Best Type of Fuel For Lawn Mower (How Much to Add?)

Lawn mowers are essential tools for maintaining a well-manicured lawn. One important aspect of using a lawn mower is selecting the appropriate fuel type and understanding the proper amount to add. This comprehensive guide will help you learn about the best types of fuel for lawn mowers and provide tips for proper fuel usage and storage.


A. Most common fuel type for lawn mowers

  • Gasoline is the most widely used fuel for lawn mowers due to its widespread availability and compatibility with various engines.

B. Gives the best power and performance

  • Gasoline-powered lawn mowers generally deliver more power and better performance compared to other fuel types.

C. Can cause more emissions and pollution

  • Gasoline engines tend to produce more harmful emissions and pollution than alternative fuel sources.

D. Higher octane has higher compression ratio for more power

  • Higher octane gasoline is less likely to cause engine knocking, resulting in a higher compression ratio and more power.

E. 2-cycle oil needs to be mixed in at proper ratio, usually 50:1

  • For 2-stroke engines, a mixture of gasoline and 2-cycle oil is required, typically at a 50:1 ratio.


A. Environmentally friendly fuel

  • Propane is a cleaner burning fuel with lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline.

B. Lower emissions and less pollution

  • Propane-powered lawn mowers produce fewer harmful emissions and contribute less to air pollution.

C. Lower power and performance than gasoline

  • Propane engines generally offer lower power and performance when compared to gasoline engines.

D. Can be more expensive

  • Propane can be more expensive than gasoline, depending on local prices and availability.

E. Propane tanks required for storage

  • Storing propane requires the use of specialized tanks, which can be an added expense and take up more storage space.

Riding Lawn Mower


A. Renewable fuel made from corn

  • Ethanol is a renewable biofuel derived primarily from corn, making it a more sustainable option compared to gasoline.

B. Better for the environment but lower energy density

  • Although ethanol is better for the environment, it has a lower energy density than gasoline, which may result in reduced performance.

C. Can phase separate in older engines requiring modifications

  • Ethanol can cause phase separation in older engines, which may require engine modifications to prevent issues.

D. Limited availability and higher cost

  • Ethanol fuel may not be as widely available as gasoline and can be more expensive in some areas.

Amount to add

A. Check your mower’s fuel capacity and add the recommended amount

  • Refer to your lawn mower’s owner’s manual to determine the appropriate fuel capacity and fill accordingly.

B. Do not overfill

  • Overfilling the fuel tank can cause spillage, which can be dangerous and harm the environment.

C. For most home lawn mowers, add 1-3 gallons at a time

  • Generally, residential lawn mowers require between 1-3 gallons of fuel at a time.

D. Have a proper fuel gauge to ensure not running out during mowing

  • Use a fuel gauge to monitor fuel levels and prevent running out of fuel in the middle of a mowing job.

Storing fuel

A. Keep fuel in approved containers away from heat and flames

  • Store fuel in containers specifically designed for fuel storage and keep them away from sources of heat and open flames.

B. Ensure containers are properly sealed

  • Make sure fuel containers are tightly sealed to prevent spills, evaporation, and contamination.

C. For long term storage, treat with fuel stabilizer to prevent deterioration

  • If you plan to store fuel for an extended period, use a fuel stabilizer to prevent oxidation and fuel degradation.

D. Keep separate from fertilizers, pesticides, and other lawn chemicals

  • Store fuel away from other lawn care chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides to avoid cross-contamination and potential chemical reactions.


Choosing the right fuel for your lawn mower and properly maintaining it are essential for optimal performance and longevity. By understanding the differences between gasoline, propane, and ethanol, you can select the best fuel type for your mower and your specific needs. Additionally, proper fuel storage and handling will ensure your mower runs smoothly and safely for years to come.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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