Buying the best oil for lawn mower engines is crucial to ensuring that you minimize maintenance costs regardless of the climatic conditions you operate in. In addition, the appropriate oil can serve to clean your engine, prevent wear and help the machine work smoothly. However, since there are numerous options on the market, we will help you understand the vital aspects to consider when finding the correct oil for your lawnmower.

What oil is best for mowers?

Best Oil for Lawn Mower: 5 Top Picks

1. Briggs & Stratton 2-Cycle Easy Mix Motor Oil

Briggs & Stratton 2-Cycle Easy Mix Motor Oil - 16 Oz. 100036
  • 2-cycle easy mix motor oil
  • Fuel stabilizer that leaves no residue and prevents plug fouling
  • Recommended for toro, lawn boy, ryan and other 2-cycle outdoor power equipment
  • Oil tip and measure
  • Ashless additives; 16 ounce can

Briggs & Stratton 2-Cycle Easy Mix Motor Oil is the best small engine oil for lawn care tools that use two-stroke engines. This product is ideal for compact outdoor power equipment due to the many advantages it offers. To figure out if you own this kind of lawnmower, check if it has two or one fill port. The former means that oil and fuel should not be mixed, while the latter requires specific ratios.

This Briggs and Stratton Motor Oil feature ashless additives, ensuring it does not foul the spark plugs in small engines with unburnt oil. Also, the container can help you measure the right oil amount for your lawnmower. The design includes a smaller section near the spout with graduated markings in ounces. To measure lawnmower oil, loosen the cap to allow air to pass, then squeeze the bottom part until you get the desired amount.

  • Pros
  • The Briggs & Stratton oil for your lawn care equipment contains a fuel stabilizer to guarantee complete combustion.
  • Leaves no residues in the engine since it contains ashless additives.
  • The Briggs and Stratton engine oil prevents sludge from building up.
  • The container makes it easy to measure how much oil you will need when doing an oil change.
  • Cons
  • It is not very dark, and it can be challenging to see the oil level without an oil dipstick.

2. Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil

Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil for Vehicles Over 75K Miles (5-Quart,...
  • Full synthetic 5W-30 engine oil made from natural gas, not crude, using Pennzoil's patented gas-to-liquid...
  • Designed for for vehicles with over 75,000 miles
  • Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage 5W-30 keeps pistons up to 45% cleaner than the toughest industry standard...
  • No other leading high mileage motor oil provides better protection from friction (Based on Sequence IVA wear...
  • Formulated to deliver less oil burn off than high mileage motor oils made from crude oil

If your lawnmower is old and you want to reduce any signs of wear, the Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage 5W-30 Full Synthetic Oil is the right pick for you. In addition, this product features qualities that make it excellent for road vehicles that travel often and far. Thus, it will suit your lawnmower engine when you notice it is becoming noisy.

This synthetic lawn mower oil uses a unique formula based on natural gas that helps it reduce friction. Additionally, it will not burn off your old lawnmower engine, while the high-quality detergent oil can minimize harmful carbon deposits from accumulating and causing more friction. Finally, although the cost for this large bottle may seem high, you will save by prolonging your lawnmower's lifespan.

  • Pros
  • Container design makes it easy to pour.
  • Fully synthetic oil made from natural gas.
  • It contains detergents that rid the small engines of carbon deposits.
  • The best oil for old and often used lawn care equipment like commercial riding mowers.
  • Cons
  • High initial cost.

3. Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Motor Oil

Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Motor Oil - 32 Oz. 100074
  • 100% Synthetic SAE 5W-30
  • For Use In All Air Cooled 4-cycle Engines
  • 32 Oz. bottle

In hot or cold temperatures, lawnmower maintenance can be a nightmare since using the wrong engine oil could cause operating issues in these environmental conditions. The Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Motor Oil is a multigrade variant that ensures the optimal efficiency of outdoor power equipment. Additionally, this product works well with four-stroke engines with an air-cooled system.

For starters, the Briggs & Stratton 5W product has a low viscosity ideal for cold weather since it maintains its free flow and lubrication qualities in these conditions. Also, the 30 weight rating ensures this synthetic lawn mower engine oil can also perform in warm climates. Plus, it has detergents that help cleanse the machine to reduce deposits that cause friction and overheating. Finally, the Briggs & Stratton Synthetic Oil helps small engines to run more quietly and smoothly, especially when using your lawnmowers to cut wet and tall grass.

  • Pros
  • Efficient in a wide range of temperatures since it is an entirely synthetic oil.
  • This Briggs & Stratton product is affordable.
  • It contains detergents for cleaning the engine.
  • It is the best oil for four-stroke engines in equipment like walk-behind mowers.
  • Cons
  • You may end up pouring too much oil since this Briggs & Stratton container is not designed to help you out.

4. Honda Motor Oil 10W30 QT

  • Honda genuine oil is engineered for today's high revving 4-stroke engines
  • Protect your investment with this unique blend of costly sheer-stable polymer additives, top quality base...
  • Honda genuine oil exceeds all requirements for API service classifications SM, all new Honda power equipment
  • Designed to meet the needs of your power equipment

Although the cost of the Honda Motor Oil 10W30 is slightly higher than other entries, the reliable brand ensures you are getting one of the best lawn mower oils on the market. Typically, you will need to refill small engines once each season to realize performance gains from this product. However, the manufacturers made this small engine oil for Honda lawnmowers that use a four-stroke cycle for the machine.

Its viscosity rating guarantees that this non-synthetic oil remains helpful in various climates, including warmer temperatures. Nevertheless, living in cold regions means you will experience increased oil consumption each time you start the engine.

  • Pros
  • It does not blacken as quickly as other oils.
  • It helps the engine start quicker.
  • Improves the lifespan of your engine by reducing wear.
  • Low oil consumption.
  • The detergent oil protects against thermal breakdown and sludge build-up.
  • Cons
  • It is exclusively made for Honda lawnmowers.
  • Higher oil consumption when starting in cold weather.
  • It is conventional automotive oil.

5. STP 4 Cycle Oil Formula for Lawnmower Engine Care

Ideally, engine oil recommendations for lawn mowers include ensuring that your equipment does not break down when stored for long periods without use. The STP 4 Cycle Oil Formula for this small engine oil inhibits friction and protects parts of your engine from wear. Additionally, the anti-wear qualities protect the machine when working under high-temperature conditions.

Moreover, the lawnmower oil formulation contains antioxidants that prevent thermal breakdown and extend the lifespan of the small engine oil. Although it is a single-grade oil, the performance enhancements like detergents and a corrosion inhibitor ensure that lawn mowers will not rust when stored away in certain seasons. Plus, your lawn care equipment will be able to handle numerous mowing conditions without faltering.

  • Pros
  • Specially designed for lawnmowers' engines.
  • Contains antioxidants.
  • It has detergents.
  • The lawnmower oil offers protection to the engine through the corrosion inhibitor when you are not using it for extended periods.
  • Ideal for gasoline engines where it promotes less oil consumption.
  • These small engine oils are pretty affordable.
  • Cons
  • No ergonomic design for the container.

How Can I Choose the Best Oil for Lawn Mower Engines?

a). Type of Oil

1. Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil offers significant improvements to conventional oil in most engines. Generally, the former is refined to a better degree and can boost the performance of the machine. In addition, its stock has fewer to no impurities and provides the necessary consistency to guarantee efficiency.

The benefits of using synthetic oil include making few oil changes and reducing fuel consumption while producing fewer emissions. Additionally, there will be less friction in the engine, and you will find few deposits in the machine. Moreover, your equipment will work in extreme conditions like hot or cold weather, and the engine will start quicker.

Fully synthetic oils will be more expensive than getting a blend, but you will earn savings from extending the engine's life. Nevertheless, blends are more efficient than conventional oils.

2. Two-Stroke Oil

If you own a small lawnmower, chances are it is using a two-stroke engine. This machine design means that the engine oil mixes with the fuel and burns while running. Hence, it works to lubricate your engine as it passes through it.

Unfortunately, using two-stroke oil requires excellent care as you will need to mix the fuel and oil in specified ratios. However, your user's manual will have instructions on how to go about achieving the desired mixture. Plus, a poorly-made blend may result in more smoke coming from your lawnmower, especially if you have more oil than required.

3. Four-Stroke Oil

On the other hand, four-stroke engines utilize a separate lubrication system to ensure that your oil and fuel do not mix. Commercial mowers have such machines since they can provide sufficient power for more regular and heavy-duty use. Typical motor oil may be ideal if you have this kind of lawnmower, but you should always check the owner's manual for specifics. After all, some products may have specialized engines that require specific oil formulations.

4. Motor Oil

Although people use typical engine motor oil for their lawnmowers, it differs substantially from small engine oil. Generally, the latter contains additives and protective elements that suit the regular use cases for the engines. Usually, your lawnmower will be used in dusty conditions then stay in the shed or garage for long periods until needed.

Regular automotive motor oil may not have the capability to cling to dirt and offer reliable film strength. Consequently, you need to ensure the type of oil you use matches the specifications found in the user's manual. After all, deviating from the guidelines may mean frequently repairing your lawn care equipment.

b). Viscosity

Viscosity refers to the thickness or weight, and it is a measure of how much fluid can resist flow at a specific temperature. The Society of Automotive Engineers provides a grading for different oils, identified by the 'SAE' prefix, based on their viscosity. Below is a breakdown of the typical classifications you will find on the market.

  1. SAE 30 means that the viscosity rating is 30 and the oil is ideal for small engines. This type has a straight weight and was popular with older lawnmowers that use air-cooled engines. Plus, they work well in warm temperatures.
  2. SAE 10W-30 has the same viscosity rating as the previous type, but it is a multigrade variety. This option can work well in hot and cold weather with a balanced operating temperature range.
  3. SAE 5W-30 can work at even lower temperatures than the previous one while still offering sufficient heat protection.
  4. Synthetic SAE 5W-30 is more stable and offers reliable performance over a wide range of temperature fluctuations when compared to conventional oil.
  5. Vanguard 15W-50 functions optimally at chilling and searing temperatures. Thus, it is ideal for regular and commercial uses.

c). Is it Friendly to the Environment?

As mentioned above, since two-stroke engines burn oil and fuel simultaneously, they produce more pollutants. Thus, four-stroke varieties are safer for the environment. Additionally, institutions like the Environmental Protection Agency put restrictions on engines that do not meet their compliance standards.

Conventional automotive oils produce more emissions and do not last as long as synthetic oil. Hence, you will need to do an oil change frequently, which leads to waste that you need to get rid of responsibly. Proper oil disposal is a legal requirement in some places, and local governments may provide curbside collection. Alternatively, you may be forced to find recycling centers whenever you do an oil change.

d). Does it Contain Chemical Additives or Detergents?

Chemical additives in automotive oils offer lubrication in other parts of the engine. In addition, the included elements provide anti-wear perks to the machine to ensure the components last longer. On the other hand, some chemical additives can help improve engine performance, especially in older models. Plus, specific agents in the engine's oil can help prevent corrosion by neutralizing the acids the machine produces when running.

Detergents in regular and synthetic oils help remove harmful carbon deposits and sludge build-up inside the engine by cleaning it. Also, the waste can increase the running temperature of your lawnmower and wear out of some components. Unfortunately, most synthetic and regular oil manufacturers do not disclose the specific chemicals and detergents in their products for you to verify.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Lawn Mower Oil

1. Is it OK to use car oil in lawnmowers?

You can use regular motor vehicle engine oil in your lawnmower, especially when it is an older model or has been operating for a while. Still, you need to confirm what the manufacturer recommends for your specific machine with your user's guide. After all, some products may not be the best oil for your lawn care equipment.

2. Do lawn mower engines require frequent oil changes?

Contingent on your engine type, you may need to check the oil level every 50 to 100 hours. Four-stroke engines are more involving since you need to check the level frequently to ensure it does not drop below the recommended amount. On the other hand, if you mix new oil with gasoline, you may not need to worry about how much oil is present if you got the ratios right.