Kohler Engines Review: Are They Any Good?

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When it comes time to replace the engine in your lawnmower or other equipment, you may wonder if Kohler engines are right for you. Kohler engines are a popular choice, but some people aren’t sure if they are any good. 

Our lawn care pros have created this Kohler engines review to see how they stack up against the competition.

What is Kohler Co.? A Quick History

Kohler Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that manufactures engines for various purposes. It has been in business since 1873 and has a long history of producing high-quality engines. 

kohler engine

Kohler engines are used in everything from riding mowers to log splitters, and the company has a reputation for making durable products. 

Kohler Engines and Technology

Kohler engines are known for their durability and performance. Our team of experts has found the following advantages in each of these engines. 

HD Series

The HD Series™ is Kohler’s line of heavy-duty engines. It is designed for demanding applications and is built for residential and commercial walk-behind mowers, pressure washers, and utility equipment. It has a 2x-longer useful engine life certified by Kohler.

XT Series

The lightweight KOHLER® XT Series™ is built tough to the core, boasting professional-grade features for tackling tough jobs. It has Smart-Choke™ technology that prevents choking, priming, and flooded engine.

kohler engine XT Series

XTX Series

Kohler’s XTX Series™ has cast-iron cylinder liners for added durability and engine protection, professional-grade power, and never needs an oil change.

Other Notable Series

Kohler also offers a variety of other engine types, including the 7500 Series™ EFI, 7000 Series™, RH Series™, and SH Series™ engines. Each of these engine types has its unique features and benefits.

Which Kohler Engine is Best?

The best Kohler engine for you depends on your specific needs. 

If you need a heavy-duty engine, the HD Series™ is a good choice. If you are looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use engine, the XT Series™ is a good option. For a hassle-free engine that doesn’t require oil changes, the XTX Series™ is your best bet.

Where are Kohler Engines Made?

Engines produced by Kohler have come from Chongqing, China, since May 2007 in a joint venture with YinXiang Ltd. They team up with their Chinese allies to develop, manufacture, market, sell and distribute most of Kohler’s general-purpose gasoline engines. 

kohler assembly line

Therefore, Kohler engine parts come from China, while their plants are in Wisconsin, Saukville, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Technically, they are “made in the USA.”

Riding Mowers with Kohler Engines

Kohler engines are used in different riding mowers. 

Some of the most popular brands that use Kohler engines include Dixon, Toro, Ariens, Cub Cadet, Gravely, Craftsman, Dixie Chopper, Westinghouse, and Simpson. These mowers are known for their durability and performance.

(But, given the highest-quality standards, why does a lawn mower backfire? Find out here!)

Kohler Engine Complaints

Some common complaints about Kohler engines include engines that are difficult to start, stop suddenly, operate erratically, backfire, and overheat. Possible causes of these problems include improper fuel, dirt in the fuel line, engine overloaded, and faulty spark plug.

Kohler vs. Briggs and Stratton Lawn Mower Engine

When it comes to lawnmower engines, Kohler and Briggs & Stratton are the two main competitors. Both companies make high-quality products, but there are some key differences between the two. 

Kohler engine of Husqvarna Z254

For example, Kohler engines slightly outperform Briggs & Stratton when it comes to longevity and durability. 

Additionally, Kohler engines are more suited for various conditions and have more options for cooling mechanisms and advanced filtration.

Kohler engines are the best choice for residential choice, while Briggs & Stratton engines are for personal use. The latter is often a lot more affordable with excellent performance for the price.

However, many users have observed a decline in the quality of Briggs & Stratton engines since the peak of COVID-19 [1]. 


Does Kohler make good engines?

Yes, Kohler makes good engines and is known for durability and performance. It’s easy to operate and has various features depending on your needs. Kohler makes mower engines for extensive personal and professional uses. Essentially, Kohler offers a wide variety of choices based on conditions.

How many hours will a Kohler engine last?

A Kohler engine will last 500-700 hours. Kohler’s Courage engine can run up to 1,000 hours as long as you are careful with the oil and synthetic oil used and as long as you take good care with how infrequently your motor has been run and how hard you run it.


Our experience and reviews of Kohler engines show that they are one of the most reliable manufacturers in the market today. They are easy to operate and have various features depending on your needs. 

Kohler has you covered whether you need a heavy-duty engine for commercial use or a lightweight engine for your riding mower. It also requires minimal maintenance and comes with various cooling mechanisms and advanced filtration options. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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