a surge arrest, but there are no GFCI outlets.
Typical of a larger model, the weight comes in at 221 pounds. The trouble with this generator is more focused on the operation, however. First, the assembly is difficult especially with the wheels and handle because you do not get all of the parts needed to install them. The electric start is also tricky to use, and the recoil is difficult as well.
Once you manage to get it started it will run for a decent time on an 8.3-gallon tank, yet it’s very loud; even for its size and power. In a nutshell, this heavy-duty generator can handle the big jobs and run your refrigerator and AC, but you have to get it going first.
Our last spot goes to the XP5500E portable gas generator. With a 7-HP, 224-cc motor, this option is made for powering a radio at best. To give this option credit though, it does have GFCI outlets and a surge arrestor system. You can also keep an eye on the functions with the full-powered panel that has idle control and a low oil sensor.
There are three outlet options including your two standard household plugs and a 120/240-volt /30-amp option. It has a starting power of 5,500 watts and a continuous 4,500-watts run. Unfortunately, none of that will be helpful when you have no power due to the high fuel consumption. Interestingly, the tank is slightly larger for its engine size at 3.9-gallons, yet you are only going to get about four hours of runtime on 50 percent power.
Just like the model we reviewed above, this option also has a problem with the electric start and recoil. To add insult to injury, the generator is loud for its small stature, and the tires tend to go flat. Though 124 pounds is not bad when you’re wheeling it around, it’s a whole different story to carry it…and then not be able to start it.
When all is said and done, you would be better off with another option from the list above even if you only want a tailgate partner for football season. You will end up with more headaches than anything else with this particular choice.
You may have noticed that all of the reviews above shared one common trait in the pros list and that was the engine capacity. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, DuroMax makes all their engines in house. They are well-made and durable. That being said, engine specifics are an important part of a well-performing generator, so you should know what key aspects to look for.
Also, there are a few other things you should be aware of before you decide to make a purchase, therefore, we will break down the important features of the DuroMax generators below.
Now that you have the generator jargon down pat, you can start to think about your purposes. Is this going to be used while RVing, tailgating, and camping? Is it going to be traveling from remote job site to remote job site, or is it going to be an emergency power outage home protection unit? The answer to these questions will give you an idea of what size engine capacity you are going to need along with outlet needs and starting power.
Next, let’s talk about features. Fuel is typically the main concern of homeowners and contractors alike. Gas and propane are the two main options. Storing and transporting gasoline can be dangerous, plus it can corrode the inner workings of your machine. Propane, however, is much cleaner and easier to store. Many generators will even hook up to your grill’s propane tank.
As far as cost-efficiency, there really is no good answer when it comes to purchase price. This is due to the ever-fluctuating fuel prices. On the whole, propane runs longer, is easier to store in large quantities, and can extend the life of your generator. On the other hand, gasoline is easier to come by, which is why many people prefer a dual-fuel power option.
Safety is another concern that should be given consideration. Not just your safety but the safety of your generator, as well. DuroMax, for example, has options such as emergency shut-off valves, spark arrestors, and GFCI outlets for protection. This will keep your tools and appliances safe from overvoltages and power surges.
They can also have low oil shut-off features, surge arrest sensors, and idle control to help keep your model running smoothly. You can also purchase a model with a full power panel so you can monitor the voltmeter and circuit breaker.
Lastly, pay attention to features such as electric start buttons versus the old-school recoil pull-start. Look at the wheels and handle, the weight, and assembly requirements. All of these considerations can determine whether you end up with the right DuroMax portable generator for your needs.
If you made it this far, congrats! You now have all the information you need to pick out a DuroMax portable generator for yourself. Just to recap, though; The DuroMax XP5500EH Portable Dual Fuel Gas Generator is the best overall choice in our humble opinion. It is small enough for camping and toting from job to job, yet it is powerful enough to keep your essential appliances running in a power emergency.
For affordability, the DuroMax XP4000S Gasoline Powered Portable RV Generator is the best bang for your buck. Though you won’t get the same strength as our top pick, it will keep all the right electronics going when times get tough…or fun!
We hope you have enjoyed our review of the 10 best portable generators by DuroMax, but we understand that we may have missed something. If that is the case, you might want to check out our review of the ten quietest portable generators along with our remote start portable generator top picks of the year!
Written By Shannon MacDevine
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Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!