Two Stroke Engine vs. Four Stroke Engine

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Difference between Two Stroke Engine and Four Stroke Engine

Engines are the heart of a vehicle and power a vehicle move and get us from point A to B. Engines come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In addition, cars tend to have different engines types than motorcycles. When discussing small engines people often gauge the size of the engine by their displacement- for example 200cc or 400cc, etc. Thus the higher the number, the better, more powerful that engine is, but on the downside a larger engine would naturally consume more fuel. Most people are often confused when it comes to differentiating between two stroke engines and four stroke engines.

Two Stroke Engine
Four Stroke Engine

Active Mechanism

A two stroke engine will have one stroke in one direction, it will have one compression stroke, which is then followed by a internal combustion of the compressed fuel. On the other hand, a four stroke engine would have to make two revolutions to make a power stroke, which takes longer than a two stroke engine.

Engine Power

Since the two stroke engine only needs one revolution per stroke, it has an advantage over the four stroke engine. It's very simple in design and works quite effectively, on the other hand a four stroke motor is less powerful when compared to a two stroke. It's more complicated in design includes camshafts which push the spring loaded rods.

Fuel Consumption

Due to it's simple design the two stroke engine tends to consume a lot more fuel compared to the four stroke engine because the engine has a primitive design and tends to waste a lot of fuel during the combustion process. On the other hand, a four stroke engine which has a more complicated mechanism of action, tends to be more fuel efficient since it's engine is designed to minimize fuel wastage.

Meeting Emission Standards

Since two stroke engines are poorly designed, most of them do not meet emission standards in many countries and therefore are not allowed to be used on public roads. On the other hand, four stroke engines are quite fuel efficient and have low emissions and can be driven on public roads. Although an important point to note is that a direct injection two stroke engine can meet emissions standards in most countries since they have a more fuel efficient engine design, plus they have retained all the benefits of a two stroke engine.


  • Engines can be confusing to distinguish, most people measure a engine with it's displacement such as cc's. However, most people are lost when distinguishing between two strokes and four strokes engines.
  • A two stroke engine can create combustion with only one stroke. While a four stroke goes through 2 revolutions before it can create combustion.
  • A two stroke engine is more powerful and is simple in design, while a four stroke has less power and is more sophisticated in design.
  • A two stroke engine is poorly designed which can result in wasted fuel. A four stroke engine is more sophisticated and tends to waste less fuel.
  • Since a two stroke engine wastes fuel it does not meet emissions standards in most countries, however, four strokes engines are the norm and tend to meet most strict emission standards worldwide.

Which engine works harder?
  • Two Stroke Engine
  • Four Stroke Engine

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