Are Kohler Engines Good? An In-Depth Look

Kohler Co. is a company known for making good engine products. Established in 1873, the Wisconsin-based company has a long history of producing high-quality motors. With more than a century’s track record in reliability, Kohler engines are found in machines ranging from riding mowers to log splitters.  

Key Points:

  • Kohler Co. is a highly reputable power engine manufacturer with over 100 years of experience in production.
  • Popular uses of their engines include riding mowers, log splitters, commercial and industrial equipment, yard tools, and more.
  • They offer three main types of engines categorized by lightweight, professional-grade, and heavy-duty purposes best suited for the machine.

The performance of the company’s engines has led it to being used in leading brands of machines like Craftsman riders and other lawn service and industry equipment. Even though they are widely used, and parts are made in factories here and overseas, are Kohler engines good, and most importantly, are they worth the price? Let’s find out.

Are Kohler Engines Decent?

According to many Kohler users, the engines will run for 500 to 700 hours if they are well maintained, and the proper fuel and lubrication are used. Some models, like the Kohler Courage, can run for 1000 hours. The long-lasting courage engines are used in lawn mowers and other garden tractors due to the low price and long performance. 

Kohler produces many different engine types, with the most common being engines for lawnmowers. Some mower brands that trust the air- and water-cooled engines Kohler provides are Dixon, Toro, Ariens, Cub Cadet, Gravely, Craftsman, Dixie Chopper, Westinghouse, and Simpson. The stellar reputations of the equipment from brands like Craftsman indicate that Kohler engines are indeed decent.

Types of Kohler Engines

Some common engine types, like the Kohler courage and the Kohler diesel engines, are the best in their class and offer excellent performance, resulting in high-quality products. Your choice of engine will depend on the type of work you need to complete. Engine division is in 3 parts lightweight engines, professional engine technology, and heavy-weight high-power performance engines. Below are some of the key features of each. 

HD Series Heavy-Duty Engines2x longer useful engine life certified by Kohler
XT Series Light-Weight EnginesSmart Choke technology
XTX Series Professional-GradeCast-iron cylinder liners for added durability and engine protection

Heavy-Duty Engines

Industrial equipment, agricultural equipment, and commercial equipment all need huge engines to accomplish their massive tasks. With a higher price difference than the smaller residential equipment, companies that buy these engines want extraordinary reliability. Kohler engines offer a 2x longer engine life, and that guarantee is certified by Kohler. 

Light-Weight Engines

For landscaping services and garden equipment, you may only need a small engine. Small grounds equipment should be affordable with at least an average reliability. Some of these may be alternative-fueled equipment and should have optimal fuel efficiency to save time while working on refueling. Kohler’s general-purpose gasoline engines, the XT series, can be found in many smaller yard tools. 

Professional-Grade Engines

In the outdoor power equipment industry, machines like log splitters, heavy tractors, and other larger tools need to be able to run for hours and hours at a time. Fuel rail systems to make fuel efficient and high-mix low-volume engines allow these machines to work tirelessly.

As far as high-quality engines go, the XTX series is a great family of engines.

Which Kohler Engine is Best?

Kohler Command PRO Horizontal OHV Engine with Recoil Start — 3600 RPM, 429cc, 14 HP, 1in. x 3.49in. Shaft, Model# PA-CH440-3302
  • 14hp 429cc Kohler Command Pro Engine
  • 1″ x 3.48″ keyed shaft, tapped 7/16″-20.
  • Common Replacement Engine-please verify will fit your application

Depending on your needs, you will be able to choose the Kohler engine that suits you best. The main way to decide which is going to work hardest for you is to determine the size of the engine you want and go from there. If you will need a large engine, then you may want to look at diesel machines or professional-grade engines. On the other hand, some small yard tasks can be done with lightweight engines that use less fuel and, in some cases, make almost no noise. 

Diesel engines are big and powerful, and Kohler diesel engines are liquid-cooled, so they will not overheat. This is crucial for heavy machines that need to sit in the sun and operate for 8+ hours at a time. Inferior engines may have problems or create undue pollution.

Kohler diesel engines are fuel efficient and are good engines that are not nearly as noisy as other diesel engines. Best of all, these engines are forged with a highly durable castiron structure, making them last longer and hold up to serious workloads. 

The confidant engine is a double-gas engine mower that has serious power. It is expensive but makes large garden tractor jobs a breeze and lasts for several years with regular use. The command engines are very efficient, with a closed-loop fuel injection system that saves as much as 25% of the gas used.

These engines also use a hydraulic feature that removes the need for valve adjustments allowing for better motor use. You will want to choose a different series for your specific task as each model has various features and are in a wide variety of different machines.

What Makes Kohler Engines Good?

Kohler engines have a reputation for being some of the best in the world and have supported that will continued production since 1873. After hours of performance tests, it has been shown that Kohler engines outperform other leading brands of engines in long-life and steady performance

Kohler engines are extremely reliable and economical, especially the lawn mower engine models. They are used in many brands of mowers, and this also makes finding replacement parts and getting repairs easier. As the engines are manufactured similarly, you will have greater success getting working parts from one matching to another. 

These engines are easy to operate and have various features to help complete most home and commercial tasks. Since where a product is built has such a direct impact on the quality of the machine, it is important to know how and where Kohler engines come together. These engines are made in the USA, although some parts are manufactured in China and shipped to the US for final assembly. 

Are There Any Engine Cons?

Nothing is without its faults, and Kohler engines are no exception. Some user feedback talks about the issues they have encountered over the years using these products. Some engines can be difficult to start. This has to do with the low RPMs of some engines and the required choke and start protocol. 

Kohler engines can also have the possibility to stop suddenly due to many factors. If this happens occasionally, it probably doesn’t mean much, but if it happens constantly, it is either a maintenance problem or the machine is faulty. Either way, you should take care of it soon for your own safety and prevent the issue from turning into something worse. 

Likewise, backfiring and overheating, as well as erratic operation, can be attributed to the engine’s bad behavior. I have found that basic maintenance usually fixes these problems, and they don’t happen too frequently in well-maintained gear. 

A faulty spark plug, dirty fuel lines, and adding the wrong fuel and oil ratio to engines can all lead to these types of problems. If none of these is a factor, you may need to check with a technician to see if it is a fixable problem or if it should be replaced. This outcome is very rare as Kohler engines are good. 

Last update on 2024-06-16 / Affiliate links / Somes Images and Data from Amazon Product Advertising API