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4 and a Half stars

Review of the Durostar DS10000E Open Frame Portable Generator

8000 Starting Watts, 10000 Running Watts on Gasoline

Electric Start: Yes

Weight: 218lbs

Noise: 72dB


Should You Buy It?

This portable generator gets good reviews from many owners. If you are looking for a unit with a lot of power for medium to heavy loads, including as a backup for more than just the basics in your home, then this affordable generator could be just the job. And if you like the look of this generator, you may also want to consider the increased versatility and flexibility of the dual fuel model, the DS10000EH.

Key Points about the Durostar DS10000E

Well-liked by many owners
Affordable high power for home
Easy to set up and operate
Key electric start
Digital Voltmeter
Noisier than advertised
Instruction manual
Oil change every 20 hours
No-flat solid wheels

Overview of the Generator

DuroStar DS10000E Components

From the more affordable side of the DuroMax brand, this DuroStar DS10000E is the most powerful in DuroStar's lineup of portable generators. It's aimed largely at people who demand the security of home standby power, those who work on larger jobsites, and others who enjoy a weekend out with their big RV.

A dual fuel version of this model is the DuroStar DS10000EH.

Controls and Features

DuroStar DS1000E Control Panel

The control panel includes an electric starter, an idle control, an engine shutoff, a volt meter, and an RV switch. There is also an oil warning light as well as circuit breakers that automatically trip when there's a short circuit or an overload, preventing damage to the generator and connected appliances and equipment.

In addition to the electric starter there is a manual recoil cord for use when, for example, the battery is discharged.

A wide selection of receptacles includes 2x120v household outlets, 1x120v 30A twist lock outlet, 1x120v/240v 30A twist lock outlet and 1x120/240v 50A heavy duty outlet. There is also a 12v DC facility for charging an external battery. 

An MX2 switch allows you to choose between operating the generator at both 120v and 240v simultaneously, or simply at 120v at full power and amps. During operation, the Voltage Selector switch should always be in the 120v position until you need to use 240v.

As the DS10000E is EPA Certified and CARB Compliant it can be used in all 50 states. It also has a spark arrestor, which qualifies it for safe use in U.S. National Parks and camp sites.

A sensor monitors the engine's oil level. If the level falls too low, you won't be able to start it. And when running, it shuts the engine down automatically to protect it from what could turn out to be catastrophic damage.

Here is the DuroStar DS10000E manual.
The generator is not fitted with a carbon monoxide (CO) sensor so be alert to the presence of carbon monoxide gas while you use it (in the open air).

Power Output

Powered by a DuroStar 18 HP 440cc OHV engine, this model produces 10000 starting watts and 8000 running watts, enough to power much of your home as well as high voltage appliances and heavy duty-power tools.

When power is demanded the generator automatically increases the engine speed to respond to a load.

As it uses traditional generator technology, the power output is not clean like that produced by an inverter. It does, however, incorporate "Surge Arrest" to help protect against power surges. But if you want to connect sensitive electronics you should ensure you have a UPS/line conditioner/surge protector to avoid fluctuations in the power output from causing possible damage.

When considering what to buy, bear in mind that altitude and ambient temperature can have a significant effect on engine performance and power output. The higher you are, the less the output.


The DS10000E weighs in at a hefty 218lbs. To help you move the unit around, it comes as standard with a solid-wheel kit and foldable handles. It's worth mentioning that there are owners who say solid wheels on any generator can develop flat spots if left standing for long periods. 

Noise Level

There are no established standards for generator companies to measure the noise levels of their products. Most companies take a measurement at about 23 feet, but the results depend on a number of factors, including on which side of the generator the measurement is taken.

A heavy-duty steel frame with isolated motor mounts helps for a smoother and quieter operation, but even under half load the noise level of the DS10000E is relatively high at 72dB. When the Idle Control is switched on, and there is no load, the sound level can fall to as low as 45dB.

What Most Buyers Like

Buyers like the DS10000E for its high power output, sturdiness and reliable operation. Some say it's the best deal when comparing a wattage/dollar ratio and assembling a new product for the first time is very easy.

Starting the generator with the key is a breeze, and owners have no difficulty using the manual pull cord if and when the electric start is not functional.

They say it runs non-stop for extended periods and provides good clean electricity.

What Some Buyers Like Less

One owner states the fuel gauge isn't accurate. Another says the instructions are unclear and the pictures don't help either.

Packaging is not the best and units can arrive pretty badly mangled with some of the sheet metal panels inside bent, or worse.

The generator comes with the negative wire to the battery disconnected for transport safety reasons. But some buyers say it's difficult to locate and fiddly to connect. Others who were unaware they needed to make the connection thought the electric starter was broken.

In terms of noise, one owner finds it generates 89dB at idle, and about 96dB with a load when measured from a foot away from the muffler.

To prevent problems with the no-flat wheels you need to move the generator once a month. If not, they develop a flat spot after sitting for about 4-5 months. Note: this type of wheel is fitted to most portable generators that come with a wheel kit. The problem of dead spots developing is not unique to DuroMax.

There is an apparently attractive 3-year warranty with DuroMax/DuroStar generators. However, the warranty document says that only parts are covered. Buyers are made to pay for shipping costs, and they have to do any work to fit replacement parts themselves, even when they are unprepared to do so (this is a common practice - see our post on portable generator warranties). 

PEAK AMPS @ 120V83.33 A
PEAK AMPS @ 240V41.67 A
RUNNING AMPS @ 240V33.33 A
AMPERAGE66.5 A / 33.33 A
VOLTAGE120V / 240VAC & 12VDC