When You’re Comparing Leaf Blower Performance, Look For Newton Force

Nearly all blowers have ratings for airflow (CFM), and airspeed (MPH). But how do you determine which one is more important. The debate about leaf blower CFM and MPH goes beyond these two metrics. If you’re not already familiar with it, it’s time to get to know Newton force.


Leaf Blower CFM and MPH: Which is more important?

To start, let’s dive into airspeed and volume. You’ve probably heard the claims of blowers with 225 MPH and others with 900 CFM. Which is better for work, you ask? The real answer is both. Both.

Airspeed is the speed required to move an object. It’s measured in MPH. Just like the speed of your car, it’s a measure that tells us how far that air would go in an hour if it maintained its speed. The faster the airspeed, it is easier to convince an object to move.

Cubic feet per Minute (CFM) refers to the volume of air that a leaf blower can produce when it is running at wide-open throttle (WOT). This measurement shows how much air you can fill in a minute in cubic feet. The larger the CFM, and the more objects you can move, the greater the area your blower affects.

Both are necessary to make the best use of your time. If you have high MPH and low CFM, you can get pebbles, mulch, and other large debris to move, but it won’t go very far away from the nozzle.

On the other hand, high CFM and low MPH will move dust and dried grass well, but won’t have much effect on heavier debris.

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Leaf Blower CFM Vs MPH: And the Winner is… Newtons

Let’s talk about Newtons. No, we’re not talking about the fig kind, this is all about force. One Newton is the force required to accelerate an object of mass 1 kilogram 1 meter per sec. OK, now that we cleared that up, let’s make some sense of it.

Newton force is a metric that measures speed and air volume. Another way to look at it is that Newtons are the overall blowing force. When it comes to comparing blower performance, it’s a single number that tells you how much work you can expect the blower to accomplish.

However, you can’t just plug CFM and MPH into an equation and get Newtons out. It’s complex and involves temperature, humidity, pressure, and other factors. It’s far easier to simply measure Newtons than calculate them, and it’s something we test and report in our blower reviews.

And here’s the cool thing: more brands are beginning to include Newton force in their specifications, making it that much easier for you to compare which leaf blower is the best one for your needs.

Like the blower in our featured photo? It’s the Greenworks 60V Pro 700 CFM model. It’s available to purchase here or read more.

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