Why are There Different Chainsaw Oil Mix Ratios?

Most 2-stroke chainsaws recommend a 50:1 chainsaw oil mix ratio. But some recommend 40:1. Older two-stroke equipment might even call for 32:1. Untangling the different recommendations and mixing multiple containers of fuel is a hassle, particularly for professional landscapers who run several different pieces of equipment. In this post, we’ll explain chainsaw oil mix ratios, offer a solution to mixing multiple fuel cans and take a look at what we think is the best 2-stroke oil for your chainsaw.

Chainsaw oil mix ratios explained

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.

To mix one gallon of fuel at 50:1, add 2.6 ounces of two-stroke oil to one gallon of gas, as the top chart shows. The bottom chart shows the same ratios in metric figures.

2-stroke mix chart
Metric 2-Stroke Mix Ratio

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. Read more about the differences between two- and four-stroke engines here.

Different mix ratios create confusion

Complicating things, some equipment manufacturers recommend different chainsaw oil mix ratios.

While most modern chainsaws and other equipment, like string trimmers and leaf blowers, call for 50:1, some call for 40:1 and even 32:1 in older equipment. 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 invites misapplication.

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.

One two-stroke mix ratio for all equipment

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.

Check out the video for details.

What’s the best 2-stroke oil for chainsaws?

It should come as no surprise that we think it’s AMSOIL SABER Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil since this is the AMSOIL blog, after all. But we know you want proof, not empty claims.

SABER Professional delivers improved cleanliness mixed at 100:1 compared to other oils mixed at a conventional 50:1 ratio, as the images of the spark-arrestor screens show. The spark-arrestor screen is especially prone to deposits since it’s positioned in the exhaust stream. Heavy deposits choke off airflow and lead to hard starting, rough running and power loss.

Equipment using SABER Professional was 96 percent carbon-free based on spark-arrestor testing.

AMSOIL SABER Professional 2-stroke oil fights carbon

You can also check out this technical study that shows how SABER Professional performed against a competitor’s oil in ECHO string trimmers.

Check out how SABER Professional helps Duluth Lawn Care extend two-stroke equipment life.

SABER Professional solves the problem posed by different mix ratios for your chainsaw, trimmer and other equipment. It provides excellent protection at any mix ratio up to 100:1. As the testing shows, it’s also one of the best two-stroke oils for your chainsaw and other equipment available.

Updated. Originally published June 20, 2017.

Comments

  1. I have an older blower that calls for 20:1. If I use your 100:1 oil, what ratio should I use?
    Would it hurt to mix your oil at 20:1?
    Would it be safe to mix your oil at 100:1 for use in my 20:1 manufacturer-recommended blower?
    What would you recommend?

  2. I WAS JUST WONDERING? IN WHAT APPLIATIONS DO YOU RECCOMMEND USING THE DOMINATOR 2 STROKE MIX? I HAVE USED BOTH OF THEM IN ALL MY SMALL ENGINES AT 50.1 NEVER HAVE HAD ANY TROUBLE. AMSOIL MAKES GREAT PRODUCTS.

    1. Hi Randy,

      Use DOMINATOR Synthetic 2-Stroke Racing Oil in high-performance stock or modified two-stroke engines, including air- or liquid-cooled snowmobiles, personal watercraft, motorcycles (moto X), ATVs, go-carts and outboard motors. It’s good for use with coated or non-coated pistons, high-octane racing fuels and exhaust power valves. Use it in oil-injected and pre-mix applications that require API TC oils. In pre-mix applications, DOMINATOR delivers outstanding protection at 50:1 (2.6 oz. oil per U.S. gallon of gas), although many racers modify the mix ratio to suit their setup. It’s not suitable for use with alcohol or nitro-methane fuels.

      Thanks,

      John

  3. I live on Long Island and cannot locate where to purchase AMSOIL for my chainsaw. This is very confusing as I did a lot of searches, and one store said they have AMSOIL for everything but chainsaws. Zip code 11779, help please.

    1. Hi Bill,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling to find our products. Try using our AMSOIL Locator and searching for your nearest independent AMSOIL Dealer. Give him or her a call, and he or she will be glad to help. You can also order directly at AMSOIL.com.

      Good luck,

      John

  4. How is this SABER blend different from the original 100:1 AMSOIL 2 stroke oil for dirt bikes? I’ve been running the original type oil since 1983 and I was told that AMSOIL changed the formula for the bikes and that the 100:1 ratio oil is only recommended for lawn equipment now, and that dirt bikes require a different AMSOIL formula at a 50:1 ratio.

    I’m about to run out of the original formula 100:1 oil. I have 3 quads and 4 bikes (all are 500cc engines) and I don’t want to have to re-jet them all. One of them has 2 carburetors and is no fun to re-jet.

    I am a lifetime dealer for AMSOIL. By the way, I was also told that the racers had successfully run the old oil at 280:1.

    1. Hi Barry,

      We always look at the needs of the specific equipment, and two-stroke lawn and landscape equipment is running hotter and leaner than ever before. We adjusted the formulation of SABER Professional to account for these needs. We haven’t formally tested SABER in two-stroke dirt bikes since the majority of people use the product in handheld lawn and landscape equipment, which is also why we no longer formally recommend it in powersports applications. That said, however, you can continue to use it in your two-stroke bikes and ATVs. The formulation changes we’ve made will not have an adverse effect on protection in those applications.

      Thanks,

      John

  5. Great in detail information. Really helpful information about 2 stroke oil mixing confusion. A lot of people find it really confusing and hard. I think this content will help them.

  6. I have reviewed some the best 2 stroke oil for chainsaw.AMSOIL Saber Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil is really an awesome oil for delivering so much much power to the chainsaw. It is low in smoke and very affordable in price.

  7. This a great in-depth post… I believe many people haven’t learned about two-stroke mix ratios and that you have to take into account the quality of AMSOIL Saber two-stroke oil to understand that it can be run at 100:1. Having 1 mix for everything is the way to go!

  8. Thanks for posting this, great to know. I have been using your two stroke oils for years at 50:1, i will switch to 100:1.

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