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Have gone from crap to eth-free blends to pre-mix....hoping to learn a lil more about fuels

Cerberus

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The more I learned how bad poor-fuel was for 2-strokes the more adamant I became about ethanol-free-only but lately like 4-5wks now I've been using almost entirely pre-mix, starting w/ husqvarna's 95 oct and after that expense became hard to justify I settled on that $5 Home Depot "True Fuel" (I get the 50:1 and add a smidge of synthetic oil to make it a 45:1 and use it for my 25cc&33cc climbing saws, 42cc ground saw, 25cc blower) I couldn't even tell you whether one of these is better than the other as I was doing mods to my saws the time I switched to pre-mix.

- Is there major variation in the brands, or brands to avoid? Motomix isn't available anywhere I can find locally, Echo and Husq seem the same as Home Depot & Walmart $5 tins..

- In my limited 'field experience' I've found few who'd ever use pre-mix maybe 2-3 people, one is a friend who uses it same as me in everything except blowers, am curious how common it is -- and/or how important people think it is -- to be concerned on fuel as I know enough guys who just get the cheapest fuel (with ethanol) and half-ass their oil% when mixing (and don't mix thoroughly before filling tanks) Feel like Stihl voids warranties if you use ethanol-based fuels, have seen demo's of how clean the fuel burns relative to gas-station petrol, it's starting to seem pre-mix is as useful a habit/routine as sharpening-frequeny / proper oiling / etc to the saw, can't help but wonder what boosts there are in performance but til all climbing saws are lith-ion at least clean fuel means a boost in longevity for the carb and anything in the gas' path really!

- What should be taken into-account to determine optimal oil% (42:1 etc) for your saws / area? For instance I have my saws with very opened air & exhaust movement so while I did tune H&L (turned each out ~1/8 turn, sounds pretty good am gonna do w/ the tach today) to 'richen'/fatten the air/fuel, I can't stop wondering "maybe you should be running a heavier oil% like 40:1 (actually I think most of my saws want 40:1 and I've just been giving them 45:1 because my ground saw is 50:1 so I mix 45:1 for all....should probably cut that out) But I just expect things like that, or me living in hot / humid / sea-level Florida, could influence "optimal" oil% for my mixes so any info on this would be greatly appreciated as I can't rule-out the opposite (ie maybe going leaner on oil% like 51:1 for high-throughput engines *is* smarter because faster movement *plus* thicker viscosity fluid could be a bit stressful on the internals)

FWIW I care most about optimizing my climbing saws (which're both asking 40:1 OEM), will start at least baselining 40:1 and 50:1 as per OEM spec (can't believe I'd been doing 1 mix sounds real dumb now that I've written it :p ) but it's so easy to up/down a couple %'s oil, or to give a crap about octane% (if you're always using fresh fuel - isn't octane a stability rating more than anything?), or to be more aggressive about opening-up fuel-flow (high&low jets) on an 'opened-up' powerhead, would love any advice/thoughts on any of these topics thanks!! Oh and for context I currently tune by using my tach solely to verify I don't break max redline RPM's and tune by-ear for everything else (minor tach usage if a tricky idle//low setting on badly mis-set powerhead) and my aim is to keep the chain *still* at idle (is slight movement OK? See it soooo often...), for Low to be set a touch opened/rich and allow snappy/instant-seeming rev-up's, High is then brought up near factory max-rpm out-of-cut, then in-cut richen/lean as needed so it's strong when cutting and goes into 4-stroking when pulled-back from the wood.

[PS- additives? I'll add HEET to my fuel-containers ("ISO-HEET" actually, like $2 at walmart) because the humidity here sucks and this stuff seems to do a good job evap'ing and 'filling' a container IE preventing as much of your fuel from doing that....wish fuel-bags were a thing or rather a common thing am sure google has 'em!]
 

Cerberus

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Wanted to add an anecdote because I'm curious if there's "different classes" with respects to how fuel/fuel-quality matters... So- guy I worked for for half a decade has a crappy old 35cc Poulan and he literally will pour in gasoline (cheapest/worst possible), eye-ball a splash of motor-oil and shake it (in-tank of the saw) and run it -- this saw has been a reliable (horrible, mind you, but reliable) saw for the ~5yrs I've helped this guy and it's always blown my mind.

On the other hand, I've got Husqvarna and other better brands/reputation *but* my best piece of equipment is (well actually it's tied w/ the Husq as both are issue-free) an off-brand 'Scheppach' unit, actually going to buy a 2nd unit as they're so cheap (basically clones/comparables to the cs2511t type build, maybe 1-1.5lbs heavier although after some mods I bet 0.5lbs is lost) but what blows my mind is it says 40:1 *but* this same unit is sold by others (at least 3 or 4 other badgings/colors for same saw) who advise as rich('fat'?) an oil% as a 25:1 (!) which has me suspecting that oil% that's tolerable is a wide-ish range and, if so, that it makes sense to know what influences a particular use-case's "optimal" oil% so you can use fuels appropriate to your particular saw & locale (and maybe use-case? Can't think of how that'd really matter though, just humidity/altitude and the saw's configuration)
 

Cerberus

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Oh no!!! Is that because it's a "utfse" thing or strong opposing views? Hoping the latter lol, the youtube from Steve's Small Engine Saloon is my most thorough understanding of fuels and a good portion of that seems to be him relaying Motomix marketing materials.... gonna do a burn between Walmart's ("Small Engine Fuel") and Husq or Echo to see if there's a visible difference in burn-quality...Husq=95oct, True Fuel (Home Depot) is 92, can't recall Echo's, Walmart's is 90oct.....My understanding was octane related more to shelf life although Wiki's implying it correlates to strength//compression (unsure if/when this matters in climbing-saw engines, would totally buy a vac/pressure gauge kit if I could find a reason but for my purposes a tight cylinder is pretty easy to feel w/ the cord :p )

It does seem that no matter how great the initial fuel, any air-gap in the storage container would be detrimental as it's evaporating and changing composition and it's been implied to me this isn't a change for the better (which makes sense if fuel degrades over time anyway - bet manner-of-storage is huge to the degradation curve) which makes me love those lil pre-mix bottles as a quick splash of Iso-HEET into it and a touch of oil should have it as close to 'optimal' as poss when pouring into a saw (and gotta say I've loved how infrequently I'm spilling now that I'm pouring from these lil cans I think you guys know what I mean about your wrists just getting raw/numb some(/many? :p ) days but those lil cans I almost never get gas on my saw's body....if/when I do I always have brake cleaner alongside my gas&oil setup (brake cleaner for plastics and carb-cleaner for metals, both used liberally especially carb-cleaner and spray-lube when doing routine 'ghetto bar maintenance' like mid-job cleaning...love walmart for that stuff, $2 a can for all 3 of those sprays, as I use a *ton* lol :)
 

Basher

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Oil threads never go anywhere but round and round on the net, all safe two stroke oil works fine at the correct ratio`s. I have many saws from the 50`s on up to the late 2018`s , none have suffered from running pump gas and two stroke mix oil.
 

mdavlee

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By some 40:1 trufuel and be done with it? That’s what I buy for storage or check Walmart for a sale on the off brand SEF 4 cycle fuel and add some mineral oil to it to fog the bearings.
 

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Just be careful buying canned fuel from open boxes. Heard horror stories from guys on here who bought it and it burned up their saw. Someone had previously bought it, used it, and refilled with straight gas or even water and returned it for a refund.

But for clarification purposes,
Premix would refer to buying straight fuel and mixing your own oil in with the gas before dumping it into the tank, as opposed to oil injection, where you’d dump straight gas into the tank and the 2 stroke oil would be injected into the case from a separate tank. And then there’s canned fuel, which can either be straight or already have oil mixed in. That’s usually how it’s referred to in some threads here, at least
 

bcbz71

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Oil threads never go anywhere but round and round on the net, all safe two stroke oil works fine at the correct ratio`s. I have many saws from the 50`s on up to the late 2018`s , none have suffered from running pump gas and two stroke mix oil.

IMSMO In my simply minded opinion efree fuel from a dedicated pump combined with your favorite oil is the most reasonable way to go.
.

I'm no expert so all I can go on is my personal, non-technical experience. In 2000, my garage caught on fire and I got all new "stuff" so it helps me track the age of my equipment. 20 years later, my Stihl straight shaft trimmer, blower and chainsaws are still running strong with WalMart 2-stroke oil and non-eth gas from whatever pump has it (it's much more prevalent now at my local gas stations) as well as a couple of outboard motors. My trimmer has slung a heavy brush cutter blade over miles of hunting trails and fencelines in addition to it's string trimming, hedge clipping, and sidewalk edging duties at home -- how that thing is still running simply amazes me.

I did buy the Stihl oil with my new saw to extend the warranty and will run that in it until the 6 pack is empty. Then it gets the same treatment as everything else.

I will add that I put a shot of Sta-bil and a shot of SeaFoam in all my non-eth gas every time I get 5 gallons of it and if I don't use it in 3 months I pour it into my truck so I always have fresh gas in the container.
 

Basher

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I'm no expert so all I can go on is my personal, non-technical experience. In 2000, my garage caught on fire and I got all new "stuff" so it helps me track the age of my equipment. 20 years later, my Stihl straight shaft trimmer, blower and chainsaws are still running strong with WalMart 2-stroke oil and non-eth gas from whatever pump has it (it's much more prevalent now at my local gas stations) as well as a couple of outboard motors. My trimmer has slung a heavy brush cutter blade over miles of hunting trails and fencelines in addition to it's string trimming, hedge clipping, and sidewalk edging duties at home -- how that thing is still running simply amazes me.

I did buy the Stihl oil with my new saw to extend the warranty and will run that in it until the 6 pack is empty. Then it gets the same treatment as everything else.

I will add that I put a shot of Sta-bil and a shot of SeaFoam in all my non-eth gas every time I get 5 gallons of it and if I don't use it in 3 months I pour it into my truck so I always have fresh gas in the container.

I do about the same, not overly concerned about the maker of the mix oil as long as its for air cooled two strokes it gets mixed with non eth gas at 40:1 since the early 70`s. All my work saws work for an existence, they show it and are not shelf queens and don`t get waxed , just used as intended. One of my early 044`s passed well beyond 2000 hrs, I rebuilt it and now it resides with a chap that bucks up hardwood for extra income, still going strong some 7 years after its rebuild, not re paint.
 

huskyhank

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If its readily available where you live and work it would be much less expensive to buy high octane pump gas without ethanol, add your choice of good quality saw oil and store it in a metal can. Buy a can that holds about a one month supply and you won’t have to worry about having good fuel when you need it. But if that is a logistical problem then buy a case of 40:1 canned fuel and run that. Whichever route you choose you don’t have to add anything but oil to the pump gas and nothing to the canned fuel.
 

Lcfd1124

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I love the tru fuel 4 cycle blend and then add the stihl synthetic silver bottle at 40:1. Some of my stuff will sit for a year or two but still fire right up. In Stihl update schools they push the motomix
 

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My opinion on this is likely a unpopular one.... I think you could buy a bunch of carb kits or a couple carbs and a few piston with the money you saved by just running fresh pump fuel. The cost increase is pretty small going to rec fuel. But the canned fuel is just too expensive to use in any volume. Susie homeowner it's ok but go cut firewood or mill and costs go way up fast.
 

sawmikaze

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Just be careful buying canned fuel from open boxes. Heard horror stories from guys on here who bought it and it burned up their saw. Someone had previously bought it, used it, and refilled with straight gas or even water and returned it for a refund.

But for clarification purposes,
Premix would refer to buying straight fuel and mixing your own oil in with the gas before dumping it into the tank, as opposed to oil injection, where you’d dump straight gas into the tank and the 2 stroke oil would be injected into the case from a separate tank. And then there’s canned fuel, which can either be straight or already have oil mixed in. That’s usually how it’s referred to in some threads here, at least

Happened to a dude I know with a blower.
 

Frankh

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Keep it fresh too. I've taken what used to be fuel out of someone's generator that sat for an extended time...I think at least a couple of years, and you could not light it with a match. And there was no separated water in it.
 

mikefunaro

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I should know better than to get involved in a fuel and oil thread but....

I don't think the canned fuels are worth it if you have access to ethanol free pump gas. Looking at pure-gas . org (website), it looks like there are plenty of stations with ethanol free pump gas.

In the absence of E-free pump gas, I used to use regular E10 super and then use the true-fuel as a storage fuel and in equipment which was hardly ever used. Now with the E-free pump gas everything runs better and I don't worry about storage over winter etc.

The pre-mix fuel and the idea of a 2 year shelf life is cool, but I never found equipment to run all that much better on it, and if you're doing anything more than putting 1/2 a tank in a saw for storage, it gets expensive in a hurry.

Mike
 

Czed

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Cheapest unleaded pump gas with quality
2 stroke oil
40/1
I have over 30 saws for some reason
Most are from the 80s/90s
No way could I afford premix fuel.
Haven't lost a saw yet
And when I swapped out the crap china fuel and pulse line's on some china 372s no issue's at all.
Too much trouble to get e free here.
 

Cerberus

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Wanted to add something-- I'd upped the oil% of a 50:1 pre-mix to make it 40:1 for my 25cc climb saw and - I'd thought - my 33cc climb saw.......but when I checked the manual for my 33cc saw it doesn't even have a recommendation!! Literally says:
"Use genuine two-cycle oil or use a mix between 25:1 to 50:1, please consult the oil bottle for the rratio or Tanaka dealer" (then next line is "Only for the state of California at 50:1"
This is actually more in-line with what I'd think was optimal IE that it's not a hard-# for a particular chainsaw but, like a carb's jets' positions, it's relative to your enviro (altitude/humidity/etc) Wish they gave a starting point lol BUT it does explain something I couldn't understand which was that my 25cc, a "Scheppach CSP2540" (ebay/amazon 'clone'/similar-to echo 2511t), asks for 40:1 *but* the saw is sold by multiple retailers (different brandings/colors but same identical saw) and I've seen one version that'd asked for 25:1 and I couldn't make sense of it (guess this level of variance is also why the guy I know who eyeballs his oil% still hasn't destroyed his saw!)

Now it's just determining proper % or rather learning how to properly determine it for any given powerhead, I've no idea but greatly appreciate ANY help in understanding how to approach this if your saw's are ported, if you're in a really really humid area (FL), how to choose your oil% (alternatively any advice/clarification on "what does more/less oil% do to a saw?" would be just as useful ;-D )
 

Cerberus

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[Only time to get halfway caught-up here but damn that's a lot of great info can't thank you guys enough!!! :D ]

IMSMO In my simply minded opinion efree fuel from a dedicated pump combined with your favorite oil is the most reasonable way to go.

.
How do you choose your oil%? I've got a 2nd-hand saw whose manual is saying 25:1 to 50:1 and I've zero clue how to determine 'optimal', am not anal and looking to get it to the % but would like to know what would sway someone towards 50:1 opposed to 25:1..


IF you're concerned with alcohol in the fuel, you might want to read what's in the HEET.
https://images.homedepot-static.com/catalog/pdfImages/f4/f4794402-84bb-4620-a5d2-8d7e079c99e7.pdf
Thanks!! How did you grab that so easily? Would love to see the same for regular HEET, I'd been using that and switched-to ISO-HEET.... Anyway lol why on earth add 0.02% xylene or toulene? Am betting pure isopropyl would have to be labelled as such in fact I vaguely recall an analogous case with boric acid//insecticides, gotta say I'm now thinking to just add some regular 90% isopropyl lol, the product was initially reco'd to me for my truck and had helped so I became a religious user, I think it makes sense if the isopropyl evaps and 'fills' the air-portion of the container thus preventing the fuel itself from evaporation (which *is* occurring in your gas can right now and degrading your gas) Guess splashing some isopropyl alcohol into the can of fuel would have same effect, going to have to google to find someone who's done this and worked out a hard rate to use (iso///petrol, or maybe it's iso///container-volume) but at any rate thanks a ton for finding that am very happy you found this thread :D

By some 40:1 trufuel and be done with it? That’s what I buy for storage or check Walmart for a sale on the off brand SEF 4 cycle fuel and add some mineral oil to it to fog the bearings.
Why 4-cycle fuel? And would like to know what's meant by 'add some mineral oil to fog the bearings' (adding mineral oil...applied where, fogging what bearings?)
And Re "get 40:1 trufuel and be done with it" I dunno I mean that's basically where I'm at an am not looking to change much but as mentioned my larger climb saw doesn't even have a hard-# for oil% it's "25:1---->50:1", and it gets subjected to "one extreme" of use-case ie it's used for long runs at a time and pushed hard and it's done in a hot humid environment, surely that's gotta influence if 40:1, or 50:1, is the better choice for this "25--->50:1" saw (am not BS'ing / playing devil's advocate it's a Tanaka tcs33edtp I can screenshot my pdf of the service manual to show this if doubted!! I'm betting there was a sticker w/ a reco on it at one point but it was broken&bar-less when I took possession of it..

Just be careful buying canned fuel from open boxes. Heard horror stories from guys on here who bought it and it burned up their saw. Someone had previously bought it, used it, and refilled with straight gas or even water and returned it for a refund.

But for clarification purposes,
Premix would refer to buying straight fuel and mixing your own oil in with the gas before dumping it into the tank, as opposed to oil injection, where you’d dump straight gas into the tank and the 2 stroke oil would be injected into the case from a separate tank. And then there’s canned fuel, which can either be straight or already have oil mixed in. That’s usually how it’s referred to in some threads here, at least
Re compromised fuel from those moronically-unsealed cans, yeah that had crossed my mind holy crap you are so right, I'd even joked about it to my brother when buying some the other day (about how it's honor-system essentially I mean it's open containers that we're feeding to our saws here) so honestly just hearing an anecdote is enough that I'm now thinking "just buy a case at a time"....would F'ing LOVE to find if anyone's ever actually done a comparative analysis of the various canned mixtures I mean Husqvarna's 95oct is like 70% more expensive than SEF(92oct from walmart) and I couldn't even tell you for sure that higher octane is of *any* value to me, have no idea if husq fuel is far better, same, inferior am only able to guess based on branding&price.. (thnx for nomenclature help btw it's greatly appreciated am sure it's obvious but I'm still quite green ;P )
 
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