How To Tell If A Lawn Mower Is 2-Stroke Or 4-Stroke?

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Sharaj

It is essential to determine whether your lawnmower has a 2-stroke or 4 -stroke engine. For instance, each type of machine uses different fueling techniques.

If you try to use fuel in a 2-stroke engine like in a 4-stroke engine, it will fail, and the engine may need replacement.

Likewise, the gasoline of a 2-stroke engine is improper for a 4-stroke engine and can cause the carburettor to break or even lead to the engine’s total damage.

Both machines have advantages and disadvantages, but one is beginning to dominate the market, and the other is increasingly difficult to find. Although most lawn mowers feature a 4-stroke engine, you can get 2-stroke mowers.

The recent the lawnmower, the more likely it is to be a 4-stroke cutter, as two-stroke cutters are being phased out worldwide due to their emissions and are no longer available in many countries.

How To Determine Your Lawn Mower is 2-Stroke or 4-Stroke?

In this regard, it is a challenge for many users to know whether their lawnmowers are 2-stroke or 4-stroke. Fortunately, the following guide provides you with detailed information on how to tell if a lawnmower is 2-stroke or 4-stroke.


For consumers, the most significant difference between 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines is the fuel they use. 2-stroke engines need the user to mix oil with gasoline because the gasoline lubricates internal moving parts.

The interiors of 2-stroke engines get lubrication with oil from the crankcase tank. Gasoline enters the fuel tank and remains separate from the oil.


Check for a crankcase that has a filler tube to add oil. You can be able to see the dipstick by removing the top part. If there is a provision to add oil separately, it is a 4-stroke engine.

If you mix oil and gasoline during refuelling, this will tell you that it is a 2-stroke lawnmower. Refer to the service section of the manual. If you see instructions to change your oil regularly before storing it for the winter, you have a 4-stroke lawnmower.

Fuel tank

One of the most significant differences between a 2-stroke engine and a 4-stroke engine is the fuel tank. Find the mower’s fuel tank, and if there is only one input, the engine is a 2-stroke engine. 2-stroke engines require a mixture of gas and oil, so there is only one port. The 4-stroke engines have two separate ports for oil and fuel.

So take a look at the fuel tank to quickly find out if your lawnmower has a 2 or 4 stroke engine. Also, in a 2-stroke engine, the oil mixture is sometimes written into the fuel tank cap. Engine labels that say “Do not mix fuel” or “4-stroke” mean that you have 4- stroke mower.


A 2-stroke engine piston has twice the rate of rotation per minute than a 4-stroke engine piston.

Typically, this entirely gives the 2-stroke engine twice the power of a 4-stroke engine of the same displacement. 2-stroke engines are much lighter and smaller than 4-stroke engines with the same capacity; hence 2-stroke lawnmowers are lighter than 4-stroke mowers, and you can easily differentiate.


The 2-stroke engine features a simple design and basic structure and costs less than the 4-stroke option. On the other hand, a 4-stroke engine costs more to produce because it has the latest technology that guarantees efficiency and longer service life.

In that sense, a 4-stroke lawnmower is more expensive than a 2-stroke lawnmower with the same performance. Therefore, the price can help you determine whether the mower is a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke.


2-stroke engines are louder and smoke more than 4-stroke engines, which increases noise and air pollution. 4-stroke mowers generally can work for long to than two-stroke engines and tend to resist better with heavy, continuous use.


The 2-stroke engines are light but very powerful. You don’t have the heavy oil sump that 4-stroke engines need. Instead, two-stroke engines get lubrication from oil that mixes with the fuel.

Other differences

If you start the mower in cold weather, 2-stroke engines begin much more quickly. If you use the mower on steep slopes, a 2-stroke engine does not lose power like a 4-stroke engine.


In conclusion, lawn mower manufacturers have been offering the choice between 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines for many years. In recent years, 4-stroke engines are dominating the sales of lawnmowers. Knowing the type of lawnmower is very important, as they have different fueling techniques.

The 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines have exclusive functions, each with its pros and cons. 2-stroke engines lack some things where 4-stroke engines stand out and vice versa. The type of lawnmower engine depends on the customer’s needs.

If the customer needs more power, a 2-stroke lawnmower is better, and if the customer needs a noise and smoke-free engine with more efficiency, a 4-stroke lawnmower is better. Apart from the machines, the 2- and 4-stroke mowers work the same way, cutting the grass with a high-speed blade.

About Sharaj