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Where to buy the BEST gas for my saw...

Post in 'The Gear' started by Big Donnie Brasco, Apr 22, 2013.

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  1. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    I haven't gotten my saw yet (I research the cr@p out of everything)

    But one thing I am seeing is that ethanol will kill a saw. Where do I get GOOD gas so my saw will last for a thousand years?

    Thank you very much!

    Don

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  2. Sean McGillicuddy

    Sean McGillicuddy Burning Hunk

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  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I'm sort of talking out of my a$$, as I'm no expert on this, but here's what my limited experience (and spending way too much time here reading) has shown me thus far:

    1. Pump gas (10% ethanol around here) will not kill your saw.
    2. Pump gas (10% ethanol) WILL eventually eat some rubber / poly fuel lines, but this seems to take a VERY long time.
    3. You can buy ethanol-free pre-mix at any big-box store. Lowes sells it for roughly $9/gallon.
    4. New saw owners worry about this stuff, but eventually get over it. I've been running ethanol pump gas in my saws for as long as they've been making it, have never drained a saw when not in use, and have not yet experienced a failed fuel line.

    Of more immediate concern is the octane rating, since most chainsaws are running pretty high compression (9.5:1 or better). Always, always, always run 93 octane or higher. Also remember that a gallon of whatever was pumped last is still sitting in the hose on the single-handle pump at the gas station, so unless you can confirm 93 just being pumped thru that handle last, assume it's full of 87. My solution is to pump 2 gallons of 93 into the pickup truck, to purge the hose, before filling my 1 gallon can. I usually try to bring a little bottle of Stihl mix to the station with my empty can, so I can mix while I fill, lest I forget to do it later.
    HDRock likes this.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Small air ports will have 100 octane no ethanol. On the other hand, I have not had a fuel issue on my 460 and running strong since 2006(I do like 100 octane when On a tree that takes long cut times). Now let the hype begin!




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  5. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Been using 10% ethanol/93 octane in all my equipment since late '90's or so.Never any issues either mechanical or starting,performance wise etc.If I know the saws wont be used for a month or so (which is rare),any remaining mix is poured back into the cans.Which is a good thing for long term storage regardless.Any leftover straight gas for garden tractor,mower,snowblower etc in 2 1/2 or 5 gallon cans at end of season is emptied into the truck.I never mix more than 2 gallons at a time,even when milling.
    smokinj likes this.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Oh boy the ethanol police are just around the corner. :eek:
  7. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Try looking here.... www.pure-gas.org
  8. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I don't buy the "always run 93 octane" stuff. I run what my saw calls for in the manual, much like my car. I'm of the belief I'm wasting $ otherwise and actually hurting performance.
    smokinj likes this.
  9. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Oh they run really good on that aviation fuel for sure. For snaggle buck tooth firewood tree, run what someone else brung! ;)
    n6crv likes this.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Hurting performance? There is a minimum octane specified for any engine of a given compression ratio, to prevent knocking / pre-detonation. For your low compression Husq.435, the minimum is 87 in USA, or 90 in EU. There is no maximum specified.

    However, your Husq.435 is the exception... more recommend 90 or 93 minimum octane. If you have a small fleet of chainsaws (I'm down to 6) and other 2-stroke equipment (leaf blower, string trimmer, etc.), then you just buy 93, so you can run it in any of your equipment.
    Thistle and smokinj like this.
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I'm running an older saw . . . Husquvarna 350 . . . sometimes the really good stuff and sometimes the cheap stuff . . . but always the gas at the local gas station. So far no issues mechanically or in performance.
    Thistle and smokinj like this.
  12. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Unless you are running a souped-up saw, I doubt the additional octane will do anything for you except empty your wallet a little faster. Remember, the additional octane helps with pre-ignition/detonation (makes the gas harder to ignite, so it doesn't accidentally ignite too fast). Unless your compression is above stock or you've advanced your timing (not even sure that's possible on a 2-stroke), I doubt your saw will notice a difference.

    The OPE octane "myth" probably started back in the day when 89 and above octane gas was pure gas, not gasahol...which probably did make it run a little better.

    Octane does NOT add power. Period.

    I've heard some say that 2-cycle oil alters your octane rating, but that may just be another perpetuated myth. I'll let someone else chime in on that. If that's the case, a little extra octane might bring it back to its posted rating at the pump. I'm not sure if I fully believe this though, but I can't say it's not true either.
    jharkin and Bster13 like this.
  13. charly

    charly Guest

    Premium pump gas and seafoam,, 12 years and zero rubber part problems, etc. Aviation fuel can cause a lot of carbon build up and plug deposits in two strokes.. 2 stroke Ultralights engines are decarbonized every so many hours... There is an aviation fuel additive that you can run to cut down on the deposits... Now your having a gallon of gas costing near 6-7 dollars..
  14. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    87 octane and no additives, don't empty the tanks and clear the lines...ever. Never had a problem.
    Bster13 likes this.
  15. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    New saws have been updated & engineered to run the new fuels.
    Don't mean non-ethanol fuel isn't better for them though.

    Like said . some airports sell 5 gallon cans of it. Also have gas pumps. High- test no ethanol.

    I'm lucky here, no ethanol. I buy 87 octane, in 1 gallon jugs, (mixed)
    When one is emptied, it gets filled & mixed next time by the gas station.

    Easy to pour old spout on the active jug ;)
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Let them come after me. ;)
    I run 87 octane, 10% ethanol in all my gas engines. I don't have engine/fuel problems. I also don't drain anything...ever. Dumb luck? Probably.;lol

    Full disclosure: I am a believer in sea foam and Stabil.
    charly and smokinj like this.
  17. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    You either run enormous chainsaws, or have an alarmingly thin wallet, if the gas your running in your saw has any bearing in how fast you empty your wallet. For the few gallons I burn per year, I'll run the good stuff (as recommended by my Stihl dealer), and have peace of mind.
    Trilifter7 and Nixon like this.
  18. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I guess the question would be does "peace of mind" actually = better/longer performance. IMO, I don't believe so as lukem stated. To each his own of course, gotta do what you think is right in the end.
  19. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Hey, as they say, a penny saved is money well spent, or something;). Just because your dealer has a Stihl sign on his building doesn't make him smarter than the engineers who designed the saw or impervious to the myth of octane.

    I'm not saying anyone should NOT buy 93 octane...if the extra $.20/gallon buys you peace of mind then have at it. It doesn't buy me peace of mind so I'll save my $, however little it may be.
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I Really like running whatever MMAUL got in his can the best! (Cant count how many times we have either took gas out of the splitter or vice versa)
    lukem likes this.
  21. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I agree. Other people's gas always runs the best.
    smokinj likes this.
  22. 91LMS

    91LMS Member

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    VP RED! if i cant be in the late model i want to at least smell the good time, lol
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  23. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Why stop there. Run some 1261. And if you do, take a video :).
  24. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Actually in the US, premium fuel has slightly more energy than regular (up to 1%). Summer grade gas also has more energy than winter grade (about 2%). Pure gasoline also has about 4% more energy than E10 blended gas does. Also adding premix oil does lower your octane, its not a myth. It varies with the type of oil though. Also what is not mentioned here is the fact that gasoline drops in octane once it leaves the refinery, and keeps dropping in time. That is why pump octane ratings in the US are an average of refinery octane and the octane tested when it is pumped into your car at the gas station. Meaning that the actual octane of the gas is likely lower than that listed on the pump. And it continues down from there. That's the main reason I use gas stabilizer in my 2-stroke gas, and I add it at the gas station when I buy my gas (that holds for all gas: E10, regular, super, AVgas, etc.)

    The octane "myth" started long ago, when they realized that higher compression gas engines resulted in more power. So they increased gas engine compression and then realized that in turn created engine knock/pre-ignition which resulted in damaged engines. So they increased the octane of the gas (with lead) to even out the burn and prevent pre-ignition, and as a result got 'more power' using higher octane and increased compression. Hence if you lower the squish in your saw (or as you say, soup it up) you want to feed it higher octane gas.

    And yes, you can advance or retard the ignition timing in a 2-stroke. Just move the coil up or down relative to the magneto in the flywheel, or swap out the coil with a differently timed one. As for using regular gas in chainsaws, you have a higher risk flaring or uneven burning using that stuff. Uneven burning causes uneven pressure at TDC, and that in turn can cause piston tilt, which in turn can cause scuffing of the piston skirts and cylinder walls. For this reason most chainsaw manufacturers require you to use mid-grade US gas. Also whatever the gas or premix oil you use, re-tune the saw if you change them. My saws all rev higher with pure gas vs E10, and they also rev higher using 100% synthetic oil vs dyno oil.
    Jack Fate, Joful and Nixon like this.
  25. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I have used 10% ethanol gas in my saw for 20 years and it runs fine.. You're overthinking and underdoing Don lol.. BTW I chopped up a large cherry tree on Sunday with a low kickback chain on my little Stihl 023 and it cut great! All my oak I cut with the same type chain and it cut fine too and this oak over 16" diameter.. I believe Stihl recommends a mid grade gas but I have run regular and it ran OK but midgrade would probably be a better choice..

    Ray
    mikefrommaine, Thistle and smokinj like this.
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