Two-Stroke vs. Four-Stroke

How 2-Cycle and 4-Cycle Engines Differ

By  | Snow Blower Product Expert

Modern snowblowers are made with 4-stroke engines, but if you have a cherished snowblower from years ago, you've dealt with trying to get the perfect fuel mixture for a 2-stroke engine.

Many people grew up learning to eyeball the oil-gas ratio, but properly mixing gasoline and oil will prevent your snowblower from spitting out the dark clouds of smelly smoke that nobody enjoys.


What's the Difference Between Two-Stroke & Four-Stroke?

A "stroke" refers to how many stages (cylinder/crankshaft movements) a combustion engine needs to complete to finish a "power (working) stroke." 

Two-stroke (two-cycle) engines require you to mix the oil with the gas in exact amounts so the oil acts as a lubricant for the crankcase. 

In a 2-stroke engine, it takes one full revolution (2 stages) to complete 1 power stroke.

2-Cycle Engine Diagram


Four-stroke (four-cycle) engines are newer and have a separate compartment for oil, so you don't have to worry about mixing fuel. These engines are more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly, while also giving you more torque when you need it.

It takes two revolutions (4 stages) to complete 1 power stroke inside a 4-stroke engine. 

4-Cycle Engine Diagram


While there are benefits of using both 2-cycle and 4-cycle snowblowers, it comes down to convenience; if you're tired of mixing oil and sniffing fumes, it may be time to upgrade to a newer 4-stroke model. 



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