What Type of Gas Do Lawn Mowers Use? Regular or Premium?
For the best performance of your lawn mower engine, you want to make sure you use fresh, clean fuel with a gas stabilizer. Keep in mind that most ethanol-based fuels degrade over time and can lead to such as poor starting and performance of the mower’s engine. So, what type of gas is best for lawnmowers?
Both 2-stoke and 4-stroke lawn mower engines use clean regular unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87 with 10% or less ethanol. You can also use premium gas with a higher octane rating, such as 91 and 93. Two-cycle mowers can use regular or premium gas mixed with good two-cycle engine oil.
What kind of gas do lawnmowers use?
The best gas to use in a lawn mower depends on the engine type. Most four-stroke engines use fresh clean unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. You might opt to use gas that contains not more than 10% ethanol.
Mowers with two-stroke engines use fresh unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher but with an addition of high-quality two-cycle engine oil. Therefore, they can run on either regular or premium gas.
Overall, lawn mowers use octane gasoline that has the following qualities:
- Is fresh and clean;
- Contains a minimum octane rating of 87;
- Has 10% ethanol or less.
As such, both regular and premium unleaded gasoline is recommended for lawnmowers.
What type of gas to avoid for your lawn mower
While you can buy regular gasoline at your local gas station for use in your gas push lawn mower, only fuel with a maximum of 10% ethanol is recommended. Most gas stations sell fuel with up to 85% ethanol, which is not good for small engines such as gas lawn mowers, gas-powered lawn edgers, etc.
See the table below for the type of fuel to use and the type to avoid for small engines:
Is it okay to use premium gas in a lawn mower?
You can certainly use premium high-octane gasoline in your lawn mower. However, it is recommended that you check your mower’s manual before using premium gas.
Most engines are designed to use minimum octane-rated gasoline; therefore, anything higher than that can easily damage the mower’s fuel system. Additionally, in most cases, there are no benefits, yet premium gas costs 5 to 20 cents per gallon more than regular gas. You need a higher compression ratio to get the advantage of higher octane numbers.
That being said, there is no harm in using premium gas in your lawn mower but don’t expect that it will improve your mower’s performance.
Regular vs premium gas for lawn mower
If you are trying to decide what gas is most appropriate for your gas push lawn mower, the first step is to read your owner’s manual to see what gasoline the manufacturers require. It is advisable to stick to the manual because any defects arising from using the wrong gasoline breach warranty.
The next step involves the compression ratio of your lawn mower. For optimal performance, mowers with high compression ratios require high octane fuel found in premium gas. However, most mowers are optimized to run on regular gas.
Premium petrol has a higher octane rate meaning that less filler is added to the gas, thus making it purer. However, lawn mowers can run on lower octane gasoline; therefore, premium gasoline is unnecessary. So why pay more for premium gas when regular gas can serve your mower?
Premium gas has fewer additives, but you still need the same amount of gas to run your mower. This means that you are not using better gas because you will still use the same amount but pay more if you use premium gas.
Premium gas is most suitable for the winter season, while regular gas is most suitable for summer seasons.
There is no harm in using premium gasoline; however, I recommend that you use regular gasoline because it costs less and offers the same performance to your mower as premium gas would.
Recommendations and Considerations
While there are many types of fuel to choose from for lawn mowers and other small engines for yard work, you might want to stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best performance. But that’s not all; other factors may also come into play when selecting the right type of gasoline for your lawn mower.
Here are some important recommendations and considerations:
Use 87-octane, 10% ethanol gas
As a rule of thumb, a minimum of 87-octane containing up to 10% ethanol is the recommended gas for lawn mowers. Ensure that the lawn mower gas type is fresh and clean, as these fuels degrade rather quickly. Using leftover fuel from last season before winter might not be a good idea.
Beware that gas stations today also sell gasoline with 15% to even 85% ethanol. These are not approved for use in small engines such as lawnmowers, edgers, weed eaters, etc. Always check before you pump for ethanol free gas for lawn mower.
No mixing gas with engine oil
Do not mix gasoline with oil if the manufacturer does not recommend it. Also, avoid modifying 4-stroke small engines to run on alternative fuels because it will damage the fuel combustion system of your lawn mower. Manufacturers do not cover such damages under their warranties.
Check the label or manufacturer’s manual to determine if you have a 2-cycle or 4-cycle gasoline engine to ensure the type of petrol your lawn mower uses.
A minimum of 85 octane gasoline is recommended at high altitudes above 5,000 feet to remain emissions-compliant. You may need high altitude adjustment for your engine if you live in a high-altitude region to maintain the optimum performance of your lawn mower on its recommended type of gas.
Without such an adjustment, you may experience decreased lawn mower performance, increased emissions, and increased fuel consumption.
If you’re in colder climates, you should consider consuming stored gasoline within that season to ensure you maintain the performance of your engine.
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Use additives to reduce fuel degradation
Since gasoline at the pump contains ethanol, you want to keep it from degrading over time and also from damaging the components of your lawn mower’s engine.
Use the official fuel additive recommended by your lawn mower manufacturer to prevent corrosion caused by moisture in fuels blended with ethanol.
Verdict: What’s the Best Gas for Lawn Mowers?
The best gas to use in your lawn mower is that recommended by its manufacturer. The rule of thumb is that you can use either regular gas rated at 87 octanes or premium gas that’s rated higher at 91 or 93 octanes. Do not use more than 10% ethanol gas to avoid damage to the mower’s fuel system.
If the manual recommends premium gas, that’s the type of gas that will give you the best performance. If you use regular gas instead, the engine will be damaged after a while. On the other hand, if it requires you to use regular gas, you MUST use it.
In the absence of such a requirement, the best fuel for your lawn is gas:
- That has a minimum of 87 octanes.
- Fresh. Fresh lawn mower gas prevents varnish and gum formation.
- With up to 10% ethanol or 15% methyl tertiary butyl ether (read the labels on your products to know their content).
- That is canned. Canned gasoline combines ethanol-free unleaded gas with a fuel stabilizer to prolong its life. Canned fuel products such as Briggs Stratton advanced formula ethanol-free fuel are suitable.
- Low octane rating for the summer season.
- High octane rating during winter.
The best gas to use for your lawnmower is the one that is required in your owner’s manual to avoid damage and breach of warranty. However, if your manual does not require any gas, you can use any octane gas with a minimum rate of 87 and available at a refilling station.
Does high-octane gasoline enhance performance?
Higher octane in premium gas will not enhance your mower’s performance, but it is not harmful. You should use it during winter but ensure you have cleaned out your engine before you change gasoline.
Regular gas is cheaper and ensures performance; it is best for summer. You may choose either but consider their prices.
Your biggest concern should be the amount of ethanol that is present in the gasoline. Lawn mowers need a maximum of 10% ethanol in their gas, so anything above that will corrode your engine.
It is better to buy canned gas like Briggs Stratton’s advanced formula ethanol-free fuel because you can analyze its ingredients and see its ethanol content. It also comes properly mixed and ready to use.
Pro tip: Do not mix oil in gasoline or modify your mower’s engine to run on alternate fuels. It might cause damage and void your manufacturer’s warranty. Avoid using leftover fuel that has been kept for more than 30 days.
I’m an degree holder in Urban and Horticultural Agriculture. My passion for landscaping and gorgeous lawns is undying. I’m confident that through Lawnmodel’s website, I can offer you some valuable insights and tips in lawn care and establishment.
Electric vs Conventional Lawn Mower Environmental and Economic Impacts
Learn how the use of electric lawn care equipment can have a positive effect on the environment and the economy through decreased fossil fuel use; reduction in C02 emissions; potential for increased use of renewable energy; lower noise output; cost of electrivity vs gas/diesel; low maintenance and repair costs; and the support of local economies.
Decreased Fossil Fuel Use
According to the US Department of Transportation, Vermont consumes 5,453,000 total gallons of gasoline per year for lawn and garden care (the nationwide total is 2,982,755,000 gallons). Traditional commercial gas/diesel mowers typically burn 1 to 2 gallons of gas or diesel per hour. Therefore, for every commercial gas/diesel lawn mower that’s replaced with an electric mower in the New England region, fossil fuel use can be reduced by approximately 1,440 to 1,920 gallons per year (assuming 6 to 8 hours/day, 5 days/week, 24 weeks/year).
Additionally, depending on the type and horsepower rating of mowers used by homeowners mowing 1 to 2 hours a week (for 24 weeks), anywhere from 5 to over 50 gallons of gas or diesel could be saved per year.
Since every gallon of gas/diesel burned emits an average of about 22 lbs. of CO2 (includes the carbon in the gas/diesel plus the oxygen used during combustion) and because electric mowers have zero CO2 emissions, for every commercial gas/diesel lawn mower that’s replaced with an electric mower in the New England region, CO2 emissions could be reduced by approximately 31,680 to 42,240 lbs (approx. 16 to 21 tons), less the amount of C02 emissions generated by the production of the electricity used, which increasingly is being generated from renewable sources such as sun, wind, and hydro. Therefore, for every 100 commercial gas/diesel lawn mowers that are replaced with electric mowers in
Increased Use of Renewable Energy
With ever-expanding solar and wind energy capacity in New England, there’s an ever-increasing potential for the electricity used to recharge batteries to come from renewable sources.
Battery-electric lawn care equipment produces significantly less noise compared to conventional gas-powered equipment which improves the quality of life in our communities. For more information about how the issue of noise is being addressed on a local and national level, visit Quiet Communities.
Electricity vs Gas/Diesel Costs
The electricity needed to operate battery-electric lawn care equipment costs a fraction of the cost of gas or diesel.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Gas/diesel mowers require engine servicing that increases operating their life-cycle costs. E-mowers need NO maintenance aside from normal blade sharpening and cleaning of accumulated grass from around the blades.
Lower Repair Costs
Gas/diesel mowers have hundreds of moving parts, and these inevitably wear out and need replacement. These repairs are time consuming and increase life-cycle costs. Conversely, E-mowers have very few moving parts and are designed to operate for thousands of hours with minimal or NO needed repairs.
Support of Local Economies
For every dollar not spent on imported gas and diesel fuel, more dollars remain to support New England’s local economy.
View the complete COMMERCIAL/PROFESSIONAL sample comparison of the fuel savings and CO2 emissions, including notes and assumptions here.
Also, for interactive comparison spreadsheets and PDFs where you can input custom data to calculate projected fuel and CO2 savings and life-cycle costs, visit this page.
View the complete RESIDENTIAL sample comparison of the fuel savings and CO2 emissions, including notes and assumptions here.
View the complete RESIDENTIAL sample comparison of the fuel savings and CO2 emissions, including notes and assumptions here.
Electric vs Gas Lawn Mowers: How to Decide
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In the market for a new lawn mower, but not sure which type is best? Let us help you navigate the debate on electric vs. gas lawn mowers.
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With more lawn mower models on the market than ever before, and so many sizes, styles and features to consider, making buying a lawn mower isn’t as simple as it once was. And now, electric mowers are making a big splash in the lawn care industry.
Not long ago, mower motors required too much juice for a cord or batteries to be practical. Not anymore. Modern refinements and innovations allowed corded and battery-powered electric lawn mowers to burst onto the scene with gusto.
Gas-powered mowers ignite a mixture of air and fuel, compressing it in a cylinder, then igniting it with a spark to create a miniature explosion which is harnessed to power the machine. Electric mower motors, however, feature magnets interacting with electromagnets, energizing metal coils to move rotors and create power. Electric mowers can be powered by batteries or a 120-volt receptacle via extension cord.
Lawn Mower Considerations
Lawn mower manufacturers can be disingenuous about the real world power levels of their products. It’s not uncommon for electric mowers, for example, to have their “max torque” specs touted as evidence they match gas-burning models in power output. This is deceptive.
Max torque gives an inflated perspective of a mower’s true power because it measures engine torque under little or no load. The fact is, horsepower is the only reasonable unit of measure for lawn mowers, which I suspect is why electric lawn mower manufacturers don’t share this figure. The real-world horsepower of most electric mowers is half, or less than half, the horsepower of a similarly sized gas-powered machine.
It’s hard to measure exactly how much run time you’ll get from a tank of gas in your average fuel-burning mower, because much depends on the speed you run it and the density of the grass you’re cutting. It’s a safe bet, though, that a tank of gas will last longer than a fully charged battery on any equivalent electric model.
Most electric mower manufacturers give a maximum run time estimate, which for push and self-propelled mowers is almost always an hour or less. Riding electric mowers might run two hours, tops, on a single charge. Plug-in mowers don’t require batteries and will keep running continuously unless there’s a power outage. In that case, a generator with sufficient voltage capacity can keep you going.
The Environment and Noise
While power and run time certainly favor gas-powered mowers, noise and environmental considerations support electric. Battery-powered mowers have zero carbon emissions, so running one won’t contribute to climate change. Even the best gas-powered mowers can give off a significant amount of emissions.
Noise is also a factor worth considering. Many municipalities regulate the acceptable amount of yard noise. Big, beefy gas-powered mowers can easily exceed these guidelines, but battery-powered mowers almost certainly won’t.
Note: Some users find vibration is more severe and bothersome with gas burning mowers than electric.
Laws and Regulations
In some states, the laws will dictate which mowers you can and can’t buy. California passed a law in 2021 banning the sale of gas-powered lawn equipment. That will take effect as soon as 2024. However, to help ease this transition, California has set aside 30 million for a rebate program to offset the cost of new zero-emission equipment for professional gardeners and landscapers.
Manufacturers are starting to follow suit. John Deere unveiled its very first electric riding mower in 2023, with additional models to come. Honda announced in 2022 that it will stop making gas-powered mowers all together.
Operating and Maintenance Costs
Although it’s tempting to believe battery-powered mowers will always cost less than gas-burning mowers long-term, this isn’t necessarily the case. Although you’ll almost certainly spend less on electricity charging your batteries or running your corded mower then on gas and lawn mower oil for your fuel-burning machine, there’s more to the equation.
Lithium ion batteries don’t last forever and eventually need replacement. They’re not cheap, either. If your electric mower comes with a generous warranty, you might be lucky enough to get a replacement battery (or batteries, if your mower takes two) for free when yours bites the dust. Otherwise, you could be looking at a 200 to 400 expense.
Ease of Use
Electric mowers are usually simpler to use and maintain than their gas-powered counterparts. They don’t need gas, oil changes or new air filters, and you don’t have to make sure the carburetor and spark plugs are clean and functional.
Electric Lawn Mower Cons
Gas Lawn Mower Cons
How To Choose the Right Mower
Battery-powered mowers work best for people with small lots who want to minimize maintenance, noise and carbon emissions. But if noise and exhaust don’t bother you, and you just want to mow and be done with it as quickly as possible, you’re probably better off going gas-powered.
Whether you go with gas or electric, it’s important to choose the right model for your needs. If you’ve got an acre or less to mow, a self-propelled walk-behind mower is probably your best bet. If you’ve got a larger lawn or simply don’t like walking and mowing at the same time, a riding mower will make your life much easier.
detailed considerations like engine power, blade speed, deck width and other features come down to personal preference and available budget.
How Much Gas Does a Lawn Mower Use? (Guide 2023)
You have a gasoline lawn mower at home, and now you’re wondering how much gas does a lawn mower use? Honestly, it’s the best decision you’ve made; the way gas are increasing, you should know how much you’re investing in your lawn mower.
The total amount of gas you’re using depends on the type of lawnmower. For example, a push lawnmower tank can hold up to 1 quart of gas and riding lawn mowers 2 – 4 gallons. While zero-turn lawn mower capacity is high, around 2 to a maximum of 6 gallons.
In short, it all depends on what machine you’ve. To understand why it depends on the machine, you have to be with us till the end of this article.
Why Is the Capacity of Gas Tanks Different In All Lawnmowers?
Every lawn mower is different not only in terms of type, efficiency, and design but also in size. Push lawn mowers are comparatively small to zero-turn lawn mowers. So there’s no way a big tank of a zero-turn lawn mower can fit into it, and that’s the reason.
All lawnmowers consist of parts that are compatible with its design. If the design is big, like a riding lawnmower, the fuel tank will be bigger in size. At the same time, if it’s about the push lawn mower, the gasoline tank would be small.
How Much Gas Do We Use In Different Types of Lawnmowers?
Before we go further, we want to e important piece of information. Gas isn’t used as fuel in all types of lawnmowers. Nowadays, you can find various types of mowers which work with electricity, like robotic mowers or electric riding lawn mowers.
Here we’ll only discuss the three main types of lawnmowers that work with gasoline. We’ll share an average point of view about how much gas each type of lawn mower uses. Let’s get into the details of it!
Push Lawn Mowers
Push lawn mowers are an excellent choice for those with small to medium-sized yards who prefer budget-friendly mowing options. They’re generally small in size compared to the other types, like riding lawn mowers; that’s why their tank capacity is also low.
According to our research, the tank of push lawnmowers has a capacity of 1 quart, which is nearly equal to 1 liter. With this fuel, you can easily mow your home lawn or a small garden without any issues.
Riding Lawn Mowers
Riding lawn mowers is the second most famous type of lawnmower, and it’s widely used worldwide. Riding mowers use gasoline or electricity to turn the blades that chop up grass clippings and make your lawn beautiful.
These mowers are a little bit heavier not only in size but also in terms of engine and tank size. In general, the small riding lawn mowers tank capacity is around two gallons. However, if the size of the riding lawnmower is large, it can increase up to 3 to 4 gallons.
Zero-Turn Lawn Mower
The zero-turn lawn mowers are more powerful than riding lawn mowers. With its independently-controlled rear wheels, it can pivot around on its own axis, resulting in extremely tight turns and an ability to navigate hard-to-reach areas with ease.
This lawnmower makes cutting grass a breeze and drastically reduces the time required to complete mowing tasks. With all of these features, it can hold up to an average of 2 gallons and a maximum of up to 5 or 6 gallons.
How Much Gas Should You Use In Lawn Mowers?
The amount of gas you can add to your lawnmower depends on the capacity. Therefore, we suggest you go and check the tank and understand how much it can hold up too. If you’re not an expert in it, then it’s better to take help from someone.
After determining the capacity, you can fill as much as you want within the limit. For example, in case you own a riding lawn mower with a capacity of 2 – 4 gallons. You’re free to add up to 4 gallons of gasoline but don’t exceed the limit; it can be dangerous and a waste of money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it safe to use fuel stabilizers in lawn mowers?
Yes, it’s completely safe to use fuel stabilizers in lawnmowers. These fuel stabilizers are specifically made to protect the fuel and extend its life. Therefore, there’s no way they’ll harm the mower.
Which is better: electric or gas lawn mowers?
The type that suits you is better; it can be an electric lawnmower or even a gas lawnmower. If you think purchasing gasoline frequently isn’t an ideal situation, then the electric lawnmower is best. You can charge it at home and use it easily.
What’s the best gas fuel for lawn mowers?
You need to find fuel that’s unleaded and has a rating of OCTA 87. This OCTA (octan) 87 rating shows us the quality, or in other words, fuel ability to perform.
It’s important to know how much gas does a lawn mower uses so you can be prepared to fill it up when necessary. But there’s one other important thing that people mainly forget. Apart from keeping the tank full, you should worry about whether you’re using quality fuel or not.
If it’s not quality fuel and OCTA 87 rated, you’re not saving money but creating a lot of issues for the future. You may have to spend a large amount of money on lawnmower maintenance. So, use premium fuel and make sure to do proper maintenance of the mower from time to time.
Hey, It’s Noah Smith, writer and founder of this blog and horticulturist by profession. I’m here to make your lawn, garden, and backyard perfectly green and full of beauty.