Outdoor Equipment Advice

Can You Use Synthetic Oil in a Lawn Mower: Facts You Need To Know

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When it comes to synthetic oils, many of us are skeptical if they are okay to use in our devices.

Specifically for lawn mowers, you don’t want to end up using the wrong oil as it can damage the machine and prevent it from working.

That said, oil production has come a long way, and you may be asking, “Can you use synthetic oil in a lawn mower?”

Synthetic oil is different from traditional oil.

If you’re interested in learning more, we’ll give you a breakdown of why it’s safe to use synthetic oil in any lawn mower.

So, without further hesitation, let’s get into it.

Can You Use Synthetic Oil in a Lawn Mower?

Like other types of engines, lawn mowers function through the use of oil.

Conventional vs. Synthetic Oil

Lawn mower engines, among other engines, have many parts that operate at high speeds, so the device’s temperature rises.

Despite these high speeds, some conventional oils are compatible with fueling the device.

However, if you choose the wrong one, you could damage the internal components.

That’s why lubrication, cooling action, and selecting the correct type of oil are essential.

Unlike conventional oil, synthetic oil is designed much differently.

Conventional oil that you use for machinery all have different heating temperature ranges that they can handle.

Synthetic oil is an artificially created lubricant for high-performance engines.

Its unique chemical profile allows synthetic oil to be used at a wide range of temperatures.

Thus, it’s compatible with all lawn mower engines.

While synthetic oil may work with every lawn mower type, some engine designs may not support synthetic oil.

Although you’re thinking of making the switch, you may first want to understand the benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits of Using Synthetic Oil

There are a few benefits of using synthetic oil versus conventional oil.

Here is an overview of the benefits of using synthetic oil:

  • High-temperature range
  • Better viscosity index
  • Better lubrication in cold weather
  • Longer engine life
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Resistance to oxidation and thermal breakdown

Drawbacks of Using Synthetic Oil

Besides the benefits, there are also a few drawbacks.

Conventional oil may be better in certain situations.

So, here are the disadvantages you should consider before making the switch:

  • More expensive
  • Possible additive precipitation
  • Must meet recommended viscosity of machinery
  • Some small mower engines don’t have tight enough seals to support synthetic oil

can you use synthetic oil in a lawn mower at home

Buying Considerations for Mower Oil

There are two significant types of lawn mowing oil which classifies as four strokes or two-stroke.

Each of these pieces of machinery is different, and they each require different types of oil.

Synthetic could be an excellent choice, but you’ll want to choose your mower’s oil based on the following factors:

Oil Type

Small lawn mowers tend to have a lightweight engine that uses two-stroke oil.

If you put the wrong type of oil in, it could cause poor firing, engine seizure, and even smoke from the machine.

Hence, synthetic oil can be a great choice if you don’t want to risk damaging the engine.

Larger mowers will use four-stroke oil and oils similar to roach vehicles. They use crude oil, which isn’t as refined.

Synthetic oil can benefit larger mowers due to their wide range of temperature abilities.

That is mainly because synthetic oils have lower viscosity.

Aside from that, synthetic oils are refined, which makes them less harsh on machinery.

SAE 30 oil works well in warm temperatures and is the most common for small engined mowers.

Vanguard 15W-50 is a good option if you need oil with a varying temperature range for commercial use.

However, Synthetic SAE 5W-30 is the best synthetic for all temperatures and engine designs.


The weight is the thickness of mower oil and determines what machinery can handle which oil.

Low viscosity oil works well with low temperatures, while high viscosity works better with high temperatures.

While you can get the correct type of oil for your mower based on its design and heated temperature, there is an issue.

If the machinery heats up too much or too low, the oil could damage the machine’s interior.

Hence, synthetic oil can be an excellent alternative.

Additives and Detergents

Additives are generally added to conventional oils to help performance and protect engine components.

Synthetic oils with additives aren’t required, but they offer benefits to keeping your machinery running safely.

Some additives improve the performance of lawn mower engines and extend the lifespan of the machinery.

On the other hand, detergents help stop sludge build-up and keep hot metal components free of deposits.

Detergents are also responsible for neutralizing acids that form in the oil.

Synthetic and conventional oils contain these properties, but it is up to the individual manufacturer to add them.


Most oil used in lawn mowers is based on fossil fuels, which aren’t that eco-friendly.

However, synthetic oils tend to be more carbon-friendly and won’t hurt the environment as much.

If you want to tone down your emissions, then it can be beneficial to make the switch.

That said, you can still find conventional oil that has a low emission rate.

Although, you can rest assured that synthetic oil is probably the best alternative if you can’t find one that works for your mower.

Since synthetic oil needs to be switched out less and is made of different compounds, it produces fewer emissions and lasts longer per use.

Synthetic Oil for Your Lawn Mower

Synthetic oil may be an excellent alternative to conventional oil if you want to ensure your machinery runs appropriately and efficiently.

However, the main issue is that synthetic oil is more expensive.

If you’re using a lawn mower in a small yard and don’t have to mow frequently, then you may not mind the expense.

Larger yards may be less cost-efficient, so synthetic oils wouldn’t be worth it.

Still, it’s up to you to juggle the pros and cons of making the switch to synthetic oil.

Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand the answer to “Can you use synthetic oil in a lawn mower?”

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