Softwood fibers pretreated with a monocomponent endoglucanase were used to prepare a series of cellulose nanofiber qualities using a microfluidizer and 2 to 34 MWh ton-1 of energy input. The specific surface area was determined for the series using critical point drying and gas adsorption. Although the specific surface area reached a maximum of 430 m2 g-1 at 11 MWh ton-1, the nanofiber yield and transmittance continued to increase beyond this point, indicating that more energy is required to overcome possible friction caused by an interwoven nanofiber network unrelated to the specific surface area. A new method for estimating the surface area was investigated using xyloglucan adsorption in pure water. With this method it was possible to follow the disintegration past the point of maximum specific surface area. The technical significance of these findings is discussed.