Written By
Published Jan. 8, 2020

Whether it’s a chainsaw, a boat, or a dirt bike, every engine needs new oil from time to time to keep it running smoothly. Apart from lubricating the engine and helping it run efficiently, 2-stroke oil also helps to keep the engine clean by clearing carbon deposits and other unburned residue.

Therefore, it is essential to buy the 2-stroke oil best suited for your needs. 

With the various types of 2-stroke oils available on the market, it can be difficult to make a purchasing decision. In this guide, we break down the top types of 2-stroke oils to give you a better idea of the best ones that you can buy.

The Best 2-Stroke Oil

Motul is a brand that has been in the lubricant business for a very long time. A specialist in synthetic oils, Motul is present in many popular international competitions as an official team supplier.

The 800 2T is a 100-percent synthetic premix oil designed for high-performance engines. The exclusive ESTER Core technology protects the engine against deposits and prevents sticking of piston rings and exhaust power valves. The 800 2T is also quite versatile and can be used for most 2-stroke engines. Best suited for dirt bike engines, it prevents the carburetor throttle from sticking and lubricates the engine even under harsh conditions. One thing you should know about this premium product, however, is that it is important to get your mixing ratio right or else the oil might leave residue.

Key Features
  • Fully synthetic engine oil
  • Uses ESTER Core technology that includes superior esters to protect the engine
  • Exceeds industry standard specifications.
  • Clean burning oil
Specification
  • Brand Motul
  • Model 800 2T
  • Weight 1 gallon
PROS

Offers ideal lubrication even under harsh conditions

Dirt bike users report smoother shifting and clean exhausts

Can also be used with ATVs, scooters, and other 2-stroke engines

CONS

May leave residue if mixed in the wrong ratio

Lucas has been around since the late 1980s and is a well-known and trusted name among dirt bike riders. The Lucas 10115 Semi-Synthetic 2-cycle oil uses a specially designed “smokeless” formula made from a combination of synthetic oil, mineral oil, and a low ash additive package.

The “smokeless” formula reduces carbon build up on the piston rings, skirts, crown, and under the crown. It has a low flashpoint, which is preferred for woods riding by dirt bike enthusiasts, as it keeps the exhaust free of mess and increases the life of the engine. One caveat is that it cannot be used with yard tools like chainsaws and hedge trimmers that require a mixing ratio of 32:1, as the formulation has a tendency to dry out.

Key Features
  • Meets ISO GD and JASO FC and FD standards
  • Exceeds API TC standards
  • Works with premixes of gasoline and oil up to a ratio of 50:1
Specification
  • Brand Lucas
  • Model 10115 Semi-Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil
  • Weight 1 gallon
PROS

Works well with any 2-stroke engine

Low flashpoint of 197 degrees makes it great for dirt bike woods riding

Includes exclusive solvents that reduce smoke formation

Additives prevent formation of carbon deposits

CONS

Not suitable for yard tools that require a mixing ratio of 32:1

Has packaging problems, with some customers receiving leaking containers

Founded in 1979 in Novato, Calif., Red Line has made a mark in the industry as a reputed and trusted brand in the racing scene. This Red Line 2-stroke racing oil is a fully synthetic oil trusted by 2-stroke dirt bike users.

It can be used up to a ratio of 100:1, which makes it highly versatile and suitable for use in a wide variety of 2-stroke engines, such as chainsaws, yard tools, and snowmobiles. The oil is stable at high temperatures and provides optimal performance in even the harshest conditions. The Red Line 2-stroke oil boasts dyno-proven gains of 3-5 percent and more power over longer runs. It also protects the engine parts from carbon deposits. The oil has been reported to work excellent with 2-stroke RC airplanes. The biggest downside with this oil is the cost, which is much more than similar products.

Key Features
  • Fully synthetic engine oil
  • Can be used up to 100:1 depending on operating conditions
  • Stable at high temperatures
  • Dynamometer-proven gains of 3-5 percent and more power over longer runs
Specification
  • Brand Red Line
  • Model 40605 2-Stroke Racing Oil
  • Weight 1 gallon
PROS

Dirt bike users report smoother shifting

Popular in racing and can also be used in daily applications like motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles, et.

Prevents carbon deposits on combustion chambers, exhaust ports, upper ring, and piston crowns

Works great with RC airplanes

CONS

Pricey

Maxima Racing Oils has a rich heritage spanning 30 years, and its products are used in more than 50 countries. Maxima Castor 927 is a popular oil used by professionals like Mitch Payton.

It is a blend of pure-grade castor oil and ester synthetics. The oil includes active detergents that protect critical engine parts and keep them free of carbon. It also provides excellent rust and corrosion protection and has been tested to work in harsh conditions. Because it vaporizes at a very high temperature and has a high flashpoint, it works for a long time compared to other lubricants. 

Key Features
  • Highly-refined castor oil
  • Blended with a specially prepared synthetic and additive system
  • Biodegradable
  • Delivers excellent performance with proper tuning and jetting
Specification
  • Brand Maxima
  • Model Castor 927
  • Weight 1 gallon
PROS

Provides excellent rust and corrosion protection

Reduces formation of carbon and gums

CONS

High flashpoint makes it unsuitable for woods riding

Does not mix well with some fuels like the 100LL AV

Husqvarna is a popular Swedish brand producing motorcycles since 1903. The Husqvarna XP+ has been specifically engineered to maximize your engine’s performance.

Being JASO-FD certified the formulation meets and exceeds the toughest oil standards. The oil provides the perfect balance of engine lubricity, detergency and exhaust output. The specially engineered XP+ low smoke formulation ensures lowest operating temperatures which prevents premature engine bearing failure. The oil also contains fuel stabilizer which reduces the risk of engine failures caused by spoiled gas. It also features Husqvarna’s Verified Engine Formula (VEF). It has been extensively tested and proven to work excellent with all Husqvarna 2-stroke engines, and this premium oil will work great with any 2-stroke engine. However, it is pricey and not available in convenient packaging, such as quart or gallon containers.

Key Features
  • Formulated with premium additives and semi-synthetic base oils
  • Meets JASO-FD certification
  • Contains fuel stabilizer to reduce the risk of engine failure
  • Includes Husqvarna XP+ low smoke formulation
Specification
  • Brand Husqvarna
  • Model XP+
  • Weight 2.6 ounces
PROS

Works excellent with all Husqvarna 2-stroke engines

Prevents premature engine bearing failures

Lowers engine operating temperatures and extends engine life

CONS

Pricey

Not available in more cost-effective packaging like quart or gallon containers

Founded in 1908, Briggs & Stratton is an American Fortune 1000 manufacturer of gasoline engines. The brand’s 2-cycle oil is specially formulated for higher operating temperatures of air-cooled engines.

The Briggs & Stratton 2-Cycle Engine Oil is an ashless oil upto mixing ratios of 50:1. It is an easy-mix oil, which means it mixes seamlessly with leaded as well as unleaded oil. The included fuel stabilizer prevents plug fouling and reduces engine deposits. The packaging includes indications for measurement. Being an OEM oil, it has been tested and proven to work excellent with Briggs & Stratton equipment like Lawn Boy, Toro, and Ryan. One downside is that the oil dispenser is not the most convenient to use.

Key Features
  • Specially formulated for higher operating temperatures of air-cooled engines
  • Ashless oil up to 50:1 mix ratio
  • Mixes seamlessly with leaded or unleaded oil
  • Recommended for Lawn Boy, Toro, and Ryan
Specification
  • Brand Briggs & Stratton
  • Model 100036 Low-Smoke Engine Oil
  • Weight 3.2 ounces
PROS

Keeps the engine healthy and maximizes engine life

Includes fuel stabilizer

Prevents plug fouling and engine deposits

Tested and proven to deliver optimum performance in Briggs & Stratton engines

CONS

The dispenser is not convenient to use.

Best 2-Stroke Oil Buying Guide & FAQ

A 2-stroke engine is a type of engine that completes a power cycle with two strokes of the piston. Due to their compact size and lighter weight, these engines are widely used in chainsaws, hedge trimmers, yard tools, snowmobiles, RC planes, and boats. Two-stroke engines have a greatly reduced number of moving parts compared to 4-stroke engines, which are used in cars.

2-stroke oil, also known as two-stroke oil, 2-cycle oil, or 2T oil, is a special type of motor oil used in two-stroke engines. The oil is mixed with gasoline and distributed throughout the engine for lubrication. The mix is referred to as premix or petroil. A particular gasoline to oil mixing ratio is required to get the best performance and protection from the 2-stroke oil you use. In this guide, we summarize the best 2-stroke oils available on the market, with detailed information that will help you decide which oil is best for your situation.

Related Post: Best Dirt Bike Oil: 2-Stroke & 4-Stroke Oils

Why Do You Need 2-Stroke Oil

Engines, whether 2-stroke or 4-stroke, are prone to excessive heating, friction, and corrosion of the moving parts. Therefore, it is essential to lubricate them for smooth operation and to lengthen their lifespan. 

Most 2 -stroke oils have a number of additives and detergents to prevent rusting and corrosion. Changing the oil in your 2-stroke engine has many more benefits. It keeps your engine in its best shape, which in turn improves your gas mileage. Two-stroke oil also improves the engine’s load-carrying capacity, which means more power. It also may, sometimes, lower emissions.

Benefits

  • Promotes smoother operation of the engine
  • Prevents rust and corrosion
  • Improves load-carrying capacity of the engine
focused mechanic

Types of 2-Stroke Oil

Two-stroke oil is different from normal lubrication oil because it has much lower ash content to minimize carbon deposits in the engine. The three types of 2-stroke oil are functionally different, and you can choose based on your situation and your budget.

  • Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil

Synthetic 2-stroke oil is made from various organic and synthetic compounds, which is why it burns clean and spreads out well over the surface. It also leaves fewer carbon deposits in the engine than other types of 2-stroke oil. Basically, synthetic oil generally offers the most performance, but it comes at a premium price.

  • Castor 2-Stroke Oil

Castor 2-stroke oil is an all-natural, biodegradable oil. Castor oil, like synthetic oil, has excellent surface-wetting properties. However, due to the presence of gums in castor beans, it doesn’t burn clean and leaves carbon residue on the cylinder walls and the piston. Despite these caveats, castor oil is still a great budget option to get the maximum performance out of your 2-stroke engine.

  • Conventional 2-Stroke Oil

Conventional 2-stroke oil is derived from crude oil. Although they provide good rust protection, these oils are generally underperforming than their castor and synthetic counterparts. They lack the capacity to withstand high loads and temperatures. We recommend that you don’t use conventional oil for your dirt bike. These oils are best suited for use in low-performance engines like yard tools and small boats.

What to Look for When Buying 2-Stroke Oil

What kind of 2-stroke machine do you have? What extra requirements do you have apart from lubrication? Are there any specific instructions given by the manufacturer of your machine? Read on to know the things you should look for when choosing the best 2-stroke oil for your needs.

  • Use Case

The 2-stroke oil you need depends on what you’re going to use it with. Synthetic 2-stroke oil is best suited for dirt bikes and high-performance engines. Castor oil has a wide range of applications and can be used in yard tools as well as high-performance engines like dirt bikes, boats, and snowmobiles. Conventional 2-stroke oil, on the other hand, should only be used with low-performance engines like chainsaws, hedge trimmers, and other yard tools.

  • Additives

Many 2-stroke oils include a number of different additives that help keep the engine clean and improve performance. A popular additive is the low ash additive package that reduces carbon deposits. There are various other dispersants, anti-wear agents, and biodegradability components, and some of the premium oils include fuel stabilizers. If you’d like to make use of the various benefits that additives provide, be sure to choose engine oils that have those additives. 

  • Compatibility

It is essential to check that the oil you are about to buy is compatible with your engine. Be sure to refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions. It is also important to ensure that the oil you choose mixes well with the fuel. We recommend you purchase 2-stroke oil that has been certified to meet industry standards as these to avoid running into any problems.

Tips for Buying and Using 2-Stroke Oil

Ensure that the oil you are buying is suitable for your engine. Check the owner’s manual for any specific instructions or required specifications. It is important to mix oil with gas in the proper ratio as given by the manufacturer, or it may mess up with the performance of your engine and leave carbon and ash deposits in it. It is always better to have an oil drain pan at hand before you open the oil filter cap to avoid unforeseen accidents and messy spills. When changing the oil, after all the oil has been drained out, tilt the machine from side to side to get rid of the dregs. Here are some other tips to keep in mind.

  • Refer to the owner’s manual to make sure the oil you are buying is suitable for your engine.
  • Mix oil with gas in the proper ratio as given by the manufacturer to ensure smooth performance.
  • Have an oil drain pan at hand to avoid spills and accidents.
  • Get rid of the dregs by tilting the machine when changing oil.
Repair worker

Best 2-Stroke Oil FAQ:

We’ve given you plenty of information about 2-stroke oils so far, but you may still have a few general questions about how to find the best 2-stroke oil for your needs. Here are a few commonly asked questions.

Q: How frequently should I add new oil to my 2-stroke machine?

It depends on the kind of machine you have and the oil you use. For dirt bikes, oil must be added every 5-15 hours of riding, or every six races. To get a better idea, refer to your owner’s manual.

Q: Can I use conventional engine oil for my 2-stroke dirt bike?

A 2-stroke motorcycle engine environment is much more severe than that of yard tools like chainsaws. Motorcycle engines break down oil much faster than cars because they run hotter and faster. Generally, motorcycle-specific 2-stroke oils have five times the protective additives than conventional oil. They also do not have friction modifiers, which can mess heavily with the clutch performance. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use 2-stroke oils designed specifically for motorcycles.

Our Top Pick

The Motul 800 2T is a high-quality synthetic oil trusted by the racing community. It is highly versatile, meets industry standard specifications, and has a number of useful additives that protect and maintain your 2-stroke engine. The best part is it doesn’t break the bank, despite all these good qualities.

MORE TO READ