When You're Comparing Leaf Blower Performance, Look For Newtonian Force
Almost every blower has airflow (CFM) and airspeed (MPH) ratings, but how do you know which is more important? Leaf Blowers CFM talks to MPH beyond these two metrics. If you're not already familiar with it, it's time to learn about Newton's force.
Leaf Blower CFM vs MPH: Which Is More Important?
First, let's dig into airspeed and volume. You may have heard claims of 225 MPH and other 900 CFM blowers. Which is better for work? the real answer? both.
Airspeed (in MPH) is the speed needed to move an object. Like a car's speed, it's a measure that tells us how far air can travel in an hour if it maintains its speed. The higher the airspeed, the heavier objects you can convince to move.
Cubic feet per minute (CFM) is a measurement of the amount of air a leaf blower can produce at wide open throttle (WOT). The measurements tell us how many cubic feet of space can be filled in one minute. The higher the CFM, the larger the area the blower will affect and the better it will keep things moving.
You need both to get the most out of your time. If your MPH is high and CFM is low, you can move pebbles, mulch, and other large debris, but they won't be far from the nozzle.
On the other hand, high CFM and low MPH move dust and hay very well, but have little effect on heavier debris.
Leaf Blowers CFM vs MPH: The Winner Is…Newton
Let's talk about Newton. No, we're not talking about the fig kind, it's all about power. Formally defined, 1 Newton is equal to the force required to accelerate an object with a mass of 1 kilogram 1 meter per second. Alright, now that we got that out of the way, let's make sense of it.
Newtonian force combines velocity and air volume into one metric we can measure. Another way to think about it is that Newton tells us the overall blowing force. When comparing blower performance, there is only one number that tells you how much work a blower can get done.
However, you can't just plug CFM and MPH into one equation and get Newtons. It's complex, involving temperature, humidity, pressure, and other factors. Simply measuring Newtons is much easier than calculating Newtons, which is what we test and report on in our blower reviews.
Interesting fact: More and more brands are starting to include Newtons in their specifications, so you can more easily compare which leaf blower is best for your needs.
Love the blower in our featured image? This is a Greenworks 60V Pro 700 CFM model. Read more about it here or buy it here.