2-Stroke Engine Vs. 4-Stroke Engine

One of the decisions you have to make when buying a new lawn mower is to select one with a 2-stroke engine or one with a 4-stroke engine. Like all comparisons, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The question is which one of the options best suits your situation? Here are some facts to help you make a decision.

How Do The Engines Work?

First, we need to proceed with a little elementary class in engine design. How does a stroke engine work?

The word “stroke” is a reference to the pistons and their movement in the engine. For example, a 2-stroke engine makes one stroke in each direction

There are two types of lawn mower engines, a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke.

There are two types of lawn mower engines, a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke. (Courtesy: Stephen at flickr.com)

while a 4-stroke engine has one compression stroke and one exhaust stroke each with one return stroke.

The 2-stroke engine compresses with a stroke upward and exhausts with a stroke downward. Because of this, this engine needs lubricating oil mixed into the fuel.

A 4-stroke engine compresses the fuel air mixture before the gas explosion in the first two strokes and then there are two strokes that push the burnt gases out the exhaust.

Advantages of a 2-Stroke Engine

The 2-stroke engine is based on a simple design and basic construction and weighs less and costs less to make than the 4-stroke alternative. A 2-stroke engine, at the a same rpm (revolutions per minute), also fires twice as much than a 4-stroke engine.

Disadvantages of a 2-Stroke Engine

A 2-stroke engine does not last as long as a 4-stroke engine because it wears faster due to the lack of a dedicated lubrication system and generates more pollution. In addition, oil specifically for 2-stroke engines can be more expensive and the engine is not fuel efficient, which means it costs more for gas over time.

Deciding on the Most Appropriate Engine

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding what engine style to select. The most important is how you will use it. If cost is the biggest issue, then the 2-stroke engine is probably your best choice because it is cheaper than the 4-stroke, simpler in design and ideal for basic applications.

Conversely, the 4-stroke engine costs more to make because it features better technology, which assures efficiency and a longer lifespan. So if your lawn mower has to perform at more than a basic level, then the 4-stroke engine should be your choice.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.