How about a 2-cycle oil question

Mixing oil and gas for my 2-cycle engines has always been a pain. I currently have three different mixtures. I saw in my November 07 Handyman magazine (page 86) a product called “Opti-2” that is a “one mix” for all 2 cycle engines from 16:1 to 101:1.

This wasn’t an advertisement it was the Handyman magazine promoting this product under the “Ask the Mechanic” section.

Has anyone used this stuff and do you know if it’s a proven safe oil mix for all 2 cycle engines. If this oil is the real deal that would be a blessing to me. I could eliminate a couple of gas cans.

They have a web site listed for this product, but I know I?m not going to find any information stating that this stuff will wear out your chain saw and two different brands of leaf blowers after 3 years of use.

As always thanks for any information or advice you can provide???..Bob

I bought some 2 cycle oil under the Poulan brand name that claimed it was for 16:1, 32:1, 40:1 and 50:1 gas/oil ratios. It said to mix the contents of the bottle with one gallon of gasoline for any of these mixture requirements. I bought this oil about a year ago and didn’t read the label closely on the bottle when I picked it up off the shelf at a home supply store. When I needed to mix up the fuel the other day for my snow blower which specifies a 50:1 ratio, and this was all I had available, I decided to give it a try. It worked and the engine did not put out any more blue smoke through the exhaust than it normally does. Whether or not this mix would contain sufficient lubricating power for a 16:1 required mixture, I have no idea. I felt that I was safe using it in an engine requiring a 50:1 mixture. I hope that someone else out there has information.

I don’t use ‘Opti-2’, but a 2-cycle oil I found at Home Depot that claims to be a one-mix. I use it mixed with gas at 12:1 (I think) for the chainsaw, edger, and weedeater. I’ve had no problems from any of them, and have been using it for 3 years.

12:1 is a pretty heavy mix. I remember the LawnBoy 2 cycle mower we had back in the mid 1950’s that, acording to the owner’s manual required 1/2 pint of 30 weight non detergent oil to a gallon of gasoline. This would be a 16:1 ratio. At that time we thought that the special 2 cycle oil that had the LawnBoy name on the can was too expensive. The present bottled 2 cycle oils don’t look as heavy as the 30 weight, but perhaps these bottled oils have better lubricating qualities.

Personally I would stick with the engine manufacturer’s specifications. That mix ration does a lot of different things and going too high or too low can damage an engine. While they appear to allow a fair amount of error when mixing, I would not want to be far off and you are using a product that appears to have not been approved or tested by the engine manufacturer.

Thanks for the advice. I am buying my wife a snow shovel for Christmas in case the universal mix damages my snowblower engine.

The fuel:oil mixture depends on the model of the engine. Read the instruction manual!! I have a 1987 Lawnboy which specifies a 32:1 ratio of 2 cycle oil. Two cycle oil has few aditives so it can burn without leaving too many deposits; a totally different role from a 4 cycle oil. For that reason, almost any 2 cycle oil will do; my Lawnboy does not need “Genuine Lawnboy Oil”. Whatever it says on the can will be OK; make sure it is 2-cycle oil. There are some exceptions; water skiing boats make alot of starts and stops, with resultant plug fouling and deposits. Outboard Marine developed a very Low Ash 2-cycle oil for this application together with Castrol.

If this oil is the real deal that would be a blessing to me. I could eliminate a couple of gas cans.

Uh, won’t you still need different gas cans for different gas:oil ratios? It doesn’t sound to me like this stuff is supposed to be one XX:1 mix you can use in just about anything, but rather, a 2-cycle oil suitable for any desired mix from 16:1 to 101:1. That’s my reading of your description of it. Or are they actually claiming that you can mix this stuff to, say, 50:1 and the result can be poured into almost any two-stroke? I’d be suspicious of claims like that.

The oil I bought with the Poulan label (Poulan makes chains saws) said that for any of the ratios 16:1, 32:1, 40:1 and 50:1 to mix the contents of the bottle with one gallon of gasoline. Two cycle oil that I have purchased in the past have given the number of gallons to mix with the jar of oil for a particular gas to oil ratio. Since my snow blower requires only a 50:1 ratio and this oil was all I had on hand without making a trip to the store, I reasoned that it should be o.k. I don’t think there would any more damage than a fouled spark plug if the blend is too rich with oil. Had the engine required a 16:1 I would be skeptical. The next time I purchase 2 cycle oil, I’ll read the instructions on the label more carefully.

Forget what Poulain says. Different 2 cyle engines require different oil:gas mixtures!!! A rich mixture needed in one may cause severe plug fouling in another. Old Lawnboys needed a 12:1 ratio, whereas newer outboards from that sam ecompany run 50:1. The old lawnboy will burn up with a 50:1 ratio, and the outboard will smoke and foul its plugs with 12:1. If all you equipment is Poulain, and the oil is Poulain, and you have warranties in place, you could try it. Otherwise, use 3 different cans of premixed fuel!

As I said earlier, I didn’t read the instructions on the bottle when I picked up the Poulan 2 cycle oil. I agree with you and I really don’t like the “one size fits all” theory. I just finished using the snowblower and it worked perfectly. The next time I purchase 2 cycle oil, I’ll read the label very carefully. When I calculated the number of fluid ounces on the bottle to the amount of gasoline, I did get about a 50:1 ratio. I certainly wouldn’t have used it in a 2 cycle engine requiring a 16:1 or even a 32:1 ratio. My only other 2 cycle engine is on a rototiller and it also specifies a 50:1 ratio. I was responding to the original post who had read in “Handyman” about Opti-2 oil and I wondered if there was some polymer in this oil that would provide adequate lubrication for the different ratios.

Thanks to all… some good back-in-forth. The way I wrote the initial question could be a bit confusing so I will type in the actual wording of the article in Handyman and here it is:

If you own multiple two-cycle yard machines, you probably have at least three gas cans in your garage—each with a different gas/oil mixture. A single-mix oil eliminates the need for multiple gas cans and frees you from ever performing a gas/oil ratio calculation again.

A single-mix oil works with all gas/oil ratios, from 16:1 to 101:1. Just add a packet to 1 gallon of gas and use it on any two-cycle engine. The product contains a fuel stabilizer, so you can just store your equipment at the end of the season without adding anything else to the gas tank. It’s available at most small-engine dealers for $2.25 per packet. For more information, go to

From all the responses I get the feeling that most here so far are against the “one size fits all” oil/gas mix. This stuff has a stabilizer, which living in KY I have never used. The engines really don’t sit all that long in the winter, 90 days would be tops.

One thing I find troubling about this claim of one oil fits all is that they say it will work in engines with 16:1 to 101:1, but not a 12:1 engine. That tells me that this stuff is being stretched to its limits and if it’s not recommended for a 12:1 it probably wouldn’t be very good for a 16:1 mix either.

Any thoughts on that?

I hadn’t realized that there were so many of these types of oils on the market. I just read an article by the University of Tenn, that was telling of a two-cycle oil that was a “one mix” for all ratios from 1:1 to 50:1. No name was listed however.

I might give this stuff a try in a couple of the engines where the oil/gas ratio is close, and maybe get rid of one gas can at least. AND what the heck can always use a new weed eater or leaf blower if the stuff isn’t what it’s touted to be.

Thanks again for all the great input…Bob T.

I did find the article you cite in Handyman. I also went to the website. The company has some ingredient in the oil called Eutech. The company has products for 2 cycle engines, 4 cycle engines and chemical restoration of engines all containing this ingredient.

The price at $2.25 for a tube to mix with a gallon of gasoline seems rather steep to me. I probably paid less than a dollar for the Poulan bottle of 2 cycle oil that supposedly covered ratios from 16:1 to 50:1.

I do remember the 2 cycle LawnBoy mower we had back in the 1950’s. The manual called for 1/2 pint of 30 weight non-detergent oil to a gallon of gasoline. I do remember on occasion that we would use 20 weight non-detergent oil and just add more oil making it a 12:1 rather than a 16:1 with no apparent ill effect on the mower. Maybe this Opti-2 has a similar additive as that which is used in motor oil to give it the multiviscosity ranges like 10W-30.