Duramax Vs Cummins Vs Powerstroke

Once diesel engines were only part of heavy-duty vehicles like ships and trains. Now their prominent presence in trucks can be seen. The introduction of this type of engine was the result of high gas prices in the 1970s. As the prices reached the skies in a very short time, the automobile manufacturing companies started to look for this alternative.

It was successful because the efficiency of this engine is higher than the previous one. Also, it was able to help the driver cover more miles in one gallon in comparison to the other one. Let’s get an idea of what’s better Duramax vs Cummins vs Powerstroke.

Duramax Vs Cummins Vs Powerstroke, Which Is Perfect:

Diesel engines’ formal introduction in the automobile industry was made in the 19th century. Different companies came up with their diesel engines over time that including the Duramax by Chevy, Powerstroke by Ford, and Cummins by Ram Trucks.

Considering these three types of diesel engines, a question arises in mind what’s better Duramax, Powerstroke, or Cummins? ? How did they become the first choice of users? How they are evolving with time, and which one of them is the best choice for your vehicle type/model?

We will learn all about their differences and advantages over each other in the sections given below.


Cummins diesel engine came into the market in the 1919s. But their first supply was in the year 1988 when a pickup truck company called Chrysler Cooperation. In contrast to this one, Duramax’s introduction dates back to 2001 and to Powerstroke in 1994. This means that they were not in the automobile market for a very long ago.

If we analyze them on age criteria, there is no doubt that Cummins beat the other two in this department. Cummins’s age is still older if we compare it against the Ford and GM brand names.


We know that heavy-duty trucks are made for towing heavy materials or things. For this purpose, they need torque. The torque and the towing capability of the trucks are directly proportional to each other.

If we compare Cummins, Duramax, and Powerstroke with gasoline engines, we conclude that there is a huge difference in their torque. Due to a better combustion system, and longer connecting rods, they can provide much better torque for towing than gasoline engines.

At maximum, the Powerstroke can produce a torque of 935 pounds, while Duramax can produce 910 pounds of torque. Both have values that are very close to each other. However, Cummins manages to produce just 555 pounds of torque and is very low in compression to the other two.

Overall, we conclude that in terms of torque, Powerstroke is the best choice. If your vehicle’s need is just towing heavy materials, then your best choice is Powerstroke. If you fail to find this one, then go for Duramax.


Along with the torque that you need for towing, horsepower is another crucial factor in this regard. The acceleration of trucks and horsepower have a direct proportion. If the horsepower is high enough, the truck will accelerate forward much easier than otherwise.

It does not matter if the truck is towing anything or not. However, drivers who need to move them quickly towards their destination while carrying heavy loads would appreciate horsepower.

In the horsepower category, Powerstroke offers 450 while Duramax offers 455. However, Cummins engines in trucks offer just 400 horsepower. The Powerstroke takes the lead in this category with the highest horsepower while Duramax lefts behind with a small margin.

Design And Strength:

Other than torque and horsepower, the design and strength of the diesel engine is also important to factor. It is made sure that the trucks that are towing above 26 thousand lbs require a commercial license for driving.

The towing power for Powerstroke and Cummins pulls over this amount, but the Duramax lags in this. Its towing capacity is approximately 23 thousand lbs.

If we do the comparison of all three diesel engines, we conclude the towing capacity of the Power stroke is the highest. Its values are 34 thousand lbs at a maximum which is much greater than Cummins with values around 31 thousand lbs.

This means that if you own a truck with one of these diesel engines, then get your commercial driving license. Now if you wonder what’s better Duramax, Powerstroke, or Cummins in terms of towing capacity, Powerstroke and Duramax is the answer.

Fuel Economy:

Without a doubt, diesel engines have better fuel economy in comparison to gasoline engines. They allow a longer driving range by using the same amount of fuel while gasoline would allow much less mileage.

Among these three main diesel engines, two are known for their use in small vehicles as well. For instance, General Motors allows its 4-cylinder diesel engine in Colorado and Canyon.

However, Ford’s manufacturing company uses a 6-cylinder diesel engine in F-50. If we talk about the former engine, it would allow a 4-cylinder engine with 2.8 liters of fuel to cover 30 miles per gallon. In the case of Ford, the 6-cylinder diesel engine with 3 liters of fuel would allow 26 miles per gallon on the highway.

Considering the facts and figures, we conclude that it is all about the choice of the truck buyer. What is best according to his needs would be the best choice in that particular case. This means that in the case of fuel economy, none of the Cummins, Duramax, and Powerstroke takes the lead.

Warranty And Reliability:

The diesel engine you choose to buy must be reliable. You should get a guarantee for this before buying. Long time warranty Is not a surety that the diesel engine you are buying will work till that time. The main idea behind it is that if something goes wrong in the system, you will have the chance to get the repair done within that time duration.

Usually, the product lasts as long as the warranty is given because the seller knows that it will work till that time. If it is randomly done, then it would be a loss for the sellers as the money-back complaints would continue to pop up.

For Cummins, the warranty is given for a 100 thousand miles ride while it is 250 thousand miles for Powerstroke engines. This warranty duration is satisfactory for the users as they know the problem will be resolved immediately.


For a very long time, Cummins was the favorite diesel engine of truck drivers. Soon after the introduction of Powerstroke, they realized that this one has better performance. Since then, Powerstroke is taking the lead in popularity over the others one.

They are related to each other in terms of horsepower and torque. In Powerstroke, the horsepower is high and the whole torque is low. The case of Cummins is the opposite of this. But due to the high horsepower of Powerstroke which is a reflection of high engine strength, it is more popular.


When we talk about the specification of Cummins and Powerstroke, we find them almost similar to one another. However, the Duramax is a little different from them but pretty close.

Power stroke and Duramax are 8-cylinder diesel engines, while Cummins is a 6-cylinder diesel engine. In most cases, the horsepower, towing capacity, and torque are the same for all three diesel engines. But in some cases, Cummins leads all of them by crossing the threshold value. Along with this, their fuel requirements and the system made for it are similar to each other.

Other than the similarities in the above specifications, few are differences between each one of them. These include the cylinder head construction which is of cast iron in the case of Cummins. While it is made with cast aluminum for Duramax, and aluminum for Powerstroke. Another difference between them is the compression ratio. This ratio is 16.2:1, 16.0:1, and 16.2:1 for Cummins, Duramax, and Powerstroke respectively.

As far as the firing order of Cummins, Duramax, and Powerstroke is concerned, its values are 1-5-3-6-2-4, 1-2-7-8-4-5-6-3, and 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8, respectively. They also differ in the size of bore, and stroke. For Cummins, it is 4.21 x 4.88 inches, for Duramax, it is 4.055 x 3.897 inches, and for Powerstroke, it is 3.90 x 4.25 inches.

Overall, we conclude that there are so many things that are common between them while some are completely different. Based on these differences, we can choose the right diesel engine for our trucks.


Truck diesel engine buyers are very loyal to the manufacturing company. They like to go back and buy from them only. Surely, the comparison or differences that show what’s better Duramax vs Cummins vs Powerstroke is irrelevant to them. The right choice of diesel engine from these here depends on the truck type, model, and the needs of the driver.

The comparison of these diesel engine brands can be helpful for those who are trying to choose the best option. If you are also a beginner who knows nothing about these three, then the details given above will increase your knowledge about them.

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