What Is A Good MPH For A Leaf Blower?

homeowner leaf blowing a large pile of leaves in big backyard

As you’re shopping for the leaf blower of your dreams you will find yourself trying to compare and contrast between models and manufacturers.  What measurements of performance are simple marketing tricks, and which actually matter?  What is a good MPH for a leaf blower?  How does MPH compare to the CFM of a leaf blower?  Does the MPH really matter?  We will go over these questions and give you some pointers for choosing your next leaf blower.

How To Figure Out What Is A Good MPH For A Leaf Blower

Before you can figure out a good MPH, you need to consider the type. Leaf blowers come in all different power sources and applications. Let’s review the 5 leaf blower types before we define what good attributes look like.

5 Leaf Blower Types

First and foremost, before choosing the power and overall leaf blower comparison data, you should think about what type of blower is best for you. The main types of leaf blowers are:

1. Walk behind leaf blower
2. Backpack leaf blower
3. Gas powered handheld
4. Battery powered handheld
5. Electric handheld

Walk Behind Leaf Blower

The walk behind leaf blower and backpack leaf blowers are generally gas powered and meant for use on large properties or by professionals using leaf blowers all day.  The walk behind is especially useful for large meadows or athletic fields where you need to clear some serious leaves.  Walk behind leaf blowers are the most powerful leaf blowers on the market.  

Backpack Leaf Blower

The backpack leaf blower is great for when you don’t want to support the heft of the whole leaf blower with your arms.  This makes the backpack leaf blower the favorite of professional landscape maintenance companies.  You can use the leaf blower for an entire day and still move your arms afterwards.  You are carrying around a gas motor on your back however, so it’s not for the weak.

Gas Powered Handheld Leaf Blower

The gas powered handheld is the tried and true leaf blower.  This is preferred by many homeowners as you have a powerful machine and long working time between fill ups.  They are loud however, much like the walk behind and backpack leaf blowers, and because of this you may want to consider electric or battery power.

Battery Powered Leaf Blowers

Battery powered leaf blowers have become more and more commonplace in the last few years as battery powered tools have improved.  The battery life is commonly only 10-20 minutes on many of these, but for most homeowners that’s okay.  You simply buy extra batteries, bring them to your work area in a bag and get to work.  Obviously if you’re going to do hours of leaf blowing, battery power doesn’t make sense.

Electric Leaf Blowers

Electric leaf blowers have been around for a couple decades, and have improved with time.  The obvious drawback is the lack of freedom when it comes to how far you can travel.  You are tethered to a power outlet at all times.  However, if you have a small property, an electric leaf blower will give you exactly what you need without the hassle of charging batteries or dealing with gasoline.  Often these are the least expensive leaf blowers on the market as well.

homeowner showing what is a good MPH for a leaf blower while blowing orange and red leaves across a backyard

What Is A Good MPH For A Leaf Blower?

Once you’ve chosen the type or types of leaf blowers you want to choose from within the five types available, you need some decent criteria for how to select what you’ll purchase.  The first number you hear about is MPH (Miles Per Hour). You may ask yourself what is a good MPH for a leaf blower?  

Well, unfortunately MPH is a nearly useless measurement for a leaf blower.  It simply gives you the velocity of the air coming out of the leaf blower.  If your leaf blower has a tiny nozzle, the speed of the tiny amount of air coming out doesn’t tell you much.  Likewise, if you have a large leaf blower nozzle and slower MPH but much more air moving, you won’t be comparing ability to move leaves, only speed of air.

MPH vs. CFM Of A Leaf Blower

This is where the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) measurement comes in.  CFM measurements combine speed with volume of air to give you an honest measurement of leaf moving ability.  The highest CFM Leaf blowers are generally the walk behind type, and the lowest CFM the battery powered leaf blowers.

Most leaf blowers have multiple settings so you can control the amount of air moving through them.  Battery powered leaf blowers for example will usually have a high and a low speed.  This gives them the ability to extend battery life, or give you maximum blower power for a short time.  

What Is A Good MPH For A Leaf Blower Summary

Ideally, when comparing leaf blowers, the highest CFM is best.  There’s no reason for you to ask what is a good MPH for a leaf blower, since MPH doesn’t measure what you need for a leaf blower.  There are more criteria like ease of use and ergonomics.

Most leaf blowers today are well balanced and don’t strain the wrist like the older models.  They are hard on the body if you use them all day or use the rarely however, so it’s a good idea to ease into leaf blowing. Follow this list of tips and tricks for using a leaf blower efficiently. Maybe limit yourself to 30 minutes your first time out and see how you feel the next day.