If you’re running a machine such as a leaf blower or hedge trimmer with a small engine, you may be wondering which is the best gas to oil ratio. Pre-mixing your own gas and oil has become very popular over the last few years. 40 to 1 or 50 to 1 2 stroke mixes are commonly used for outdoor, hand-held power tools with a 2-cycle engine.
Rather than buying fuel, you could mix either 40 or 50 parts of gasoline to 1 part two-stroke oil together. The theory is that the engine will run more smoothly when using a mix of gasoline and oil. However, there seems to be so much advice about which ratio to use and different combinations. It can be confusing to work out which amounts to use. Let’s look at which is the best ratio: 40 to 1 vs. 50 to 1 2 stroke mix.
Why do people mix their own fuel?
There are a few reasons why people might want to switch to pre-mixing their own gas, but the main one is that it can save you money in the long run. The other reason is that it’s seen as being much safer, as you’re less likely to end up with the wrong fuel mix.
You’ll also need to make sure that you use a good quality two-stroke oil, as this will help to keep your engine in good condition. When mixing your own fuel, you’ll need to determine the correct ratios to avoid damaging the engine of your power tool. You should also be aware that using incorrect ratios can cause the engine to either run too rich or too lean.
Which to choose?: 40 to 1 vs 50 to 1 2 stroke mix
The best gas to oil ratio for a small engine that is classified as a two-stroke engine is usually around 40 to 1. This mix is usually used in machines smaller power tools such as leaf blowers or strimmers. However, it’s always best to check the manufactures website or read the instruction manual that came with your power tool to determine the correct ratio to use. If you are using a high-performance engine or if you are converting a machine from four-stroke to two-stroke operation, then the ratio might need to be increased to 50:1. Newer, modern machines also need a ratio of 50:1 of gas to oil.
If you’ve lost the instruction manual and cannot find which ratio to use, you can use the manufacture date as a rough guide. Hand-held machines such as power tools that were manufactured before 2003 generally require a ratio of gas to oil of 32:1.
For tools that were manufactured from 2003 to the present day, you can use a 40:1 gas to oil ratio. This would equate to one gallon of petrol which can be mixed with 3.2 oz of 2-stroke engine oil. It’s also worth noting the emission laws where you live. If you reside in California, you’ll be required to use a ratio of 40:1 no matter the age of the power tool.
When you’re mixing the gas and oil together, you’ll need a clean, empty gasoline container and a measuring jug. Measure out the gas and two stroke oil very carefully using the following ratios:
- 40:1 if you live in California
- 32:1 if your machine was manufactured before 2003
- 40:1 if your machine was manufactured after 2003
- 40:1 if you are unsure when your machine was manufactured
- 50: 1 if you own a very new, modern machine
Add the two stroke engine oil to the container first, then add the gasoline. You can then shake the container well to ensure that the mixture is even. It’s best only to mix as much as you need at the time, rather than mixing enough so that you have some spare. If you mix a bit extra, don’t worry, as it can be kept for up to a month. It’s best not to use an old mixture in your power tools as this could affect their lifespan and how well they run.
40 to 1 vs 50 to 1 2 stroke mix: Conclusion
When it comes to choosing the best gas to oil ratio for your small engine, 40:1 is usually a good option. However, if you are using a high-performance engine or converting a machine from four-stroke to two-stroke operation, the ratio might need to be increased to 50:1. You can also check the age of the machine and the date of manufacture. Hand-held power tools that were made before 2003 require a ratio of 32:1 of gas to oil.