Hearing protection while forging ingots


I am forging ingots today and thought i would mention the topic of hearing protection…

I am wearing a pair of hearing protection muffs that are usually used on a gun range…

i cannot say which type is the best rated for forging silver ingots on an anvil, but i thought i would take a pic to show what i use…

they seem to muffle the high pitched ringing, while still allowing me to hear conversations…

i need to research this topic more in depth…i am sure there are standards of protection fir different categories of sound, etc

if anyone knows of the best hearing protection for forging ingots i would appreciate learning about it.


ok, after a quick search…

interesting rabbit hole…


forging on my anvil appears to be at 85-105 decibels

my Howard Leight L1 ear muff are noise reduction rating 25

so…noice red rating of 25-7= 18 (not sure where the 7 comes from…)

(used an online decibel meter)
anvil max decibel of 105…so 105-18= 87 decibels
anvil min decibel of 85…so 85-18= 67 decibels

based on this quick analysis i am just outside the OSHA decibel guideline of 85 decibels…on the high end…

i should get an ear muff with a higher noise reduction rating

i will peruse the Howard leight website!

the L3 has a noise reduction of 30…

30-7= 23
105-23=82 decibels on the high end…


If you want to keep it simple and you already have muffs, then buy a pair of foam ear plugs (they’re inexpensive) and double up. Wear muffs and plugs. This was required in a few areas of the mining operations I was doing OH&S.


We go shooting every week, and I wear these: Howard Leight by Honeywell Impact Pro Sound Amplification Electronic Earmuff (R-01902) that I bought on Amazon about 6 years ago. Highest rated I could find. I have severe hearing loss, wear hearing aids and try to protect what I still have left. You could also double up - wear ear plugs under your muffs, but I find that uncomfortable.

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I’ll second the idea of doubling with ear plugs. I use MSR Sordin shooting muffs for shooting, blacksmithing, repousse and museum blacksmith demos. The better (newer) electronic muffs attenuate the loud frequencies and still allow you to hear conversations. If you use ear plugs, just boost the volume to still hear ambient sounds.
One important factor: the ear muffs must seal to your head. Fat safety glasses can degrade that. I use wire frames; others use elastic strap types that go over rather than under the ear cups.
And if you are shopping, you might consider an input jack or Bluetooth capability.

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I’ve got to try this magnet trick! I wonder if the size of magnet matters?

I think it is relative mass proportions. I’ve got a 4"x4" welding angle magnet on a 400 pound anvil. Seems to work. A fridge magnet probably wouldn’t. I’ve seen an inner tube full of sand wrapped around an anvil base: very quiet. I use some very small O-rings as mufflers on my mantle clock chimes.