Sae 30 vs 10w30: Choosing the Right Oil

SAE 30 oil has a viscosity rating of 30. A motor oil usually has a rating between 0 and 50. viscosity means how much the oil itself can resist flow. The most common oil for use in lawn mower engines is SAE 30, but the safest choice is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What is the Difference Between SAE 30 vs 10w30? Generally, SAE 10W30 is an oil whose viscosity is SAE 10W at low temperature. The viscosity indicates how difficult it is for the oil to flow. And, on the other hand, SAE 30 is for high temperatures. Winter is represented by the W. It is common to use lawn mowers with motor oils as well, such as 10W-30 or 10W-40.

Therefore, SAE 30 and 10w30 are both different and have different uses.

Different Usage of SAE 30 and 10w30

sae 30 oil
sae 30 oil

Oil plays an important role from a small liquid-cooled engine to a heavily loaded motor vehicle. If you want to make the best possible oil choice for your lawn and garden substore or any other engine, there is no better option than straight 30 grade and 10W30 grade as they provide a similar grade 30 performance. On the other hand, SAE30 is relatively inexpensive and has fewer additives, for which people love it.

Both SAE 30 and 10W30 lubricants are useful for a variety of reasons. This is due to its thickness, which can be used any time of year. In addition, a wide range of temperatures can be handled by the 10W30.

Is Sae 30 The Same as 10w 30?

The automotive oil viscosity rating system, SAE 30, is the same as the engine oil viscosity rating system, SAE 10W30. Both systems use a scale of 1-5 with 1 being thin and 5 being thick. The main difference between the two ratings is that 10W30 is intended for use in diesel engines while 30 is standard for gasoline engines.

SAE 3010W-30
Viscosity at room temperature (70°F)30
Viscosity at 212°F (100°C)150
Viscosity at low temperatures (0°F)Not specified
Recommended useOlder engines, warm climates
API Service ClassificationSA, SB, SC, SD, SE

Sae 10w-30 Meaning

According to the SAE, 10W-30 is a standard oil for use in automotive and other industries. It is made up of ten weight percent synthetic base stocks and 30 weight percent petroleum-based additives. This oil is known for being resistant to wear and tear, providing long-term lubrication for engine parts.

The following are sectors in which SAE 30 and 10w30 are used:

Engine Oil

Older engines can be run with SAE30, while modern ones can run with 10W30. Also, the SAE30 is ideally suited for use in warmer climates, while the 10W30 can be used in a wide range of temperatures and is also suitable for colder climates.

SAE Engine OilSAE 5W-30SAE 10W-30SAE 15W-40SAE 20W-50
Viscosity at Cold Temperature (cP)5,00010,00015,00020,000
Viscosity at Hot Temperature (cP)30,00030,00040,00050,000
Recommended UseCold weather, fuel efficient vehiclesGeneral use, older vehiclesHeavy duty, off-road vehiclesHigh performance, older vehicles
API Service ClassificationSN, SM, SL, SJSM, SL, SJ, SHCH-4, CG-4, CF-4, CFSG, SF, CD, CC, CB

For engine oils, you may use synthetic 5W30 or 10W30 oils in all temperatures. Compared to conventional oils, synthetic oils offer superior protection for small engine vehicles.

The oil requirements for your engine will vary depending on the temperature you operate at. You should use SAE 30/SAE 10W-30 oil on most mowers and in most climates. Rather than the SAE30, the 10W30 offers better cold-weather starting AND is better for varied temperature ranges.

ISO Oil Measurement

Two different scales are used by SAE and ISO to measure viscosity. This is equivalent to ISO 32, ISO 46 and 68, and ISO 100, as SAE 10W is to ISO 32, SAE 20 to ISO 46, and SAE 30 to ISO 100. As well as straight weights, you can mix multiple grades of lubricant as well, such as SAE 10W30 and SAE 30W40. The summer is a great time for your straight 30.

ISO MeasurementDefinition
ISO 3405The standard for measuring the viscosity of lubricating oils at 40 degrees Celsius
ISO 6743-4The standard for classifying lubricating oils based on their viscosity
ISO 13357-2The standard for measuring the density of lubricating oils at 15 degrees Celsius
ISO 12185The standard for measuring the flash point of lubricating oils
ISO 12937The standard for measuring the pour point of lubricating oils
ISO 16232The standard for measuring the total base number (TBN) of lubricating oils
ISO 20884The standard for measuring the total acid number (TAN) of lubricating oils
ISO 20816The standard for measuring the water content of lubricating oils

Motor Oil

Motor oils designed for small four-stroke engines such as lawnmowers, generators, and other 4 stroke lawn and garden equipment are usually S.A.E. 30W (nondetergent).

A 30w-50 oil will be much thicker at colder temperatures than a 5w-30. Also, the viscosity of the oil varies with temperature, so a 5w-30 will be thinner at colder temperatures.

Measurement TypeDescription
WeightThe weight of the motor oil, typically measured in grams or pounds.
VolumeThe amount of liquid motor oil, typically measured in quarts, gallons, or liters.
ViscosityThe thickness of the motor oil, typically measured in SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) ratings such as 5W-30 or 10W-40.
API (American Petroleum Institute) ClassificationThe classification system used to determine the quality and suitability of motor oil for different types of engines.
TBN (Total Base Number)The measure of the acid neutralizing capacity of motor oil, indicating its ability to neutralize acids formed during combustion.
Flash PointThe temperature at which the motor oil will ignite and produce a flash of fire when exposed to an open flame.
Pour PointThe lowest temperature at which the motor oil will flow when it is poured from the container.

Lawn Mower Engine

Any lubricating oil with a straight 30 density will perform precisely in lawn mowers, tractors, and push mowers. The SAE 30 oil is suitable for a standard 2 cycle air-cooled engine.

Modern four-stroke engines, however, have a dilemma with conventional SAE 30 oils that lose viscosity during cold cranking. For a heat-sensitive engine to function at low temperatures, it must use viscosity grade oil. The right motor oil for them is SAE 10W30.

Oil Viscosity vs Temperature Chart

Oil ViscosityTemperature Chart
Low viscosityHigh temperature
Medium viscosityModerate temperature
High viscosityLow temperature


The viscosity of 30 works best for SAE-30 oil at warmer temperatures. However, 10W30 motor oil will help the engine start when it is cold.

With SAE 10W30 motor oil, the viscosity is maintained at lower temperatures, making it a logical choice. Performing at 100°C, SAE 30 oil provides similar performance to SAE 10W30 oil. The Mobil 1 SAE 10W30 oil is used to replace Straight 30 oil in many engines.

SAE 3010W30
Viscosity at 40°C150
Viscosity at 100°C12.5
Viscosity Index95
Pour Point-29°C
Flash Point230°C

Pressure Washer Pumps

Pressure washer pumps specifically require SAE 30 oil. In addition to preventing excessive friction caused by excessive wear, this type of oil will help your pressure washer pump to operate smoothly.

Alternatively, 10W30 is not recommended for pressure washer pumps, but it can be used if temperatures fall below 40 degrees F. You should use the 10W-30 oil to help your power washer start more smoothly.

SAE 3010W30
Viscosity at 40°C150 cSt
Viscosity at 100°C12.5 cSt
Viscosity Index150
Pour Point (°C)-29
Flash Point (°C)230
Fire Point (°C)240
TBN (mg KOH/g)10
Sulfated Ash (wt%)1.0
Zinc (ppm)1500
Phosphorus (ppm)1200
Recommended for Pressure Washer PumpsYes


In place of 10W30 oil, SAE 30 is perfectly fine, provided that the oil is kept at a temperature no lower than 50 degrees Celsius. The meaning of this is as follows. The oil in your car flows properly when it is at a normal temperature which means 100 degrees Celsius. The oil is less slippery when it cools down to 25C or thereabouts.

Oil Weight Chart

Oil WeightDescription
0W-20A very lightweight oil that is used in some newer cars and trucks that have smaller engines. It is designed to flow quickly in cold temperatures and provide excellent fuel economy.
5W-20A lightweight oil that is also used in newer cars and trucks with smaller engines. It provides similar benefits as 0W-20 oil, but with a slightly higher viscosity.
5W-30A versatile oil that can be used in a wide range of vehicles. It is designed to flow well in cold temperatures and provide good protection in hot temperatures. It is a popular choice for many car manufacturers.
10W-30A slightly heavier oil that is often used in older cars and trucks with larger engines. It provides good protection in hot temperatures and can help reduce engine wear.
15W-40A heavy-duty oil that is used in diesel engines and some heavy-duty gasoline engines. It provides excellent protection in high temperatures and heavy loads. It is not recommended for use in smaller engines.

Synthetic Oil Weight Chart

Synthetic Oil WeightSAE 5W-20SAE 5W-30SAE 10W-30SAE 10W-40
Viscosity at 40°C67 cSt71 cSt89 cSt99 cSt
Viscosity at 100°C11.7 cSt12.5 cSt14.5 cSt16.3 cSt
Viscosity Index156150147143
Pour Point (°C)-51-47-42-38
Flash Point (°C)227227227227
Fire Point (°C)238238238238

Oil Viscosity Chart Explained

Oil Viscosity ChartExplanation
ISOInternational Standards Organization
SAESociety of Automotive Engineers
0WVery low viscosity, flows easily in cold temperatures
5WLow viscosity, flows well in cold temperatures
10WMedium viscosity, suitable for cold temperatures
15WHigher viscosity, recommended for mild temperatures
20WHigh viscosity, recommended for warmer temperatures
30WVery high viscosity, recommended for hot temperatures
40WExtremely high viscosity, recommended for very hot temperatures

Oil Thickness Chart

Oil Thickness ChartComparison
SAE 20W-50Thick oil that is suitable for high temperature and high load conditions, commonly used in racing and high performance engines.
SAE 10W-30Thinner oil that is suitable for mild temperature and load conditions, commonly used in everyday driving and vehicles with lower performance engines.
SAE 5W-20Very thin oil that is suitable for extremely cold temperatures and low load conditions, commonly used in vehicles with smaller engines and in cold climates.
SAE 0W-20Ultra thin oil that is suitable for extremely cold temperatures and low load conditions, commonly used in newer vehicles with smaller engines and in extremely cold climates.

Sae 30 vs 10w30- Faq:

Can I Mix Sae 30 with 10w30?

One of the most common questions asked by car enthusiasts is “Can I use this oil with that other oil?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is often dependent on the specific make and model of the vehicle being serviced. However, there are a few general guidelines that can be followed when trying to mix different types of oils.

What is SAE 30 equivalent to?

SAE 30 is a specification for a gasoline engine oil. It was created in 1930 and has been updated several times. SAE 30 is equivalent to API SM. The most recent version, SAE 30J, was released in 2009.

Is SAE 30 oil synthetic?

The oil used in most automobiles today is known as SAE 30. Many people believe that this type of oil is synthetic, but the truth is that it contains both natural and synthetic components. The majority of the synthetic components are made from petrochemicals, but some natural oils also contain synthetic chemicals.

Can I use 5W-30 instead of 10w30 in my Honda lawn mower?

Can I use 5W-30 instead of 10w30 in my Honda lawn mower? The answer is yes, you can. 5W-30 is a lower viscosity oil than 10w30, and it will flow more easily through the engine. This means that it will help to protect the engine from corrosion and wear. Additionally, 5W-30 will provide better fuel economy than 10w30, since it runs at a lower temperature.

Depending on the number of grades, the oil is either single-grade or multigrade. The first is a single-grade or mono-grade oil, while the second is a multigrade one with multiple digit codes. Alternatively, there is a multigrade oil intended for use before and after W.


Make sure you use your engine’s recommended oil grade to keep it running smoothly. Any motor works better with oil than without it, as oil not only runs the engine but also lubricates the interior functions. It is therefore important to always ensure your car, lawnmower, or any other vehicle you own which has an engine is using the right type of oil.

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