What Type of Oil for Craftsman Push Lawn Mower?

The warm weather is here, and with it comes the dreaded chore of mowing the lawn. But before you crank up your trusty Craftsman push mower, have you considered the type of oil you’re using? Choosing the right oil is crucial for keeping your mower running smoothly and extending its lifespan. This article will guide you through the complexities of lawnmower oil, exploring the different types, their benefits, and how to choose the best option for your Craftsman push mower. We’ll also delve into the importance of regular oil changes and address common questions about oil viscosity, additives, and environmental considerations.

Overview of Lawn Mower Oil

The type of oil you use in your Craftsman push mower is essential for proper lubrication and engine protection. Lawn mower engines operate under high temperatures and demanding conditions, requiring a specific type of oil that can withstand these stresses. While there are various types of oils available, you should prioritize using oil specifically designed for small engines. These oils are formulated to provide optimal protection against heat, wear, and tear, ensuring your mower runs smoothly and efficiently.

Choosing the Right Oil: Key Considerations

Before diving into the types of oil, let’s first understand the key factors to consider when making your choice.

1. Oil Viscosity

Viscosity refers to the oil’s thickness or resistance to flow. The viscosity of an oil is represented by a number, such as SAE 30 or SAE 10W-30. The higher the number, the thicker the oil.

For Craftsman push mowers, the recommended oil viscosity is typically SAE 30 or 10W-30.

  • SAE 30: This is a single-grade oil best suited for warmer temperatures. It provides excellent lubrication at higher temperatures but can become too thick in cold weather.
  • 10W-30: This is a multi-grade oil that offers better performance across a wider temperature range. The “W” stands for “winter,” and the number before it indicates its performance in cold weather. In this case, 10W-30 provides good protection in both warm and cold conditions.

Ultimately, the best viscosity for your mower depends on your local climate and the time of year. Refer to your mower’s owner’s manual for specific viscosity recommendations.

2. Oil Additives

Oil additives are components that enhance the oil’s performance and provide additional protection for your engine. Some common additives include:

  • Anti-wear agents: These reduce friction and wear on engine parts.
  • Detergents: These help keep the engine clean by suspending dirt and debris.
  • Anti-oxidants: These prevent the oil from breaking down and becoming less effective over time.

While basic oils contain some essential additives, consider choosing an oil specifically formulated for small engines, as it typically includes a wider range of additives for better protection.

3. Environmental Considerations

As a responsible lawn care enthusiast, you should also be aware of the environmental impact of your choices. Conventional oil contains additives that can be harmful to the environment, particularly when disposed of improperly.

  • Biodegradable oils: These oils are formulated to break down quickly in the environment, minimizing their impact. Consider using biodegradable oil, especially if you live near a water body or have a sensitive ecosystem.

Types of Oil for Craftsman Push Lawn Mower

Now that you understand the key considerations, let’s dive into the different types of oil commonly used for Craftsman push mowers.

1. Conventional Oil

Conventional oil is the most affordable option and is commonly found at most auto parts stores. It is a good choice for basic maintenance and occasional use, but it may not offer the same level of protection as more advanced oils.


  • Low cost: This is the most affordable oil option.


  • Lower performance: Conventional oils may not provide the same level of protection against wear and tear compared to synthetic or semi-synthetic oils.
  • Limited life span: Conventional oil breaks down faster, requiring more frequent oil changes.

2. Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil is a high-performance oil that is manufactured in a lab. It offers several advantages over conventional oil, including a longer lifespan and better protection for your engine.


  • Improved performance: Synthetic oil offers better lubrication, reduces friction, and protects your engine better in extreme conditions.
  • Longer lifespan: Synthetic oil breaks down slower, requiring fewer oil changes.
  • Better cold-weather performance: It flows better in cold weather, making it suitable for colder climates.


  • Higher cost: Synthetic oil is generally more expensive than conventional oil.

3. Semi-Synthetic Oil

Semi-synthetic oil is a blend of conventional and synthetic oil. It offers a good balance of performance and price, making it a popular choice for many lawnmower owners.


  • Improved performance: Provides better protection than conventional oil but at a lower cost than synthetic oil.
  • Longer life span: Lasts longer than conventional oil but shorter than synthetic oil.


  • Intermediate cost: More expensive than conventional oil but less expensive than synthetic oil.

When to Change the Oil

Just like any vehicle, your Craftsman push mower requires regular oil changes to maintain optimal performance.

  • Check your owner’s manual: The frequency of oil changes is typically recommended by the manufacturer and can vary based on the model and usage.
  • Typical guidelines: Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil every 25-50 hours of use or at least once a year.

Oil Changing Tips

Here are some helpful tips for changing the oil in your Craftsman push mower:

  • Warm up the engine: Allow the engine to run for a few minutes to warm up the oil. This will make it easier to drain.
  • Safety first: Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from oil spills.
  • Locate the drain plug: Identify the drain plug on the bottom of the mower’s crankcase.
  • Place a drain pan: Place a drain pan beneath the drain plug to collect the old oil.
  • Remove the drain plug: Carefully remove the drain plug and allow the oil to drain completely.
  • Replace the drain plug: Once the oil has drained, tighten the drain plug securely.
  • Refill the crankcase: Remove the oil filler cap and carefully pour the new oil into the crankcase, stopping when the oil level reaches the “Full” mark on the dipstick.
  • Clean up: Wipe up any spills and dispose of the old oil properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use regular car oil in my Craftsman push mower?

While it may be tempting to use regular car oil, it’s not recommended for lawnmower engines. Car oil is formulated for higher-speed engines and may not provide adequate protection for the high temperatures and demanding conditions experienced by lawnmower engines.

2. What happens if I use the wrong oil in my Craftsman push mower?

Using the wrong type or viscosity of oil can lead to several problems, including:

  • Engine wear: Incorrect viscosity can lead to insufficient lubrication and increased wear on engine parts.
  • Engine damage: Using oil that is too thick can result in poor oil flow and overheating, potentially causing engine damage.
  • Reduced performance: Using the wrong oil can negatively affect your mower’s performance, leading to reduced power and increased fuel consumption.

3. Can I mix different types of oil?

It’s generally not recommended to mix different types of oil. Each oil type has specific properties, and mixing them can lead to unpredictable results. It’s best to stick to one type of oil and ensure it meets the manufacturer’s specifications.


Choosing the right oil for your Craftsman push mower is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. By understanding the factors to consider, the different types of oil available, and the importance of regular oil changes, you can ensure your mower runs smoothly and efficiently season after season. Remember to always consult your mower’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations and follow proper safety procedures when changing the oil. With a little care and attention, you can keep your Craftsman push mower running like a well-oiled machine, providing years of reliable service.


What type of oil should I use in my Craftsman push lawnmower?

The best type of oil for your Craftsman push lawnmower is SAE 30 or 10W-30 motor oil. These oils are specifically designed for gasoline engines and will provide the necessary lubrication for your lawnmower’s engine. You should use a high-quality oil that meets the requirements outlined in your lawnmower’s owner’s manual. Avoid using oils that are too thin or too thick, as they can lead to engine damage.

How much oil should I put in my Craftsman push lawnmower?

The amount of oil you need to put in your Craftsman push lawnmower will depend on the specific model you have. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended oil capacity. Overfilling the oil crankcase can cause damage to the engine, so it’s essential to stick to the recommended amount. It’s also recommended to use a dipstick to check the oil level before each use.

Can I use synthetic oil in my Craftsman push lawnmower?

Yes, you can use synthetic oil in your Craftsman push lawnmower. Synthetic oils are generally considered to be better than conventional oils as they offer better performance and protection for your engine. However, it’s important to choose a synthetic oil that meets the specifications outlined in your owner’s manual.

What are the benefits of using a high-quality oil?

Using a high-quality oil in your Craftsman push lawnmower offers several benefits. It helps to protect the engine from wear and tear, reduces friction and heat buildup, and prolongs the life of your lawnmower. A high-quality oil also helps to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

How often should I change the oil in my Craftsman push lawnmower?

The frequency of oil changes for your Craftsman push lawnmower will depend on how often you use it. Generally, it’s recommended to change the oil every 25 hours of use or at least once a year. Refer to your owner’s manual for the specific recommendations for your model.

What happens if I don’t change the oil regularly?

If you don’t change the oil regularly in your Craftsman push lawnmower, the oil will become dirty and contaminated with debris. This can cause the oil to lose its effectiveness and lead to engine wear and tear. In extreme cases, neglecting oil changes can even cause your lawnmower to seize up.

What are some signs that I need to change the oil in my Craftsman push lawnmower?

There are several signs that indicate it’s time to change the oil in your Craftsman push lawnmower. These include:

  • The oil is dark or black
  • The oil smells burnt
  • The oil level is low
  • The engine is making unusual noises
  • The engine is running sluggishly or overheating
  • The lawnmower is not starting easily

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to change the oil immediately.

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