2 Cycle Vs 4 Cycle String Trimmer Comparison

The 2 cycle vs 4 cycle string trimmer comparison starts for several reasons. As we know, the gas string trimmer can be of these two types. These two trimmers have distinct user bases as they offer different features and facilities.

We cannot tag one of them as the best and generalize our verdict. Each of them comes with attractive features along with some drawbacks. One feature may attract us but not you! It depends on the individual needs and applications of the trimmer.

Gas string trimmers can handle heavier cutting jobs than the small and battery weed eaters. So, you need to pick the gas trimmer if you have huge/heavy cutting jobs. But, before you buy one, you need to have clear knowledge about the trimmer engine cycles.

2 cycle vs 4 cycle string trimmer

In this article, we are going to discuss the engine cycle factor as thoroughly as it could be.

2 Cycle vs 4 Cycle String Trimmer Comparison

Like their name, there are several key differences between a 2 cycle and a 4 cycle engine. The primary difference between these trimmers is their power generation process. Anyways, to keep things simpler and give you a quick concept, we are offering a comparison chart. Later, we will discuss these features in detail.

Features2-Cycle Engine4-Cycle Engine
PowerMore PowerfulLess Powerful
Fuel ConsumptionLess efficientMore efficient
WeightWeighs lessWeighs more
DurabilityLess durableMore durable
Noise LevelNoisierLess noise
WastagePollutes environmentLess pollution
PriceCheck priceCheck Price

What is the Engine Cycle?

Simply put in words, the process of converting heat into work is called an engine cycle. It starts with receiving fuel, burning it in the combustion chamber, generating power/works, and then ending up by relieving the exhaust.

The process is not the same for the electric and gas engine. The major difference is, there is no combustion chamber for the electric engine. The electric engine uses the electric power to make revolutions of the engine crankshaft. In this article, we are going to discuss only the gas string trimmer engine.


Difference Between Stroke and Cycle of Engine

There is no real difference between the stroke and the cycle of an engine. The process of completing a single round power generation is known as the engine cycle. Whereas, the number of movements that the piston makes for the same reason is known as the stroke of the engine.

The cycle and the stroke are the outputs of the same piston, Moreover, they refer to the same movement of the piston. Anyway, whatever the terms refer to, we use them for our convenience. Here, we can use them interchangeably. So, for you and us there is no difference between a 2-stroke engine and a 2-cycle engine. Maybe, the engineers and manufacturer have some other purposes for using these two separate terms.


How Does a 2-Cycle Trimmer Engine work?

A 2-cycle engine gets 2 movements of the piston to generate a single round power. The movement of the piston is upward and backward. Contrary to the fact, the movement is sidewise for a few special engines.

The engine head has two distinct valves (inlet & outlet). The purpose of the inlet valve is to open the hole for fuel spraying into the combustion chamber. Whereas, the purpose of the outlet valve is to pass the burned mixture towards the exhaust.

When the piston makes its downward move, the inlet valve spray fuel into the combustion chamber. With the help of spark and airflow, the fuel gets burned into the combustion chamber. Here, the burning heat energy turns into mechanical and helps the crankshaft rotate.

Now, the piston makes its upward move. The upward move takes out the burned fuel. After that, the outlet valve opens up to pass the burned fuel. And, this process continues unless you turn the engine off or it runs out of fuel!


How Does a 4-Cycle Trimmer Engine work?

A 4-cycle engine’s piston doesn’t make an upward and backward movement. Instead, the piston makes two complete rotations. One single rotation has two distinct phases namely strokes.

The first rotation of the piston has two cycles namely intake and compression. Similarly, the second rotation also has two cycles namely power and exhaust.

At the beginning of the first rotation of the piston, the inlet valve opens up. This opening of the inlet valve is known as the “intake cycle” or first stroke. At the end of the first rotation, the fuel gets burned in the combustion chamber. This burning phase is known as the “compression cycle” or 2nd stroke.

At the beginning of the 2nd rotation of the piston, the crankshaft gets power. It is the “power phase” or the third stroke. At the end of the second rotation of the piston, the outlet valve opens up to drains the burned fuel. It is the “exhaust cycle” or the 4th stroke. The process continues like the 2-cycle engine.


2 Cycle String Trimmer – Merits & Demerits

Husqvarna 128LD 2 Cycle Gas String Trimmer
Husqvarna 128LD 2 Cycle Gas String Trimmer

As the 2 cycle string trimmer produces a lot of power within just 2 strokes, it’s getting popularity among the power lovers. It takes less time to produce power. As a result, it offers a time-saving and faster-cutting experience. If you need the power cutting feature, you have to buy the 2-cycle gas trimmer.

It is no wonder that you need to invest more to get more power. Similarly, as the 2-cycle weed eater is more powerful, it consumes more fuel/gas. So, if you buy a 2-cycle gas trimmer for its immense power, don’t forget its fuel consumption.

Generally, a 2-stroke engine weighs and costs less. So, here you get an edge over the 4-stroke engine. The lightweight feature of a 2-cycle engine gives extra freedom. It won’t make you fatigue as it is lightweight. Moreover, the cost of any product is something we look for before buying. It costs less than any 4-cycle trimmer.

The drawback of a 2-cycle trimmer is it burns fuel frequently. As a result, it pollutes the environment more than that of a 4-cycle trimmer. That happens due to its less efficiency in fuel burning. The more efficient the trimmer engine in burning, the less amount of pollution.

Normally, the 2-cycle weed eater produces more noise than a 4-cycle one does. It happens as the engine has to produce power in just 2 strokes. Moreover, the 2-cycle engine lasts less as it runs out of its lifespan.

It offers the same maintenance cost and standard operation. If your needs fit with the 2-cycle engine feature, you can overlook its cons. Remember, no machine in this world is flawless.


4 Cycle String Trimmer – Merits & Demerits

Husqvarna 324L 4-Cycle String Trimmer
Husqvarna 324L 4-Cycle Gas String Trimmer

The 4-cycle trimmer has several factors that outrank the 2-cycle string trimmer. Among them, the most important factor is its fuel efficiency. It consumes less gas/fuel than a 2-cycle string trimmer. Thus it saves your pocket.

Normally, the 4-cycle gas trimmer is costlier and heavier than a 2-cycle trimmer. To make the 4-cycle engine dependable and durable, it is made of robust metal. So, the metal adds up to its overall weight. Moreover, its attractive features and long-lasting ability make its pricy.

It will offer you less power cut compared to the 2-cycle trimmer. But, the power it generates can tackle almost all light to heavy cutting tasks. So, you don’t need to worry about the power it has. If you are a professional user, then you need to calculate the inner issues. Figure out whether you need power or want to spend less money on fuel. After that, match the other features, and buy the ones that suit your business the best.

The 4-stroke engine is the modern invention compared to its counterpart. It burns less fuel, produces less noise, and thus offers environment-friendly operation. If you are a homeowner and love your neighbors, you should go for the 4-stroke gas trimmer. It will last longer and so does your relationship with your neighbors!

The maintenance cost for both types of trimmers is more or less the same. So, you don’t have to worry about the maintenance cost for either trimmer. But, their operational capabilities are not the same as their power generations. The 4-cycle string trimer offers smooth and hassle-free operation. But, it cannot generate the power level that a 2-cycle engine can.

For better results and durability, you should buy the 4-cycle trimmers.


2 Cycle Vs. 4 Cycle String Trimmer – Which is Better?

Primarily, string trimmers are of two types i.e. gas trimmer and electric/battery trimmer. Again the gas trimmer can be two types. One is a 2-cycle engine trimmer and the other is a 4-cycle engine trimmer.

The 2-cycle engine trimmer produces power every after 2 strokes of the piston. Whereas, the 4-cycle engine does it every after 4 strokes. That’s why we typically call them 2 & 4 strokes engine.

The 2-cycle string timmer produces power every after 2-stroke and thus saves processing time. Moreover, it generates more power and offers a faster cutting facility. If you need all of these features, then you should buy a 2-cycle gas trimmer.

The 4-cycle gas trimmer needs more time to complete its 4-stroke cycle. As a result, it cannot provide faster cuts like the 2-cycle ones. But, the 4-cycle trimmer consumes less gas and discharges less carbon to the environment. Furthermore, it generates way lesser sound than a 2-cycle trimmer does. So, in many ways, the 4- cycle gas trimmer outrank the 2-cycle ones.

When it comes to heavy/prolonged usages of the trimmer, the 2-cycle trimmer is the perfect pick. It can handle a lot of cutting tasks. Moreover, during the lengthy jobs, the lightweight feature of the trimmer comes to play. It prevents you from getting fatigued. But, the heavier 4-cycle trimmer will make you fatigue if you use it for a lengthy job.

For occasional and heavier tasks, the 2-cycle trimmer is the best option. But, for frequent cuts and home use, the 4-cycle is the best pick. The 4-cycle engine can be used frequently as it is a durable and strong lad. The 2-cycle trimmer is cheaper and breaks down if you use it frequently. The material of the 2-cycle trimmer is weaker compared to the 4-cycle ones.


The Final Verdict

You cannot expect a single gas trimmer to fill out every demand.  Every machine has its pros and cons. The unique ability of a machine can be merit or demerit depending on your needs. So, all you need is to match your needs with the capability and features of the trimmer.

We have displayed all the cards before you. Now it is your turn to pick the right string trimmer for you. If you are a homeowner, the 4-cycle string trimmer is recommended for you. But, if you need heavy cuts and supreme power, go for the 2-cycle trimmer. For the business owner, calculate every aspect and buy the right one that suits your business.

We hope that our coverage on “2-cycle vs. 4-cycle string trimmer” was helpful for you. If you still have queries, please feel free to drop a line.


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