Hearing protectors are as essential to a safe, well-equipped shop as good lighting, safety glasses, and a dust collector. After all, the noise made by shop machines will damage your hearing. Yet in a recent poll on this Web site, 1 in 10 woodworkers said they usually don’t wear hearing protection. There are hundreds of varieties of hearing protectors on the market, ranging from disposable foam plugs that cost about a dollar a pair up to electronics-laden earmuffs that sell for close to $200. What’s best? Fine Woodworking editors conducted an informal test of a variety of types, and generally preferred muffs to plugs. But experts say the most effective hearing protectors are the ones that are comfortable and easy to use–the ones you’ll actually wear. From Fine Woodworking #189
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