In this post, we will be comparing some oils for small engines. The STP 4-cycle, Briggs and Stratton, Mobil-1, Redline 10W, and Honda PK2 are the brands that are included in this list. There is also a buyer’s guide included to provide you with more information and tips. 

Importance of lawn mower oil

Lawn mowers have a small combustion engine that consumes fuel for operation. No matter how small an engine might be, there are still internal parts and mechanical components that work vigorously at high speeds and temperatures.

The oil you use should have an efficient lubricating and cooling action to prevent the overheating of the engine and to keep everything running smoothly. 

What is the action to be taken for that? Try using different oils and comparing the engine sound. 

STP 4-Cycle Oil Formula, engine care for lawn mower

The STP synthetic SAE-30 4-cycle oil provides great lubrication for the motors of small engines like those of lawn mowers and lawn tractors. Despite the fact that it is only a single-grade oil, the formulation can compete with multigrade oils when it comes to performance in various weather conditions. 

The probability of thermal degradation is greatly reduced with the presence of antioxidants. The detergents also minimize the accumulation of carbon deposits along with the corrosion inhibitor that protects the machine from rust, especially if it is usually stored outdoors and is prone to moisture exposure. 

Versatility is the STP 4-cycle oil’s strong suit. It works well with a lot of different small engines and the majority of mower types. Its 32-oz bottle is reasonably priced. 

Briggs And Stratton Premium Oil In Mower

One of the top names in the lawn mower engine industry is Briggs and Stratton. They are known for their heavy-duty engine performance, that other popular brands use their products to integrate with their own. 

It’s only fair that with their top-notch engine manufacturing, they would also make oil products that are compatible with their 30W small machines. 

A customer review on Amazon said this about the product:

“Bought a brand new lawnmower and didn’t want hubs to blow this one up too because he forgot to put oil in it.” 

It’s a witty review and a casual reminder to always remember to put oil into the engine before using it, not to risk damaging it. 

Honda PK2 Motor Oil

Honda hardly needs any introduction because it has established itself as one of the world-renowned brands not just in the automotive industry but in other fields as well. For decades, Honda has not disappointed its loyal customers. 

Their PK2 motor oil works perfectly with Honda lawn mowers and grass cutters. Of course, it only makes sense that they would formulate a motor oil for their own engines. It could work for other mower brands as well, provided that they have a four-stroke engine. 

The Honda PK2 is a kind of SAE 10W-30 oil. This is how you decipher the code: the SAE acronym means Society of Automotive Engineers.

This is an organization that sets grading standards for automotive equipment. The numbers before and after the letter W indicate the measurement of the viscosity of the oil at cold and hot engine conditions, respectively.

The lower the value, the lesser the viscosity of the oil at the cold temperature of the engine. This means that it will easily flow. 

Since there are two values, it means that the oil works in both temperatures and contains a viscosity index improver in its formulation that makes it versatile in whatever environment it is in.

It will adjust its own flow resistance depending on the temperature levels. The letter W simply means ‘winter,’ and that indicates the season when it is best used. 

The drawback of adding VIMs is their tendency to undergo shearing (a phenomenon when they will lose their viscosity increasing capability at high temperatures), which is their main purpose.

However, with the Honda oil, that is something you do not have to be worried about. It may cost you a little extra, but it’s definitely worth it. 

Mobile-1 Oil In Mower

The Mobil-110W is a regular SAE 30, regular, non-synthetic motor oil. It is a clean oil and very engine-friendly, which is ideal for your machine. 

Redline 10W-30 Oil In Mower

This oil does not reduce the motor noise, so you should expect a little bit of annoying noise from your engine even when you’ve already poured oil into it. 

Especially when you add a mulching blade (so you won’t have to use a bagger) to keep the lawn clippings inside the mower deck, and if the motor is also quite powerful, then oil won’t be able to reduce the emitted noise when the mower is being used. 

Regardless, the Redline 10W-30 is still a great voice for fully synthetic oil. For cold temperatures, the Mobil-1 is ideal. 

Both the Moil-1 and Redline 10W are usable during cold seasons like fall and winter at a pretty high cost.

While Redline specializes in maximizing the power of the engine, the Mobil-1 can also be a good alternative. However, the best choice would be Briggs & Stratton SAE 30 oil because it is more affordable at $8 for a 48-oz bottle at the same performance.

It works well during cold weather, especially for small engines. B&S gives a lot of value for your money with its efficiency. 

Redline advantages

  • It can be used all year round, no matter what season, primarily intended for winter.
  • Reduced thermal breakdown due to versatile viscosity
  • Has added viscosity index improvers
  • Two bottles per package at discounted price

Redline disadvantages

  • Pricey

A Comprehensive Guide to Lawn Mower Oils

Maintaining your lawn mower is essential, and choosing the right oil for it is a critical task. The right oil ensures that your mower runs efficiently and has a long lifespan. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.

2-Cycle vs. 4-Cycle Oils: Understanding the Difference

2-Cycle Oils are common for small machines with simple engines like chainsaws. These oils mix with the fuel, circulating through the equipment. They’re great for cold temperatures but tend to deteriorate quickly. A common practice is to mix different 2-cycle oils to maximize lifespan and efficiency.

4-Cycle Oils are used by bigger machines like lawnmowers. With a separate pump, they don’t mix with the fuel. These are superior in durability, fuel efficiency, and reduced emissions.

How to Choose the Right Motor Oil for Your Lawn Mower

Your engine type, quality, and local weather are important in selecting the right oil. It’s crucial to understand whether your mower has a 2-cycle or 4-cycle engine. Using a heavy 4-cycle engine oil on a simpler 2-cycle engine can damage it.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions. Below is a guide based on various climates:

  • SAE 30: Best for warm temperatures and small engines.
  • SAE 10W30: Ideal for cold weather but consumes heavily.
  • Synthetic SAE 5W-30: Versatile for both warm and cold temperatures with less consumption.
  • SAE 5W-30: Perfect for extremely cold temperatures.
  • Vanguard 15W-50: Common for commercial lawn cutting and heavy use.

Decoding the Oil Numbers

The numbers on your oil bottle tell you about its viscosity in different weather conditions. The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) measures oil grades. The numbers reveal how the oil flows at different temperatures.

  • Multigrade Oil: If you see two numbers separated by a ‘W’ (for winter), it works well in both warm and cold temperatures.
A Chart Of Viscosity Grades For Engine Oils

Synthetic Oil: A Popular Choice

Synthetic oils offer longevity and less wear for your engine. They can adapt to your mower’s needs and cool it down when it heats up. Some benefits include:

  • Low consumption
  • Clean and reduced emissions
  • Fewer engine deposits
  • Versatility in high and low temperatures
  • Faster engine start time
  • Extended lifespan between oil changes

Comparison: Full and Blend Synthetic Oils

  • Full Synthetic Oil: Pure, with added performance enhancers. Costs about 30% more.
  • Synthetic Blend: A mix of synthetic and mineral oils. Cheaper, but doesn’t perform as well as fully synthetic types.

Top Oil Brands: Mobil 1 (10W30) vs Redline 10W30

Both these brands are well-reputed and offer similar benefits.

Highlights of Mobil 1

  • Synthetic oil
  • Performs well in high temperatures
  • Longer oil change interval
  • Protects the engine

Highlights of Redline

  • Synthetically formulated
  • Contains cooling additives
  • Stable during hot weather
  • Less friction, more wear protection

Choosing between the two depends on your engine compatibility and preferred additives. Always refer to the product manual.

Checking and Changing Oil: A Step-By-Step Guide

  • Check Oil Levels:
    • Remove the dipstick cap and wipe it clean.
    • Check the oil level on the blade.
    • Gradually add oil if needed and let it settle before rechecking.
  • Changing Oil Frequently:
    • For walker-type mowers, change every 50 hours.
    • For riding mowers, change every 100 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can car oil be used for lawnmowers? No, lawn mower engines require specific oils.
  • Why can’t a 4-stroke oil be used in a 2-stroke lawn mower? 4-stroke oil may be too heavy and damage the engine.
  • How often should an oil change be done? Depends on the type of mower, generally every 50-100 hours of use.
  • Can synthetic and regular oil be mixed? Yes, but it might alter the performance.


Choosing the right oil for your lawn mower is essential for maintaining its performance and extending its life. From understanding the difference between 2-cycle and 4-cycle oils to decoding the numbers on the bottle, every detail counts. Always refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines and consult with professionals if you’re unsure. Happy mowing!

Last update on 2024-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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