Kaw. Vs. Kohler

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by PLM-1, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,640

    What are everyones thoughts on kohler and kaws? Which one is better and why? Certain applications for each? ie kohler has more torque and therefore cuts taller grass better.

    The reason i ask is because i am trying to decide if i should go with kohler or kaw. I think i am going to get rid of my 48" walkbehind and buy a 36". The engine options are a 14 hp kaw or a 15 kohler. What to you all think??
  2. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    I've heard from a couple of dealers that Kawasaki stands behind their product better than Koehler. They said that Kaw is easier to get parts for and will outlive the Koehler. But I'm not neccessarily speaking from experience, only hearsay.
  3. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,640

    I know there are more opinions out there!!!!
  4. Andyinchville2

    Andyinchville2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    We have both motors....both are good but personally I'll take more HP anyday...
  5. dmc456

    dmc456 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 383

    Both make good engines. I am currenly running both. I have had no problem out of both. My Kohler is ~400 hrs and the Kawasaki has about ~100.

    My only problem (Kohler) was a small oil leak from the oil liter housing where the hoses connect (fixed with new hose clamp). I also had a rocker arm come loose which scared the hell out of me. I though I was going to have to replace the engine or atleast the head on one cylinder. All I had to do was torque it down and not problems.

    My next mower will have the 29 Kawasaki DFI engine which is liquid cooled and lots of torque. Uses only 1.6 gal / hr and very reliable.
  6. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    For larger engines like on riders i will not say since i have little experience, but on the walk behinds i certainly have seen and used a variety. I've had several with Kaw's, 2 with the 14hp single cylinder, 17hp V-twin, etc. and i have experience with many Kohler's on walk behinds (12.5 and 14/15hp) and i say i prefer the Kaw for these size engines. The Kohlers are more cold natured, harder starting even when warm, not as smooth or quiet as the Kaws, and do not seem to have any more power than a Kaw. For larger engines I think it is different but on a w/b my vote goes to Kaw.
  7. jpeters

    jpeters LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    I have had both Kaw's and Kohler... I would take a Kaw anyday....seem to run quieter and cooler. alot less trouble. i had a kohler that quit on me around 1500 hrs. i have a kaw with 1700 hrs and still running strong. but again that is just my opinion
  8. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,146

    As far as my experiance goes we have had nothing but problems out of the kaws. They are cold natured and are stubborn and hard to get started when its cool outside. Our Kohlers start first or 2nd pull every time. Also they havent lasted nearly as long as our kohlers have. Really its all in what you have luck with. Guy above me likes kaws and I like kohlers. Eaither one will serve you well. BTW out 18hp kohler now has 1,700 hours on it and starts and runs like a dream. Uses no oil and doesnt seem to have lost any power. One kohler we had, had over 3,000 hours on it with only 3 oil changes. Still ran fine when we sold the mower and to my knowledge 2 years later the new owner is still useing it on the same motor. It wasnt a command it was a magnum. The kohler magnum was unstopable.
  9. BobcatZT

    BobcatZT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    We run both engines. Don't really know which one I like better. For the record, the Kohler Command 25HP has 1800 hours and starts easy and runs like a champ. The Kawi 17HP has 1600 hours and starts on 1st or 2nd pull even in the cold.
  10. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    I have run both and I have several Kohlers with a ton of hours on them. Preventative maintenance is the key and not abusing the equipment. This question of which is the better engine has been disscuss here numerous times. Try doing a search to see if you pull up any additional info.


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