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A comparison of SAE 30 and 10W30 engine oils is shown in the picture.

SAE 30 vs 10W30: Can I Use SAE 30 Instead of 10W30?

You may already be familiar with SAE 30 and 10W30 engine oils; these are the most typical and widely used oil for lawnmowers, engines, and vehicles. But most of us don’t know their actual usability and also don’t know which one is great for which purpose.

Every engine oil has a rating between 0 to 50. Similarly, SAE 30 and 10W30 also have tremendous viscosity differences. In our SAE 30 vs 10W30 comparison guide, we will discuss all these vital points of both oils in detail and suggest which one may be perfect for you.

So let’s begin our comparison guide, but first, let’s get acquainted with both standard oils separately.

SAE 30 Motor Oil Overview

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The SAE 30 engine oil is single grade oil; it is called single grade because it has one viscosity grade, a viscosity rating of 30.

SAE 30 grade oil is commonly used in smaller cooled engines like lawnmowers, tractors, chain saws, and it is the best oil option for use in higher temperature engines.

SAE 10W30 Engine Oil Overview

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The SAE 10W30 is called multiple grade oil because it has two viscosity rates and is able to withstand both warm and cold temperatures. The 10W30 identification on oil means 10W viscosity rated when the engine is cold temperature and 30 viscosity rated when the engine is hot.

10W30 engine oil is the best option for heavy engines; one of its most practical advantages is that it is able to withstand the warmest temperature without any catastrophic effects.

SAE 30 vs 10W30: Differences Explained

SAE 30 vs 10W30

In this section, we will explain the key differences of both SAE 10W30 vs SAE 30 in detail, part by part, so that you can easily understand all the differences.


First, if we compare the density of both oils, then we can see that SAE 30 oil is far ahead. Because SAE 30 engine oil per cubic meter is 875.4 kilograms. SAE 30 engine oil density is equal to 875.4 kg/m³; 30℃ at normal atmospheric pressure.

On the other hand, 10W30 density at 60℉ is 0.875*10³ kg/m³, which is used for heavy engines.


Viscosity refers to the thickness of the oil. You can see different types of viscosity engine oil. Basically, this oil concentration has a significant effect on operating the engine at different temperatures.

Here 10W30 is double grade meaning the oil’s viscosity is 10W when the engine is cold temperature and 30 when the engine is hot. On the other hand, SAE 30 is single grade oil, which has a viscosity rating of 30. It has only one viscosity grade; that’s why it is also called monograde.

Because of higher viscosity in lower temperatures, SAE 10W30 has 10W thickness and SAE 30 at a higher temperature. 


Undoubtedly SAE 10W30 will be far ahead in temperature comparison; there are many reasons for this. SAE 30 gives excellent performance in warm temperatures but is not so perfect for cold temperatures.

SAE 10W30 is multi-grade standard engine oil, which is suitable for 10W viscosity at low temperature, and its SAE 30 is ideal for warm temperature, due to which 10W30 performs excellent at any season.

Can You Use SAE 30 Instead of 10W30?

In most cases, users ask this question; many users use SAE 30 instead of 10W30. This is one of the biggest mistakes. You can already guess the difference between the two standard oils from our earlier discussion at least a little bit and understand that one should be used instead of the other as an alternative or not.

You can not use SAE 30 engine oil instead of 10W30 because SAE 30 is a single viscosity, whereas SAE 10W30 has multiple viscosity. In addition, natural oils change their viscosity with temperature, due to which SAE 30 oil becomes thinner at a higher temperature.

Related Comparison Guide: Rotella T6 5W40 vs 15W40

FAQs of Oil SAE 30 vs 10W30 Engine Oil

Is SAE 30 the same as 10W30?

SAE 30 and 10W30 are not similar engine oil, SAE 30 being single grade oil, having a viscosity of 30, that’s why it is the best engine oil for high temperature.

On the other hand, 10W30 is double grade oil, which is excellent for both low and higher temperatures. Due to this, your engine can handle any temperature after using it. And these are the main differences between SAE 30 and 10W30 engine oils.

Can you mix SAE 30 and 10W30?

The short answer is “No” you can’t mix together because they are different grades, and mixing will result in loss of oil efficiency, and in the future, you may face many engine troubles.

In this case, if you need to mix, then if you want, you can mix with the same grade of oil. For example, SAE 30 is a single grade oil, so if you want, you can mix it with another single grade oil such as SAE 40. Similarly, SAE 10W30 is double grade oil, so if you want, you can mix it with another dual grade oil like 10W40.

Which oil grade is ideal for Lawnmowers?

As you can see, a lawnmower is usually constantly worked in warmer conditions, due to which it will necessarily need machine oil that is suitable for the warm temperature.

According to most experts, both SAE 10W30 and SAE 30 are the best oils for lawnmowers. Moreover, even at higher temperatures, this standard oil can hold its ability and provide efficient performance without being too thick; you can also use it for various generators.

Final Verdict

Right engine oil grade can improve your engine’s performance in different temperatures; that’s why when you go to engine oil selection, it is very important to know about the differences between SAE 30 vs 10W30.

SAE 30 and 10W30 are both perfect for different purposes, though you can use SAE 10W30 at both low and high temperatures. However, it is best to use the recommended grade oil of your engine; this will make your engine perform more smoothly.

Hopefully, our SAE 10W30 vs SAE 30 complete comparison guide has helped you a lot to know in detail about the differences between them. Also, helps to decide which one is most suitable for your lawnmowers or engine.