Table Saw Noise


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I have a craftsman contractor/hybrid saw at home, and it's noisy as hell.  If I'm doing a quick single cut, I can get away without using ear muffs, but anything beyond that requires hearing pro. 

My work place has a few Saw Stops, I'm not sure what model, I haven't looked close enough, but they are large cabinet style saws.  When I run one of these, I can easily hold a conversation while the saw is on, but I haven't tried it while I'm actually cutting, as I'm focused on that.  But If I'm close to the saw, I barely even notice the noise. 

Now, my home shop is a 2 car garage, while the work shop is a large warehouse style building, so that definitely plays a part, but....

Are cabinet saws in general much quieter than other saws, or is it the SS brand in particular that has very good noise reduction?

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How old is your saw? Is it belt drive, or some sort of direct drive? Cast irin, or aluminum top?

 

Bearing wear, direct drive motor, and lower mass all contribute to noise factor. Room size probably favors tbe Sawstop, too.

 

I was at the nearest (2.5 hrs drive) Woodcraft recently, and while I didn't see it run, I was able to get a goid look at the ICS 1.75 hp Sawstop. While it appears to be a well made machine, I really don't see why peoplego on about hiw great the quality is. I saw nothing, aside from the safety feature, that made it seem better that any PM, Jet, Delta, or even (gasp!) Grizzly saw in the same performance / power class.

Maybe the show model was poorly assembled?

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Both of my UniSaws have 3 matched belts. 2 big bearings on the blade shaft and 2 big bearings on the motor. The SawStops I have looked at are built similarly built ( just a different style belt ). Direct drive saws are noisy and wear out quickly. Everything else is in the middle. 

Some saw blades are noisier than others. 

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13 hours ago, Marmotjr said:

I have a craftsman contractor/hybrid saw at home, and it's noisy as hell.  If I'm doing a quick single cut, I can get away without using ear muffs, but anything beyond that requires hearing pro.

That's no problem since you are wearing hearing protection any time you are operating a power tool, right?  There's a reason I was a garage band rocker for years yet still have my hearing in my declining years.  Protect yours, its a lot easier than swapping the batteries in your hearing aids later.

That PSA out of the way . . . the thin, thin candy shell on most contractor saws can actually act like a transducer, amplifying the rattle and roll of the machine at work.  During my  Emerson/Craftsman phase I reduced the noise in a few ways:

  • Took the saw out of the mobile base.
  • Bolted old hockey pucks to the feet.  Play-it-Again Sports generally has them for a buck or under.
  • Wrapped a 90# sack of redi-crete in plastic and dumped it in the bottom of the saw stand.  This provided stability and limited vibration.
  • With this weight in the base, I loosened the bolts at the base joints to let the saw settle solidly, then re-tightened them.
  • Cut out a panel to fit around the motor rods and belt.  I held mine on with velcro but, today I would probably use rare earth magnets.  This helped with noise and dust collection.
  • Put a panel in the bottom of the trunnion part of the cabinet and fixed a dust port to it.  More noise reduction and more dust collection.
  • Run decent blades with expansion slots and make a bunch of ZCI's

Any or all may help with your noise levels.  Here's a couple of pics as I worked my way through this effort . . .

 

Fence Extn 1.jpg

Emerson Saw.JPG

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  • 3 weeks later...

I never turn on any power tool in my shop without some type of hearing protection, even for one cut or one operation.  I even use HP when using the Dremel.  I have hearing loss in the lower range due to maternal genetics and now wear two hearing aids.  Why take a chance on losing more hearing?  Use hearing protection, no matter how quiet the power tools might be.

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2 hours ago, Bankstick said:

I never turn on any power tool in my shop without some type of hearing protection, even for one cut or one operation.  I even use HP when using the Dremel...  ...Why take a chance on losing more hearing?  Use hearing protection, no matter how quiet the power tools might be.

I agree. When I walk into my shop the first thing I do is put my apron and hearing protection. I use HP that I can just keep around my neck when not in use. 

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By coincudence, I measured several of the machines in my workshop today. This was inspired by the recently completed installation of a new table saw and new hoses to the existing dust collector. Perhaps we can use this thread as a database for machines and power tools to guide others. 

Noise levels were measured using an iPhone app. The measured ambient noise in my workshop was 46db and my speech level 54 db, which indicate that the levels recorded were reasonably reliable. 

Noise levels were recorded within 1m of the running machine.

Note: A European Union directive on noise, issued in 2015, requires companies across the Continent to provide hearing protection for workplaces with a noise level higher than 80 dB. From 85 dB on, employees are required to wear hearing protection.

The three main machines I have are by Hammer: 

A3-31 Jointer-Thicknesser (silent head): 76db
N4400 Bandsaw: 78db
K3 Table Saw (12" blade combo blade by Stark): 93db (this appears louder than expected - I will try my Leuco blades next). 

11a.jpg

The Festool C26E vacuum cleaner produced an interesting result. With the hose disconnected, the noise level measured 85db. However, connecting the 27mm hose, the noise level dropped to 80db. 

The dust collector is a Carbatec 2HP. The machines were previously connected by 4" hoses, and the noise level was subjectively LOUD (I did not measure them, but I would guesstimate that they were around 95db). Changing to 5" hose appears to drop the level. Previously I could not put them on without hearing protection. Now I could talk over the machine! With 5" hoses, the DC measured 77db. I wonder if 6" hoses would lower the sound levels even more? Currently 5" is the largest I can go to without modifying the ports of the machines. I plan to do this when I eventually get a Clear Vue cyclone (my current dust control is supplemented by opening the garage doors and blowing out the dust).

10a.jpg

The Carbatec floor standing drill press (15 years old now) measured 63db. 

The Tormek 2000 wet grinder measured 56 db.

UltimateGrindingSharpeningSetUp_html_5c5


The Carbatec 8" half-speed bench grinder with 2 CBN wheels measured 77 db.

The Carbatec 9" disk/belt sander combo measured 86 db.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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I believe OSHA states 84 db (86? around there) is the limit for requiring hearing protection. 

I can't stand plugs, so I wear muffs, so I can also easily pop them on and off as needed.    I always wear them for my home table saw, but I feel no need with the SawStop at work.

Made about 60 repetitive cuts on the Hitachi miter saw today.  Normally I don't wear HP for the miter saws, but after about 8 cuts, I put them on as it was starting to grate.  And with the muffs on, I can hear the Indians game on the radio over the saw.   But the Hitachi saws we have are quite a bit louder than the Festools, but they are bigger saws. 

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i keep foamies in my pocket all the time.  I remember hating them when I first started using them, but now it's a non-issue.

  Every pair of pants has a pair in a pocket, and they usually stay in place while going through a wash cycle, and are clean as new after going through a laundry wash.  Sometimes they come out in the dryer, but are good to go again.  If any are missing, there is a box of two hundred pairs next to where my truck is kept.   Not only for machines running, but they come in good on some odd occasions like riding a ferry that's loud.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3M-Ear-Classic-Bulk-Earplugs-390-1000-Bulk-packed-200-per-box-/401070409294?epid=1100151643&hash=item5d61a8c64e:g:0H4AAOSwG0tZsq0y

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@Tom King, I kinda went ewww there, but I understand they're clean.  Kinda ingenious that way actually.   I just can't stand plugs.  They cause my ears to hurt and kinda ring, like a constant wooshing noise.  I was on our PPE team at the one shop I was at, and I tried maybe 30 types of plugs over 6-8 manufacturers, and while some were much better than others, I never liked any of them.  With my earmuffs on, I forget they are there, and then I can't figure out why I can't hear ambient noise when I shut off a tool. 

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