Best Manual Pool Cleaner Reviews 2018

There's nothing like a clean pool on a summer day – that inviting shade of clear blue practically begs you to jump on in. However, as the season rolls by, debris is also attracted to your pool. A manual pool cleaner can make it easy to keep your pool as clean as you like it, all season long. We looked at five top products from some of the best manual pool cleaner brands and found effective options that you can count on.
Power Source
Our Top Choice
Water Tech Catfish Pool Blaster - Swimming Pool and Spa Cleaner
Water Tech has a cleaner for every pool size, including the versatile and lightweight Catfish Pool Vacuum – great for cleaning hot tubs and spas too!
Lightweight. Maneuverable. Rechargeable. No hose needed. Reusable filter bag.
Telescoping pole sold separately, but can be used by hand for small pools and spas.
Pool & Spa Vacuum
2.8 lbs.
7" x 4.5" x 14.75"
Reusable Filter Bag
Best Value
Intex Rechargeable Handheld Vacuum for Pools and Spas
Intex lets you get back to relaxing with convenient, luxurious products like the Intex Spa & Pool Vacuum.
Rechargeable. 2 versatile brush heads. Lightweight adjustable shaft. Auto-shut off when not in water.
Too small for in-ground pools beyond 18' in diameter.
Small Pool and Spa Vac
1 lb.
5.5" x 6.9" x 39.4"
USB Charging
OASE PondoVac 4 Pond Cleaner
Oase makes it easy to create a natural home oasis with products like the PondoVac Portable Pond Vacuum. Can be used to clean in and around your pond or pool.
Includes a range of nozzles and 2 hoses. Discharges as you vacuum. 8' max suction depth. High-performance motor.
Some reports of clogging when there is excessive debris.
Pond & Pool Cleaner
34.2 lbs.
15.5" x 16" x 29.6"
Many nozzles and attachments
Rola-Chem Corporation Paradise Spa Vac
Rola-Chem is a creator of simple, inexpensive cleaning solutions like the Paradise No-Pump Spa Vac. It’s good for hot tubs and small pools as well.
No pumping required. No battery required. 7' Aluminum extending pole. Picks up rocks, pennies, marbles and other debris.
Must be submerged to work. Not big enough for large pools.
Spa Cleaner
2.2 lbs.
58" x 5" x 5"
Extending Pole
Game Pool & Spa Vacuum™ 4855 – Manual Pool Cleaner
Game keeps your pool looking its best with their powerful pump-action Spa and Pool Cleaner.
Leaf cleaning and nozzle attachments. Powerful and simple pump-action suction. Easy operation.
Less powerful than electric cleaners. Not big enough for large pools.
Spa and Pool Vacuum
2.5 lbs.
2.9" x 55.5" x 2.9"
Leaf Skimmer, Nozzles, Brush

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Watch Our Manual Pool Cleaner Review

How Do I Choose the Best Manual Pool Cleaner?

It’s one of those lazy summer afternoons where you are just relaxing on your hammock chair as you read a book. As the day progresses, you feel like a dip in your above ground pool, but there's too much debris floating on it. You fetch a rake and start pulling the debris out, but half an hour later, there is not much progress. This is why you should get a manual pool cleaner.

With manual pool cleaners, you are the one physically operating the appliance. This is good exercise as you move from one point to another, and it’s fun too! Manual cleaners are easier on your budget, compared to automatic cleaners, and they're ideal for small pools and hot tubs. If you are a perfectionist, then a manual pool cleaner will not disappoint, since it will leave no spot untouched.

Before buying a pool cleaner, consider the size of your pool. If the pool is large, then a manual cleaner would not be the best choice, since it can be very time-consuming. You may want an automatic or robotic pool cleaner instead. The weight of the manual pool cleaner is also an important consideration. The best manual pool cleaner should be lightweight, so that you can move it around easily as you clean.

When your pool is clean, there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy lazing around on your favorite floating island as you sip some ice-cold, freshly squeezed juice.
You don’t have to break the bank to acquire a manual pool cleaner. Manual pool cleaners are fairly inexpensive, ranging from $30 to $350, so there’s no reason for debris and other dirt to pile up in your pool. The price varies depending on the suction capability and the efficiency of the pool cleaner. You may pay a little bit more for a pool cleaner with a powerful suction capability, which depends on the strength of its batteries.

In this review, we have not featured cheap manual pool cleaners, and with good reason. In our research, we found that they were inefficient due to inferior suction performance, and had low-quality filter bags.
Here are some important features to look for when searching for a manual pool cleaner:
  • Power Source - Most pool cleaners come with rechargeable batteries, but you may find some that are powered by electricity and/or have USB charging.
  • Type - This depends on whether the pool cleaner can be used to clean a pool, spa, pond or all of these.
  • Weight - Cords and hoses add to the weight of the pool cleaner, but ideally, the gadget should be light for easy movement as you clean.
  • Suction Depth - How deep can the pool cleaner go? Does it allow for efficient discharge of water as you clean?
  • Filter bag - Is the filter bag reusable? How much dirt can fit in it?
Construction and Design
A manual pool cleaner usually has a vacuum-like design, with an attached pole that helps you move around while cleaning your pool. Most of the battery-charged ones do not come with a cord, and they have superior suction capability. Weight is a key factor to consider in a manual pool cleaner. Most of these cleaners are lightweight, allowing you to move around when using them.

When the cleaner sucks up the dirt, it channels it to a filter bag, which you then empty once you're done. Some cleaners have reusable filter bags, with the majority having enough space to accommodate as much dirt as possible. For your safety, some designs come with an auto-shutoff feature that turns off the cleaner when it’s not submerged in water.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of a manual pool cleaner depends on its suction capability. From the length of the suction to its operation, it is essential that your manual pool cleaner can take out your debris efficiently. Many manual pool cleaners have filter bags that store the dirt from cleaning your pool. The water flow from the cleaner may also affect its performance, so it’s important to monitor its level regularly.

A good pool cleaner will come with a manual with easy-to-understand instructions on the installation and maintenance of the appliance. When storing a pool cleaner with a hose, it’s important that you don’t coil the hose, since this will interfere with its performance.

What is the Best Manual Pool Cleaner?

You know that the suction depth, as well as the source of power, greatly affect your decision when buying a manual pool cleaner. Let’s look at more tips that will enable you to pick an ideal appliance for your pool cleaning needs.
Our Top Choice
The Water Tech Catfish Pool Cleaner is lightweight, maneuverable and effective – making it very easy to clean your entire pool in no time. For larger pools and commercial use, Water Tech also offers the high-end Pool Blaster Max CG model.
Water Tech Blaster Catfish Pool Vacuum – Lightweight Manual Pool Cleaner for Pools and Spas

Water Tech Pool Cleaner - NE4386

Water Tech calls themselves "the pool invention people," and it's easy to see why. They offer a wide variety of highly rated pool vacuums for every type of pool and spa you can think of. The Catfish model we're looking at is a mid-range model with versatile functionality. Its small size makes it ideal for spas, inflatable pools and kiddie pools.

Let's see what you get with this handheld pool cleaner:
  • The rechargeable battery lets you easily clean any time without worrying about a cord or the need to buy new batteries. The battery lasts for up to 45 minutes, giving you plenty of time to clean out any debris.
  • The design of the Catfish is extremely lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • The design uses no external pipes or pumps, making it user-friendly right out of the box.
The sold-separately telescoping pole makes it easy to clean medium sized, in-ground pools with the Catfish Pool Vacuum.
Best Value
The powerful and maneuverable Intex Manual Vacuum is battery powered and easy to use right out of the box. Looking for something more automatic? Check out the best-selling Intex Deluxe Wall-Mounted Pool Skimmer.
Intex Rechargeable Handheld Pool Cleaner – USB Charger, 2 Brush Heads, 94" Telescope Shaft, Works as Spa Cleaner

Intex Pool Cleaner - 28620E

Intex offers innovations at affordable prices so that everyone can enjoy luxuries in their own home. That's why the Intex Handheld Pool Vacuum is both powerful and inexpensive.

Let's see how Intex makes it easy to get back to relaxing:
  • High-performance, rechargeable batteries let you get right to cleaning and can be charged with a USB cable for convenience.
  • The auto-shutoff feature automatically turns off the vacuum when it's not submerged in water.
  • This sleek, lightweight design is easy to use for extended cleaning sessions and is small enough to easily store or transport.
  • The 94" lightweight pole extends so you can customize the length for your pool or spa.
  • 2 interchangeable brush heads let you customize your vacuum for different surface types.
The OASE PondoVac makes it as easy as possible to clean out ponds of all sizes with various attachments to tackle the many surfaces and debris that collects in and around your pond. Looking for something less expensive? The OASE PondoVac Classic features the same high-quality reliability with a lower price and fewer extra features.
OASE PondoVac 4 Portable Pond Cleaner – 2 Chamber System, Included Nozzle Set

OASE Pond Cleaner – PondoVac 4

OASE offers products to help homeowners create an oasis in their own backyards. The PondoVac line features powerful suction and specialized attachments like the algae nozzle and brush nozzle to clean up any crevice and surface in your pond.

Let's see what it takes to keep a bustling pond clean all season long:
  • A 2 chamber system allows for continuous suction while the tank empties out. That means you can conveniently suck up debris without emptying out a bag every five minutes.
  • Easily clean deep ponds with the ultra-powerful 1800 watt motor with a maximum depth of 8 feet.
  • A pond vacuum would be nothing without an assortment of nozzles for the many challenges a pond presents. This vacuum includes flat surface nozzles, gravel sifting nozzles, algae-removing attachments and more.
  • This versatile vacuum can be used for ponds and pools as well as around your home as a powerful wet vacuum.
The Paradise Manual Power Spa Vacuum by Rola-Chem is simple and easy to use – ideal for small pools and spas. They also offer the Scumbug & Ultra Mitt that lets you easily clean tough messes like oil from spas and pools.
Paradise Power Spa Vacuum by Rola-Chem Corporation – Manual Pool Cleaner, No Pumping, No battery, 7' Extending Pole

Rola-Chem Pool Cleaner - 6250

Paradise Industries, a division of Rola-Chem Corporation, creates simple and effective cleaning solutions so you can spend more time in your personal paradise – and less time cleaning it. The Paradise Spa Vac is both low maintenance and easy to use.

Let's take a look at this simple and effective manual pool cleaner:
  • Simple air-hole technology lets you easily suck up debris with no power and no pumping. Simply plug the air hole and submerge the vacuum. When you let go, the vacuum instantly fill with debris from your pool.
  • The 7' aluminum pole extends for easy handling for a range of distances.
  • This vacuum is surprisingly powerful so you can easily suck up rocks, pennies, marbles, sand and any other light debris.
Take control of your pool with the powerful pump-action Game Spa and Pool Cleaner. Game has also created a highly rated sand filter – the Game SandPRO 35D Pool Sand Filter.
Game Spa and Pool Cleaner – Handheld Vacuum with Pump-Action for Small Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs.

Game Pool Cleaner - 4855

Game specializes in making pools look their best – from full underwater light shows and décor to simple maintenance and replacement parts; Game has it all. This handheld spa and pool cleaner comes with an affordable price tag of about $40 retail, and while it doesn’t have as many features as some of the higher end models on our list, for people with small pools or spas AND a tight budget, it is a good option.

One of the things that makes this manual pool cleaner stand out is it’s ability to remove larger sized debris from your pool. There are many people who get this pool vacuum as a “secondary” one for windy days and early fall to remove excessive leaves that can sometimes jam up their more expensive automatic or robotic pool cleaners.

Let’s take a closer look at what this affordable pool cleaner has to offer:
  • The included leaf skimmer is built like a rake to make it easy to remove large amounts of leaves from your pool with ease.
  • The included dual and wide nozzle lets you customize the type of suction you use for various types of debris inside your spa or pool.
  • Simple, yet powerful, pump-action suction easily cleans away stubborn debris.
  • No hoses, power or water hookups are necessary with this simple manual cleaner. It has everything you need to clean out your small pool or spa.

Get the Best Manual Pool Cleaner of 2018!

Hopefully, the information contained in this review was of great help, and has helped you identify an ideal manual pool cleaner to get rid of all the dirt in your pool. Need a different cleaner? These expert brands have other great appliances that will not disappoint you.

Our Top Choice
Water Tech Catfish Pool Blaster - Swimming Pool and Spa Cleaner
Best Value
Intex Rechargeable Handheld Vacuum for Pools and Spas
OASE PondoVac 4 Pond Cleaner
Rola-Chem Corporation Paradise Spa Vac
Game Pool & Spa Vacuum™ 4855 – Manual Pool Cleaner