Best Oil for a Snowblower: Your Guide to Snowblower Product Maintenance Needs

All snowblowers need some general maintenance to keep running as they are expected to, no matter whether it is an electric or gas engine option. But only gas-powered blowers require the use of engine oil, in particular, oil specific to a small, 4-cycle engine. Without the use of oil, you run the risk of seizing up your engine- rendering it useless for the rest of the season and most likely in need of complete replacement of the blower itself.

This article covers what general maintenance a gas blower requires, as well as what needs are specific to the correct use of oil. Engine oil basics are covered as well to help you better understand how and why oil works the way it does, and which is best for you. The best oil for a snowblower can handle the extreme winter weather and keep you running problem free!

5 Best Oil for a Snowblower Comparisons

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageBriggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Motor Oil
  • 4-cycle
  • 32-ounce
  • 5W-30 weighted oil
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byb2-table__imageArnold 4-Cycle Snow Thrower Oil
  • 4-cycle
  • 28-ounce
  • 5W-30 weighted oil
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byb2-table__imageHusqvarna 32-oz 4-Cycle 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Engine Oil
  • 4-cycle
  • 32-ounce
  • 5W-30 weighted oil
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byb2-table__imageToro 4-Cycle Winter Engine Oil 5W 30
  • 4-cycle
  • 20-ounce
  • 5W-30 weighted oil
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byb2-table__imageEXPLORER SAE 5W30 Synthetic Snow Thrower Engine Oil Case
  • 4-cycle
  • 28-ounce
  • 5W-30 weighted oil
Check The Price

General Snowblower Maintenance

Any tool you use to make your life a bit easier around your property will require some general maintenance if you want it to work as it should (and continue working for years to come). This is especially true of any machine that uses an engine of any sort.

The gas powered engines used in snowblowers are a 4-cycle design, meaning it requires separate tanks for gas and oil in order to keep the parts lubricated property, and running as it should. Before getting into the details of oil use and type, there are a few tips you need to take into account concerning your engine care, or all the best oil in the world won’t make any difference.

Spark plugs and air filter

  • Always have a clean fuel filter in place
  • Use a fuel stabilizer in fresh fuel for maximum power and prevention of clogs
  • Replace spark plugs yearly or as needed
  • Keep bearings lubricated to avoid strain on the engine

Along with the above, you always want to keep proper oil levels in your oil tank and make sure it is clean. This level should be checked after every 8 to 10 hours of use, and replaced at approximately 50 hours of use- and at the start of every season.

This is important because oil is a critical component to a properly running 4-cycle engine. A 4 cycle engine is very fuel efficient and provides torque as the cylinder/crankshaft cycles through the stages. This movement in the engine takes place within a crankcase and requires oil to lubricate the rotation and cool the friction between the moving parts. Without oil, this part will bind up and can ruin your engine- usually permanently.

4-Cycle, Engine Oil Basics

Pouring oil from a jug, shot on a whit background

 

If you aren’t too familiar with engine oils, you are probably wondering what all those numbers and letters on the packaging mean. These help determine both the quality and viscosity (or thickness of the oil) and are important for engine wear. These are consistent from one brand to the next. Understanding these labels can help you find the recommended oil for your engine.

First off, you need a 4-cycle engine oil. Not a 2 cycle, and not the kind you use for your vehicle. The 4-cycle label will be apparent on the bottle.

The most important thing to understand is the viscosity or thickness of your oil. This is especially true for an engine that is primarily run in below freezing temperatures. These are based on a scale set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which is where the letters SAE come from prior to your first set of numbers.

The first number represents the viscosity in cold temperatures. The lower the number, the colder the temperature it protects your engine at. For example, 5 designates a rating down to -25 degrees fahrenheit and indicates oil that flows better in cold weather rather than staying thick until warmed up. This creates efficiency when starting and running your engine.

The second number represents viscosity in normal operating temperatures. For example, 30 is a common number found for most engines except in the hottest of climates.

You may also see an uppercase ‘W’ in there located after the first number. This ‘W’ indicates that the oil is designed to work in cold winter temperatures.

Synthetic Oils

EXPLORER SAE 5W30 Synthetic Snow Thrower Engine Oil Case

You also will often see the label ‘synthetic’. In this case, synthetic oils are of higher quality, and more sought after product. Synthetic refers to an oil that has not only been refined, but distilled, purified, and broken down to basic molecules to remove impurities. These have better levels of protection and overall performance, plus they keep your engine running cleaner- which is important in a 4-cycle engine that recycles the oil that moves through the engine- rather than burn it off.

How to Choose the Best Oil for Your Machine

Because snow blowers are winter machines, you will almost exclusively use an SAE 5W-30 weight oil. This ensures you have the best all-temperature protection that keeps your machine starting hassle-free in low temps and provides efficient oil consumption.

Top 5 Snowblower Engine Oil Reviews

The following 4-cycle engine oil picks are from dependable brands and are made specifically for snowblower use. Anyone of these choices is a decent oil to use, with many designed specifically for their own snowblower product.

Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Motor Oil

Briggs & Stratton SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Small Engine Motor Oil
  • 4-cycle
  • 32-ounce
  • 5W-30
Check The Price

 

Briggs & Stratton is THE name that manufactures a large amount of the 4-cycle engines you find within a snowblower- no matter what brand it is. Therefore, it makes sense that the company has its own 5W-30 weighted oil to use in their own engines, as well as any other 4-cycle. The 32-ounce bottle is synthetic oil, providing some of the best efficiency, stability, and engine wears control.

Arnold 4-Cycle Snow Thrower Oil

Arnold 4-Cycle Snow Thrower Oil
  • 4-cycle
  • 28-ounce
  • 5W-30
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Arnold is a trusted generic supplier of outdoor equipment and equipment fluids. Their cold weather, 5W-30 weighted oil comes in a 28-ounce plastic pouch for waste reduction and is specially formulated for winter use. It also protects against rust and corrosion to provide efficient starting no matter what conditions you are working in.

Husqvarna 32-oz 4-Cycle 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Engine Oil

Husqvarna 32-oz 4-Cycle 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Engine Oil
  • 4-cycle
  • 32-ounce
  • 5W-30
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The Husqvarna name has long been synonymous with dependable products, and their oil is no exception. This synthetic blend provides top quality, 5W-30 weighted oil and is considered a superior choice for cold weather performance. Designed to reduce engine wear and scuffing, consistent use of this product should keep your engine in proper running shape.

Toro 4-Cycle Winter Engine Oil 5W 30

Toro 4-Cycle Winter Engine Oil 5W 30
  • 4-cycle
  • 20-ounce
  • 5W-30
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Toro is s strong snowblower industry brand name and sells their machines with their own oil, prompting many consumers to continue using the brand. As is, it stands as a dependable 5W-30 weighted oil that can be used in any 4-cycle engine for consistent cold weather use. Designed to help protect the engine and keep it running smoothly, this smaller, 20-ounce bottle to use for topping existing oil off rather than replacing the entire tank.

EXPLORER SAE 5W30 Synthetic Snow Thrower Engine Oil Case

EXPLORER SAE 5W30 Synthetic Snow Thrower Engine Oil Case
  • 4-cycle
  • 12-28 ounce
  • 5W-30
Check The Price

 

Explorer is a generic name that reflects a quality oil at a value price. Sold by the case (12 – 28-ounce bottles), this 5W-30 weighted synthetic oil is designed specifically for below freezing temperatures. Not only is designed for easy startup and engine protection but also helps protect against engine moisture and dirt.

Conclusion

Although variances in 4-cycle engine oil are truly small in nature, choosing between a synthetic, synthetic blend, or quality oil may make a difference in the long run for older engines- rather than new. Otherwise, these 5W-30 blends all compare relatively equal to one another in reference to claims of keeping engines running smoothly through the season and not having to replace too often.

It is safe to say that unless you specifically want the same brand oil as your blower, any of these will work effectively to keep your engine running clean and powerfully when you need it. Many people choose an oil brand and stick with it for all their engine needs- and we would love to hear which brands are your favorite below. As always, please share!

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