If you running low on oil in your mower and you want a quick solution, you might be wondering if your two-stroke chainsaw oil could do the trick? Well, we tested out chainsaw oil in various mowers and found out some interesting facts.
You can use chainsaw two-stroke oil in your two-stroke mower, as both engines are small and operate with a cooling system needed by the oil, you should never use chainsaw oil in a four-stroke mower however as the engines do not operate in the same way.
So as we can understand more about the oil that can be used in two-stroke and four-stroke mowers, along with the different types out there, we have put together our best guide below to using different kinds of oils in your mower so as you can be confident you are using the right one.
Two-stroke and four-stroke engines in lawnmowers need oil to run, just like a car and a chainsaw, it's important to change this oil at regular intervals too just like other combustion engines so as it can cool down and lubricate your mower more efficiently.
Chainsaw oil should be okay in your lawnmower as long as it is part of the two-stroke oil variety, this oil may not be suitable for a four-stroke engine, however. Motor oil is the best to be used in a petrol mower with a four-stroke engine and should be a grade of SAE-30.
Two-stroke chainsaw oil will not be effective in a four-stroke engine due to the different fuel system. Always double-check the oil recommended by the manufacturer of your mower in the manual if you want to be certain you are using the correct oil.
Two-stroke and four-stroke mowers use oil in different ways, hence why you shouldn't put two-stroke chainsaw oil in a four-stroke mower.
We will briefly describe how each type of engine works below.
Two-stroke engines need the oil you put in the mower so as it can lubricate the crankcase, this type of combustion will need you to mix equal ratios of fuel and oil for the engine to work.
The two-stroke part of this engine means that it will take one revolution to finish one power stroke.
These types of mowers are very old school and cause a fair amount of pollution, but they are also very lightweight and powerful in comparison to four-stroke lawnmowers.
Four-stroke engines, on the other hand, need to perform two revolutions in their engine for one power stroke, they have separate places inside the mower too so as you don't have to mix fuel and oil, just simply fill them up to the correct amounts individually instead.
These types of engines are much easier to use and don't emit as many fumes as two-stroke engines, as four-stroke engines are developing they are also becoming as powerful as two-stroke engines.
There are many different types of oils out there that are suitable for use with your mower, we will list the main ones out below, you should always consider the viscosity of these oils when checking if they are suitable or not for your mower.
You will also come across these oils separated into four broader categories -
To determine whether an oil is of good quality, there are a couple of factors to be aware of which we will list out below.
Two-stroke engines are fine to use with chainsaw oil, as chainsaws also run with a two-stroke engine, however, you must never use other motor oil in a two-stroke engine as this could potentially damage your whole mower.
Only use oils in your two-stroke mower that begin with SG, SH, SF or SJ.
There are two viscosities for mowers that give different levels of lubrication, the two most popular kinds of oil in mowers for lubrication are SAE-30 which is great for warmer weather and SAE-10W-30 which is the best for colder weather.
SAE 30 can be used in chainsaws and mowers with no issue as they both operate with small engines that need cooling.
Additives should not be used in mower oil and are only useful for bigger engines, unless your small engine is using oil with ethanol content, then an additive would be suitable.
If it's your first time looking at oils for your lawnmower you may be wondering what synthetic oil is and why it's so expensive?
Synthetic oil is better than traditional lawnmower oil, hence its cost, this is because it can work at a variety of temperatures and has a low consumption rate, making it more cost-effective in the long run.
On average, you should be changing the oil you use in your mower at least once a year or after 50 hours of use, checking the oil level is a good idea when performing maintenance on the mower as the engine is cold, you should always be checking the oil level more too when your mower has been doing challenging work.
After the first five hours of use with your mower, a change of oil will be needed also.
Changing the lawnmower oil is a pretty simple process and should be listed out in the manual of your mower, however, we will list the simple steps of how to do this down below in case you want to follow them.
Can I use car oil in a four-stroke mower?
Yes, using motor oil in a four-stroke mower is fine, the most popular kind of motor oil to use would be the SAE-30 motor oil.
How often do I change the oil in a riding mower?
You don't have to change the oil in a riding mower as often as you do in small lawnmowers, on average it is recommended to change the oil only after 100 hours.
Why can't I use two-stroke oil in a four-stroke engine or vice versa?
Two-stroke oil will not be suited in a four-stroke engine for a long time as the oil is designed to be mixed with fuel in the engine, so the mower might work, but it's not recommended and could potentially damage the lawnmower overtime.
To conclude, using chainsaw oil in a two-stroke mower is fine as they both use a two-stroke engine and the oil will be suitable for cooling down both small engines no matter the machine. You should never use motor oil in a two-stroke mower but you can use motor oil in a four-stroke mower instead of chainsaw oil.