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Why Is Premixed Fuel So Expensive?


Is premix fuel worth it?

Using premixed fuel is an excellent way to get the best performance out of your machines. However, the cost can be off-putting to many potential users. 

So, why is premixed fuel so expensive? Premixed fuel is so expensive because of the clinically measured ingredients, the high-octane gas, and the ashless, synthetic oil. This gives premix fuel the following advantages:

  • Extended shelf life
  • Increased performance
  • Less fuel residue
  • Low smoke
  • Lower environmental impact

The rest of this article will discuss in-depth why premixed fuel is so expensive. We’ll also discuss the approximate costs of premixed fuel, as well as why it’s better than a homemade mix.

Why Premixed Fuel Costs More

Buying premixed fuel can has a higher upfront cost. On the other hand, mixing your fuel for your 2-cycle, air-cooled equipment is more time-consuming and poses potential problems for the engine. You’ll need to decide whether mixing your own fuel is worth it. For me, it’s just not.

A 2-stroke engine needs a blend of oil and gasoline to ensure that the crankshaft is lubricated and well-maintained.

Ideally, this is a precise mixture of gas to oil. Learning the process of mixing the perfect gas/oil mix can be tricky and can take you a few attempts.

While perfecting your skills, a wrong blend can result in a clogged, dirty, or faulty engine. Additionally, if you have never done this before, you will need to equip yourself with non-spill tanks and stabilizers while picking the right oil and gasoline types.

And you don’t want to make too much of it because a homemade mixture goes bad a lot quicker than commercial premix does.

For more information, read Does Premix Fuel Go Bad? HomeMade Vs Commercial Gas-Oil Mix

The short and simple truth of though is this: It’s sort of a pain. I made the switch to premixed some time back and to me, it’s just a better investment of my time and money. 

Benefits Of Premixed Fuel

Premixed fuel may seem more expensive, but it's precision mixed using optimal gasoline and oil to ensure the long-term health of your 2-stroke engine.

While it can represent an investment, premixed fuel boasts incredible benefits that you will find hard to find in a homemade premix. Here are a few features that you can look forward to with a professionally engineered product for your two-strokes.

  • You are feeding your equipment a clinically-measured ratio of gasoline and oil.
  • The gasoline used is high-octane. Such a rating guarantees that the gas does not ignite prematurely and increase the performance of your equipment.
  • Most premixed solutions use ethanol-free gasoline. Ethanol can do serious damage to small engines so avoiding it means one less potential headache.
  • The oil used in the blend is ashless and with a low tendency to leave residues when burning. Such property is essential to prevent the carburetor and spark plug from becoming dirty and clogged.
  • The oil and gas used are premium quality and approved by manufacturers for the engine.
  • The specially engineered mix reduces smoke released by the engine during the combustion process, lowering the environmental impact of handheld 2-cycle equipment.
  • You can enjoy increased performance along with higher levels of throttle responsiveness.
  • Since such blends already include stabilizers, you can enjoy an extended shelf life of up to 10 years for an unopened container, many times higher than homemade premix.

And that’s not even counting the time and energy that you would have to spend finding and mixing the right oil and gasoline. So, why do some gardeners still prefer to mix their fuel?

Choosing Premixed Fuel Instead Of Homemade Premix

The choice of whether you should buy ready-to-use pre-blended fuel or make your own depends on many factors. Here we have listed the ones you should keep in mind when weighing your options.

Amount of fuel you need

The amount of fuel you need to run all of your handheld equipment will make a difference on whether it is more convenient for you to buy or make the premix. If you are looking at filling the fuel tank of a weed eater and leaf blower twice a year, premixed fuel is by far the most suitable option.

Since you only need a few liters of fuel, buying containers, stabilizers, and appropriate gas and oil will be time and money consuming. Purchasing a ready-to-use product makes it easier to get your machines up and running in no time and without wastage.

Alternatively, if you are running multiple pieces of equipment and, potentially, a two-stroke motorbike, you might consider mixing your fuel. This choice will allow you to have full control over the quantities produced.

Frequency

The frequency of use is another crucial factor that can influence your decision. Effectively, the shelf life of homemade gasoline and oil mix is no longer than two weeks. A couple of months at the most. That time frame can be extended to 12 months if you are looking at adding stabilizers to the mix.

Yet, if you don’t use your equipment often enough, mixing your premix can seem inexpensive at first but cause you large quantities of costly wastage. Instead, ready-to-use fuels incorporate stabilizers that extend their shelf life for several years.

Budget

Of course, how much money you are willing to spend on an old leaf blower is an essential factor. Yet, if you have just invested in a new piece of equipment for your garden or lawn, you should consider that premixed fuel will be more likely to preserve the functionality of the engine and carburetor.

How Much Is Premixed Fuel?

Premixed fuel prices vary depending on the brand and seller. TruFuel, one of the most appreciated brands out there, produces cases of 6 cans containing 1 liter of fuel each. That will run you around $60 on average.

Husqvarna offers a similar pack of six cans of their 50:1 premix and it is usually less expensive. I found it to be on par with Trufuel when I compared several premix fuels in a side-by-side comparison.

The smaller, individual cans allow for you to open and use the fuel you need but leave the rest sealed to take advantage of the longer shelf life.

You can check the latest price on the Husqvarna premix (link to Amazon).

Compared to standard gasoline, this can seem pricey. But remember that gas will need to be mixed with premium oil and stabilizers to create a suitable blend and can have residues that are harmful to the engine. You will end up bringing your equipment to the technician much more often and that homemade premix is going to go bad within a couple of months.

How Can I Save On Premix Fuel?

Manufacturers always recommend their own premix solution. That’s no surprise, right? But you can often save by buying another brand. However, when you are shopping for the best fuel for your 2 stroke yard tool, you should follow these steps:

  • Read the user manual of your equipment
  • Make sure that the product is suitable for the gas-to-oil ratio of your machine, usually 32:1, 40:1, or 50:1
  • Ensure that the gasoline in the premix has an octane of at least 92
  • Make sure that the oil in the mix is synthetic and “ashless.”
  • Check the shelf life of the pre-blended fuel.

Here’s what I’ve found in comparing some of the more common commercial premix fuels:

  • Stihl Motomix has the longest unopened shelf life of premixed fuels (10 years).
  • Husqvarna offers the highest octane rating among premixed fuels (95)

Other brands like TruFuel and Echo Red Armor fall somewhere in the middle.

Honestly, the bottom line is this: unless you are burning through massive amounts of fuel, you are better off buying commercially premixed fuel that sitting in your garage mixing it up yourself. You’ll have a precisely mixed solution using premium synthetic oil and ethanol-free gas.

Be sure to read Does Ethanol-Free Gas Go Bad? Fuel Shelf Life Comparisons.

Conclusion 

Buying a ready-to-go premix fuel may feel more expensive when you click “buy” but you have to consider the benefits. In truth, I’ve never regretted moving to premixed. It’s one less headache for me to worry about and I never have to worry about the quality of the gasoline at the pump or how long a sealed can has been sitting on the shelf in my shop.

Dealing with the fuel-related repairs on a weed eater or other 2-stroke engine ends up costing a lot more in both time and money. Check the latest pricing on the fuels mentioned in this article:

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Paul Brown

Paul has a two-acre yard on red clay soil in Southeast Texas. He knows exactly what the challenges are to nurturing a thriving yard in difficult soil. He takes a practical approach to yard improvement and enjoys putting best practices and “golden rules of lawn care” to the test. Click here for Paul’s author page

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