Stihl chainsaws have a two-stroke, single-piston engine that operates with a mixed fuel source, combining engine oil with gasoline. The oil blends throughout the gasoline, so when it enters the engine, all moving parts are lubricated. This oil also allows the fuel to burn at the proper temperature, keeping the engine cool enough to continue spinning at high speeds.
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Stihl Chainsaw Oil
Stihl recommends using their brand of two-cycle engine oils with all of their two-cycle engines, including all models of the Stihl chainsaw. Stihl chainsaw engines are tested in the factory using this model of oil, so Stihl can ensure performance results through repeated engine testing. This oil is different than regular automotive oils, as it will separate and blend with gasoline, where automotive oils will not. Never use anything other than the recommended oils for two-cycle, air-cooled engines.
Other Chainsaw Oils
Many other companies manufacture similar quality engine oil for Stihl chainsaws. Any high-quality brand name engine oil designed for use in two-cycle, air-cooled engines can be used in Stihl chainsaws. These oils differ from other two-cycle engines, such as an outboard two-cycle found in boats; only use oils intended for chainsaws and inboard, air-cooled, two-cycle engines. Any other oils will not adequately lubricate the engine, causing severe, even fatal damage.
Stihl Fuel Mix
Depending on the different brand and type of air-cooled, inboard, two-cycle engine oils used, a new mix of fuel will be required. When operating with Stihl brand oils, follow the mixing instructions given on the bottle of oil or in the operator's manual. Generally, most Stihl chainsaws, if running Stihl engine oil, will require a mix ratio of 50-to-1. This mixture uses less oil than other brands of engine oil, so the engine will burn leaner, and often cleaner, allowing many more service hours to the engine's life.
Other Oil Mixes
Depending on the quality of other engine oils, you will need to adjust the fuel mixture accordingly. This gasoline-to-oil ratio will need careful blending and testing to determine the optimum mix ratio for the two-cycle oil. Start with a richer blend, around 25- or 30-to-1 gasoline to oil. Run several tanks of gas on the Stihl at this setting. Note engine acceleration, power and when it's under full load. Adjust the mixture slightly leaner to 40-to-1 if the engine bogs down, bottoms out or drops power under full load. Lean the fuel up to 50-to-1. After the gas-to-oil ratio is set, adjust the carburettor screws.
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