The 10 Best 2-Stroke Engine Oils

Updated June 15, 2018 by Chase Brush

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Keep all of your lawn equipment, motorcycles, watercraft or ATVs running smoothly with one of these 2-stroke engine oils. Available in synthetic, regular and smokeless formulas, they can prevent spark plug fouling and carbon buildup, so your 2-cycle engine runs cleaner. Plus, with added fuel stabilizers, they can prevent gas from oxidizing for up to a year. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best 2-stroke engine oil on Amazon.

10. Quicksilver 27Q01 Premium Plus

Boat and watercraft users would do well to pick up some of this Quicksilver 27Q01 Premium Plus, a synthetic blend that offers great lubrication and helps reduce carbon buildup in exhaust systems. It exceeds most marine manufacturers' test standards, too.
  • specially made for marine purposes
  • clean-burning formula
  • more expensive than other options
Brand Quicksilver
Model 27Q01
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Poulan/Weedeater EZ Mix

Specially designed for use in lawn equipment, such as mowers and blowers, the Poulan/Weedeater EZ Mix does a great job of keeping friction low between moving parts to reduce overheating and increase the life of an engine. It'll also minimize the amount of smoke produced.
  • oil level easily seen through bottle
  • formula includes fuel stabilizer
  • no mixing instructions on label
Brand Poulan
Model 952031138
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Echo 6450006 Squeeze Bottle

If you need highly accurate oil-fuel mixture levels, get the Echo 6450006 Squeeze Bottle. It features a measuring compartment that is built right into the container, taking away the guesswork and ensuring you have just the right combination every time.
  • 16 oz can be mixed with 6 gallons
  • works well in dirt bikes
  • not the highest quality oil
Brand Echo
Model 6450006
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Royal Purple 01311 HP

For high-performing motors, such as those in motorcycles and jet skis, you're going to want the Royal Purple 01311 HP. Not only will its proprietary Synerlec additive technology help protect delicate engine components from wear, but it can also noticeably boost power.
  • helps keep exhaust ports clear
  • for premix and oil injection uses
  • can't be mixed in low temperatures
Brand Royal Purple
Model ROY04311
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

6. Pennzoil 550022771 XLF

The Pennzoil 550022771 XLF is a standard marine-grade blend that should help you safely run and maintain your outboard motor in a variety of conditions. It won't increase performance like some others will, but it won't cost you too much, either.
  • comes in easy to carry gallon jug
  • intended for seasoned engines
  • for marine applications only
Brand Pennzoil
Model 550045221
Weight 7.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Toro 38901 2-Cycle

The Toro 38901 2-Cycle comes as a set of six 2.6 oz. containers, so you can take just the amount you need and leave the rest at home. It uses a low-smoke formula with a fuel stabilizer and will help increase your snowblower's or weed whacker's lifespan when used regularly.
  • can also increase engine power
  • easy to mix in high temperatures
  • best when used in toro products
Brand Toro
Model 38901
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Tanaka 700208 Perfect Mix

One of the biggest headaches of dealing with 2-cycle engines is getting the right gas-to-oil mixture, so it's nice to have something like this Tanaka 700208 Perfect Mix. The self-measuring bottle lets you know how much to add to the tank, whatever its size.
  • high level of lubricity
  • thin bottle is easy to store
  • reduces carbon buildup
Brand Tanaka
Model 700208
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Lucas Oil 10115 Semi-Synthetic

From one of the most trusted names in oil and fuel additives, the Lucas Oil 10115 Semi-Synthetic will perform reliably across a range of air-cooled engines, from ATVs to landscaping equipment. It's especially good for use in older machines, thanks to its high lubricity.
  • low ash composition
  • exceeds api-tc certifications
  • comes in several bottle sizes
Brand Lucas Oil
Model 10115
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Briggs & Stratton Easy Mix

If you own lots of outdoor power equipment, the Briggs & Stratton Easy Mix can help you maintain it all. It features a semi-synthetic blend, so it performs better than traditional motor oils, and is suitable for use in many different engine brands, from Toro to Lawn Boy.
  • prevents plug fouling
  • blends well with most fuel types
  • very affordably priced
Brand Briggs & Stratton
Model 100036
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Red Line 40603 Racing

Whether its pre-mixed or used in oil-injection systems, the Red Line 40603 Racing can increase horsepower and speed in 2-cycle boats and motorbikes like few other products can. It protects, too, partially by preventing deposits in upper ring and piston crown areas.
  • can be used to run rich or lean
  • good for rc airplanes and cars
  • cleans spark plugs
Brand Red Line Oil
Model 40603 CASE/12
Weight 13.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Two-Stroke Engines Versus Four-Stroke Engines

The term stroke refers to the movement of the piston. Each time the piston moves in a particular direction, it is called a stroke. Two-stroke engines are much simpler than their four-stroke counterparts. In a two-stroke engine, the piston moves two times per power cycle. One of these strokes is the compression stroke and the other is the combustion stroke. The reason a two-stroke engine only requires two strokes is because the combustion stroke and the beginning of the compression stroke happen simultaneously, along with the intake and exhaust functions. As the piston moves upwards to compress the current air-fuel mixture, it also exposes the intake port and draws a new air-fuel mixture into the crankcase below it at the same time. When the piston moves downwards during the combustion stroke, it opens the exhaust port, expelling the spent air-fuel mixture.

In a four-stroke engine, the piston moves four times for each power cycle. There is an intake stroke, followed by compression stroke, which is then followed by a combustion stroke, and finally an exhaust stroke. During the intake stroke, the intake valve opens up and the piston pulls in the air-fuel mixture as it moves from top dead center to bottom dead center. Once the piston hits bottom dead center, it reverses and moves upwards again, compressing the air-fuel mixture that was previously sucked into the cylinder. At this point, both the intake and exhaust valves are closed to create an air-tight seal. Once the piston hits top dead center again, the combustion stroke starts and the compressed air-fuel mixture is ignited with the aid of a spark plug (in the case of a gasoline engine) or by the heat produced during the compression stage (in the case of a diesel engine). The force of the combustion sends the piston back down to bottom dead center once again. It is at the point during the process that mechanical force is created to turn the crankshaft. After the piston hits bottom dead center, the exhaust valve opens, the piston reverses direction again, moving back towards top dead center and expelling the used air-fuel mixture.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Two-Stroke Engines

Two-stroke engines have some considerable advantages over four-stroke engines that make them ideally suited to certain applications. They also have some notable disadvantages, as well. Their simplistic design and construction make them cheaper to manufacture and fix. They don't have any valves, instead making use of inlet and outlet ports, so there are less components that could potentially break. In two engines of the same size, two-strokes are capable of creating more power than four-strokes. This is because in a two-stroke engine, every other stroke is a combustion stroke. Combustion is when the engine's power is created. In a four-stroke engine, power is created once every four strokes.

Two-stroke engines don't require as heavy of a flywheel as four-stroke engines because they inherently run balanced. In a four-stroke engine, the crankshaft revolves twice for every one power stroke, which creates an imbalance. In a two-stroke engine, the crankshaft revolves once for every power stroke. Since two-stroke engines have fewer components and don't require such a heavy flywheel, they are lighter in weight than their four-stroke brethren. This makes the perfect for handheld applications, such as chainsaws and weed whackers. Their high power-to-weight ratio and lower cost also makes them ideal for recreational vehicles, like dirt bikes, ATVs, and outboard engines.

It isn't all roses when it comes to two-stroke engines, though. They are less fuel efficient, since fuel gets consumed every other stroke. Unconsumed fuel can also sometimes escape through the exhaust port. Two-stroke engines create more pollution, as well. This is because the combustion of oil produces more smoke than the combustion of fuel alone. Since two-stroke engines consume oil via combustion, users must add oil to their fuel tank every time they are refueling, which can get expensive.

Understanding The Three Main Types Of Two-Stroke Engine Oil

When it comes time to buy oil for your two-stroke engine, you may notice there are a few different types available, the most prominent of these being mineral, semi-synthetic, and synthetic. Each of these has different characteristics and the prices between them vary wildly.

Mineral oils are made from a base of natural petroleum oil. A complicated process of cleaning and filtration removes many of the contaminants, but it cannot remove all of them. The lowest cost mineral oils are usually derived from the poorest quality petroleum oil, which often contains many hard-to-remove contaminants that reduce its lubricating capabilities. To make up for this, most manufacturers mix a range of additives into it to help improve lubrication and combustibility. While you probably wouldn't want to use a mineral oil in your premium sports bike, it is more than adequate for older dirt bikes and garden tools.

Semi-synthetic oils are comprised of high quality mineral oils mixed with synthetic polymers that have superior lubricating qualities, along with other additives. The bulk of most semi-synthetic oils is mineral oil, with just a small volume of them being synthetic additives. This makes them cheaper than full synthetics, but cleaner and capable of better lubrication that standard low quality mineral oils. They are suitable for both high and low-end two-stroke engines.

Synthetic oils are also comprised of a base of mineral oil with additives, such as detergents, stabilizers, and octane enhancers, but they contain only the highest quality mineral oils. They also have a higher ratio of synthetic additives to natural oils. They burn cleaner than any other type of engine oil, producing almost smokeless emissions. Synthetic oils have better lubrication qualities than any other type of two-stroke engine oil, as well. While they are beneficial for every type of two-stroke engine, synthetic oils really shine in high-revving performance vehicles.

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Last updated on June 15, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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