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Why are There Different Two-Stroke Oil Mix Ratios for Chainsaw Oil

Why are There Different Two-Stroke Oil Mix Ratios for Chainsaw Oil

Swamp mix.

That’s what you call a concoction of two-stroke oil and gas that’s been slopped together with no measuring tools and no regard for engine protection. Your chainsaw or string trimmer could be running on a 50:1 mix. Could be 72:1. Could be 147:1. There’s no telling.

I often made swamp mix back in the day. Like other adherents to the dark art of mixing foul-smelling liquids in a dimly lit shed, I did it for a couple reasons: 1) I didn’t have clearly marked measuring containers at the ready, and 2) even if I had, I wouldn’t have felt like playing chemist with my chainsaw when I’d rather be cutting brush.

I never blew up a saw doing this. But, then again, I’m not a professional logger, so I didn’t cut often.

Some people don’t like mixing two-stroke fuel/oil because it’s a mess. Some hate it because math makes their brain hurt.

What is a two-stroke mix ratio?

The math isn’t that tough to understand. Say your chainsaw manufacturer recommends a 50:1 fuel/oil mix. This simply means you need 50 parts of gas to one part two-stroke oil. Two-stroke engines derive lubrication from the oil mixed directly into the gasoline, unlike your car engine, which lubricates itself with oil housed in an oil sump and circulated by an oil pump.

Complicating things, some equipment manufacturers recommend different mix ratios. While most modern trimmers, chainsaws, leaf blowers and the like call for 50:1, some older equipment recommends 32:1. If you have multiple pieces of equipment with different mix ratios, you have to mix and store multiple cans of fuel. That’s not only a hassle, it’s a situation begging for problems when you accidentally dump 50:1 in your saw that takes 32:1.

This scenario likely isn’t a problem for landscapers, loggers and other professionals who replace their equipment often due to heavy use. But plenty of homeowners still use older equipment that calls for a richer fuel mixture.

Life would be much easier if every manufacturer recommended the same mix ratio, right?

They don’t. But we do.

AMSOIL SABER Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil is tested and proven at any mix ratio up to 100:1. That means you can mix one can of fuel and use it in all your two-stroke equipment. Done. Problem solved. If you want to use 50:1, use that. Or 80:1. For best value, use 100:1. You could mix at 71:1 if you want. It’s up to you.

And, to eliminate the hassles of mixing fuel, we offer bottle sizes matched to certain sizes of gas cans. For example, to mix AMSOIL SABER Professional at 50:1 in a 2.5-gallon gas can, just use an entire 6.4-oz. bottle. Use half the bottle for a 100:1 mix ratio.

That’s the ratio I now use in my chainsaw. As the piston images show, SABER Professional mixed at 100:1 outperforms other two-stroke oils at 50:1, fighting power-robbing deposits and maintaining operability.

AMSOIL SABER Professional mixed at 100:1 delivers better protection against power-robbing deposits than other oils mixed at 50:1.

With SABER Professional you spend less on oil, get better protection and eliminate hassle when mixing fuel. And you never have to make swamp mix again.

Two-stroke equipment is changing

Two-stroke equipment is changing

Ask your Sioux Falls small engine sales and repair shop to carry the standard which makes all 2-stroke work motors easy to maintain.  SABER-PRO synthetic 2-cycle oil.

Hotter, leaner-running engines require less oil to do more work.

Dan Peterson - AMSOIL Technical Development

AMSOIL’s Dan Peterson.

Dan Peterson | VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT

I spent my 53rd birthday in Tampa, Fla., during the 2016 DJ Convention, talking, listening, learning and making notes on how AMSOIL Dealer businesses have changed and what has driven those changes. This prompted a story I told the group about how AMSOIL is studying changes in handheld twostroke equipment. Allow me to share for those who weren’t in Tampa.

I grew up operating a range of two stroke equipment – mowers and string trimmers in the ‘70s and chainsaws in the ‘80s. I still have a 1980 25hp Mercury* outboard and an old two-stroke Lawn-Boy* mower, which has journeyed from Dayton, Ohio to Appleton, Wis. to Hermantown, Minn. It now resides at the cabin in Eagle River, Wis. The old Lawn-Boy runs great on SABER® Professional at 100:1. Occasionally, I use my equipment to burn the last of my neighbor’s summer gas. He uses Valvoline* mixed at 50:1. Boy, does it smoke in the old LawnBoy, but he’s a good neighbor and I like to help him out.

When I put the Valvoline mixed at 50:1 in my new Stihl* leaf blower, I don’t see as big a difference in exhaust smoke compared to SABER Professional at 100:1.  There is some difference, but nothing compared to the Lawn-Boy.

Why? The answer lies in the design of the equipment. Before I was introduced to AMSOIL, I ran the Lawn-Boy at 50:1 and it always smoked, especially before it warmed up. It continued to spew blue smoke the whole time I mowed, just like it does on my neighbor’s end-of summer gas. When I start my new Stihl leaf blower and use the end-of-summer gas, it does not smoke nearly as much as the Lawn-Boy.

Older equipment was designed to run rich, which means it burned a lot of fuel/oil. Not all of it burned, so the partially burned fuel and oil exited the exhaust as smoke. In response to government mandates to reduce emissions, much of the handheld twostroke equipment built in the last four years is designed to run leaner. This means it burns less fuel/oil and more air. When engines run on less fuel/oil and more air, they generate less smoke and emissions, but they run much hotter.

The problems with older two-stroke equipment included fouled spark plugs, gummy deposits and smoke. SABER Professional mixed at 100:1 helped resolve those issues in older equipment. Now, however, the challenges to equipment operability and longevity have changed. Modern equipment runs on the ragged edge due to burning less oil. The intense heat leads to deposits, which can cause the following:

  • Piston-ring sticking
  • Blocked exhaust ports
  • Plugged spark arrestor screens

As a result, equipment can lose power, become difficult to start and eventually quit running.

To be proactive with modern 2-cycle equipment, we went to work testing many different oil formulations in different types of equipment. In the end, we developed a formulation that delivers excellent protection against high heat and deposits. We tested and validated it at both 100:1 and 50:1. Although it’s safe and effective at both ratios, the benefits of reduced deposits and better cleanliness are more noticeable at 50:1 since more oil is available to lubricate the engine. For proof of SABER Professional’s performance at 50:1, see the ECHO String Trimmer Technical Study (G3455).

Here is where we all need to adapt to change. We all know our founder and Chairman of the Board Al Amatuzio designed the original SABER Professional to provide extraordinary benefits for the equipment of the time. In the same spirit, we’ve identified the most disruptive problems for lawn and landscapers when running today’s two-stroke equipment. And then we developed a formulation proven to address these issues.

What does this mean to your business?

If your customers are happy using  SABER Professional at 80:1 or 100:1, great. They can continue to rely on its safe, effective performance. However, perhaps you encounter a prospect who rejects our 80:1 or 100:1 recommendation. Let’s face it – some prospects simply aren’t interested in the benefits of using less oil. Use the results of the ECHO String Trimmer Technical Study to sell them on SABER Professional’s exceptional performance at 50:1. You can also use the study to sell current customers on the benefits of running a 50:1 ratio in their equipment.

In the end, it’s up to you to know your customers and prospects and sell SABER Professional as the solution to the problems they’re facing. This study gives you the flexibility to do that.

Look for more SABER Professional comparisons soon.

Available in the Sioux Falls store at 4610 W. 12th st. Call 402-399-3902

Troubleshooting a String Trimmer that has Lost Power

  Troubleshooting a String Trimmer that has Lost Power

A few simple maintenance practices can help restore the performance of a faulty string trimmer (Weed Eater).

Troubleshooting a String Trimmer

Check the Age of the Fuel

Today’s ethanol-containing gasoline can break down in relatively short time periods. If your blended fuel supply is more than two or three weeks old, blend a new batch of fuel. AMSOIL Saber Pro now features an additional fuel stabilizer to help offset these effects.

Check Air Filter Condition

A clogged air filter prevents the engine from receiving sufficient air to operate properly. Before removing the air filter, brush away loose debris from around the filter cover and filter element. Tap the filter on a tabletop or the palm of your hand to dislodge any dirt or debris. If you use compressed air, make sure you direct air through the filter from the inside to avoid lodging debris deeper in the filter. Avoid washing the filter as this can collapse its micro-fine structure. If cleaning doesn’t remove debris, replace the filter with the appropriate part recommended by the trimmer manufacturer.

Check the Spark Plug

Spark plug fouling occurs when oil, carbon or other foreign substances coat the tip of the plug and interfere with normal firing. Too much oil in the gasoline, inferior oil, a dirty air filter and/or continued operation at less than full throttle will eventually cause spark plug fouling. Replace the spark plug with a new one recommended by the trimmer manufacturer.

If a new plug is not immediately available, remove the plug and clean all carbon and oil deposits from the plug tip. Set the gap according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and reinstall the plug.

Clean the Exhaust Spark Arrestor Screen

On many trimmers, a small screen covers the exhaust outlet and prevents sparks from exiting the muffler and potentially starting a wildfire. For this reason, trimmers should not be operated if the screen is missing, punctured or disintegrating.

As with plug fouling, too much oil in the gasoline, inferior oil, a dirty air filter and/or continued operation at less than full throttle will plug the screen with carbon deposits. This prevents exhaust gas flow, which leads to power loss. To fix the problem, remove the spark arrestor screen and inspect it for plugging. If plugged, either replace it with the appropriate part recommended by the trimmer manufacturer or clean it.

To clean the spark arrestor screen, spray it with AMSOIL Power Foam® to soften the deposits before cleaning the screen with an abrasive pad. Reinstall the screen and test the weed wacker.

If these attempts to restore power fail, take the trimmer to your servicing dealer.

Use High-Quality Oil to Help Avoid Power Loss

Using a high-quality two-stroke oil with excellent detergency can help avoid many of the problems listed here. Two-stroke oils that burn cleanly help reduce plug fouling and spark arrestor screen deposits. AMSOIL SABER® Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil withstands high heat and stress to protect handheld equipment engines against wear and harmful deposits. It can be mixed at conventional mix ratios (32:1, 40:1, 50:1) or the SABER Ratio (80:1, 100:1), offering the convenience of one mix ratio for all applications.

Just by using the AMSOIL 2-cycle oils you will have the last laugh when you first bring out your trimmers and yard tools and they start right away. Still after making the suggestion to your other Sioux Falls neighbors they will insist their method is better and struggle with starting and a un-necessary cloud of smoke. That’s right folks, AMSOIL’s Saber is practically smokeless and we get praise on its lack of foul order just as we do with our other 2-stroke oils for powerports.
Take care of your yard equipment and trust AMSOIL for your lubricants and also checkout our award winning fuel treatment designed for small engines – AMSOIL Quickshot – cleans, prevents fuel issues, stabilizes (non 2-cycle too) fuel and prevents the effects of ethanol.

Find all AMSOIL Saber PRO 2-cycle products and bottle sizes in our local Sioux Falls store
Synthetic Warehouse
4610 W. 12th St
Sioux Falls, SD 57107
402-933-3902

 

*All trademarked images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are AMSOIL-engineered for use in the applications shown.

weedeater

Premium Protection for Lawn and Landscape Equipment

Lawn and Landscape Equipment manufactures make Equipment – AMSOIL makes the Lubricants to make them Last Longer

Premium AMSOIL synthetic lubricants help lawn and landscape professionals succeed by preserving the power of their equipment and extending equipment life, allowing them to work more efficiently and save money. Extensive equipment testing demonstrates the superior protection and performance provided by AMSOIL SABER® Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil (ATP) and Formula 4-Stroke® 10W-30/SAE 30 Synthetic Small Engine Oil (ASE).

Depend on AMSOIL for the premium value and performance for your equipment. OEM’s who make the best equipment are not in the business of making oils specific to their needs. Brand labeled aftermarket lubricant & maintenance products all have a catch. They must be profitable and to have application and brand specific blends can become quite costly so they are generally made with base oils which do a ‘OK’ job as long as the use is under normal stress. AMSOIL not only builds oils to exceed even the highest commercial stresses but they use only the premium base oils and additives packages available which are market specific. So the operator can have a product not only made for their equipment but will be certain it will outlast the normal expected life and them some. AND know that the AMSOIL product will even go the distance when unforeseen factors may normally render the end of the equipment life whether that be in storage, abuse or lack of maintenance.  AMSOIL Synthetics have you covered.

100:1 two cycle oil

Two-Stroke Power Equipment Testing

Carbon buildup severely affects the performance of two-stroke lawn care equipment, causing stuck rings and plugged exhaust ports and screens. The end result is power loss, smoke, rough running and hard-starting that frustrates workers, increases the need for equipment maintenance, contributes to early equipment failure and hinders the ability to efficiently and profitably deliver professional-looking lawns and grounds.

Outstanding Protection for Two-Stroke Power Equipment

Formulated with top-grade synthetic base oils, super-high lubricity and concentrated active cleaning agents, AMSOIL SABER® Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil (ATP) effectively combats carbon buildup, providing outstanding protection and peak performance for the life of the equipment, keeping it on the job and contributing to the bottom line.

Preventing Stuck Rings

lawn1Following 300 hours of professional-use testing in Stihl* string trimmers at the manufacturer mix ratio of 50:1, SABER Professional kept pistons and rings virtually free of carbon and wear (see the picture on the left), while use of a leading oil brand caused significant carbon buildup around the ring area (see the picture on the right). This engine is nearing the failure point.

Fighting Exhaust-Port Plugging

After 300 hours of simulated severe use compare exhaust ports on this 2-cycle engineAfter 300 hours of simulated severe use while running SABER Professional, the exhaust-port on the left exhibited virtually no signs of blocking. In contrast, after 300 hours of simulated severe use while running a leading oil brand, the exhaust port on the right exhibited severe exhaust-port blocking. This engine barely idled at the end of the 300-hour test.

Preventing Spark Arrestor Screen Plugging

Using SABER Professional, the screen on the left did not require cleaning following 300 hours of severe-service testing.Exhaust gases flow through the spark arrestor screen (located directly on the muffler), which is prone to plugging. Using SABER Professional, the screen on the left did not require cleaning following 300 hours of severe-service testing. In contrast, using a leading oil brand, the screen on the right plugged after only 45 hours of runtime and required repeated cleaning throughout the test.

Four-Stroke Equipment Testing

Zero-turn mowers face high ambient temperatures that accelerate oil breakdown, leading to varnish and carbon deposits that stick rings and exhaust valves. This results in compression and power loss, smoke, increased maintenance and early equipment failure, all of which hinder efficiency and profitability.

Average SAE-30 oil depositsOutstanding Protection for Zero-Turns and Other Four-Stroke Equipment

Formulated with low-volatility synthetic base oils, a heat-stable additive system and concentrated carbon cleaners, AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke® Synthetic Small Engine Oil (ASE) effectively resists oil breakdown and damaging deposits, providing outstanding protection and peak performance for the life of the equipment, maximizing productivity.

Preventing Exhaust Valve Sticking

Following 125 hours of severe-service testing in a Honda* 5 HP engine, Formula 4-Stroke Synthetic Small Engine Oil kept the valve guides in the engine pictured above left clean and functional. In contrast, using a leading oil brand, the engine pictured below left failed due to exhaust valve sticking. During engine dis-assembly, heavy deposits prevented test administrators from removing the valve.

Fighting Carbon Buildup

Pistons and rings virtually free of carbon and wear. Keeping piston ring and land areas clean is critical to maintaining the power and performance of zero-turn mowers. Following 500 hours of severe-service testing in the Kawasaki* FX 730 V engine, Formula 4-Stroke Synthetic Small Engine Oil kept pistons and rings virtually free of carbon and wear.

Sioux Falls AMSOIL – The Synthetic Warehouse – your lawn equipment lubricant HQ

We keep several products for your home lawn equipment and commercial enterprise. 2-cycle, 4-stroke, hydraulic oils, oils for hydro-static systems, water resistant grease, fuel and ethanol additives (stabilizer, intake “power Foam” cleaner, diesel fuel concentrate), tractor, skidsteer, bar and chain oils and more. Come in to Sioux Falls’s #1 Synthetic Oil Superstore and find something for all your equipment or just pop in for our informative color catalog!
Call anytime with tech questions at 800-579-0580 or the local store 402-933-3902.
We are at 4610 W. 12th St right across the street from the QT Fuel Stop and