I used to be that guy every once in a while in the comment section of a YouTube woodworking video.  You know, the guy that comments about a safety concern when nobody asked for his opinion.  I don’t do this anymore, because I realized how annoying it is to receive them.  And, I also realized that it’s up to the individual how much risk they want to take when performing an action; live and let live.  Oh, I still cringe in my seat and question their sanity when I see someone doing something completely idiotic.

Something that I’ve started to notice recently is a lot of woodworkers not using hearing protection (but, at least they usually have safety glasses on).   I don’t use my hearing protection for every power tool, that would be kind of weird, but I do wear them whenever I use my chop saw, ROS or router.  I’ve already lost a bunch of hair and I don’t really want to expedite my hearing loss.

Here’s some data that I ripped off from the internets.  I figured that because I’m posting this for a good cause that they wouldn’t mind:

  • 110 decibels – for more than one minute – risks permanent hearing loss
  • Above 90 decibels will cause gradual hearing loss.


Common woodworking tools and noise level:

  • Orbital Sander : ~90 decibels
  • Planer : ~94 decibels
  • Router : ~95 decibels
  • Circular Saw : ~101 decibels
  • Chop Saw : ~106 decibelsWhat

For comparison:

Jet engine at 100′ : ~140 decibels

12 Gauge Shotgun Blast : ~165 decibels

Do you wear hearing protection?  Sometimes?  Every time? Never?

16 Responses to “What?”

  1. Anthony LaRocco says:

    I use hearing protection almost all the time. Mostly because at age 60 I’ve lost a lot of hearing already and one of my other loves is classical music, which, if the ears go….

    I noticed your decibel rating for the planer was only 94. I’d love to know what planer your using as my DeWalt is easily the loudest device I own for which I always use earmuff style hearing protection, AND close my garage doors so I don’t upset the neighbors. Interestingly, I also find my shop vacs and dust collectors very loud but nobody seems to mention these as loud tools.

Leave a Reply