Comparing Two-Stroke and Four-Stroke Outboard Engines

If you’re a boat enthusiast in Palm Beach Gardens, you might be wondering what the differences are between the two-stroke and four-stroke outboard boat motors. Many people simply assume that four-stroke outboards are more powerful and two-stroke motors are made for speed. However, it’s more detailed than this.

Common Misconceptions

Marine industry technology has changed over the years. Four-stroke motors used to be regarded as powerful, but not quick or light. Two-stroke motors have been popular thanks to a lightweight build and quick acceleration. On the other hand, two-stroke motors were regarded as less fuel-efficient. In recent years, the specs and performance of both motor types have improved greatly.


Two-stroke motors were known for being fast and light, but not great on fuel economy. In recent years, they have been modified with electronic oil mixing to make them more efficient and less noisy. Four-stroke motors were known for being fuel-efficient, clean, quiet and powerful, but they were also heavy and slow to accelerate. Modern four-strokes are now much lighter and quicker.

Main Differences

Now that both motor types have evolved, what are the main differences? In two-stroke motors, the oil is mixed with gas. As the fuel moves through the motor, it uses small amounts of oil to keep things lubricated. As such, oil changes aren’t needed on a two-stroke. Instead, you simply keep the oil reservoir filled.

Four-stroke motors are more like car motors. There’s an oil filter and also a place in the engine for oil. Oil changes should be done every 100 hours or every year.

Fuel Economy, Weight and Speed

Two-stroke motors typically weigh less, so if weight is a concern on your boat, then you’ll need to consider this. Modern two-stroke engines can get comparable fuel economy to four-strokes. Similarly, modern four-strokes are much faster than they used to be. Always do your research and compare different models for exact specifications.


Both two-stroke and four-stroke motors can be very reliable. It’s always a good idea to consider the premium brands when buying a new boat motor. If you’re looking for a used one, make sure that it’s been well-maintained.

How To Choose

How do you decide which motor is the best for you? It ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and the type of boat you have. What you use your boat for is also important. Think about whether you use it more for fishing, performance or just cruising around.

Outboard Engines In Palm Beach Gardens

ARG Marine is one of the largest dealers of outboard motors in the world. We are a full-service dealer for Honda Marine and Evinrude E-TEC among others. Our website is constantly updated with a wide selection of new and used motors and boats.