Jan 26, 2022 | News

Commercial Diving Tools: Part One


Written by PDTC

You’re interested in becoming a commercial diver. You’ve already read up on the basic equipment you’ll be using like helmets, wetsuits, gloves, and boots, but what about the bigger, heavier equipment like power tools? It might surprise you to learn that there are underwater versions for many of the power tools you might already be familiar with. Commercial divers perform a wide range of functions in their many differing career paths and so utilize a wide range of tools along the way. Join us in part one of our Commercial Diving Tools Series where we’ll introduce you to the drills, wrenches, grinders, and even chain saws that commercial divers rely on every day. Let’s dive in!

The Three Types Of Power Sources

Much like standard tools have different types of power sources (hand, pneumatic, corded, and battery), underwater tools have their own types of power variations. Hydraulics tools rely on fluid power, are bulky and the most powerful, Pneumatic tools use gas, like compressed air, to operate and tend to be less powerful, and with recent advances in technology, you can now in some cases choose battery-powered equipment which is lightweight and convenient but also the least powerful of the three options.  

The Three Types Of Power Sources

Much like standard tools have different types of power sources (hand, pneumatic, corded, and battery), underwater tools have their own types of power variations.

Hydraulic Tools: Rely on fluid power, are bulky and the most powerful.

Pneumatic Tools: Use gases like compressed air, to operate and tend to be less powerful.

Battery Powered Tools : With recent advances in technology, you can now in some cases choose which is lightweight and convenient but also the least powerful of the three options.  

Underwater Impact Drivers

Just like their above water analogs, these tools are a staple on the job site. Underwater impact drivers use the rotational force of standard drills and add bursts of impacts like a hammer drill to install or remove any shank-styled fasteners in underwater environments. These tools are used across the board but can be more frequently seen in salvage, repair, and offshore commercial diving.

Hydraulic Impact Driver

The Stanley ID07 underwater impact driver is two tools in one, an impact wrench and wood drill.

  • Oversized trigger with guard for operator comfort
  • Stainless steel spools and fasteners
  • Wiper seals on reversing and trigger spool
  • 500 ft lbs / 675 Nm of impact torque

Battery Powered Impact Driver

The Nemo Submersible Impact Driver Delivering is the world’s first and only waterproof impact driver!

  • 170 ft-lbs of maximum torque
  • Weighs only 2.9 kg (6.39 lbs) and measuring only 6 inches long
  • Built-in high power LED light to illuminate the work area.
  • Maximum operating depth of 50m (164ft). Features salt-water resistant black and red paint

Underwater Grinders

Angle grinders utilize high torque and high speed to rotate a small disc to cut, grind, polish, sharpen, and clean a wide variety of metals and stones. They can also be outfitted to clean, buff, and polish unkempt structures or remove unwanted debris from marine vessels. These tools are also frequently used for jobs like cutting chains, trimming various pipeline fittings, and more. Although salvage, rescue, offshore and inland divers may use these tools more frequently, most fields of commercial diving utilize these tools fairly frequently in some capacity or another.

Hydraulic Grinder

The Stanley GR29 is a right angle grinder that can be used for grinding and cleaning in underwater applications with a variety of wheels, brushes and attachments.

  • Stainless steel spools and fasteners
  • Oversized trigger with guard for diver comfort
  • 3200 rpm @ 12 gpm
  • Adjustable wheel guard for multiple positions

    Battery Powered Hydraulic Grinder

    The world’s first waterproof cordless angle grinder is designed specifically for commercial divers and underwater construction workers. This new model has upgraded technology and has the ability for users to switch from battery to battery while underwater. Now divers can take as many batteries as needed below to attack any task required.

    • Submersible up to 50 meters
    • Underwater replaceable batteries!
    • Two 22V 6Ah Li-ion batteries

      Underwater Impact Wrenches

      These tools apply short bursts of powerful twisting and pushing motions. Whether it be a lug nut put on too tightly or a rusted-on, stripped-out bolt, impact wrenches help bring additional, reliable force and grip to the most important or problematic of hex-shaped fasteners. Like impact drivers, underwater impact wrenches are used across most fields of commercial diving.

      Hydraulic Impact Wrench

      Designed for the toughest underwater bolting applications.  The rugged design incorporates an integral motor and heavy-duty mechanism for the rigors of track maintenance use. The power-to-weight ratio of these products is un-matched by any impact wrench on the market in their class.

      • Adjustable impact intensity, from 500 to 2500 ft. lb. /680 to 3400 Nm
      • Swing-hammer mechanism
      • Feathering trigger and “D” handle
      • Reversing valve for instant change
      • Reverse

        Battery Powered Impact Wrench

        Nemo Impact Wrench is the world’s first waterproof cordless impact wrench works on land and underwater up to  164ft, allowing commercial divers and construction workers to carry out a wide range of fastening applications.

        • Made for commercial diving and underwater construction
        • Submersible up to 164ft
        • Two 18V 6Ah lithium-ion batteries

            Underwater Circular Saw (Cut-off Saw)

            Some saws only cut when moving in one direction. These conveniently lightweight saws cut anytime their blades are in motion making them extremely efficient. They can be adjusted to angle anywhere from 45 to 90 degrees and the depth of cut can also be adjusted. This versatility gives it a clear advantage when precise cuts need to be made in small spaces. Blades are interchangeable and allow commercial divers to cut many natural and man-made materials found in a wide range of underwater environments. When made for use in commercial diving, these tools are typically hydraulic and play a critical role in repair, salvage, and infrastructure work.

            Hydraulic Cut Off Saw

            The Stanley CO23 Cut-Off Saw was designed for underwater use but it is also a very useful tool on land as well. The CO23 uses standard 10 inch (25.4 cm) diameter abrasive or wet or dry diamond blades for cutting metals or concrete.

            • 10-15 gpm (38-57 lpm) operating range
            • Adjustable depth shoe plate
            • 3 inch (76.2 mm) deep maximum cut
            • Wheel guard
            • Integral HYREVZ™ gear-type motor
            • Safety trigger

              Underwater Chain Saw

              Commercial divers use this powerful motor-driven spinning chain of saw blades to cut through the hardest of underwater mediums. Dense wood, concrete, brick, and steel are a few of the many materials that require the use of one of the most powerful pieces of personal underwater equipment. The use of underwater chainsaws comes in a variety of underwater environments with variable degrees of visibility. While these tools are the most eye-catching and alluring for many prospective commercial divers, it’s important to understand that it is imperative to utilize proper safety and handling when required to use these for long periods in potentially low visibility environments. Inland, salvage, and offshore commercial divers use these most frequently, while rescue and public safety may use them in their own capacities as well.

              Hydraulic Chain Saw

              The Stanley line of underwater chain saws are designed for cutting all types of wood structures including bridge pilings, pier and dock timbers. All chain saw models include an interlocking safety trigger with hand guard and stainless steel spool and fasteners.

              • Lightweight, easy to operate design
              • Available in bar lengths up to 20″
              • Low kick back bar and chain – standard
              • Open Center/Closed Center- Dual spool feature

                Battery Powered Impact Wrench

                Used successfully for many years in polyethylene plants, petrochemical industries, utilities, underground mines, marine and more.

                • For wood, polyethylene and plastics
                • Chain guard to protect operator
                • 17″, 21″ and 25″ cutting capacity
                • Low maintenance and easy startup – chain and motor are automatically oiled

                    When faced daily with exciting, new, and challenging tasks in such a fast-growing career field, it’s important that commercial divers are well educated, practiced, and safe when using these many different types of underwater power tools. At Professional Diver Training Center, we train commercial divers for the real world, with real tools, and real scenarios prepared by veterans of the military and commercial diving industries. Take the dive, and start your journey into commercial diving today.        

                    Want to see more tools of the trade? Part 2 of the Commercial Diving Tools Series is coming soon!

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