Most homeowners with a lawnmower wonder whether to use regular or premium gas for their mowers. Some people will swear by one over the other, and it is almost certain that they have a good reason for doing so. However, there is no clear-cut answer as both fuels can produce the same horsepower yet are used for slightly different purposes.
It all comes down to the design of your engine and what substances are in each type of fuel. In most cases, regular gasoline will work well for a lawnmower; it’s also likely to be cheaper than the premium variety. Let’s look at whether to use regular or premium gas for a lawnmower.
Which gas to use for a lawnmower: Regular vs. Premium
Some people think that premium gas is better quality and is, therefore, best for lawnmowers. There’s a myth that premium gas gives users many benefits, such as better engine performance with decreased emissions. Some people even believe that using premium gas will help to prolong the lifespan of their engine.
The reality is that regular gasoline is just as good and is cheaper than premium gasoline. Using premium gas in a lawnmower doesn’t bring the above benefits. How well the gas works depends on the type of engine in your car or machine, not the type of gas that’s used.
It’s best to check the manual that came with your lawnmower as this will tell you which type of gas the manufacturer recommends using. If you can’t find the manual, it’s a good idea to look at the manufacturer’s website, where you can search for information about your lawnmower using the serial number. Most lawn mowers don’t have high-performance engines, so you don’t require premium fuel.
Premium gas has been designed especially for engines with higher compression ratios and, in most cases, is unnecessary for a lawnmower. If you’ve recently put premium gas in your lawnmower, don’t worry, as it won’t damage your lawnmower but will have more effect on your wallet.
What Octane Level Does a Mower Need?
Most lawnmowers do better with regular 87 octane gas, and not the more expensive premium gas.
Premium gasoline has higher octane levels than regular fuel and is specifically designed for engines where the compression ratio makes it necessary, like in most cars. For a lawnmower, this is not so important, and regular fuel will work just as well. In most states, regular gas has an octane level of approximately 87, while premium gas is between 91 and 93.
The octane number measures the knock resistance of the gas. A gas with a higher octane allows the engine to work at higher compression ratios. This is important for powerful engines that are high performance.
How to get the best out of your lawnmower gas
As with all gasoline, you should never use old products or oil-based additives in your lawnmower as these will clog up the engine and cause problems in the long run. You should also use a gas that contains less than 10% ethanol in your lawnmower.
For best results when mowing your grass and to help keep your lawnmower in good condition, you should refill the gas each time you use the mower. Don’t leave gas sitting in your lawnmower for long periods of time, especially during the winter when it’s not in use. Doing so could cause corrosion and damage your lawnmower’s engine.
You can also add some stabilizer when filling your lawnmower as this will help keep the fuel in good condition and will stop it from degrading and damaging your lawnmower. It will also help to preserve the engine.
The debate rages on as to whether regular or premium fuel is best for lawnmowers. Premium gas should only be used if it’s recommended by the manufacturer of your mower; if not, use regular gasoline. In most cases, regular gas is good enough for cutting the grass and is cheaper than premium gas. Some ride-on lawnmowers may be designed to use premium gas if they have larger engines with a higher compression rate.
Using the wrong octane can cause a mower to lose power when cutting, or it won’t be noticeable at all.
Regular gasoline is fine for a lawnmower provided it is of decent quality, neither too old nor containing too much ethanol. Premium gasoline will produce more power, but this is not needed for a lawnmower; regular gas will work perfectly well.