10 Best Pool Skimmers

Pools September 23, 2019
10 Best Pool Skimmers
Amy

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10 Best Pool Skimmers

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10 Best Pool Skimmers

Keeping your swimming pool clean is an on going chore. A pool skimmer is designed to remove things like twigs, bugs, leaves and help keep the water clean and free of contaminants. A pool skimmer catches the debris before it ends up on the bottom of your pool.

Finding the best pool skimmer for your needs depends on your pool type, budget and the amount of time you want to spend cleaning your pool. There are three types of pool skimmers we will discuss below based on whether you have an in-ground or above ground swimming pools. The pool skimmer you choose should be designed for your pool type.

Keep reading to learn about our picks and reviews of the 10 best pool skimmers.

How We Researched The Best Pool Skimmers

When we bought our house last year it came with a pool and we knew nothing about maintaining one. We quickly realized the skimmer left behind was useless and had many rips in the mesh. Since out pool is an in ground, it has a built in skimmer that sucks water in and pulls it through the filtration system, removing debris with a catch basket.

In addition to our built in skimmer system, we needed something to assist with removing the debris that collect on the waters surface. We looked at the three main types of pool skimmers and chose what was best for our needs and budget. Here is what we learned about pool skimmers:

3 Types of Pool Skimmers

Manual Pool Skimmers Manual skimmers are mesh netting on poles. This kind of skimmer does not use solar power or paddles. It requires you manually drag them through the water catching small particles on the waters surface. These are usually the least expensive type.

Automatic Pool Skimmers – This type if pool skimmer connects to your pool pump inlet. It is propelled around the surface of your pool by small propellers or paddles or some create a whirlpool effect with water when it enters through the hose.

Self-Contained Pool Skimmers – This type of skimmer is a self-contained auto floating robot. They are powered by the sun, which is collected by solar panels on top. These will save you money on power use but only work when the sun is shining. This type is usually the most expensive type.

Best Rated Pool Skimmers Comparison Chart

IMAGE PRODUCT
  • Heavy duty
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Holds up to 50 pounds
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  • Solar powered
  • Cleans pool with ions
  • Cuts chlorine use by 80%
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  • Solar or battery powered
  • Prevents 90-95% of dust
  • Has a chemical dispensor tray
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  • Wall mounted
  • Cleans 800 gallons per hour
  • Easy clean basket
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  • Easy installation
  • Moves with pool vacuum
  • Removable basket
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The 10 Best Rated Best Pool Skimmers

#1 ProTuff Pool Net Rake Skimmer

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Manual
  • Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Pool Type: In and above ground
  • Cost : Low price range
  • Warranty: Lifetime guarantee

With the ProTuff heavy duty pool rake, you can skim the surface and clean the bottom of your pool. With its deep, durable net, you won’t be constantly emptying debris. This allows you to clean up to 95% of what you’d get with a vacuum, without ever dragging out and struggling with the hose. This net is great for skimming pools 24, 27, 30 ft or any other size pool.

ProTuff’s heavy duty, double stitched nylon net collects up to 50 pounds. The stiff netting holds it’s shape and is stronger and more abrasion resistant than the double layer polypropylene netting offered by other companies. The aluminum alloy frame will not bend, twist or break when loaded up. The “winged” handle for adds stability. This is available in 13, 17, 19 and 23 inch nets.

#2 Pool Ecologix Solar Pool Ionizer

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Self contained
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Pool Type: In and above ground
  • Cost : High price range
  • Warranty: 3 year warranty for $39.99

The Ecologix solar pool ionizer uses the anti-microbial powers of copper ions to clean your pool without the use of harmful chemicals or expensive filters. It cuts chlorine usage by up to 80% by combining the power of the sun and an underwater ion-dispersing anode. Solar energy striking the top mounted solar cells causes electricity to flow to the copper electrode, releasing ions into the pool water. 

Once you put it in the pool it goes to work killing algae, bacteria, and fungi. This skimmer can be used in fresh and salt water pools, spas, jacuzzis, and hot tubs.This is a healthier option, and you no longer need to worry about itchy skin, red eyes or bleached hair caused by chemicals. It is effective up to 32,000 gallons and is very effective in reducing chlorine levels faster.

#3 Solar Breeze Automatic Pool Cleaner NX2 Cleaning Robot

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Self contained
  • Weight: 12.35 pounds
  • Pool Type: In and above ground
  • Cost : High price range
  • Warranty: 1 year

The solar powered Solar Breeze pool cleaner uses the free energy of the sun, and lasts for several hours after sundown. Maximum running time per day is 23.5 hours. A rear paddle powers the automatic pool cleaner through the water, while a front paddle scoops the surface debris into a collection chamber. It filters the water through an ultra-fine nylon mesh, preventing 90-95% of dust and debris from re-entering your pool. The Solar Breeze chemical dispenser tray accommodates two 3-inch trichlor tablets (not included), and the collection area capacity is twice that of your in-wall skimmer basket.

With this skimmer you do not have to connect it to a power source, unless you need to charge the batteries due to lack of sun. The Solar Breeze can be used with batteries meaning you can use this skimmer a night. The batteries store enough charge to power the automatic cleaner for several hours without sunlight.

#4 Intex Above Ground Pool Deluxe Wall Mount Automatic Skimmer

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Automatic
  • Weight: 4.12 pounds
  • Pool Type: Above ground
  • Cost : Low price range
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Intex Deluxe Surface Skimmer works in conjunction with your Intex filter pump with a 800 gallons per hour minimum flow rate. It is designed to mount to the wall of the swimming pool and easily removes dirt and debris from your pool.

Strainer basket is easy to clean and removes and the the brackets can be adjusted according to the surface of your swimming pool.The strainer basket pulls out for easy pool cleaning and the skimmer’s durable polypropylene plastic basket will not be affected by pool chemicals. 

#5 OAI Gator AutoSkim with Basket

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Automatic
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds
  • Pool Type: Above and in ground
  • Cost : High price range
  • Warranty: 1 year

Gator AutoSkim, is an automatic pool skimmer that cleans and clarifies your pools surface. It moves around the pool surface with your automatic pool cleaner getting in the furthest corners of the pool.

This skimmer includes a basket to collect leaves and other floating debris. It is easy to install and operate, connecting to the pool hose 2 to 3 segments from the automatic pool cleaner and acts as a mobile pool skimmer floating on the pool surface. This skimmer operates with almost all auto suction kind pool cleaners and does require a bottom vacuum to operate.

Other Manual Pool Skimmers We Reviewed

#6 Swimline Professional Heavy Duty Deep-Bag Pool Rake

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Manual
  • Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Pool Type: Above and in ground
  • Cost : Low price range
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Swimline Professional Heavy Duty Deep-Bag Pool Rake is a molded leaf rake with a deep, fine, mesh bag that handles both big clean-ups and small debris. It has a quick disconnect feature and fits most telescopic vacuum poles.

With its curved edges, sharp spots will not damage pool sides. The deep bag will allow for high capacity clean ups. It also has a reinforced handle for a safety long-reach of the pool sides. You also can use this attachment to scoop up toys or other things in the pool.

#7 Sabuy 18 Inch Heavy Duty Deep-Bag Swimming Pool Leaf Net Skimmer Rake

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Manual
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Pool Type: Above and in ground
  • Cost : Low price range
  • Warranty: Lifetime guarantee

The Sabuy Heavy duty deep-bag skimmer rake won’t bend, twist or break when loaded up. Tightly secured within “winged” handle for additional stability. It is tapered for easy maneuverability. This skimmer leaf net maintains its integrity and handles big swimming pool clean-ups with ease. This swimming pool skimmers handle can easily connect to a standard size telescoping pool pole with built-in quick connect clip. 

The nylon bag is durable ,stronger and more abrasion resistant than other double layer polypropylene netting. It is safe for all types of pools and will guard against marring or scratching of pool surfaces. Designed with straight sides and a slight angle, for easy cleaning of pool sides, in round or rectangle shaped pools. 

Other Solar Pool Skimmers We Reviewed

#8 SolaSkimmer Automatic Pool Solar Powered Pool Skimmer

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Self contained
  • Weight: 22.2 pounds
  • Pool Type: In and above ground
  • Cost : High price range
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Solaskimmer robotic pool skimmer pursues and grabs surface debris before it sinks! This Robotic Pool Cleaner is powered by the sun and will keep working for up to 8 hours. The four infrared sensors and two water jets work together to move your pool’s leaf skimmer all around the surface.

This skimmer also has a plug in option so you can also charge it if you are using it under less sunny conditions. It also has an added “Auto-Turn,” which turns the leaf skimmer every five minutes to avoid it from getting stuck.

Other Automatic Pool Skimmers We Reviewed

#9 Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim Above-Ground Pool Skimmer

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Automatic
  • Weight: 4.94 pounds
  • Pool Type: Above ground
  • Cost : Low price range
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Hayward Dyna-Skim for above ground pools has a huge basket for collecting leaves and debris, keeping your pool sparkling clean throughout the year. It has top and front access, 1.5 inch female straight tube threads and a snap in removable weir.

It features a high-quality UV resistant ABS material, as well as easy disconnect of pipes. This particular skimmer comes with all the accessories required for an easy installation.

 

#10 SkimmerMotion Automatic Pool Skimmer 

Product Specifications:

  • Type: Automatic
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Pool Type: Above and in ground
  • Cost : Mid price range
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

The SkimmerMotion features 10 built-in power levels and will automatically start making chlorine when needed. After it has finished a chlorine production cycle, it may be hours or even days until it turns on again. SkimmerMotion only works with suction or vacuum pool cleaners which you must already have in place.

The control panel has 3 buttons for adjusting the chlorine production and 4 indicator lights to let you know when it is making chlorine or if you need to check the cell. This plug-and-play system does not require plumbing or mechanical alternations. Simply attach the panel to the outside of your pool and lower the electrode into the water. This system can be used in above ground pools and hot tubs.

Important Features to Consider

  • Compatibility – A skimmer attached to the filtration system cycles more water, making your swimming pool safer and cleaner. The first thing when buying a pool skimmer is to ensure its compatible with your type of swimming pool.  It is important to know which models will work on an above-ground or in-ground pool and know some skimmers are designed to work with certain brands of pools and pumps.
  • Durability – Durability depends on the type and brand. The solar skimmers tend to be more durable than automatic and manual pool skimmers but also cost a lot more.
  • UV Resistant -A good pool skimmer should be made of a UV resistant material that remains strong for a long time.
  • Warranty – Choose a skimmer that is covered by a long-term warranty in case you need to have parts replaced. Some come with lifetime warranties.
  • Operation – Pool skimmers can be used manually, automatically and by solar power. Manual skimmers means dragging the water of the swimming pools and gather dirt particles in a net. Automatic pool surface skimmers run on electricity or with the help of a pump. Solar pool skimmers convert solar heat into electric current and some use back up batteries.
  • Maintenance –  A good pool skimmer will fill the filter with collected debris pretty fast, so you want it to be easy to access this part to be cleaned out. There should be easy access points to give your pool skimmer a proper cleaning and extend the life of your device.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pool skimmer?

A pool skimmer is one of the most important components for your pool and its purpose is to remove debris so that the water is clean and healthy. Pool skimmers are made to pull the top 1/8 inch of the pool water and their suction is powerful but not enough to notice that skimmers are installed.

How does a pool skimmer work?

Pool skimmers pull water into the skimmer which also brings debris in. There it is collected by a pool skimmer basket. It is the responsibility of the pool owner to empty the pool skimmer basket before debris blocks water from flowing through the pool skimmer.

How do I increase the suction of my pool skimmer?

The water level should be at least halfway up the skimmers opening. If it’s too low, your pump may have trouble priming and the water pressure will drop. If your skimmer basket is full of debris, you are shutting off the pipe between the skimmer and the pump. This will reduce the flow of water to the pump and if the pump has less water entering it, it is moving less water out. This means the pump is doing less work that in turn will reduce water pressure.

How do I winterize my above ground pool skimmer?

You have a couple of options when  winterizing your skimmer. The first step is to remove the skimmer basket and store it somewhere safe and dry for the winter. You can then decide whether you’d like to cover your skimmer for the season or not. You can use a winter skimmer cover is a plate that covers the entire skimmer, sealing out the elements. If you choose this method, you won’t have to drain your pool below the skimmer line. If you choose not to cover your pool skimmer, monitor your skimmer during the winter to make sure water can drain out if it rains. Keep the bottom of the skimmer clear.

Conclusion

A pool skimmer is more important than you might think. Keeping the skimmer clean and functioning can make removing unwanted leaves, insects and other debris from your pool simple.

Amy

Amy is a writer and editor who loves the outdoors, landscape design, and home improvement. She has been remodeling homes since 2013 and is an avid do-it-yourselfer. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, gardening or working on DIY projects.
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