With so many types of fuel offered on the market today, it can be hard to know which kind of gas is okay to use in your Craftsman mower.
I’m going to share what type of gas to use and why, so you don’t compromise the life of your Craftsman mower by using the wrong gas. You don’t want to ruin your investment by choosing the wrong gas.
Most Craftsman lawn mowers will have four-stroke engines that use unleaded gasoline with an octane level of 87 or higher with no greater than a 10% ethanol content.
This article addresses 4-stage (4-cycle) engines. While most Craftsman lawn mowers sold today use 4-stage engines, there are many Craftsman push mowers with 2-cycle engines still being used that require a gas and oil mix. Read more about 2-cycle fuel requirements in “This is the Gas to Use in a Push Mower“.
Keep reading and I’ll share more details on the best Craftsman mower gas to buy, how to select gas, and the best gas storage procedure to keep your gas fresh.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Tips for Choosing Gas for Your Craftsman Lawn Mower
It is best to run good fuel through your lawn mower to ensure your Craftsman continues to run well without clogging up its fuel system. Follow these tips when choosing gas for your Craftsman lawn mower.
- Do not use fuel containing ethanol at percentages greater than 10%
- Do not store your fuel outside as it can collect moisture
- Choose a gas that has an octane level of 87 or higher
- Only buy quantities of fuel that can be used within 30 days
Run Fresh Gas through your Craftsman Lawn Mower
Gas only stays fresh for about 30 days before it begins to break down and becomes less effective. It is best to only run fresh gas through your Craftsman so only purchase quantities of fuel that can be used within 30 days.
Buy gasoline from a busy gas station. You want to go to the gas station you always see vehicles pumping gas during the day. Bypass the small fuel stations without much activity because you don’t know how long their gas has been sitting around.
Avoid Gas with High Ethanol Content When Buying Craftsman Mower Gas
Adding ethanol to fuel, in general, has been an advancement to our fuels making them more environmentally friendly and beneficial. However, ethanol is not the best solution for small engines.
You will often see a tag or sticker on the fuel pump that shows the level of ethanol used in gasoline. This level typically is between 10 and 15 percent.
You need to avoid purchasing gas that has an ethanol content greater than 10% for your Craftsman mower. Choose an unleaded gas that is marketed at 10% or less. This type of gas may also be known as E10 gas in your area.
Why Ethanol Is Not Good for Your Craftsman Mower
Ethanol works well in most motor vehicles, but it is damaging to use in lawn mower engines. Ethanol-based gasoline attracts moisture from the air which will cause gas to separate from ethanol.
- Gas sinks to the bottom of the tank.
- Ethanol that separates from the gas can cause ignition problems in your Craftsman lawn mower when it runs through the fuel system.
- Ethanol is corrosive and very high levels of ethanol can burn very hot. This can cause your lawn mower engine to overheat causing engine damage.
- The moisture that evaporates in the fuel can evaporate leaving deposits that can clog your fuel system.
Never use a gas marketed at E85. This gas contains 85% ethanol. This type of gas will cause damage to your small engine.
Use High-Quality Fuel in Your Craftsman Mower
Small engine manufacturers recommend using a fuel with an ethanol content no greater than 10%. This is sufficient if you are always using fresh gas within 30 days and are keeping your fuel system and carburetor clean.
If you are able to spend a little extra money to purchase a higher-quality gas for your Craftsman, I highly recommend it.
Fuels with less ethanol will help reduce the amount of deposits that build up in your carburetor and other parts of your fuel system. This should reduce the amount of time you have to spend cleaning or replacing your carburetor.
I like using premium unleaded fuel or a recreation fuel (REC-90) for Craftsman mower gas. You can find premium fuel at most gas stations. It is a little more difficult to find recreational fuel. Many of the larger gas stations will offer recreational fuel.
If you are worried about spending the extra money on premium unleaded gas and not being able to use it within 30 days, you can add a fuel additive to stabilize the fuel.
I like a product called Sea Foam because it doesn’t only stabilize the fuel, it also cleans the fuel system and reduces moisture buildup.
You can read more about the advantages of using Sea Foam as a fuel additive in my article “Why Use Sea Foam Fuel Additive in a Lawn Mower”.
How to Store Unused Gas for Later Use in Your Craftsman Lawn Mower
Use a Plastic Gas Can
Don’t just use any container to mix and store gas because many plastics will begin to break down once the gas is added to it. Use a plastic gas can designed to store gas. This gas can from Amazon works well.
Add a Fuel Additive
Add a fuel additive to the gas in your gas can to stabilize your fuel. Follow the directions on the package of your fuel additive.
In Summary – Craftsman Lawn Mower Gas
Purchasing gas and storing it is a relatively simple process. Here are the basic items to keep in mind when you purchase gas for your Craftsman mower:
- Buy fresh fuel from a busy gas station
- Use fuel within 30 days
- Avoid high ethanol percentages – greater than 10%
- Buy unleaded gas with an octane level of 87 or greater
- Rotate gas using the old fuel first – eliminating fuel sitting around too long
- Use a fuel stabilizer as needed
- Refer to your Craftsman owner’s manual for additional help