What is a Good CFM for a Leaf Blower?

CFM Backpack Leaf Blower

The choices of leaf blowers available for sale might seem endless if you do a search online or at your local home center. Figuring out the type of leaf blower to buy can be a confusing process. This is especially true given the numerous features found on various leaf blowers such as CFM, MPH, and types of engines.

Today we are going to look at what is a good CFM for a leaf blower to hopefully provide some clarity for your buying decision or general knowledge.

What Does CPM Mean?

CPM stands for cubic-feet-per-minute (cu ft/min). It is a measurement of airflow or the volume of air a leaf blower will move per minute. This is different from miles-per-hour (MPH) which, measures the speed of the air. When you go to purchase a leaf blower, you will likely see both CFM and MPH listed in the product features.

A leaf blower with 125 CFM means that the leaf blower moves 125 cubic-feet-per-minute. In other words, it will fill a cube with a width of 5 feet, length of 5 feet, and height of 5 feet (5 ft x 5 ft x 5ft = 125 ft³) in a minute.

What is a Good CFM?

Naturally, a leaf blower with a high CPM and MPH is desirable for many people looking to purchase a leaf blower. They want a lot of muscle to take care of the leaf cleanup tasks quickly so they can get back to enjoying their day.

However, there is such thing as overkill when it comes to a leaf blower. For example, my neighbor who uses something like a 600 CFM backpack leaf blower in his tiny yard for what seems like every other day in the summer. It’s noisy, too powerful for his yard, and somewhat expensive to fuel and maintain over the long-haul in comparison to less expensive models. I’m really not complaining, I actually like the guy so I put up with it.

Generally, a good CFM is relative to the yard size and secondarily the amount of leaves that pile up. You should always consider CFM and MPH when selecting a leaf blower.

A small yard (less than 1/4 acre) with a scattering of leaves and debris typically only needs a low CFM electric or cordless leaf blower. A 150 to 200 CFM and MPH leaf blower should be enough for this size yard.

A medium yard size of about 1/2 acre with light to moderate leaf accumulation can use something like this 441 CFM, 170 MPH Hitachi RB24EAP.

Someone with a large yard size of an acre can consider 450 and over CFM. This will mean they will need a powerful gas-powered leaf blower and ideally with a backpack feature if they are dealing with a lot of leaves. This Echo PB-755ST backpack leaf blower with 651 CFM and 233 MPH is powerful enough for most one acre tasks.

Keep in mind that the above is only a general guide. If your yard has a lot of trees that drop a significant amount of leaves, you may want to consider a higher powered leaf power than what was outlined above for each yard size.