best quiet power tools

Best Quiet Power Tools (Plus How To Make Quieter)

For reduced noise exposure, it’s best to choose quiet power tools whenever possible. The quietest drill, saw or router doesn’t have to cost you more money, it just makes woodworking at home or on the job safer and less disruptive. When your neighbors run their power tools, I bet you wish they would have invested in quieter tools.

The best ‘quiet’ power tools are those with low sound decibels that reduce potential damage to your eardrums. They’re also less distracting to co-workers and/or less disturbing to neighbors. Quiet drills, saws, and routers are often reasonably priced and just as effective as traditional power tools.

Now that you know the best quiet power tools are often just as good as their louder counterparts, let’s take a closer look at this in more detail below. We’ll discuss how to make your power tools quieter, what the benefits are and what circumstances warrant them.  We’ll also look at the quietest power drill, saw and generator on the market today and where to get them.

So, if you’re ready to learn all you need to know about quiet power tools, then let’s get to it!

What is the Quietest Drill?

The quietest drill on the market today is the Milwaukee M18 Surge impact driver/drill. The tool uses a hydraulic oil drive which results in 3 times less vibration and therefore 50% less noise. Its cordless design provides for faster speeds compared to standard drivers.

The Fluid Drive Hydraulic Powertrain function reduces metal-on-metal contact within the tool, delivering quieter operation, smoother performance and increased durability over a traditional driver. Currently available online at Amazon.com. it’s a steal of a deal! Check it out today!

We all know that one of the most popular types of power tools used today are drills. That means if you live in an apartment or condo and need to use a drill, you probably need to be quieter than if you live in a standalone home. Investing in these quieter power tools should be a ‘no brainer’ for you then.

Furthermore, even if you live in a standalone home, you may have younger children that sleep at odd times or older parents or grandparents staying with you that want their quiet. Having a quieter drill around so you can still do chores or woodworking regardless of your family situation just makes sense, in my opinion.

How Do You Make a Drill Quieter?

So, if you’re happy with your current drill or you can’t afford to just go out and purchase a new, quieter model, then your only other option is to try to make what you have less noise. Here’s what I suggest you try.

Using the sharpest drill bits possible will help reduce the vibration, which essentially is the cause of the noise. As well, sharper drill bits will cut faster and therefore shorten the length of time you need to use (thus the noise level will be cut short as well). Apart from purchasing a newer, quieter drill, there really isn’t much that can be done to limit the noise of the tool itself.

To lessen the potential damage on your eardrums and make the drill quieter while you’re working, use earplugs and then add earmuffs over top. Or, you can invest in an HPD (hearing protection device) which looks like a set of headphones and will block out dBA our A-weighted, high decibel sounds that can cause hearing loss over time.

If it’s trying to protect your eardrums that’s your main concern, I always recommend going with a good pair of HPD’s. Once your eardrums go, that’s it, they don’t heal or return to normal. I know from experience as I have had ringing in my ears for about 7 years now. It’s not fun, believe me!

What is the Quietest Table Saw?

The quietest table saws are belt drive versions, which are much quieter than direct-drive types. If you’re thinking of using a tool other than a table saw, then keep reading.  

If at all possible, try to avoid using circular saws. These units contain a universal motor that becomes very loud when the brushes rub along the slotted armature. Miter saws are also loud, reaching a noise level as high as 100 decibels! So, steer clear of them as well, if you can. Sorry for jumping around I just know some people would rather not purchase a table saw and try to get by with one of those other power tools just mentioned.

Since I am here to help you choose quieter power tools, I will also help you save a bit of your hard-earned money. For a good example, read on about the following tool below.

A table saw to consider that is quiet and won’t break the bank is the SKIL 3410-02 table saw. Portable and powerful, this unit can handle all your woodworking needs. From cross-cuts to longboard rips, it can miter or bevel up to 3½ inch thick lumber with ease. Available for less than $300 online, check it out on Amazon today!

How Do I Make My Table Saw Quieter?

Noise isolation helps reduce the ‘screaming’ created by the most direct drive model saws. This involves closing all windows in the shop or sound-proofing the work area. Making sure the unit is in good working order with all parts tightened and securely in place may also help with noise reduction.

Choosing a belt-drive type (with multiple belts) is your best bet for decreasing sound. The heavier weight of these saws significantly reduces vibration, which is the main cause of the noise. Multiple belts ensure that the unit doesn’t make that high-pitched screeching sound often caused by single belt models.

*If soundproofing your apartment or any other workspace is of interest to you, I highly recommend you go check out my article on the topic once you finish ready this one. *

How to Make Power Tools Quieter?

Making power tools quieter is a dilemma facing many craftsmen who live or work in close proximity to others. It’s not recommended that you wrap a cloth or towel around the tool to muzzle the sound, as this could cause the tool to burn out or overheat.

As it is usually the vibration of the drill bit or saw blade against the wood that makes the ‘noise’, clamping a piece of lumber securely to a solid workbench first may help reduce the sound a bit, especially if you’re working with a jigsaw tool.

Power tools that are high-quality and well-kept are likely to be less noisy as well. If the bearings are functioning properly and in good condition, this should help with the sound level. Investing in some new tools may be the only solution to the problem.

Padding a work area with sound-proofing material, such as fiberglass insulation, studio foam or acoustic panel boards, is another solution. Filling old potato sacks with leftover sawdust from your woodworking projects and placing them around the shop will also help absorb the noise.

Where Might You Need to Use Quieter Power Tools?

If you live in an apartment or condo and your walls are connected to your neighbor, you’ll need to use quieter power tools to avoid disturbing others. As well, if you work in a warehouse or garage near other craftsmen, you’ll need quieter tools to reduce the noise level in the area that can potentially harm your ears or distract your colleagues.

What are the Benefits of Using Quieter Power Tools?

Using quieter power tools is the most effective way to lower both workplace and community noise. Occupational noise-induced hearing loss is a serious issue facing many craftsmen today. Not only does noise reduction help reduce stress and pressure on-the-job but it also makes for a more relaxing and peaceful neighborhood/environment.

The fact remains that noisy work areas cause by loud power tools can be a thing of the past. All it takes is a new, quieter tool and a little sound-proofing know-how. We’ve covered some of this previously in this article so please feel free to refer back, if necessary.

Are Cordless Power Tools Quieter than Corded Power Tools?

Cordless drills, for example, tend to be quieter than corded versions. The reason being that, in general, they aren’t as powerful. The motor spins slower with less stress on the gearbox. As a craftsman, you must decide whether trading strength for noise reduction/ear safety is worth it in the long run. I would say yes, as a lifetime of hearing loss is not worth the trade-off!

Portability is a huge bonus, in my opinion. Not long ago, I was hanging drywall using my cordless drill. The battery went dead and I didn’t have a backup. So, I found an old corded drywall drill I used once-upon-a-time and started using it again. Even though the drywall screws are set so nicely, having to pay attention to a power cord the whole time was really a pain!

My point here is to buy cordless at all costs. They really do make a difference. If you don’t believe me, go back and use an old corded drill afterward and let me know what you think. That being said, I should mention that corded tools have their place. I mix my mud with a corded drill because my 20v cordless model just doesn’t have the power to turn the mixer.

How Do You Reduce Router Noise?

If you have a router, then you have a noisemaker. If your router seems loud, you may have the speed set too high. To reduce the noise level, simply slow down the RPM’s to match that of the chip rate. Check the bearings to be sure they are secure. As well, avoid using spiral bits, which tend to be louder than other bit types.

Woodworking in an insulated room with the windows closed, if possible, will also help reduce router noise. You could also invest in a spindle, which is much quieter than a router. Look for one that’s either water-cooled or comes with a separate electric fan (as opposed to a direct fan unit).

What Is The Quietest Generator?

Ok so there are a lot of quiet generators available on the market but for years we had a loud one at our hunting shack until one of my uncles had enough! He showed up one year with a Honda generator and let me tell you we were all sold after that. Inverter generators are very popular and quiet; this Honda EU3000 is no exception (check for the current price on Amazon)

Super Quiet Generator by Honda

Ok so maybe the is overkill for some or maybe you just can’t afford it. Honda’s Model EU1000i is a good entry-level inverter option. It still whispers quiet and sips gas sparingly just like the EU3000 or EU2200 for that matter. Check out current details and pricing on Amazon if you are in need of a VERY quiet generator.

How Can I Make My Generator Sound Quieter?

One of my pet peeves is loud generators. Soundproofing a generator will help make it much quieter. Everyone wants one but they are noisy and what can you do about it? 

Follow these 10 simple steps to build a soundproofing box you can place over your generator. The bottom will be open and you can vent it with some old 4” to 6” round duct you have laying around.

1.    Measure the generators’ width and depth and add 2 inches to each side (to allow space for the insulation and the vent).

2.     Mark these measurements down on paper and keep them handy.

3.    Using some old plywood of medium density fibreboard (the thicker the better) cut the wood using a table or circular saw according to the measurements you’ve taken.

4.     Measure the ventilation duct and mark it out on the fiberboard.

5.     Cut the wood in a circular fashion to create a ventilation hole. Use your Jigsaw for this.

6.    Cut insulation material (such as fiberglass or mass loaded vinyl) to the same measurements as the fiberboard.

7.    Glue the insulation directly to the wood. Or tap it on with a hammer style staple gun whichever you prefer. Make sure to allow room to put the box together. If you are using ⅝” plywood, then keep ⅝” away from all edges and so on.

8.    Use green glue to secure the edges together and then add a styrofoam board layer to the ‘walls’ and ‘top’. This provides for even better soundproofing!

9.    Assemble the box by attaching the ‘walls’ around the ‘top’ using nails or screws.

10.  Add a ventilating duct to the box (to prevent the unit from overheating) by placing the hose into the hole created back in step 3 and then secure it in place.

Just remember, this doesn’t have to be pretty and these instructions are for a novice craftsman because, if you were an experienced woodworker, I could just say go build a box to place over the generator and that would be it! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I will help you where I can.

Let’s carry on. Reducing the vibration coming from the generator when it’s turned on will also help lessen the noise. Simply place it on a set of rubber legs like those used for stopping furniture from slipping. This can be used as an alternative or in addition to soundproofing your work area or shop.

Conclusion

To conclude, the best ‘quiet’ power tools are those that reduce potential damage to your eardrums using lower sound decibels than other models. As well, they’re ‘quiet’ nature means they’re less distracting to co-workers and/or less disturbing to neighbors. So-called quiet drills, saws, and routers are often just as effective as traditional tools and won’t break the bank!

There are many things you can do to lessen the noise caused by power tools. Soundproofing a work area or shop, wearing noise-reducing headphones or earplugs and purchasing tools specifically designed to be ‘quiet’ are just a few examples. Making sure your tools are both functioning properly and in good working conditions is also an important part of keeping them as quiet as possible.

It’s just like when you have an older vehicle and stop taking care of it, it starts to get louder. Always follow the recommended steps in caring for your power tools and they will run smoother and ‘quieter’.

Good luck, now let’s get to work!   

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ABOUT GizmoPlans

Hey, this is Brian and Gene Luoma. Since the two of us have pretty much been self-employed our entire lives, we have a lot of experience designing and creating all sorts of DIY projects for businesses and homes—projects that have helped us make money or save money through the years!

Gizmoplans is our way to share our culmination of years of experience, along with our catalog of projects—both new and old—that we hope will help you, too. If you’re interested in saving or making money, browse on through. We hope you find something here that inspires and helps you to DIY!

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