Briggs and Stratton or Honda? Are you looking to buy a lawnmower and not sure which manufacturer to go for? Well, we have you covered.
On the Japanese side, there is Honda, a company that found success after the GX110 and GX140 OHV made a significant breakthrough as compact engines fit for small farm equipment. Since then, Honda hasn’t looked back and continues to manufacture engines for various lawnmower companies.
On the other hand, straight out of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Briggs and Stratton has dominated the American market for over 113 years now. The American giant’s sales skyrocketed after its two-stroke engine became very popular and found several civilian and military applications. By the 1950s, B&S entered the lawnmower and the small engine market with its newly designed air-cooled aluminum engine that took ergonomics and reliability to a whole new level. Still, no matter how reliable these engines are, they will end up breaking at some point, and this is where a Briggs and Stratton repair manual will come in handy (it’s also true with Honda, though)
But before you invest your hard-earned money on either one of them, let’s see which one is actually worth the investment.
The most basic judging parameter is how good these machines are when it comes to, obviously, cutting grass. After all, both B&S and Honda are industry leaders when it comes to manufacturing lawnmowers.
The Honda HRN 166-cc is one of the best gas-powered lawnmowers available today, complete with a quick self-propulsion system, a potent engine, and a large discharge bag.
B&S is not so far behind with its Husqvarna HU725AWDHQ. It comes with a sophisticated cooling and air filtration system that lets it run for hours without overheating. As per various consumer forums, both received an excellent rating and effectively cut down long grass into fine clippings. So, let’s say it’s an even match here.
We’ll have to side with Honda on this one. Indeed, the Japanese giant reigns supreme when it comes to power delivery, and most B&S mowers can’t keep up. Honda’s models come equipped with the latest technology and can even cut grass on muddy slopes.
Range of engines
Honda currently offers three engines, including the GVC, GSV, and GXV series, all three represent Honda’s flagship generation of mowers.
The entry-level GVC line comprises the GVC160 and GVC190. Both models are lightweight overhead camshaft (OHC) motors equipped with a resin camshaft and a highly innovative and fuel-saving “uniblock.”
Moving up, the GXV160 is mainly built for commercial lawnmowers. Notably, the engine is incredibly silent, thanks to the resin camshaft significantly reducing noise levels. Finally, the GSV190 is a highly fuel-efficient beast designed to handle professional landscaping work.
However, Honda’s options certainly pale in front of Briggs and Stratton’s massive arsenal. The American giant offers over 21 engines for traditional walk-behind mowers alone and an additional 12 engines for small mowing tractors. Their inventory is so huge that you can easily find a model that fits all your requirements.
If you want a detailed list of all the variants and engine specifications, we recommend getting a Briggs and Stratton shop manual. These manuals contain all you need to know about B&S lawnmowers, specifically maintenance and repair. Don’t know where to find one? Take a look at eManualOnline. The cost of the manual will pay for itself, preventing you from buying a mower you might regret later.
Overall, B&S is the clear winner in this category.
Quality and Reliability
If carefully looked after, most Honda mowers can last a lifetime. However, we cannot say the same for its American counterpart. B&S lawnmowers typically break down a lot faster and need more frequent repairs.
Owners frequently complain about oil and carburetor leaks, and various other issues. On the other hand, Honda mowers are highly revered for their state-of-the-art OHC and OHV technologies. Just like with its cars, Honda’s reliability needs no introduction and outlast most competitors.
Of course, reliability comes at a price as most Honda lawnmowers cost more than their competitors. Meanwhile, Briggs and Stratton’s lawnmowers are a far more affordable alternative. Unsurprisingly, Honda claims that the higher price figure is because of the various technologies incorporated for noise and emission reduction.
Ease of repair
Just like your car or any other machinery, lawnmowers need regular maintenance. While Honda mowers are more reliable, their more complex technology is usually trickier to repair. On the other hand, B&S lawnmowers’ simpler design is generally easier to repair. Consequently, DIY repairs are much easier to perform on B&S engines, and most can be done at home.
Luckily, you can learn how to fix the most common problems from a trusted Briggs and Stratton workshop manual (once again, also true for Honda, though). An added advantage of using these manuals is that they provide step-by-step troubleshooting and replacement procedures to repair your lawn mower and save you the hassle and extra cost of going to the repair shop every time something goes wrong.
Being a seasoned mechanic, my pick would be the Honda. The Japanese company stands tall in overall reliability, has better power figures, and will last longer. But it has its cons — apart from the premium price tag, repairing a Honda is also more expensive.
If you are on a budget or plan on doing DIY repairs, we recommend getting a Briggs and Stratton instead. You can easily repair it using a trusted Briggs and Stratton shop manual in your own garage or driveway.
However, if you are financially able to buy a mower and want a longer lifespan and more power out of your purchase, Honda is definitely the way to go.
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