Instead of looking solely at the price of leaf blowers for comparisons, look at the CFM (cubic feet per minute) and MPH (miles per hour). The differences between the two may seem trivial, but once you educate yourself on the difference, then you will be able to make a more informed decision for your next purchase. It’s also important to do a little bit of research on brand quality, but the CFM and MPH measurements are the hearts of a leaf blower.
If you’re in the market for a leaf blower, it can be easy to just find the cheapest one at the store and buy it. However, you may be doing yourself a disservice if you choose that route.
You don’t want to get a leaf blower that doesn’t have enough power for what you need it for, but you also don’t want to pay for more power than you need. So how can you tell exactly what you need?
Learn the difference between CFM and MPH
Knowing the basics between CFM and MPH will go a long way in helping you determine which leaf blower best suits your needs. We all want to get the best bang for our buck when it comes to buying things like leaf blowers. Learning the CFM and MPH gives you the opportunity to understand the bang so you can spend your buck more wisely!
What is MPH?
MPH is a unit of measurement that most people are familiar with. In leaf blower terms, MPH is defined as how many miles air would travel in an hour if the speed of the air from the blower stayed constant. You will likely find a lot of manufacturers advertising and emphasizing the MPH with their products. The reasoning is because consumers are more familiar with MPH and can relate to what it actually means. While we are more familiar with it, it really doesn’t say a lot about how well the leaf blower will perform. Most people won’t spend the time to educate themselves on CFM, so it won’t do any good for manufacturers to boast that aspect when they advertise.
What is CFM?
CFM is actually the unit of measurement that you want to focus on. It stands for cubic feet per minute, in other words it measures how much cubic feet of air the leaf blower blows. Just to give you a little insight into how a leaf blower works, the engine powers a set of blades that spin to create air from one side of the blower and blow it out through the tube. CFM actually measures the velocity of the air volume that went through the blower and the end of the tube. So obviously, the more air that gets pushed through the leaf blower at the higher volume, the more leaves will get moved.
Of course, the MPH and CFM is interchangeable. Without one, you will have a pretty useless leaf blower. Now that you know the difference between the two, we can look at the different kind of leaf blowers so you know which ones will fit your needs.
Which leaf blowers fit your needs?
If you need a leaf blower for small-to-medium size areas, then you will probably be better suited for a handheld blower. You can find them in either gas or electric. By small areas, we are talking about less than an acre of space that you are working with. Handheld leaf blowers are generally around 300 CFM and around 150 MPH. The units vary, of course, and gas will be more powerful than electric. Naturally, electric blowers will be quieter and a little lighter in weight than the gas blowers. You can find a pretty good blower through Amazon that will help you get through your smaller projects here: Echo PB-250LN Handheld Gas Blower
Leaf blowers also come in a stronger version, which is set up with a backpack instead of handheld. If you have more than an acre of land and will be using the blower consistently for an hour or more, then it may be better to invest in a backpack leaf blower. Not only will you be more comfortable, but you will get the job done more efficiently as well.
Backpack blowers are usually just available in gas because of the strength. The CFM is generally around 600-700 and the MPH is around 200. These are more powerful than the handheld blowers, so they are also going to be louder. Keep that in mind if you live in a residential area so you don’t disturb your neighbors too much. But if you are working with larger than an acre, then that likely won’t be an issue anyway. Here is a good example of a backpack blower that has some great reviews on Amazon: PB-770T ECHO 234 mph 765 CFM Gas Backpack Blower
The master of all leaf blowers is the walk-behind blower. These are the most powerful blowers on the market and are mostly suited for people who do landscaping or other professional projects for a living. The walk-behind blowers put out around 2,000 CFM and around 250 MPH. If you own a business surrounded by a lot of trees, then you will definitely need one of these to blow off the leaves from your parking lot. No job is too big when you have a walk-behind blower, like the one here on Amazon: Merry Mac Walk-Behind Leaf & Debris Blower – 305cc, 200 MPH, 2000 CFM
To make things simple for your next leaf blower purchasing experience, consider the following factors.
Buy a handheld blower if:
- You need to blow leaves off of a small-to-medium size driveway
- You need to blow leaves or debris from flower beds or other landscaping
- You live in a residential area and need your blower to be as quiet as possible
Buy a backpack blower if:
- You have a larger yard or space outside of a residential area
- You have a small landscaping business
- You need to use the blower for an hour or more consistently
Buy a walk-behind blower if:
- You have a large landscaping company
- You are working with large areas like a pasture or a parking lot
- You need to get big jobs done quickly