My local shop is now selling single-mix 2-stroke oil. No more 50:1 or
32:1, etc. Mix it with the right amount of fuel and it can go in any
2-stroke engine. These are brand names such as Pulan. Is this a good
Yes, it's a good idea. Generally the lower the oil ratio the lower the
quality. Oil sold as 16:1, when mixed as directed, will provide the same
lubrication as an oil sold as 50:1 when mixed as directed.
In other words mix according to the instructions on the oil not what the
equip mfg says. A one-mix is much simpler to deal with if you have
multiple brands of equipment. Ask what your local shop is using. I'm
sure it is one of the single mix.
I buy those small singles that are for 1 gallon of gas. I have an old
chain saw that said use 16:1, a blower that said use 32:1 & a trimmer
that says use 50:1.
I've been using the pre-measured 32:1 mix in all of them for about 5
years with only one adverse result. The trimmer tends to smoke
slightly!! The chain saw runs a lot better with the 32:1 mix. The
chain saw is over 30 years old with never as much as a tune-up, only a
new plug every 4 or 5 years. BTW, the blower is the one that gets for
more use than the other two combined.
The engine manufacturers recommendation is what you should go by.
They are the ones that determine what ratio to use.
Many years ago 2 stroke engines were crude and concerns for pollution
were not as great as today. As concerns for pollution became greater
engines became more advanced and higher ratios became feasible.
I believe that there are no more engines with ratios below 50:1
2 strokes may even be eliminated if not already. Not sure on this.
Previously the ratio stated on cans of 2 stroke oil were only included
so that individuals that couldn't deal with figuring out mixes might
have an easier time if it was spelled out for them. If one read their
engine manual often it would say to ignore the mixing recommendation
on the can of oil and just to be sure to mix the oil at the proper
ratio that they, the engine manufacturer recommends.
Both of those posts talk about the quality of the oil or the additive
allowing for leaner mixes and providing the same lubrication.
That means you mix according to the oil directions and not the mfg
Take for example Stihl - about 10 years ago they sold 32:1 oil and
recommended it for use in all their equipment. Then they changed oil to
a 50:1 mix and began recommending it be mixed at 50:1, also good for all
their old equipment. Now tell me, what changed? The oil did, not the
If you use oil marked as 32:1 and mix it at 50:1 for use in a Stihl you
will toast it. Because the oil does not provide enough lubrication at
that mix. If you mix that same 32:1 oil at 32:1 and run it in the Stihl
it will be fine.
I read the entire pages not just the posts you suggested.
Here is one quote from the site
As you've seen, there are 16:1, 25:1, 32:1, 40:1 42:1, 50:1, etc.
However, if you analyzed these oils, you'd find very similar amounts
of the actual ingredients needed to provide the life allowing
lubricity, even at these odd ratios. This has been a very effective
way of convincing a customer who bought a unit requiring two cycle oil
to buy their brand of oil.
That is the exact post I suggested. Allow me to quote from the first
"a Tanaka product, and another high quality product, let's say a
Shindaiwa chainsaw for the sake of comparison. Both of these machines
use nearly identical components; Forged connecting rods/crankshafts,
chrome plated cast aluminum cylinders, etc. Their tolerances are so
technically similar, the differences are not worth considering. In other
words, what is required for lubrication is almost exactly the same."
So it stands to reason that when different mfgs recommend different
ratios, the likely reason is to get you to buy their oil instead of
This is why I disagree with your statement - "The engine manufacturers
recommendation is what you should go by."
I agree with that. But "very similar" does not equal "same".
The point that I am trying to make (and not doing so good) is that there
are different brands, and qualities of oil. They are not all the same.
Some labeled as 16:1, some 32:1, some 50:1 and others. The oils labeled
at the higher ratios will _always_ be high quality oils. Oils labeled at
the lower ratios _may_ _not_ be so high quality.
There are certain additives which allow oil to provide lubrication at
higher temperatures and these additives are rather expensive. Much more
so that the oil. So they use only the amount required based on the ratio
that the oil will be mixed.
It is entirely possible that some mfgs market the exact same oil in
different containers marked at various ratios. But I don't believe that
is the norm.
Since there is no real way of knowing the quality of the oil short of
its price and labeled ratio, I stand by my statement of using the
recommendation on the oil label for the ratio.
Following your advice of using the mfgs recommendation over the label on
the oil will lead to some expensive repairs. Consider the following.
If you use 16:1 Homelite oil (known to be poor quality) and mix it at a
50:1 ratio, as Stihl recommends, and then use that mix in a Stihl it
_will_ seize. On the other hand if you mix that same oil at 16:1 it will
work in the Stihl. It will smoke a bit but it will provide enough
lubrication. Given this scenario, it would seem that if you are not
using the mfgs oil then you would be safer mixing according to the label
on the oil as opposed to the equipment mfgs recommendation.
I've been using Lawn Boy ashless oil 32:1 in the lawnmower, Poulan chain
saw and Troybilt trimmer with no problem. A couple of years ago I
bought a gallon of 2 cycle oil, I believe Quaker State, and it kept
clogging the carburetor on the lawnmower. I do believe that 2 cyle oils
are different from this experience.
Make sure you use 2 stroke oil and not motor oil. 50:1 requires 2.56
ounces per gallon where 16:1 is 8 ounces. 32:1 is 4 ounces and that's
what I use for everything. Not too smokey and plenty of lube. If you run
at max rpms and max power all the time like in a chain saw you want more
oil. If you run slower and lower power you need less like a leaf blower
at half throttle or a weed whacker. Many applications where weight isn't
a great factor, are converting to 4 strokes anyway for lower emissions.
Your 2 stroke shouldn't smoke after it's warmed up.
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