Leaf Blower CFM Vs MPH

If you can’t figure out what is the difference between a leaf blower CFM vs MPH or how they relate, we’ve explained everything you need in this article.

Well, regardless of the leaf blower type, the subject specs will prominently be displayed on the package.

Although they don’t mean the same thing, it’s generally believed the higher the numbers, the more power a leaf blower will exert.

However, it’s actually far from the truth and you have to consider one over the other while choosing the right leaf blower machine for you.

To know more about this, take your time and stick to us till the end.

What is CFM on Leaf Blowers?

CFM (cubic feet per minute) is a technical term used mainly as a measure of volume. In the context of a leaf blower, it dictates the amount of air that is being pushed off the nozzle over a minute.

A 400 CFM leaf blower will move four hundred cubic ft of air every minute.

What is MPH on Leaf Blowers?

Contrary to CFM, MPH is the measurement of velocity which refers to miles per hour. It is used universally to determine a car and wind speed in general.

To be more precise, it is the miles something will reach for an hour given that the speed stays constant. For a leaf blower, it essentially means how quickly the air moves when it comes out of the nozzle.

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Hence, a gush of air pushed at 130 MPH means if the speed is retained, it can fly 130 miles in an hour, without counting any friction.

While fast-moving air is likely to be stronger, this is not always the case for a leaf blower. Don’t worry just yet, we’re about to break it down shortly in the coming sections.

CFM Vs MPH: Is there Any Correlation?

I bet, you won’t find a leaf blower that has a very high CFM rating and very high MPH specs at the same time. Simply because the impeller can’t push a greater volume of air faster.

Yes, there is some physics involved but it’s not difficult to see the logic behind it.

Let’s take an example to illustrate this further. Suppose, you have a leaf blower with a 350 CFM rating and the blower pipe is 4 inches in diameter.

Now, assume you have changed the exit tube and installed a narrower version with half the diameter. For the sake of argument, let’s assume despite the tiny outlet pipe you won’t let the air volume (i.e., the CFM) decrease.

Is it possible? Well, with the same setup it is not. You must increase the nozzle length to squeeze the same air through a narrower 2-inch nozzle.

Accordingly, the speed has to increase since the air will now travel a longer distance. But, to achieve such a high speed the machine needs a more powerful engine.

This is why buying the best leaf blowers often requires you to spend more, but on the upper hand, you get a high CFM machine paired with incredible airspeed.

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As you can see, CFM and MPH are not synonyms yet they are closely related. But which one is more important you think?

Well, you won’t have to scratch your head for this. Just pay attention and follow along to the next section.

Leaf Blower CFM Vs MPH: Which One is More Important?

Well, when you aim to buy a leaf blower, both the CFM and MPH rating would be significant to bring better efficiency.

Because with high MPH, the air will exit faster, and the easier it becomes to move wet leaves or heavy debris. 

On the other hand, a high CFM blower can double the amount of air that will blow more leaves at a time.

With that said, experts rate CFM higher than MPH when determining the power of a leaf blower. The reason is quite straightforward.

There is a popular saying, “slow and steady wins the race”. A leaf blower is no different.

Leaf blowers are not at all slow though, but when you’re dealing with a bigger area and lots of debris the amount of air becomes more crucial.

Because, with high CFM, the air covers a wide swath making it easier to push out more leaves. It saves effort knowing that you can get the job done in half the time.

Thus, you will usually want to opt for a leaf blower with the most CFM rating. However, you have to be smarter than that.

Check whether you can afford it or willing to pay the price first and whether it is worth the size of your yard.

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On top of that, the high CFM machine tends to be heavier than regular ones which could outweigh the benefits.

Therefore, it is important to strike a decent balance between power (CFM) and speed (MPH) to obtain a pleasing result.

A General Guideline:

Most homeowners usually don’t require a powerful unit. A low-end leaf blower between 200 to 400 CFM would be fine for day-to-day cleanings like moving dry leaves and loose dirt off driveways and sidewalks.

In this instance, we prefer a battery-powered machine due to its lower maintenance and eco-friendly nature.

To clean off wet leaves as well as small sticks and sand a machine between 400 to 700 CFM would be enough. The same applies to people who own at least an acre of land having some trees around.

However, a blower that pushes up to 1000 CFM is meant for commercial purposes and bigger areas (usually more than an acre).

The power of this type of machine would be sufficient to accomplish the job in less time

Final Words

Coming to the end, we hope we’ve explained the leaf blower CFM vs MPH tradeoff in an easy-to-understand way for you.

We also believe the information provided above has helped you overcome the confusion regarding this.

However, while it’s true that you can’t deny the power of deciding the best leaf blower, it’s not the only thing you’ll look at.

There are other specifications to consider in making the right choice. Proper leaf blowing techniques is vital in the end.