Best Type Of Oil For Your Lawn Mower

All petrol mowers regardless of engine type, age, and level of usage need oil. Oil keeps the engine lubricated and cooled ensuring it works efficiently and for a long time.

Choosing lawn mower oil can seem complicated. This guide will help you decide what lawn mower oil type is best for your particular mower.

Types of Lawn Mower Oil

All petrol lawnmowers must be kept topped up with the appropriate oil. Here’s a quick guide to lawn mower oil types.

Conventional Oil

This oil, made from crude oil, is the more economical choice and will do the job of lubricating and cooling your mower’s parts just fine. If your lawn mower engine is older this is probably the better choice for you, as it might not be able to use the added benefits that synthetic oils provide.

Blended Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil blends are more refined and include additives which can, for example, withstand greater ranges of temperature and protect the lawn mower engine.

High Mileage Oil

This type of oil tends to be fully synthetic and provides extra protection for engines that are put under the pressure of very regular and high usage. This oil is best for commercial lawn mower engines.

Types of Lawn Mower Engines

Two-Stroke Engine

This type of engine is relatively uncommon in lawnmowers now, largely due to the high level of emissions because they burn engine oil along with petrol in a blend. The ratio of this blend will be advised in the operator’s manual. Any oil for air-cooled two-stroke engines will be suitable.

Four Stroke Engine

The most common type of petrol lawn mower has four-stroke engines. For these, you could use a specially formulated oil suitable for small engines or any high-quality motor engine oil.

Oil Capacity

  • Push mowers will commonly have an oil capacity of around 400-600ml.
  • Ride-on mowers often have an oil capacity of between 1.3 and 1.9 litres.

It is important to ensure that you never overfill your oil reservoir, always allow the oil to settle before checking the dipstick and check your owner’s manual for the recommended amounts.

Climate Considerations

One of the most important considerations when choosing the oil for the lawn mower is the climate.

  • SAE 30 is one of the most commonly used types of small engine oil and is best suited to warmer climates.
  • SAE 5w 30 is the oil to choose for a cold climate.
  • Synthetic SAE 5w 30 works well across all climates.
  • Vanguard 15W 50 is an excellent choice for intense usage such as for mowers used by professional lawn cutting services.

Changing Lawn Mower Oil

If you have a petrol lawn mower, whether for home or commercial lawn cutting, you will need to ensure that you check the oil level regularly, that the motor oil is kept topped up and that it is changed as per the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the required oil change intervals.

But, for ride-on mowers, this should be at least after every 100 hours of use, or at least once a season. For push mowers, this should be after every 50 hours of use, or at least once a season. This will help to keep your lawn mower’s engine working efficiently and optimises its working life.


We hope this has helped you to understand more about the oil requirements of your mower and to ensure it continues to serve you well for years to come.