How to Mix Chainsaw Gas: A Comprehensive Guide

how to mix chainsaw gas

Mixing chainsaw gas correctly is crucial for optimal performance and longevity of your equipment. Using the wrong gas or oil ratio can lead to a host of issues including engine damage, poor cutting ability, and increased wear and tear. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the right fuel, mixing it properly, and storing it safely. Whether you’re new to chainsaw operation or a seasoned pro, you’ll find tips to help keep your saw running smoothly. Let’s dive in!

Why is Cleaning the Chainsaw Carburetor Important for Properly Mixing Chainsaw Gas?

Cleaning the chainsaw carburetor is crucial for effectively mixing chainsaw gas. By using the cleaning chainsaw carburetor guide, you ensure that the carburetor is free from any dirt, debris, or residue, allowing it to function optimally. A clean carburetor enables proper fuel and air mixture, leading to efficient performance and longer lifespan of your chainsaw.

How to Mix Chainsaw Gas?

Mixing chainsaw gas involves combining gasoline and two-stroke engine oil in the correct ratio to ensure the smooth operation and longevity of your chainsaw. For most chainsaws, a 50:1 gas-to-oil ratio is recommended, which means you need to mix 50 parts gasoline to 1 part oil. To achieve this, you can use a gas can specifically designed for mixing fuel, or you can measure the gasoline and oil separately before combining them. 

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For example, if you need to mix one gallon of fuel, you would use 128 ounces of gasoline and 2.6 ounces of two-stroke engine oil. It’s essential to use the correct type of oil specified by the chainsaw manufacturer and to mix the fuel thoroughly before adding it to your chainsaw’s fuel tank.

Choosing the Right Gas and Oil

When it comes to chainsaw gas, not just any gasoline will do. It’s important to use fresh, high-quality gas with the proper octane rating. Most chainsaw manuals recommend an octane rating of at least 89 to prevent knocking or pinging which can damage the engine over time. I opt for 91 octane or higher for optimal performance. Be sure to avoid gas with more than 10% ethanol as it can gunk up the fuel system.

For the oil, you’ll need a quality synthetic two-stroke oil designed specifically for air-cooled engines. Unlike motor oil, two-stroke oils are pre-mixed with the gas to provide engine lubrication. Look for a reputable brand that says it meets “JASO FD” or “ISO-L-EGD” standards. Using automotive oil can lead to spark plug fouling, piston sticking, and exhaust port blocking so it’s worth investing in the right stuff.


Knowing Your Mix Ratio

Most chainsaws require a gas to oil mix ratio of either 40:1 or 50:1, but always check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s specified ratio. Mixing at 40:1 provides a bit more lubrication for the engine’s internal components while a 50:1 ratio is suitable for many newer model saws.

Sticking to the recommended mix ratio is crucial – too little oil will lead to engine seizure while too much oil can foul the spark plug and impair proper fuel combustion. When in doubt, err on the side of a little extra lubrication, especially during the break-in period for a new saw.

Mixing the Gas and Oil

With the right ingredients in hand, it’s time to mix up a fresh batch! Be sure to only mix fuel in an approved gas container to avoid any contamination and use either the container’s measurement markings or a separate measuring cup. Mix in a well-ventilated outdoor area away from any sparks or flames.

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Here are the basic steps for mixing chainsaw gas:

  1. Start with fresh gas in your mixing container. Leave a bit of room at the top for the oil.
  2. Add the appropriate amount of two-stroke oil based on the mix ratio. For a 40:1 ratio, that’s around 3.2oz of oil per gallon of gas. Gently swirl or rock the container to distribute the oil.
  3. Give the fuel a final thorough shaking or stirring before pouring it into the chainsaw’s tank. This ensures the oil is fully dispersed.
  4. Label the container with the mix ratio and date so you know how old it is.
  5. Use a fuel funnel to carefully transfer the mixed gas into the chainsaw’s fuel tank. Avoid spilling.
  6. Follow the chainsaw’s fueling instructions and wipe up any spills before starting the engine.

And that’s all there is to it! Just be sure to avoid common mixing mistakes like using other containers or eyeballing oil amounts. Carefully measuring the proper ratio is key.

Storing and Using Mixed Fuel

Once mixed, chainsaw gas has a shelf life between 1-2 months depending on storage conditions before the fuel starts to break down. Keep your mixed fuel in an airtight container out of direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Before each use, give the fuel a good shake to disperse any separated oil. Be sure to avoid running the saw dry – refill when the tank is around 1/4 full. And always follow the manufacturer’s fueling and chainsaw use guidelines in the owner’s manual.

With fresh, properly mixed fuel, you’ll keep your chainsaw’s engine in tip-top shape for smooth cutting.


What is the difference between a 40:1 and 50:1 mix ratio?

The numbers refer to the proportion of gas to oil in the fuel mixture. 40:1 has a bit more oil than 50:1 for extra lubrication. Many older or heavyweight saws call for 40:1 while lighter modern saws can use 50:1. Check your manual or opt for 40:1 if uncertain. Too little oil risks engine damage.

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Can I use regular motor oil for my chainsaw?

No, regular motor oil lacks the additives for air-cooled two-stroke engines. Chainsaw engines work harder and run at higher RPMs than car engines. Using automotive oil can lead to carbon build up, spark plug issues, and poor lubrication. Always use quality two-stroke oils designed for chainsaws.

How often should I mix chainsaw gas?

Mix up fresh fuel every 30-60 days. The oil and gas can start separating after that, reducing lubrication. More frequent mixing is needed in hot weather or if using the saw daily. Write the mix date on the gas container so you know if it’s gone stale.

What if I accidentally use the wrong mix ratio?

First, stop using the incorrectly mixed fuel. Too much oil makes it hard to start and cuts power. Too little oil risks engine damage if used long-term. Drain the fuel tank and refill with properly mixed fuel. If concerned, remove the spark plug to check for oil fouling or deposits before restarting.

How do I clean the oiler holes on my chainsaw?

Use a small wire or paper clip to clear debris restricting the oil hole and channel under the guide bar. Compressed air or brake parts cleaner also help blast out obstructions. Give it a test run to ensure oil flows freely onto the chain again. Clean every few sharpenings or as needed.

Can I use premixed fuel for my chainsaw?

Premixed fuel makes mixing easy but costs more per gallon. Make sure the mix ratio matches your saw’s requirements first. Avoid fuel with ethanol where possible for optimal performance. Rotate premixed fuel out within 2-3 months and store properly just like homemade mix.

How do I know if my chainsaw needs a new oil pump?

Symptoms of a failing oiler system include the chain running dry, seeing no oil spray from the oil hole, or noticing the chain needing frequent tightening. Do a flow test with the bar removed. If no oil comes out after running for 30 seconds, the pump likely needs replacement. Consult an authorized repair shop for installation.

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