DuroMax XP12000EH Review and Buyer’s Guide: Should You Get One?

DuroMax XP12000EH Review

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This article should be a rave – after all, the DuroMax XP12000EH is one of the best generators on the market today, and in this higher power ~10,000 watt range it is not just a superb product, but at its level quite possibly the best value on the market today.

And yes, we can rave on, and I absolutely and enthusiastically recommend the XP12000EH, but we have to consider the fact that DuroMax has introduced a new model – the XP12000HX – which is improved in several pretty important ways. The new HX is more expensive, though, and not perhaps quite the outstanding value – but it is a better machine for a bit more money.

So let’s look at the DuroMax XP12000 – which, by the way, is still in DuroMax’s current product line and, in fact, still easily one of their most popular models – in a little more depth, and then we’ll talk about if it is worth it to upgrade to the DuroMax XP1200HX.

This isn’t a particularly long article, but if you’d like to get to the nitty gritty, here are some Key Takeaways:

Is the DuroMax XP12000EH a Good Generator? Executive Summary

DuroMax XP12000EH a Good Generator

Yes, absolutely! In every way I can think of, I strongly recommend the DuroMax XP12000EH, which is big and powerful, smooth and quiet, dependable and well made, and at its low price not just affordable, but probably the best value I know at this level.

The exclusion of an electronic display panel, or the lack of wifi connectivity, are not really important considerations with this type of generator, and I (among others) actually prefer more simple indicator lights for their ease and their long-term reliability. The lack of a true inverter stage, however, might be a more important factor for some – especially those using sensitive electronic equipment – and for this a better choice is the (admittedly much more expensive) DuroMax XP9000iH.

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But for normal usage – job sites, RV camping, home backup and emergency scenarios – the DuroMax XP12000EH is probably my first choice at this level, and in so many ways a truly outstanding product – especially for the money. The only serious contender that comes to mind is another DuroMax product – the newly introduced XP1200HX, which is especially notable for having a carbon monoxide monitor, and also has a slightly longer run time – a somewhat better generator, really, but for several hundred dollars more not as good of a value.

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DuroMax XP12000EH: Features and Specifications

The DuroMax XP12000EH is a large, open frame portable generator that can supply peak power of up to 12,000 watts with gasoline.

Let’s look at some of the key specs of the XP12000EH:

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In addition to such a wide range of electrical outlets, the control panel also includes a main circuit breaker and two separate AC breakers, a voltage meter, monitor lights for recharge and oil alert, an idle control for extra running efficiency, a 120/240 volt switch and a ground to frame connector.

As you can see, the DuroMax XP12000EH has plenty of power for home backup, for job sites – including the most power-hungry electric tools – and for even larger recreational vehicles, and the 50 amp plug makes it completely RV ready.

Although some reviews seem to differ, I can tell you from personal experience that the DuroMax XP12000EH does indeed have both electric and recoil start, and in fact starting the 12000 is as easy as it gets – pretty much instantaneous and totally reliable, even in cold weather.

I have used a 12000 in two different scenarios – connected to an RV and at a job site – and I was really impressed in both cases.

At the job site the DuroMax 12000 was quiet, stable and smooth running, pretty much disappearing into the background. It always ran perfectly and never stalled or had any issues at all, and even when powering multiple power tools (some of which draw a lot of juice), lighting and fans we had plenty of power all the time. I was on site for several days in an operation completely powered by the DuroMax, and was able to not just totally count on the generator, but totally forget about it – probably the strongest compliment I can give.

I also went RV camping with a friend who has a DuroMax XP12000EH, and had a very similar, and very positive, experience then too. My friend has a large Class A RV, with two air conditioners, a full range of kitchen appliances and normal lighting, and even with full usage the 12000 supplied all the power we needed, and was quiet and dependable the whole time. Even at night, when the beloved silence of the great outdoors settled in, the DuroMax running near idle was so quiet that I had to strain to hear it.

In terms of user interface there’s nothing really special going on here. The DuroMax does not have any kind of advanced electronic monitoring panel, like some generators do, but instead basic old-school indicator lights for the most important things. I actually prefer this simpler approach, which seems more reliable and dependable over the long term, but others may prefer a more sophisticated monitoring display.

The DuroMax XP12000EH also has no wireless capability, which isn’t that common on this type of generator anyway.

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The connectors seem to be very strong and high quality, and the layout is smart and well designed, and overall the XP12000EH is easy and intuitive in usage. The whole machine, from connectors, switches and controls to the frame, the engine, the fit and finish, is as good as I’ve seen – truly premium quality, and clearly built for many, many years of use.

In every way I can think of, I strongly and enthusiastically recommend the DuroMax XP12000EH, which is big and powerful, smooth and quiet, dependable and well made, and at its low price not just affordable, but probably the best value I know at this level.

DuroMax XP12000EH: Possible Downsides?

DuroMax XP12000EH downside

Besides the insignificant things I’ve already mentioned – the lack of an electronic display panel and wifi connectivity – there is very little I found wanting in the DuroMax XP12000EH, which is strong and powerful, quiet and smooth running, easy to use and very well made.

I should mention again, though, that there is a new Duromax model – not, apparently, a replacement for the 1200EH, but a slightly upgraded model with the same power output. 

The DuroMax XP12000HX is a little more sleek and modern in appearance, and has a slightly more modern (though still nicely old school) display panel, but has basically the same complement of controls and power outlets as the 1200EH.

In actual usage I found the two generators to be very much the same, with similar user interfaces, similarly low levels of noise, very smooth operation and especially easy starting. They also have effectively the exact same levels of power output, whether with gasoline or propane.

The new XP1200HX does have longer running time (9 hours with gasoline, versus 8 hours for the EH) and, most importantly, it has a carbon monoxide monitor which automatically cuts the engine if CO levels get too high.

DuroMax XP12000EH vs XP12000HX: Bottom Line

In most ways the DuroMax XP12000EH and the DuroMax XP12000HX are very, very similar, and can be considered pretty much equivalent machines – and, it should be said, they are both excellent and highly recommendable high power portable dual-fuel generators.

I don’t consider the extra hour of running time you get with the newer XP12000HX to be significant, and most of the other differences are more cosmetic, but the inclusion of a CO monitor and cut-off circuitry is important, and will make the increased price well worth it for many people.

If a CO monitor is not important to you, though, I should really mention that the slightly older – though again still very current and very popular – DuroMax XP12000EH is several hundred dollars less expensive, and is really a much better value – compared to the HX or to pretty much any other company’s offerings at this higher power level.

Either way you go, though, you are getting a great machine – my preference would be for the less expensive EH, but both are exceptional products and very highly recommended.