Today, we live in a world where electricity is everything. The thought of living an entire day without electricity is enough to push even the most patient of us into a never-ending spiral of hopeless and despair. In order to avoid unexpected power outages, it’s a good idea to have a portable generator on hand. Better yet, it’s best to have a dual-fuel portable generator, namely one that runs off of both gasoline and liquid petroleum.
Two companies that make some of the most competitive dual-fuel generators are WEN and DuroMax. In this article, we’re going to take a look at two products – the WEN DF475 and the DuroMax XP4400EH. Both of these machines provide a tremendous amount of power; more than enough to get your home’s most vital appliances and electronics up and running. To find out which of the two would make a better investment for your home, let’s dive right into our comparison.
Gasoline – Surge and Running Wattages
Some dual-fuel generators produce different surge and running wattages depending on the fuel source. In most cases, you’ll find that these machines can supply greater amounts of power when switched to the gasoline mode. The WEN is rated to supply 4,750 surging watts and 3,800 running watts. It’s not enough to power an entire household, but it’s more than enough for tailgating, traveling, and keeping the most essential appliances – e.g. fridges and WIFI routers – on.
The DuroMax produces up to 4,400 surge watts and 3,500 running watts. This isn’t very far off of what the WEN can provide, and in many cases, a 300- to 500-watt deficiency won’t be the end of the world. In fact, it’s still enough for traveling purposes and keeping your home’s lights on during emergency situations.
Conclusion: We honestly feel that when it comes to portable generators, more is better since it offers more freedom in deciding which appliances to run. That being said, we don’t see that much of a difference between the two machines in terms of surge and running wattages when using gasoline. Of course, getting a portable generator depends entirely on your own set of unique requirements, and we’re not in any position to decide whether more or less is better for you.
Liquid Propane – Surge and Running Wattages
As we mentioned earlier, gasoline is more likely than not the more efficient fuel source for generators. The WEN, when running off of propane, has slightly reduced surge and wattage ratings – 4,350 and 3,500 watts respectively – compared to using gasoline mode. Still, it’s not that much of a difference and will still supply your home with sufficient power to get through frustrating blackouts.
The DuroMax is one of the few models whose engines work at the same efficiency level when fueled by both gasoline and liquid propane. You won’t find any dips in power supply when switching between gasoline mode and propane mode. This machine still supplies 4,400 surge watts and 3,500 running watts in any situation.
Conclusion: We like how there’s no loss of power when switching between gas and liquid propane modes in the DuroMax. However, even with the WEN’s reduced power, we notice that there’s hardly any difference. Really, how is a 50-watt deficit going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things?
Gasoline – Run Time
Each source of fuel provides different total run times per full tank of gas or propane. In general, gasoline is the more efficient option which you’ll see also stands true when looking at both of these models. On a full 4-gallon tank of gas, the WEN has a maximum run time of 11 hours at 50% capacity (1,900 watts).
The DuroMax, on a full tank of gas (also 4 gallons), can provide up to 8 hours of power at half capacity, or about 1,750 watts. This is far from being the average level of efficiency since most 4,000-plus-watt machines with 4-gallon tanks can supply power for upwards of 10 hours at half-load.
Conclusion: By looking at their respective maximum run times on a full 4-gallon tank, it’s clear that the WEN is the more fuel-efficient model. While using the same amount of gas, you can get at least 3 hours of extra electricity with the WEN than the DuroMax. It’s a shame that the DuroMax doesn’t even meet the 10-hour minimum that we expect from modern portable generators.
Liquid Propane – Run Time
We mentioned earlier that propane is generally the less efficient option in terms of being a source of fuel for portable generators. It’s especially apparent in this WEN model that delivers up to 7 hours of electricity from a single 20-pound tank of liquid propane when running at half capacity.
The DuroMax, on the other hand, excels when it comes to using liquid propane to produce electricity. Using that same 20-pound tank of liquid propane, you can expect upwards of 10 hours when supplying up to 1,750 watts continuously. This is about the average time you can get from a 4,000-watt liquid propane generator so that’s something to consider.
Conclusion: What the DuroMax lacks when using gasoline to power up, it makes up for when liquid propane is running through the engine. Compared to the WEN, you can get at least 3 additional hours of power when both machines are switched to liquid propane mode. This is especially when a city-wide power outage shuts down all gas pumps.
WEN DF475 and DuroMax XP4400EH
One of the most important considerations when choosing a generator, whether it be portable or standby, are the types and number of available outlets. Both the WEN and DuroMax come with two standard 120V 3-prong outlets for plugging electronics directly into the machine. You also have the option of plugging these generators straight into your home’s inlet box by means of a 120V/240V L14-30R twist-lock plug. Just be sure you get an outdoor-safe power cord with the proper wire gauge for its length.
Dual-fuel portable generators are great since they don’t rely on a single fuel source to provide power. If your local gas station’s pumps aren’t functional for whatever reason, you can change the generator from gasoline to liquid propane mode and pick up a tank of propane to convert into electricity.
Between the two models – the WEN DF475 and the DuroMax XP4400EH – we feel that neither one of them has the obvious upper hand when compared against the other. The WEN excels in gas-economy, whereas the DuroMax has a better propane-usage rate to supply electricity. At the end of the day, it ultimately comes down to whether you’re more likely to rely on gasoline or propane for power. If gasoline is your go-to source of fuel, then the WEN is the better choice. If propane is your thing, then the DuroMax should be the way to go.
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