How Loud is a Chainsaw – You Will Shock

Whoever uses a chainsaw realizes that they are really loud. But how loud is a chainsaw? Learning a chainsaw’s exact decibels can help you and your neighbor avoid severe hearing problems.

The sound level of a chainsaw depends on its type. On average, a chainsaw noise range is 80 dB – 120 dB. Electric and battery-powered models are the quietest, with 80 – 100 dB sound level. Meanwhile, gas-powered chainsaws produce 100 – 120 dB noise.

This comprehensive guide focuses on helping you deal with the noise level of the chainsaw. Continue reading and learn some shocking facts about chainsaw noise.

What is the Sound Tolerating Level of a Human?

Human ears are not developed to adapt to high sound levels. At the same time, a human can’t hear a sound of 0 dB. This means humans can tolerate a specific sound level range. Here is a chart of sound tolerating levels of humans.

Sound Level (dB)Human Sounds PerceptionExamples
0No hearingWhistle of Dogs
10 – 70Acceptable and safeConversation of 2 people
80 – 90Acceptable but damagingBusy traffic, Electric chainsaw, battery-powered chainsaw
100 – 120Unacceptable and damagingGas-powered chainsaw, Turbofan aircraft, steel mill
120 and moreSeverely harmfulSound of heavy-duty tools
How Loud is a Chainsaw

How Loud is a Chainsaw?

All chainsaws are not built following the same quality standards. Gas-powered and battery-powered or electric chainsaws generate different noise levels.

Gas-Powered Chainsaw

The average sound range of a gas-powered chainsaw is 100 – 120 dB. Remember that if you are continuously exposed to more than 115 dB of sound rating without ear protection, the potential for hearing damages increases.

However, a small gas-powered chainsaw produces a minimal sound that can be used without safety gears.

How Loud is a Chainsaw

Battery-powered and Electric Chainsaw

As the technology is advanced, manufacturers are now applying modern features to minimize the sound level. Happily, they are successful for a few models of battery-powered and electric chainsaws. The sound level of a battery-powered and electric chainsaw is less than a gas-powered one, which is 80 – 100 dB. Impressively, the performance of these models is equal to gas-powered.

However, many models of these 2 types still feature unsafe noise levels. Due to this reason, always wear ear protection when operating a chainsaw.

Why Are Chainsaws Loud?

Different factors are responsible for the loudness of chainsaws. Here are the top 3 culprits,

  • Motor/engine
  • Vibration
  • Sawing

You might have already gotten that engine or motor is the main reason. Gas chainsaws consist of a motor, and that’s why they are the loudest compared to other electric and battery-powered chainsaws.

The cutting process is another factor in creating noise with a chainsaw. Generally, a new chainsaw produces less noise. The potential reason for higher noise levels is not sharped, less lubricated oil chain.

Another factor is vibration. The more a chainsaw vibrates, the more sound will be created. Battery-powered and electric chainsaws generate less vibration. Thus, the noise level of these chainsaws is also less.

How Loud is a Chainsaw Compared to Other Sources of Sound?

Different power tools produce different noise levels. According to the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), find the below chart with noise levels of different sound sources.

Tool NameNoise Level (dB)
Circular Saw103 – 113
Drill91 – 99
Grinder95 – 109
Hammer Drill99 – 116
Impact Wrench101 – 111
Jigsaw97 – 102
Miter Saw103 – 113
Muffler83 – 92
Orbital Sander74 – 97
Reciprocating Saw102 – 112
Food Blender90
Normal Level Conversion50 – 65
A Freight Train100
Rock Concert110 – 140
Construction Site95
Jet Engine Take off103

Based on the above chart, I found the below comparison,

  • A chainsaw is 2X times louder than the normal conversation of 2 people
  • The decibel level of a chainsaw is 0.25X time more than a freight train’s decibel level
  • A hairdryer or food blender generates 0.15X times less sound compared to a chainsaw
  • Chainsaw noise level and rock concert dB are the same
  • A chainsaw is 0.10X times louder than a jet engine taking off

So, it is clear that a chainsaw is severely loud and unsafe for your ears.

Are Loud Chainsaws Dangerous?

How Loud is a Chainsaw

Tolerating level differs from person to person. In reality, some people can withstand higher noise levels for a prolonged period.

But another truth is that when you get exposed to high sound levels, you may lead to hearing loss. According to the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, an 85 dB sound level is considered harmful to the ears.

The longer you will hear a higher sound level, the closer you are to hearing damage.

Let me share a few data in this regard,

  • A person can bear 70 dB of sound for an extended period
  • 85 dB sound level is dangerous for up to 8 hours
  • 111 dB noise rating is extremely harmful to the ears, and you will have hearing loss within a minute

The loud noise of a chainsaw can lead you to below problems,

  • High heart rate along with BP
  • Upset stomach
  • An increased sound level may annoy you
  • CO poisoning

The most important thing to remember is to give yourself at least 18 hours of break to recover your hearing if exposed to a high sound level.

Can I Prevent High Noise from my Chainsaw?

Since chainsaw sounds can damage your hearing capability, it is not new that people are looking for ways of making chainsaws less noisy.

Sadly, you can’t do much about preventing noise from your chainsaw. However, some users modify the chainsaw by installing a pipe or muffler.

But adding a muffler is not an easy fish to fry. Moreover, it makes handling the chainsaw worse than good.

I wouldn’t recommend adding a pipe or muffler due to the below reasons,

  • The chainsaw will become bulky
  • The risk of damaging the tool gets increased
  • Productivity and efficiency of the chainsaw may reduce

In fact, this is an impractical way. If you add a muddler, using the chainsaw will be difficult for sure. All in all, the modification doesn’t work at all.

How to Protect My Ear from Loud Chainsaw?

Wearing the proper hearing protection is the best way to protect your ear from a loud chainsaw. Multiple types of hearing protection are available in the market. The most common choices are,

  • Disposable Foam Earplugs: Expanding foam is used in manufacturing these plugs. Get a single-use plug and compress it by rolling in your finger. After inserting it in your ear, it will expand and block sound. A single-use plug can reduce sound levels by as much as 20 dB.
  • Reusable Plugs: Plastic or silicone is the primer material or reusable plugs. They come with one-size-fits, but a few brands offer multiple sizes. Finding the right size is a bit difficult. More importantly, they don’t expand as much as single-use plugs. However, they reduce the 30 dB noise rating and are pretty comfortable.
  • Earmuffs: This is one of the best safety gears for the ear. The average NRR of earmuffs is 30 dB when they are worn tightly.
How Loud is a Chainsaw

Can a Chainsaw Make You Deaf?

The straightforward answer is that a chainsaw can make you deaf or nearly deaf if you continuously use a chainsaw without ear protection.

You will not lose your hearing capability all of a sudden. The chainsaw sound level will work as a slow poison.

Frequently Asked Questions

How loud is the average chainsaw?

The average sound level of chainsaws is between 80 dB and 120 dB. This dB rating is medically unacceptable since it can dangerously harm your hearing capability.

How loud is a Stihl chainsaw?

Generally, Stihl manufactures battery-operated chainsaws. Stihl chainsaw produces 80 – 85 dB noise level.

Why do I hear a chainsaw at night?

The decibels rating of the chainsaw is louder compared to other heavy tools. Usually, traffic sounds and other noises are unavailable at night. Also, the environment is quieter than during the day. That is why a decibel level of 80 – 120 dB can be heard from 100 feet.

Wrapping Up

Whether you operate a gas-powered, battery-powered, or electric chainsaw, careful use of this tool is necessary. The noise level of a chainsaw can do a lot of harm to the users and the neighbors. Sadly, you can’t avoid the sound of a chainsaw.

In this case, learning about how loud is a chainsaw and wearing ear protection accordingly is the best solution. Hopefully, this comprehensive guide will help you efficiently deal with the sound level of a chainsaw to protect yourself. Also, when using the chainsaw, try to complete your job as soon as possible to keep the sound to a minimal level.

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Johnathan Brewer

Hello, I’m Johnathan Brewer, a professional woodworker and power tools salesperson. I’ve worked with top interior designers and architects of the city. With an experience of 11 years in this field, I can suggest the best tips for bigger DIYers. I help my friends and neighbors with their tools. I specialize in restoring, repairing, designing, and decorating. There are even some great woodworking tactics that I’d love to share with you. With that information and suggestions, you can do really good professional work in a very short time.

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