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The Right Fuel For The Job

Spring is just around the corner and you know what that means, it’s time to break out the machines!

Firing up the equipment for the first time of the season is always exciting but you need to make sure you do it the right way. Part of the de-winterizing process is stocking up on the right type of fuel for the machines you are working with. Here are is a general guide for the best fuel types for the two main lawn maintenance machines in most people’s garages.

Lawn Mower - Most lawn mowers are 4 stroke engines and require fresh unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. You can use gas with ethanol, but more than 10 percent ethanol is typically not recommended. Mowers with two-stroke engines use that same type of gas, but with the addition of a high-quality two-cycle engine oil.

Weed Trimmer – Many string trimmers run with a 2-stroke engine. Two-stroke (or 2-cycle) engines require a mixture of fuel and oil be added to the fuel tank. This mixture results in both engine combustion and lubrication. Operating a 2-Stroke engine on gasoline alone will result in engine failure.

In this article we are going to focus on the basics of fuel maintenance for your machines and the different mixed fuel ratios.

When feeding your lawn mower with gas it is pretty much a no brainer, you run to the fuel pump and fill your SureCan gas can with the right gas and octane rating that the manufacturer prefers you to put in there. We recommend that you use a higher octane level.

Smaller machines like your weed trimmer are a different story. As mentioned previously these machines require a gas and oil mixture, but the trick is how much oil do you add to the gas for a proper mixed ratio? To help explain it a little better we went over to our friends at MTD Products and this is what they recommend.

What is the gas-to-oil mix ratio for a two-cycle engine on a hand held product?

For two-cycle handheld equipment manufactured prior to 2003: Use a 32:1 gasoline to oil ratio. One gallon of gasoline combined with 4 oz of two-cycle engine oil. If you are in the state of California, use a 2-cycle oil mix ratio of 40:1.

For two-cycle handheld equipment manufactured after 2002: Use a 40:1 two-cycle oil mix ratio. One gallon of gasoline combined with 3.2 oz of two-cycle engine oil.

Unsure of the age of your equipment? Use the 40:1 mixture. All of our handheld two-cycle units can operate on a 40:1 two-cycle oil mix ratio.

Refer to the chart below to make sure you're using the correct 2-cycle fuel and oil mixture

When you are ready to mix your fuels it is recommended that you pour the oil into the gas can first and then add the gasoline. Close the cap on the gas can and then shake it up to make sure the oil has properly mixed with the fuel.

When storing Gas & Oil Mixtures You should never store your fuel for more than three months. When using fuel that has been stored for any amount of time, shake the mixture in the canister before fueling your machine.

We also recommend using a fuel stabilizer which works by slowing the oxidation process of gasoline. It helps keep heavier compounds in solution and allows the fuel to absorb some of the moisture that forms in a tank instead of separating into layers. Most fuel stabilizers protect fuel for 12 to 15 months.

Now go get ready to FEED YOUR MACHINES!


We would love to hear your story about how the SureCan has helped make your life a little bit easier. Each month we will feature a new SureCan Story, please submit yours by emailing us at and don't forget to include pictures!

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