2 Cycle vs 4 Cycle String Trimmers | Which Weed Eater is best for you?

Trimmers are usually used for taking good care of lawns and gardens. With the help of a good string trimmer you can give your lawn-grass a very well finishing. An efficient string trimmer can easily reach very hard to reach the area of the lawn or garden where lawn mowers or weed cutters can not navigate such as the areas like fence pots, mailboxes, shrubs, walkways and so on. The string trimmers are mostly confused with other trimming equipment like lawn edgers or weed cutters. But the latter do not work like the string trimmers. 

In this article we will discuss the differences between two particular types of 2 cycle string trimmer and 4 cycle string trimmer. 

Before that let’s take a look at the string trimmers and classify their types to make the differentiation process more effective and easier. 

String Trimmers

String trimmers are very lightweight and simply applicable equipment to eliminate weeds and cutting extra long grass from the lawns and gardens. Some people also know trimmers as weed eaters or weed wackers etc. Trimmers used have long shafts with a rotating head at the bottom portion of the shaft and the head contains sharp string or a flexible line that spin extremely fast and rapidly cut grass and weeds along. 

The string trimmers have two different types of shafts. Such as: straight shaft and curved shaft. Straight shaft string trimmers are longer than the curved ones. Straight trimmers’ shaft length is so impressive that it allows you to reach any congested areas like around the fences or under the shrubs etc. However, despite the stated facilities of the long shaft most of the people tend to choose the curved ones as they are more comfortable to hold while working with them.

The string or line of the string trimmers rotate in too much high velocity. So it is very much essential to wear proper protective gears like gloves, rubberboots, eye masks, earmuffs etc in order to protect yourself from injuries while using one of them.

It should be remembered that though string trimmers can give your lawn grass a manicured look but you must have to take the help of the lawn mowers at the initial stages of cutting long grass as string trimmers are not good enough to do that job.

Types of String Trimmers

There are priorly two basic types of string trimmers available in the market. Former one is Gas-powered string trimmer and the later one is Electric string trimmer. Both Gas trimmers and Electric string trimmer have been classified into two types. Two types of gas string trimmers are 2 cycle string trimmer and 4 cycle string trimmer. Whereas electric string trimmers are divided as corded and cordless string trimmers. The popularity of a good string trimmer depends on its effectiveness according to its power source, portability, and noise controlling system. You should choose one according to the size of lawn yards and the work terrains.

Gas-powered String Trimmer

This particular type of string trimmer is easy to handle, lightweight and more powerful than the electric string trimmer. You can carry it to anywhere you want and the operating system is also simple enough to anyone. Though, it is previously mentioned that the string trimmers are not that much efficient to cut long lengthened grass yet with the largest cutting swath gas powered string trimmers are very good at their job for removing long grass from larger lawns. Gas powered trimmers have a longer lifetime than the corded or cordless string trimmers. 

However, gas trimmers have a few disadvantages like they are more noisy than electric powered ones. Additionally, they produce fumes while running. You have to refill them regularly with adequate gas and oil. Moreover, they are more expensive than electric trimmers but it will be pretty good to invest some expense if you want longevity guaranteed highly powerful string trimmer for long time use.

According to the name of the classier gas powered string trimmers it is important to know what cycle or stroke means here. Let me brief with a few simple words. Cycle or stroke actually meant the every single movement of the pistons that reside inside the trimmer engine’s gas cylinder from each end to another. That means the names of the gas powered trimmers’ classifications have been determined on the basis of how many cycles the trimmer engine has to end to produce a certain amount of power force. 

The engine designs can be different so as the piston cycles. They can be upwards, downwards, left-side or right-side but what matters the most is how many cycles need to be completed before power production.

  • 2 Cycle Gas Trimmer

2 Cycle trimmer’s engine produces power after completing each second cycle of its piston, so it has been named after its power production stroke counts.

The engine is held in an upright position and the first stroke would be downwards influenced by the sparking plug and that would create a compress mixture of gas and air on the upper cylinder. The continuation of this process ignites the compression of the engine and produces power. This type of engine requires a particular amount of fuel mixture of oil and gas to keep the cylinder, piston, crankshaft or other parts lubricated.

  • 4 Cycle Gas Trimmer

Just like the former one the engine of the 4 Cycle trimmer’s engine required four strokes to procure power force. Four cycles work in four steps. Such as after intaking fuel the fuel valve gets closed and creates compression. After that the fuel becomes ignited and at the last step the burned fuel pushes back to produce power force. The strokes alter as upwards and downwards cycle.

Corded Electric Trimmer

If your lawn or garden area is not that large and along with that if you have a tight budget, you can go for corded trimmers. Though this type of trimmers are lightweight but they are not eligible for portability. You should have the arrangements of plenty of extra long cords, so that you can reach to each corner of your lawn during trimming. They make less noise and never emit fumes while working. 

Corded trimmers are not as powerful as gas ones and do not have larger cutting swaths. So, you might have to face difficulties if you do not have extra outdoor power outlets or ample amounts of extension cords in case you are trying to work on longer yards.

Cordless Electric Trimmer

Cordless string trimmers are easily adaptable and easy to store equipment to anywhere. It is also lightweight and portable. They are budget friendly too. They are mainly battery powered, so you have to stop working if the low battery signal is indicated or they might stop working further. You require to change or recharge the batteries while needed in order to continue working uninterruptedly. Frequent battery refilling seems the only disadvantage of such kinds of trimmers, but also can be solved if you can store backup batteries.

Differences Between 2 Cycle Vs 4 Cycle Gas String Trimmers


According to the size of engine and fuel type 2 Cycle String Trimmer can produce more extra power within every second stroke and the 2 Cycle trimmer has to work less to produce similar amount of power as 4 cycle ones.

But the 4 cycle trimmer has to complete 4 strokes and has to work more than 2 Cycle trimmer to provide the same power force. Or sometimes can not meet the requirements.


2 Cycle trimmer are cheaper because of their simple and handy operation system. They contain the basic type of engine and the manufacturing cost is also lesser than 4 cycle trimmer. But the 4 cycle trimmers are much more costly than the former one because of higher making cost and complex machineries.


Weight of any power tool depends on its engine weight. As the engine weight of the 2 Cycle trimmer is lighter thus the entire machine weighs lighter. But the 4 cycle trimmer is heavy to handle as its engine is also heavy and complex.


2 Cycle trimmer contains simple machines and lesser moving parts. So the operating system is easy to get for all. Whereas 4 cycle trimmer contains so many complex parts and operating systems as well that require enough practice before working with it.

Fuel efficiency

Though 2 Cycle trimmer produces more raw power from less working yet it spends more fuel. Sometimes the exhaust gases are not fully expelled to create power. But a 4 cycle trimmer requires less amount of fuel to generate the same power.

Noise cancellation

2 Cycle trimmer combusts with louder noise on every second stroke of the engine but the 4 cycle trimmer does not create such noise as the sound gets muffled inside the engine on the third stroke of the engine. 

Pollution level

Though both the trimmers are work by Gasoline but as the 2 Cycle trimmer requires more fuel it emits more fumes but 4 cycle trimmer is a bit fairer for eliminating less fumes.

Fuel requirements

2 Cycle trimmer requires more fuel as it spends almost double the amount of fuel to provide the same raw power. It requires a mixture of fuel that is gas and oil and can not store them separately to keep lubricated the engine and the other parts while running. But 4 Cycle trimmer can be fuelled by gas and oil separately and the engine is also capable of keeping them separated while working which makes it spend less fuel.


After analysing the above listed differences it can be said that both the trimmers are equally effective to do their jobs. You are required to pick the one according to your work value and affordability. If you are not comfortable with complex machinery and operating systems you should definitely opt for 2 Cycle trimmer. But if you prefer a noiseless trimmer that’s easy with handling complicated operations, go for the 4 cycle trimmer. 

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