Magnaflow vs Flowmaster: What's the Best Exhaust Brand?

Magnaflow vs Flowmaster: What’s the Best Exhaust?

Welcome to the ultimate exhaust showdown! Today we’re finally going to find out which is the best exhaust brand: Magnaflow or Flowmaster.

One of the most common questions I receive in my inbox each week is “What’s the difference is between Magnaflow and Flowmaster exhaust systems?” So, I thought I would let you in on the big mystery, too.

Whether you drive a car, truck or SUV it’s likely that you’ll find a great exhaust from either of these companies. So which one should you choose?

For some gearheads the choice between exhaust brands is all about the raw sound. For others it’s about brand loyalty. I reveal the actual differences below.

Magnaflow Flowmaster
magnaflow flowmaster
Founded: 1981 1983
Manufactured in: USA USA
Muffler Cutaway: magnaflow muffler cutaway flowmaster muffler cutaway
Muffler Design: Straight-Through Chambered
Packing Material: Stainless Steel with Acoustical Packing No Packing
Construction: Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Sound Quality: Deep and Loud Tuned Rumble
Products: See All Products See All Products

Muffler Construction

The primary difference between Magnaflow and Flowmaster is the construction and the sound-canceling technology they use.

Magnaflow mufflers have a straight-through design and are filled with stainless steel acoustical packing material around a perforated pipe.

Flowmaster mufflers have a chamber-style design and use no acoustical packing material. Instead, they use metal plates, called baffles, to separate the sound waves. After the sound waves are redirected they collide and cancel each other out.

Magnaflow Flowmaster
magnaflow muffler cutaway flowmaster muffler cutaway

What this means for you:

The chambered design in a Flowmaster Muffler will give you a consistent sound from the very first time you start your car.

Where as a Magnaflow muffler can take as long as 400 miles to settle into its normal sound.

If you like a loud exhaust, Magnaflow could be perfect for you. Magnaflow’s straight-through design is least effective at reducing exhaust noise.

However, if you prefer a tuned exhaust note, Flowmaster is a great choice.

Scavenging Effect

The perforated stainless steel core in a Magnaflow muffler has no flow restrictions compared to Flowmasters chambered mufflers. This means your exhaust gases with flow right through the muffler at their normal speed.

Fast moving exhaust gases equals more horsepower for you.

Although the chambered design in a Flowmaster muffler creates a beautiful growl, it slows down your exhaust gases. To combat this effect, the baffles within a Flowmaster muffler are designed to create a scavenging effect.

I bet you’ve heard that word a bunch while searching for a new exhaust.

Scavenging means that the muffler is designed to create a natural vacuum. This vacuum causes the exhaust gasses to leave the muffler faster than they entered.

This effect helps offset the efficiency losses created by the baffles.

OK, now I’m going to try and sum it up for you, plain and simple.

Magnaflow: Straight through design, filled with acoustical packing material. Mufflers are louder than stock and gives your engine more power.

Flowmaster: Chambered design, no packing material. Muffler has a consistent, tuned sound but provides less power.

Which Sounds Better: Flowmaster or Magnaflow?

I’ll be honest with you that trying to describe the sounds of aftermarket exhaust systems on this website is a tough job. I do my best to bring you all the technical design details, specifications and even the best prices I find online, but nothing beats an awesome video of a gnarly exhaust.

That’s why I’m going to let you decide whether a Flowmaster or Magnaflow exhaust is right for your ride by watching these videos below.

Ford F-150 Exhaust Comparison

magnaflow 15335 exhaust flowmaster 817551 american thunder
MagnaFlow 15335 Performance Exhaust Kit Flowmaster 817551 American Thunder Cat-Back Exhaust System
See Price See Price

2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Exhaust Comparison

magnaflow 15225 exhaust flowmaster 817668 axle back exhaust
MagnaFlow 15225 Stainless Steel Axle Back Exhaust System Flowmaster 817668 409S Stainless Steel Dual Rear Exit Axle-Back Exhaust System
See Price See Price

Why Choose a Magnaflow Exhaust?

If you are a car guy like me, you have probably read your share of car magazines and watched Chip Foose and his crew piece together amazing vintage cars on television.

That also means you are probably familiar with Magnaflow, an exhaust system commonly featured in the media and at trade shows. Magnaflow has been around over 30 years developing quality exhaust upgrades, and having race car legend Mario Andretti endorse your brand doesn’t hurt either.

But Magnaflow isn’t the only one that’s been around for decades.

Is Flowmaster Exhaust Right For You?

If you’re shopping around for some quality exhaust upgrades, why not go with a legend in the aftermarket world? With thirty years in the business Flowmaster is definitely a company that’s done their homework.

Are you a proud owner of some old school muscle? Then a Flowmaster exhaust is something you’ll appreciate every time you fire her up. Flowmaster exhaust systems are designed for both trucks and domestic vehicles but Flowmaster makes sure to cater to most vehicles with both vehicle specific and universal kits.

Best-Selling Flowmaster Mufflers

Center In - Dual OutCenter In / Center Out
Flowmaster Super 10Flowmaster Super 40Flowmaster Super 44

Lifetime Warranty

No matter which company you choose to supply the exhaust system for your car or truck you can buy with confidence knowing that they both have outstanding warranties.

Magnalfow offers a lifetime warranty on most of their performance exhaust products:

“The manufacturer warrants that all Magnaflow Performance products are free from defects. Most of our mufflers are warranted against blowouts and defects in material and workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the vehicle on which it was originally installed.” –Source

Flowmaster also offers a Lifetime limited warranty on all of their stainless steel exhaust systems and mufflers.

“Lifetime Limited Warranty applies to Flowmaster’s stainless steel mufflers, stainless steel exhaust systems and stainless steel exhaust kits. “-Source

I’m guessing that this wasn’t your first stop while doing exhaust research online and it probably won’t be your last. But, if you have any other questions along the way feel free to drop by and send my your feedback. I always enjoy answering reader questions on the blog.