Best Ear Protection For Leaf Blower
Recommended plugs for leaf blower
In case you do not want to read the whole article – Results
Below are my recommendations for hearing protection while leaf blowing. Which are in these categories
- Standard Budget Ear Muffs
- Standard High-end Ear Muffs
- Pair with Bluetooth and microphone for listening to music and taking calls.
- Pair which reduces loud noises, but still allows you to hear and talk
How do you measure the efficiency ear plugs for leaf blowers?
Ear protection is measured with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) Number. This number is the number of decibels that the device blocks. So if you have a leaf blower that is 100dB and your muffs have an NNR rating of 30. The noise you will hear is 100dB – 30 = 70dB.
You should always go for the higher NNR rated ear protection.
ear muffs for leaf blowers, are they needed?
When to start to run a leaf blower the noise can be deafening, quite literally deafening! If you use a leaf blower to clear your yard, or worse if you use a leaf blower as part of your job, then ear protection is a must. There are different types of blower, but even the “quiet” leaf blowers require that you use the best ear protection.
You may believe, like a lot of people that hearing doesn’t really get that hurt by loud noises. The damage that ears receive may be tiny each time it occurs, but is accumulative and cannot be repaired. That’s why a lot of middle-aged people have hearing problems. (Me included)
Working with noisy machinery regularly is even worse. It is estimated that over $240 million is spent annually on compensation for hearing loss. (2017 – U.S. Department of Labor)
So if you are going to be running one of leaf blowers, even for a short period of time, you need ear protection. They are not expensive and can be used for other noisy tasks (Mowing, Wife nagging, etc.)
Types Of leaf blower
There are a few different types of leaf blower available. These fall into three main categories. These are listed below in order of noise volume (from loud to very loud)
- Electric Handheld leaf blowers (battery, Corded)
- Gas-powered backpack blowers
- Gas-powered wheeled, walk-behind blowers.
Compare Electric And Gas Leaf Blower
best ear plugs for leaf blower
How loud is a leaf blower?
The volume of a blower depends on two things
- Type Of blower
- Power Of blower
A rough estimate for the three types of leaf blower are given below, but the figure is going to vary by manufacturer and the power rating:
- Handheld blower 80dB
- Backpack blower 100dB
- Walk-behind blower 100+db
These figures are for the noise at the operator’s ear. From about 50 yards away for the blower, the sound reaches 65 to 80 decibels. So if there are other people within this distance (kids, co-workers), they may also require hearing protection.
OSHA states that hearing protection is legally required for noises over 85 dB
Top Pick – 3M WorkTunes with Bluetooth technology
- Noise Reduction Rating 24 NNR 24 to help protect your hearing
- Integrated Microphone Make and take phone calls without having to remove the headset.
- Hi-Fi Sound 40 mm high-fidelity speakers for premium sound quality.
- Bluetooth Technology stream music from mobile phones or other Bluetooth devices.
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What is the quietest leaf blower?
Over the last decade or so, due to demand (mostly from the neighbors!), manufacturers have started to produce “quiet” leaf blowers. These are quieter than there noisy brothers – but quiet is subjective. You are not going to start one of these, and then wonder if it is actually on – They still make a lot of noise, but less noise than the others.
The quietest leaf blower at the moment is about 65dB in volume – Which is about the same volume as a vacuum cleaner. I will not link to it here as the reviews are not good, as a few people dislike its lack of power
Electric handheld leaf blowers are quieter, but hearing damage is cumulative, so protection is still a good idea. Consumer Reports recommends looking for ear protection with an NRR, noise reduction rating, between 20 to 30. The higher the number, the better.
People near the blower, and neighbors.
When looking for a leaf blower, or deciding when you are going to use it, you will need to keep in mind who will be able to hear you, and how far away they will be from your property. You may have your new ear muffs for a leaf blower, but your neighbors will not. A leaf blower at 6:30 am on a Sunday if the fastest way to start a feud with your neighborhood!
When being used in a residential area, you will need to get a quieter model, or only use it in the middle of the day. You don’t want your neighbors upset every time you are blowing the leaves from your lawn or cleaning the gutters.
Starting a gas leaf blower is going to wake everyone in your house without a doubt, and probably most of your neighbors as well.
In most of the cities in the United States, there are no laws as to how loud your leaf blower can be, until certain times – the quiet hours. “A typical ordinance prohibits loud noises between 11 p.m. and 7 or 8 a.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. or midnight until 8 to 10 a.m. on Sundays and holidays.”
This varies by city and state, so check before you start your blower early in the mornings!