The Difference Between a Two-Stroke and a Four-Stroke Lawn Mower

While there are plenty of electric cord lawn mowers, if someone wants a cheap way to trim the front lawn, the proper way to do the job is with a gas lawnmower, which provides the user full flexibility on direction and range. However, not all gas lawn mowers are alike. There are two-stroke units and the more modern four-stroke lawn mowers. Understanding the difference can save a person a lot of headaches and grief, especially when using the unit and refueling it.

The two-stroke design is a very old approach to engine lubrication. With these units, the gas and oil are mixed together — for good reason. As the fuel enters the lawn mower’s engine and piston chamber, the oil mixed into the gasoline lubricates the piston so that it won’t get too hot and stop moving inside the engine. Failure to mix enough oil will cause the engine to run very hot quickly and then stop as the piston gets lodged into the engine cylinder. As a result, proper premixing is a requirement.

These units also start with a choke, which provides an extra amount of fuel into the engine to help it get started when cold. With the choke primed, the user then pulls the engine on with the ripcord until it starts.

The four-stroke engine design is far more modern and requires less technical mixing when it comes to fuel. This popular lawn mower design has separate tanks for fuel and engine oil. The two go into the engine, but the four-stroke design makes it far easier to load without having to guess at a premixed mixture. These engines are also a lot stronger, so they can handle mowing through much more difficult lawn material and terrain. Because of their greater capacity, four-stroke lawn mowers cost more, but they tend to be far more reliable, take less technical knowledge to run, and can be maintained far more easily than their earlier-design cousins. A word to the wise, though: One should never mix the gasoline in four-stroke model with oil; the fuel will quickly gum up the carburetor and shut it down for good. The two should always be kept separate for optimum running and operation.

We’ve got a full line of reliable gas powered lawn mowers from push mowers to zero turn riders from brands like Briggs & Stratton, Cub Cadet and Toro. Come in to find the best one for your yard.

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