List of Small Engine Manufacturers

The following list of small engine manufacturers details the companies who make/made gas engines commonly used on lawn mowers, generators and other outdoor power equipment.

Company information is provided by the manufacturer, and this list contains some history about each company. Each of these companies have a fascinating history, and some are responsible for technology advancements you may not be aware of.

Keep an eye out on these innovative companies as they shift from producing combustion engines to electric powered equivalents for your outdoor power equipment.

Popular Small Engine Manufacturers

Briggs and Stratton

Based in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Briggs & Stratton Corporation is a major American manufacturer of gasoline engines, with an annual production of around 10 million units as of April 2015.

The company has 13 large facilities in the US and 8 additional ones located in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, and the Netherlands. Its products are sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Old Briggs and Stratton Small Engine

Briggs and Stratton History – Briggs & Stratton was founded in 1908 by Stephen Foster Briggs and Harold M. Stratton. The company initially manufactured automotive components and small gasoline engines, but later improved a small two-seat vehicle with a gasoline engine called the Smith Flyer.

Briggs and Stratton made engine improvements, and the vehicle was renamed the Briggs & Stratton Flyer, which was the most inexpensive car of all time, selling at US$125 to US$150.

The company produced generators for the war effort during World War II, and post-war growth in suburbs helped secure its successful growth throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

The company went public in 1928 and was purchased by KPS Capital Partners in 2020 after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Briggs and Stratton Website.


Generac, a Fortune 1000 American company, produces backup power generation products for residential, light commercial, and industrial markets.

Their power systems range from 800 watts to 9 megawatts and are accessible through independent dealers, retailers, and wholesalers.

The company is headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin and has manufacturing plants located in Berlin, Oshkosh, Jefferson, Eagle, and Whitewater, all within Wisconsin.

Generac History – In 1959, Robert Kern founded a company that would soon revolutionize the portable generator industry. The company began producing generators for Sears, Roebuck and Co. under the highly-regarded Craftsman brand.

In the 1970s, Generac expanded its offerings to include portable and recreational vehicle markets, and during the 1980s, the company made a daring move into the commercial and industrial sectors with its cutting-edge backup power generation systems.

By the end of the 1980s, Generac was producing generators for all purposes: residential, commercial, and industrial. In 1989, the company made history by introducing the first-ever gaseous-fueled automatic home standby system.

In 1992, Generac entered into a private labeling agreement with Caterpillar, Inc. This fruitful partnership resulted in discussions about a possible acquisition of Generac by Caterpillar, although the deal never materialized.

In June 1996, Caterpillar decided to terminate the agreement, prompting Generac to file a lawsuit against Caterpillar under a variety of laws. After a series of appeals, the case was ultimately decided in Caterpillar’s favor.

In 1998, Generac sold its portable products’ division to the Beacon group, a private equity firm, who later sold it to Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

After a non-compete agreement related to the sale expired in 2007, Generac re-entered the portable generator market in 2008.

In late 2006, Generac was purchased by CCMP Capital of New York, and in 2009, CCMP took a massive write-off related to their purchase of Generac.

Despite this setback, Aaron Jagdfeld took the helm as president and CEO in September 2008 and has successfully guided the company to new heights. Generac Website

Honda Power Products

For many years, Honda has offered a diverse range of products through its power products business, including general-purpose engines, tillers, generators, snow throwers, lawn mowers, pumps, and outboard engines.

These items have been embraced by customers in over 50 countries worldwide. In recent times, Honda has broadened its scope by launching new products and services for the future, such as portable batteries and other innovative offerings.

Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motor Company in 1946, after he stumbled upon a cache of small engines that had been used as generators for the former Imperial Army.

He saw the potential to use these engines to power bicycles, and he worked on creating a prototype motorized bicycle.

His wife became Honda’s first female test rider, and after fixing some issues with the engine, the Honda A-Type, Honda’s first original product, went on sale in 1947.

The A-Type won a following for its affordable price and ability to run on poor-quality fuel. In 1952, Honda released the Cub F auxiliary engine, which became popular across Japan.

Soichiro Honda’s philosophy of “The Three Joys” (the Joy of Creating, the Joy of Selling, and the Joy of Buying) became the fundamentals of Honda’s philosophy.

The company went on to develop a range of general-purpose products, including tillers, lawnmowers, power generators, and pumps, that reduced labor and made people’s lives better through technology. Honda Power Products Website

Kawasaki Engines

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. is a Japanese company that produces a range of products, including motorcycles, ATVs, jet skis, and small engines.

The company was founded in 1896 as Kawasaki Tsukiji Shipyard, and it has since grown to become a major player in the global manufacturing industry.

Kawasaki’s involvement in the small engine business began in the early 1950s, when the company started producing two-stroke engines for motorcycles.

In the mid-1960s, Kawasaki expanded its small engine business by producing a range of engines for lawn mowers, generators, and other applications.

Kawasaki’s engines quickly gained a reputation for their high-quality, durability, and reliability, and the company’s product line expanded to include engines with larger displacements and more advanced features.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Kawasaki continued to innovate with new engine designs, such as liquid-cooled four-stroke engines and V-twin engines.

Today, Kawasaki engines are widely used in a variety of applications, including lawn and garden equipment, construction machinery, generators, and pressure washers.

The company’s engines are known for their high performance, fuel efficiency, and low emissions.

Kawasaki has also continued to innovate with new technologies, such as electronic fuel injection and hybrid engines, and the company is committed to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of its products.

Overall, Kawasaki has a long and successful history in the small engine business, and the company continues to be a leader in the industry today. Kawasaki Engines Website.

Kohler Co.

Kohler Co. is a US manufacturing company headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, that was established in 1873 by John Michael Kohler and Charles Silberzahn.

The company’s primary focus is plumbing products, although it also produces other goods such as furniture, cabinetry, tile, engines, and generators.

Vintage Kohler Small Engine

Kohler Co. History – Kohler Co. originally produced cast iron and steel farm implements and ornamental iron pieces. Kohler was the first company to offer residential backup generators, starting in 1920.

In 2007, Kohler created a joint venture in China called Kohler-YinXiang Ltd. to manufacture small gasoline engines and intends to import more engines rather than building them in the US.

Tecumseh Small Engines

In 1956, Tecumseh entered the small engine market by acquiring Lauson, and later in 1957, they acquired Power Products Company, which made 2-cycle engines for antique chainsaws.

In 2007, Tecumseh sold its gasoline engine and power train product lines to Platinum Equity LLC and closed its engine manufacturing division in December 2008. They also sold their Peerless transmissions business to Husqvarna Outdoor Products.

Vintage Tecumseh Small Engine

In 2009, Tecumseh relocated to Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan. In 2015, Mueller Industries and Atlas Holdings purchased Tecumseh.