Have you ever heard about mixing gas? As strange as it is, most fuel for tools, especially your household lawnmower and chainsaw, do not take straight gasoline from the pump like your car. In order for your machinery to work, you need to have the proper chainsaw gas mixture. And while the mixture itself is simple, the reasons behind it and how to do it can be a little more complicated.
Why Mix Gas for Your Chainsaw?
Basically, every chainsaw has a 2-stroke engine. More specifically, your chainsaw comes with a 2-stroke combustion engine. What is a 2-stroke combustion engine? It works with a single-piston that only moves in two directions, hence 2 strokes. The engine operates by moving that piston either up or down.
When the piston inside the engine fires up and down, it generates the energy required to keep the chain spinning around the bar fast enough to eat through wood. While you can certainly power your chainsaw by only using normal gasoline, things won’t run smoothly for long. This will get you by in a pinch, but you need to mix gasoline with another ingredient to make sure your chainsaw continues to function correctly.
The other ingredient is oil. You need oil inside the gasoline to keep the piston pumping up and down smoothly. Think of it the same way you think of your bar and chain. Obviously, these are two totally different things, but they work on the same principle. If you don’t keep your chain oiled, it will wear down, it will slow, and it will eventually cease to function.
The same can be said about the parts inside your engine. If they are not properly oiled, the piston that moves up and down can eventually fail, not to mention the performance of your chainsaw will be drastically reduced. It must stay properly lubricated so that the engine can continue powering your tool.
How much oil and gasoline you mix together depends greatly on how much fuel you are mixing into a single canister and what the exact ratio specified in the owner’s manual that came with your chainsaw says.
What Gas Should You Use in a Chainsaw?
One of the most common questions people ask is what type of gasoline should be used in a chainsaw? Really, any gasoline will work. But, if you want your engine to operate at maximum capacity for longer, you should use the proper gasoline. And that means don’t use cheap gas!
Try to find gasoline that contains zero ethanol, preferably something with an octane rating of about 89. The lower the octane level, the more chance that the gasoline will cause irreparable damage to the internal parts of your machine.
As for the type of oil, any 2-stroke engine requires 2-stroke oil. This may sound completely ridiculous, but that is exactly how you will know which oil to use. The container could say either “two-stroke,” “2-stroke,” or “2-cycle.” It could have any variation of the number 2 and the word cycle or stroke. It might even say “2T” on the container. The important thing is that it all means the same.
This is the only oil you should be mixing with your gasoline. You can’t use regular motor oil because it is not designed to lubricate a 2-stroke engine. It will ruin the performance of your chainsaw. Maybe not the first time you use it, but it will eventually completely wreck how your chainsaw functions.
What is the Proper Gasoline to Oil Mixture for Your Chainsaw?
This is the part many people find confusing. If one of these people is you, don’t be embarrassed. This can be a little boggling to anyone.
Every chainsaw is manufactured a little differently and requires one of two gasoline and oil mixtures. There are two main ratios. The first is 4:1 and the second is 5:1. You could also say 40 to 1 or 50 to 1.
All this means is that your mixture needs to be 50 parts gasoline and 1 part oil. As you can tell, the oil is more of a flavor than an ingredient. Here is a detailed chart of how much gasoline goes with how much oil. This is all you will need to know about mixing your chainsaw fuel.
40 to 1 Gas & Oil Mixture Chart
1 Gallons Gasoline = 3.2 Ounces Oil
2 Gallons Gasoline = 6.4 Ounces Oil
3 Gallons Gasoline = 9.6 Ounces Oil
4 Gallons Gasoline = 12.8 Ounces Oil
5 Gallons Gasoline = 16 Ounces Oil
50 to 1 Gas & Oil Mixture Chart
1 Gallons Gasoline + 2.6 Ounces Oil
2 Gallons Gasoline = 5.1 Ounces Oil
3 Gallons Gasoline = 7.6 Ounces Oil
4 Gallons Gasoline = 10.2 Ounces Oil
5 Gallons Gasoline = 12.8 Ounces Oil
How to Mix Gasoline and Oil
The actual mixing process of gasoline and oil is quite simple. Let’s say you have a jug of gasoline and a bottle of oil. First, you need to pour half your gasoline into a third container. Second, pour all of your oil into the same container, the amount of oil depending on how much gasoline you are using. You may have to do some math, so I recommend bringing a calculator. Close the bottle and shake for about 10 seconds.
After you have given the bottle a nice shake, add the rest of the gasoline. Then shake again. Fill the tank of your chainsaw about 80% to the top and you are ready to start work. That’s all there is to it.
If you are using a one-gallon jug of gas and a small three-ounce bottle of oil, you would be fine just pouring the entire bottle of oil into the jug of gasoline and then mixing a lot – like, a lot, for at least a minute. But because you are using the gasoline for a chainsaw, you may just be filtering some gas from a 1-gallon jug into a smaller bottle. Don’t forget to bring a measuring instrument and your calculator to determine what the 4:1 or 5:1 ratio will be.