Kohler Vs. Briggs Mower Engines: Which One Is Better?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf
Both Kohler and Briggs make great mower engines, and they’re tough to choose between. Factors such as the price and function certainly don’t make matters any easier. Follow along as we compare the key factors that set Kohler and Briggs mower engines apart.

To the uninitiated, a mower engine is the same no matter where you look. After all, it fulfills the same purpose, right? Well, the truth of the matter is that there are big differences between the different manufacturers that can impact performance.

When the debate comes down to Kohler and Briggs mower engines, the question comes down to which is the better choice. On the whole, Kohler is a superior option to its Briggs counterpart. That said, there are different uses and offerings for each. Knowing what both sides bring to the table is important in determining which one to go with.

Kohler Engines for Homeowners

The first important distinction to make between Kohler and Briggs is that the former offers a professional option as well. Briggs does not, limiting its use to homeowners and standard mowing and cutting.

That said, Kohler has a ton of different homeowner engines available. There is the starter-level XT ranging up to the Aegis and Command PRO lines with dozens of others in the middle.

Walking, zero turn, and riding mowers. The three main engines for this category are the XT, courage, and the 7000 series. When it comes to walk-behind mowers, the XT series is perfect for quick starts and even low-temperature operations to minimize overheating. Despite horsepower limitations, the XT engine in particular is really good for a safe, low-maintenance choice.

Courage series. The other two, the 7000 and Courage series, are more for riding mowers. Those tend to demand a lot more power. The Courage comes in both twin and single-cylinder engines. It also has a larger engine displacement to provide much better handling.

7000 series. The 7000 series, meanwhile, has v-twin engines and a greater displacement. On top of that, there is air cooling equipped to keep maintenance at a minimum. The more intricate that you get – riding, zero-turn – the more comprehensive the engines get.

In this regard, there really is no competition. Kohler makes such a wide array of engine types that it really comes down to property and personal choice. Briggs makes push mowers only, severely limiting the choices to the consumer. Kohler offers greater power and size selections than Briggs, making for a more versatile option for consumers.

Kohler is Built to Last

Briggs offers quality in their mower engines. That said, they are restricted to a certain “class” of mower engines. What that means is that, when compared to different offering levels like those of Kohler, there can be a marked difference in quality.

Kohler lasts thousands of hours. Ask those who have a Kohler engine how many hours they have logged on their Kohler engine and it will be in the thousands. With a little bit of maintenance, you can expect your Kohler engine to last 10,000 hours and beyond.

Superior design. Compared to Briggs, Kohler is just built to last longer. Even when it comes to the single-cylinder options, Kohler is a superior design and far better balanced than their counterparts. With the evolution to producing cheaper, user-friendly products, the quality for Briggs has come down a bit throughout the years.

Reliable riding mowers. For their riding mower options, Kohler really delivers durability. There will be some wear and tear over time, but the Commander series in particular is known to last for years and years. Moreover, they generally require little maintenance to keep them running for so long.

Briggs makes fine mower engines at the push mower level. But Kohler kicks it up a notch across the board. The quality of their mower engines, from push to riding to zero-turn, is among the best on the market.

Briggs & Stratton for Personal Use

Perhaps the biggest initial difference between Kohler and Briggs is that Briggs is for personal home use only. There are no offerings for professional use, giving Kohler the obvious advantage in that regard.

So that bears a further look into the offerings of Briggs & Stratton. They offer both gas and electric mowers. Briggs has, in particular, made developments in their gas engine that have come a long way and made them a name to be reckoned with. Let’s start with the Toro Personal Pace.

Toro Personal Pace

Perhaps the biggest selling point for Briggs & Stratton mowers is that they have the Personal Pace system. Most mowers have either a dial or lever that you use to adjust the mower’s speed. When you hit a hill, your pace changes and that can mean adjusting speeds.

Personal Pace System. The Personal Pace system handles that, however. When you push harder on the handle, the speed increases. When you put less pressure on the handle, the mower slows itself down. That is a smarter system than most mower engine offerings out there.

The best part is that this system also operates in reverse. The Personal Pace System had only been able to work in forward before, but that is no longer the case. Being able to let the mower dictate pace can make the entire endeavor that much easier.

Briggs & Stratton 725 EXi Engine

So, Briggs & Stratton has the Personal Pace System going for it. But what about the engine? The main offering from Briggs & Stratton is the 725 EXi engine. To know more about how it stacks up against Kohler engines, we first need to take a look at what it offers. Here is what it brings to the table.

Features of the 725 EXi Engine

There are plenty of features to look at when it comes to the Briggs & Stratton 725 EXi engine. Before we even get into the features, we have to talk about dependability and durability. Briggs & Stratton are known for their small engines and the 725 EXi is no different. It is built to last and go through the rigors of the summer with no issue.

SMARTSTOW. The Smartstow feature lets the user store their mower in an upright position. When it comes to storage space, we all know how awkward it can be to store the motor. You can fold up the 725 EXi without having to worry about any dripping issues because it was designed to be stored as such.

Power. This engine has 7.25 ft-lbs of gross torque, leaving it powerful enough to handle most of your average lawns or terrains. Users don’t’ even have to choke or prime the engine to get it going.

Easy start function. With no need to prime or choke, you can get the mower going in two pulls or fewer. Briggs & Stratton even guarantees the two pull-start, or they will fix your mower for free.

Oil change. The great thing about this Briggs & Stratton mower engine? No oil changes ever. Not having to change the oil can be a major selling point on its own.

Is the 725 EXi Engine a Good Value?

Available at most home improvement stores, you can get the Briggs & Stratton 725 EXi for about $450. That is about mid-level as you can definitely spend less or more on a mower. That said, it delivers in performance and durability respective to its price.

  • Personal Pace. This is a feature unique to Briggs engines and it is something that makes mowing slightly easier no matter the terrain. Definitely the major feature here.
  • Easy start. Not having to prime or choke may not sound like a big deal, but all those pulls add up. Being able to quick start and go saves time and effort like few other mowers can match on the market today. The engine also doesn’t hiccup or bog down even in taller grass.
  • Easy store. With most other mowers, you have to worry about leaks from the engine when storing upright. The 725 EXi folds up to be stored vertically, making it easier to save space than ever before.

At a fair price tag, it is hard to beat the value offered by Briggs & Stratton here. There are certainly higher quality mower engines out there, but this one is affordable yet solid in terms of quality.

Which Is better?

When it comes down to it, Kohler engines are the superior option. They are built to last, able to log well over 10,000 hours with a little bit of routine maintenance. They will have issues just like any other mower motor, with oil gaskets and leaking issues from time to time.

Briggs. Briggs mower engines are a fine choice, great for the lower end of the budget. Manufacturers have been looking to cut down on costs for their engine mowers and, as such, are not producing the same quality that they used to.

Briggs is fine for personal use and has its set of downsides like any other mower out there. But for the price, Briggs is a solid value. It does a solid job and comes at a price that is affordable for homeowners that are not looking to spend significantly on a mower.

Kohler. That said, if you want greater performance and durability, Kohler is the way to go. Moreover, Kohler makes mower engines for a wide array of personal and professional uses. That alone would give it the leg up on Briggs.

More importantly, Kohler offers a wide variety of choices based on conditions. If you live in an area that tends to be drier and hotter, having the right cooling mechanisms and better filtration would be a must. It may be harder to find that choice with Briggs when compared to Kohler.

For better selection, durability, and quality, Kohler is the winner. You can’t go wrong with either option, but Kohler stands head and shoulders above the competition in this instance.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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