Best Handheld Pool Vacuums for 2020

With a handheld pool vacuum, you won’t need to worry about added costs of running your booster pump or main pump. A simple sweep of the tool will remove tiny piles of dirt and algae instantly. In this guide, we’re going to talk about our picks of the 3 best handheld pool vacuums money can buy. Stick around and we’ll go into why a handheld vacuum is an indispensable tool for pool owners across the world and how to shop for the right model.

Best Handheld Pool Vacuums Review
Intex 28620EP

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POOL BLASTER Catfish Ultra Rechargeable,...
RUN TIME: The lithium ion battery powered Centennial is designed to run up to 45 minutes.

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Our Recommended Handheld Pool Vacuums

PoolSupplyTown Mini Jet Vac

Regarded as one of the most user-friendly handheld pool vacuums on the market, you can expect a lot of cleaning power from this compact device. The PoolSupplyTown Mini Jet Vac doesn’t run on batteries or electricity, but instead the ingenious design of this tool utilizes running water to create a suction powerful enough to remove loosened debris from slippery pool liners.

Simply connect a standard garden hose to connection port and place the tool inside of your pool. This produces a venturi effect that suctions debris into the included filter bag. Use the stiff bristles at the front to loosen clinging debris from your pool’s walls or floor. No handle or pole included with this device.

PoolSupplyTown Mini Jet Vac Vacuum Review

PoolSupplyTown Vacuum Review

Water Tech Blaster Catfish

The Blaster Catfish by Water Tech has a wide 7.4-inch head with three sets of stiff-bristle brushes that gently scrape the surface of your pool to loosen debris. The Blaster Catfish’s wide throat allows you to pick up debris of nearly all shapes and sizes, including deal leaves and twigs, without choking.

As a battery-operated unit, you can get much better results with this than a manual-driven, venturi-style vacuum. The Blaster Catfish moves up to 33 gallons of water every minute through its system and filtration bag to store all collected debris. Each charge supplies up to 45 minutes of continuous cleaning.

Water Tech Pool Blaster Catfish Li Pool & Spa Cleaner Review

Water Tech Pool & Spa Cleaner Review

Intex 28620EP Rechargeable Handheld Vacuum

The Intex 28620EP is another rechargeable handheld pool vacuum that’s made specifically for inflatable pools and hot tubs, though it will definitely worth on inground pools without trouble. It comes with two sets of interchangeable clip-on brush heads. By removing the brush, you’ll gain access to the minute, easy-to-clean filter trap.

With the Intex, you’ll get a 94-inch telescoping wand (no separate purchase necessary) that will make cleaning deep pools easy on your wrist. You’ll also get a USB cable (no power brick included) that charges the Ni-MH battery. Each charge supplies up to 50 minutes of full-powered, reliable cleaning. Clean the filter after every use.

Intex 28620EP Rechagreable Handheld Vacuum Review

Intex Rechagreable Handheld Vacuum Review

Buying Guide: What You Need to Know about Handheld Pool Vacuums

In this brief buying guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about these handy devices as well as how to choose the best model for your pool or hot tub.

Handheld Pool Vacuums Review
PoolSupplyTown Mini Jet Vac Vacuum Cleaner

Handheld vs. Automatic Pool Cleaners

Pool cleaners come in a variety of shapes and sizes (and prices tags). The more expensive units are automatic pool cleaners which connect to a booster pump (pressure-side), main pool pump (suction-side), or draw power from an electrical outlet (robotic). Automatic pool cleaners come with hefty price tags compared to handheld units. This is because of the convenience of not needing to push hold and push around the tool—just set it and forget it.

Handheld pool cleaners, on the other hand, are great for spot-cleaning areas that your automatic pool cleaner might have missed. This is also the most cost-effective option for cleaning inflatable tubs without going overboard. The drawback is you needing to be there to do the actual cleaning, but since we’re dealing with tiny surface areas with dirt or dead leaves, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Choosing the Best Handheld Pool Vacuum: Manual vs. Battery-Operated

The only real factor you need to take into account is whether you can live with a manual model or require the added convenience of battery-operated motors. Manually operated handheld pool cleaners like the PoolSupplyTown Mini Jet Vac require no source of power other than pure elbow grease. All you need to do is connect a standard garden hose and voila, you’re ready to roll.


Battery-operated units like the Water Tech and Intex need to be charged fully before put to use. This can take several hours for less than 60 minutes of cleaning. On the plus side, spot-cleaning a pool with a battery-operated pool vacuum requires significantly less work than when using manual models.


Why is my Pool Cloudy When I Vacuum?

This problem might not even be caused by the handheld pool vacuum. Most likely, murky pool water is a sign of chemical imbalance. Check to make sure the chlorine level of your pool isn’t thrown out of whack.

Why is my Pool Dirty After I Vacuum It?

This is one of the most common problems handheld pool vacuum users have. If your pool is just as dirty as it was before vacuuming, check the unit’s filter. A quick rinse of the filter should have the vacuum working as good as new.

What is the Best Handheld Pool Vacuum?

From our list, you can clearly see what we think the best manual pool vacuum is: the PoolSupplyTown Mini Jet Vac. As for battery-operated models, we feel that the Intex 28620EP Rechargeable Handheld Vacuum has the upper hand for coming with a lightweight telescoping wand, two interchangeable brushes, and a longer runtime per charge.

Do I Need a Handheld Pool Vacuum?

The only “real” scenario we can see someone absolutely needing a handheld pool vacuum is if they have an inflatable pool or hot tub. These are inexpensive cleaning tools that are simple to operate to get at all corners and/or edges.

If you have an inground pool measuring more than 20 feet long, a handheld vacuum as your sole cleaning tool will make life a lot harder on you. At best, these are design for spot-cleaning tasks—consider picking up an automatic pool cleaner.


In this guide, we’ve shown you our picks of the three best handheld pool vacuums you can find today. We’re most fond of the Intex for a number of reasons you can find in our Buying Guide, but in short, it works and it’s super-convenient.

Pool Vacuum Cleaners
Water Tech Pool Blaster Catfish Li

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Last update on 2020-10-21 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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