What Type of Gas Do Lawn Mowers Use? Regular or Premium?

Apart from cleaning its undercarriage for maintenance, your lawn mower needs regular oil checks and gas refills. While they are pretty standard, you might be wondering what about the best type of gas your lawn mower should run on, regular or premium.

The best gas to use for your lawn mower is the one required by its manufacturer. The rule of thumb, however, is that any octane gas at a gas station is okay for your lawn mower. You can use either regular gas rated at 87 octanes or premium gas that’s rated higher at 91 or 93. Do not use gas that contains excess ethanol. Lawn mowers need 10% ethanol content in gas.

What kind of gas do lawnmowers use?

It depends on the engine type. Most four-stroke engines use fresh unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. You might opt to use gas that contains ethanol but I do not recommend more than 10% ethanol.

Mowers with two-stroke engines use fresh unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher with an addition of high-quality two-cycle engine oil.  Therefore, they can use either regular or premium gas.

Overall, lawn mowers use octane gasoline that has the following qualities:

  1. Is fresh and clean
  2. Contains a minimum octane rating of 87
  3. Has up to 10% ethanol or less.

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.

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 you decide to use premium gas.

Most engines are designed to use a minimum number gasoline, therefore anything higher than that is a waste. Additionally, in most cases there is no benefit and premium gas costs 5 to 20 cents per gallon more than regular gas. You need a higher compression ratio to get any advantage out 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 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 breaches warranty.

The next step involves the compression ratio of your lawn mower. Mowers with high compression ratios require high octane fuel found in premium gas for optimal performance. However, most mowers are optimized to run on regular gas.

Premium gas 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 rate gasoline therefore premium gasoline is not necessary. 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 essentially using better gas because you will still end up using 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. 

Verdict: What’s the Best Gas for Lawn Mowers?

The best gas to use for your mower is the one that the owner’s manual requires you to use. If the manual recommends premium gas, it means that you ought to use it. If you use regular gas instead, the engine will be damaged. On the other hand, if it requires you to use regular gas, you MUST use it, period.

In the absence of such a requirement, the best fuel for your lawn more is gas:

  • That has a minimum of 87 octanes.
  • Fresh. Fresh 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 fuel stabilizer to prolong its life. Canned fuel products such as Briggs & Stratton advanced formula ethanol free fuel are suitable.
  • Low in octane rating for summer season.
  • High in octane rating during winter.


The best gas to use for your lawn mower is the one that is required in your owner’s manual to avoid damage and breaching 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.

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 the summer season. 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, anything above that will corrode your engine.

It is better to buy canned gas like Briggs & Stratton 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.


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