There are many emergency situations where breaking glass can help. Let’s say that you’ve lost the keys to your house and have no way of entering. Smashing the window loudly could alarm your neighbors or a random passerby who doesn’t know the full story. This could lead to them calling the police, which can lead to a very annoying situation.
First cover the glass with duct tape. It will minimize the amount of broken shards and noise caused by them hitting the ground. When hitting the glass with a hammer, place a thick pillow in between. Instead of hitting with full force, gently tap on the pillow instead. Place a think blanket under the glass to catch any broken shards. A heavy duty steel center punch can also be used. This tool has a smaller surface of impact, making it even quieter.
Here are the best sneaky tips in more detail:
1. Use duct tape
Cover the glass with duct tape on one side or both sides if possible. No glass should be visible when you’re done. This way you can keep all of the broken shards in place which will prevent them from making noise.
The duct tape also provides a softer surface which will minimize the impact noise of the hammer or any other tool you use.
2. Place thick blankets below the glass
The reason for placing thick blankets directly below the glass is so that the shards don’t make any noise when they fall. Place several layers to make sure. If you can actually carry the piece of glass, set it on a pile of blankets.
3. Get a thick pillow and a hammer
Place a thick pillow or a similar object on the glass. Then tap it gently with a hammer until it breaks. The duct tape is there to hold the pieces together so that they don’t fall and make any noise. If some pieces fall, there are soft blankets below which will absorb any remaining sound.
Method 2: Use the ceramic part of a spark plug
For some odd reason, the ceramic portion of a spark plug can break glass pretty quietly. That’s usually the white, non-metal part.
Small ceramic (carbide) balls are also used sometimes to break defective glass for recycling. They also produce very little noise when compared with other methods.
Method 3: Use an automatic steel center punch
A steel center punch can also be used to quickly and quietly break glass. That’s because it has a very small surface of impact, so the sound is limited to this small portion of the glass surface.
In comparison, hitting a glass sheet with a hammer will obviously resonate against a larger surface and make more noise.
A heavy duty steel center punch like this one from General Tools can be effectively used to break a car window in an emergency situation.
Other things to consider:
Safety glass is often made from two layers of glass and a layer of plastic in-between. The plastic is there to keep the shards in place in case of a break-in or an accident.
Breaking this type of glass is somewhat quieter because there will be no shards falling all around. So if you don’t have any duct tape, blankets or pillows available, but you can choose to break either a regular glass sheet or double-layer glass, breaking double-layer might be quieter thanks to the shards staying in place.
However, which one is quieter can also depend on the type of tool that you’re using. If you’re using a hammer for example, you’d need to hit double-layer glass more times than a regular sheet, which would result in more noise overall. So with larger tools that make a lot of noise but don’t necessarily break the glass fast, you’re better off breaking regular glass since it will go faster.
But if you’re using a small, yet very penetrable tool like an automatic steel center punch than you will be quieter either way and due to less falling pieces smashing double-layer sheets would be quieter. Hope this helps!