Chainsaws are costly machines, so if you have one, you’ll want to keep it in good working order. If you have a gas-powered chainsaw, part of this will entail using the correct fuel, which, since most chainsaws are 2-stroke models, will entail mixing the correct gas-and-oil mixture.
For chainsaws, what is the proper gas-to-oil ratio? Why is it necessary to mix gas and oil in this manner? What happens if you don’t do it? We have the answers to these and other questions here to help you keep your chainsaw running smoothly.
What Is the Distinction Between a Stroke and a 4-Stroke?
Let’s take a step back and consider why we need to mix oil for your chainsaw’s fuel tank in the first place.
Chainsaw engines are available in two types: two-stroke and four-stroke. These engines are also known as 2 cycle and 4 cycle chainsaw engines, but they are the same thing.
Without getting into the mechanics of how chainsaw engines work, a 2-stroke engine generates power every two piston strokes, whereas a 4-stroke engine generates power every four piston strokes.
Oil is drawn from a special oil reservoir and injected into the engine on the third stroke of a 4-stroke engine to lubricate it.
What Gas to Oil Ratio Is Best For Chainsaws?
Because there is no universal oil-to-gas ratio for engines, consult your chainsaw’s owner’s manual. Most 2-stroke chainsaw engines, as well as other similar power tools, run on a 50/50 oil/gas mixture.
However, many machines run on a 1:40 ratio, and other optimum ratios are possible – this is why it is critical to check your machine’s requirements. So, how does that work in practice? To give you an example, a 1:50 oil-to-gas ratio equals 212 oz of oil per gallon of gas.
When preparing your oil-and-gas mixture, be sure to measure everything as precisely as possible. You can easily damage your chainsaw’s engine if you don’t do it correctly. However, if you do make a mistake, it’s better to have a little too much oil than not enough, so if in doubt, go ahead and add a little extra oil to the mix.
What happens if you don’t remember to add oil to your chainsaw’s fuel? You’ll find out about it quickly. Within less than a minute, the engine will begin to smoke, and if you do not turn it off right away, it will likely suffer irreversible damage.
How to Combine Gas and Oil
If you have a 2-stroke chainsaw, you can easily make your own gas-and-oil mixture to use as fuel. There’s no need for any special machine; all you’ll need is a gas can and a way to measure the volumes.
To begin, fill the gas can with the required amount of gas. Pour in the required amount of oil after carefully measuring it out. Close the gas can’s cap and give it a good shake to ensure that the gas and oil are properly mixed. You can now fill up your chainsaw with the mixture in your gas can.
General Information on Gas Engines
- If you haven’t used your chainsaw in a while – say, a couple of weeks but less than a month – give it a good shake before starting it. The gas and oil will separate if you leave it sitting, but starting the chainsaw will ensure they are well blended before you start it.
- If you haven’t used your chainsaw in over a month, empty the fuel tank and replace it with new fuel. Gasoline does not age well, and after a month, it will start to deteriorate to the point where the chainsaw won’t work properly. You run the risk of damaging your chainsaw’s engine if you try to use old fuel.
- If you do not want to mix gas and oil yourself, you can buy pre-mixed fuel. If you do, make sure it’s one that’ll work with your machine.
- Check to see what type of engine your chainsaw has. If you forget to add oil to a 2-stroke engine, the engine will be damaged. If you have a 4-stroke engine, however, make sure you use only pure gas; otherwise, you risk damaging your expensive chainsaw.
- Chainsaws require oil for chain lubrication in addition to engine oil. This is true of both gas and electric chainsaws, as well as cordless chainsaws. Make sure the chain is properly lubricated.
Use the Proper Ratio at All Times
While the most popular oil-to-gas ratios are 1:50 or 1:40, as previously stated, there is no standard, so don’t guess. Make sure you know what ratio your chainsaw’s engine requires and that you mix it carefully and precisely. Similarly, before filling the tank and starting the engine, make sure you know whether you’re using a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine.
Chainsaws are costly tools, and using the incorrect oil-and-gas mixture – or natural gasoline in the scenario of a 4-stroke engine – is the easiest way to send your investment to the scrapyard.