View Full Version : Kawasaki vs Kohler

01-02-2002, 07:40 PM
I did a search on kawasaki engines, and kohler engines, i found out some information.. but not enough to convince me either way.

If any of you could describe some of the pros/cons of each, and point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

BTW, im looking at a 15 HP if it makes any difference


Kent Lawns
01-02-2002, 07:49 PM
Well, it sure does make a difference.

The 15hp 2cyl Kawi is better than the single Kohler offering.

In the 20+ hp engine sizes is a different story.

I can only speak from my substancial experience and dialogues with other users.

01-02-2002, 08:01 PM

From personal experience I have had a ton of problem from kolher head gastest 20 and 25 hp. 14hp Kawi I have had no problems.

My dealer tells me parts for Kawi are hard to get. He trys not to sell kawi on his Exmarts because he claims they will not back him up. Kolher he admits has a lot of problem but they stand behind him. I have had Three kolher engine totally replaced for free because of problems But the down time is still my lose. Of course they always go down when you need them the most.

01-02-2002, 11:42 PM
After hearing about all the Kohler head gasket problems and owning 4 Kawasaki's ,I get a Kawasaki! The only problem I eve had was a ignition coil broke. Thats all.

01-03-2002, 12:28 AM
Can't go wrong with the legendary 14 horse fc420 from kawi.:angel:

01-03-2002, 12:59 AM
Ive got Kaw,Robin,Suzuki,Briggs vanguard,and Kohler engines, If anyone has the 25hp with the upgrade Kohlers they run very strong and give little or no problems, As far a rateings i like the Briggs Vanguards made by the Japaneese Co. Also love them Robin 2cycles. Only have one Kohler but it has been trouble free now for 2yrs 749hrs. But my Vanguards are all trouble free, Ive had several problems with Kaw but nothing major, but some of my buddys have had trouble with parts. Keep that oil changed and the filters clean and run stabelizer in them and they will usually treat you right. Marks Mowing Service

01-03-2002, 01:24 AM
Allow me to introduce myself. I am from Pittsburgh, PA and run design-build-maintain company. Anyway, my experience with 4 cycles is similar to most of the others replies. The kaw is definately a faster runner than a kohler in the 14 horse size which are in our snapper hydro's.
Our other larger equipment runs 20 hp and up kohler's and vanguard's. I did have some occasionall oil burn from the kaw. But what it all comes down to is parts availability like the others noted. And all things considered I would go with the Kohler when your talking 14 hp and up.

01-03-2002, 01:58 AM
i almost hate to pick one over the other. ive had good service
from both. ive never had a 4 cycle engine in its class that would generate as
much raw power as the kohler command 20 im running now.
hope i can get it to last.
my next project is to get past these plastic caps an turn a couple of briggs engines ive got ,up a little.
im thinking with tufoil and mobile 1 syn they should be able to
handle it. one at a time of course.:)

01-03-2002, 05:34 AM
i agree with kent lawns bout the kaw fc420 14hp engine. great engine. dont know enough about kohlers in that size to form a view. but, we have had kohler command 22 and 25hp engines. both seemed to run fine until their 3rd season of use. the 22 dropped a cylinder,it had 1800 hours on it, went from a 2 cylinder to one-lol. the 25 just needed a valve job(no biggie). i still prefer a kawasaki, but that all depends on who your dealer is, and who maintains the equipment also. i have found after 15 years in this business that most landscapers biggest mistakes when it comes to life of an engine is very simple. they tend not to clean air filters often enough, or even clean off outer casing off engine with some form of degreaser. remember, DIRT, and OVERHEATING is the enemy of an engine.

01-03-2002, 11:06 AM
Do a search on the 2000hr club youll see that other than diesel engines that{ Kohler Rules } Here is just a few 22 and 25hp kohlers 3335,2500,3000,3590,3800,2400,2500, 4300,and a 25hp with 4761 was the winner. Youll notice that very few Kawas are found in that club. Marks Mowing Service

01-03-2002, 12:16 PM
I've been running a 14hp Command Kohler for 6 years full-time with no problems at all. I've never used a Kawi so I obviously can't compare the two.


01-03-2002, 02:23 PM
Thanks everybody,

I've heard them both raved and ragged on about equal once again.. I think im going to go with the Kohler though.


clyde stewart
01-04-2002, 02:22 PM
I have never had to do anything but replace pull rope and oil and filter to my 12.5 kaw for 4 yrs in the lawn biz

the depnd ablity is work it to me to keep a kaw on board. but parts is an issue . even though i have never had to buy any AT ALL. What i would do is to call around to all the parts suppliers and mechanic shops and find out what dealer is the best in town for having Kaw. Parts avalibiltiy and talk with them and find out what they carry and how long it would take to get it.

If you have a good dealer go with Kaw other than that go with Kohler

01-04-2002, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by fivestarlawnken
Can't go wrong with the legendary 14 horse fc420 from kawi.:angel:

Toooo bad they put on the new mowers any more.


01-04-2002, 08:26 PM
Well guys i have to put in my 2 cents also. My exmark 60" wb has a kohler 22 hp command on it. At 850 hours it started smoking bigtime. Lost compression on one cylander. I changed oil and filter at regular intervals as well as the air filter. Found out from a small engine mechanic that kohlers in the 20 and 22 hp seemed to have problems with the rings and the 25 hp had head gasket problems. I always liked kohlers because dads old jd 110 with an 8 hp engine didn't need a rebuild til it was 26 years old!(still got it!) Things like this happen but I lost big money while that machine was down! Kaw 12.5 and 14 horse are the industry standard in air cooled engines. Anyone who ever had one knows that they are very reliable engines. My ferris 61" has a 23 hp kaw. Lots of power,smooth engine, starts quick. Kaw hasn't been in the twin cylander air cooled market very long but they seem to have a good product so far. Kawasaki engines run more hours than kohlers in my expirience and small engine mech's will tell you the same, plus they are built in missouri. Yeah i like kaws and kohlers but i give kaw the edge.