Skip to Content

Can I Use Chainsaw Oil For My Lawn Mower Or Hedge Trimmer?

Figuring out what type of oil your lawncare systems need can sometimes feel confusing. Do you have extra chainsaw oil that you want to try using in your lawn mower or hedge trimmer but don't know whether this is a good idea? Can you use the same oil in all of this equipment?

Well, we've done some research, and here are the answers we found:

In general, you want to use SAE 30 motor oil for a lawn mower and SAE 20 oil for lubricating a hedge trimmer. On the other hand, a chainsaw uses SAE 30-weight motor oil for lubrication during the summer and SAE 10-weight during the winter.

So, you can get away with sharing oil between a chainsaw and lawn mower in the summertime or if you have SAE 30 available year-round.

As we start this post, we will cover all things chainsaw oil. We'll also cover if you can share oil between a chainsaw, lawn mower, and hedge trimmer. Whether you're new to gardening equipment, ran out of oil, or have other questions, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right in!

A collage of a lawn mower and a hedge trimmer, Can I Use Chainsaw Oil For My Lawn Mower Or Hedge Trimmer?

What Type Of Oil Does A Chainsaw Use?

Man with Chainsaw cutting tree trunk

You will generally want to use a specialty 'bar-and-chain' oil for your chainsaw. Furthermore, you need to add around one tank of this each time you go through a tank of fuel.

Many experts suggest using lightweight oil in the summer, while thicker formulas are best for winter. Specifically, Petroleum-based bar oil is the standard for chainsaw users.

On the other hand, if you don't have oil specifically for your chainsaw and want to share it with the lawn mower, you need to find motor oil with an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) rating of 30 for summer and 10 for winter.

Furthermore, it's usually better to follow the oil instructions that come with your chainsaw or shop for a specialty bar-and-chain option. Sometimes, not all machines respond well to certain oil types.

It's also worth mentioning that synthetic oils generally work best for chainsaws and lawn equipment.

Can I Share Oil Between A Chainsaw And Lawn Mower?

Yes. If you use oil with an SAE rating of 30 for your chainsaw, you can also safely use it for your lawn mower. As we said, this will vary depending on the season, so you might not always be able to use the same oil for both pieces of equipment.

According to experts, any two-stroke motor oil made for air-cooled engines (such as chainsaws) will work fine for a lawn mower. So, this is perfect if you don't want to spend extra money on two types of engine oil.

As we said above, synthetic oils also perform better in chainsaw and lawn mower engines, so try to keep that in the back of your head while shopping.

Triax Power 4-Cycle SAE 30W Full Synthetic Engine Oil

This engine oil works perfectly for lawn mowers and chainsaws, has a small engine formula, features high thermal resistance, is all-season, and comes in a one-gallon container.

See this engine oil on Amazon.

Can You Use Chainsaw Oil For A Hedge Trimmer?

Since hedge trimmers don't have oil reservoirs, it can be tricky to find the right oil. As we said, you want to lubricate a chainsaw with bar-and-chain oil, which won't usually be effective for a hedge trimmer.

Furthermore, a chainsaw works differently than a hedge trimming device, so the oil needs will differ. Unlike a lawn mower, you can't put engine oil on a hedge trimmer and expect it to work.

Instead, many experts recommend using 3-in-1 oil or even SAE20 engine oil to lubricate the blades of a hedge trimmer. So, even if you have SAE 30 or 10 oil, you shouldn't use them for a hedge trimmer.

When you have the correct oil, it's also a good idea to apply it to your hedge trimmer's blade before or after each use. Doing this will ensure your device works correctly and doesn't run into problems.

With that said, some people don't feel the need to oil a hedge trimmer, as they usually come with pre-hardened rust-resistant steel. Again, this is your decision.

What Happens If I Don't Lubricate My Hedge Trimmer?

As we said above, it's not always necessary to lubricate a hedge trimmer. However, doing this can ensure your equipment works smoothly and effectively.

Applying a bit of oil to it can be beneficial depending on how often you use a hedge trimmer. According to The Daily Gardener, electric, battery-powered, gas, and pole hedge trimmers fall into the same oil category.

If you decide to apply some oil for lubrication, we recommend turning off your trimmer for safety. Doing this while your equipment is on can be very dangerous and lead to serious injury.

On top of that, if you don't want to apply a traditional oil, you can also give your hedge trimmer's blades a spray with WD-40 for lubrication.

WD-40 Smart Straw Spray Lubricant

This WD-40 has a smart spray technology, dries out electrical systems to prevent rust, shields your equipment's blades from moisture, helps release jammed parts, and comes in an 11-ounce container.

Follow this link to view it on Amazon.

What Happens If I Use The Wrong Oil In My Lawn Mower?

Lawn Mower in the Grass

If you accidentally use the wrong type of oil in a lawn mower, expect issues to arise. Generally, using the wrong formula in an engine will lead to it not being lubricated properly.

Therefore, your lawn mower's inside mechanics won't get the correct coverage, which can lead to system performance issues. You may also run into the inside of your mower experiencing 'metal-on-metal' contact, which can damage it long-term.

Friction will lead to damage, whether it's a car engine, a lawn mower engine, or a chainsaw engine. So, you must be careful when shopping for products and ensure you find the correct oil formula.

As we said before, you need to find SAE 30 oil for a lawn mower. So, if yours is 10 or 20, we don't recommend using it in your engine.

Even though it may not seem significant, engine oil is particular, and even the wrong viscosity can disrupt how your equipment functions.

Can You Use Car Oil In A Lawn Mower?

Depending on the car oil formula, you may be fine using it for your lawn mower. In general, as long as your vehicle's oil is SAE rated at 30, it will be okay to pour into your mower.

However, if your lawn mower is older and has a two-stroke engine, you have to use special oil for it. So, in that case, you can't interchange the oils between your car and lawn equipment.

In contrast, if your mower is newer and has a four-stroke engine, that's when SAE-30 or 10W-30 oil is interchangeable. This all comes down to engine construction and oil formula.

Surprisingly SAE 30 motor oil is commonly recommended for lawn mower use, so doing this wouldn't go against the grain. Regardless, check your mower's instructions and oil specifications to prevent adding the wrong kind into its engine.

Can You Reuse Car Oil For Your Garden Equipment?

Pouring motor oil for motor vehicles from a gray bottle into the engine

We don't recommend reusing car oil for your garden equipment. Although this can be a great way to save money, the old oil isn't usually practical.

Typically, oil will go bad inside a car's engine after a few months of not driving, so adding that to a lawn mower is not a great plan.

As we said, not all car oil can work inside a mower's engine. So, if you're adding expired, the wrong formula to your lawn equipment, you are likely causing damage.

However, if you have opened oil that isn't bad yet and want to pour it into your lawn mower, that should be fine as long as the formula is correct.

How Often Should I Add Oil To My Chainsaw?

Worker at the outdoor carpentry is pouring fuel from a plastic bottle into the chainsaw for cutting wood.

Considering that a chainsaw uses about one tank of bar-and-chain oil whenever you use it, you'll want to refill its tank every usage. Although this can be bothersome, it's always a good idea to check the oil levels inside your equipment.

Running a chainsaw on low oil isn't a good idea and can lead to systematic damage. According to BLACK+DECKER, you also want to lubricate a chainsaw by pressing the bulb on the oil reservoir cap twice before making each cut.

Doing this will ensure the chain works smoothly and doesn't get jammed while you're cutting. The brand also mentions how some chainsaws feature an automatic oiling system, which you need to refill every few uses.

So, regardless, you're always adding oil somewhere. The same applies to your lawn mower and the blade of a hedge trimmer, so make sure to allow time for this.

To Finish

Whether you have a chainsaw, lawn mower, or hedge trimmer that needs oil, it's essential to find the correct formula. We found that you can sometimes share oil between a lawn mower and chainsaw, as long as it's SAE rated 30.

On the other hand, a hedge trimmer typically needs SAE 20 oil, which you can't use for a mower or chainsaw. In addition, you might even be able to share oil between a car and lawn mower/chainsaw, as long as the formula is SAE 30 and the engines are compatible.

Regardless, refill your landscaping equipment before or after using them, and don't be afraid to contact your manufacturer with any oil-related questions.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related gardening posts:

Do Chainsaw Chains Come Sharpened And With A Chain?

Cub Cadet Lawn Mower Not Charging - Why And What To Do?

Can I Use A Chainsaw As A Hedge Trimmer?