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Next time you need to go logging underwater, your gas-powered or electric chain saw isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to need a tool like one of these air powered chainsaws from CS Unitec. They manufacture a few models of air-powered chain saws, including the underwater model with an exhaust valve.

Besides underwater, air-powered chain saws are safer in hazardous or wet locations. Drawing 92CFM at 90PSI to produce 4HP, the low maintenance saws start easily and the motor and chain have separate lubricating systems.

The saws come with 17″, 21″, or 25″ bars and a standard “Super Chisel” chain. You can also buy carbide tipped and ripping chains for the saws. One of these air-powered chainsaws will run you about $3000 new, but it looks like you can rent them for $130 a day.

Air Powered Chain Saws [CS Unitec]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

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16 Responses to It’s Just Cool: Underwater Chainsaw!

  1. BarelyFitz says:

    This desperately needs video of the chainsaw in action.

  2. fred says:

    The other alternative is a hydraulic chainsaw:


  3. rick says:

    good luck with an env safe lube…. the coast gaurd/epa/local authorities will shut you down so fast if you are using a sheening oil.

    Still cool, expect to see this on dirty jobs!

  4. Chris says:

    How’s KY work on metal? :-p


  5. Gary says:

    Dang. I could have been nice and cool in the pool when I replaced the brick coping 12 years ago. The brick chisel and hand sledge wasn’t fun.

  6. Tetsubo says:

    I need one! You know, for all of my underwater chainsawing needs…

    I would recommend vegetable oil. Environmentally safe and non-toxic. And it doubles as a salad dressing!

  7. Geoff says:

    “92CFM at 90PSI”

    That’s a lot of air. The compressor that can support this would be equally cool.

  8. ArmchairDIY says:

    I have no need for one of these, I still want one! I’m such a tool whore.
    I’m pretty sure my compressor is not big enough though.

  9. When I first saw the “92cfm at 90PSI” number it just didn’t seem right, but I included it because it’s what they quote on both the website and the PDF.

    Now that I’ve thought about it some more I think it’s a typo. A 4HP is a mid sized chain saw..

    Hydraulic HP = gal/min * PSI *7/12000
    4 hp= 7.5 * (x)cfm *90psi *7/12000
    x = 4hp /(7.5 * 90PSI * 7/12000)
    x equals about 10 cfm so maybe they meant 12CFM at 90PSI which would be more reasonable.

    I’m not sure offhand if there is another factor due to compressibility of air, but this calculation falls more in line with what the listed requirements of a air powered chain saw are in my pocket ref on page 18 (7-22).

  10. Eric M says:

    Probably missing a decimal point

  11. Cameron Watt says:

    You’d be amazed at how much a big air motor can gobble.

    I’m grossly generalizing here, but a rule of thumb I’ve found to work is that you need about 5 horsepower of compressor capacity to run each horsepower worth of air motor continuously.

  12. Zathrus says:


    I suspect it works just fine on metal… but poorly in the water, since it’s water soluble!

  13. area_educator says:

    I’m really just guessing here, but it strikes me that it may be the pressure drop (from intake to the exhaust, normally straight to the atmosphere?), not the absolute pressure going in, that’s important for an air-engine.

    If that’s the case, what might be reasonable at 1 atm may not be adequate 66ft deep, where the pressure you’d be exhausting to would be 3 atm.

  14. Matt says:

    use those all the time in underground mining as gas engine exhaust will kill you and a diesel chainsaw would be too heavy. Also underground you have all the 110 PSI air you could ever use

  15. CommercialDiver says:

    Air powered tools lose power pretty quickly with depth due to the increase in pressure- Theyre practically useless below 20m. for this reason commercial divers will generally prefer hydraulic tools for serious underwater work like chainsawing. Re lube, underwater chainsaws use the water as lubricant, so it’s not a factor.

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