CFM & MPH – What Does it Mean?
CFM & MPH – What Does it Mean?

Are you a homeowner or a professional landscaper just getting started with leaf blowers?

You might wonder what the terms “CFM” and “MPH” mean.



Beyond a leaf blower’s weight, size, engine size, make, and model, two standard specifications are added to the list that is a bit more confusing.

CFM and MPH are two standard metrics you’ll see on any modern leaf blower.

When you’re looking for a high-quality leaf blower that provides excellent power, you’ll be looking for airflow (CFM) and speed (MPH).

But what do the terms CFM and MPH mean?

What is a Leaf Blower’s MPH?

MPH is a familiar concept to anyone who’s ever driven a car.

MPH is short for miles per hour, a standard measure of speed for anyone in the US.

Regarding leaf blower airspeed, MPH explicitly measures the rate at which air flows through the leaf blower’s nozzle.

A leaf blower’s MPH helps you understand how forcefully and quickly a leaf blower can clear leaves, sticks, and other debris out of the way.

The higher a leaf blower’s MPH rating, the quicker and more forceful the leaves and debris can be blown away.

What is a Leaf Blower’s CFM?

While most people understand MPH, CFM isn’t as familiar as a measurement.

Especially if you’re new to the world of leaf blowers, CFM stands for cubic feet per minute.

This measure doesn’t measure speed. It measures volume.

Every minute, cubic feet per meter looks at how much air can flow through a leaf blower’s nozzle.

Leaf Blower snow removal VS. 4 inches of wet snow

Since cubic feet per minute, or CFM, measures the air volume, it can better understand how much debris you can clear or how big of a yard you can clean up in a given period.

A leaf blower with a high CFM will blow more air through the nozzle.

This means you’ll also be able to clear a more significant area in a shorter time, making your job easier.

How is a Leaf Blower’s CFM & MPH Determined?

Generally speaking, the bigger and more powerful a leaf blower’s engine or motor is, the higher the MPH and CFM ratings will be.

CFM and MPH are also determined by the fan-like component inside the blower called the impeller.

It’s the part that creates the airflow. A leaf blower’s CFM is impacted by these features of an impeller’s blades:

  • Length
  • Speed
  • Rotation angle

An impeller with a higher rotation angle can produce a higher air volume.

But, this also means it’s harder to maintain speed.

What is a Good MPH & CFM for a Leaf Blower?

When reading the numbers to determine if a leaf blower has a good MPH or CFM, you have to consider what type of leaf blower you have, as the numbers can vary.

The two most common types of leaf blowers are handheld leaf blowers and backpack blowers.

Handheld leaf blowers can either come gas-powered or electric.

Typically, you will find a reliable handheld leaf blower with 200-400 CFM and reach about 150 MPH speeds.

Backpack leaf blowers are much more powerful; almost all are gas-powered.

These leaf blowers usually have a powerful air volume of 400-700 CFM and can hit speeds of up to 200 MPH.

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Final Thoughts

Next time you’re hunting for a leaf blower, remember to consider both the MPH and CFM.

MPH determines how fast the air travels. CFM determines how much air can flow through the leaf blower.

Choosing a leaf blower with a higher MPH and CFM ensures your yard can be free from leaves and debris in no time.

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Jack Tillman
My name is Jack Tillman and I'm an author for the website Leaf Blowers Review. I'm passionate about helping people find the perfect leaf blower for their needs. My articles cover topics such as types of leaf blowers, features to look for, and reviews of the best models on the market. I also provide tips and tricks for getting the most out of your leaf blower. I'm committed to providing readers with the most up-to-date and accurate information about leaf blowers. I'm excited to be a part of the Leaf Blowers Review team and to help people find the perfect leaf blower for their needs. And I have over 10 years of professional experience working outdoors, creating beautiful landscapes for my clients in the USA. And I am also a keen garden grower and maintain my fruit and vegetable gardens.