How to Drill Underwater? – (Using a Powertool Up to 50m)

When I needed to repair my pool, I had to use a power tool. But I did not know How to drill underwater. So I could study many resources and how I can do it properly. This guide is based on my task and definitely, this will be a helpful one for you. So let’s move to the process.

Using a Nemo drill, you can drill underwater for up to 50m. Nemo waterproof drill will cost 600$, and it can be used up to 5m. If you need a Nemo hammer drill, it will cost 1521$. Both are powered by 18V batteries. You will need to pressurize the tool before use underwater.

Conventional drill machines are not able to use underwater. Those can be used under wet conditions. But not able to drill more than 1m. Some tools can drill and drive up to 50m. So let’s keep reading on!

What is the Best Drill that Can Be Used Underwater?

The best drill that can be used underwater is Nemo which can be used up to 0 – 50m under the water. It is with special water seals, and when you use it, you should follow the user manual below.

Beyond that, the Makita XPT series will resist water to a certain extent.

Few drills can be used underwater for a certain time period. Those are well-sealed up to 1-2 ft and not able used underwater continuously. Most are resistant to wet conditions, and it is not a measurement for use underwater.

The conventional drills cant drill underwater that you use can be waterproof using some acrylic coatings such as conformal coatings. But that is not the right solution. When the coating is damaged, the tool can be short.

Before you use a drill, you should know, Are Drills Waterproof? This guide will explain everything about drills and water behavoirs.

What is the Impact of Water When Drilling Underwater?

You will need to work with drinking water, chlorine water as well as salty water. When you use a tool underwater, it will be electrically short the circuits, and the tool will be corrosion due to open the air and water. Because of this, if we had to use a tool with water accidentally, we needed to wipe out the water.

Most drills and drivers are waterproof to a certain value. If you had to use nearby chlorine or salty water, this impact would be increased due to accelerating the process with diluted ions.

Normally we do not use regular drills and hammer drills underwater. For that, we need a special waterproof tool.

Nemo Tool Specification

Powered Battery18V (Li-Ion)
Charged Time55min
Speed 0-1500 RPM
Chuck Size 1/2″ (13mm) Keyless
Working Temperature32-140°F ( 0-60°C )
Working DepthUp to 50m (164ft)
Source: User Guide

Nemo is a great brand of underwater power tools. Drills, drivers, grinders, and many tools are available under this budget, and those are a bit costly considering the regularly used tools. It is actually worth considering the cost of the project.

Nemo Drill for Underwater Drilling
Nemo Drill for Underwater Drilling Source:

How to Use Nemo Drill Underwater?

Before you use the Nemo tool underwater, you should pressurize the tool. You can do it by removing the red cap from the pressure valve on the back of the hammer drill. Then Attach a pump, such as a hand pump supplied with the hammer drill, to the valve.

Before you use the tool underwater, make sure the tool is pressurized with its recommended values.

Depth in MetersDepth in feetPressure
Up to 5m16 feetMinimum 15 psi ( 1 Bar )
Up to 10m33 feetMinimum 29 psi ( 2 Bars )
Up to 20m66 feetMinimum 44 psi (3 Bars)
Up to 30m98 feetMinimum 58 psi (4 Bars)
Up to 40m131 feetMinimum 73 psi (5 Bars)
Up to 50m164 feetMaximum 87 psi (6 Bars)
Nemo Pressure related to Depth of the Water

*Do not add more than 87psi (6 bars)

Why is Nemo Pressurize Essential?

Nemo regular drills do not need to pressurize. It is with suitable seals. By pressurizing the tool is increased the inner pressure, which is a match to the working area pressure. When the depth is high, the water pressure is also increased. When the tool inside pressure is increased, its seals will not break due to the water pressure.

Nemo Best Practise for Usage

  • In order to maintain the tool and battery, we need to practice the best steps. The drill can be used under salty, chlorine, and drinking water. Make sure to rinse the tool after you use the tool in salty water.
  • Do not exceed the recommended depth
  • Pressurize the inside before using in-depth water
  • Follow the battery charging guide for the problem
  • Before inserting the battery into the hammer drill, check that the three O-rings on the battery are present and undamaged.
  • If any of the O-rings is missing, water will leak inside, and it will cause serious damages and life time of the drill

Who Needs to Drill Underwater?

Drilling or driving underwater is a real challenging task. According to any necessary, you may need to drill or drive a nut and bolt under the water. Some people need to use this kind of tool underwater. Probably you may be one of them.

Pool Builders
If you are a pool builder, this kind of tool is essential. You can spend less time installing or repairing the lights, plumbing, and cleaning. If you use a conventional drill, you will need to drain the water to repair or losing nuts and bolts. So if there is any tool that can be used underwater is a real solution for you.

Commercial Divers
There are types of divers. Commercial divers are a few of them. They are the people who build bridges, repair blocks, and plumbings, ship propeller cleaners, or any boat-lifting persons. These people need to use drills or drivers according to the nature of their job.

Military And Safety
For public safety, or military will need waterproof drills for their tasks. Sudden repairs, constructions, launchings, cleanings, clearing, and observation will need this kind of tool.

Boat Owners
When using a boat long time, you can see some sea animals attaching to the surface. If you need to remove them, you need to take out the boat from the water and wipe them out. This is a costly task and time spending work. So if we can use an underwater drill, we can attach any brush to that and clean the surface.

Construction and Plumbing
If your new project is related to water construction, you will need a waterproof drill or driver. It will make your task easy. If you are a plumber, you can work with water with a waterproof drill.


If you need to drill underwater, you should use the Nemo power tool. Although it is more cost, those are more worth considering the task that we do. There are ways to convert drills as waterproof, but those are not permanent options. So it is not suitable.

Before you use a Nemo tool underwater, it should be pressurized due to prevent inside seal damage.

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Tom Mackency

Tom Mackency

Hi, I am Tom Mackency. It has been 10 years that I have been working as a professional woodworker since 2013. I am really enjoying my carrier by creating many kinds of projects in my workshop. But mostly I like for home improvement projects. Home improvement and DIY projects are the most interesting things for me. More than that, the coolest things are power tools. Those are very precious and efficient than a decade ago. So I try to introduce so many things about power tools, woodworking, DIY projects, home improvement and many more interesting topics here.