Who wouldn’t want to see a toy that is capable of going deeper into the water? That is a playtime that can be enjoyed using the best RC submarine for the money. Although some of you might think that there is no way that you can drive an RC submarine without technical difficulties, we are here to let you know that it is both possible and fun.
A remote control sub is a toy for the young and the old that can be used in your pool and bathtub without any problem. It may be too complicated as it sounds, but this article has been created to help you understand RC submarines better and look into some marvelous remote-controlled submarines. RC submarines have been around for years and they were constructed with ridiculous and poor-quality underwater LEDs. Also, there were difficulties in finding models that have built-in cameras.
Luckily, the time had changed, and at the present time, you can already find a lot of well-made RC submarines. Definitely, there are a number of technical terms and “geek stuff” that you will read while searching for one. To make things easier for you, we have hand-picked some of the best RC submarine for the money and have evaluated them.
In order for you to choose the right RC submarine for your needs and wants, the products listed below have their own product descriptions, pros, cons, and a verdict.
The Best Remote Control Submarines
Radio Remote Control German U-Boat Mini RC Submarine III RTR
It is not a secret that Germans were equipped with tons of weapons and war vehicles during the World War II. This very first product on our list is an exact replica of the original German U-Boat Submarine.
This portable RC submarine has a measurement of 145 mm in length and 33 mm in width and weighs 1.1 pounds. Inside the package, there is a remote control that is equipped with a three-channel 27MHz radio system.
The submarine has a static driving system that helps it dive as deep as 0.6 meters and resurface back in no time. It also has a tiny rudder system that enables it to move in any direction effortlessly. Likewise, its screwed propeller system makes it possible for it to move backward, forward and sideward.
For this submarine to work, it comes with six, AAA, 180mAh, Li-Po batteries that can be fully charged in no less than 20 minutes. After which, it can be played for a maximum of 15 minutes. Additionally, if you were not able to track the time when you switched it on, you will never worry about it being completely discharged. That is because it has a green LED-light indicator on top that blinks when the power is running low.
You will hardly find an RC submarine that brings the full experience of power and realistic effects. It is equipped with a motor for static diving, a second motor for the propellers, and a third one for the rudder systems. Such already makes this little machine standout amongst its competition.
- A great RC submarine for a pool
- The submarine can make a 360 degrees rotation.
- The LED light flashes when the product has a critical battery level.
- It has three different motors.
- Very portable since it is only 145mm long
- The green, power-on, LED light is visible even in daytime.
- Good velocity of 0.1m/s
- It is a ready-to-run product, which means that you no longer have to assemble it.
- Designed for individuals from 14 years old and above
- No camera
- Might come with some technical problems, but if you are lucky enough, nothing will happen.
GoolRC Sea Wing Star 3314A 27 MHz Radio Control Submarine
The waterproof submarine GoolRC has a size dimension of 11 x 10.9 x 4.7 inches and has an amazing weight of less than one pound. It is available in two colors, which are blue and white. Also, its 80-mAh battery is built securely in the submarine. The good thing is that it can reach its 100% power level after 10 minutes of uninterrupted charging.
With a full-charged battery, you can let this RC submarine move forward, backward, and sideward, as well as dive into the water for up to seven minutes. Controlling it will also not be a hassle since it works flawlessly in synchronization with the remote unless it goes beyond the maximum possible range of five meters.
Some important things to note is that you should take precaution as the remote control isn’t waterproof. Also, you need to buy four pieces of AA batteries for it. Nonetheless, it has a good-grip design, making it easy to navigate the submarine to make it go to any direction you want. In addition, it has buttons for all types of movements, as well as for full speed.
This RC submarine is a product that we consider to be suitable for children only because of its small size and low weight, as well as its short running time.
- Small and lightweight
- Recommended for individuals eight years old and above
- Comes in different colors namely gray and blue
- Turbo-boost button that makes the propellers move at a high speed
- Easy to carry around and store
- Five-meter remote control range
- Easy to handle remote control
- Quick charging time
- No light or camera
- Short playing time
Friends Equipments Remote Control Navy Submarine Boat Green
Having a size of 13.8 x 3.5 x 3.9 inches and a weight of 2.45 pounds, the Friends Diving Toy is somewhat bulky. It is designed to be used by adults, as well as children from eight years old and above. Also, you will not have difficulties in learning how to use it since it comes with a detailed user manual that is written in both English and Chinese languages.
The remote control that comes with the package has a unique shape and have buttons for dive, ascend, forward, reverse, left, and right movements. It can efficiently navigate the submarine at a maximum distance of five meters.
In addition, the speed and the power of this RC submarine are unquestionable because it is equipped with two brush-motor propellers. What is better is that it can be submerged under water up to one meter or 100 cm.
This is a good-sized and well-made replica of the Navy USS Connecticut SSN-22 Submarine that can be enjoyed by children and adults. Although it is a bit pricey, it has the greatest submersible depth, as well as two motors propellers that will ensure great speed.
- Attractive and realistic navy design
- It has a balance weight adjustment.
- Unique remote control design that is easy to use
- It comes with a cool LED light to indicate if the product is powered on.
- It has a submersible depth of one meter.
- It can be played by children as young as eight years old.
- No camera
- Somewhat pricey
German Navy U-Boat IX Motorized Diving Submarine
This submarine isn’t your typical RC device. It’s actually a model that you can build and convert into an RC device if you choose. You can also simply use it as a display model or a motorized diving submarine that you can watch and enjoy.
This model is 1/150 scale and represents a WWII era type IX U-boat used by the German Kriegsmarine. Keep in mind that you will have to build the model prior to being able to use it in a motorized or remote-controlled way. This can be a great feature for those who love building models, but a downfall for those looking for a complete product.
In the kit, you will get an RE-280 electric motor as well as lead weights to place in the hull to allow the submarine to dive. If you choose to use it as a display model only, then you’ll also get a stand and name plate to properly show it off.
For those who love building model submarines, this is a great option. It will allow you to build, watch and even control your submarine as it dives by converting it as needed.
- Model comes with a motor for diving under the water
- Can be converted into an RC device
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Authentic build and appearance
- It can sometimes submerge and sink
- It is a kit you have to put together, can be either a pro or a con depending on the person who has to sit putting it together
eMart Remote Control Boat Submarine Ship Toy
This small-sized and very lightweight RC submarine is available in blue and yellow colors. It has a built-in lithium-ion battery that can be recharged using the USB charger that comes along with it. With a fully charged battery, it can be played by children eight years old and above for a maximum of 15 or 20 minutes.
The remote control that comes along with it has kid-friendly buttons and can navigate the submarine at a maximum range of seven meters. However, you need to buy four AA batteries to power it up. For the safety of kids, it is equipped with a pusher propeller that discharges cool water.
Definitely, this is the best choice if you are looking for a cool present for a child who love RC items and an adult who collects RC subs for display. This affordable, mini remote-controlled product can be played in fish tanks, bathtubs, and swimming pools.
- Mini-sized submarine
- It can be used in swimming pools, bathtubs, and fish tanks.
- The submarine can be plugged into an outlet or computer for easy charging.
- It has a long playtime duration despite its size.
- Automatically surfaces when the battery is critically low
- It will be a good addition to the collection of enthusiasts.
- Remote control batteries are not included
- If you exceed the recommended depth, it cannot receive a signal from the remote.
Silverlit Spy Cam Aqua Submarine
The Silverlit Spy Cam Aqua Submarine has a weight of one pound and size dimension of 4.5 x 3 x 2.8 inches. It also has two LED lights that have been intelligently placed in front. This three-channel infrared-controlled submarine comes with has a built-in camera that can both record videos and captures images that can be saved since it has a 256Mb internal memory. Also, the captured images and recorded videos can be transferred easily through its USB port.
Also, it is equipped with a detachable feeder arm that can be used to capture fishes up close. You can do that by attaching food items to the feeder in order to attract them.
This Silverlit Spy Cam Aqua Submarine is a product that can suit adults who love to capture underwater images and record live videos. Although this is not recommended for children below five years old, this will serve as a good bonding moment for you and your son or daughter. Nonetheless, you can still use it for recreational activities or RC submarine racing activities with your friends.
- Produces underwater 640 x 480 AVI videos and 1280×960 jpg photos, whether up close or at a distance
- LED lamps can be turned on and off with the use of the remote control
- It can be used in saltwater, pools, and tanks.
- It has an internal memory.
- It can be connected to a computer or any USB-capable devices.
- You need to buy eight AA batteries since it is not included in the package.
- The maximum frequency range is from three to four feet only.
- Has a lot of choking hazards
AquaBotix HydroView Remote-Controlled Underwater Vehicle
With a high price tag, HD camera, and WiFi capability, the AquaBotix HydroView Remote-Controlled Underwater Vehicle is considered a professional RC submarine. Meaning, this is for people who need a controllable underwater camera to check boat propellers, watch fishes and lobster pots, inspect how deep the water is, and other serious stuff.
It has a bulky design and heavyweight simply because it is loaded with a lot of capabilities. It has LED lights that can help you see through the water while filming, as well as identify where the submarine is. Allowing it to go deep down the water is not a problem since it received a good Waterproof Rating Submersible score.
This submarine does not come with a standard remote control because you need to download an application on your phone or laptop, which will be used for controlling it. Another amazing thing about this product is that it comes with a standard 70-feet cable that you can use to retrieve the submarine from underwater to the surface in case it runs out of battery. You can also buy longer cables if you want to. Additionally, it also comes with a waterproof case for easy carrying.
Further, with this product, you can capture a lot of images because it comes with an outstanding eight-gigabyte internal memory.
- Professional-grade product
- Can go very deep
- Useful for serious purposes
- You can control the product with your computer’s keyboard or mobile’s screen using the dedicated app
- Captures clear images that can be saved without hassles
- It has its own WiFi, so you no longer have to search for one when you need to navigate it.
- With the help of the cable, there is no need for you to dive when it runs out of battery while underwater
- Heavy and large
Buying Guide Questions
What are the Types of RC Submarines?
When it comes to the working principle behind RC submarines, there are two types.
Before you enjoy having a remote control submarine, you must know that this submarine model comes in two types. There is static diving and dynamic diving. The difference is not that complicated at all. You will know your remote control submarine is a static one if it has a ballast system. On the other hand, if it doesn’t have a ballast system, then your remote control submarine is a dynamic one.
Read on to know the characteristics of each type and to find the best models of RC submarine we recommend.
Type 1- Dynamic Remote Control Submarine
Now, let’s talk about the dynamic remote control submarine. Perhaps, the simplest form of diving technology is the dynamic diver. Compared to static diving, the dynamic remote control submarine has no functional ballast system at all. Rather, it uses its dive planes to “push” it under the surface of the water.
Meaning to say, dynamic remote control submarines are forced into the water. This is made possible with the help of control surfaces. As soon as the speed goes down, the buoyancy makes the mini-submarine float back to the surface of the water. To add, this type of remote control submarine is positively buoyant. Until enough thrust is generated over their control surfaces to push them down underwater, a dynamic RC sub will remain on the surface.
What’s Good About Dynamic Divers?
Furthermore, the dynamic diving models are both the cheapest and simplest designed models available. This is because the complicated buoyancy control systems are replaced by diving planes or thrusters. What’s great about this type of RC submarine is that they are able to return to the surface once radio contact is lost. Their positive buoyancy becomes a major advantage for dynamic remote control submarines.
Pros and Cons
Since these models are positively buoyant, they must remain sufficient speed while they’re underwater to remain there. Also, they are unable to stop without rising to the surface.
To dive, the dynamic remote control submarine must be moving forward at a certain pace. It should be that the pressure exerted by the dive planes are sufficient to overcome the model’s buoyancy itself.
These dynamic divers usually feature a rather large dive plane surfaces. Normally, they are also ballasted or weighted very low in the water. This is so that their reserve buoyancy is as low as possible. Also, the dive planes can be as small as possible. As a result, the necessary forward speed to dive of a dynamic remote control submarine is as slow as possible.
Dynamic Diving Submarines Pros and Cons:
These submarines are considered as the simplest ones since they don’t have functional ballast systems. Instead, they are equipped with dive planes to “push” them under the body of water.
- Straightforward operation
- Always positively buoyant and will return to the surface if model loses power
- Must be ballasted very low
- Models with small planes works poorly
- The submarine must move quickly for it to dive.
Type 2- Static Remote Control Submarine
A Static Remote Control Submarine dives straight into and under the water. It does this with little to no help from the surface. By forcing water out of the ballast with a pump or compressed gas, a static remote control submarine floats back to the surface.
It is by pumping out water or taking on, the static kind of RC submarine has the ability to change their displacement. Through the use of a piston, an inflatable bladder, or through a ballast tank, this can be accomplished.
Generally, remote control submarines that utilize a ballast tank fill the tank by opening a vent at the top. It then forces the water out through the use of compressed gas. There are also other variants that use water pumps. To push water out, liquid gas is dosed into the ballast tank.
These submarines have gas ballast systems wherein liquefied gas is stored in a pressure vessel and is expelled into the ballast tank in order to displace water and bring the model to the surface. Nonetheless, there are other models that do not use gas.
- Fairly simple to implement
- Very realistic release of air and bubbles when underwater
- A source of liquid air must be kept on hand
- The model must be refueled with liquid air regularly.
- Easy to miscount cycles and be unable to surface
For more information in dynamic and static, you can refer to Wikipedia and rc-submarines.com
What is the Best RC Submarine for the Money: The Final Verdict?
When it comes to deciding which of the mentioned products above are worthy to spend your money on, you must first evaluate your needs and wants. Will you use it for recreational purposes? or will it be a tool to help you with your professional agenda?
When going to the beach, rivers, and other natural bodies of water, and you want to capture the underwater beauty, the two submarines with a camera will be your best choice. As mentioned above, if you want it for any serious purposes, go for the Silverlit Spy Cam Aqua Submarine. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, you can go for the U-Boat Mini RC Submarine III.
Helpful Information for RC Submarine Buyers
Although we have reviewed some of the best RC submarines, it is still imperative that you understand them better. As such, you will have an in-depth knowledge about them, making it easier for you to spot the differences.
You need to be guided when you make your first remote control submarine purchase. If this isn’t your first, then you’ve probably regretted your previous purchases. But we won’t let that happen again or ever let that happen to you.
Before checking out products, you need to know even just a little information about remote control submarines.
A remote control submarine is a scale model of a submarine that can be maneuvered with a remote controller. The most common form of remote control submarines is those operated by RC enthusiasts. This marvelous toy lets you go deep into and explore the depths of any body of water or your pool faster and easily.
Remote control submarines can range from inexpensive toys to complex projects which include more sophisticated electronics. Also, the military and oceanographers operate remote control submarines for their work.
A remote control submarine is a ship that can float on the surface and can also dive into the water, and then make its way back to the surface again.
What are the important Features of Remote Control Submarines?
Below are the basic features of all RC submarines that are often disregarded by most novice buyers. Most of the new RC sub buyers, they often disregard these basic features. Knowing these features allows you to understand how your mini-submarine works. And with that, if anything goes wrong, it will be easy for you to point that out.
That’s why we listed some of them here for you. We don’t want to overwhelm you, so, we hope this short list helps.
Radio Transmission Through Water
First of all, you need to know your submarine’s radio transmission through water. The transmission, also termed as frequency, is the distance wherein your remote control can still reach your remote control submarine. Once you go beyond that distance, you will no longer control your submarine.
Regarding radio transmission, you need to understand that some RC submarines will stop working when they reach certain distances. Most of the time, remote control submarines stop at a depth of 10 feet. And once they stop, the retrieval of your RC sub will be difficult for you. This is the reason why you need to know this feature.
But, we do have good news for you! Newer models come with a technology wherein your submarine automatically resurfaces when your remote control cannot reach your unit. Impressive, huh?
Remember also that the weather can have a significant effect on your radio control’s transmission.
This is just related to the previous feature. But we want to give you another example with it is important to know this. For instance, you have submerged your new RC sub in a pond. And then all of a sudden, you spot an animal, perhaps an otter, submerging in the water. You tried to control your toy to a new direction but nothing happens. The next thing you know, your remote control submarine has gone out of range. You might have rammed the creature you were moving from.
That must have sucked, right? So, never by a remote control submarine without understanding its controller range or radio transmission through water. Well, now that you know this, it probably won’t ever happen to you.
Not too much
Want our advice? Go for a remote control submarine that has much range as your money can afford. But also, try to avoid going for an extremely high range. Because then, you will have difficulty tracking a small ship about 500 feet away. You never want your RC sub to go out of sight.
Well, if this isn’t too obvious, take note of the remote control. The remote control is definitely the most important tools that come with your submarine. You need it in order to maneuver the unit on the surface and under the water. Based on how different submarines are powered: battery; infrared; and Wi-Fi, the remote controls vary.
It is necessary that you consider those handheld remote controls that have an easy-to-hold design. This prevents you from having wrist and finger pains. Easy-to-hold designs can be found in battery-powered and infrared-powered remote controls. Meanwhile, there are remote controls which are downloadable as mobile or computer software. These too should be compatible with most devices.
More importantly, the remote control must have buttons that are straightforward. Through this, you will no longer need to be searching where the buttons for diving, resurfacing, etc. are located. Also, these buttons should have spaces in between them. This is so you will not make mistakes when you’re controlling your RC submarine or when you’re pressing the buttons.
Indicators and Batteries
Nowadays, most remote control submarines are already powered by rechargeable AA or AAA batteries. Therefore, you should expect that they can’t be played for long hours or for the whole day. Hence, if you don’t want to lose your submarine, then it’s important to know how long the batteries will last.
Luckily, a lot of modern models of remote control submarines now have LED lights. These help you indicate if the battery is already at its critical level. Also, there are those that make a sound as soon as your submarine is running out of gas or power. Cool, right?
Now, you also need to examine the product’s durability. Don’t just look deep into the features that come with your remote control submarine. Firstly, the sub’s body must be manufactured from high quality, as well as durable materials. The durability of the materials used in your remote control submarine ensures that it can endure regular usage underwater. Also, try to see if the manufacturer can offer you its services for longer periods.
Furthermore, most of the popular remote control submarines are made from ABS plastic material. This is known to be highly durable. Even under durable use, the material lets your toy to stay longer.
Aside from the hull, other parts like the deck, rudder, strut, and port must be made of durable materials. You will never know what could happen underwater or even before you go under the water. With durable materials, these help prevent your submarine from impacts.
Number of Motors
Next on our list is the number of motors. This is another important aspect that you need to consider in any new remote control submarine. When you’re planning to buy one, look up how many motors it incorporates.
At incredibly high speeds, one motor can be enough to power your propeller and sweep through the water. Why did we say number of motors, then? Because, some remote control submarines can come with a single motor, others two, and some might have up to three.
Whether you are a newbie or not, it would be very convenient for you to go with more than one motor. Most advanced RC hobbyist would want a more robust submarine. Having more motors would mean having a more mind-blowing RC experience. Then again, remember that you should not go beyond your controller’s range.
The Submarine’s Rudder
The last thing that you would want is for you rudder to fail at the worst possible times. Remember that taking your submarine outside your pool or tub and into a body of water, you’re exposing it to unknown creatures. And we all know that waters are also inhabited by creatures that are not so good.
Therefore, it would be best if you take your time to evaluate the materials used for your remote control submarine’s rudder. Its rudder needs to be sturdy and durable enough to resist any potential damage.
Charge Time vs. Runtime Ratio
We hate to break it to you. But, you are going to spend more time charging your remote control submarine than playing with it in the waters. That’s the sad truth about remote control submarine.
You may think of it as your car, a real one. The more you hammer your car, the faster you will burn the gas. You need ensure that you make time researching the type of battery that comes with your mini submarine. You have to take note of its runtime, as well as its charging period.
An acceptable ratio for your remote control submarine’s charge time and run time is 1:4. If it’s more than that, you have to try looking at other models.
Why Buy Remote Control Submarine?
After all of this, you already have some idea about RC submarines. They have their pros and cons. They’re not very cheap, charging takes long, playtime’s fast, and could vanish underwater. But why still buy a remote control submarine?
Why not? This invention is so fascinating! Remote control submarines can do something we wish we can do. These can suspend underwater longer than we can hold our breaths. We wish we could say “for an unlimited amount of time” but you already know it’s not entirely true.
Remote control submarines provide times of fun, not only for kids but adults too! This can be an enjoyable hobby that can take your sadness or boredom away. It allows one to open their imagination and explore what is under the water.
Cool New Features
Nowadays, remote control submarines may come at all sorts of prices. They each have unique features. You will also find that there are remote control submarines that feature a camera. It can click and capture photos or take and record videos. Simply put, RC submarines are not only for fun. But they can also be used for work or for your other hobbies like photography. You just have to expand your imagination.
Where To Buy Remote Control Submarines?
It is a known fact that the most affordable and safest way to buy an RC submarine is through the manufacturer’s website or retail store. However, most of them have factories located in China, which may require a high shipping fee in your area and may take weeks before you receive the item. Also, most of the time, you are required to buy in bulk, which is impractical if you will not resell them.
Although retail stores are good options, some of you may find it tiring. Fortunately, there are already online stores that sell all kinds of items that have been derived from the manufacturers themselves. Visiting those sites will be the most practical and comfortable means to buy an RC submarine.
Perhaps, the safest way to buy a remote control submarine is through a manufacturer’s website or store. But, most of them are based in China. Purchasing directly from them may require a costly shipping fee in your area. Also, it may take weeks or a month for you to receive your item. Another thing is that, you might be required to buy in bulk or reach a certain number of orders. This would be impractical if you have no plans of reselling them.
Retail stores are great options but some find it a bit tiring. Sales people tend to come to you and offer you all sorts of things other than product you intend to buy. Luckily, online stores sell all kinds of items. You can even find reviews left by actual persons who actually purchased and used the product.
Visiting online stores is somehow a more practical, and convenient means of buying a remote control submarine.
Is an RC submarine with a camera better than the one without?
This is a common question that most beginners usually ask. Although it may seem like RC submarines are better options than those without, it is always imperative that you consider your needs. A camera is a tool that will enable you to view the underwater surface and other items down below. If you are a nature lover, then having an RC submarine with a camera will be a good choice. As mentioned earlier, such is also useful for people who love photography, as well as those who have serious underwater businesses.
Nonetheless, RC submarines with or without cameras are great if you will use them as recreational tools and part of your remote-control toy collection.
Are there RC submarines with torpedoes and missiles?
Unfortunately, as per writing, you will not find any commercial RC submarine companies that are selling separate torpedoes and missiles that you can attach to your toy. However, if you have great DIY skills or you know someone who can help, you can build one by yourself. With that in mind, here is a link where experts explain in detail how to build one.
How to build an RC submarine?
It is understandable that despite the fact that there are already a lot of affordable and quality ready-to-run (RTC) RC submarines, some of you still want to build one because you want a lot of features that are not present in one toy. So, for all of you who are just into it, there are very good posts where you can find a detailed explanation on what you need to build an RC submarine and how to do it properly.
What do you think of the recommended remote control submarines we have above? We really hope this guide can help you choose the best remote control submarine for you. And, we hope you learned something from this article. If you’re interested in other remote control vehicles, you might want to check our other articles below.
Related Articles on other RC Transportation Toys:
- Our Favorite RC Helicopters- these fly, not as high as drones, but still lots of fun
- Top of the Line RC Trucks- most of these are 4×4
- Best RC Monster Trucks- who doesn’t love a gigantic monster truck in a mini form?
- Best RC Drones- many of these are very affordable, price has dropped quite a bit
- Best Mini RC Drones- these are awesome