Hearing Protection, suggested or required?

I know that is a silly title. As many of us have worked with louder machines we likely have hearing protection laying around. I am wondering if the lovely people at Glowforge (@dan) have done any studies to determine the db that the Glowforge units are throwing off and what the “Official” recommendations are regarding hearing protection.

My Forge is a family affair and I want to make sure everyone is properly protected. I want to instill in my kids that work produces results and that we if employ our mental muscle we can build/make most anything. And honestly it isn’t always the end result, but what we learn along the route of creating that has the most value.

with my PRU I would have said it was loud enough to worry about children with long term exposure. With my forever forge, it’s way quieter, so while I wouldn’t stick my head into it (well honestly for multiple reasons) it’s not so loud in the room that I would worry.


One of the community here took some measurements. Here is the thread.


OK, just tested. It was 72.1dbA at 3’ (1m for the metrically inclined)


Just checked my Basic in the middle of a 2-hour engraving run: 73.1 dB(A) at ~1m.

That being said, I use hearing protection during long jobs. My shop is ~3 x 4 m with hard walls and ceiling, so the echoing drone of the GF seems pretty loud. By the same token, I also wear hearing protection when vacuuming the house, working with most power tools, etc.


For what it’s worth, OSHA hearing protection (while not completely straight-forward) is based on 85dB being the action level. Exposure limits use time weighted averages, but they aren’t applicable here because the Glowforge falls well below the threshold.

Just did a quick cutting job…75 to 80 dB up to a foot away. 73 and lower a meter away.
The higher values came up when the cutting head came closest to the front.

If you do a search in this forum for topics related to sound damping and noise, you’ll find quite a few hacks to quieten your Forgen. :slight_smile:

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