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    Hearing Safety

    Ear damage is cumulative, meaning that once it happens, ears don’t recover, and hearing loss just increases over the years. The good news is that hearing protection is inexpensive and convenient, so you have no excuse for not wearing it.

    Just about every power tool, other than the bandsaw and drill press, is loud enough to damage your ears, including some shop vacuums. Most people can tell when something is dangerously loud, but what a lot of woodworkers don’t know is that short, sharp noises, like the bang of a nail gun, are damaging, too.

    Loud bangs are just as damaging as a continuous roar, so protect yourself from those too. Photo: David Heim

    So whenever you need to use a loud tool, just throw on a pair of earmuff-style hearing protectors. There are other types, but earmuffs are the least expensive, the most effective, and the most comfortable to wear.