Best 2 Stroke Oil for Chainsaws (2020 Guide)

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It takes a lot of work to keep a chainsaw running like new even after a few years. Even new chainsaws require the proper care, fuel, and oil, to actually run optimally.

One of the first items on your shopping list, when you plan on operating a chainsaw, should be a bottle of the best 2-stroke oil for chainsaws that you can afford. It’s much more important than you think and it impacts the way the engine operates in many ways.

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below is the best 2 stroke oil for chainsaws:

  1. Husqvarna 593152601
  2. Echo 6450001
  3. Stens 770-261

Comparison Chart of the Best 2 Stroke Oil for Chainsaws

Product

Specs

​Price

Husqvarna 593152601

  • Contains fuel stabilizer to minimize engine failure
  • Trusted Husqvarna brand, designed with its Verified Engine Formula (VEF)
  • 2.6 oz (6 pack)

Echo 6450001

  • Multi-use and great for other machines (trimmers, blowers, etc.)
  • 50:1 synthetic mix
  • 2.6 oz (6 pack)

Stens 770-261

  • Best for the Money
  • 50:1 synthetic blend
  • 2.6 oz (24 pack)

Stihl 0781 313 8002

  • Best Stihl Chainsaw Oil
  • High-quality Stihl synthetic 2-cycle oil
  • 2.6 oz (6 pack)

Maxima 27901

  • Editor's Pick
  • Special blend with advanced additives for optimal performance
  • Available in 1L, 1L (12 pack), or 5 gallons

What Makes Certain 2-Stroke Oil Great for Chainsaws?

Let's take a look at the top features of 2-stroke oil:

Additives

Some additives are of higher quality than others. Especially when it comes to engine maintenance, some oil formulas are better than others.

Low Emissions

Most professionals prefer low-emission chainsaws, they are not just for environmentalists. But while the engine design itself has a lot to do with minimizing emissions, the oil is just as important. Some oils burn fast and even produce more smoke than others. Therefore, a low-smoke oil is preferred.

Shelf-Life

If you use your chainsaw sparingly, you’ll want an oil with a much longer shelf life, one that’s designed for periodic use in chainsaws.

Types of Oil Bases

One of the things that makes or breaks a 2T oil formula is the base or stock oil used. 2T oil comes with castor oil, petroleum, or synthetic bases. For tools such as hand-held chainsaws, synthetic oils are often recommended due to producing a lower ash content or lower emissions and being less slick.

This helps prevent oily deposits from forming inside the engine, particularly on spark plugs.

Can Any 2-Stroke Oil Be Used in Chainsaw?

Most 2-stroke oils can be used in chainsaws. But this doesn’t mean that they should. As previously mentioned, garden tools such as chainsaws must adhere to stricter standards.

Consequently, something like racing oil, which has excellent lubrication properties, wouldn’t be a good fit. It’s also important to understand that not all 2-stroke oils are designed for all chainsaws.

One of the main reasons why some manufacturers make their own oils is because their formulas are optimized for their unique chainsaw engine designs and internal components. Hence they’re much better than regular 2-stroke motor oil.

Review of the Best 2 Stroke Oil for Chainsaws

The good news is that all the top chainsaw manufacturers also offer plenty of 2-stroke oils. Therefore, whichever type of chainsaw you’re using on a regular basis, there’s at least one oil out there that will increase its lifespan and keep it running at peak efficiency.

Best Overall:
​Husqvarna 593152601

PROS

  • Ideal for 50:1 ratio mix
  • Good engine lubrication with minimal deposits
  • High-end fuel stabilizer to minimize emissions
  • Very controlled burn rate due to lower operating temperatures

CONS

  • Although fairly priced, it’s not the cheapest 2-stroke oil

Our Review

This oil features a semi-synthetic base with superior lubrication properties and lower operating temperatures. The HP formulation features a fuel stabilizer too which improves engine performance even when dealing with spoiled gas.

Apart from also having lower emissions than many other similar oils on the market, the HP formulation also shows minor increases in power output. Or at the very least it maintains peak performance parameters for longer.

Due to the less sticky formulation, the Husqvarna 593152601 also does an excellent job of preventing startup failure and maintaining startup consistency when restarting a warm engine.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Its unique fuel stabilizer formula is perhaps what sets this mixture apart from the rest. It’s widely regarded as having the lowest emissions and thus it is recommended heavily for residential use. Of course, the cleaner startups also make a strong argument. Even though it’s not a 100% synthetic oil.

​Runner-up:
​Echo 6450001

PROS

  • Comes in a six-pack for added value
  • Contains fuel stabilizers to lower emissions
  • Designed to provide a blend for Echo chainsaw engines
  • Excellent lubricant for all 2-stroke engines, not just chainsaws

CONS

  • Not that great with non-high-octane gas
  • May run slightly dirtier than others, especially when used in an off-brand chainsaw

Our Review

Also known as the Echo Power Blend, this 2-stroke oil has been formulated for air-cooled engines. It helps reduce emissions on chainsaw engines and improves startup time. However, some users have complained that it’s a bit dirtier than other brands and pre-mixes.

That said, it’s still a close second because it doesn’t create oily deposits. Besides, its price point may be worth the compromise for some users. At the very least, this oil can breathe new life into an older generation chainsaw and give it a boost in performance too.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This has been a go-to formula for brand loyalists for a long time. Its compatibility with Echo engines is hard to argue. Sometimes even when considering a higher quality 2-stroke oil as an alternative, the Echo Power Blend tends to edge out its competition for use in Echo engines.

​Best for the Money:
​Stens 770-261

PROS

  • Good formula consistency
  • Excellent shelf life of up to five years
  • Formulated with an effective fuel stabilizer
  • Offers good lubrication and reduces maintenance time
  • Contains 24 bottles per pack, one pack will last the average user years

CONS

  • Doesn’t hold up well when used with low-quality fuel
  • The dark green color may not provide the best visibility in all fuel tanks

Our Review

This can be used as an oil replacement for a variety of brands, including Echo and Stihl. It’s one of the hottest Stens sellers. The formula includes a fuel stabilizer as well as additives that give it an easy-to-spot green color.

It comes in bottles ready for a 50:1 ratio and each pack contains 24 bottles. It offers great value for money but it is a bit more restrictive when it comes to compatible fuels. For reference, the Stens 770-261 won’t work with 10% or higher ethanol fuel or E-85 fuel. Therefore, it’s not an appropriate budget-friendly companion for cheap fuel.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Pricing is the main highlight of the Stens 770-261 2-stroke engine oil. It is considerably cheaper than what most other manufacturers offer, without showing any considerable lapses in performance. It’s also worth noting that it has a very long shelf life, and that the premix comes in individual packaging for easier storage and mixing.

​Best Stihl Chainsaw Oil:
 Stihl 0781-313-8002

PROS

  • Has good cleaning characteristics
  • Reduces friction well due to high viscosity
  • An ideal formulation for Stihl chainsaws and other 2-stroke tools
  • Maintains lower operating temperatures than some alternative products

CONS

  • Does have a bit of an odor despite very low emissions
  • Although great, it is a bit pricier than other alternatives in the same category

Our Review

A medium to premium-priced chainsaw oil, much like many of Stihl’s own chainsaw line-ups. This is a solid choice for all 2-stroke engines. It is characterized by its high viscosity index and has been formulated to work at extreme temperature ranges.

This oil provides consistent engine lubrication and cleaning of essential components in the injection system. Environmentally-friendly users will be happy to know it’s completely biodegradable.

It also comes in bottles ready to use for a 50:1 mix ratio, for added convenience. One bottle mixes with a gallon of gas to make a 50:1 ratio.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The Stihl 0781 is a fully synthetic oil and almost entirely biodegradable. Unlike most other oils, which are semi-synthetic. Therefore, the low emissions are consistent as are the lubrication properties, which among other things, prevent it from spilling.

​Editor’s Pick:
Maxima 27901

PROS

  • It has a mostly-synthetic base
  • Serves as both injector and premix oil
  • Excellent lubricating and cleaning properties
  • Low smoke formula produces less emissions
  • Helps the chainsaw maintain a controlled burn rate

CONS

  • May not work equally well with all chainsaws
  • Comes in 1-liter bottles, so you’ll have to be careful to get the right mix ratio

Our Review

This is a very interesting alternative as well as a great value pick. The Maxima 27901 is a scooter 2-stroke engine oil that comes in 33.8oz canisters. Its formula includes a variety of synthetic lubricants as well as many additives designed to maintain 2-stroke engines clean and running smoothly.

Furthermore, it features top-notch fuel stabilizers, evident from the low emissions it produces. It’s interesting that this blend is recommended as a premix as well as for injector use. This flexibility makes it a budget-friendly alternative for chainsaw users.

It will, however, require additional research in regards to finding the right mix ration, since this oil’s main intended use is not chainsaw engines.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Overall value and a low smoke formula are the two main characteristics of the Maxima 27901. It serves well as a premix oil, even though it has been formulated to do much more than that.

Quick Take: Best 2 Stroke Oil for Chainsaws

Quick, here is the best 2 stroke oil for chainsaws:

  1. Husqvarna 593152601
  2. Echo 6450001
  3. Stens 770-261

2 Stroke vs. 4 Stroke Oil – Comparison Overview

Here are the main similarities and differences:

Different Intended Engines

To better understand the difference between 2-stroke and 4-stroke oil it’s also important to understand the difference between 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. One of the biggest differences is that the former will always require pre-mixing of oil with fuel, while the latter won’t. As such, the oil needs to have specific properties for the intended engine type.

Differences in Composition

2T oil is intended to burn with fuel. This means that it needs a slightly different composition than 4-stroke oil, which is distributed by splash lubrication from an oil sump. So, 2-stroke oil will be made with different additives and will have a lighter composition in order to promote better combustion.

The additives used in 2T oil should help with engine maintenance, clean carbon deposits, and be biodegradable. In contrast, 4-stroke oil has very different additives because it’s not designed to burn.

Misconception About Lubricant Properties

Generally, 2-stroke engines succumb to wear and tear a lot faster than four-stroke engines. Much of this is due to having poor lubrication. However, this doesn’t mean that four-stroke oil would be a better choice. As discussed above, 4-stroke engine oil doesn’t fit the characteristics needed for a 2-stroke engine.

The problem actually stems from the fact that a 2-stroke engine doesn’t feature a dedicated lubricant source. Thus, it is extremely important to use a very high-quality 2T oil to extend engine life.

Cautious Considerations to Keep in Mind

Be sure to keep these in mind when it comes time to buy:

2-Stroke Oil vs. Bar and Chain Oil

Although some oils are designed as all-purpose solutions, it’s best not to confuse your bar oil and chain oil with the oil you mix in with your fuel. The two generally have very different properties as well as different viscosities, since they’re intended for different uses.

A 2-stroke oil may not have the necessary texture and additives required to prevent the chain from flinging off the bar when rotating at high speeds.

Fuel Stabilizers Are Very Important

Note that some 2T oils burn faster than others and create more smoke. This can often happen if you opt for a cheap 2-stroke oil instead of something of higher quality. Although it’s not guaranteed to ruin the engine, this type of compromise can seriously increase the risks associated with operating a chainsaw due to the excess smoke and inconsistent lubrication.

Always Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Not all 2-stroke oils are intended for the same ratio mixes of oil to fuel. And, not all chainsaw engines require the same ratios. Due to the variety of additives and formulas developed, it’s very important to find something that’s right for your chainsaw. Otherwise, you could end up clogging the spark plug, overheating the engine, and even voiding your warranty.

Conclusion

Although 2-stroke oils may seem hard to differentiate, especially when comparing those for large engines to those made for hand-held tool engines, they are very important ingredients to maintaining your chainsaw. They can make or break an engine, keep emissions down or pollute the environment and so on. Start by learning everything you need to know about your saw. After that, finding the perfect fit will be easy.

People Also Ask

Since not everyone is willing to go the extra mile to learn about 2-stroke oils, why they’re important, and how they impact engine life and performance, it’s best to at least know the answers to the two most important questions. This will help you use the oil without knowing much about it.

How Much 2 Cycle Oil to A Gallon of Gas for Chainsaw?

This depends on the type of engine the chainsaw has and what the manufacturer’s recommendations are. Most chainsaws today will require a 50:1 gas to oil ratio. Therefore, you would add 2.6oz oil to a gallon of gas.

Note that most chainsaws should also be able to handle a 40:1 mixture. It’s sometimes recommended to use this ratio if you’re not unsure about the accurate ratio.

How to Mix Gas and Oil for Chainsaw?

To mix oil and gas, taking into account the 50:1 ratio, pour 2.6oz of oil into an empty container with a lid and then add one gallon of gasoline. Mix it thoroughly by shaking the container gently. It’s best to always add gasoline to oil than the other way around as it helps with mixing. Never pour the components separately into your gas tank before mixing.