5 Top Small motors Brands and Their Uses

Small motors are crucial in performing day-to-day tasks. With the advancement in technology, various machines have been developed to perform tasks that used to be done manually, making small motors very useful. In this article, we have listed the top five small motors brands and their uses. Browse and learn more about these small motors brands.

Honda small motors

Honda originally established in 1946 in Japan to develop small, efficient internal combustion engines.   The company has grown into a multinational conglomerate making a wide range of products.  Becoming a market leader in motorcycles and cars.

The Honda small motors range is now the world’s most trusted engine.  With over 60 manufacturing facilities across the globe, more manufacturers put their trust in Honda to power their products, whether it be for land, sea, or air, than any other brand.

Honda has developed a great range of small motors that power a lot of small powered tools.  Including the GX, GXV, V-Twin engines, Mini 4 engines, GP, and GCV engines. If you own a small motor powered tool, there is a chance it has a honda motor in it.

Let’s take a look at one of their most popular models on the market place the Honda GX160.

Honda GX160

The Honda GX160 is one of the most reliable and fuel-efficient gasoline small motors to be ever produced. It is used in a wide variety of equipment such as the Honda-powered pressure cleaner. Others include commercial lawn and garden equipment, water pumps, generators, and tillers.

Redesigned in 2011, the GX160 is now offering 160 cubic centime displacement, better fuel economy, low noise levels, lower emissions, and vibrations.

The GX160 features an overhead valve design, which significantly improves fuel efficiency and enhances maximum power transfer. Apart from the new overhead cam design, the GX’s resigned camshaft with accurate variable valve timing (VVT) helps control the intake of fresh air and fuel for optimal combustion, better fuel efficiency, and reduced emission.

The GX160 is designed with light and durable materials. The crankshaft is made of durable forged steel and supported by a ball bearing to enhance stability and reduce vibration when the engine is running. The rigid crankcase features multichambered exhaust systems for efficient diffusion of exhaust gases and reduces engine noise.

The GX160 also features advanced throttle control, reduced piston weight, cast iron cylinder sleeve for long-lasting durability, reduced vibration, and silent operation. The GX160 comes with a dual-element air cleaner that protects the engine from the finest harmful particles. It is a single-piston four-stroke engine with a compression ratio.

The carburetor chamber coating and filter also protect the engine from detrimental substances. The oil alert system notifies the user when the oil level is below the recommended level. This alert system reduces the chances of the engine running dry.

The GX160 is easy to start. It features a heavy-duty recoil starter and easy to grip recoil rope.

Key Features

  • Displacement is 163 cc
  • Net Power output -4.8 Hp at 3,600 RPMs
  • Compression ratio- 9.0:0
  • Fuel tank capacity- 3.1 liters
  • Net Torque- 7.6 lb-ft at 2500 RPMs
  • Dry weight -33 pounds
  • Fuel Type- Unleaded 86 octane gasoline


  • High fuel efficiency
  • Low emission
  • Easy to start and service


  • Noise levels can still be high

Yanmar small motors

Yanmar was founded in 1912 and lays claim to developing the world’s first diesel engine.  The company has grown into the global standard for sailboat and small craft propulsion, being common rail technology to smaller applications.

The Yanmar small motors range is now used in many more applications including agriculture, recreational marine, commercial mariner, energy systems, large generators, construction, and power products.

The Yanmar small motor range is also used to power a lot of small powered tools.   Let’s take a look at one of their most popular models currently used the Yanmar L48 Diesel engine.

yanmar small engines

Yanmar L48 Diesel Engine

The Yanmar L48 Diesel engine sits second on our list of best small motors. It is a one-cylinder four-stroke engine powered by diesel and uses an updated fuel injection equipment and direct injection system for improved performance and fuel economy.

The engine comes with two starting systems, a manual start system, and an available electric start. The Yanmar L48 comes with fins and vents for effective air cooling. The L48 measures 59.5 lbs. when equipped with a manual starter and 70.5 pounds when fitted with an electric stator.

The L48 features a compact design. The parts are fitted together in a perfect assembly to reduce the space it occupies. The engine is built with light but durable materials. The L48 is equipped with a 2.4-liter pump.

The pump is large enough for a generator, pump, or pressure cleaner.

The L48 is also equipped with an effortless and ergonomic designed recoil starter. With one pull, the engine turns on. The crankshaft, piston engine block, and camshaft are mod of light but durable materials. This makes the L48 a very portable system.

The L48 also offers easy installation and comes with an installation manual that gives clear instructions.

The direct injection technology ensures effective and efficient combustion that improves fuel economy, reduces emission, and increases power output. The L48 is also equipped with engine balancers that lower engine vibration and noise. Its also equipped with a multi-layered air filter that protects the engine from harmful substances.

The L48 is also easy to service. Servicing can be done at home without the need of a technician. The forced air-cooling system by flywheel is efficient in reducing the possibility of overheating. Yanmar’s FIE is the world’s first micro fuel injection system,

The L48 is equipped with Diesel Oxidation Catalyst to reduce emission gases by oxidation. This system makes it one of the cleanest small motors available.

Key Features

  • Compact Design and weighs about 59.5 lbs
  • Net power output- 4.7 hp at 3,600 RPMs
  • Engine displacement 219 cc
  • Fuel tank capacity- 2.4-liter
  • Fuel Type- Diesel


  • Low fuel consumption
  • Easy to install and start
  • Portable
  • High power output


  • Noise level is higher compared to electric and gasoline engines
  • Pollutes the environment more than gasoline engines or electric motors.

Kohler small motors

Kohler has been building engines since 1920. Developing the world’s first EFI (Electronic fuel injection) engine for lawn mowers and the KDI (Kohler direct injection) world’s first Tier 4 diesel engine.

Kohler has gone onto developing and producing some truly amazing engines that power a wide range of products.  Let’s look at one of the most popular the Kohler Command Pro CH255.

Kohler Small motors

Kohler Command Pro CH255

The Kohler Command Pro CH255 is one of the most durable gasoline small motors. It features quad-clean heavy-duty air cleaners that protect the engine from harmful particles and debris.

The CH255 is also a durable engine. It consists of a forged-steel crankshaft and cast-iron cylinder liners for long-lasting durability. It also features a built-in warm-air system that allows it to operate normally during winter and cold seasons. The large capacity metal fuel tank, measuring 11.3 liters, enables it to run for a longer time without refueling.

The Kohler Command Pro also features three fuel filters, one on the fill neck, in-tank, and another on the carburetor inlet to protect the engine from any debris present in the fuel.

The Ch255 is also easy to start thanks to the electronic ignition. This engine also features automatic compression release, which helps reduce stress and strain when the engine starts. The sound-deadening alloy crankcase and the large muffler reduces the sound produced by the engine.

The throttle, choke, and fuel shutoff are easily accessible. The CH255 is also equipped with a high inertia flywheel that allows the effective transfer of energy to whatever accessory it is connected to.

The Kohler Command Pro CH255 produces 5.5 hp at 4000 rpm and 8.3 lb-ft of torque at 2800 RPMs.

Other Key Features

  • Water trap to separate moisture and fuel.
  • Dual ball bearing
  • Mechanical governor
  • Swirl induction combustion chamber
  • Balance shaft
  • Carbon canister fuel cap
  • OHV slant cylinder
  • Carburetor bowl drain
  • Automatic low engine shutdown system
  • Dual oil fills and drains
  • Gasoline-powered
  • Compression Ratio 8.5:1


  • Silent operation
  • Can be used to power various accessories and small motors such as water pumps, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, pressure cleaners, water pump,
  • All-weather performance
  • Built to last thanks to the steel crankshaft, Tuffride-coated stems, cast-iron cylinder bores, and automatic shutdown in low-oil conditions,
  • Longer runtimes due to its large fuel tank and electronic ignition.
  • Easy to start due to its easy-to-start recoil starter.


  • Fuel economy numbers not as competitive as their peers
  • It is heavy

Hatz small motors

With a history dating back to 1880, Hatz has a global reach specializing in 1 to 4 cylinder diesel engines.  Used in a wide range of applications like construction machinery, compressors, commercial vehicles, agricultural machinery, handling equipment, and shipping.

Hatz relies heavily on internal research and development for product improvement.  With a global service network of over 500 service centers its positioned to supply products and spare parts for a wide range of industries.

hatz diesel engines

Hatz Diesel Engine 1B30

The Hatz Diesel Engine 1B30 is one of the most advanced single-cylinder diesel small motors in the world. This engine is light in weight and features a compact design. The die-cast alloy, light-alloy cylinder head gives the 1B30 its lightweight.

The compact design can be attributed to the single cam system. This system was invented and patented by Hatz. The 1B30 is also equipped with Hatz E1 technology, which includes an electronically controlled direct injection system that enhances performance and fuel economy.

The engine is designed with fins to increase surface area for air-cooling. The fan forces air through the engine for cooling. This engine also features pressurized lubrication for effective cooling and lubrication of various moving parts such as the crankshaft and camshafts.

The 1B3’s Variable valve timing regulates when to inject fuel into the combustion chamber and the amount of air needed for combustion, thereby improving fuel economy, reduces emission and enhances performance.

The 1B30 meets emission standards such as the EPA Tier IV and the EU stage V.

The Hatz can also be customized to numerous options. It can be used to power water pumps, pressure washers, lawnmowers, irrigation pumps, generators, and tiers.

The engine is standard with a recoil start and available with an electric start system. The Hatz is also equipped with heavy-duty air filters to protect the engine from debris and harmful particles. The fine fuel filter also makes sure no particles available in the fuel finds their way into the engine.

The 1B30 also comes with Hatz’s optic heat (optimized Hatz Exhaust Aftertreatment Technology), which features diesel particulate filters and catalytic converters to reduce the emission of harmful substances into the air.

This engine also comes with Hatz’s iHACS (intelligence Hatz Advanced Combustion Strategy). This system ensures that very low soot is produced from the combustion of diesel fuel. It also guarantees low oil consumption.

The 1B30 also features automatic cylinder activation during standstill to reduce fuel consumption and increases engine life.


  • Very low emission
  • High fuel economy
  • High performance
  • Customizable to power various accessories.
  • Less noise and vibration is produced.


  • It may be complex to repair due to many electronic features.

Kubota small motors

Kubota was established in 1890, starting manufacturing and selling cast metal products.  The company has gone onto developed products in flood, water, and environmental areas.

With a wide range of products developed and underway. Kubota boasts to be one of the other more eco-friendly manufacturers out there. Let’s take a look at their highest selling diesel engine, the Kubota Z482 diesel engine.

Kubota Z482 Diesel Engine

The Kubota Z482 is one of the smallest two-cylinder diesel small motors ever produced. It is a 0.479 liter that delivers 10.9 hp at 3600 RPMs and weighs 117.1 lbs. Being a water-cooled and naturally aspirated engine, the Z482 is more fuel-efficient than any other product on our list.

The Z482 is equipped with Kubota’s E-TVCS (Three Vortex Combustion System) technology. This system reduces the emission of soot, HC, and CO.

The Z482 produces mild noise and lower vibrations thanks to a new half float headcover, molybdenum disulfide coated piston, and dual dynamic balancers. The molybdenum coatings reduce the slapping noise of the piston. This is achieved by reducing the clearance between the cylinder and the piston.

The Z482 is highly versatile and can be configured to power various accessories. Its weight limits its use but can be used to power irrigation pumps, generators, and water pumps.

This engine is also equipped with a super glow system that enhances engine starting in cold weather and shortens pre-heat time. It also features a heavy-duty air cleaner. It prevents even the smallest harmful particles and debris from finding their way into the combustion chamber.

The Z482 is easy to start, assemble and install. Its large fuel tank allows you to run for a very long time before refilling. The Kubota engine also comes with a large fuel tank, which gives it a long operating time before refueling.

The z482 is also very easy to start because it is equipped with an electric start system. Like in typical combustion engines, the fan and other moving parts are driven by the crankshaft pulley via a belt.


  • It has a high performance and horsepower
  • Silent operation
  • Low emission
  • It is customizable
  • All-weather operation


  • It is rather heavy.

Buyers Guide for Small Motors

There are various factors to consider before buying small motors. These include:


The nature of the jobs to be done determines the amount of power required. Accessories such as lawnmowers, water pumps, and the Honda-powered pressure cleaner require small motors that can produce between 5 hp and 13 hp.

For industrial-scale jobs, you will need larger engines with more horsepower and torque. It is also important to consider fuel tank capacity to reduce the number of times you need to refuel when performing a big task.

Availability of spare parts

When buying small motors, always ask yourself if their spare parts are readily available in the market. The engine’s brand should have a local dealership that is readily available for service, repairs, and spares.


Small motors that are made from high-quality materials are durable than those that are made of low-quality material. A good engine should be tough enough to withstand adverse conditions and perform any task effectively without breaking down.


Emission standards are getting stricter each year. The engine you buy should meet the government emission standards. Exhaust gases contain very harmful gases that can be harmful to the people around. Modern engines are equipped with after-treatment technologies that convert these dangerous gases to less harmful ones.

Fuel Economy

A good engine is efficient, performs well but also offers good fuel economy numbers. It should be economical to use that engine for that particular task.


A good engine should be customizable to power various accessories. It should be able to be used for different jobs.

The wash-up

Small engines are very popular in powering accessories that used to be manually operated. They should be able to perform this task effectively while still offering good fuel economy numbers. They should also be portable and should be customized to perform different tasks.

Avatar of John Redden

By John Redden

Johno has spent over 20 years of operating plant and machinery around Australia. He now writes about his passion for plant and machinery in Australia.