2 stroke vs 4 stroke motor

When it comes to buying an outboard, it’s important to know the differences between a two–stroke vs four–stroke outboard motor when deciding which type of engine will best suit your needs. Whether you’re looking for speed, torque, or longevity, there are certain factors to consider when looking at the pros and cons of both types of engines before making your decision.


From a cost perspective, two–stroke engines tend to be more affordable than their four–stroke counterparts. This is due to four–stroke engines being more complex, with more components such as valves, camshafts (sometimes two), and many other parts which all increase the overall price. While two–stroke engines have fewer parts and require a simpler design, they lack the fuel efficiency and reliability of four–stroke engines. Consequently, two–strokes are best suited to smaller boats and are not strongly recommended for continuous operation at high speeds. It should be noted however, that two stroke motors have a higher power to weight ratio than four strokes.

Fuel Efficiency

Four–stroke engines, on the other hand, offer greater dependability and fuel efficiency, making them suitable for a wide range of vessels. Thanks to their many valves and camshafts, four–strokes can generate higher horsepower and torque ratings, making them well–suited for larger boats. Furthermore, the superior fuel efficiency of four–strokes in comparison to their two–stroke counterparts, make them a great choice if you plan on using your vessel for long–distance travel.


When it comes to emissions, four–strokes usually tend to emit significantly fewer gaseous pollutants than two–strokes. This makes them an ideal engine for the environment, as well as for applications such as fishing or leisure boating. Additionally, four–strokes are generally quieter than two–strokes, making them more well suited for extended use or commercial applications.


The benefits of a four stroke motor are not without a cost however. As we mentioned earlier, two stroke motors are usually cheaper. They also have significantly less maintenance costs and their less complicated design make their repairs cheaper as well.

The Final Decision 

The choice between a two–stroke and four–stroke outboard motor ultimately comes down to your needs as a boater. If you’re looking for reliability, fuel efficiency and a quieter ride a four–stroke engine is likely the better option. For those looking for more power per pound and a cheaper option, a two–stroke may be the right choice. Whichever type you decide upon, make sure to take into account the cost, performance, and maintenance requirements when shopping around for an engine.