How Can I Make My Drill Quieter?

Drills are mechanical types of equipment. They are specially designed for making holes and driving in fasteners such as nails. Older versions of drills are usually designed to be handheld. Nowadays, we now have drills that are battery-powered and wireless.

Drills make noise and sometimes the noise can be annoying. The level of noise a drill makes depends on the type of drill, method of production, and the quality of the drill. This article intends to explain how a drill can be made quieter for you to enjoy your drilling sessions.

Why are drilling noises annoying?

Drills noises when it does what it was designed to do. The noises made by the machine can be annoying. This sound can be heard far away from the drilling site, disturbing both the person drilling and the neighbors.

Drills make use of rotational energy to make holes on any given surface. The rotational energy gets converted into sound and heat energy, giving rise to unwanted noise. The level of noise a drill makes also depends on the material being drilled. The noise made by a drill while working on wood is different from that which it will make by drilling metals or stone. Of course, drilling woods off lesser noise when compared to metals or stones.

It should be noted also that the closer you are to the source of drill noise, the higher the level of noise and the more the annoyance.

How do you make a drill quieter?

A high level of noise is bad for the health of humans. Noise from drills can range from 78 decibels to upwards of 100 decibels. A regular cordless hand drill produces 78 dB (A) whereas a normal hand drill can make up to 90 to 94 dB (A). Professional hammer drills are the loudest, producing more than 100 dB (A) in operation.

Most drill operators make use of ear protection to prevent damage to their eardrums. The noise levels are not only annoying for the drill operators, but it also affects neighbors around the drilling site. Hence the need for a way to bring down noise levels of drills.

Knowing the dangers associated with drill noise, how then can we make drills quieter? The answer can be found below.

  1. Invest in a quiet drill

There are specially designed drills that are much quieter when compared to others. Cordless drills are generally quieter than other drills. Examples of noisy drills are; corded drill, hand drill, brace drill, hammer drill, and drill press.

To achieve a quiet drilling experience, efforts must be made to purchase quiet drills that ensure the job is done satisfactorily. Cordless drill machine price ranges from $40 to $300. The higher the price the more functionality it has.

Although, some surfaces require heavier machines such as the hammer drill to drill them successfully. In such a case other alternative methods should be explored to achieve a quieter drill.

2. Get a brand new sharp drill bit set

Drill bits are cutting tools usually attached to a manually operated drilling machine. Drill bits are made to drill holes in varieties of materials such as metals, plastic, wood, porcelain, concrete and ceramic tiles. There are different types of drill bits which are categorized into two namely:

a. Rolling cutter bits, and

b. Fixed cutter bits.

Depending on the material being drilled, some drill bits can get worn faster than others. Worn-out drill bits have been proven to contribute to increased drill noise. Therefore, getting a brand new sharp drill bit set will go a long way in making your drill quieter.

3. Proper maintenance of tool gear

Some drills make unbearable levels of noise when they are not well maintained. Parts of the drill might be worn out and need a change thereby making the machine use more energy to perform its function. This leads to an increased level of noise.

Maintenance checks such as the following should be regularly carried out;

a. Regular checks of worn-out bushings and brushes.

b. Checks for worn-out gearbox should be routine.

c. Regularly check for sparks in the motor which can arise from worn-out brushes. Brushes that are worn out should be changed immediately to prevent damage to the machine.

d. Once a part of the drill is discovered to be worn out, it’s advisable to have them changed immediately. This is not only to make the drill quieter, but it also helps to increase the durability of the drill.

A machine can last long and function optimally when necessary maintenance is regularly carried out on them. Maintain your drills if you want to keep the noise level low.

4. Change in drilling technique

The drilling technique in use has a way of affecting drill noise. Some drilling techniques cause parts to wear faster thereby increasing the noise level of the drill. For example, the speed at which a drill is responsible for causing wear and tear. A slow cutting speed can result in the breakage of the drill. A very fast cutting speed can result in the dulling of the drill’s cutting lip.

If you intend to achieve a quieter drill, I will advise you to change your drilling technique today and enjoy a serene drilling environment.

How to block a drill noise

As earlier stated, some surfaces might require heavy drilling machines that generate high levels of noise. Different techniques help to protect drill operators and neighbors in such a situation. The following are methods that I recommend can be used to block drill noise;

  1. Buy noise-canceling headphones

I do recommend that as the operator of the drill, the first consideration should be for yourself. That’s the main reason why you should give noise-canceling headphones a try.

Noise-canceling headphones are specially designed with technology capable of detecting strange noise. The strange noise when detected is blocked from entering the ear. They do this through the use of in-build microphones capable of detecting this noise.

Although, the noise canceling headphones might not be able to block all the noise. It is just enough for you to enjoy your drilling experience.

2. Mask the drilling noise with white noise

White noise is audible frequencies with an equal amount of energy. This noise is capable of masking other noise occurring naturally in the environment.

White noise does not detect and block out drill noise. It works by producing sounds that cover all the frequencies audible to the human ear. It is highly recommended if the drilling noise becomes very annoying, as it will help in masking the high levels of noise.

3. Earplugs

The use of earplugs is another method for blocking out drill noise while operating a drill. The earplugs work by lowering the intensity of the drill noise to such a level bearable for the human ear.

I must say that the earplugs should be your last resort because of the side effects it has on the ear if used over a long period.

What if the drilling noise is coming from outside?

In this section, we discuss what should be done if you are living in an apartment near a drilling site. Drill noise not only affects the drill operators but also affects people around the area. You should still be able to enjoy a normal life even if a drill machine is working close to your apartment.

Below are some of the ways you can block out drilling noise coming from outside;

  1. Insulate your windows and doors

Insulation of windows and doors gives you the freedom and serenity you want. To achieve this you need to carry out any of the following;

a. Completely change your windows into a double-glazed window (this is a capital-intensive option)

b. Buy and stick plexiglass window sheets to existing window sheets in your house.

c. Construct a window or door plug for your windows and doors. When fitted it helps to drastically reduce the amount of noise entering your house.

2. Soundproof the whole room

This is a capital-intensive approach to reducing the level of drill noise that enters your room. To achieve a soundproofed room, you can do the following;

i. Add a double wall or dropped ceiling to your room (this is for the super-rich).

ii. Install varying shapes of Styrofoam on your walls. This will serve as diffusers.

iii. Prop up large bookcases against the wall. These bookcases will work as sound insulators.

iv. Block any crevices in the rooms where sounds can enter through. Holes as simple as the space between your door and the floor should be blocked using door sweeps.

Pro Tip: Have a conversation with your neighbor

The high levels of noise emanating from the use of drills do not affect the drill operators alone. It also affects neighbors around the drilling site. There is a need for constant communication with your neighbors to hear their concerns.

Together you can decide on the best way to block out or reduce the noise level. For example, you and the neighbors can agree on the period of work which will coincide with when they won’t be at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cordless drills quieter than corded drills?

The answer is an emphatic yes. This is because the motor of a cordless drill spins slowly, exerting minimal pressure on the gearbox. Corded drills are very powerful. They are fitted with fast a moving motor that exerts immense pressure on the gearbox, producing high noise levels.

Can you replace your impact drill with a pneumatic hammer?

Yes. This is because a pneumatic hammer drill will drive fasteners and drive in a screw faster than an impact drill. Although, impact drills are lightweight and can be used to perform different functions.


I hope that this article has helped you in identifying ways to make your drill quieter. High noise levels are injurious to human health and most of the time irritating. Since drilling is a task that requires a short period, less expensive methods should be adopted in making the drill quieter.

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