What is a good CFM for a leaf blower?

The leaf blower has now become important household equipment for us. While selecting a leaf blower also there are a lot of options available and normally we would be confused a lot. We might have been confused while hearing the word CFM, MFM etc and have thought of their importance while buying a leaf blower. The most valuable leaf blowers are the one with the best manoeuvrable, light, and highest possible CFM. The simplest meaning of CFM is a measure of how much air you are throwing at the leaves in one minute. So what is the highest CFM leaf blower can produce depends on many other factors like more power lead to high CFM but also increase the weight and noise of the blower as well. Here we are discussing CFM and it’s importance in leaf blowers.

What is CFM?

CFM is the acronym for cubic feet per minute. It is used to measure the rate of speed at which the air moves into and out of a given space. It is mainly used in a volumetric capacity. CFM does not depend on density but on pressure. It can be used to determine the area in a given unit, such as feet, which can be caused to move per minute. It is used in many instances, such as in relation to data centres and in an air-cooling system.

The term CFM is most commonly used among computer technicians or other users due to its relation to the system by which the machine is cooled. This can best be understood most simply, just as defined above, as the unit for measurement of the coolant in this system. The engine in a leaf blower powers the impeller, which is a series of spinning blades that result in air being blown out the tube. The higher the CFM, the larger the area the leaf blower will be able to cover. This is one of the most common and essential measurements in determining the effectiveness of a leaf blower.

Those who buy a low-CFM leaf blower to use on a large piece of land will have to spend a lot more time clearing away leaves and other debris.

Types of leaf blower according to CFM?

According to the CFM, the leaf blowers could be mainly classified into 

Handheld Leaf Blowers 

The handheld leaf blowers are lighter and less powerful, usually come in leaf blower CFM between 200 to 400. These handheld leaf blowers work quite well with light and dry debris. The new technology leaf blowers are designed with new features that produce CFM as high as 550.

Backpack Leaf Blowers 

The backpack leaf blowers are strapped on the back, which is more comfortable when working for a longer period. Mostly the backpack leaf blowers are gas-powered and provide CFM ranging from 400 to 700. There are some best blowers, exceptions, that produce 900 CFM and may be noisier than the handheld ones.

Walk-Behind Leaf Blowers

The walk-behind leaf blowers are the beasts, which can produce CFM as high as 3,000 and can push back even small rocks, stubborn rack of debris and leaves, etc. the work that will take you a day to be completed, with help of this blower you complete in a few hours. This blower is louder and is more used in an area where you don’t have to use noise lowering.

Good CFM for a leaf blower

Under general cases, good CFM for a leaf blower starts from 350 to 600 CFM, respectively with airspeed up to 190 mph. So higher the CFM will complete the task quickly and blow the leaves and debris from the yard in a short time and less effort. Generally, smaller areas such as patios or driveways require less blowing power than large yards that require blowing leaves across the tall grass. Small, battery-powered leaf blowers with 400 CFM or less work well in situations such as light blowing around the home. Some models, such as “sweepers” offer very little CFM (i.e. less than 100). These types of blowers are used as very efficient brooms for hard surfaces such as garages or driveways. For more strenuous jobs, such as blowing wet leaves across the grass, more power will probably be required. Blowers that offer between 400 – 700 CFM are commonly used in situations such as these. Industrial level blowers can emit up to 3000 CFM to take care of those difficult jobs that cover large areas quickly and efficiently. There are also certain other factors like 

Size of property- In order to find a leaf blower with the right CFM, you must consider the size of your property. For a small area like a deck, patio or driveway, I’d get a leaf blower with a CFM of anywhere from 200 to 600. If your property is an acre or a little bit over, a leaf blower with a 400 to 700 CFM will most likely be adequate. Also, you will want to get gas or battery-powered blower, unless you want to mess with extension cords. Those who have larger areas of land they need to cover should look for one in the higher range all the way up to 3000 CFM.

Type of Debris- This is another factor that you should consider before deciding on a leaf blower is the size and nature of the debris that you are working with. If you are going to use your leaf blower on wet or difficult-to-move debris, a CFM of at least 600 is a must.


A leaf blower, even a small handheld one, is a handy tool to have around. You will use it to clear leaves as often as needed but also perform many other cleaning tasks. When you buy a leaf blower it’s better to have a look at the CFM. The good thing about leaf blowers with higher CFM, besides being powerful, is their ability to handle wet and dry leaves or grass trimmings. Unfortunately, as more air is moved through the tube, the more powerful motors often produce significantly more noise than their less powerful ones. So while opting