This is the Ultimate TopNotch Review of the DuroStar DS4000S generator 2020.
Fed up of power outages and want to find your very own solution?
Getting ready for the next camping trip – but this year – you want a touch of home comfort?
It’s time to make sure you can be self-sufficient when needs be – for everything from firing up the refrigerator to keeping the kids electronics charged… you can have it all.
Here, we’re going to share with you all the finer details of this excellent small generator and why we awarded it our Editor’s Choice Award.
To be more specific, these are some of the aspects we’ll cover.
- Whether this is a value for money product – is the hype worth it?
- The durability and the ease of use
- The noise factor
- Lots more…
So if you want to learn whether this portable generator is worth your hard earned buck, keep on scrolling.
It’s time to get this show on the road.
- A fuel-efficient engine
- A durable construction
- Offers stable power delivery
- Comes with a spark arrestor
- Very easy to operate
- An affordable price
- It’s a bit heavy
- The noise rating could have been better
- Doesn’t have inverter technology
Our Verdict: DuroStar DS4000S Generator
Let me ask you this…
What do you look for in a small generator?
Is it reliable power delivery, durability, or simply great features that are easy to use?
Or all of them.
But what else?
Ok. Let’s not forget about a great price.
What if I tell you that the DuroStar DS4000S generator checks all these boxes and then offers some more on top?
Sounds too good to be true?
Let me add that the entire TopNotch team was highly impressed by the overall performance of this generator.
Even when placed side-by-side with some of the world’s top brands, this powerhouse from Durostar held its ground like a champ.
And the reason behind its superior performance is the 208 cc OHV engine which is a top performer.
Then again the materials used for construction are also top class.
Yes, I am talking about high-quality copper windings and solid steel construction.
Beyond that, there’s the steady power delivery of 3300 Watts – sufficient to light up everything in your RV or the vital appliances in your home.
Need to charge up all your gadgets in a campsite?
We found the fuel efficiency another strong point of the generator.
Also, it’s EPA and CARB compliant.
And don’t forget, the DS4000 isn’t only user-friendly but pocket-friendly too.
I need to mention – all that excellent construction leads to a weight that is on the heavier side.
But, it’s not something you’ll likely be carrying around on hikes anyway.
And as long as you get the maintenance right, this generator will keep delivering great performance for years to come.
Here’s the best part…
After our tests, this generator was the undisputed pick as our TopNotch Editor’s Choice.
So does it require a thorough investigation?
Let’s get down to business.
Related: 10 Best Small Generators
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
The TopNotch team picked the 10 best generators from the market to start an elaborate testing session.
I know that a week-long trip to multiple camping sites on an RV sounds like great fun.
But believe me, handling and comparing all these models was no child’s play really.
Honestly, the competition was tough.
So making it to the top three TopNotch spots wasn’t easy.
But the DuroStar DS4000S kept hitting the top spots in most of our metrics like a true all-rounder.
In fact, it performed on par with the Honda eu2000i super portable generator, which was the TopNotch Top Pick, in many aspects.
Obviously, there are some minor drawbacks.
But within its own range of performance, it’s simply unbeatable.
And guess what?
It performed so well we’re still debating (very peace) who’ll be the lucky end-user of our test unit.
So let’s explore the details and find out what makes this generator so special.
Value for Money
Basically, for every product we choose, the overall value it offers with respect to its price remains an important factor.
The DuroStar DS4000S isn’t only priced affordably, but it also punches well above its price range with great performance.
Simply put, when it comes to giving you ample power during an emergency, this generator’s a great choice.
Value for Money Rating
At the same time, it’ll serve you equally well while camping, RVing, or even at a job site.
We found it a rugged device – surprisingly easy to start and use.
Shall we take a look at some of the top features?
To start with, the 3300 Watts of running power is good enough for powering up your refrigerator, television, sump pump, and other equipment.
In terms of connectivity, you get two 120-volt outlets and one 120-volt 30A twist lock.
The generator uses standard eighty-seven octane unleaded gasoline.
That’s easily available for sure.
Coming to the fuel efficiency…
The 3.96-gallon fuel tank can deliver up to ten hours of running time at reduced loads.
What we really liked was the EZ-Pull recoil start that makes the generator super easy to start.
We think a low-oil shut-off and overload protection are two essential safety features for any generator.
Here’s the good news:
DuroStar packs both these features in this model.
Note that one aspect that the TopNotch team always checks is the warranty that is offered on a product.
And the generator doesn’t disappoint.
It comes with a three year home warranty and a one-year commercial warranty.
Above all, these features come at a price that shouldn’t stretch your pocket.
We only wish it came with the wheels attached – but you can add them later.
And the end result is…
The DS4000S was the top scorer in this metric.
At the fundamental level, a generator is all about a steady output power delivery.
So how about the DS4000S?
The figures state it offers 4000 starting watts and 3300 continuous watts at all times.
Now, if you’re not familiar with those terms we can help you with the technicalities – just click here.
Output Power Rating
We used the generator to run the TV and refrigerator in the RV during our trip and it ran smoothly.
But did I mention that the TopNotch team is not easily satisfied?
So we tested it again in one of my colleague’s homes to run a large refrigerator, the HVAC system, and a microwave.
In reality, the actual power delivery will depend on the size of your refrigerator or the sump pump.
However, we feel the output is sufficient for most domestic scenarios.
In addition, it’s good for running power tools that demand higher Amps.
Now, the DS4000S specs mention that a full tank will provide a running time of 8 hours at half load.
Let’s check that out.
In our outdoor trips, the generator delivered around 5 hours of running time at 75 to 80 percent load.
While using it indoors we varied the load from 60% to 30% after filling the tank.
The DuroStar DS4000S gave us a running time of 10 hours.
Now that’s what we call a TopNotch performance.
Keep in mind this isn’t an inverter generator.
So you won’t get a parallel hook-up feature for more power.
But, if you need more power, it’s best to choose a larger generator anyways.
In that case, you can look into the DuroStar DS10000E Portable Generator. That’s a real beast with its mega power delivery.
I have to admit, the TopNotch team doesn’t go easy on the devices we test.
That’s why we loved the all-around metal body of this generator.
Admittedly, a few knocks are nothing this generator can’t handle.
After setting up a camp – nobody wants a generator that’s hard to start.
Durability/ Workmanship Rating
Thankfully, we found the EZ-pull recoil starter in the DuroStar DS4000S easy to use. It requires minimum effort and even older people or those with back problems should find it easy enough.
We loved the fact that the various components are clearly marked.
That’s a big plus for first-time users
Still, I’d suggest you go through the DuroStar DS4000S manual carefully so you can be sure you’re running it safely.
Lacking storage space in your home?
With the overall dimensions at 27″ x 20″ x 22″ (L x D x H), this DuroStar is quite compact.
So storing it in small spaces won’t be a problem.
In addition, it comes with a built-in fuel gauge that makes monitoring the fuel a simple task.
Did I mention the automatic low-oil shut-off feature?
On top of that, there’s also a low oil indicator on the control panel so you can refuel in advance.
But that’s not all.
You also get a voltage output meter and circuit breaker.
How does that help?
Well, in case one of the connected appliances causes a short circuit, the generator will be disconnected automatically.
So – say goodbye to any accidental damages.
We also liked the detailed instructions given in the DuroStar DS4000S owners manual along with some effective safety and troubleshooting tips – like I said – be sure to read them won’t you.
Last but not least, the generator is both EPA and CARB compliant.
Bonus points to DuroStar for being environmentally-friendly.
The DS4000S comes with handles that make carrying it easy for two people.
But, with a weight above 90 pounds, you won’t want to carry it far.
Don’t forget that you need to add the fuel weight too.
I’d suggest investing in a wheel kit if you need to carry the generator around frequently.
The fact is, we did miss the wheels during our testing trip.
Dependability and Reliability
When we sat down to compile our TopNotch DuroStar Generator Review, we were clear about one point.
The fact that its so solidly built – great workmanship.
The high-quality steel means this will last for years even if you haul it around regularly for outdoor trips.
Dependability and Reliability Rating
And another thing…
There are four separate motor mounts to stabilize the generator.
But more on that later.
Note – it’s not just solid on the outside but also on the inside.
I’m sure you know what makes the heart of the generator?
It’s the engine.
And the four-stroke DuroStar engine is a great performer that guarantees you a steady power delivery.
Now, you must have heard that if there’s one enemy of any generator – it’s overheating.
But not to worry, the DuroStar DS4000S offers a solution.
This engine is cooled by a forced-air cooling system that prevents heat build-up.
A very efficient touch from the manufacturers.
By and large, this is a user-friendly generator that most people will handle easily.
Just ensure you follow the periodic maintenance schedule and it’ll reward you with a reliable and solid output.
The DS4000S does lack inverter technology.
But the fact is, inverter generators can’t hit the sweet spot in terms of price as this one definitely does.
Also, we did notice that draining the oil from the generator isn’t so easy.
Because the drain valve is located at the base of the frame – and sadly this is a generator that does need frequent oil changes.
Apart from these minor points, the DS4000S is among the best generators when it comes to reliability.
One thing’s for sure.
No one likes a noisy generator, especially at a campsite.
Additionally, most campsites have noise regulations you’ll need to adhere to.
The good news is, the DuroStar DS4000S is designed with an efficient muffler to be a quiet performer.
As usual, we tested the noise levels by varying the load to get the full picture.
The maximum volume level is marked at 69-dB and we found the DS4000S generator reaching that point as the load increases.
Don’t get me wrong here.
This isn’t the kind of generator to make you search for earplugs on a quiet night.
However, at higher loads, it delivers a rumbling sound that’s audible from a distance of 30 to 35 yards.
To be able to carry on conversations at full load condition you’ll need to sit close to each other.
But hold on. The DS4000S has another trick up its sleeve.
Remember I told you about the 4-point engine isolation mounts?
Being a heavier product, the vibrations of the generator can be on the higher side.
But these isolated mounts reduce vibrations which in turn reduces the overall noise.
Coupled with the muffler system, these mounts make the generator quiet enough to ensure a peaceful night.
But here’s the problem.
All the top competitors performed much better under this metric with their superior noise insulation.
This is the only metric under which the DuraStar DS4000S couldn’t hit the top ranks.
Our Final Verdict: DuroStar DS4000S Generastor
Conclusion: DuroStar DS4000S Generator
It’s time to wrap up.
So what’s our final opinion on the DuroStar DS4000S watt portable generator?
In simple words, this is a generator that doesn’t come with fancy features or a flashy look.
It’s clearly a practical, reliable, and durable workhorse that’s available at a very affordable price.
At this price, you’ll hardly find a better companion during emergencies at home or for camping trips with the family.
In short, it’s a super versatile generator.
Further, it’s easy to use, starts up smoothly, and comes with great safety features.
The construction quality is TopNotch and the surge watt output is sufficient for most appliances.
That is – unless you have very high power requirements.
Moreover, it is CARB compliant so you don’t need to worry about breaking any laws while carrying it around.
Like every other generator, the unit does need the right maintenance to keep it in top shape.
I agree it’s on the heavier side but the fact is…
It’s not designed to be a lightweight choice for campers or hikers.
Also, there’s the first-class wheel kit that you can invest in to make it much more portable.
At the end of the day, when you need a reliable power source that’s excellent value for money, you can’t go wrong with the DuroStar DS4000S.
The TopNotch team loved its simplicity and overall efficiency and placed it as our Editor’s Choice in this category.
We believe it’s a true one-stop solution for a steady supply of power.
So that’s all from our end.
Now it’s your turn to take the next step.