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Don’t know what synthetic oil do I use for a small engine and as the owner of outdoor power equipment, you naturally want to use the best oils for your equipment that is safe for use. Small engines need constant lubrication in its crankcase which is provided by this and is also necessary for keeping the this cool. So if the oil levels are low or if you use the wrong one in your machine, you end up with an overheated engine that tends to quickly shut down.
With so many types of oils in the market and especially synthetic and conventional mixtures to choose from, you may need help finding the best oil for your requirements.
Need To Get The Yard Done Before Your Wife Comes Back!
Factors to look out for
There are some basic criteria that your outdoor power equipment fuel has to meet. They have to be clean and fresh, and while oil with up to a maximum of10% ethanol or gasohol is acceptable, fuel containing 10% and more ethanol is not approved for use in small engines.
And as gasoline refineries tend to raise and lower their RVP ratings based on the climate and temperature, you have to look at the oil’s RVP rating before buying it. Summer fuel should preferably have a low RVP rating while winter fuel has a high RVP rating.
Never use any unapproved gasoline like E15 and E85, don’t mix oil in gasoline or attempt to run it on alternative fuels. Using wrong fuels in this only leads to damage to internal compartments which its warranty doesn’t cover.
And remember that small engines also need regular oil changes like your vehicle. It’s recommended to change the oil in push mowers after every 25 hours of use and after 50 hours of operation in case of riding lawn mowers and lawn tractors. If you can’t change your oil as frequently as mentioned, at least change it every season, and clean and replace the oil filter if needed.
Synthetic oils are always a better choice
While conventional oils are effective for your small engine, the improved synthetics offer more benefits, making it a more popular and better choice for you. These offer better viscosity, wear and deposit control and low-temperature fluidity.
So the regular use of these fluids reduce the chances of it failing and thus in the process, extends its service life. The only disadvantage of using them is that it’s more expensive than conventional oils. However, the many benefits of the oil make it’s increased rate worth the investment.
Differences between 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines
Now you know the importance of using the right oils for your small engines, you need to know that there are also some differences between two-stroke and four-strokes.
The most significant difference between the two is its gas exchange process. In case of 2-strokes, there’s an expansion or power stroke in each cylinder during a crankshaft revolution. Both the exhaust and charging processes work together while the piston moves through the lowest centre position.
In case of a 4-stroke, the piston first displaces the burned gases with an upward stroke and fresh oil enters the cylinder during the downward stroke. Two complete turns of the crankshaft here make a power stroke instead of the single-turn in a 2-stroke.
2-Stroke Synthetic Small Engine Oil
2-strokes are generally lighter and cheaper to build than 4-strokes and produce a higher power-to-weight ratio. This is why they are popularly used in weed trimmers, outboards, chainsaws, off-road motorcycles and racing applications. And as these are easier to start in cold temperatures they are ideal for snowmobiles too.
While some oil tends to accumulate under the 2-strokes crankshaft, these engines use a total-loss lubrication system combining oil and fuel for energy. Oil and fuel combine in the cylinder’s intake tract while lubricating important parts like cylinder walls, connecting rods and crankshaft.
And it’s because 2-strokes don’t have a dedicated lubricant source like a 4-stroke they tend to wear out quicker than a 4-stroke. This is why it’s better and important that you always mix high-quality two-stroke oils which reduce wear significantly.
Examples are such high-quality blends are Royal Purple HP 2-C High-Performance 2-Cycle Oil 01311 and Amsoil 2-Stroke Synthetic Oil Saber, Professional Mix.
1. Amsoil 2-Stroke Synthetic Oil Saber Professional Mix
- Protects up to 200 hours
- Helps extend engine life
- Optimizes the protection and performance of recreational and work equipment.
- Stabilizes fuel and thus eliminates the need for adding fuel stabilizers when stored for the season.
- It’s 80:1 and 100:1 lean mix ratios delivers fewer emissions with outstanding performance.
- Optimal cleanliness and lubrication properties.
- Prevents wear, exhaust port blocking, plug fouling and ring sticking.
- Anti-rust formulation makes it safe to use in damp environments of two-strokes.
- Also available in convenient 1.5-ounce single-use packages.
- Prevents contact between piston and cylinder.
- No disadvantages disclosed at the moment.
What we like
Is your small engine overworked and not well maintained? Do you wish to bring back its life and vibrancy? Go for Amsoil 10W-40. The formulation provides the best protection and protects it from possible failure and breakdown.
Most users of 2 stroke engines have a challenge mixing the fuel in the right ratio. So, they will have smoke emitting from the exhaust every time they use it.
Amsoil 10W-40 features the Saber ratio. The 100:1 mix ratio is the perfect ratio, and it is also known as the Saber ratio. And ensures that you always enjoy a smokeless operation.
Most two-strokes such as trimmers, chainsaws, blowers, and brush cutters are kept in stores. The environments are prone to rust. Rust reduces the lifespan of the engine and may also reduce its performance.
Amsoil 10W-40 blend comes with anti-rust features and has protection from rust, even when it is not operational for a while.
Additionally, Two-Strokes are very hardworking and generate a lot of heat. When it is too hot, the kind of oil you use should cool it down. If you use conventional oil it can disintegrate and break down due to the high temperatures.
Amsoil 10W-40 blend comes with thermal properties. They prevent it from breaking down under high temperatures. Thus, it provides a cooling effect on the hot 2 stroke and optimal protection.
It protects against friction and extends its lifespan. You will also have fewer oil drain intervals which are cost-effective.
Also, synthetic oil comes with properties that help to stabilize oil. The engine fuel will not deteriorate when the machine is idle.
2 stroke machines sometimes lie idle for a while and you may have a challenge starting it up after it has been inactive for a while. If you use conventional oils you may not get it easy on start-up. But, Amsoil 10W-40 offers you a smooth start-up and You get optimal performance for your machine.
What we do not like
- The bottle may give you a challenge when pouring.
A Little more on Amsoil
Amsoil is a brand famous for their premium synthetic 2 and 4-stroke small engine oil. These produce great results in both recreational and work equipment. The same holds for Amsoil 2-stroke synthetic oil Saber professional Mix which improves the performance and protection of 2-strokes since 1973.
It’s meant for use in handheld pre-mix two-stroke power equipment including trimmers, brush cutters, blowers, chainsaws, edgers and shredder vacs. This mix solves the problem most owners and operators of power equipment face about exhaust smoke emitted from two-strokes mixing oil and gas in the right ratio. It also works well at preventing possible friction failure and many more issues of 2-strokes.
Amsoil Saber Mix is perfect to use in air-cooled engines that’s pre-mixed as it can tolerate extreme heat and pressure and thus protects them from wear and tear and dangerous deposits.
This perfect lean mix ratio of 100:1 is in fact called the SABER ratio. This ratio is very helpful at you no longer have to keep mixing fuel and oil in different ratios to use in different equipment. It also plays a vital role in ensuring they are practically smokeless when in use.
Amsoil Saber Protection in your small engine considerably reduces friction. It is perfect for use in hot-operating two-strokes as it reduces or practically eliminates any carbon or deposit formation on exhaust ports and ring sticking.
There’s also no worry about off-season storage or adding any fuel stabilizer with Amsoil Saber. It stabilizes fuel to prevent it from deterioration during storage and triggering poor performance. Its anti-rust formulation is also very helpful and important at resisting rust in the damp environments most two-stroke applications are found.
And with its smokeless operation, the formulation burns clean to pass the industry’s smoke test. This low-emission property makes this oil perfect to use in equipment where operators are constantly subjected to fumes and smoke.
2. Oil for a 4-stroke engine
- Premium SAE 10w-30 Lawn Mower Oil
- For 4-Cycle Lawnmower Engines
Four strokes tend to produce much more torque even at a low rpm. It is this feature of these that improves the durability of equipment when compared to high-revving two-strokes. With its lower emissions, the oil boasts of improved fuel efficiency. It is because of all these traits and reasons that four-stroke engines are most popularly used in applications like ATVs, motorcycles, lawn mowers and even personal watercraft.
Unlike two-strokes where the oil and fuel have to be mixed, there is no mixing of oil in gasoline in four-stroke cycle engines. You, in fact, should not even modify the engine to run on alternative fuels. This only damages its components and in the process voids the warranty. This is why you should use the best small engine oil for your four-stroke like Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30.
3. Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Motor Oil
- Pack of (2) 1-Quart (32 oz) Oil Bottles
- Genuine OEM Briggs and Stratton Oil
- 100% blend that offers optimal wear control of your 4-stroke.
- Ensures proper performance for perfect maintenance of your power equipment.
- Ideal for use in all air cooled 4-cycle engines.
- Comes in a 32oz. bottle.
- Maintains its viscosity even when in storage.
- Prevents formation of rust.
- No need for any shop maintenance as your own maintenance is more than enough.
- Oil remains clean even after hours of use.
- Prevents contact between piston and cylinder.
- A bit on the expensive side.
- Some complaints of receiving leaking and half-full bottles.
What we like
Have you been looking for a reliable oil to use on your 4 stroke lawnmower or generator?
Briggs and Stratton’s synthetic oils is an option you should consider as small machines sometime stay idle for long periods. Conventional oils may lose viscosity and performance during the time the machine is idle.
However, Briggs and Stratton’ is formulated with this in mind. It is therefore ideal for use in lawnmowers, pressure washers, generators and so on. It maintains its viscosity and does not change color when the engine is not in use.
Also as they are not in use for long periods Conventional oils may have a challenge lubricating them when starting up and it may not flow fast throughout. Thus, they do not provide much-needed lubrication and protection. This may lead to internal friction of parts which shortens its lifespan.
But, Briggs and Stratton 1000/4 pack performs efficiently at all times. If it is started up after a while, it flows fast to lubricate the parts. And there will be less friction extending its lifespan.
The high-quality detergent oil also helps to maintain high levels of cleanliness. When the engine starts, the oil flows around it eliminating all deposits. This helps to prevent the build-up of dirt in your engine. The dirt may reduce the performance of the engine. The oil ensures you have a clean and high performing engine.
Also, the blend features anti-rust properties. Thus, even if your machine lies idle for a while, you do not have to worry about it lasting.
Briggs and Stratton is a 100% synthetic oil. It comes with additional thermal properties. Therefore, the oil will provide optimal protection at all weather conditions. It facilitates easy start-up and protection in cold weather. It also resists breakdown in high temperatures. The oil cools down your engine for optimal performance.
The fact that it resists breaking down in high temperatures makes it economical. It extends the oil drain intervals reducing cost. You also do not need to visit any maintenance shops as often as the oil provides optimum protection.
This blend costs more than other oils. But, it comes with a bouquet of benefits that make the cost worth it.
What we do not like
- It may be more expensive than conventional oils.
- Some users complain of receiving their orders with leaks.
- Others complain of not receiving the right quantity that they order.
A little more on Briggs & Stratton
If you are looking for the perfect engine oil for your four-stroke then the 32 oz. Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic oil is worth trying out. This is high-quality detergent oil which offers better wear control and maintains and prolongs the life of your power equipment.
The oil is specially designed for use in small engines of lawnmowers, generators, pressure washers, tractors and other outdoor power equipment. It maintains its viscosity well even in storage to remain clear when you next use and doesn’t end up black and full of sledge.
The machine easily starts with a single pull even in fall weather and hot summers. Ideal for use in generators as the oil still looks clean after hours of use. Though the oil may seem to cost more than other standard oils, it offers the benefit of minimizing the need for any shop maintenance as your own maintenance is more than enough.
4. Craftsman 64299 SAE 10W30 Lawnmower Oil, 20-Ounce
- Premium Universal 2-Cycle Oil
- For Air-Cooled 2-Cycle Engines such as Lawn Mowers, String Trimmers and Chain Saws
- Can be safely used in most power equipment like tractors, lawnmowers, pressure washers and generators.
- Works with maximum efficiency at warm temperatures between 40F and 100F.
- Comes in an easy to carry 20 oz. bottle.
- Meets all API classifications and SJ/CF specifications.
- Specially meant for use in 4-stroke air cooled engines.
- 10W30 oil that offers maximum protection.
- Prevents contact between piston and cylinder.
- No complaints at the moment.
What we like
If you were looking for the perfect oil for your 4 stroke lawn mower, search no more. Craftsman 10w-30 is the perfect oil to use on your 4 stroke engine. Being synthetic, the oil has a formulation to meet the specific needs of your 4 stroke.
For instance, it comes with extra additives that help to keep your 4 stroke clean. As the oil circulates throughout, it collects and eliminates all the deposits from wear and tear. It also prevents the formation of soot around the rings and other parts and you will enjoy a clean and healthy engine with improved performance.
4 strokes are demanding, and they generate a lot of heat as they work. As such, they require an oil that will cool them down. Conventional oils may not provide optimal protection and performance in high temperatures.
But, Craftsman oil features thermal properties that help resist breakdown in high temperatures. It also prevents deposit formation and you will enjoy it running cleaner and lasting longer.
The fact that this oil does not disintegrate when it’s hot makes it economical. You will have extended oil drain intervals which save you a lot of costs. The better protection also ensures you have fewer maintenance costs.
For 2 strokes you have to mix the fuel. If you do not get the ratio right, you end up with it producing smoke However with 4 strokes you do not need to mix any fuel.
Thus, you are less likely to have a problem with smoke in a 4 strokes by using Craftsman synthetic oil.
Additionally, the Craftsman blend meets the ILSAC GF-5 API SN. It also comes in an easy to carry bottle, which makes it convenient.
What we do not like
- The color of the bottle makes it a little difficult for you to know the amount of oil you have put in.
- It may be a little more expensive than its conventional counterparts.
A little more on Craftsman
Another feasible oil to use for your lawnmower is the Craftsman 10W30 20oz. lawnmower oil. This oil is meant for not only use in lawnmowers but also other power equipment like tractors, pressure washers and generators. The oil is perfect to use in warm weather as it has been compounded to work well at any temperature between 40F and 100F.
And as it’s specially formulated for use in 4-stroke air cooled engines, you know it will run with maximum efficiency and lubrication with this oil in it. The oil offers excellent protection to minimize wear. And as the oil is 10W30 oil and meets API SJ/CF specifications, you know it is safe to use in your four-stroke.
Now you know all about the right engine oils to use for 2-stroke and 4-strokes and the differences between the two, selecting the right oil is not so difficult. Besides, these few reviews give you a good idea of the types and brands of oils available on the market, making it so much easier to make your choice.
5. Royal Purple HP 2-C High-Performance Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil
- High-performance oil meant for use in 2-strokes.
- Can be used in both pre-mixed and oil-injected machines.
- Suitable for use in jet skis, outboards, chainsaws, motorcycles and other 2-stroke equipment.
- Emits no smoke, thanks to its advanced technology.
- Reduces friction failure in standard and high-performance machines.
- Reduces formation of deposits on combustion chamber and exhaust system.
- Minimizes cleaning of ports.
- Run much better than ever with more power.
- Affordably priced.
- Prevents contact between piston and cylinder.
- Complaints of piston ring freezing up.
- Complaints that its structure may shorten a motor’s life.
What we like
Royal Purple is a full synthetic oil. Being synthetic, the oil has undergone a complex process of production which makes it expensive. However, the price is worth it since it comes with a bouquet of benefits.
Royal Purple is formulated for use in pre-mix 2 stroke small engine equipment. It increases the horsepower which offers you maximum performance.
Additionally, the oil helps to reduce the heat in the motor and cool it down. Reducing heat enhances its performance.
It also provides enough lubrication to prevent friction of the internal parts. Increased friction of the parts leads to more wear and tear, which reduces its lifespan. With the use of this it extends the life of your machine.
Also, Royal Purple features solvency that helps to keep your exhaust ports and spark plugs clean and will operate with maximum efficiency-enhancing performance.
Additionally, it comes with cleaning properties as additives. As it circulates to lubricate it also collects all the deposits and dirt within it.
The cleanliness of the engine is further enhanced by the fact that the oil has an advanced technology that prevents the formation of deposits. If there are no deposits in the combustion chamber and exhaust system it will not produce any smoke. Thus, you will have a smoke free operation.
Also, this comes with additives that make it resistant to rust. Sometimes your small engine machines stay in environments that are prone to rust. However, this oil protects them from rusting extending their lifespan.
For conventional oils, they have a challenge performing under extreme temperatures. For Royal Purple, it comes with thermal properties that enable it to perform in extreme temperatures. For instance, you will have a smooth start-up when it is cold.
Also, when the engine heats up, the oil will not break down and will continue offering optimal protection for your parts.
What we do not like
- The blend is pricey.
And a Little more on Royal Purple
The Royal Purple HP 2-C High-Performance synthetic oil is high-quality oil recommended for use in both pre-mixing and oil-injecting gasoline 2-stroke cycle engines. It is thus ideal for use in motorcycles, chainsaws, outboards, jet skis and other similar 2-stroke equipment.
Being a high-performance oil, its regular use helps at improving 2-cycle performance and proves worthy of reducing wear and tear in standard and high-performance engines. The oil is manufactured using advanced technology, which is the reason it does not emit any smoke. It is also this technology that reduces the possible formation of deposits in the combustion chamber and exhaust system.
As there are no deposits found in the chamber or exhaust ports, there is no hassle or need for regularly cleaning the ports. You are thus assured of clean and practically smoke-free running of your engine.
Can you mix synthetic and regular for a small engine?
There is no danger in mixing synthetic oil and conventional oils. The two types are made of similar components. The only difference is that it contains additives and properties that are of higher quality than conventional.
However, though your engine may not blow up after using the oil, the performance may not be the same.
Sometimes, you may find yourself in circumstances where combining the two types is the only option. For instance, you may be working with your small engine, and you suddenly notice you are running low on oil. Getting conventional oil from the nearest filling station and topping up can be the only affordable option.
You may also want to mix the two because you want to save money or you want to extend the lifespan of the conventional oil. Also, you can combine the two types when you want to change brands or boost its performance.
Can you use synthetic oils in small engines?
Conventional oils are okay to use in your small engine. They lubricate and allow it to perform effectively however they are hardworking. They generate a lot of heat and conventionals break down fast under high temperatures.
If you use synthetic mixtures on your small engine, you get better results and performance. It has a formulation that offers better performance and protection.
For example, they feature cleaning agents. These help to eliminate deposits and prevent dirt formation in your small engine. And will be clean and healthy which enhances its performance.
They also come with thermal properties that enable them to withstand high temperatures. As such, it will have protection even when it heats up.
Small engines sometimes lie idle in the store for some time. As such, they are prone to rust which would shorten their lifespan. Synthetic mixtures come with anti-rust properties making it free from rust.
You also get protection from corrosion by using it.
Is synthetic oil better for lawn mowers?
Yes, they are better for lawn mowers than conventional oil. Lawnmowers generate a lot of heat as they work on the grass. Thus, they need oil that can cool them.
These blends come with additives that help keep it cool and prevent overheating ensuring it with a longer lifespan. Additionally it protects the lawnmower from rust when it is idle and is also cost-effective as it has an extended drain period.
Is synthetic oil good for an air-cooled engine?
Air-cooled engines can become very hot. As such, you want an oil that can cool them down and absorb the heat. If not, the oil may break down due to the heat exposing it to friction failure.
It can absorb the heat from the moving parts of your engine. This helps to cool down and avoid friction. Thus, you enjoy an extended lifespan.
What should I consider before buying oil for my small engine?
There are some essential factors that the oil you choose for your outdoor equipment should meet. First, you should go for oil that does not lose its viscosity even when it stays for a while.
Most outdoor equipment is not used daily. There are times that they will be lying idle in the store. If you go for conventional oil, it may lose its viscosity at such times.
Also, you should go for rust-resistant oil. This will protect your equipment from rust while not in use which may limit its durability.
If you have a 2 stroke engine that uses pre-mix fuel, you can go for pre-mixed oil. That way, you will not have the challenge of trying to get the ratios right in mixing fuel.
You should also go for oil with a maximum of 10% ethanol as more of that should not be used in small engines.
Your choice of oil for your outdoor equipment should also be resistant to breakdown due to heat. It should also be smoke-free.
Between synthetic and conventional oils, which one is better to use for my small engine?
Conventional is good for your small engine. They will work to lubricate the internal parts and help it to run efficiently and are artificially formulated to meet the various need of the motor.
For instance, they come with thermal properties that enable them to operate efficiently in extreme temperatures. Therefore, they will not disintegrate when it heats up. Consequently, you will have a well-protected machine at all times. The resistance to breakdown also extends the oil drain intervals.
They also come with properties that enable them to prevent the formation of deposits and dirt.
What is the difference between 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines?
The main difference between a 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines is in the combustion cycle.
During a combustion cycle in the engine, there is up and down movement of the piston in the cylinder. The combustion cycle refers to the process air is sucked into the piston. It is ignited and then expelled through the exhaust.
For a 2 stroke engine, it requires that the oil should be pre-mixed with fuel. The combustion cycle in a 2 stroke is complete with just a single piston stroke. There is a single compression stroke and the explosion of the compressed fuel. In the return stroke, a fresh mixture of fuel is allowed into the cylinder.
For a 4 stroke engine, you do not need to pre-mix the oil and the fuel. During each revolution in a 4 stroke engine, the piston will complete 2 strokes: i.e a single compression stroke and a single exhaust stroke. The spark plugs will fire only once in every revolution. There is the production of power for all the four strokes of the piston.
What brand of oil should I use on my small engine?
There is no shortage of brands that offer synthetic blends in the market. Before you pick a brand, look at the features and properties they offer. You can also look at the customer reviews for the brand. The reviews will give you the experience of other users with the brand.
Last update on 2023-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API