What is more important in a leaf blower, MPH or CFM?

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When you want to buy a leaf blower, it is important that you know the difference between CFM and MPH.

Both of these are important terms to be aware of before selecting a leaf blower.

So which one is more important, MPF or CFM? Most people should focus on CFM over MPH, but it all depends on what you are going to use your leaf blower for. If you want to cover a large area of land as efficiently as possible, CFM is the number to look at. MPH can also be important, especially when you need to move things like wet leaves or small rocks.

Primary Measurements of Airflow for Leaf Blowers

There are a few different measurements for the airflow of leaf blowers that you should be aware of when shopping around.

  • Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM): CFM measures the amount of air that a leaf blower expels from the tube in any given minute. This is essentially the blowing strength of a leaf blower, and it’s one of the most important factors to consider before buying one. You can think of CFM in terms of how wide a rake is, and therefore how efficient it is.
  • Miles Per Hour (MPH): The speed at which the air comes out of the leaf blower’s tube is measured in MPH or miles per hour. The higher this number, the easier it will be to clear away debris in a short amount of time.
  • Cub Centimeters (CC); This relates to the size of the blower’s engine. Bigger engines are heavier, but also more powerful.
  • Decibels (dB): This measurement is essentially how loud the leaf blower is. The higher the CFM and MPH, the louder you can expect it to be. If you have certain rules about noise levels in your area, you will want to pay close attention to this before buying anything in particular. I’ve written an article about the various laws regarding leaf blower noise in the USA, you can check it out here.


When it comes to sheer efficiency, both CFM and MPH play important roles. The MPH of a leaf blower is crucial because you need a high airspeed to move larger or wet debris.

The air volume or CFM is also essential to the efficiency of a leaf blower because it determines the total area that is affected at any given time.

Those who have a large area of land to cover but are only going to be dealing with light debris should focus on CFM over MPH. If you have quite a bit of land and need to blow both light and heavy debris, you’ll need a leaf blower with a high CFM and MPH.

You will find that each type of leaf blower will have a different CFM and MPH range. The heavier-duty backpack leaf blowers tend to have a very high CFM. Handheld leaf blowers usually range from 200 to 500 CFM, which is adequate for those with a small bit of land.

In the end it really all comes down to what your specific needs are, but both of these metrics are important.

The Importance of Newton Force

Because both MPH and CFM are essential when it comes to leaf blower efficiency, you will need to pay close attention to the Newton Force.

This number is measured with both of these factors in mind. The larger this number is, the more powerful the leaf blower is going to be.

This is definitely one of the best ways to figure out just how efficient and powerful this type of equipment is before actually buying one.

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!