This is a question that I get all the time at our dealership. Unfortunately there is no 1 right answer. All small engine (hard to call them that today with horse power ratings up to almost 40) Manufacturers have different grades of motors. Here are the simple & long answers.(respectively)
A. any engine that comes on a box store mower is a low hour life, low quality engine built with only low production cost in mind. BEWARE OF SUB-NAMES LIKE ‘COURAGE’ ’INTEK’ ‘FR’ ‘GC’
(Inside these engines you will find plastic Cam-shafts, thin plated parts, even timing belts)
B. Horse power ratings are changing as we speak. As a result of a class action law suit engine companies are changing the way they rate engines.
Look at a new Briggs & Stratton and you’ll see “torque output” not horse power.
A new Kohler will show engine cubic centimeters (a 27 h.p. is now called a 740cc).
Last years 26 h.p. Kawasaki is now a 23 h.p. (with no changes to the engine at all).
C. Engine companies refuse to print a useful hour life expectancy for their engines. So using my 23 years of experience and daily interaction with all brands & sizes of engines, I submit to you the following recommendations.
1.You will NOT find a great engine at any box store. The cost of qualified people to sell & service high-quality mowers just does not fit into the budget of the mass merchants.
2. Look for these sub-names; ‘Command’ ‘Vanguard’ ‘FX’ ‘GX’ and you won’t go wrong.
Where do you find these awsome engines?
Only at an Independant Mower Dealer.
I’ll bet there’s one in your town!