How Loud Is A Chainsaw?

Chainsaws are noisy, as most people know. But how loud are they? This article will tell how loud a chainsaw really is.

How Many dB Is A Chainsaw?

Chainsaws are loud, as many people know.

What’s worse is that chainsaws can be even louder than this on certain models because they are gasoline-powered rather than electrically powered. The longer you’re around one, the more annoying or damaging to your ears it will be.

Chainsaw Decibels

To know how loud a chainsaw is, first we must look at how loud other activities are in decibels, and whether they are safe to the ears.

Source of SoundDecibels (dB)
Whisper30 dB
Normal conversation50-65 dB
Dishwasher75 dB
Lawnmower85-90 dB
Jet flyover103 dB
Chainsaw105-120 dB
Rock concert110-140 dB
Fireworks or gunshot145-170 dB
Chainsaw Tree Cutting

Chainsaw produce an average sound in the 105-120 dB range, which is similar to a jackhammer or small caliber pistol shot.

Just several hours of listening to music at 80 dB can cause short term and long term hearing damage. So, chainsaws are definately a danger to your ears!

You can check the decibel level of your chainsaw through a smartphone app, also called a sound-level meter. This can give you an idea of what kind of hearing protection you need.

Chainsaw Ear Muffs

Chainsaws, especially gas powered chainsaws are known for being loud. So how can you best protect your ears?

Well, while the best way to lower your chances of noise related hearing loss is to limit how long you’re exposed to loud noises, there are some other steps you can take. Things like wearing ear plugs, but there’s been a lot of debate about whether or not they actually help.

Fortunately, high quality and effective ear muffs are available to purchase which will adequately protect your ears while you operate a chainsaw.

And if you prefer something over cotton balls in your ears, then ear muffs are the way to go.

Helpful Chainsaw Ear Muffs

ProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs, Hearing Protection Earmuffs, NRR 28dB Noise Sound Protection Headphones

Onhear SNR 34dB Ear protection, Foldable Ear Muffs for Noise Reduction, Adult Noise Cancelling Ear Muffs

Pro For Sho 34dB Ear Protection – Special Designed Ear Muffs Lighter Weight & Maximum Hearing Protection

What dB Ear Muffs For A Chainsaw?

You can purchase ear muffs or ear plugs that can protect your ears from the loud sound produced by chainsaws. Here is a breakdown of noise reduction rating (NRR) decibel levels of some available ear muffs you can use:

  • ProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs- NRR 28 dB
  • 3M Peltor X2A Over-the-Head Ear Muffs – NRR 24 dB
  • 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Technology – NRR 24 dB
  • Professional Safety Ear Muffs by Decibel Defense – NRR 37dB
  • TR Industrial Forestry Safety Helmet and Hearing Protection System – NRR 26 dB

Both ear plugs and ear muff provide similar NRR db ratings. These offer protection usually falling between 24 – 38 db sound ranges.

What Level Of Ear Protection Is Best For Chainsaws?

Users of chiansaws may not know which level of ear protection they need. Ear protection is neccessary when using chainsaws to avoid hearing loss. There are two levels of ear protection that are commonly used; noise cancelling earmuffs and heavy duty earplugs (like those used by construction workers).

It is best to wear ear plugs or muffs that have the highest possible decibel rating when operating a chainsaw.

Can A Chainsaw Make You Deaf?

Chainsaws can cause ear damage over time with enough use. However, can they make you deaf?

The answer is Yes, chainsawing can make you deaf, or nearly deaf. However, this takes a long time and continuous chainsaw use.

Losing your hearing will likely not happen all at once. If you are exposed to chainsaw noise frequently enough, your hearing will likely be affected over time.

There are two types of sounds that can cause damage to your hearing. These include short and long term exposure to loud noises, which includes chainsaws. This is especially true if you run a chainsaw continuously for long periods of time without hearing protection.

Chainsaw Noise Level – What Can You Do?

The noise level of chainsaws can pose some problems for users and their neighbors. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to reduce the noise of a chainsaw.

The main reason for this is that chainsaws use air – and gas-powered engines, which run at very high speeds.  In order to make these machines lighter weight, most manufacturers choose not to enclose them in sound dampening casings.

Ear Protection is Necessary When Working In Any Business That Has Noise Polution

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires ear protection be provided in businesses that have exposure to noise pollution. This includes construction sites, forestry operations, and any work that uses chainsaws.

Inform Your Neighbors (And Anyone Else Nearby) When Using A Chainsaw

If you use a chainsaw in a congested area or neighborhood, it is recommended to give those around you notice you will be using a chainsaw. And when you use it, try and do the job quickly enough as to keep the noise to a minimum.

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Nick Klamecki, Author
About Nick Klamecki, Author

Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use. Learn more about Nick here or connect with him on LinkedIn | Medium