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Engines For Petrol Strimmers

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Petrol strimmers can either employ a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine to power them. By far the most popular size is the 2 stroke engine, even though perhaps it is the inferior engine of the two. This is of course debateable as both the 2 stroke and 4 stroke both have their advantages and disadvantages. But for the sake of this site, we shall have a look at both types of engines. Due to the sheer quantity and models of petrol strimmers that are built with a 2 stroke engine does though suggest, that the 2 stroke and the petrol strimmer provide an excellent marriage.

Both types of engine have derived their names from how many times the cylinder in the engine moves up and down per revolution. The 2 stroke cylinder will move up and down just once per revolution for example resulting in it firing just once every revolution. The 4 stroke on the other hand will fire once on every 2 revolutions of the engine shaft. So it actually takes twice as long as the 2 stroke to perform the same process. To sum up, the 2 stroke fires up twice as many times as the 4 stroke, creating more energy and producing a significantly more amount of power than a similar sized 4 stroke. For this reason alone the 2 stroke supports many models of petrol strimmers.

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2 Stroke and 4 Stroke Engine Basics

A 4 stroke petrol engine uses a system of valves within it’s engine block to control petrol combustion. It is these valves which allow hot air to escape. This escaping hot air also contributes to lowering the actual temperature within an engine block as well as keeping the engine shaft lubricated properly.

The 2 stroke does not use this valve system. Instead the 2 stroke requires it’s petrol to be mixed with oil at a ratio of 1:16 in order to keep the engine block cool and lubricated. Because of this the 2 stroke costs more to run and will give off more smoke and noise. But with petrol strimmers this is an acceptable situation as a 2 stroke is significantly cheaper to manufacture and produce.

When it comes to the lifespan of a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine, the 4 stroke will in theory and in most cases, outlast the 2 stroke. A 2 stroke engine is always under stress from lubrication and heat issues. It also has a higher stroke ration and hence the working parts will suffer from wear and tear at a greater rate. Because of the stress issues with a 2 stroke engine you will also need to maintain it more than a 4 stroke engine.


Engine Servicing For Petrol Strimmers


If you have a petrol strimmer, as opposed to an electric strimmer or battery strimmer, then you gardening tool has a small engine that requires upkeep. Here are some tips and maintenance advice to help you get the most out of your petrol strimmer engine.


Before Using Petrol Strimmers


1- Before you even put your strimmer in to life always check the unit over. The air intake on these machines is there to help keep the engine cool. So if you see any debris stuck to the air intake screen, remove it to allow a free air passage. Whilst doing this it is also worthwhile checking around the oil filter and any general linkage points as well. Remove all debris that can hinder your unit and place unnecessary strain on the engine.


2- Forgotten by many, behind the air intake screen will be flywheel fins. Once in a while it will pay dividends to remove this air intake screen and clean the fins with a wire brush.


3- If you have a petrol strimmer with a 4 stroke engine you need to always check the oil levels before using it. If the levels are low, then just top up as necessary.


Twice A Year Service


1- If your petrol strimmer is a 4 stroke then you have to change the oil twice a year. Simply drain away any old oil and dispose of it properly. Add new oil. With a

2 stroke petrol strimmer this is not necessary as the oil is pre mixed with the fuel.


2- It is well worth obtaining some silicone lubricant or lightweight oil of some sort. Apply whichever you have to any exposed control cables and pivot points like the clutch or throttle. This will protect them.


3- With use an air filter will do it’s job and eventually get blocked. This will put pressure on any engine. So twice a year clean the air filter or replace it.



Advantages Of A 2 Stroke Engine


1- It is a lively engine and has a lot of get up and go due to the fact that it fires once every revolution. This can give it twice as much power as an equivalent 4 stroke.


2- Is small and compact making it light. So with this lightness comes a higher weight to power ratio compared to a 4 stroke.


3- As said earlier it is of a simple design and because of this it is less expensive.


4- This advantage we really like. Because the 2 stroke does not have an oil sump it can be used in any orientation. This makes it an ideal engine for petrol strimmers as at times you will be working in awkward areas with them.



Disadvantages Of A 2 Stroke Engine


1- The 2 stroke engine does not have a dedicated lubricating system. This means that it will wear out quicker and have a shorter lifespan than a 4 stroke.


2- Costs more to run. Every time you fill your 2 stroke petrol strimmer with fuel, you need to add  a special 2 stroke oil in the correct ratio. As well as the cost this can be an inconvenience and it is well worth always having a premixed mixture at hand.


3- The 2 stroke is quite primitive in design. It pollutes thanks to the oil and fuel mix. It also smells.


4- When it comes to fuel efficiency the 2 stroke is lacking. The simple design sees to this and you will receive significantly poorer mileage from one when compared to a 4 stroke.


5- Petrol strimmers with 2 stroke engines give off a high pitched whine. As annoying as this is to the user, it can also have legal consequences as the whine may exceed any local noise levels. So you need to check this out before purchasing a 2 stroke petrol strimmer.



2 Stroke Engine Oil


Petrol strimmers with 2 stroke engines require a specialized 2 stroke engine oil to lubricate them. This oil is mixed in with the petrol strimmer fuel in order to offer some lubrication. The oil is burned along with the fuel which results in the blue smoke that you see being omitted by any 2 stroke petrol strimmers or other such gardening equipment.

2 stroke oil has a base stock of petroleum, vegetable, semi synthetic or synthetic oil. 2 stroke oil has a much lower ash content to minimize any deposits when the oil is burned.


For a more thorough write up on 2 stroke oil check out Wikipedia


For a more thorough insight in to the 2 stroke engine and 4 stroke engine we recommend that you pay another visit to Wikipedia.