SAE 30 Vs 10W30 Oil | What to Feed Your Lawn Mower?

Is it the oil thickness only that brings the debate for SAE 30 vs 10W30 oil?

The right oil use plays a significant role from a small block air-cooled engine to heavy-duty motor vehicle engines. If you are looking for a better choice for your lawn care substore or such engines, then you surely in between straight 30 grade and 10W30 grade oil as both feature the same grade 30 of operating temperature.

So, what is the difference between SAE 30 oil and 10W30? Well, the simple answer is the oil thickness that is relatively more balanced in 10W30 than the straight SAE30.

But wait, don’t make your choice only based on the thickness as it is the engine with real parts, not one from the toy story. So, read this complete comparison with the decisive facts that will help you decide and get your right oil to feed your engine.

Let’s start!

SAE 30 Vs 10W30: Table Comparison at a Glance

SAE 30 SAE 10W30
Grade Type
Mono grade Multi-grade
Oil Viscocity
Straight 30 10 at lower operating temperature and 30 at upper
Temperature sustainability
Better performance in warmer temperature Best for winter regional areas
Averagely thinner It gets thicker with the flow of temperature
Best Application
Best for small block air-cooled engine like tractors, lawn mowers, generators, table saws Best for mid to heavy-duty 4 cycle engines
Oil Consumption
Economical Relatively more oil consumption than straight 30

Detailing the SAE 30 And 10W30 Oils with Their Key Features

Viscosity Characteristics of SAE 30 oil and SAE 10W

[ Measured following the methods ASTM D445, ASTM D1298, ASTM D5293, ASTM D4684, ASTM 4741, maintaining standards J300]

The above chart shows the fact about the viscosity characteristics of SAE 30 oil and SAE 10W grade oil followed by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) maintaining the J300 standards.

Visible Difference in SAE 10W30 Vs SAE 30- The Oil Grade

The visible difference between SAE 30 oil and SAE 10W30 oil is the oil viscosity grade. According to SAE, every motor oil has been listed out with a numerical code showing the grade number for that oil. Based on this code, we can define the oil characteristics and performance.

Based on this grade number, either the oil is a mono grade or multi-grade. For example, in the case of SAE 30 oil vs 10W30, the first one is a monograde oil with only one numeral code. The other one is a multi-grade oil for the number before and after W.

In earlier, the conventional small block engine used to run the SAE 30 most. Overtime, modern technologically advanced engines seemto have an issue with mono-grade oils when theyget heated. And then, the necessity for multi-grade oil arises.

Viscosity Difference Between SAE 30 Vs SAE 10W30

The letter ‘W’ in oil grading stands for Winter, but some also refer to the oil weight. And the number before and after W cites the viscosity of the oil. It reflects how the oil acts when the engine gets heated or the oil’s startup nature in cold cranking.

What is oil viscosity? In short, oil viscosity is the oil thickness. It refers how the oil flow at different temperature.

Basically, when the engine gets heated, the oil also thickens and can’t flow with the same viscosity to reach every part. And so modern engine needs oil that can change its viscosity with the temperature change and flow with the same flow to feed the thirst of the engine parts.

Hence, the number before ‘W’ represents the viscosity grade of that oil at colder/ low operating temperature. Contrarily, the number after W is the viscosity grade at a higher operating temperature. Such as the Amsoil SAE 10W30 for small block engine maintains a greater thickness.

Then, again, many referto this ‘W’ as the oil weight. What does oil weight mean? The oil weight is the same as the oil viscosity meaning the weight or the thickness of the oil at a specific temperature.  Thicker oil can flow and maintain the surface film at a higher temperature. On the other hand, the thinner oil is good at a colder temperature.

According to these basics, we can compare the SAE 30 vs 10W30 as suitable for warmer temperature and colder temperature, respectively.

Performance Difference in Different Temperature

Oil is the key to run the engine parts. It provides lubrication to the parts. Now, if your chosen oil can’t retain the viscosity at different temperature then what’s the point of using?

In this thought, the comparing for the performance at operating temperature comes. From SAE 30 motor oil vs 10W30, SAE 30 works great in a warmer temperature. That means, when the engine parts are heated, SAE 30 oil can retain the viscosity, and it is measured at 150°C.

On the other hand, SAE 10W30 oil can crank the power in Winter startup very well. Though both SAE 30 and 10W30 act the same at 100°C can vary in lower temperatures.

In the case of mono grade oil or the straight 30 oil, there can be some issue for it has no viscosity grade for lower temperature, especially when the engine is taking the start in colder snowy region.

Still,some small block 2 cycle engines perform superior with the straight 30 oil, such as the Briggs & Stratton SAE 30 Detergent Oil is one of the best oil for lawn mower. Although it is a single-grade oil, it is specially formulated for the 4 cycle engine.

Comparing SAE 30 Vs SAE 10W30 Oil in Terms of Usability

When it comes to choosing between SAE 30 vs 10w30 lawn mower purpose,the debate never seems to come to an end. A typical 2 cycle air-cooled engine can go well with the SAE 30 oil. And in the case of lawn mowers, tractors, push mowers, any synthetic oil with straight 30 viscosity will precisely do thejob.

On the contrary, for modern 4 stroke engines, some conventional SAE 30 can’t retain the proper viscosity and gets thicker when it times to cold cranking. So, these engines must need a oil with higher viscosity grades for operating at a lower temperature. And for them, SAE 10W30 motor oil is the ideal pick.

SAE 30 oil has a 30 grade of viscosity that works great at warmer operating temperatures. Contrarily, the 10W30 motor oil can help when the engine needs to crank the cold ampere. Yes, for operating at lower temperatures with retaining the proper fluid viscosity,  SAE 10W30 motor oil is the best-suited option.

At 100°C operating temperature, both SAE 30 and SAE 10W30 oil act the same with a rarely visible difference. You see, the Mobil 1 SAE 10W30 oil replaces many straight 30 oil compatible engines.

However, SAE J300 follows a viscometric with a set of numeral codes. You and we general people can find the right motor oilto run the engine with no damage for lack of viscosity flow.

One set is for colder temperature performance (0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W) and another set is for warmer temperature performance -8, 12, 16, 20, 30, 40, 50.  Now, according to engine type and compatibility, you should choose the oil.

Oil Consumption

While choosing a motor oil, you surely look for reduced consumption with superior performance. And for that, you must pick a good quality oil with lower consumption for a longer mileage benefit.

Generally, from SAE 30 oil vs SAE 10W30 oil, SAE 30 oil consumes more oil than the 10 W30 grade oil. To maintain the proper flow with retaining the thickness, it needs slightly more oil consumption. SAE30 oil might be economical to use with fewer additives for which people love to use it.

However, can you use car oil in a lawnmower? Did your mind ever come across this question? Then, the answer is yes. Some modern lawn mower engines use the 4 stroke engine type, and so some car oil like the Pennzoil SAE30 is compatible with an ambient temperature above 60°F, can be used in the lawnmowers (Zero-turn mowers and snow blowers).

So, get the one that your engine can swallow best.

SAE 30 And 10W30 Lawn Mower Oil

A significant comparison has been shown in the above discussion. Still, you are in a fix to grab a better bet for your lawn mower. Then it would be ideal to choose SAE 10W30  grade oil. It is compatible to use both in 4-cycle and 2-cycle conventional to modern engines.

However, many seem to be in confusion for SAE 30 vs 10W30 pressure washer oil. Well, here also the same terms and conditions apply. But some 4 stroke engine is also compatible with the straight 30 oil if it is detergent added one like the STP SAE30 with 4Cycle Oil Formula does.

What Are the Lawn Mower Low Oil Symptoms?

Suppose you are new with your lawnmower machine and can’t figure out lawn mower oil replacement time.Then, wait, we will teach you some tips to understand that it’s time for your lawn mower oil replacement.

Low Fuel Warning Light on the Dash

The most common and straightforward way to get low oil consumption is the warning light on the dashboard. There are warning lights in most modern lawnmowers as known as the safety switches light. Here you can find the low fuel warning lights up if your lawnmower engine oil runs low.

Engine Doing Squeaky Noise

Another warning symptom of low oil is the engine making a squeaky or cluttering sound. Most often, the blades make this noise. However,the reason for this type of noise can represent other engine issues also. But it would be better to have a check on the oil tank.

Engine Not Taking Start

Another most common symptom you can find is the engine not taking a start as usual due to not getting sufficient oil pressure. Well,this can also be because of other engine issues as well.

Oil Burning Smell

Well, the oil-burning smell can be another reason for low oil in the engine. And as there lacks sufficient oil flow resulting in fuel burning. In this case,you should immediately check the oil dipstick and the oil level as well.

What Type of Oil for Lawn Mower Engines?

In the case of choosing motor oil for a lawn mower engine, the burning question that arises is what type of oil should you use for lawn mower. The simple answer is the one that your lawnmower machine manual recommends. Then again, can you use car oil in a lawn mower?  Yes, any compatible caroil with the right grade is usable for lawnmower.

However, straight 30-grade oil is also usable for the typical 2 stroke engine mowers (push behind, zero-turn). If the lawn mower engine is a 4 cycle engine, SAE 10W30 or 5W30 oil areideal picks.

However, in the 2 cycle engine but for superior cold cranking, SAE 10W30 oil works much better than the SAE 30. If you want can check the in-depth discussion about the lawn mower engine oil type suggested with logical reasons.

Again, some may think that is synthetic oil good for lawn mower engines or not. In that case, for modern riding mower with 4 cycle engine can be compatible with the full synthetic oil with the right oil grade, of course.

How to Check Oil Level in Lawn Mower?

Checking the oil level in a lawnmower is the same as checking the oil level in a car engine. Whenever you think it’s the time for your oil replacement-

  • Open the plastic cap of the oil tank
  • Give a little push and then twist to open
  • Check the oil level. Make sure it is between the two oil indicator signs.
  • If not, then replace the oil filter first and then refill the oil tank.
  • No need to overfill or fill oil above the first indicator sign

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is SAE 30 the same as 10w30?

No, SAE 30 and SAE 10W30 are not the same except for the higher temperature viscosity code, I.e., 30.

After this side-by-side comparison, you may now sure enough of the difference between SAE 30 and 10W30. SAE 30 grade oil is a non-detergent single grade oil that is perfect for warmer temperature working. Conversely, the SAE 10W30 oil is muti- oil with sometimes additives, work greater for snowblower machine, starting the engine at colder region.

Is it OK to mix different weights of motor oil?

Mixing different grades of motor oil does not do any significant effects on the engine. Some say it sometimes increases the efficiency by mixing different grades of oils.

Can I Mix SAE 30 with 10W30?

As you can mix different grades of oil, of course, you can mix the SAE 30 with the 10W30 oil. It will bring no significant differences, no matter if you’re looking for engine oil for a lawn mower or other vehicles.

What Is the Lawn Mower Oil Capacity?

Here,you have to think either your lawn mower is the riding one type or the walk-behind type. For the walk-behind or push mowers, 15 Oz or 18Oz oil is enough to use. And in the riding mowers like the zero-turn, 64Oz or 48 Oz is basically needed.

Which is Thicker SAE 30 Or 10W30?

There is a slight difference between SAE 30 and 10W30 oil. The viscosity grade at a higher temperature is the same and acts almost the same at a higher temperature. But at a lower temperature, 10W30 oil performs better by getting thicker than other multi-grade oils.

Final Verdict

Comparing the oils, it’s time for bidding with the complete decisive facts. When it’s about SAE 30 vs 10W30, the debate still never goes on. But after today’s discussion, hopefully, you get the right pick for your engine.

This context is a fruit of the core research backed by the expert’s opinions and recommendations. So, have a read and get your engine the right oil to function well.