leaf blower cfm vs mph

Leaf Blower CFM vs MPH: Understand Your Blower Better

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Leaf blower CFM vs MPH is something that is debated a lot when discussing leaf blower specifications. When purchasing a leaf blower it can be difficult to understand the difference and how to apply it in your purchase decisions.

However, in this article, we shall clear the air by discussing the following:

  • Leaf blower MPH
  • Leaf blower CFM
  • Which one is more important between leaf blower CFM vs MPH
  • Understanding the power of a leaf blower

Leaf blower miles per hour (MPH)

Explained simply, this is the speed of air coming out of the leaf blower in miles per every hour. The idea is to inform us how many miles the air will travel if the speed remains the same for a full hour.

It is comparative to measuring the speed of most moving objects. When talking about the speed of a car we use the same measurement or its equivalent of kilometres per hour (KPH).

When talking about a leaf blower, if the speed is 100mph, it means that the air will travel 100 miles if the speed of the blower remains the same for one hour.

Leaf blower Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)

When discussing leaf blower CFM you get into the talk about volume. CFM refers to how much volume of air – measured in cubic feet – leaves the blower every minute.

For illustrative purposes, if you have a leaf blower rated at 90cfm it only means that 90 cubic feet of air leaves the blower’s nozzle per minute.

It may sound a bit complicated than MPH but it is also quite easy to understand. While in MPH we talk about the speed of air, in CFM we are talking about air displacement. That is a key difference to understand and it helps a lot when deciding which leaf blower is better than another.

Which one is more important between leaf blower CFM vs MPH

To understand which of the two between leaf blower cfm vs mph is important, consider the illustration below really quick.

If you have a leaf blower that has a nozzle which is very tiny, even though the speed of air might be 100mph, it might not be sufficient to blow away a pack of leaves. Why? Because due to the tiny nozzle (maybe the size of a straw) it does not produce a good amount of air displacement to blow leaves away. In this instance, we have a high mph but a very low cfm.

The second illustration is a leaf blower with 30mph and a very huge nozzle the size of a car door. As you can imagine, even though the nozzle is huge enough to carry out a lot of air displacement, the 30mph speed of air is not good enough to help blow away anything. In this case, we have low MPH vs high CFM.

The last scenario is a leaf blower having a speed of 150mph with a nozzle as wide about 4inches (10cm) in diameter.

leaf blower cfm vs mph ego
Image credits: Ego Power Plus

The blower would definitely blow a lot of leaves away. This is because the exit of the blower produces a lot of air displacement at the high speed of 150mph.

The point of these illustrations is to show that there needs to be a good balance between leaf blower CFM and MPH. Both are important for a great leaf blower.

Understanding the power of a leaf blower

Now that we get the difference between leaf blower CFM vs MPH, it is time to know how we can visualize the power of a leaf blower when presented with both the CFM and MPH in purchase descriptions.

Ideally, this is also very simple. The rule of thumb is that neither the MPH nor the CFM should seem to be very low.

If you get a blower said to have 100mph and 30cfm, that does not make sense. 100mph would ideally have closer or more than 100cfm. This is not to imply that the CFM should be equal to mph. Because in some leaf blowers, you will find specifications like 150mph and 250cfm. Others will have 180mph and 600cfm. This is good because the CFM is indicative of great power. However, in the first example of 30cfm, you can bet there is no useful power in that leaf blower even if it had so much airspeed.

Therefore, now that you understand leaf blower CFM vs MPH, it should be easier for you to gauge whether the MPH and CFM make sense before purchasing that leaf blower. We vouch for the best cordless and lightweight leaf blowers.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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