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What Is a Good CFM for a Leaf Blower? (By Type)

What Is a Good CFM for a Leaf Blower? (By Type)

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It’s important to do your best to take care of the leaves that fall into your yard. Most people don’t want to leave things looking too messy, but they might not want to physically rake the leaves either.

This is why having a leaf blower is so convenient. It makes it possible to take care of even a very big yard in a short amount of time.

If you’re in the market for a new leaf blower, then you’re going to want to buy a good one that suits your needs. There are many leaf blowers to consider, but you should think about the CFM of the leaf blower as well.

What is a good CFM for a leaf blower, though? Keep reading to get information about this topic so that you can pick the best leaf blower for your property.

What Is CFM?

If you haven’t really used leaf blowers much in the past, then you might not even be familiar with the term CFM. CFM is something that is used to measure the performance capabilities of a leaf blower along with MPH.

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and MPH stands for miles per hour. When you’re shopping for leaf blowers, you’re going to use these power measurements to determine just how much leaf blowing power a unit has.

When you look at the CFM measurement specifically, you’ll see that this measures the air volume as it gets shot out of the machine. The CFM number will represent how much air is expelled in one minute.

Of course, the MPH will measure how fast that air is going as it is expelled from the machine using miles. You use both of these measurements in tandem to determine just how powerful a leaf blower is.

Good CFM Numbers Will Differ Depending on the Type of Leaf Blower

Different leaf blowers are going to have different CFM numbers. Determining what a good CFM for a leaf blower is will actually depend on what you’re looking for.

You see, there are many different types of leaf blowers on the market. Some of them are designed to be more powerful, but others are designed to be quieter and lighter.

So a good CFM for a backpack leaf blower is going to be a lot different than a good CFM for a handheld electric leaf blower. You’re going to want to take the size and type of the leaf blower into consideration.

If you’re trying to do a bigger job and noise isn’t an issue, then buying a more powerful model with a superior CFM makes sense. Otherwise, you might be able to do well with a model that has a lower CFM if you’re just doing a normal yard or a small job.

Electric Leaf Blowers

Electric leaf blowers are among the most common that you will see people using in residential neighborhoods. These leaf blowers can get the job done without being too loud overall.

These are generally going to be the weakest leaf blowers that you’ll find on the market, though. Most electric leaf blowers will have a CFM rating of 180 to 400, but the numbers can vary a bit based on certain factors.

If you just have a standard yard that is a half-acre or less, then it should be fine to do the job with one of these leaf blowers. An electric leaf blower is more than sufficient for most yard jobs of this size, and it will have some benefits over the more powerful options on the market.

Being able to get the job done without making too much noise might be important to you. If you live in a neighborhood where your neighbors are very close to your house, then you probably don’t want to disturb them with a very loud leaf blower too early in the morning.

Having an electric leaf blower will allow you to get the job done without making an abundance of noise. The electric leaf blowers still make noise, but it isn’t as obnoxious as some other models.

Corded Versus Cordless

You’ll also need to consider whether to look at corded models or cordless models. Cordless models will be a bit more powerful than corded ones, but they will weigh more as well.

You’ll also have to worry about running out of charge when you’re using a cordless model. That means that you might have to get a job done in 20 to 60 minutes depending on how long the battery will last.

In many ways, it’s more convenient to use a corded model, but you might like not having a cord to worry about. The extra power of the cordless models will be nice as well. Consider all of your options and then decide which electric leaf blower will be right for you.

Gas-Powered Handheld Leaf Blowers

Gas-powered handheld leaf blowers will usually be similar in power to cordless electric leaf blowers. They could make them more powerful, but they need to keep the weight down to make them easy to use.

This means that they don’t really have many advantages over the electric handheld models. In fact, many leaf blower aficionados find the handheld gas-powered leaf blowers to be less than ideal.

You see, these leaf blowers are significantly noisier than the electric ones without being much more powerful. Also, they wind up being a bit stinky since they use gas to power up.

The good aspects of using these leaf blowers might shine through a bit for some. You can use a handheld gas-powered leaf blower for a good amount of time before running out of fuel and they’re fairly easy to maneuver.

Backpack Leaf Blowers

Backpack leaf blowers are going to be among the most powerful types of leaf blowers that people will use. These are commonly seen being used by landscaping companies, and they can push a lot of air to move leaves in a timely fashion.

These leaf blowers will have CFM scores of 400 to 650, but you’ll probably want one with a CFM of at least 580. If you’re going to be using a big backpack leaf blower like this, then you’re going to want it to be substantially more powerful than a handheld model.

Some of the more powerful backpack leaf blowers on the market are meant for commercial use. People who use them as home yard maintenance tools usually have very large properties.

Of course, there are downsides to picking this type of leaf blower. These leaf blowers are very heavy and you need to walk around with them on your back.

Also, the backpack leaf blowers are well-known to be incredibly noisy. You’re going to be making a lot of noise while using these leaf blowers, and some people might find them to be too annoying.

Many people wind up wearing noise-canceling earmuffs while using these units. It’s a good idea to protect your ears due to how loud many of these backpack leaf blowers are.

Walk-Behind Leaf Blowers

Finally, the most powerful leaf blower type is the walk-behind leaf blower. You can find these models with CFM scores of 1080 to 2600, and some of them will even have MPH ratings of 200 or slightly higher.

These are undeniably powerful but they’re most useful in specific situations. You use leaf blowers like this in wide open spaces to move debris that would otherwise be hard to move with a less powerful leaf blower.

You don’t have a lot of control over the leaves when using a leaf blower like this. This means that doing detailed work won’t be possible, and you’re mainly using this leaf blower to handle clearing open spaces.

Most residential leaf blowing jobs wouldn’t be suitable for walk-behind leaf blowers. If you’re looking for a leaf blower for your home, then you can safely forget about this option.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to consider when you’re picking out a leaf blower to take care of your yard. It’s definitely good to look at the CFM and MPH ratings of the leaf blower that you’re checking out before purchasing it.

A model that has a higher CFM is going to be more capable of moving leaves around fast. If you want to do big jobs, then you’ll probably want to buy a leaf blower that has a CFM score of 400 or higher.

For most residential yard jobs, using a smaller handheld leaf blower will be just fine. Even a standard electric cordless leaf blower will do a good job on a typical yard in a neighborhood.

If you have a very large property, then it might make sense to buy a backpack leaf blower that can handle big jobs in a timely fashion. These are going to be a lot noisier, but they’ll allow you to make short work of the leaves on your property.

Don’t rush the decision to purchase a leaf blower without checking things out first. Try to get a good leaf blower with a strong CFM rating so that you can be sure that you’ll have a good experience.

You will want to keep other things in mind as well, though. It’s important to be comfortable with the weight of the leaf blower or else getting things finished up won’t be so easy for you.


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