Synthetic 2 cycle oil

Discussion in 'Tanaka' started by sensor412, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. sensor412

    sensor412 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    What do you think about using one gas to oil ratio fits all synthetic oil versus non synthetic oil that you mix to the various ratios specified by the manufacturers? It sure is convenient to just have one gas/oil mix on hand for all the 2 cycle equipment vs 2 or 3 different gas cans with different ratios in each. Any issues on engine life with the one ratio fits all synthetics? Thanks.
  2. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    From our Technical Services Manager...

    As you could probably imagine, we have this question posed to us on a regular basis.

    In order to fully understand the multi-ratio nature of two cycle oils, you have to consider engine construction and the purpose the oil serves. A two cycle engine uses gasoline as the carrier of the oil to lubricate all aspects of the internals. Unlike a four cycle engine which has a crankcase and circulates oil throughout the engine - separate from the fuel system. Now, let's assume that you have a Tanaka product, and another high quality product, let's say a Shindaiwa chainsaw for the sake of comparison. Both of these machines use nearly identical components; Forged connecting rods/crankshafts, chrome plated cast aluminum cylinders, etc. Their tolerances are so technically similar, the differences are not worth considering. In other words, what is required for lubrication is almost exactly the same.

    Oil is a blend of components. The bulk of it is a base stock, which is oil, but it's primary purpose is not to lubricate, but rather to blend with, and carry, additives that provide specific functions. The most important additive is the one that provides the lubricity. The base oil also can blend with and carry other additives designed to accomplish different things - for example quality oils have an additive that helps maintain the integrity of the gasoline should it be stored as mixed fuel for extended periods. Another additive may help reduce exhaust smoke.

    Oil took on a marketing theme many years ago. Because of the situation described earlier about the similarities in design and requirements, it was obvious that a customer could use brand A oil in brand B product. However, the company who made brand A product - also sells oil. How do they protect their oil business and prevent customers from buying the competitors oil? Let's say for the sake of argument that an oil blend requires X amount of the lubricity additive to adequately run an engine. The manufacturer would then formulate an oil blend with the amount of additives to reach that level - when mixed at the odd ratio they prescribe for their product. As you've seen, there are 16:1, 25:1, 32:1, 40:1 42:1, 50:1, etc. However, if you analyzed these oils, you'd find very similar amounts of the actual ingredients needed to provide the life allowing lubricity, even at these odd ratios. This has been a very effective way of convincing a customer who bought a unit requiring two cycle oil to buy their brand of oil. Who wants to take a chance on a $500 machine?? If it says 42:1 the customer assumes he needs to seek out a 42:1 oil. Coincidentally, the manufacturer of his equipment sells such an oil - and it's conveniently located on the shelf next to the equipment. I think you get the idea.

    Tanaka Perfect Mix is what's referred to as a one-mix oil. The oil is formulated so that when mixed at 50:1, or 2.6 ounces per gallon of fuel, it contains enough of the life giving additives to work in any of these engines. Additionally, it goes a long way in simplifying the mixing of the oil with the self measuring bottle. There are other one-mix types of oil that mix at a ratio of 100:1. Most people would look at that and think that there simply isn't enough oil to allow the engine to survive, but again - it's not the amount of base stock that is the important issue - it's what is contained within the blend. Their blend has higher percentage of the additive than does an oil that mixes at 25:1.

    One consideration to all of this is that some engines are simply not well made. Typically products sold through mass-merchandisers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc. sell products designed for very low performance, and limited engine life. They differ considerably in construction, using stamped connecting rods, non-plated cylinders, bushings where bearings belong, etc. These engines will not survive for extended periods with any oil - they're simply not designed to. In many cases, if a customer gets less than 50 hours of operation from such an engine - the product has met the objective of the manufacturer. Oil cannot overcome quality / design issues to that extent.

    This can be a very confusing situation, and the engine industry has to take the blame for complicating the issue. We would like to take a little credit for simplifying it. Unfortunately, to adequately explain it requires this somewhat exhaustive dissertation.

    I hope this helps. Let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
  3. sensor412

    sensor412 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for the informative reply Mark, I am currently using your Tanaka one mix oil.
  4. Tanaka

    Tanaka Inactive
    Messages: 1,084

    You're welcome. But the brand police wanted to correct what you are using - it's Perfect Mix.

  5. Gofnat7

    Gofnat7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    is Tanaka 2 cycle oil synthetic?

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