DuroMax XP4400E front viewThe DuroMax XP4400E is the most popular mid-range portable generator on the market.  The features to price ratio makes this an obvious choice for those wanting good power with a few bells and whistles not available on other similarly priced offerings.

Some of the features to jump out at you as “value-added” are the electric start feature, DC availability, dual voltage capability (120/240), and a generous 4400 watt peak power over its 3500 running watts for appliances with a lot of on and off usage.

Top that off with an included wheel kit for easy portability and you can see why it is a favorite for all types of user needs.

If you were considering hooking this model to your household power supply via a transfer switch, the wattage may be a bit too low, but at least it has the 4-prong outlet (NEMA L14-30R) that most transfer switches require for more than 4 circuits. Remember to use a certified electrician to perform this task.


Table of Contents
(click a title to jump ahead!)

1. Power Considerations – Wattage
2. Engine Type and Fuel Considerations
3. Starting Mechanism
4. Oil Usage Considerations
5. Outlets and Meters
6. Noise Level – Portability
7. Warranty
8. What’s in the Box
9. Dimensions/ Weight
10. Pros and Cons
11. Consumer Reviews
12. Price
13. Summary


Note for California residents: This model is not CARB-compliant. Units sold to California must be approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  DuroMax is conscious of our friends on the Left Coast (no political implication intended).  They offer the model reviewed here in a CARB compliant version (XP4400E-CA).

Also available in similar wattage but without the electric start feature are the DuroMax XP4400 and the XP4400-CA.

For all four of these models, the features vary only by the presence or absence of the electric start feature and its battery, and whether the emissions have been adjusted for CARB compliance.  The latter two, without the electric start function are both rated 6.5 HP vs. the electric start models rated at 7HP.

Also available is a dual fuel model DuroMax XP4400EH which can run on either gas or propane.    As you can see DuroMax has a good variety portable generators to meet your needs.  For the benefits of running propane as fuel, you can check out the review of the Sportsman generator or the dual fuel article on this website.

Read on for a comprehensive review of this model:

Model #XP4400XP4400EXP8500EXP10000E
Running watts3500350070008000
Starting watts44004400850010000
Engine horsepower7.0 hp7.0 hp16.0 hp16.0 hp
Starting methodManualElectric/manualElectric/manualElectric/manual
Low oil shutdownYesYesYesYes
Fuel tank size (gallons)4.0 (steel)4.0 (steel)7.0 (steel)8.3 (steel)
Run time @ 50% load
8 hours8 hours8 hours10 hours
Outlets(2) 120V, 20-amp, 3-prong;
(1) 120/240-volt, 30-amp twist-lock;
(1) 12-volt, 10-amp utility
(2) 120V, 20-amp, 3-prong;
(1) 120/240-volt, 30-amp twist-lock;
(1) 12-volt, 10-amp utility
(4) 120V, 20-amp, 3-prong;
(1) 120/240V, 30-amp twist-lock;
(1) 12-volt, 10-amp utility
(2) 120V, 20-amp, 3-prong;
(1) 120V, 30-amp twist-lock;
(1) 120/240V, 30-amp twist-lock;
(1) 120/240V, 50-amp heavy duty;
(1) 12V, 10-amp utility
Wheel type8-inch knobby all-terrain, pneumatic solid filled8-inch knobby all-terrain, pneumatic solid filled10-1/2-inch knobby all-terrain, never-flat solid10-1/2-inch knobby all-terrain, never-flat solid
Warranty1-year, limited1-year, limited1-year, limited1-year, limited

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Power Considerations – Wattage

The XP4400 cranks out 3,500 constant running watts of power, and a peak of 4,400 watts to cover the surge requirements of some of the appliances or tools that you may be powering.  The difference of 900 watts is a welcome benefit for you if you use splitter extension cords to run several smaller appliances with frequent on/off needs.

See this table to approximate the wattage requirements of various household appliances and tools.  Remember to consider the suitability of running sensitive electronic equipment such as medical devices with a portable generator that may not deliver a consistent enough supply of power.  In which case you want to look at inverter generators for their consistent clean power.

Even though the DuroMax generators have what they call an advanced automatic voltage regulator (AVR) system, if you will require power for your sensitive electronics, say in a power outage condition, consider an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), surge protection outlet, or even an inverter type generator instead.

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Engine Type and Fuel Considerations

This DuroMax generator has a gas-powered 7.0-horsepower air-cooled overhead valve (OHV), 4-stroke single cylinder (200cc) with a forced air cooling system.   The ignition system utilizes a non-contact transistor.

DuroMax XP4400E top gas viewTo ensure that the generator runs smoothly, use only fresh, unleaded gas (as with all gasoline generators), with a minimum octane rating of 87 or higher.  Fill the 3.96 gallon (let’s call it 4 gallons or 15 liters) with or without fuel stabilizer, and keep an eye on the included fuel gauge.

Don’t overfill or you’ll have that mess that you’ll want to clean up before you attempt to start the unit. Please always follow all recommended safety precautions.

It’s EPA approved and it’s also safe to use in U.S. National Parks thanks to the super quiet exhaust with spark arrester.

You’ll get up to 8 hours or more of run time (at 50 percent load) from the 4-gallon tank of fuel.  Interestingly the run time on 50% load has been listed at 14 hours for recoil starting but 12 hours for electric start.  Why?  That’s what happens when you gather information from many sources.  Reported figures should always be confirmed.

It is recommended to use and replace using a F6RTC spark plug such as NGK BPR5ES, but any similar should be fine.

A nice feature of the DuroMax portable generators is the fuel filter cup.  It is a small well underneath the fuel valve. It helps to trap dirt and water that may be in your fuel tank before it can enter the engine. This is a also a quick way to drain the fuel tank for storage.

To clean the fuel filter cup:

  1. Turn the fuel valve to the “OFF” position.
  2. Unscrew the fuel filter cup from the fuel valve using a wrench. Turn the valve toward you to unscrew
  3. Clean the cup of all sediment using a rag or brush.
  4. Reinstall the fuel filter cup.

Before storing your generator for extended periods of time, you should drain your generator of gasoline. To drain the generator of gas:

  1. Turn the fuel valve to the “OFF” position.
  2. Remove the fuel filter cup.
  3. Empty the fuel filter cup of any fuel.
  4. With a receptacle underneath the generator to catch the gas, turn the fuel valve to the “ON” position. Drain all the gas from the generator.
  5. Turn the fuel valve to the “OFF” position.
  6. Replace the fuel filter cup.
  7. Store the emptied gasoline in a suitable place and add fuel stabilizer if planning to store for more than a couple months..

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Starting Mechanism

With the electric start feature on this model, it’s as simple to get this generator running as turning on your car.  You simply push the ON button then turn the key (after turning the gas flow to on and the choke to off). Of course you’ll want to take the usual precautions of grounding the unit and turning the breakers in the off position and leave your cords unattached until the unit has equalized its output.  You’ll know by checking the volt meter, or minimally running it for a few minutes.

If the starting battery isn’t fully charged (like when you first receive it), you can use the single-pull recoil cord to start the generator as well.  Reviewers agree that usually one or two pulls gets it going.  Note that when you get it out of the box, the lead wires probably won’t be attached and may be tucked up in the motor housing.  Find them and attach before attempting to allow the generator to charge the battery.  Or you could charge the battery with your portable charger if you have one.

Once the generator is running, it will charge the included battery automatically. While charging, you can see the charge indication light is on, after the battery is full, the light will turn off.  As simple as this sounds, some popular electric start generators like the Generacs, don’t automatically charge the starting battery.  And some don’t indicate when the battery is fully charged.

The electronic Ignition system is a non-contact transistor.

DuroMax XP4400E recoil start

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Oil Usage Considerations

The DuroMax generators employ using a 4 stroke engine.  You will need to fill the oil reservoir with oil.  20 oz of 10W-30 is recommended and it is NOT included in the box.

When you buy your oil, make sure to pick up a long neck funnel to fill the oil reservoir as the opening is not in an area for direct gravity fill without a funnel (unless you like cleaning up an oily mess).  Fill the oil on a level surface to prevent under or overfilling.  You’ll use the dipstick included on the cap to measure the level.

As with most DuroMax generators, the XP4400E is equipped with the low oil protection system which automatically shuts the generator off to protect it from any damage should it run out of oil.  If you check the oil before every use as suggested, you should never need this feature, but it’s good to know it’s there to protect your investment.

Draining the oil is easy, just figure out a way to catch the oil with a shallow receptacle since the drain is low on the unit.  Using a 10 mm hex wrench, unscrew the oil drain plug, which is located on the crankcase underneath the oil filler/dipstick cap.  It is recommended to drain the oil during the break-in period, then after every 20 hours of operation.

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Outlets and Meters

71AhZaDYqcL._SL1000_The exclusive DuroMax RV Switch (voltage selector) allows you to get maximum power from each of the 120-volt receptacles as well as choose between operating the generator at both 120 and 240 volts simultaneously, or at 120 only with full power.

The voltage selector switches the main power of the generator to produce “120V ONLY” or “120/240V”. If a 240V appliance is connected to the 4-prong receptacle, the switch must be in the “120/240V” position. If only a 120V appliance is being connected select the “120V ONLY” position.

Be aware that you should NOT change the Voltage Selector Switch until after turning the AC circuit breaker to the OFF position. The generator may be damaged if the Voltage Selector Switch is changed with the breaker on.

Other features include an advanced automatic voltage regulator (AVR) system.

The DuroMax 4400 watt models include two 120-volt, 20-amp standard household outlets to supply power to all of your appliances, as well as a powerful 120/240-volt, 30-amp twist lock outlet for high-powered tools or connecting to your home’s electrical panel via transfer switch, or if you’d prefer to run split extension cords with the multiple standard plugs on the business end.

Overloads are kept in check with its dual 15-amp circuit breaker. A volt meter allows you to monitor your generator’s output range at all times.

You get extra value in the 12-volt DC output with leads that functions as a charger for batteries and other rechargeable devices.  The included battery is 12V (7 Ah), Amperage 8.3A.

When using the DC feature, keep these warnings in mind:

  1. The DC receptacle is for recharging 12 Volt automotive-type batteries only.
  2. Do not connect any other device to this receptacle.
  3. Never try to jump start a car with your generator.

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Noise Level – Portability

DuroMax XP4400E mufflerThis DuroMax model has a noise level rating of 69 dBA for quiet operation thanks to its super-quiet muffler.  A rating of 69 is fairly standard for a 7HP exposed motor, encased only by its heavy duty steel frame roll cage.  It has a four-point fully isolated motor mount for smooth and quiet operation.

An easily assembled included wheel kit makes this generator easily portable.  Whenever an electric start feature is included on a generator, the added weight of the battery makes you glad for the wheels and a flip-up, stow-away handle.  The wheels are large, all-terrain knobby tires that will never deflate.’

The instructions for assembling the wheel kit are straight forward, but you might not need to consult them as it is pretty easy.  You WILL be happier using you own tools to assemble the wheel kit, rather than using the included tools.

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The DuroMax line of portable generators is backed by a one-year limited warranty.  The recommended maintenance is simple and standard.

  • Check oil after every use.
  • Replace oil every 20 hours or every month.
  • Check the air cleaner before each use, clean it at 50 hours or every 3 months.
  • Clean the fuel filter cup at every 100 hours or every 6 months.
  • Check the spark plug and clean or replace at 100 hours or 6 months.
  • Instructions for changing the carbon brush and AVR are spelled out in the included manual.

Remember once any generator is filled with oil and gas for the first time, they can NOT be returned via common carrier.  For any repairs, you’ll either have to do it yourself with the help of customer service, or take it to a local repair facility.

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What’s in the Box

  • DuroMax XP4400E wheelsDuroMax XP4400E generator
  • 12V Battery for electric starter
  • Wheel kit (with never-flat tires and flip-up handle)
  • Tool kit (screwdriver, spanner, spark plug wrench)
  • Operating instructions

The battery IS attached, but the lead wires will not be connected. They are tucked into the engine compartment.  Look for them and attach before trying to start the engine.  If you plan to use the electric start feature the first time, you will need to charge the battery beforehand with your battery charger (if you have one). Otherwise you’ll need to pull-start and let the generator charge the battery for you.

Don’t rely on the included tools.  You’ll prefer to use your own if you have them.

The operating manual is good.  Better than most.  Straight forward and organized with operating and safety well laid out.

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Dimensions/Weight of the DuroMax XP4400E

Dimensions (in):




Shipping Weight:

116 pounds

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Pros and Cons

pro iconPROS:

  • DuroMax XP4400E angle frontelectric key start feature – like starting a car
  • volt meter
  • available DC charging ability
  • DC charging on/full light
  • dual voltage (120/240) capability
  • 900 watts extra surge over 3500 running watts
  • wheel kit is included
  • NEMA L14-30R outlet for high power needs
  • automatic voltage regulator (AVR)
  • easy gas draining for storage
  • low oil warning and automatic shut-off

con iconCONS:

  • inconvenient oil drain
  • insufficient tools included
  • often received with dents (but functional)
  • no run-time meter

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Consumer Reviews

This model by DuroMax remains a best seller year after year.  Consumers are happy with the reliability of this generator and especially the key operated electric start.  No need to worry about having enough arm strength to get it humming.  The dual voltage ability can be valuable when you need it.  Its noise level was rated as average.

There are a number of issues with the condition of the package upon receipt.  Often the box is intact without crushing evidence, yet the generator can have a dent.  This might mean the damage is done before placed in the box in China.  Whether this is an issue with the company or the delivery service, the resulting customer service received from DuroMax is a mixed bag.  Often it depends on who you get to talk to .

Damaged parts are replaced quickly.  When repairs are necessary, there are numerous factory authorized repair shops in most cities.  DuroMax and their parent Duro Power (also makers of the DuroStar brand) stands behind their equipment.  This accounts for the 4.1 Star rating vs. a 4.5 Star expected rating on Amazon.

Read more consumer reviews from Amazon here:  DuroMax XP4400E Portable Generator Review

Average Rating: 4.1 Stars

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The price of this model Portable Generator varies depending on where you buy it but Amazon tends to have the lowest price.

Check current pricing discounts:


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After reviewing the DuroMax XP4400E, I confirm that it’s a great choice for someone looking for a dependable portable generator in with mid-level needs.  For the price to power ratio, AND the electric start and dual voltage ability make this the #1 generator at many shopping sites.

Use it as a workhorse on the job, or keep it stored for that emergency.  Just make sure it is operating properly and is stored safely for that time in need.

It’s a great choice for the outdoorsman, RV’r, handyman, or professional, and especially for the person who wants peace of mind in case of emergency.  You want it to be ready when you need it.

You will not be disappointed with this portable generator, over 100 people have given this machine a 5-star review from Amazon alone.

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Filed under: $250 - $499DuroMaxReviews