6 Best Pool Skimmer 2019 Reviews | Inground and Above Ground, Automatic and Manual

Leaves, bugs and other debris in your pool don’t just look ugly: they affect your water balance, consume chemicals and can stain pool surfaces. So what you need is a skimmer as they are essential tools for pool maintenance and normal pool water filtering and draining operations, as simply explained by Tom Harris from Home & Garden on How Stuff Works.

Apart from a skimmer which is built in your inground pool you might need additional automated skimmers, surface cleaners and manual skimmers with handy poles and durable fine mesh. For your above-ground pools or a hot tub you might need the same tools and a side-mounted automated skimmer.Some types of pool will need manual skimmers. 

Bear in mind that all pool skimmers, automated or manual pool skimming units, are designed for regular maintenance. If your pool is loaded with leaves, debris and algae, drain the pool, vacuum it, brush it, use a great algaecide, and  refill it and have a clean start.

Fortunately, with the number of pool skimmers and maintenance tools available, you’ll make your pool look beautiful again in no time!

Let’s check out some automatic and manual pool skimmers and help you make a good choice buying your best pool skimmer!

Best Pool Skimmers Buying Guide

Making the right choice of a swimming pool skimmer can make pool maintenance so much easier. A skimmer is meant to preserve a clean pool surface by helping you get rid of floating leaves, bugs, twigs and other debris. It's also important to preserve your pool filter.

What to look for

Before reading the features and specs of a skimmer, always check its purpose: the best above ground swimming pool skimmer is not compatible with in-ground pools. Don’t order the wrong product just because it says automated skimmer.

If you are planning an easy to install floating automated skimmer for your in-ground pool, check the dimensions of extension parts and joints of the product against your pool outlet diameter.

Most above ground pools these days are going with a wide-mouth skimmer which is mounted on one of the side walls of your pool. Again check for compatibility, extension parts dimensions and ease of mounting.

In addition to automated pool skimmers, you can skim debris out of your swimming pool with a wide selection of hand skimmers. When buying these, check for the durability of the pole and frame material, how long the pole is and how fine mesh is.

Pay attention to the material the mesh is made of and whether it is easy to replace it once it breaks or tears. In some hand pool skimmers kits the pole is not included so think in advance about where to get the matching pole.

The most popular types of pool skimmers

1. Automatic Pool Skimmers

Automatic pool skimmers attach to your swimming pool pump inlet. When pool water gets sucked in through the hose, propellers or paddles move the skimmer around the surface of the swimming pool. 

Most automatic pool skimmers go through randomized movements. This prevents them from being stuck in one part of your pool. Some pool skimmers need to be re-deployed on regular basis.

2. Manual Pool Skimmers

Manual skimmers mostly come in the form of a mesh attached to a long and light-weight pole. They don't need electricity to operate and your pump can be on or off while you are using the skimmers. 

They are affordable and serve the purpose of collecting and removing larges floating debris. Manual pool skimmers are very convenient for tight spots of inground and above ground pools as well as for your hot tub. Even the youngsters can use them as a light chore for a more enjoyable swim or soak.

Think about your needs before purchasing one of the best pool skimmers for your needs

You might think about your pool surrounding area, the trees you have there, the nearness of higher surfaces such as roofs and how to eliminate or at least lower the amount of debris falling into your pool as much as you can. If you get a lot a lot of debris it'll reduce the work for your swimming pool vacuum.

Depending where your pool is located and how much debris, bugs and leaves you have floating around, choose a best pool skimmer that meets your needs. The more stuff floats in your pool, the better and more versatile skimming equipment you need.

Now let’s move on to pool skimmer reviews!

Best Pool Skimmers Reviews 2019

1. ProTuff Spa Skimmer Net - 14 inch Leaf Rake Bag for Pool Pole

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ProTuff Skimmer Net is of top notch quality. A sturdy, well-designed and long-lasting frame with a low drag medium mesh sewn heavy duty deep-bag comes with 100% no questions asked guaranteed replacement. If there is a perfect deal when shopping for the best water pool skimmer folks, this is it!

On top of this, ProTuff sends an email with detailed instructions and tips which all buyers find extremely helpful.

protuff spa pool skimmer net

All you need is a pool pole with 1 1/8" inner diameter with standard holes to attach using butterfly/v-clip to get probably the best pool skimmer at hand.

Why a medium mesh instead of fine, you may ask? A fine mesh grabs tiny debris from the pool bottom and surface, gets heavy and creates so much push of your pool water that the job gets extremely strenuous. A medium mesh net grabs everything except sand and doesn’t push the water so you skim the pool with a lot less physical strain while not pushing the floating leaves away.

The mesh won't pass back through the rake frame, letting the contents spill out, so no wasted time re-bagging lost debris with this water leaf skimmer

The aluminum frame pool leaf catcher is slightly heavier than plastic, but can handle more weight. Its straight sides ride flush against the pool surfaces to remove stuck leaves.

You can pick a size of the mouth according to your needs. Narrow mouth frames cover less area. Wider mouths collect more debris, but are heavier to lift. Use a 24" if you're strong, have a large pool. Use a 14", 16" if you have a really small pool. 18" and 20" are convenient medium sizes.

The guarantee covers all breaks, fails or tears. You will get full replacement as long as you register as a verified buyer. Lifetime guarantee, full replacement and swift delivery; it cannot get better than this! Worth the Price, too!

Things We Liked

  • Super strong aluminum frame
  • Long product life - double stitched bag
  • Compatible with most poles
  • Lifetime guarantee

Things We Didn't Like

  • A little heavy



2. INTEX Deluxe Wall Mount Swimming Pool Surface Skimmer

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The INTEX Deluxe Wall Mount Swimming Pool Surface Skimmer is easy to use and does an effective job of keeping debris out of your pool water. You do need to use this in conjunction with a pool filter pump of at least 800 gph flow rate. 

It comes with everything you need to setup and install. The adjustable brackets that come with it make it super simple to attach to the side of your pool. The design is for above ground pools. 

Maintenance is also simple since the strainer basket lifts right out for simple removal of debris. 

This is one of the more simple designs on our list, but it gets the job done without breaking the bank. It may not handle excessive debris as well as some of the other pumps, though. 

Things We Liked

  • Easy to set up
  • Simple to clean
  • Fast installation

Things We Didn't Like

  • Could be more powerful



3. Hydro Tools 8051 Promotional 4-Foot Telescopic Pool Skimmer

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Hydro Tools Pool Skimmer is a good choice if you are looking for an inexpensive skimmer which does a fair job.

This lightweight, easy-to-use, 4 foot telescopic pole with a leaf net is really handy for quick cleanup of pools and spas.

Made from aluminum and strong plastic, this pool cleaning tool is convenient for smaller above ground pools and spas as well because the aluminum handle retracts to a convenient length.

Hydro Tools Telescopic Pool Skimmer

The included leaf skimmer easily detaches so you may attach a different telescoping or regular pole. The pole adjusts from 21.5 - 48 inches. The total extended length including the net frame is 60 inches. The pole can be retracted for easy storage, but it can extend to reach a good distance as well.

Hydro Tools Pool Skimmer makes it very easy to reach different parts of your pool to get it cleaned. Anything you collect from the pool comes off very easy just by shaking the skimmer a little. Since it is light-weight, it does not take much to carry it around and even kids can help out and keep you joyful company.

The skimmer goes through the water very easily and it does not bend all over the place. The telescopic pole locks in two places but will loosen at times when you are scooping. The skimmer net has some sideways play when you are scooping but that makes it easier to shake the leaves loose from the net, as reported by the users.

The net holds up very well even when left in the sun for days. The net is pretty strong and it picks up even the smallest debris. The weak point is the plastic where the net connects to the pole as there is a bit of play.

If you have a larger pool and/or will be using a skimmer frequently, getting something a little longer and stronger is recommended. Bottom line, a solid buy for your buck!

Things We Liked

  • Light weight makes it easy to use
  • Good for the money
  • Quality + easily replacable net

Things We Didn't Like

  • Pole a little flimsy



4. Intex Deluxe Wall Mount Surface Skimmer

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intex deluxe wall mount surface skimmer

Intex Deluxe Wall Mount Skimmer operation is also based on the venturi effect. One end of the hose should be connected to the auto pool cleaner and the other end to the pool's outlet where water from the pump returns back into the pool. It helps catch leaves and debris before they sink to the bottom of the pool.

This automatic pool skimmer works in conjunction with your filter pump for easy, automatic surface skimming. It needs a pump with a minimum 800 gph flow rate.

The skimmer is cleverly designed and does an excellent job skimming the pool and the filter basket is large enough to trap a large amount of debris and prevent it from getting into your filter. Your pool needs to be properly filled. Too little water and the skimmer will tip away from the wall and not work correctly. Too much water and the top part of the skimmer will float away.

The skimmer easily mounts to your metal frames or easy set pool’s sidewalls with an adjustable bracket and attaches to the filter pump for automatic skimming. Just follow the instructions provided.

Intex Deluxe Wall Mount Skimmer has a reinforced neck of the skimmer where it attaches to the pool for additional stability and protection from any deformations caused by frequent bending and direct sun.

The strainer basket pulls out for easy pool cleaning and the skimmer’s durable polypropylene plastic is not affected by pool chemicals. However, do not add pool chemicals directly into the wall mount surface skimmer basket or into the filter cartridge chamber. This goes for all automatic skimmers. It will cause the plastic parts to deteriorate faster due to high chemical concentration, and it will void the warranty provided.

Make sure all the air is removed from inside the auto cleaner. Follow the owner's manual on how to release the air. The skimmer has tiny holes which serve as vent holes for the trapped air in the chamber to escape. Do not block or obstruct the vent holes. All air must be removed from the auto cleaner system for it to perform properly.

Intex deluxe cannot be operated while you are in the pool. The filter pump is not to be operated when the pool is in use and/or occupied. This is due to various local, state, national and international safety standards.

Things We Liked

  • Automatically removes debris from your pool
  • Made from quality materials
  • Easy to mount

Things We Didn't Like

  • Brackets tend to get lose
  • People in the pool can cause debris to float out



5. Pooldevil Pro Automatic Pool Surface Cleaner

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Pooldevil Pro Cleaner? Just float it and forget it! Empty the bag once it’s full and that’s about it!

Pool Devil Pro floats on the surface of your pool and collects floating debris in a durable, UV-treated filtration bag.

It uses your pool jets to create a circular “flow-thru” system, drawing in floating debris and trapping it before it settles on the bottom of the pool or clogs your filter.

Pooldevil Pro Automatic Pool Surface Cleaner

The cleaner easily screws into your jets that return water to the pool. You don’t have to remove the unit during cleaning or while swimming. It automatically positions itself along the side of your pool so it stays out of your way while you swim. It works with most contemporary above-ground or in-ground pool.

Pool Devil Pro reduces strain on the filtration system pump and prevents clogging, enhancing the pump’s performance. However, the included filter bags are a bit flimsy and only last a few months. Other than that the cleaner works fine creates enough suction that brings all the leaves, twigs, bugs and other debris into the filter bag. Bags are not the cheapest to replace, though.

It operates a bit louder than other cleaners and for bigger pools it might take awhile for it to clean the pool completely. Two units would perform better. Also, make sure to hook it tight to your return as it may break loose if you have a strong pump set on high. It might operate better with a wider mouth.

Things We Liked

  • Works well for the price
  • easy to mount

Things We Didn't Like

  • A little noisy
  • Not ideal with stronger pumps
  • Bags don't last long
  • Not great for larger pools



6. Swimline Hydro Tools 8039 Professional Heavy Duty Leaf Skimmer

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Swimline leaf skimmer is a heavy duty, professional quality hand skimmer. It includes sturdy frame made of molded plastic and a fine-mesh basket. The tapered front edge of the frame enables you to easily skim debris from your pool surfaces.

 Click to open expanded view Swimline Hydro Tools 8039 Professional Heavy Duty Leaf Skimmer

The mesh is 13"H x 13"W and the entire skimmer is 21"H x 16"W and it fits almost every pole. Just choose the length you need and you’re all set.

Stray leaves, bugs and other debris have never been easier to pick up with this hand-held, convenient, pool leaf skimmer from Swimline. Designed for light use, this pool skimmer has a one-piece molded frame which is sure to last you a long time.

Durable mesh skims top of your pool water to pick up any debris before it reaches your pool filter system, clogs it and causes unwanted hassle and costs. Pool leaf skimmers can be attached to regular or telescoping poles.

However, the net is melted into the frame so although it's not likely to come loose you won’t be able to change it. Another slight con is that the frame is a bit thicker which makes it a little difficult to get leaves on the edges of the pool.

For the price it does a good job and mostly puts up with heavy duty although it can feel too big and bulky for some of you. It’s definitely too big for spas but alright for swimming pools. Give it a try! It’ll be of great help.

Things We Liked

  • Great for the price
  • Sturdy build
  • Good for bigger pools

Things We Didn't Like

  • Frame is a bit thick
  • Mesh not replaceable



Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I've tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me. I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

DaleB - May 13, 2017 Reply

You should review the Skim-A-Round All in One. This is an improved skimmer basket that basically speeds up the skimming process and when the pump stops, floats up trapping anything that was sucked in. it runs about $36.

    Laurie S. - May 14, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for the feedback! We’ll definitely look into this. Is this your favorite pool skimmer?

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