Are Lawn Mowers 2-Stroke? The Ultimate Guide For Gardeners

Hi there!

Mowers are essential tools that help keep lawns looking neat and tidy. With various types of mowers available in the market, it’s crucial to understand their features and functions. 

One common question among lawn mower users is:  Are lawn mowers 2-stroke? This article will answer this question and provide some essential information about mowers. Let’s scroll down to discover more!

What Is A Stroke? 

A stroke is the piston’s movement inside an engine’s cylinder. The piston performs two strokes in each cycle, one up and one down. 

During the upstroke, the air-fuel mixture in the cylinder is compressed. During the downstroke, the mixture is ignited by a spark plug. It causes the piston to move back up and produces power. 

The piston’s movement is transferred to the crankshaft. It converts the linear motion into rotational motion. Your machine will use it to turn the wheels.

The stroke is an essential process in the engine because it determines its power output. 

The longer the stroke, the more the piston moves. Hence, it can produce more power. 

However, longer strokes also result in more friction and wear and tear, reducing the engine’s lifespan. 

Therefore, designers must balance the stroke length and power output to ensure optimal engine performance and reliability.

Are lawn mowers 2-cycle? Continue reading to get the answer!

Are Lawn Mowers 2-Stroke? 

The answer is no! Depending on the brand and model, a mower’s engine can be 2-stroke or 4-stroke. 

Generally, 2-stroke engines are popular in smaller mowers while 4-stroke versions are common in larger mowers.

However, some manufacturers produce mowers with 2-stroke engines that are larger and more powerful than the average push mower. 

People often use these mowers for commercial use, and they are not common in households.

How Do 2-Stroke Engines Differ From 4-Stroke Engines?

It’s essential to know how these engines work to understand the ]ir differences. 

A 2-stroke engine is an internal combustion engine that completes a power cycle in just two strokes of the piston. 

The first stroke is the compression one to compress the air and fuel mixture. 

The second stroke is the power one to ignite the mixture and drive down the piston. This cycle repeats for every revolution of the engine.

You can watch this video to know how it works:

On the other hand, a 4-stroke engine completes a power cycle in four strokes of the piston. 

The first stroke is the intake one, where the piston will move down and draw in the air and fuel mixture. 

The second stroke is the compression one, where the piston will move up and compress the mixture. 

The third stroke is the power one, where the mixture is ignited and drives down the piston. 

The fourth stroke is the exhaust one, where the piston will move up and push the exhaust gasses out of the engine.

The main differences between two types

How To Check The Type Of Engine?

Now that we know the differences between 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines, how can you check what type your mower has? 

The simplest way to determine the engine type is to check the manufacturer’s manual.

The manual will clearly state what type your mower has and other important information, such as recommended oil and fuel.

You can also check the spark plug if you cannot access the manual or the manufacturer’s website. 

A 2-stroke engine often has a single spark plug, while a 4-stroke engine owns two. 

Additionally, a 2-stroke engine requires an oil-gas mixture, while a 4-stroke type uses only gasoline.

Tips for checking the engine type

Lawn Mower Fuel 

The right fuel is essential to keeping your lawn mower running smoothly and efficiently. 

Using the correct fuel and ratio is crucial whether you have a two-stroke or four-stroke engine. 

The type of fuel for a mower depends on its kind of engine. You must mix gasoline and oil in the correct ratio for two-stroke engines. 

The ratio varies depending on the manufacturer. Hence, check your mower’s manual for the correct ratio. 

Using the wrong ratio of gasoline to oil can cause severe damage to your equipment’s engine.

The 4-stroke lawn mower fuel is gasoline. Using the correct octane rating for your lawn machine’s motor would be best. 

Using a lower octane rating than recommended can cause your lawn mower to run poorly or damage the engine.

Is A 2-Stroke Engine Good For Lawn Mowers? 

This type of engine provides some benefits for your mowers. However, it had some disadvantages. 


2-stroke engines are known for their simplicity and lightweight design. They have fewer parts than 4-stroke versions, making them easier to maintain and repair. 

They are also more affordable than 4-stroke engines, an excellent advantage for those on a budget. 

Additionally, 2-stroke engines are ideal for small machines as they are more compact and provide enough power to cut through the grass efficiently.


Despite their benefits, 2-stroke motors have some drawbacks that may make them unsuitable for some mowers. 

One major drawback is that they produce more emissions than 4-stroke engines. It can harm the environment and result in a shorter lifespan for the machine. 

Additionally, 2-stroke motors require a mixture of oil and gas. It can be messy and difficult to get the correct ratio. Also, it may cause maintenance costs to increase over time.

Lawn Mower Engine

Applications Of 2-Stroke Engine

The 2-stroke engine is a versatile power source for various applications like motorcycles, personal watercraft, and chainsaws.

Use in Motorcycles

2-stroke engines are preferred in racing motorcycles because of their high power-to-weight ratio. 

They also have a simpler design and fewer moving parts. It makes them lightweight and easy to maintain. 

This engine is also common in off-road motorcycles, where their light weight and power output make them ideal for navigating rough terrain.

Use in Personal Watercraft

The engine’s compact size and high power output make it an ideal choice for watercraft like jet skis. 

These vehicles boast rapid acceleration and high-top speed thanks to the power-to-weight ratio.

Use in Chainsaws

Chainsaws must be used in remote locations with no electrical power source, so a small, portable engine is necessary. 

Its high power-to-weight ratio and simple design are fit for chainsaws perfectly. 

Pros & Cons Of 2-Stroke Engine 

2-stroke engines have their pros and cons, as shown below:


  • Lightweight
  • High Power-to-Weight Ratio
  • Simple Design


  • Poor Fuel Efficiency
  • High Emissions
  • Shorter Lifespan

The Bottom Line

Are lawn mowers 2 or 4-cycle? They can be either 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines. The type depends on the manufacturer and model of the equipment.

2-stroke engines are generally standard in smaller mowers, while you typically find 4-stroke types in larger mowers. 

It’s essential to understand the engine type of your device to ensure its proper maintenance and operation.

5/5 - (1 vote)