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Best Lawn Mower Gas Type | A Complete Guide

Are you a first-time lawn mower owner? If so, then there are some important things that you need to know. As lawn mowers have engines in them, you need to use clean fuel for getting the best performance out of them. So, this raises the question of which is the best lawn mower gas type. All of the fuels that are ethanol-based can degrade over a long period of time. Therefore, today, we will help you in determining the best gas type for your lawn mower.


Which Type of Fuel Is Best For My Lawn Mower?

Whether your lawn mower uses a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine, you need gasoline with 10% or less ethanol with an 87 octane rating. If you want to spend more money then you can also go with the more premium fuel system that generally has about 91 to 93 octane rating.

Type of fuel Mower Our Vote



  • Unleaded 87
  • Unleaded 89
  • Unleaded 91
  • Non-oxygenated gas


  • Diesel fuel
  • E15 to E85 gas

What Type Of Gas is Best For My Lawn Mover?

The type of gas that you should be using depends upon the type of engine. If your lawn mower engine is 4-stroke then you should be using unleaded gasoline with an 87-octane rating. However, you can use a gas that has more than 10% ethanol.

But if your mower’s engine is 2-stroke then you will need to use the same gasoline type as above but with high-quality engine oil. 2-stroke engines can run on either premium gas or regular ones.

A clean and fresh unleaded gasoline

Unleaded Gasoline. Lawn Mower Gas Type

You should absolutely make sure that the type of gas you are using is clean. It should be your top priority to buy gasoline that is fresh. If you don’t need to use the lawn mower then don’t bother buying the fuel. You shouldn’t let the fuel sit for weeks or get mixed with water. With fresh gas, gum and varnish formation is prevented. Therefore, avoid contaminating the fuel.

Octane rating of 87

When choosing the type of gas for lawn mowers, it is really crucial to consider the octane rating. If you find gasoline with less than 87 octanes then you should totally ignore it. It is a general rule of thumb that you should only buy gasoline that has 87 or more octane. Also, make sure to check whether the gas is fresh or not.

High-Altitude Region

Lawn Mower in the High-Altitude Region

If you are living in a high-altitude region, then the gas type of lawn mower also changes. This is because you need to consider the emissions at higher altitudes. The minimum recommended octane rating is 85 when on an altitude of more than 5000 ft. This octane rating will essentially provide you with the best lawn mower performance.

Living in a high-altitude region and neglecting the octane rating is a really unwise thing. This is because higher altitude leads to increased fuel consumption and emissions, thus lowering the lawn mower’s engine performance.

Canned Fuel Stabilizer

Canned Fuel Stabilizer

When buying fuel for your lawn mower, you should prefer the canned fuel product. This is because, with canned fresh gasoline, you get unleaded gas that is ethanol free and comes with a fuel stabilizer. The life of the gas is prolonged due to the fuel stabilizer present in the canned gasoline. The Briggs & Stratton canned products are quite good.

RVP Rating

Octane rating isn’t the only thing that you need to be aware of. Another important statistic is the RVP rating of the fuel. As there is a difference in temperature in different seasons, therefore, refineries lower and raise the fuel RVP rating accordingly. That is why RVP rating is an important factor and should not be overlooked.

When you are in the summer, your focus should be on the fuel with a low RVP rating. While a higher RVP rating is best suited for the winter season.

Ethanol Content

Nowadays, you can get gasoline with 15 to 85% ethanol in the local gas station. Such a fuel system is not suitable for lawn mowers due to their smaller engines. The recommended ethanol for lawn mowers is about 10% and it shouldn’t be more than that. The lawn mower fuel system can get corrosion due to ethanol.

If there is high ethanol present in the gasoline, then it will attract moisture and the ethanol mixture will go down to the fuel tank. This can make the engine run really hot, eventually damaging it.

Best Fuel Options For A Lawn Mover

Best Fuel Options For A Lawn Mover

There are different fuels that you can use in your lawn mower. Some of the most commonly used fuels for lawn mowers are as under:

Non-Oxygenated Gasoline

This is the type of gasoline that is free from ethanol. If you are not regularly using your lawn mower, then going with non-oxygenated one is probably the best option. With non-oxygenated gas, there are fewer chances of moisture in the gas tank.

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

The most widely used gas for lawn mowers is regular gas. You can find it at most of the gas stations and comes with an 87 octane. Fresh unleaded gasoline is probably the cheapest fuel that you can buy for your lawn mower.

Mid-Range Unleaded Gasoline

This is the type of gasoline with 88 to 90 octane. As this has a higher rating, it is able to handle higher compression and is also a bit expensive as well.

Premium Unleaded Gasoline

The premium gasoline has a rating of about 91 and you can even find some at 92 to 93 ratings as well. It is a pretty common debate about whether you should use premium gasoline for a lawn mower or not.

Still, Confused? Go with Our Pick…

Are you still confused about the type of gas you should be using in your lawn mowers? Then, I’ll make it easy for you and give you only two options:


It is probably best to just get regular gas from the gas station. This is because its performance is more or not the same as the premium gas. You don’t need a higher compression rating isn’t necessary for lawn mower engines. Using regular gas is optimal for most people.

Non-Oxygenated Gasoline

It is really hard to find non-oxygenated gasoline. But it is a great option for all lawn mowers as it is ethanol-free gas. If you want your lawn mower to perform at its best for a prolonged time then non-oxygenated gas is the best way to go.

Fuels You Should Avoid Using in a Lawn Mower – Here’s Why

You can use a wide variety of fuels when it comes to lawn mowers but there are some that you shouldn’t avoid.

Fuels Having High Ethanol

If there is high ethanol content present in the gasoline then you should absolutely avoid it. This is because the lawn mowers have small engines which don’t exactly cope well with high ethanol fuel.


You should already know that is foolish to put diesel into a gasoline engine. There’s no different story with lawn mowers as well. If you put diesel in those small engines, you can severely damage the engine.

Things to Consider – Best Recommendations

There are so many different types of fuel to use for the small engines of lawn mowers but it is best if you stick to the recommendations by the manufacturers. Some of the important considerations are:

  • 87 Octane & 10% Ethanol

The recommended gas is the one containing 87 Octane and 10% ethanol. Also, don’t use leftover fuel as it is not recommended by the manufacturers.

  • Refrain from Mixing Gas & Oil

You should absolutely refrain from mixing gas and engine oil. This can damage the fuel lines and such damage is also not covered under a warranty.

Busting Out the Myth – FAQs

How to differentiate Ethanol free and Ethanol Blended fuels?

Ethanol-Blended Fuel is about 30% less powerful than Ethanol-Free fuels. You get the same acceleration, cruise, and power but fewer miles per gallon with Ethanol-Blended fuels.

What are the best alternative fuels for lawn movers instead of gas from the station?

Yes, there are alternative fuels for lawn mowers instead of the gas from the station. Nowadays, there are different models present that can run on diesel, propane, battery, etc.

2-Stroke or 4-Stroke Mower? Which one is the best?

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the 4 Stroke engine comes on top as it has to burn pure gas. A 2 Stroke engine on the other hand burns a combination of gas and lubricating oil, thus making it less fuel efficient.

Does high octane gasoline enhance performance?

No, high octane gasoline doesn’t enhance performance but it is not harmful as well. It is only to be used during the winter season.

Is it ok to use premium gas in a lawn mower?

Yes, it is ok to use premium gas in a lawn mower but not recommended. This is because it is quite expensive and might not be a value purchase for you.

Regular vs premium gas for a lawn mower: what to choose?

In my opinion, you should use regular gas for the lawn mover. The performance is more or less the same while the regular gas is much cheaper than premium gas.

Why does the gas go bad?

Gas goes bad as it starts to lose its combustibility and degrades over time. This is due to evaporation and oxidation over a period of 3 to 6 months. Ethanol gases have a much shorter life of about 3 months.

Mixing a 2-Cycle Oil and Fuel Mixture: yes or no?

Yes, you can mix a 2 cycle oil and fuel mixture but not directly in the fuel tank. Make sure to mix in a separate container.


So, there is not a single best gas type for lawn mowers as there is a lot of variety present and it also depends upon your engine. If you are on a budget then regular gas is your best bet. You can choose to go for premium gas as well but is not recommended in most cases. In the end, if you are looking to buy fuel for your lawn mower then it is best to choose the fuel that is easily available and is within your budget.

Jessica Zander

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