Is a Scroll Saw Loud? The Answer Might Surprise You!

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A scroll saw is a power tool that cuts wood, plastic, and metal. It operates by using a thin blade to cut detailed shapes out of the workpiece. These saws are a great addition to a workshop if the person likes to create small crafts that require patient, time-consuming, detailed cuts.

Many projects on the scroll saw require lots of time to complete which means you’ll be standing or sitting in front of the saw for extended periods of time. It’s important to make sure you do not damage your hearing in the process. How loud is a scroll saw?

Scroll saws are not as loud as other power tools such as table saws, circular saws, or belt sanders but they are still loud enough to cause hearing damage in certain situations. It’s always a good idea to wear hearing protection if you intend to use them for prolonged periods of time.

Scroll saw with earmuffs and earplugs nearby

To protect your hearing when using a scroll saw, you should always follow standard safety procedures as you would with any saw. Just because it isn’t as loud, doesn’t mean your hearing can’t be damaged when using it. I have worked for hours in front of my scroll saw and the noise level can get a bit much after a while of using it depending on the type of material you are cutting.

Most noise created by a scroll saw comes from sawing through the material itself rather than the sound of the machine running. I have tested my scroll saw noise level at various levels and cutting jobs and the results can be found below.

How Loud is a Scroll Saw?

The noise level of a scroll saw will vary depending on the model and brand you are using. Some scroll saws are louder than others and, in my experience, the cheaper scroll saws are going to produce a little more noise than a more premium model.

I have owned multiple scroll saws over the years and some have been lesser quality models that have had loud motors in them and vibrated more than some of the premium models that I have had.

My current scroll saw, the DeWalt DW788, is the best one that I have ever owned. This saw is among the quietest scroll saws that I have had the pleasure of owning and using. It’s a solid all-around model that is worth the premium price, in my opinion.

I have tested the noise level on my DeWalt scroll saw and the table listed below reveals the results at various levels and types of uses so that you can see firsthand just what you’ll experience with a scroll saw like this.

NOTE: All of these measurements were taken using the Decibel X app on my iPhone. I took these decibel measurements while sawing through a three-quarter-inch piece of select pine wood. My phone was placed at a distance of where my ears would generally be while using the saw.

Scroll Saw SpeedDecibels
Low63 Decibels
Medium71 Decibels
High77 Decibels

The DeWalt DW788 measures in at around 55 Decibels on its own when running on a medium setting.

Decibel meter measuring scroll saw noise

According to the CDC, anything above 70 decibels can cause hearing damage if exposed to it for prolonged amounts of time.

Scroll Saw Noise & Safety Concerns to Consider

While scroll saws are not typically high noise-producing, they still offer noise that you will want to protect yourself from. The main issue with a scroll saw is that it is used for longer periods of time than most other saws are. Not only that, but you are standing or sitting right in front of it for hours on end depending on the type of project you are working on.

It’s important to remember your ears and take care of them along the way. Your future self will be glad that you took precautions and saved your hearing in the process.

Scroll Saws and Hearing Protection: Why You Should Wear It and What You Need

Any type of saw should be used with caution, as the noise can be harmful to your hearing and others around you. A good set of earplugs can reduce the noise and keep you safe while working on your project.

The following list is some good items that can be used to reduce the noise as you are sawing items on your scroll saw.

1. Earplugs

Simple foam earplugs will give you the best protection for your ears at a minimal price. These can they purchased anywhere and do a great job of blocking out the noise. They are easy to put in your ears when needed and back in your pocket when you don’t.

I would suggest using earplugs that have a string attached to them so they can simply hang on your shoulders when not in use. There are many different types of earplugs and they are easy to find at any department store near you or of course any online retailer has them ready to ship at any given time.

2. Earmuffs

Earmuffs provide a simple way to give your ears some protection and are less of a hassle to deal with than earplugs. These types of earmuffs can hang in your workshop in a designated area and you can place them over your head when ready to use. Simply remove them and put them back into their designated spot when you are finished.

This is simple but I have found that even the best earmuffs do not block out as much noise as a cheap pair of foam earplugs. Nevertheless, earmuffs are plenty good for a scroll saw as the noise of a scroll saw is going to be minimal from what you will experience with other loud power equipment.

3. Noise-canceling headphones

My preferred choice of ear protection when I’m using my scroll saw is a pair of Bose QuietComfort noise-canceling earbuds. These block out more noise than my earmuffs and also allow me to get lost in my music, a podcast, or a good book. Of course, you will need to be careful when using these as they can make your mind wander and take your focus off of the job at hand.

They may cause you to become negligent in your work and could potentially lead to injury if not careful.

I nearly always use these when I am using my scroll saw with music that is not so loud that I can’t still slightly hear the saw churning in the background. My noise-canceling headphones I see a lot of usage in lots of different areas of my home life. Whether I am in the workshop or on my lawnmower, they do a great job of blocking noise so that I can protect my hearing.


A scroll saw is one of the quieter types of power equipment that you will likely have in your workshop. It does not operate in the same way as other types of equipment and can often be made less noisy or noisier depending on the speed level that you choose along with the type of material that you are cutting.

If your scroll saw is on a high-speed setting cutting through a thick piece of wood, you will experience a louder result than you would on a lower setting while cutting through a thinner piece of wood. Either way, it’s best to use some type of hearing protection anytime you choose to work with a scroll saw or any other type of power saw.