Whether you live in an apartment, don’t want to disturb other people living with you, or you simply have a really annoying neighbor, learning how to hammer quietly is a must.
Hammering is incredibly noisy, so it’s only natural to make sure it doesn’t disturb those around you when you do it. Especially if you have to do it during the night when it can disturb the sleep of other people trying to rest.
Not only that, but another time-based consideration is the fact that more often than not, the only time that you can work on hammering is during the weekends and/or in the evenings when people are generally looking to unwind and relax.
And no one wants to be _that obnoxious neighbor _going “BANG BANG BANG” when all you want to do is sleep and rest.
But… hammering is so loud! Is it actually possible to hammer quietly?
And here are 9 tips to do it…
1. USE A SOFT-FACED HAMMER
The first method is to, well… just get a quieter hammer!
Soft-faced hammers are a type of hammer that generally have faces made with plastic, rubber, or certain soft metals like copper or aluminum.
The materials used for soft-faced hammers reduce the impact on nails, reducing the noise they make. They even help reduce the impact on the user’s arm and hand!
Soft-faced hammers also have the advantage of being less prone to damaging the surface you’re working on, especially if the surface is a fragile one. Due to their lower impact, soft-faced hammers are also great at work requiring more precision and finesse.
These hammers are obviously not completely noiseless, but they’re a step forward in reducing noise, so make sure that you combine a soft-faced hammer with some of the following methods to maximize the sound reduction of your hammering!
2. GET A RUBBER BENCH BLOCK
Although commonly used for other handiwork tasks such as metalsmithing and silversmithing, a rubber bench block can be a great friend in your hammering activities too.
With its high-density and thick properties, rubber is a great material to reduce vibrations and noise. All you have to do is place the rubber bench block between your target (generally a nail head) and your hammer and voilá.
It can even be used when hammering a wall.
And speaking of rubber, make sure to…
3. USE A RUBBER MAT
By putting a rubber mat under your workbench or another surface you’re working on, you further reduce the amount of noise generated, since the mat will help absorb more of the vibrations created from hammering the platform.
This is a particularly effective way of reducing sound going to downstairs neighbors in case you have them.
An added side-bonus of rubber mats can be security. High-quality rubber mats are great at preventing slipping, meaning less chance of an accident when you’re wielding a potentially dangerous tool.
Just make sure that they fully fit the platform you’re working on. Buying a rubber mat only to later find out that they don’t fully cover your platform is a nightmare!
4. USE OLD CLOTHES & CLOTH
Couldn’t find a rubber bench block? This is your do-it-yourself solution!
Old clothes, towels, and other tools can be used to dampen sound in the same way that a rubber bench block does, albeit less effectively.
Old socks can be particularly useful and can be put over nail heads when hammering a wall.
And, of course, keep in mind that the thicker the material the better the sound reduction will be.
5. APPLY LESS FORCE
An obvious, but still useful tip, is to try and apply less force when hammering.
Yes, it may take longer than just letting yourself go as fast and furious as possible, but taking a more deliberate, controlled approach can help you reduce the noise created.
Going in a slower, steadier pace can also reduce the number of times you hit the target, meaning overall fewer hits you need to, which leads to overall less noise made.
LESS FORCE = LESS NOISE, it’s that simple.
An alternative method of applying less force is to use pressure instead of impact. Sometimes, the job can be done by pressing the object instead of actually hammering it.
And since we’re talking about alternative methods, screws can be a more silent alternative to nails. And depending on the job being done and materials being utilized, you might not need to drill the screw in.
A hybrid screw-nail approach can also work, by using a mix of both instead of just one or the other, such as just nailing a few crucial points and using screws for the rest.
6. SOUNDPROOF THE ROOM
Fully soundproofing your room can be a higher investment task, both in terms of time and money needed, but it can yield great dividends, by permanently reducing the sound coming out of your workroom.
Firstly, you want soft materials on your walls to absorb sound. Thick blankets, blankets, and quilts can help absorb a lot of noise. Just about any soft material does the trick, but the thicker, the better.
Covering gaps, like holes in the wall or gaps in the windows are particularly important places to fill.
You can also add a professional feel to the room by adding soundproof panels on the walls and/or ceilings. Soundproof panels are generally made with the best possible materials for reducing sound, like soft foam rubber and mineral wool.
Soundproof panels can also help with echo issues.
Soundproof blankets can also be a useful addition to soundproofing your room.
By fully soundproofing your room, you can make all the noise you want in the world, and have no one else outside be annoyed or disturbed by it!
7. WRAP THE HAMMER
Leather, cloth, suede, or any other good sound-dampening material can be used here. Just wrap and tie the material around your hammer’s head and you get a little less noise on each hit.
Although one of the less effective steps in this list, this can still help muffle the sound you’re making.
If available, you might also be able to use the rubber cap of chair legs and wrap it around the hammer’s head, turning it into a do-it-yourself rubber mallet.
Another fun mallet improvisation is to use a kitchen sponge, get it full of water, then remove as much water as possible, then wrap it around the hammer’s head and tie it with a rubber band or similar material.
8. REDUCE FALL & ROLLING NOISES
Depending on the nature of your work, you might have materials hit the ground as you work on them, making your work even louder.
It’s even worse if they start rolling all around.
Although this won’t reduce the noise of hammering itself, it will reduce the overall noise made during your work.
One way to circumvent this is to get a different workbench or platform, one whose design doesn’t let materials fall too far.
Another is to cushion the impact of materials, such as by placing the aforementioned rubber mat on the ground, to reduce the sound of falling and rolling materials and objects.
In some cases, you can also put pillows on the ground where the materials fall, to cushion their impact.
9. USE THE BEST SPACE POSSIBLE FOR HAMMERING
The smaller and more compact the room, the more echo it produces, intensifying the noises you make. Because of that, you should move to a room or space that is larger.
However, that’s not always a possibility, you can’t just create a larger room in your house out of thin air. And when you can’t move to a larger area, another important consideration is _where _you’re working within your room.
Are you working in the corner or are you working closer to the middle of the room?
This might seem like an irrelevant detail, but it makes a significant difference since corners tend to be more echo-y areas. As such, you should try to work closer to the middle of the room when possible and avoid corners.
Not everyone has access to a good, isolated, or silent workspace for hammering (and other noisy handiwork activities) that won’t disturb anyone.
And not everyone can work on such loud activities during times of the day when they’re more acceptable and tolerable.
When that’s the case, a wide variety of solutions can be applied, from more professional ones like soundproofing the room, to more improvised, do-it-yourself ones like using old clothes and towels to muffle noise.
It is also important to remember that applying just a single one of these tips might not necessarily solve the issue. But using many of them at once can severely, or even completely, deal with the noise problem and ensure that others won’t be disturbed by your work.
And with all of that said, hopefully, this article has helped you learn how to hammer quietly and not have to annoy your neighbors!