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The Lawn Review: Home » Leaf Blower CFM vs MPH Explained: 2024 Update

Leaf Blower CFM vs MPH Explained: 2024 Update

CFM and MPH are often used acronyms to describe power on a leaf blower. These often get confused and I’ve seen too many get bamboozled, so I thought I would break it down.

ego blower

CFMs and MPH tend to vary wildly between types of blowers and even in each category. Today I’ll also break down some of the best blowers in the corded electric blower, battery-powered blower, and gas-powered blower categories.

Let’s jump right in! What is better in a leaf blower: CFM or MPH?

Leaf blower CFMs vs MPH: Explained

CFM, or cubic feet per minute, is a measurement of the volume of air. This answers the question: how much air is moving through the leaf blower? While that seems like a weird question, it is super important for understanding the power of a blower. More on that in a second.

MPH, or miles per hour, is a measurement of speed. This answers the question: how fast does the air move through the blower?

CFM and MPH are related – generally the higher the CFM, the higher the MPH.

Leaf blower nozzle impact on CFM and MPH

I just said CFMs and MPH are related – but their relationship is impacted heavily by how wide the blower nozzle tip is. 

enhulk blower nozzle tips

The wider the nozzle, the lower the air speed. That’s why you will see some blowers with high CFMs but low MPH (relatively). These blowers have high CFMs but a very wide opening. Blowers with high CFMs and wide openings move a lot of air, but not all that fast. This is a great blower for moving big piles of dry leaves across the yard. 

The more narrow the nozzle, the higher the air speed. You will also see blowers with low CFMs but super high MPH. These are really good for smaller projects like cleaning up a woodworking station, cleaning out your garage, or getting wet leaves or grass clippings off of surfaces. 

Other times you will see blowers with high CFMs and high MPH – this is common and means it has both volume AND speed. This combination is the sweet spot for power.

What is better in a leaf blower: CFM or MPH?

When it comes to picking out a blower – you’ll see both CFMs and MPH listed at the top. So, which is better?

The short answer is: it depends. If you are moving big piles of leaves, having high CFMs is better. If you are moving wet leaves or grass clippings, high MPH is better.

review lawn tools
Leaf blowers with both high CFMs and MPH.

If you want to move big piles of wet leaves and are looking for raw power, having high CFMs and high MPH is better – but it will cost you.

The best leaf blowers in each category

Remember how I said it would cost you to have high CFM and high MPH? Well it can, but you can also get really good combinations of CFM and MPH in backpack leaf blowers, battery-powered leaf blowers, and corded electric leaf blowers. And boy – are you about to be surprised.

Best backpack leaf blowers

Backpack leaf blowers are essentially jet packs of air that are extremely loud, but extremely powerful. They are often used by commercial landscapers – which means they’re built to get the job done quickly and effectively.

Backpack blowers are really good options for those with large yards. I have used quite a few in my time and always come back to my favorite: the Sthil BR 600 backpack blower. I’ve owned the Stihl BR 600 for a few years and it was actually a gift from my mom.

echo vs stihl blower

This blower is great because it is the ultimate combination of extreme power and comfort. I see this blower strapped to all of the landscaping trailers that drive around my part of town – meaning it is the preferred option for professional landscapers 

It also puts out nearly 700 CFMs and over 230 MPH of air. WOW. We did a full review of the BR600 on our Youtube channel where you can see us do some serious testing.

Best battery-powered leaf blowers

We have written extensively about our favorite battery-powered leaf blowers, so we aren’t ashamed to echo our favorite one here. Battery-powered leaf blowers may actually become the gold standard in the next few years as many places are moving to ban gas-powered leaf blowers (weird, right?).

Anyways, battery leaf blowers have a lot of benefits – including great run times, super high power, and the ability to use the batteries across a bunch of other different tools. They tend to be pretty pricey, but the price can come down a TON if you buy the tool-only version. You can get the tool-only version of any battery-compatible tool from that brand once you already own the battery, which generates HUGE savings.

ego 765 cfm blower review

But our favorite battery-powered leaf blower continues to be EGO’s 765 CFM leaf blower. This is a mega powerful handheld leaf blower that is absolutely absurd. We filmed an awesome video that highlights how this one compares to the Ryobi 40V blower, another great battery powered blower (our #2). 

The EGO 765 CFM blower has 765 CFM (obviously), which is higher than the gas-powered backpack blower above. With this kind of air output, you can see speeds well over 200 MPH. For an electric tool, that is some serious leaf blowing.

ryobi leaf blower battery

All-in-all, this leaf blower is a bit on the expensive side, but you get to use the EGO 56V battery with a TON of other tools in the EGO 56V battery line-up, like their EGO mowers.

You can grab this one from your local Lowe’s or grab it from Amazon for a great price.

Best corded electric leaf blower

Don’t sleep on corded electric leaf blowers! I sure did. They seem cheap, old school, and out of touch. But so am I.

estimate me
Corded blowers to me.

Anyways, my mind was blown when I saw the Toro PowerJet corded leaf blower. This bad boy has 725 CFMs and a decently high MPH. For reference, the EGO blower I referenced above, which is one of the strongest on the planet, has 765 CFMs. Needless to say, this blower kicks some serious butt.

toro electric blower

But what sticks out about the Toro corded electric blower is that it is freakishly inexpensive. All the power of the EGO, but just has a cord attached. The thing is absolutely unreal and can be found at Home Depot for a super low price

What I look for in a leaf blower

Leaf lowers come in a bunch of shapes and sizes but there are three basic things you need to understand:


Cubic feet per minute. This is a measure of air output on the blower. Higher CFM = more power, but not necessarily more miles per hour. High CFM with a wide nozzle = lower MPH. High CFM with a narrow nozzle = high miles per hour. Ideally, you want both a high CFM with a narrow to medium nozzle for most residential jobs.


What is the point of having a blower if it is hard to use? Have to get one that is lightweight, easy to start, and has some functions that make your life easier.

Motor type

Brushless motors reign supreme if you are going with electric. Cooler running motors with more torque, a longer run-time, and last many more years. Brushless is a no brainer when picking a blower.

These are three things you need to pay attention to when looking through the specifications.

Why I review lawn tools

The reason we started The Lawn Review in the first place was because we had so much trouble trying to find reasonable, understandable, honest reviews for lawn equipment. And it’s not cheap! After hours and hours of research, trying products and returning them, and messing up our yards – we started this site. 

toro mower battery recycler

As people who had to learn the hard way, we want you to know exactly what you are signing up for before you purchase a piece of equipment. That’s why we are committed to providing honest, easy-to-understand reviews that mean something. 

Alex K

Alex K

Alex is not a lawn care natural. He had to learn things the hard way. But after stumbling through his first few seasons of lawn care, he learned a lot. Mostly - what not to do. Alex has become one of the country's advocates of battery-powered lawn tools, quoted in the Washington Post among other highly visible publications. Alex started The Lawn Review with his friend Tyler - who you may see in some of the videos on this website - to help normal people like you understand how to take care of their lawn themselves with the best tools possible. Alex has thousands of hours of experience using hundreds of different lawn tools and has found exactly what to look for in each type of tool. He speaks with deep experience not only about the boring technical specifications, but what the tool actually feels like when you are using it, what to look for before you make a purchase, and how the lawn tool measures up when you factor in price.