What is the best oil degreaser for cleaning hands?

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Best hand cleaner to remove grease and oil

When I was a young lad I used to work in the local butcher as a cleaner.

I'd clean the machines that cooked fat and mince which was turned into all kinds of things.

I'd clean the mincer.

I'd clean the tools & floors.

And I'd get the maggots out of the waste bins using chlorine to kill them all.

Despite using gloves at various times, at the end of my shift, my hands were stinky as. I'd clean my oily hands with a soap degreaser. 

It was the best stuff and it smelled great. I just can't for the life of me remember it's name. 

Now, years later as a real adult who cleans lawn mowers, uses chainsaws, and does the odd DIY car repair, I fully appreciate how a good degreaser can keep hands clean free of oil and gosh knows what else I can get on my hands.

I've also come to realize that most workshops, mechanic floors, and factories seem to use specialized hand cleaners because when time is money, there's not much point wrestling with a bar of soap at the tap when you could be getting onto the next job ticket.

Sure there are plenty of home remedies you can try to clean your hands (baking soda and lemon solutions spring to mind or using a spray of WD40 across the hands...oddly enough, rubbing your hands with some sugar before you add soap can work too) but for this hand cleaning gentleman, I want the heavy-duty product, especially if I've been doing some mechanical repairs!

One thing you're gonna have to learn is that for some reason, the most popular degreasers have orange in them. We presume this is related to marketing initiative where it was deemed that 'orange' would be the manly scent that men would be OK within their oil degreasers.

Not melon.

Not lime.

Not lemon.

Orange.

great cleaner for oily hands

And so my citrus orientated friend, let's check out Permatex Fast Orange Smooth:

best hand soap for cleaning oily hands

It's kind of the perfect consumer product. Biodegradable, waterless, petroleum solvent-free. It contains no harsh chemicals, petroleum solvents or ammonia (which means no stinging cuts and abrasions which can occur after a heavy workday).

Even though it smells of oranges, Permatex Fast Orange is fortified with aloe, lanolin, glycerin to lovingly condition the skin. Moisturizers are added to replenish the skin of the natural oils that can get stripped out.

But what about its cleaning power?

Permatex boasts that it's product will remove the toughest dirt, oil, grease, grime, paint, soil, printers ink, epoxies, paint, rubber cement, gasket, and even tile cement.

It comes in a 1-gallon container with an easy-to-use pump dispenser.

Check the price on Amazon:

The second of our orange scented hand cleaners is GoJo's Natural Orange Industrial hand cleaner with pumice.

Yes, it's orange but it's full of gritty bits of pumice which will scrub your hands to help clean a broad range of industrial soils, dirt, and grease:



GOJO Natural doesn't have any harsh solvents so it is fairly soft on your hands.

Gojo has been in the business for over 70 years so if the success of a company depends on the quality of their products, you can be sure GOJO's hand cleaners actually work.

Gojo's hand cleaner is definitely for removing oils, grease, and grime. It is not suited for removing paint, dye or adhesives.
zorange zalpon professional hand cleaner
The third orange cleaner is the heavy duty Rozalex’s Zalpon Zorange.

It's a mouthful of a name but that's the point. Zalon Zorange or simply Zorange is an extra heavy-duty hand cleaner containing natural orange oil, pumice and esters.

It's designed for the removal of the most ingrained oils, greases, paints, inks, tar, and general dirt and grime.

It also features pumice pieces and esters to give superior performance over other cleaners and when coupled with moisturizers to relieve hard-worn skin and an obvious orange fragrance it leaves the hands feeling fresh and clean.

There's an alternative to these kinds of degreasers, you can choose to use wipes - if you need oiled removed then a heavy-duty cleaning wipe might just be what you need to get the cleaning job done. These are also brilliant for cleaning tools and parts and engines.

Check out these Brute Strength Wipes:

best wipes for hands

Actual users who've bought Brute Strength Wipes on Amazon have used and reviewed the wipes stating great cleaning results:

'Cuts through grease, soap scum leaves a nice scent.'

'These are great, they clean up well and don't leave a film like feel like some other wipes do. I will be buying more of these.'

'I like how these wipes are thicker, they seem to hold up better and hold more soap.'

'These are durable and cut through engine oil, grease, grime really quick. We use them in our airplane hangar where there isn't easy access to sinks.'

Clearly then wipes are more versatile than just for cleaning hands but are good for working out in the field, out of the office or just for being left in the truck for those moments when you just need to clean some goo off something.

Check out the price on Amazon:

Can I use a chainsaw to quarter an animal such as a lamb or deer?

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Chainsaws are not just for chopping down trees for firewood.

You can actually use them for a variety of tasks but one of the oddest ones we've thought of is using a saw to quarter a beast such as a deer or a sheep.

Say you are doing some homekill and you need to chop your beast up, then a chainsaw will make er.... 'mincemeat' out of the animal.

Can you see what is wrong with butchering a beast in this scenario?

Now forget thoughts of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I know you're thinking about how the meat will get imbued with quality bar and chain oil.

And that meat will then taste disgusting because have you ever tried such stuff? It's not for human consumption.

But do you know what is for human consumption?

Vegetable oil!

So why not give that a go to help carve up the cow?

First, of oil, this is gonna be a bit messy.

So you'll need to drain the standard bar oil from your chainsaw. Replace that with vegetable oil and run it a bit until you're confident that the standard oil has been flushed out.

You may have also already cleaned your chain to make it free from oil.

The real question we should be asking ourselves is do we really want to use our precious chainsaw to carve up a deer's hind?

It seems unhygienic but the truth is, you can do it.

If you do decide to go down this path, be safe and wear protective gear as you normally would when using a chainsaw and watch out for flying bone pieces, so wear eyewear.

Best electric battery powered lawn mower in 2021

best cordless gas free lawn mower


Choosing a battery powered push lawn mower for home use in 2021


Just as there are many ways to skin a cat, there are many ways to cut grass.

  • You've got your standard push mower that runs on gas
  • You've got manual mowers where you gotta push them along
  • You've got electric mowers that plug into the mains
  • Using a pair of scissors if you have a lot of time...

And in this modern world, you've got battery powered lawnmowers.

A battery-powered lawn mower? 

Really?

Yep, today's technologies mean there are lithium batteries powerful enough to turn the blades to cut grass. If Teslas and Swifts cars can drive around town all day on battery power, lawnmowers can cut grass! 

This means you can have the best 'clean green' cutting experience as an alternative to using gas.

Here's our top three picks which are Amazon best sellers:


While petrolheads and Obi-Wan might love maintaining their engines by adding oil and replacing spark plugs, there's many a person out there who simply wants to mow the lawns as quickly and without any stress or maintenance fuss.

An electric mower is ideal for those who are slowing down in life and don't want to have to pull start a mower 15 times before it kicks into life or run over the cable and cutting it!

With an electric lawn mower, you charge the battery, turn the mower on, and you are cutting your grass in no time.

A cordless electric mower is ideal for mowing small and medium-sized yards and lawns. With no petrol or cords to worry about, they are very portable due to their lightness. 

A self-propelled mower also makes this chore even easier.

How long does a cordless lawn mower battery last?


While you might be able to mow your lawns in 30 minutes, a best quality battery should last up to at least an hour, ideally 90 minutes.

Such a range should give you enough time to do the front and back and maybe your neighbor's lawns and the curbside berm too!!

What is the best battery powered lawn mower in 2021?


As you might have suspected, the major brands such as Dewalt, Black and Dekker, Ego and Ryobi have done their best to capitalize on the battery innovation market and so there is a fairly broad range of products to choose from.

You can cast your purchase decision into price and performance meaning you'll be able to find a mower to suit your budget.

That said, battery performance is the key measure on which you should make your purchase decision. At a bare minimum, you will want to consider a battery that when fully charged will last at least an hour. If you have a larger lawn, you'll probably want 90 minutes (usually a 7.5 Ah battery will reach perform at this level).

You'll also want to consider the kind of battery and to cut to the chase, you'll want to make sure your mower features a lithium-ion battery. They are lighter than traditional lead-based batteries meaning they are easier to push about. They also charge quickly and efficiently and will also have a longer life span. 

While batteries that are quick to charge are ideal, I reason that if you mow your lawn and then charge the battery, you'll be ready to cut next time you need to - and if that's the case, it doesn't matter how long it takes to charge the battery. Unless of course, you forget to charge it... but wait, most mowers will come with two batteries...

So with that in mind, here are some options that you may wish to consider:

greenworks cordless lawnmower best

Greenworks PRO 21-Inch 80V Cordless Lawn Mower featuring a 4.0 AH battery 

A stylish looking mower, this sharp cutter from Greenworks has the following specifications:

  • Up to 60 minutes of run time with a fully charged 4.0AH Battery
  • 4.0AH battery and charger included. 
  • Has a maximum cutting height 1-3/8 inches and a minimum cutting height of 3-1/4 inches
  • Greenworks brushless motor provides your tool with longer run-time, more torque and more power. This has the benefit of less wear and tear, extending the life-time of the mower.
  • Smart Cut Load sensing technology. Versatile 3-in-1 discharge capabilities allow for rear discharge, mulching and side discharge


Greenworks boast that this 21-inch cordless lawn mower features a durable steel deck, large 10-inch rear wheels, and Smart Cut(TM) load sensing technology. Load sensing tech means the lawn mower can tell when it's got to do some hard work (longer grass) and will amp up the power from the battery to the engine. Even though it's a handy feature, all practised lawn mowers know you just need to simply slow down your pushing rate when tasked with tall or thick overgrown grass to minimize the chance of an engine cut out. 

Lightweight and easy to use (heck, it's a lawn mower), it has a single lever height adjustment and 3-in-1 operation for mulching, bagging, and discharging. It's so light, you can easily store this vertically, meaning more floor space in your shed!

Designed for durability and heavy-duty jobs, it features a brushless motor that delivers the power and performance of a 160cc gas engine. 

A real con perhaps is that this machine is not self-propelled. 

Don't take the manufacturer's word on all this guff, however.

Here are some genuine reviews from buyers on Amazon who have bought and used this mower. This is the real test of judgment, people with skin in the game:

'Mower was light enough to lug it down alone to the basement for Winter and back up for Spring. Absolutely no preparation needed (no gas burn off, stabilizer, spark plugs, filters, etc.), aside from blowing off old grass clippings and covering for dust (cover interchanged with snow blower).'

'No messy, smelly gas or oil needed. No nauseating exhaust! The electric motor is far quieter than a gas engine; my toddlers fell asleep fine during my mowing. There are none of the headaches of maintaining a gasoline engine: buy/store/pour jugs of gasoline, buy and keep engine oil topped off, buy fuel stabilizers, deal with spills, clean/replace spark plugs, burn off excess gasoline for off-season storage, etc.'

'The mower is very easy to push (note it’s not self-powered), so I speed-walked most of the time. It’s easy to turn 180-degrees for parallel mowing. The blades cut very near to the outer edge of the wheels (see attached picture), so there’s minimal need for overlap. There’s a rubber rear skirt to protect you from any rock or debris projectiles, which is a godsend for my large yard, full of landscape stones and sweet gum tree spike-balls.'

'The GreenWorks is superior quality in every respect, I don't even know where to begin. The single lever height adjustment is something I didn't consider that important when comparing alternatives, but something you really appreciate once you have it. The variable speed on the mower is really an awesome feature. When going through light grass you save energy, and when going through heavy grass it makes the mower not stall. The gasoline-powered mower would stall almost every lap on the lower part of our property, where the grass seems to grow thicker. The electric mower has not stalled even once, ever. By the same token, starting the mower with a button instead of pulling the cord is a dream too.'

'My experience with the mower and the blower which I purchased together has been just great. They mow and blow just like my old gas powered tools. I'm never going back to gas!!'

'Cuts grass as tall as the motor housing. Be prepared to go slow though. When I did manage to kill it in thick grass nearly as tall as the motor (well above the front wheels), it likes to wait a few seconds before starting again. Starts right up (until the battery is out of juice).'

'To turn on, you push and hold the green button on the upper-right of the handle, then grasp the green lever arm together with the handle bar, then let go of the button. When you release the lever, the mower turns off completely; there is no idle. To restart, you’ll need to repeat the hold-button and grasp-lever routine. There is no cord-yanking involved.'

'I purchased the mower with the 4ah 80v battery. This is the best lawn mower I have had. We live in Costa Rica and mow the lawn year round, our property is about 1/4 acre and has a steep hill. The battery lasts as long or as longer as a tank of gas on the mower it replaces, that was a Poulan Pro 6.25 hp with California compliant emissions.'

If those reviews, float your boat, check out the price on Amazon.

snapper briggs stratton lawn mower cordless


Snapper Electric Cordless 19-Inch Lawnmower Kit with two batteries & a rapid Charger

A popular seller on Amazon, the beauty of this mower is it features a Briggs and Stratton lithium ion battery!

The Snapper XD 82V Max* 19” Cordless walk mower is built for durability and ease of use. The 19” and 21” walk models feature a steel 3-in-1 mowing deck, providing mulch, side discharge or bagging options.

You can get the job done efficiently by being able to mow up to 45-minutes** off a single charge of a 2 Ah battery. If you desire long run times, you'll need to swap out with a with separate 4Ah or 5Ah battery).

The Snapper is a very quiet, efficiently operating machine making it a good choice for anyone that just wants to get the lawns done with little fuss. 








  • Powered by a Briggs & Stratton 82V Max Lithium-Ion 2Ah, 4Ah, or 5Ah battery.
  • 3-in-1 steel mowing deck is ready to mulch, bag or side discharge. The included large grass bagger fits about 2.1 cubic feet of grass clippings.
  • Compact vertical storage capability allows you to store your mower out of the way.
  • Features easy push button starting mode and a brush less motor meaning less maintenance for you.
  • Single lever height-of-cut adjustment allowing you to choose from 7 different cutting heights.
  • Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 82-volts. Nominal voltage is 72.


  • snapper cordless lawnmower

    Again, those specs look solid enough and merit consideration for purchase, but what about the road testers, the weekend warriors who have walked many miles behind the Snapper?


    'First off, everything about this mower SCREAMS quality and durability. Batteries??? OMG. I am wondering if they're not actually ZPMs from Stargate Atlantis!

    For those of you who cannot appreciate the reference, suffice to say, they are a very good size, and have a real good quality heft to them- along with a little button to show you how much power is left. There are two of them, and they charge in less than 30 mins.

    Use one up, charge it while you use the other, or weed whack, or take a break. The choice is yours. And btw, the battery does not slowly lose power and then slowly taper off to a barely spinning blade: It goes full strength until it's depleted. I really like that.'

    'This mower cut like a champ. One pass was enough. there was NOTHING left standing. Not a blade of grass, not a weed.'

    'I was using the rear bagger, which functioned superbly. Why the bagger? Because I was certain the mulching mode would be a joke. I mean, an electric mower that mulches? Sure. When pigs fly.
    Well, the pigs have flown the coop. This thing also mulches very well.'

    'Did the whole front yard and part of the backyard on the first battery, and I am particular. I should have taken pictures of my backyard...lotta weeds, thick stalks, and weed bushes. The Snapper absolutely DESTROYED them. Keep in mind that the low setting IS pretty low. You might want to start off at the second or third lowest setting and see what your cut looks like.'

    'The batteries charge extremely fast and last the whole 45 minutes each, when they're dead, they're dead. No power loss toward the end.'

    'It effortlessly cuts my thick grass, is very easy to push and maneuver, and I'm really enjoying how quiet it is compared to my previous gas mower. I couldn't be happier with all aspects of this mower and its performance.'

    So, see for yourself how impressive it is on Amazon.

    DEWALT DCMW290H1 40V MAX 3-in-1 Cordless Lawn Mower



    best dewalt 40v battery lawnmower


    We love Dewalt. It's a tried and true brand. Have you tried their work site fan? Mint. 

    Anyways, the DEWALT DCMW290H1 40V MAX 3-in-1 Cordless Lawn Mower features a powerful 40V MAX brushless motor that can cut up to 1/4 acre. 

    The mower is a 3-in-1 battery powered lawn mower which means you can mulch, bag, and discharge clippings out the back. 

    Its metal deck gives it durability which is great for those wary of the trend to plastic models. 

    This lawn mower also features a single-lever height-adjust system so you can easily change blade height. The handle also folds to allow for compact storage.

    As you would expect from the Dewalt system, the battery is compatible with their line of 40V MAX DEWALT outdoor power equipment.

    Here are the specifications:

    • Powerful Brushless motor for high power output
    • 3-IN-1: mulching, bagging, and rear discharging all-in-one
    • Heavy duty 20 in. Metal deck
    • Single lever Height adjust ranging from 1.5 - 3.4 in
    • Folding handle and lift handles make for easy transport and compact storage

    The battery is very simply able to be taken out for charging:

    easy to change battery dewalt lawn mower

    Here's some reviews from people who have pushed the Dewalt across their yard:

    'I really like this mower. I have generally been skeptical of battery-powered large appliances, having never owned anything rechargeable larger than a cordless hammer drill. A weed whacker and leaf blower converted me enough to risk buying my first electric mower. It worked like a charm right out of the box.'

    'I charged the battery overnight and mowed the front and back of my modest quarter-acre block *just* before the battery died. I've since mowed again twice with the same result and it handled it well both times. very easy to stop and start light and with small rubber wheels so it's easy to push and turn, it has several simple but effective safety features, all controls are large, robust and easy to operate even with gloves on. No more hard starts, strenuous cord pulling, cans of gas in the shed or oil dripping on the floor.'

    'Able to mow my back yard on a single charge easily. Lightweight mower folds up for easy storage and transport. Built-in safety features is a nice bonus.'

    'This is an amazing piece of equipment. I couldn’t be happier. Hardly any setup right out of the box. Cuts better than my past gas mowers. Runs smooth and quiet. I’ll never go back to gas. I also have string trimmer, chainsaw, and handheld blower. The whole line is awesome. What's the best lawn mower battery charger?'

    If those honest reviews sound like you could be onto a winner, check out the options on Amazon.

    Battery powered lawn mower maintenance tips







    Best Crypto Coin Wallet Hardware for Bitcoin & Ethereum

    Saturday, October 30, 2021

    Bitcoin started as an idea that many people dismissed as a passing internet fancy. A cryptocurrency that could be an alternative form of payment? 


    A currency that would become a coin that you could buy a Tesla with?


    Blockchain this, blockchain that, *suddenly* Ethereum is on the scene as a genuine contender to Bitcoin. 


    Not to mention the other 'coins' doing their best to herd the other cryptocurrencies off at the pass. 


    Some players have made millions. Some have paid off their mortgages and won't work another day in their life.


    You?

    best crypto hardware wallet 

    You.

    You are probably are just here to protect your initial investment into Ethereum from hackers and those that would rather they have their coins than you.

    So if you want to free yourself from those that practice the dark arts of cybercrime, the best way to protect your coin wallet is to keep it offline in a crypto coin hardware wallet.

    So why not check out the Trezor which keeps your investments safe and away from prying eyes.

    The Trezor Model T is a hardware device that securely stores your private keys to your digital assets, from cryptocurrencies to passwords. You can enjoy total security and easy access to your digital identity when you need it. This is a must for anyone who uses crypto in daily life and wants to protect their digital identity against threats.

    Designed for your confidence and ease-of-mind, the Model T features a touchscreen, giving you an intuitive and convenient interface to interact directly with the device to verify and approve all operations and transactions.

    The Trezor comes with everything you need: a USB cable, User Manual, and Recovery Seed Cards.

    You would be smart to take into consideration the experiences of Trezor users:

    "Trezor is open source and has the most competent team in the crypto hardware wallet game. Ledger is closed source and clueless. Read the security disclosures on trezor.io where they talk about all the vulnerabilities that have ever affected Trezor devices and how they fixed them. No other hardware wallet company provides this kind of transparency. Trezor actively works with the security researchers who have hacked Trezor devices to quickly implement fixes and prevent future vulnerabilities."

    "Easy to setup, amazing user-interface, both on the website and cold wallet, has given me peace of mind, since Trezor wallets are more secure than Ledgers, due to Trezor using open source software and as a result not getting their database hacked (unlike Ledger). The application the computer makes using the device easy and smooth!"

    If you feel the Trezor is a bit pricey, then the Ledger Nano S is a widely popular alternative wallet:

    nano ledger bitcoin wallet


    Ledger was launched in 2014 by eight experts with complementary backgrounds in embedded security, cryptocurrencies and entrepreneurship, united around the idea of creating secure solutions for blockchain applications.

    Ledger appears to be one of the market leaders in crypto assets security as they boast of having sold 1.5m+ hardware wallets.

    Ledger's company vision is to provide top-notch security to critical digital assets for consumers, institutional investors and industrial companies combined with the most seamless user experience.

    Thus:
    • You can combine the Ledger Nano S with the Ledger Live app for maximum security and control over your crypto. The Ledger Nano S keeps your coins offline and protected.
    • Install up to 3 applications on your device, depending on their size. Ledger Nano S supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, indeed the Nano S supports more than 1250 different assets! Be wary though, the allowance for only 3 applications can be quite limiting for the seasoned crypto investor. If you want more, you'll want to try the Nano X for bigger size.
    • You can safely install and uninstall applications on your device to optimize your capacity needs.
    • Simple and powerful to use: Download Ledger Live, then install crypto apps and create your account. Every transaction is confirmed on your hardware wallet, keeping your crypto secure.
    • Ledger Nano S wallet is independently certified.'

    And here's the compromise between wallet capacity and value for money, the SecuX:

    best wallet for crypto coin

    The SecuX hardware wallet has a complete suite of security features in place, from protected production chain, to tamper resistant packaging, right down to its military grade, CC EAL 5+ certified secure element for keeping your assets safe and unassailable.
    • You can easily connect via USB or Bluetooth to your Windows, Mac or Linux computer (through Chrome browser), iOS devices (iPhone, iPad), and Android devices (Android 8.1 or later) with dedicated SecuX mobile app.
    • Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Digibyte, Dash, Binance, Dogecoin, GRS, Stellar Lumens, and over 1,000 ERC-20 tokens
    • The SecuX hardware wallet is easy to interact with thanks to its 2.8” full color touch screen including on-screen keyboard
    • On-screen verification of addresses gives you protection from malware that may attempt to redirect your funds
    • Connect to your phone or other Bluetooth devices to send and receive coins and tokens - Your keys never leave your device, and Bluetooth is only used for sending signed transactions to the blockchain

    "Setting and configuration is pretty straightforward, It took me less than 10 minutes to set up everything and it’s ready to go, I have transferred all my cryptos into this device and so far it’s been a very pleasing and impressive experience (been having it for a week). Highly recommended to anyone who’s looking for a secure and easy to use crypto wallet with a sleek design :)"

    So check out the options on Amazon:

    So those are some of the options for the best crypto coin hardware wallet. Cryptocurrencies are exploding in popularity around the world. Some are pump and dumps, some like Ethereum appear to be the real deal with companies like Gamestop looking to build their own NFT market using Ethereum as the 'record keeper'. 

    Given that, there are plenty of black hatters and hackers out there who would happily hack your accounts, your personal information and steal your coins, so a wallet that is kept off the internet is a very sound protective measure. 

    Can I use vegetable oil for lubricating my chainsaw bar?

    Saturday, October 2, 2021
    vegetable oils for chainsaws

    How do I use vegetable oil with a chainsaw bar?


    In a world where manufacturers make oil designed especially for use on a chainsaw's bar and chain, it could be considered an odd question.

    You should always use the recommended specification oils.

    BUT...

    Can you actually use vegetable oil as a substitute for chainsaw oil?

    The short answer is you can but it's not without some pros and cons of which you should properly consider before adding some cooking oil into your chainsaw!

    First up, let's consider why some woodsmen and lumberjacks may want to do this.
    • Is it a cost saver?
    • Is it better for the environment?
    • Does it make the chain cut wood better?

    Regards the last question, we doubt this very much...

    Let's discuss the environmental side of the equation. 


    Standard chainsaw bar oils are derived from petroleum so each and every time you use your chainsaw, this product is being left in the environment. You know this because it comes off the chain attached to the sawdust. The continuous operation of the saw sees the bar being continuously oiled.

    So the issue then is petroleum-based oil products being deposited onto the land and cause an environmental risk.

    The use of veggie oil, which is of course plant-based, poses no such risk to the environment and by using it, your chainsaw saw is a lean mean, environmentally friendly machine!

    Other than the petrol you burn through...

    If you are storing your chainsaw for a time (say over winter when it's cold in the shed) then you should drain the vegetable oil from your unit's reservoir. 

    Have you ever had a really cold bottle of olive oil in the back of your couple? 

    The cold... changes it. 

    So you don't want that in your engine.

    And what about cost savings of using oil?


    Canola oil is, as a general rule of thumb, at least half the price of bar and chain oil so there are some real cost-saving incentives there.

    Can vegetable oils work in cold conditions when using a chainsaw?


    This is where petroleum-based oils win out over veggie oil every time. The cold-temperature properties and oxidation stability of vegetable oils mean that they will not perform as well as they do at warmer temperatures.

    That said, there are now vegetable based chain oils that have additives to combat the cold.

    I'm sold, BRB, just gonna grab some canola oil from the kitchen


    Not so fast, you environmental hero.

    Before you grab some oil from your kitchen or supermarket, you may wish to bear in mind that there are manufactured bar and chain oil products that are environmentally friendly and they will biodegrade when left on the earth.

    These 'green oils' can be found at your local chainsaw store or on Amazon.

    Brands like Stihl make their own such oils and state their products feature no loss of lubrication or adhesion when compared to traditional oils.

    These green oils contain products that help the oil before like traditional oils.

    The benefits of using vegetable oil on a chainsaw

    • Environmentally friendly as they are biodegradable
    • Cost effective and cheaper than standard oil
    • Can be quite 'sticky'
    • Easier to clean from clothes and equipment.
    • Users also experienced less skin irritation.
    • If using a saw to cut meat, then vegetable oil is the obvious choice so the meat tastes good (you can use sunflower, canola, palm oil etc). 
    • You won't breathe in carcinogens that you can get from petrol based oil

    The disadvantages of using vegetable oil on your cutter

    • Occasional chainsaw users may find the cooking oil will dry up and hold the chain like glue (if you use a specially formulated 'green oil' then you should not have this problem.
    • Kitchen oils are not necessarily designed for use on a chainsaw in the long term which could cause maintenance issues, so we'd recommend the use of a vege oil designed for your chain.

    How to replace a spark plug in a lawn mower

    Wednesday, September 29, 2021

    Replacing a spark plug for a lawn mower


    Lawnmowers are basically engines with a lethal blade that spins around cutting grass as long as there's gas in the engine and a spark plug that's combusting the fuel.

    But if your spark plug looks like the one above and it's overworked and corroded, it's probably not firing properly and it's time to replace it.

    You can tell if your spark plug needs replacing can include:

    You begin to hear:
    • rattling
    • pinging
    • 'other' odd noises that suggest your mower's engine is knocking.
    You may also discover you are using more fuel than you consider is normal for the operation of your mower. 

    This is a key reason to ensure are spark plug is changed regularly as using excess fuel costs you money and you could be spending it on a chainsaw instead!

    The classic problem is of course that the spark plug has failed and you cannot start the engine at all!

    If the plug is misfiring, you may notice you may feel combustion is not efficiently happening. This occurs due to the aging of the plug.

    As a spark plug ignites, there's a 'gap', in which its reach occurs. This gap eventually widens as a result of repeated use under extreme temperatures, normal wear, and tear. If the 'gap' is becoming too large, the unit's efficiency declines and combustion becomes erratic.

    How to replace the spark plug in your lawnmower


    • When the engine is cool, remove the spark plug wire that connects the plug to the engine.
    • Clean any debris off the wire, ensure the metal is clean of rust etc.
    • Use a spark plug wrench to gently unscrew and remove the plug. If the plug is sunk in tight, do not use excessive force. A bit of CRC or WD40 style lubricant may help. Using the correct sized plug wrench is also very important.
    • Use a spark plug gauge to measure the gap between the two electrodes and make sure the gap reflects the recommendation of your lawnmower manufacturer - check the user manual. 
    • With your hands, sub in the new correctly sized spark plug. Screw it in gently. Then with your wrench, finalize its position with a firm turn but not so the plug is in too tight. 
    • Replace the spark wire, ensure it is correctly connected to the plug
    • Test you've installed it right by turning on the engine. If it fails to ignite, check the spark wire is connected.

    Here's a handy tutorial video on how to replace a spark plug:



    What is the correct spark plug for my lawnmower?

    This was a good question to ask because even though several different spark plugs may screw into your mower, if it is not the correct type your engine will likely suffer performance problems.

    If you don't know off the top of your head what kind of spark plug is in your mower - look for the number on the ceramic and match it to the brand. The internet is your friend.

    Indeed, you can also take the whole unit into a service agent or hardware store and compare so you have like for like.

    The best trick is to look at the user manual of the lawnmower for advice.

    It is not imperative that use you use your mower brand's spark plug. You can use a generic substitute or another brand as long as the size and type are correct.

    Generally speaking a tried and true brand like a Briggs and Stratton spark plug will work well in most engines.

    Battery-powered lawn mowers, like the Greenworks push mower, of course, do not need plugs!

    Need to change your lawnmower's oil? You may need to use an adjustable wrench.

    >> How to choose the best oil for your lawn mower

    Friday, September 17, 2021

    How to choose the best oil for your lawn mower


    Just as you should regularly change the oil in your car or truck or chainsaw, the same should be done for your lawnmower.

    If you want to have the best looking lawns in the street, you'll need your lawnmower to have a sharp blade and to be filled with the best oil so that while you are pushing the damn thing, the engine operates well and gives a long lifetime of service.

    You could be tempted to think of your lawnmower as being 'just a lawnmower' so any kind of automotive car oil will do but that could mean the difference between extending the life of your lawn mower or causing it to clog and become inoperable. This is especially so if your mower doesn't get used very often. 

    So if you want the 'good oil' on what to put in your grass cutter, read on.

    adding oil to lawnmower

    What kind of oil do I need to use in my lawnmower?


    The temperature of the climate in which you will operate the lawnmower will have an influence on your oil needs.

    Lawnmower engine experts Briggs and Stratton advise that "Engines on most outdoor power equipment operate well with 5W30 Synthetic oil

    For equipment operated in hot temperatures, Vanguard 15W50 Synthetic oil provides the best protection."

    What that means for you as the oil user is that you need to check what range your engine will run on. The easiest way to do this is to check your engine's user manual for the manufacturer's recommendation. If you have lost the manual or never had one, then use a search engine to find a PDF of it. 

    A general rule of thumb though is that engines on most outdoor power equipment operate well with 5W30 Synthetic oil.

    Here's a handy guide produced by the engineers at Briggs and Stratton to help you decide:


    Once you have found the right kind of oil, it's now time to consider what brand of oil you want to use. 

    Cheap and cheerful or bespoke oil made for an exact kind of engine? 

    We typically recommend you avoid the cheapest range of any tool or safety gear or oil and most certainly do the same with lawnmower oil - we suggest you used tried and trusted brands - because these oils have been road-tested in many machines being pushed many thousands of miles. 

    If those brands didn't cut it, they wouldn't survive in the market. If you don't believe me, read this tale of how the Slitz company turned a quality beer into a joke and ran their brand into the ground.

    One rule of thumb to bear in mind is that the older your engine is, it's more likely that it will suit the traditional SAE30 oil ranges.

    Recommended oil: Briggs and Stratton Small Engine 30W

    If you want tried, trusted and true, Briggs and Stratton oil is for you

    There's a reason this is one of the world's best known brands. 

    Quality.

    best small engine oil

    Briggs and Stratton is arguably the biggest named player in the lawnmower engine market (Husqvarna is probably second). Their engines are known for 'going and going' so much so that several other 'big name brands' simply use the Briggs and Stratton engine on their own branded push machines as a selling point.

    So, the biggest name in lawnmower technology is sure to have a quality oil product for their machines and their version of 30W for small engines is most likely what your engine would benefit from.

    We think this review from a genuine user on Amazon is just perfect:

    "Bought a brand new lawnmower, and didn't want hubs to blow this one up too because he forgot to put oil in it."

    Classic and it's always worth a reminder that if buying a new lawnmower, you need to add oil before you use it or you will destroy the engine.


    Can I use synthetic oil in my lawnmower?


    Yes, you can use synthetic oil in a lawnmower. Oils like Amsoil are designed for more modern engines.

    Synthetic oil is a small engine lubricant full of chemical compounds that are artificially made using chemically modified petroleum components.

    The benefit of using synthetic oil is they tend to offer better viscosity, wear and deposit control, and low-temperature fluidity.

    This means that if you regularly use synthetic oil in your lawnmower (over the long term) then you greatly increase the chances of long service life and reduce the need to replace your lawnmower at year 6 instead of year 10 (excuse the hyperbole!).

    So the regular use of synthetic oils in your engine reduces the chances of it failing and thus in the process, extends its service life.

    The only real downside to using this kind of oil is that it is usually priced significantly higher than standard oils.

    Check out this example from Pennzoil for example, their 530-30 Full Synthetic can price over 50 bucks!

    Using Toro Synthetic oil with a lawnmower


    Designed to work across a range of extreme conditions, Toro synthetic oil will handle the heat and the cold to help you get your lawns cut.

    It will work especially well with new model mowers that are designed to work with this type of oil.

    toro synthetic small engine oil

    Toro is a massive brand worldwide, in addition, to push lawn mowers they produce golf cars, ride-on mowers, spray equipment, diggers, bunk rakes, and top dressers.

    So they know engines and they know oil so you can be sure the oil is engineered and tested to meet the needs of their machines.

    This means due to its quality, Toro oil will do most lawn mowers a favor in terms of engine performance. It certainly meets the performance requirements of brands such as Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, Honda, Tecumseh, and Craftsman!

    How often should I replace my lawnmower oil?


    Many car owners change their car's oil once a year as part of an annual tune-up up. It lengthens the life of the engine as its parts are protected from wear.

    For smaller engines, the comparison is the same - many lawnmowers will change their oil once a year in the spring when the grass starts to grow long and the mower is used more regularly. 

    This is tied to the use of the mower - your mower can have varying needs depending on use hours. A lawn that's mown for half an hour once a month, may only need a change once a year but a weekly mower of a larger lawn may require two changes. 

    A ride on mower is probably more likely to benefit from a change at 100 hours of run time and annually. 

    If you feel your engine isn't performing well, a change of oil may help. As we always recommend, your user instruction manual should be able to give you advice - and it will be good advice too because the dudes and dudettes who made the engine have tested it to the ground in the lab so they will know how their machine works under so many conditions. 

    How to remove old oil from a lawnmower


    When it comes to changing lawn mower oil, there are certainly a few tips and tricks that you can do to make sure you have an oil splash free transfer.

    So now you've understood the reasons why you need to regularly change your engine's oil, the next question might be how!

    Items you may need to change the oil:
    • A pan or contain to catch the old oil 
    • some old rags or cloths 
    • A wrench with appropriate socket size for the oil drain nu 
    • Engine oil that suits your needs 
    • Funnel 
    • Siphon or oil kit system if you are going to siphon rather than drain

    Location of the oil change


    The first thing to do is consider the location where you will drain the oil already inside the mower.

    Naturally, you'll want to avoid doing this operation on your grass lawn or near your garden in case of spillage.

    To that end, a concrete surface such as a driveway is ideal. You'll, of course, want to lay down newspaper or cardboard to catch any oil drops that may collect to avoid staining the concrete.

    Warm the engine before you drain the oil


    It is best to have turned the lawnmower's engine over for a few minutes before you drain the oil. This is because particles that have collected will be floating around in the old oil.

    Take care that when draining the oil that the engine parts are not too hot - you may need to use gloves if you have run the engine for a while. It's also now time to disconnect the spark plug to prevent any accidental ignition of the engine.

    There are two ways to remove the oil:

    1. Using the oil drain
    2. Using a siphon pump

    Locate the oil drain plug on the underside of the push mower


    Clean the general area with an old cloth to prevent any external debris from falling into the crankcase when you open the drain plug.

    Tilt the mower deck and then position some newspaper and an oil pan or jug beneath the mower.

    Then take a socket wrench to run the plug counterclockwise. This allows the oil to drain into your collection device. Once the oil has fully drained, secure the drain plug by twisting clockwise and tightening gently with the wrench.

    If your mower has an oil filter, it's the opportune time to replace it as well.


    Removing the engine oil with a siphon kit


    If your preference is to siphon via the oil entry point rather than drain, a siphon kit might be just the ticket.

    Once you have your siphon at the ready, place one end of its tube into the oil fill hole and make sure it has reached the bottom of the reservoir. The other end of the tubing needs to be placed into a container that will not knock over during the process.

    Engage your siphon and do your best to empty as much of the used oil as you can.

    Tilting the engine on its side slightly can help pool the last of the oil and the tube can be manipulated into a position to collect the last of the oil.

    These kits can also be used to transfer fuel from your car or fuel container directly into the lawn mower's fuel pump. A handy way to make an efficient transfer!

    Once you have completed the siphoning, you are ready to add some new oil. And what could you use?


    So you've got your oil, it's now time to add it to the engine.

    How to add oil to your lawnmower

    This is the easy part of lawn mower maintenance! 

    1. Open the oil dipstick and remove it and check that you do actually need oil! 
    2. If the reservoir is empty, add the manufacturer's recommended amount. 
    3. You can pour the oil directly from the container or use a plastic funnel (or one you have fashioned from some scrap paper). If you make a mess, wipe the oil up with an old rag or paper towel.
    4. Screw the dipstick back in place and run the engine for 30 seconds so the oil can get around the engine's internal parts. 
    5. Unscrew the dipstick again so you can check the level - hopefully, the oil is bang on the 'full' line. If you have underfilled, top-up. If you have grossly overfilled you may wish to remove some oil. 

    Nice work, you've replaced your engine oil. 

    How much oil should I add to the lawnmower?

    Lawnmowers come in varying sizes but generally speaking, you can break them down into two sizes, walk-behind mowers or ride on.

    • For walk-behind mowers, the oil capacity is about 15oz or 18oz.
    • Riding mowers tend to have an oil capacity of around 48oz or 64 oz.

    As we need to keep stating, the exact amount for your engine will be found in the user manual and if you don't have it do hand, google it - they often can be found in a PDF format at the manufacturer's website.

    What happens if I add too much oil?


    Too much oil in the sump can be too much for the engine to handle. It might start to burn white or gray smoke. If you see this happening, it's time to change the oil. Drain it and then add the correct amount.

    Too much oil can also prevent the engine from starting properly and there is nothing more frustrating on a Sunday afternoon if you can start your mower, especially if you are the cause!

    An excess of oil can also potentially mean that it gets aerated and thus its performance declines.

    You can check if you have too much oil but using the dipstick. If the oil is over the full line, you'll need to remove some oil.

    How to dispose of lawnmower oil environmentally


    If you have collected the used push lawn mower oil, please do not dump it down the drain or garbage bin. For the sake of the environment, there are plenty of places that will take your old oil.

    Many services centers, dealerships, and gas stations will do this. Some mechanics do so as well for the 'locals'.

    It's good to be green.


    Is lawnmower oil the same as car / auto oil?


    You might be eyeing up that bottle of Castrol car oil you have in your shed with an eye to adding it to your push lawn mower as it could save you a trip to the hardware store.

    So can you use motor oil?

    Technically speaking, yes. Four stroke small engines can use car oil. However, motor oil is generally designed for the hot and heavy conditions of a car that will be driven for long periods. 

    A smaller engine will benefit from oil that is designed for it - this is why most brands and manufacturers recommend oils like Toro or Briggs and Stratton's version of SAE 30W.

    If you have a two stroke engine (say a Honda), then you must absolutely only add two stroke oil to the fuel.  Two-cycle motors simply cannot use motor oil.

    You'll also be wise to not use oil designed for big engine / heavy duty machines for small engines - you probably do not may have a viscosity that could actually cause a clog or even disable your unit.

    Can I use 10w40 oil in my lawn mower engine?


    10w40 can be used in a small engine and most users do not report an increase in consumption. It's related to the viscosity of the oil and manner it will operate in cold or hot temperatures. 

    How to change a lawn mower oil filter?

    change oil filter for a lawn mower

    If your lawnmower has an oil filter, you will need to change this once in a while so that it can continue to do its job of helping to keep your engine oil clean and free of gunk.

    Once you have selected the correct filter for your engine (OEM or branded) follow these steps.

    Locate the oil filter and twist it counterclockwise until the oil filter can be removed. 

    If you cannot free it with your hands, you can use a pipe wrench or filter wrench.

    Observe if there is dirt or other debris on the seal and clean it off with a rag (we love old towels for this).

    Take your fresh engine oil, rub the clean sealing gasket with oil so that it appears clean and well-lubricated.

    Take your new filter, remove it from the packaging and place it into the filter adapter and gently screw it in by hand. When you feel it's snugly in, tighten firmly with a wrench but do not over tighten it as you could cause some damage. 

    Here's a handy video tutorial on how to change the filter on a riding mower - the principle is the same for the push mower:


    Two stroke oil engines - add oil to the gas directly


    If you have a two stroke lawn mower then you are going to do things a lot differently than as described. You will need to add the oil directly to the gas, just the same as you would a petrol chainsaw.

    When fueling your lawnmower, you'll need to add the correct two stroke oil in the correct ratio to the fuel, before you add the mixture to the engine. How much to oil add to the petrol? As always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

    I've got a brand new lawn mower, what do I do with the oil?


    If you have brought a new lawnmower (even a battery powered one), it will not have oil in it, and if you run it without, you will break your engines internal working parts in pretty good time! So, get some oil and get it in. Run the engine, check the level is filled properly, and go cut some grass!
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