Many people don’t understand the difference between 2-stroke engines and 4-stroke engines. This article will help explain the difference and pros and cons of each.
4-stroke engines have just that – 4 individual strokes. Intake, compression, power, and exhaust. In the intake step, fuel and oxygen is taken in. Typically the fuel is gasoline. The mixture goes in between the piston and the spark plug. The piston then rises and and compresses the mixture, making the compression step. As the compression reaches it’s peak, when the piston is as high as it can go, the spark plug ignites the mixture, creating an explosion, and causing the power stroke. The piston is then propelled down and back up to push the leftover fumes out, exhaust. A camshaft is necessary to open the valves for intake and exhaust.
2-stroke engines do the same thing as 4-strokes, but in a different way. Gas and oil are mixed together as fuel, and of course oxygen is mixed when it enters the engine. The mixture comes in below the piston when the piston rises to the top to compress and ignite the mixture. The power stroke then happens and the piston goes down, allowing the mixture to come up and push out the exhaust. Then the piston comes back up, lets in more of the mixture, and starts over.
Pros: 4-stroke engines are very fuel efficient. 2-stroke engines are considerably more powerful.
Cons: 2-stroke engines can really suck the gas. 4-stroke engines aren’t as powerful.