Need hearing protection recommendations

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Forum topic by kanihoncho posted 01-20-2010 06:08 PM 1892 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View kanihoncho's profile


56 posts in 3096 days

01-20-2010 06:08 PM

I am looking for some hearing protection and would like some brand recommendations. I do not, and would not, listen to music while cutting. Maybe I’m paranoid but I think I’ld want to listen to the sound of the motor.

I do not want to cut corners and would like quality product recommendations. Thanks all.

13 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#1 posted 01-20-2010 06:13 PM

I have this one and it works great:

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3369 days

#2 posted 01-20-2010 06:42 PM

Ditto on the Peltor

View TLE's profile


25 posts in 3471 days

#3 posted 01-20-2010 07:08 PM

I really like the ZEM.

Woodcraft sells it. It works like magic. It’s super light – you almost forget that you have it on. I find traditional muffs heavy and hot. It lets you hear the tool work while it cuts all the scream and roar. You can still easily talk with someone while wearing it. I don’t wear it over the top of my head like they show on the web site though. I wear it like a stethoscope, under my chin, and I leave it hooked around my neck when I’m not running a noisy tool.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4241 days

#4 posted 01-20-2010 07:19 PM

What did you say?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3778 days

#5 posted 01-20-2010 07:22 PM

What ever you do, stay away from the blue ones from Lowes. The plastic, over-the-head piece breaks after a couple of months.

It is 12:20, Charlie.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Darell's profile


434 posts in 3617 days

#6 posted 01-20-2010 07:44 PM

I’ve got the ZEM and it does work great. But, on me at least, it is not comfortable to wear, downright painful at times. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. I’m thinking trying the Peltor.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

View TLE's profile


25 posts in 3471 days

#7 posted 01-20-2010 07:55 PM

Darell -

Are you forcing them into your ears? The foam collars are supposed to just lightly nest in the openings of your ears. I put mine in place and tilt it up and down a couple of times. That’s all it takes. It’s not supposed to really cut the sound like inserted ear plugs.

Hope this helps. I find mine super comfortable and effective. I like the sound reduced to safe levels but I want to hear the feedback of the cut taking place.


View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 3326 days

#8 posted 01-20-2010 08:13 PM

Harmful physical agents (Noise, Radiation both ionizing and non-ionizing, Heat (Cold) and Blood-borne Pathogens) present problems to all woodworkers, but noise is the most common and the results end up quite noticable. Exposures are best eliminated by not creating the noise in the first place, if engineering modifications can be made to the equipment making the noise then “Engineering Controls” are said to be in place. If efforts are made to keep the person away from the noisy area “Administrative Controls” are in place. If elimination, engineering or administrative controls can’t reduce the exposure then only personal protective equipment (PPE) can be used. Hearing protection PPE comes is two sub-groups: muffs and in-ear devices. Realworld testing suggests muffs may be more effective in the long run. The following PPT has lots of information on hearing protection: Thanks to Bowling Green State University ( ) Note it may be quite difficult to get hearing protection sufficient to attenuate to the 85dBa level—other controls will be necessary. (Yes you have a good reason to replace the drive belts, sheaves, or the whole unit to lower the noise you are exposed. SWMBO will go along with anything that will make her instructions clearer and more likely to be carried out exactly!)

In the workshop, shop safety demands safety glasses, hearing protection, hand, head and foot protection, respiratory protection from dusts, fumes and vapors and special attention to the safety of visitors to our shops. (Previous with credit to Noam, David, JoJo, Dean and the Rosenthals, et al)

Ask for the time. I build a watch. Play safe!!

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View Garyb6's profile


306 posts in 3653 days

#9 posted 01-20-2010 08:27 PM

I use these. They are expensive, but I use them when I fly for business as well. I can also plug my mp3 player into them. They allow me to hear things, but cancel out loud noises such as a TS or planer.


Bose Noise Cancelling Headsets

-- Garyb6, “True simplicity does not reveal the tremendous effort it requires.” - Somerset Maugham

View Akelawood's profile


3 posts in 3318 days

#10 posted 01-20-2010 08:57 PM

I use the disposable foam. Just roll them between your fingers and insert into each ear. When used properly they reduce noise almost as well as the muff type. In addition, I find the muff type just too warm to wear while working in the garage in the Houston heat.

They are readily available in bulk and inexpensive at any of the big box stores.

-- Craig

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3503 days

#11 posted 01-21-2010 04:12 PM

I use my shooting ear protection…the ear muff type. I have both the Remmington and Browning…both work great.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3916 days

#12 posted 01-21-2010 04:33 PM

I dont know where mine are made, or who made them but one of my cousins gave a hearing muffs that he acquired from the military artillary. ............very cool muffs as I can hear just about everything but as soon as the sound reaches a certain decibal level they turn on…...............and everything goes perfectly quiet instantly. They have a volume button on one side that controls how much conversation/noise level is comfortable.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Darell's profile


434 posts in 3617 days

#13 posted 01-21-2010 06:07 PM


That’s how I put them in. I guess I’ve just got sensitive ears. Can’t use earbuds either so it’s probably me. I can, and do, wear the disposable foam ear protectors at times and they don’t bother me. Go figure! I always use something though no matter the discomfort.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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