2-Cycle Engine Oil for the Right Ratio in Handheld Equipment

Use our 2-Cycle Oil Mix Ratio chart to create the proper gas-oil blend

Most handheld power equipment is run with a 2-stroke engine, which means it operates on a 2-cycle engine oil mix of gas and oil. Two-cycle internal combustion engines need the mix to allow them to compress and combust simultaneously to give you the burst of high power you need to trim weeds, clean up leaves or take down tree limbs. Without the proper 2-cycle oil mix ratio, your small engine won't ignite and operate correctly. To learn more about the correct mix for your outdoor power equipment, check your Owner's Manual for the proper ratio, and use our 2-cycle oil mix ratio chart to create it or purchase a pre-mixed fuel.

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

For two-cycle handheld engines produced in 2002 and before: 

Use a 32-to-1 gasoline to oil ratio. This can be made by mixing 4 ounces of two-cycle engine oil with 1 gallon of gasoline.
NOTE: If you are in the state of California, use a 2-cycle oil mix ratio of 40-to-1.

For two-cycle handheld engines produced after 2003: 

Use a 40-to-1 two-cycle oil mix ratio (to aid in the reduction of emissions). This can be made by mixing 3.2 ounces of two-cycle engine oil with 1 gallon of gasoline.

If you are unsure of the year your equipment was made:

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

IMPORTANT: All two-cycle engines must run on a mixture of gasoline and two-cycle oil. Operating a two-cycle engine on straight gasoline will damage the engine.
NOTE: Most four-cycle engines, including those made by MTD, run on straight fuel and have a separate oil reservoir. The manual mixing of oil & gas is not usually necessary on four-cycle engines.

Use this 2-Cycle Oil Mix Ratio chart to properly prepare your fuel

Mixing Ratio



OIL per 1 U.S. 

GALLON Gasoline

(128 oz.)



GALLON Gasoline

(160 oz.)





32:1 4 oz. 5 oz. 31.25 mL
40:1 3.2 oz. 4 oz. 25 mL
50:1 2.6 oz. 3.2 oz. 20 mL

Be aware of ethanol in the gasoline for your 2-cycle engine oil mix

Before you mix fuel and oil for your 2-cycle engine, make sure you take note of the amount of ethanol in your gasoline. In recent years, ethanol has become more prevalent in gasoline mixtures. While your mower can usually tolerate this, handheld equipment has a more difficult time using anything with more than 10% ethanol. Anything higher can cause problems in your carburetor and engine. You will still encounter problems if you don't store your fuel properly and run stale fuel that is over 30 days old.

Ethanol in your gasoline attracts moisture when exposed to air, causing water to collect in your fuel can. Plus, high humidity or a poor seal on your container can make it worse. After absorbing just of an ounce of water, the gasoline or 2-cycle engine oil mix will start to separate and if used, the water can cause rust and corrosion in your engine or carburetor. For this reason, avoid ethanol if you can, and never use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. In addition, store your fuel in proper containers, shaking them gently before adding fuel to your machine to mix any moisture with the oil and gas.

Only create as much 2-cycle engine oil mix  as you need for one project 

You probably don't use your handheld equipment as much as your mower, so you won't need as much fuel. Since fuel begins to destabilize after 30 days, try to only mix what you need for each project. Many two-cycle oils do include a fuel stabilizer component which can extend the life of your fuel past 30 days. However if yours does not, be sure to add some in the proper amount to your gas before mixing in the oil. This will keep your mixed fuel fresh longer, help your equipment run better and prevent possible damage to your equipment from stale fuel. Then, store the unused mixture in a cool dry place. 
Never store your handheld equipment with fuel in the tank during the off-season. Either run your equipment until it is empty or siphon out the old fuel. Storing your 2-cycle engine oil mix in your equipment for extended periods of time can lead to buildup in the engine which will damage it in the long run.

Prepare your equipment for use

After changing your fuel, let your handheld equipment run for a few minutes before operating so the 2-cycle engine oil mix can work its way through the engine. Consider creating a system to track when you last changed the fuel mixture to avoid running stale oil in the equipment.




Part Finder

Don't know your model number?

You can use the Part Finder to help find your model and the right part for your machine.

Find Matching Models