12-050-01 vs. 52-050-02: Which oil filter ideal preference for smaller Kohler engines

When it comes to getting maximum performance from your smaller engine-powered machines like lawnmowers, using an oil filter is the most convenient and suitable option available.

An oil filter filtrates harmful chemicals and contaminants before transferring the oil to different critical parts of the engine for lubrication.

Since there were no oil filters in earlier machines, they were pretty much prone to vulnerabilities. But modern machines are much more efficient and powerful with these smaller oil filters.

If you are using any machines from Kohler, you may find it a little bit confusing regarding the types of their oil filters.

Therefore, we are here to clear out all of your doubts between 12-050-01 and 52-050-02 oil filters from Kohler.

12-050-01 vs. 52-050-02

12-050-01 vs 52-050-02











3-1/8 inches

2-5/8 inches




Oil capacity

Contains more oil

Contains less oil

Filtering life

Longer filtering life

Optimum filtering life


Negligible difference between the prices

Negligible difference between the prices

KOHLER 12 050 01-S Engine Oil Filter

KOHLER 52 050 02-S Engine Oil Filter

The primary difference between 12-050-01 and 52-050-02 is the length

An oil filter does nothing but filtrate the oil that you pour inside the engine compartment of your machine.

Depending on the machine that you have, you may want to have a larger or smaller oil filter to be installed. That is why Kohler has implemented the distinctions between these two items.

52-050-02 Kohler oil filter tends to be a little larger compared to 12-050-01.

If you are using a larger mower that consumes more oil, 52-050-02 should bring a wholesome experience because of its longer length compared to its other counterpart.

52-050-02 has a yellow finishing, whereas the 12-050-01 has black

Another ideal characteristic that will help you to differentiate one product from the other is the color finishing.

52-050-02, the larger one from Kohler, comes with a yellowish paint finishing. The other counterpart, on the other hand, has a black finishing.

Therefore, if you ever feel confused with all these complicated numbers, remember that the yellowish oil filter indicates the larger size, whereas the black oil filter from Kohler indicates the smaller size.

52-050-02 oil filter contains more oil than 12-050-01 oil filter

Because of its better length, 52-050-02 is better capable of holding more oil than its other counterpart. Therefore, the yellow one from Kohler will be a better choice when you have a bigger engine.

On the other hand, 12-050-01 will hold a little less oil compared to the other. Therefore, you may go with it you are not a regular user, and your machine consumes less oil than the average.

Presumably, the 52-050-02 oil filter will ensure a longer filtering life

This topic mentioned here is only my preference rather than the manufacturer specification. Therefore, you can always validate the authenticity of such clams; not a big deal.

But after talking with a large number of users, it is arguably mentionable that the yellow oil filter from Kohler does provide a little longer filtering life.

Even the manufacturer as well remarks that 52-050-02 is a premium filter that delivers a little bit more leverage than the other one.

As a result, if you are looking for an alternative to the black one, you may consider this one as a great choice. 

The presence of plastic does not make these oil filters inferior

One of the prevailing fusses you will notice regarding Kohler oil filters is that some of the internal properties of the filter are made of plastic.

It is indeed true, but such construction never makes these filters inferior to the others.

In reality, plastic is less susceptible to gathering rust and corrosion. Therefore, getting longer filtering life becomes easier and more relevant.

You will notice a negligible difference between the price ranges

Like most other users, you probably would love to hear about the price differences as well.

In general, an oil filter does not seem to be that costly. This is similarly true for these two oil filters as well.

At max, you will notice $2 to $3 bucks differences between these two oil filters.

Therefore, price should never be a concern at all other than relevancy. 

Which one should be your pick?

The important distinction here to make is the item that would fit your preferred requirement. While choosing an oil filter between these two, consider these two factors-

  1. The compatibility of the filters
  2. The size and oil requirement of your machine

Compatibility of the filter

The first notable factor worth considering while choosing an oil filter for your Kohler engine is whether the filter will fit the machine or not. Kohler does specify the type and size of oil filter a user should use according to the engine size and power. Therefore, double-check whether you should go with the black one or the yellow one to get better convenience. Even if your machine comes with a stock black oil filter, it is still possible installing the premium yellow one without dampening the performance even a little.

The size and oil requirement of your machine

The next important factor to consider while choosing between these two oil filters is the size and oil requirement of your machine.

If you have a mower that consumes more oil and requires change frequently, the 52-050-02 (yellow) oil filter should bring the most convenient experience.

On the other hand, if your Kohler engine is average and does the thing without showing any signs of turbulence, you can always get away with the 12-050-01 (black) oil filter as well.

Final summary

The filter installed inside of an oil filter protects the engine of the modern machines by giving less exposure to harmful chemicals. Kohler does bring some quality oil filters for the Kohler engines. If your lawnmower or other heavy-duty machine uses a Kohler engine, you may choose these oil filters to get a better experience with the engine performance.

Last Updated on June 19, 2022 by sajjad

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