Most powered garden tools are inherently noisy.  This article takes a look at Garden Tools – Decibels levels. The aim is to try to give you a basis for understanding just how intrusive and noisy different garden machinery can be.


Noise levels are measued in decibels.  An explanation of the decibel scale is beyond this article. Take a look at this site on soundproofing for an explanation. It gets complicated very quickly.  For our purposes all we need to know is that zero DB represents the quietest sound that can be heard by the human ear.  It is a logarithmic scale with perceived volume doubling (or halving) with a change of 10dB.

The Health and Safety Executive define workplace sound levels above 85dB as potentially damaging to hearing.

The Noise Levels from the Garden Tools and Garden Shredders feature highly in all of our reviews. High speed rotating equipement is inherently noisy.  However, in our view, manufacturers must do more to reduce the level of noise produced by most electrical tools.


Comparing Garden Tool Noise Levels

In the table below we provide a standard sort of Decibel table with examples of common noisy events.

Where we have the information – many manufacturers don’t provide decibel levels for their equipment – we have added that into the appropriate place on the table.

NoiseAverage decibels (dB)NotesGarden Shredder Review
Leaves rustling, soft music, whisper30Normal, background sounds
Average home noise, refrigerator hum40
Normal conversation, background music60
Office noise, inside car at 60 mph70More noticeable sound.
Vacuum cleaner, washing machine75
Heavy traffic, noisy pub, power lawn mower80-85Bosch AXT 25TC, Turbine Cut Shredder
Hand held hair dryer85-90Very noticeable sounds. Hearing protection is mandatory for people employed within areas with level of soundBosch AXT 25D Quiet Shredder
TackLIfe PWS01A
Forest Master 6HP
Petrol lawn mower90–95
GoKart, motorcycle96–100
Sporting events, premier league football crowd101–105Potentially Dangerous. Hearing loss can occur with relatively short exposureVanHaus 3-in-1 Leaf Mulcher – estimated
TackLife PWS02 rapid
Chainsaw, leaf blower106–115Bosch AXT 2200 Rapid
Einhell GH-KS Rapid
Dirty Pro Tools 2500W rapid
Timberwolf 1375G Petrol Shredder – 111dB
Zipper ZI-HAEK4100 – 115dB
Rock concert, sound next to fire alarms120–129
Gun shot, loud fireworks140

Should you use Ear Protection

Unless you are a gardener whose work environment includes power tools, there is no compunction to use ear protection.

For our money, we think that ear defenders are not needed for the quieter range of shredders.  The exception is if you are going to be using the machine for long periods.

If you plan on using impact shredders or leaf blowers you would be well advised to use decent ear protection.

Ear defenders are not designed to cut out all noise.  The aim is to reduce the sound level reaching your ears to about 80dB. 

Ear defenders may be required depending on garden tools - decibels levl

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