I was working at home the other day, cutting 1/2″ sheets of birch plywood into 6″ strips. I was cutting 6 sheets and thinking that it wouldn’t take that long. Ended up taking a lot longer than I thought and, by the time I was done, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t been using hearing protection (Stupid, I know!) when I turned off the saw and realized that I was still hearing a humming sound.
I know that you’re supposed to wear hearing protection when using power tools but if you’re like me you forgo it when you think it’s only for a short time. Not a good idea! For one, even short exposures to loud noises can damage your hearing long-term and for two you never know when what you thought was going to be a short job winds up taking a longer time than you anticipated (if we’re honest, that’s usually the case). First thing I did was to go find some reusable earplugs (I like the Moldex Twist in personally) and keep them right there by the table saw so that they are available any time I need to make even a simple cut.
Wondering how loud your tools really are? Check out the CDC Powertools database page for dB as well as vibration info on your tools. Pretty cool page to bookmark… after all real men buy new powertools as often as possible.