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What Type Oil Is Used in Push Lawn Mowers?

By Heide Braley ; Updated September 21, 2017

A lawn mower's most basic need after gasoline is the oil. Without it, your lawn mower will stop working and will most likely be ruined. Oil is cheap and easily accessible. Here is what you need to know about oil for your push lawn mower.


Usually the type of oil recommended in small gasoline powered engines like a lawn mower is SAE 30. However, you can also use 10W-30 or 10W-40 just fine without worrying about problems. If in doubt, check your owner's manual.


You can use the traditional petroleum-based oil in your engine for your push lawn mower or you can switch over to the somewhat more expensive synthetic brand of oil. It tends to stay cooler than regular oil so there is less wear on the engine.


Synthetic oil is derived from materials such as methane, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Once the oil-making process is finished, all the molecules are the same size and therefore act the same, making it react more predictably in mechanical situations. Regular oil is derived from crude oil and not only has different sized molecules but a lot of contaminants.


Oil in the lawn mower engine is the lubricant that keeps the parts moving. It decreases the friction caused by the motion of the parts that would otherwise heat the engine so high that the metals would swell and cease to operate.

Benefits of Synthetic

Using synthetic oil in your lawn mower engine will slowly clean up any sludge that is left behind by regular petroleum based engine oil. After a few weeks of usage, you will probably find that your mower runs better.


About the Author


Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.