When dealing with a leaf blower (a gas leaf blower to be precise), there are several factors that need to be put into consideration, one of which includes mixing gas. If you have never owned a gas leaf blower before or have never operated one, there is an important factor that you need to understand. It is important that you always fill up your blower with the right amount of oil to gas ratio. If you by coincidence fail to mix oil in with the gas, it is possible to experience a shattering result, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that. In those kinds of cases, you will most likely have to buy a new leaf blower because the engine could lock up in just a few seconds.
Now if you have a gas leaf blower or a similar type of the two-stroke engine, then it may be required of you to make a gas-oil premix which will allow you to get the best operation out of your leaf blower. When considering whether or not to mix up a batch of motor oil for your gas leaf blower, you may also want to calculate how to get maximum results from your mix without it costing you too much money. It is important to note that mixing the correct quantity of gas and oil for your gas leaf blower is not difficult, however, it can be difficult if you do not understand the concept behind it or the proper ratios required.
Do you wish to know if your leaf blower takes mixed gas? Are you interested in knowing how to mix gas for a leaf blower in the right proportion? Do you need a complete guide on mixing gas for a leaf blower? You have come to the right place! In the rest of this article, you will find a complete guide on everything you need to know about mixing gas for a leaf blower. Follow closely the frequently asked questions below and find what you are looking for.
What is the Industry Standard?
Typically, all gas leaf blowers are designed to use a gas-to-oil mixture ratio of 40:1. Technically, that would translate to about 3.2 ounces of a two-cycle engine oil to about one gallon of gas. The reason for the two-cycle is because most gas blowers are designed to have a two-cycle engine, which requires the gas or oil mixture for the engine to stay lubricated. When mixing, it is important for you not to mix a regular engine oil in the mixture, this is because it is too thick and high viscosity can cause additional problems for your machine.
Mixing Gas and Oil
Once you have gotten the ratios figured out, you can proceed to take your gas can to the gas station to fill it up. Make sure you only use fresh gas when you want to refill your blower. When you’ve filled up about a gallon of gas in your can, just go ahead to pour in the oil and mix it around properly. There is no special technique required when it comes to mixing it, just close the cap of the gas can and give it a good shake for a few seconds and you are good to go.
Also, it is always better to overestimate the amount of oil that you add to your gas rather than not have enough. However, try to put in effort to get the proper ratio, but also note that the engine will run better with more oil mixed in, rather than less. If perhaps you are unsure about what the exact ratio is for your leaf blower, you may check the owner’s manual for more information. You can also make use of the regular unleaded gasoline for the mixture, but it won’t cost too much if you upgrade to the premium grade. In fact, the more expensive and quality gas will most probably help your engine run a little more smoothly than others.
The Two-Stroke Engine VS. The Four-Stroke Engine
If you own a blower that uses a two-stroke engine, then there are certain things that you need to face as an owner of that particular piece of equipment, and this includes having to learn how to mix gas for your leaf blower. Certainly, you can always resort to buying a bottle of pre-mixed gas every time you need to run your blower (well that’s if you can handle the costs), but the costs of doing that will add up more quickly than when you decide to do your recipe. To get your leaf blower running in the best way, all you need to do is get a high-quality regular gas and some two-stroke engine oil and you’re good to go.
There are certain gas leaf blowers that come with a four-stroke engine, and for those kinds, you don’t need to mix oil with the gas. Instead, you can just top it up with straight gas every time you need to use it and you are set to go. If you are not certain what kind of engine you have, then you should most likely make out time to consult your user manual. Taking the time to read the contents of your user manual will allow you to learn a lot of vital information about your equipment – from the right kind of fuel or fuel mix that it requires, to specific procedures on how to start and run the equipment.
But it is still of great surprise that many manufacturers still stick to the two-stroke engines, despite it’s lower fuel efficiency, the added noise and the need to mix gas and oil to get them running. This is because the two-stroke engines still hold some advantages over four-stroke engines.
The first and important factor is that two-stroke engines have very simple mechanisms compared to four-stroke engines, and they offer a very good weight to performance ratio compared to the latter. When it comes to cost, two-stroke motors are also a lot less expensive to manufacture compared to four-stroke engines. Two-stroke engines are quite light and simple and this is somewhat due to the lack of the dedicated oil lubrication system that a four-stroke engine often has. That is the main reason why it is necessary to add oil to the gas for two-stroke motors in the first place. It is this same oil that circulates throughout the entire system of the motor to lubricate and protect the moving parts of the engine, as well as other components such as the fuel lines and valves.
How to Mix Gas for Leaf Blower
The primary step when it comes to setting the perfect gas and oil mix for your gas leaf blower is to get the right kind of mix. Getting the right ratio of gas and the right kind of oil will cause your engine to keep running smoothly for a long time.
If the gas is too much, then you may run at the risk of not getting enough oil running through the system, and this may lead to premature wear and damage to the moving parts of the engine – and that’s if it was able to start in the first place despite the improper mix.
On the other hand, too much oil will lead to the engine burning up the excess of that oil which in turn comes out as excess smoke. Aside from the breathing hazard that comes with having the gas leaf blower emit too much smoke, the excess oil also tends to prematurely foul up your spark plugs, as well as your other components such as your reed valves and fuel lines.
A large number of leaf blower manufacturers recommend the regular unleaded gasoline for their products. Most of them also endorse 87 octane gas or up, with an ethanol mixture of about 10% or less. Ethanol improved gasoline mixed with 10% ethanol is usually known as E10, while Ethanol enhanced gasoline mixed with 15% ethanol is known as E15.
Also, try to use only the right type of gas that the manufacturer recommends because most of them calibrate their products for a specific type of fuel and if you try other kinds of fuels, and you may risk shortening the useful life of your gas leaf blower. For instance, gas with too much ethanol in it may cause your engine to perform poorly or erratically, and that’s if it switches on at all. In any circumstance, never place in a high ethanol fuel such as E85 in your leaf blower – the same applies to diesel fuels as well.
Fresh gasoline is the ideal option for ensuring that your leaf blower runs at its maximum level. When ethanol is added to ethanol-enhanced fuels, they have a tendency to attract water, and over time, this can cause stale gas to form separate gasoline, ethanol and water layers in the container. If that water layer can get into your engine, it may fail to start.
Some manufacturers may also recommend certain two-cycle engine oils for their motors. Now there are different types of two-cycle oils, so always make sure to pick the one specifically designed for your motor. To also keep your gas leaf blower running at its best, you may want to consider adding the appropriate fuel stabilizer to your mix as well.
Since a lot of manufacturers continue to improve on their existing two-stroke engine models, the ratio has really come down over the past years. Normally, older models would call for a richer mix of 32 gas for every unit of oil, however, the newer and more modern motor can now function optimally with a ratio of 40 to 1, 50 to 1, or even less. This is actually a good thing since the two-cycle engine oil can be a bit expensive.
The Normal Oil to Gas Ratio
The most general issues when it comes to gas leaf blowers not coming on or refusing to start is often related to improper fuel mixes and stale fuel. That is the main reason you need to get your ratio right because, not only will it extend the life of your equipment, but you will also be able to use it in the first place. So before you start mixing, it is always a good idea to first review the right oil to gas ratio you need to put together for the specific model of leaf blower you are using. You can check the user manual for information about the right ratio. In fact, some manufacturers also place the right ratio on the fuel tank of the leaf blower, or inside the fuel cap just to make things easier for the user. One easy way to get just the right oil to gas ratio for your leaf blower is to use your gas container as your reference, then work out your way from there.
Now if you have a gallon container of fresh regular unleaded gasoline, you will be able to know just how many ounces of two-cycle oil you will be needing for that batch. Also, making your mix in the gas container allows you to be able to put on a self-venting spout for easy refills, and it also lets you seal the mixture securely later so that air and humidity do not get to it.
According to the one US gallon container of gas (which is equal to 128 US fluid ounces), you will be needing 6.4 ounces of oil in order to achieve a 20 to 1 mix. To get a 30 to 1 mix for the same container, it will require about 4.3 ounces of oil. For a 32 to 1 recipe, it is quite easy to figure out – that means that you will need exactly 4 ounces of oil for every gallon of gas added. Usually, the 40 to 1 ratio is one of the most common ratios for two-cycle engines present on the market today. To get that ratio from one gallon of your gas, you will need to add exactly 3.2 ounces of oil. On the other hand, for a 45 to 1 ratio, you will need 2.8 ounces of oil. Also, the 50 to 1 ratio is yet another common ratio recommended for many new leaf blower models. In order to achieve the correct 50 to 1 mix, you will need to add 2.6 ounces of oil to a gallon of gas. A 60 to 1 mix ratio requires 2.1 ounces of oil for the same gallon, while an 80 to 1 mix requires just 1.6 ounces of oil.
However, if you still prefer the metric way of measuring things, then you will be working with liters as your standard. For a typical gas can, you will find the 5-liter container — which is equivalent to about 1¼ gallons of gas. Getting a 20:1 ratio with a 5-liter can of gas is quite simple- you will be needing about 250 ml or 1/4 liter of oil for the whole container. To get a 30 to 1 ratio, you will need to add 167 ml of oil to the gas. Then for a 32 to 1 mix, you will need 156 ml of oil.
The typical and most common 40 to 1 ratio is also easy to compute in liters. You will need just ⅛ of a liter or 125 ml of oil for every 5 liters of gas. A 45:1 ratio, on the other hand, requires 111 ml of oil. The frequently used 50 to 1 ratio, which is another common type of mix, is also easily done with liters. All you need to do is just to measure out 100 ml, or 1/10 of a liter of oil for every 5 liters of gas. Finally, a 60 to 1 mix requires that you use 83 ml of oil, while an 80 to 1 mix needs just 63 ml of oil. It can’t get easier than this, all you just need to do is find the ratio that best fits your equipment.
Gas Container Sizes
Since you have got the recipe for your leaf blower figured out, it is also a good idea to note it down for future reference – you can actually scribble it on a convenient spot on your leaf blower if there’s a need to. In addition, if you base it around the basic one gallon or 5-liter gas containers, then it becomes simple to scale it up for larger gas container sizes.
For containers that come in gallons, you can put together 2 gallons, 2.5 gallons and 5-gallon cans alongside your typical 1-gallon container. For metric consumers, you can also find 10 liter and 20-liter gas cans in addition to the basic 5-liter unit. Therefore, as you scale up to these larger gas container sizes, all you just need to do is multiply the oil needed in your recipe accordingly. If your 32 to 1 mix requires 4 ounces of oil for a gallon container, for example, then you will simply need to add 8 ounces of oil to a 2-gallon gas container, and you’re good to go.
Some Manufacturer’s Gas to Oil Ratios
Some manufacturers tend to use the same lines of two-cycle engines for their products, so they may actually try to attach to one or two gas to oil ratio sanctions for their models. That being said, you should continually check with the user manual for the proper mix for the specific leaf blower that you own, even if you already owned a similar leaf blower from the same manufacturer before. Below are some manufacturers and their oil to gas ratio.
- Craftsman leaf blowers often comprise a two-cycle engine oil with every purchase of their equipment. Most models from this brand use a 40 to 1 gas to oil mix, so you will need 3.2 ounces of that oil per US gallon of gas.
- Ryobi leaf blowers have actually come a long way right from their previous models that necessitate a rich 32 to 1 ratio. Most of their recent models use a 50 to 1 fuel mix, which is just 2.6 ounces of oil to the gallon.
- Husqvarna, which is another brand that is well regarded for their line of gas-powered leaf blowers, also recommend a 40 to 1 mix for many of their models. The manufacturers recommend 3.2 ounces of McCulloch oil for every gallon of gas, and they also offer the oil in pre-measured 3.2-ounce containers as well. All you just need to do is open and pour it in.
- Poulan Pro tools, another manufacturer well regarded for their line of leaf blowers, trimmers, and chainsaws, also recommend a 40 to 1 gas to oil ratio for their two-cycle products. They also recommend using the 87 octanes regular unleaded gasoline for their leaf blower too.
- Troy-Bilt, a different manufacturer that makes a wide range of two-stroke gardening tools, also endorses a 40 to 1 ratio for the models they produced after 2003. That makes about 3.2 ounces of two-cycle oil for every gallon of gas. They also recommend a 32 to 1 ratio for their handheld models released in 2002 and earlier.
- Makita’s newer gas leaf blowers drive calm on the environs with the 50 to 1 mix that they endorse for their two-stroke engine tools. The manufacturer also recommends that owners only use their two-cycle engine oil with premium unleaded gasoline, which is well mixed at a 50 to 1 ratio. This means that for every 5 liters of gas, a 1/10 liter of oil should be used. However, many of Makita’s newer models are of the four-stroke variety, so if you have one of these four-stroke motors, then a straight premium unleaded gas is all you will need to fuel it up and get it running properly.
What Happens if I Don’t Mix Gas with Oil?
When you do not mix gas with oil or if the mixture is done wrongly, you will quickly realize that there is a problem with your leaf blower. It will only take a flash before the leaf blower begins to malfunction. First, it begins with a horrendous noise and then shuts down completely without coming back on. If this occurs, you may have to take the leaf blower to a professional for repair. However, the repair fees may cost so much that it is just worth buying a brand new leaf blower instead. So always ensure that you mix gas with oil when using a two-stroke engine, and ensure you do it in the right proportion.
Other Things You Should Know
Asides mixing gas with oil, another thing that can cause damage to your leaf blower may be poor maintenance and handling. If you are done making use of your blower, and you know you won’t be using it for a long time, then make sure you empty the gas tank and seal it tightly with the cover. Leaving the gas/oil mix in the tank and allowing it to remain for a long time can allow it to get more viscous and can cause additional problems.
In addition, one thing to pay attention to is how you mix your gas and oil. Always make sure you shake your gas/oil mixture right before you put it in the leaf blower. This is because the oil will separate from the gas especially when it sits and remains for a certain period of time, so you need to make sure it is well mixed before introducing it into the blower. Lastly, if you come to a point in the year where you know that you won’t be needing the oil-gas mixture for a while, then it is best for you to dispose of the unused mixture to avoid other issues. In order to keep your leaf blower running properly over a long time, it needs to have a fresh supply of gas and oil. This will enable you to get the best out of your leaf blower.
As always, we always emphasize on the importance of safety when carrying out any kind of operation. So always apply caution when using or mixing gasoline with other substances. Make sure you remove any child as well as flammable objects from the area before beginning your work. Don’t forget to use work gloves and a proper container while handling gasoline.
When filling up your gas cans, ensure that the can is on the ground and not in the bed of a truck. Some vehicle fires sometimes occur when people fill metal gas cans while it is placed on plastic surfaces. Gasoline also tends to carry a static electric charge which can gradually build up on the can as it is being filled. Now if the can is sitting on concrete or the ground, the static charge can safely flow away without causing harm. Safety first, safety always.