Woman checking the oil on her push lawn mower.

What Kind Of Oil For Push Mower

4 minutes

By now, you know that lawn mowers need oil (except electric and reel lawn mowers). This is true for self-propelled, riding, and push lawn mowers. Today, we’re going to focus specifically on push lawn mowers. So, what kind of oil for a push mower is needed?

Why Do Lawn Mowers Need Oil?

Closeup of someone pouring oil into their push lawn mower.
Oil is very important for a lawn mower.

Oil, whether it’s for a car, a lawn mower, or some other type of machine, lubricates the engine and its many moving parts. All those parts would create a lot of friction without oil. Over time, this would wear them down and cause damage, maybe even cause the engine to stop working at all.

So, what kind of oil do you need for a push lawn mower?

What Kind Of Oil Do Push Lawn Mowers Need?

The first thing to do when it comes to oil and lawn mowers is to check your owner’s manual. Owner’s manuals should contain the type of oil you need for your particular lawn mower. If not, you can also check manufacturer websites for that information as well.

Before we start, let’s go over some important things first. You’ll often see SAE for oil listings, which stands for the Society Of Automotive Engineers. This organization established a system for motor oils based on their viscosity. Viscosity is the ease with which oils flow at a certain temperature.

For grading, oil is rated from 0 to 50. The lower the number, the thinner the oil, the higher the number, the thicker the oil. Oil gets thinner as it heats up, so it’s better to have thinner oil in colder temperatures and thicker oil in warmer temperatures. If you see a W behind a number in an oil label, that means that’s the number rating for colder temperatures.

Now, let’s get into the different types of oils.

Types Of Oil Grade

First up are the oils that aren’t synthetic in any way. Single-grade oil is oil that doesn’t have additives and performs better at warmer temperatures. Multigrade oil is oil that does use additives so that it can perform better at a range of temperatures.

First for synthetic oils is synthetic blend oil, which is a mix of regular and synthetic oil. This oil will have additives so that it does better at colder temperatures. There’s also full synthetic oil, which is used in commercial machines.

In general, synthetic oil is better than non-synthetic oil. Now let’s get into the types of oil you can use for a push lawn mower.

Types Of Oils For A Push Lawn Mower

First, there’s SAE 30 oil.

SAE 30 Oil

This is oil that’s better for warmer temperatures. It is a single-grade oil.

SAE 10W-30 Oil

This is a multi-grade oil that’s rated 10 for viscosity in colder temperatures and 30 in warmer temperatures.

SAE 5W-30 Oil

This is also a multi-grade oil that is rated 5 for colder temperatures and 30 for warmer temperatures. This oil is great for very cold temperatures.

Synthetic Oil Versions

Many of the above oils will come in synthetic versions. Oil labels will list this for you. Also, these are not the only oils available, but these are some of the most common.

Which Oil Is Best For My Push Lawn Mower?

This really just depends on your living situation. Do you live in a place that’s consistently warm, cold, or does the temperature fluctuate? What does your owner’s manual say? Take all of these factors into account when deciding on what oil to use.


Hopefully, by now you have a good grasp of what kind of oil to use in a push lawn mower. We also hope you have a good idea of some of that confusing labeling for oils too.

So, what’s your situation like? Need to go for a multi-grade oil, synthetic? Why?

Let us know in the comments below!

Todd L Miles
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
I started "Landscape and Lawns Care" to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!