Question about Gas Engine Trimmers

OK, finally got permission from the wife to buy a new gas trimmer. I am looking at the Troy Built models and was wondering what the difference is between the 4 cycle and 2 cycle types other than the gas/oil mixture factor. Is there any significant increase in power between the two types? Which one is better power wise, the 2cycle has a 31cc engine and the 4cycle has a 26cc engine. Is there any advantage of one over the other? Thanks for the input. I really just want to get the best item for the money.
John T McD.
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I don't know anything about the Troy-Built trimmers (I use a Stihl), but there is a basic difference between 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines. The 4-cycle engine gets its oil from a sump below the pistons. This means that the engine has to be operated within a few degrees of some orientation in order to get proper lubrication. If you turn the engine upside down or sideways you compromise the lubrication and shorten the life of the engine. Short excursions will probably not hurt it, but extensive operation at odd orientations will not do it any good.
The 2-cycle engines get their oil through the fuel, so as long as the fuel is going into the engine, they will be lubricated. If the fuel stops going into the engine they will stop and lubrication will not be required. The carburetor in trimmers is designed to operate at many different orientations (as long as the fuel can get into it). This means you can use your trimmer in the "normal" orientation, i.e. to trim the grass at foot level, or you can use it to trim shrubs above your head or even the ceiling of an arbor.
If you are never going to use your trimmer on anything but grass at foot level, the 4-cycle engine would be recommended because they are (generally) cleaner than the 2-cycle engine. The oil going through the 2-cycle engine comes out mostly unburned, and so contributes to air pollution. However, you should never say never, so you (or someone you loan it to) will probably use your trimmer on something else eventually. If you understand the engine requirements for oil and only operate the engine in the "other way" for a few seconds at a time, you should be able to use the 4-cycle engine. Make that clear if you loan it out.
John McDougald wrote:

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In this instance the 2cycle will deliver more power and be considerably lighter. Downside they have to be 'loved' to start readily!! Best Wishes Brian

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I have a Sears/Craftsman 2 cycle string trimmer. I love it. I bought my daughter and her husband one. It's a newer model, you set the choke and it starts and automatically moves the choke to "Run." And on mine and hers, the nicest thing about them is, you can flip the head to edge, and believe me, it does a great job of edging@
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