Chainsaws and Podcasts

George Peterson, writing from North Carolina:

I thought you might like to hear this:  I am an artist who works with wood and I listen to a lot of podcasts and music during the work day. I was listening to the “Upside of Quitting” episode and at the beginning you say something about how perfect radio is for multitasking except maybe when  you are running a chainsaw, and then there is a little chainsaw sound effect.

Well, I was running a chainsaw at that moment and thought it was funny because I listen to podcasts all the time while using a chainsaw. I made up some custom headphones out of those noise-reduction earmuffs.  They keep out the noise and channel in the news and music.    

So, thanks for keeping me company while I work!  

His studio is called Circle Factory. Here is what George looks like when he is working:


Years ago I purchased earbud headphones with the same kind of foam used in earplugs. They adjust to the size/shape of the ear canal and do a fantastic job of blocking out other sound. I created a rig using plastic tubing and split rings to hold both an iPod and the headphones themselves that I can wear around my neck. So when I'm working outside with power tools - including my chainsaw - I can have music, podcasts, etc., *and* block out the noise of 2-stroke engines.


The problem, though, is that you are probably not blocking the chainsaw noise, just replacing it, with the same potential for long-term hearing loss.

Personally, I prefer using an electric chainsaw for anything within reasonable reach of an extension cord. No messing with 2-cycle gas, no frustrating pull-starting... and the one I have cuts better than a medium-sized gas saw, too.

Alan Aker

I'm a chainsaw listener too. Chainsaws are great. My company makes hand-peeled and custom-milled products we sell mostly on the web at Everything you do with it has lasting effect. I'm also a county commissioner and former state senator, and you're wrong about your claim that voting is a waste of time in an economic sense. Just as voting with your dollar when you shop sends price signals, voting with your ballot in a campaign sends signals, even if your vote didn't make the difference between a win and a loss. Candidates who win narrowly are more cautious about legislating in ways counter to their constituents' wishes. Donors to campaigns pay attention to how close candidates came to winning in deciding whether to support them again. Would-be challengers pay attention to how close the incumbent's last election was. All these signals exist at the margin, as well as at the win-loss point.

Wood is good. Real is better.



call me naive, but i thought the distraction was mental, not hearing related- ie if u lose a couple of toes listening on headphones while chainsawing, one might wonder if it's optimal


If you want good noise reduction. get custom fit earbuds (like musicians use) then use the hearing protection muff "headphones". Then, fire up the chainsaw and enjoy your music or radio show as you thrash away.