compare 2 stroke and 4 stroke lawn mowers – pros and cons !

I know you might have questions when it comes to comparing 2 stroke and 4 stroke lawn mowers. When you are about to buy a lawn mower, there are several things you need to consider. It is a big investment after all. So, you need one that falls in your budget and will serve your needs. When it comes to lawn mowers, there are just two types: the 2-stroke and the 4-stroke varieties. Let’s first understand the fundamental mechanism of these two machines.

What is meant by Stroke?

Stroke indicates the movement of the piston in the engine. Inside the engine, there are cylindrical compartments called ‘Combustion Chambers’ where the combustion of the fuel takes place and chemical energy is converted into mechanical energy. The pistons cause the compression of a mixture of fuel and air which leads to an explosion which in turn causes the mixture to expand which again pushes the piston down. Hence, there is an up and down movement of the piston resulting in a vertical motion called a ‘stroke’.
As the name indicates, a stroke is one of the basic differences between a 2-stroke and a 4-stroke lawnmower. Let’s see how their other features and function differ from each other.

Differences between 2-Stroke and 4-Stroke Engines:

Lawnmowers mow your lawn – but the similarities tend to stop there. You can have different types of lawn mowers, doing things differently. For instance, you have an electrically powered lawn mower and a gas powered one. Each has its own advantages. They can have different features as well, according to the model that you are buying. The lawnmower that is right for you may not be right for someone else – it will depend on other factors like the power of the lawn mower you need, which, in turn, will depend on how your lawn is.
Likewise, the 2-stroke and 4-stroke lawn mowers are different too. They vary not only in their output but how they work as well.

Here are some of the common differences between the two lawn mowers:

1. Number of Strokes:

The difference between the two types lies in the number of strokes the piston completes in one cycle. In a four-stroke engine, there is a compression stroke and an exhaustion stroke each of which is followed by a return stroke. Hence the name, 4-stroke engine. On the other hand, in a 2-stroke engine, there is only a compression stroke followed by a return stroke.
2.  Power:

Because of the stroke mechanism wherein a 2-stroke engine has a stroke twice as many times as a 4-stroke one, the power of the 2-stroke engine is twice that of a 4-stroke engine. However, 2-stroke engines produce more power for a shorter period while 4-stroke engines produce less power but for a longer period. You wouldn’t need a 2-stroke engine if you have a small lawn and can go for the 4-stroke one instead.
3. Fuel:

There is no separate oil inlet in a lawn mower with a 2-stroke engine because the fuel and the lubricant oil are mixed together. You only need to buy one type of fuel. On the other hand, oil and fuel need to be added separately to a 4-stroke engine. Though you need to buy the two separately, you need not worry about the ratio between the two. 4-stroke engines are also more fuel efficient than 2-stroke engines and put out less pollution. 2-stroke engines produce fumes and quite the smelly ones. Since there is a separate oil chamber in a 4-stroke engine, the oil doesn’t burn off making the 4-stroke lawn mower more fuel efficient.
4. Operation:

You cannot use a 4-stroke lawn mower on its side nor turn it upside down because that would cause lubrication problems. Hence, if a have a lawn that rests against a slope, a 2-stroke engine is a better option.
5. Price:

2-stroke lawn mowers are less expensive compared to the 4-stroke counterparts

2-stroke lawn mowers are lighter than the 4-stroke ones because there is no crankcase for oil or a carburetor for fuel delivery, instead, they use a reed.
7. Noise level:

2-stroke engines are noisier than the 4-stroke ones.

A lawn mower with a 4 stroke engine typically is more durable than one that has a 2-stroke engine. A 4-stroke lawn mower is more reliable and easier to start while that with a 2-stroke engine tends to run less evenly.

4-stroke lawn mowers require more maintenance than the 2-stroke ones. You would be spending a couple of hundred dollars on it over the lover run. If you want to focus and buy one that has fewer maintenance costs, I would suggest you go for the 2-stroke ones, especially if you do not have a lot of power needs.


Here are some of the similarities between the two lawn mowers.
1. 1. In both the varieties the compression stroke is followed by the gas explosion.
2. 2. Both require a mix of fuel and lubricant oil to run.
People are certainly switching to the 4-stroke kinds, even if they are more expensive, because of the fact that they are hassle-free, last longer and are more fuel efficient. A 4-stroke lawn mower saves you the little annoyances of having to mix the oil and the fuel. Moreover, 2-stroke lawn mowers may be phased out, because they do not meet the EPA standards on emission. However, if your lawn has a slope, then a 2-stroke lawn mower may be the way to go.