Kohler vs. Kawasaki Lawn Mower Engines

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When it comes to lawn mowers, the engine is the most important component as it determines the quality, performance, and lifespan of the machine.

Both Kawasaki and Kohler are two well-known and reliable brands in the industry, each offering their own set of advantages and features. In this article, we will explore the differences between these brands to help you make a good decision based on what you need.

What is the Difference Between Kawasaki and Kohler?

The key differences between Kawasaki and Kohler lawn mower engines, can be categorized based on application, durability, performance and power, warranty, and price.

1. Application

Kawasaki engines are generally favored in commercial-grade mowers used by professional landscapers due to their high performance. Kohler engines, however, offer versatility for both residential and commercial mowers, providing user-friendliness for homeowners and professionals alike.

2. Durability

Kawasaki is known for using heavy-duty materials like cast-iron cylinder liners, resulting in long-lasting engines. Kohler also offers durable engines, aided by their Pro Performance Filtration System that enhances engine life.

3. Performance & Power

Kawasaki offers high-performance engines with higher horsepower ratings and fuel efficiency. Kohler engines, while not always matching Kawasaki’s horsepower, consistently deliver reliable performance for most mowing needs.

4. Warranty

Both Kawasaki and Kohler typically provide warranties in the range of 3-5 years, but the exact terms may vary depending on the specific model and purchase location.

5. Price

Kawasaki engines, given their commercial-grade nature, tend to come with a higher price tag. Kohler engines are generally more affordable, offering a good balance of price and performance.

Feature Kawasaki Kohler
Origin Japan USA
Power Range Up to 38.5 HP Up to 35 HP
Torque Up to 57.8 ft-lbs at 3200 RPM Up to 56 ft-lbs at 2800 RPM
Lifespan More than 3500 hours with proper use Up to 2000 hours for air-cooled models
Notable Features V-Twin configuration for balance and reduced vibrations, liquid-cooled and air-cooled engines Even power levels, reduced fuel use, and some engines never require an oil change
Maintenance Requires less maintenance than some other brands Regular maintenance required, but some models never need an oil change
Warranty Comes with a 36-month warranty period Warranty details vary by model and usage
Popular Brands Using the Engines John Deere, Cub Cadet, Husqvarna Toro, Husqvarna, Ariens
Price Range Mid to high price range Mid to high price range

Who Manufactures Kohler Engines?

Kohler lawn mower engines are produced by the Kohler Co. a well-established American company headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin. Since launching their engine division in the 1920s, Kohler Co. has become an industry leader known for reliability and performance.

Who Manufactures Kawasaki Engines?

Kawasaki lawn mower engines are produced by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, a Japanese company with global recognition.

Kawasaki engines are a popular choice among professionals due to their commercial-grade features, durability, and long lifespan. The company is known for its uncompromising quality control standards, ensuring each engine upholds the brand’s reputation for excellence.

What Brands Use Kohler?

Several popular lawn mower brands in the U.S. employ Kohler engines. These include:

  • Cub Cadet: They utilize Kohler engines in their XT1 series models.
  • Toro: Kohler engines are found in their TimeCutter and Titan mowers.
  • Husqvarna: They incorporate Kohler engines in select YTH and Z series models.
  • Ariens: This brand uses Kohler engines in their Zoom and IKON series.
  • Gravely: They integrate Kohler engines in specific zero-turn mowers in their ZT and Pro-Turn series.

What Brands Use Kawasaki?

Kawasaki engines power mowers from some of the most well-known brands in the U.S. These include:

  • John Deere: They use Kawasaki engines in their ZTrak and X300 series models.
  • Ferris: Kawasaki engines are found in select models of their IS series.
  • Cub Cadet: They utilize Kawasaki engines in their XT2 series models.
  • Scag: This brand uses Kawasaki engines in some Tiger Cat and Turf Tiger series models.
  • Hustler Turf: They incorporate Kawasaki engines in certain Raptor and FasTrak models.


Both Kawasaki and Kohler engines have their unique strengths and it really comes down to what suits your needs best. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty, commercial-grade engine with high performance, Kawasaki might be the right choice, given you’re willing to pay a slightly higher price.

On the other hand, if you prefer an engine that is versatile, user-friendly, and more affordable, while still offering reliable performance, a Kohler engine might be the more suitable choice for you.