What kind of oil do I put in my lawnmower?

A lawnmower engine cannot run without oil. If you have bought a new lawnmower, you should find out the right type of oil it needs.

The types of lawnmower oils differ from one model to the other. You can either choose single or multiple-grade oil, synthetic or fully synthetic oil for your lawnmower. Each oil type has a recommended temperature range. Here is more!

The types of oils that lawnmowers use

A lawnmower uses an engine for it to work. The engine of this machine is made of different moving parts that work at high temperatures and speeds. Oil is important since it cools and lubricates these parts. When you don’t put oil in a lawnmower, it can make its engine overheat and eventually get damaged.

A lawnmower uses oil that is often used in trucks and cars. Using the wrong type of oil can displace certain units due to higher viscosity. Lawnmower oil comes in various grades depending on viscosity as well as how it reacts at different temperatures. Every lawn mower oil should have a viscosity rating and service rating. This comes with different designations such as SG, SF, SJ, and SH. Check out the following designations.

Single grade oil
This type of oil does not have any additives. An example of such an oil is the SAE 30, which is ideal for small air-cooled engines.

Multigrade oil
The multigrade level oil uses additives to offer better viscosity at different temperatures. An example of such an oil is the SAE 5W-30 which works at cold temperatures.

Synthetic blend oil
Some lawnmower oils are made from a mixture of synthetic and regular oil. The synthetic blend oil contains additives that enhance its performance at colder temperatures. If you cannot afford the cost of synthetic oil, you should consider this type for your lawnmower.
Full synthetic oil

Most commercial engines utilize this type of oil. It is an artificially made lubricant that has a lot of benefits. A good example of such is the Vanguard 15 W-50 oil that operates at a temperature between 20-120 degrees.


A lawnmower that features a two-stroke engine burns oil and gasoline at a go. Such an engine is often common in small push mowers. The oil for such a lawnmower should be mixed with gasoline before going into the tank. If you have a two-stroke engine, you should first put the correct oil amount in the empty can then proceed to a gas station to fill it up. Before you utilize the mixed gas, shake the can to mix the gas and oil properly.

Two-stroke engines are slowly becoming less popular due to emission regulations. If you have such an engine, you can get any two stroked motor oil used in a water pump or chain saw. If, for instance, your lawnmower features a four-stroke engine you should get a different kind of oil.

Such an engine needs the motor oil grade known as SAE 10-W30.  A four-stroke engine burns straight gasoline, and it powers heavy-duty equipment. This type of engine is often found in large lawnmowers. In this engine, gas and oil are kept separate.  If you don’t know the kind the grade that your lawnmower needs, check the manual.

How often can you change the oil in a lawnmower?

A four-stroke engine makes it easy to monitor the level of oil left in a mower. If you have such an engine, you must check the level before every mowing session.  Doing this can prevent you from any surprises as you mow, such as running out of oil in the middle of the session.

If the lawnmower is still new, you should change the oil in a four-stroke engine after the first four hours of use. This is because a new engine has parts that wear easily. If you don’t change the oil, the metal filings in the oil can lead to excess wear.

Do you have a walk behind mower? If yes, you should always change the oil at least every 50 hours of use. If you have a riding mower, you should change the oil in it every 100 hours of use. You can also use the manual to check the amount of oil that the mower requires. Some lawnmower users also use a dipstick to confirm the amount of oil left.


Maintaining a lawn mower properly can keep the machine working well for a long time. You should know the right kind of oil that your lawnmower needs. Always replace the oil in your lawnmower after some time based on the mower specifications. Look at the manual to determine the right oil for your mower’s engine.


Can I utilize synthetic oil on a lawnmower?

Yes. You can use synthetic oil such as 5W30 oil in different temperature ranges.

What are the disadvantages of a two-stroke engine?

Such an engine produces more smoke and is louder than a four-stroke engine.

William Smith

William Smith has been rendering his services to a botanical garden for the better part of his adult life and has recently moved to landscaping firms. His love for gardens has been nurtured since he was a kid, evident from the various garden centers and estates that have benefited from his services. Smith is a natural when it comes to gardening and when combined with his acquired degree in landscape design, you can expect a high-quality professional job, thanks to his experience and expertise. During his free time, Smith does gardening as a hobby and runs forums where he offers expert ideas on gardening.

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