Skip Navigation

Mower Showdown: Single Cylinder vs. V-Twin Tractor Engines

A riding tractor is built to be the workhorse of your landscaping arsenal. Delivering this power is the job of your machine's engine. As you shop for your next lawn tractor, you'll need to consider whether you want a single or v-twin engine. Each delivers certain advantages, so let's take a close look at each to help you decide the best one for you.

Single Cylinder




Size of Lawn

Small to MediumMedium to Large



Typical Fuel Consumption


Single Cylinder Engines

Advantages of Single Cylinder Engines

  • Low fuel consumption - A single cylinder engine typically uses less fuel since it only has to power one piston.
  • Small lawns - If you're mowing a small yard, a single cylinder will allow you to cover that area with ease.

Limitations of Single Cylinder Engines

  • Limited power output - The limited power can make a tractor with this type of engine less favorable when towing, snow blowing or performing other heavy-duty tasks.
  • Vibration - A single cylinder engine tends to vibrate more than its counterparts, making your ride somewhat uncomfortable at times.

V-Twin Engines

Advantages of V-Twin Engines

  • High horsepower - When towing carts, using tillers or clearing snow, you'll appreciate the added horsepower of a V-twin engine.
  • Large lawns - If you're working on a large plot of land with varying terrain, the extra power makes any long, heavy-duty task easy to tackle.

Limitations of V-Twin Engines

  • High fuel consumption - In order to power the two pistons and deliver more power, this option typically consumes more fuel than a smaller engine.
  • Cost - Upfront, a V-twin engine will cost more than a tractor featuring a single cylinder model.