updated: March 16, 2021

Read our 2021 review of the Zodiac MX8 suction side pool cleaner and find what makes it one of the best cleaners on the market!

Our rating: 9.9
Price: High

The Zodiac MX8 is an exceptional suction-side pool cleaner that exists for one purpose: to make your life a thousand times easier.

 Zodiac MX8 Suction Pool Cleaner standing near the pool
Zodiac MX8 is an exceptional suction-side pool cleaner

Most pool owners can’t wait for the moment when their dream of pool ownership is finally realized. They stand before their backyard swimming oasis for the first time in total ecstasy, thinking about how much fun they’re going to have all summer long.

A few months into that idyllic fantasy, the dream slowly dies as they realize how much work goes into maintaining a pool. The MX8 puts all the fun back into owning a pool because when you own one, laborious manual cleaning becomes a thing of the past.

Features

MX8 maneuvers in the tight corner of the pool.
  • Exceptional maneuverability;
  • Superior wall climbing capabilities;
  • Energy-efficient design;
  • Unsurpassed suction power;
  • Large debris inlet;
  • Perfect for all in-ground pools

Who’s It For

The Zodiac MX8 is for anyone tired of cleaning their pool the old-fashioned way. With this powerful cleaner at your beck and call, you’ll shave hours off pool maintenance chores each week.

That way, you can kick back, relax and soak up the sun instead of laboriously cleaning yucky scum from your pool.

It’s a labor-saving device par excellence!

Pros

Plus

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the way the MX8 scrubs away tough dirt and sucks up unsightly debris.

Unlike some lesser models, the Zodiac MX8 is a full-service pool cleaner. This means it not only cleans your floors and walls—it’ll scrub your waterline too. The tank-like tire treads give the machine exceptional maneuverability. With the kind of nimble agility built into the MX8, it won’t get hopelessly stuck in tight corners.

I know for many pool owners who have machines that suffer from this problem, this is annoying to the nth degree. Thankfully, you won’t have to put up with that kind of irritation from the MX8.

MX8 cleans the waterline of the pool.

Its wall-climbing ability is second to none, so there’s little to no chance it’ll come tumbling down when it attempts to scale the sides of your pool.

One thing I really like about the MX8 is it has a wider cleaning path than your average suction-side cleaner. It also has a reasonably large debris inlet, so leaves won’t be getting stuck every two seconds.

The MX8 has a motor that provides maximum torque while operating at low flow. This makes it super energy efficient and perfect if you have a variable speed pump.

The dual cyclonic suction allows the MX8 to move faster and deliver unsurpassed vacuum power while needing 30% less flow. Its ultra-efficient design requires less flow than any cleaner in its class for maximum energy savings.

Incredibly, the MX8 requires as little as 20 GPM of flow. This makes it ideal for solar, two-speed, and variable speed pumps.

Bottom up view on MX8 with its dual cyclonic suction system.

The MX8 boasts an innovative flow regulator valve that prevents excessive water flow from running through the device. This helps prolong the life of the machine.

There’s also a 39-foot hose that twists and locks. It easily attaches to the cleaner with a quick-connect attachment. This reduces vacuum loss, always ensuring the optimal performance of your device.

It connects directly to your skimmer or dedicated 1.5″ vacuum line, so no electricity is required to run the unit. The gearbox is sealed, which prevents debris that gets stuck inside from damaging sensitive components.

If any debris ever clogs up the cleaner, never fear—it’s very easy to remove. Simply push on the yellow tab, open the top, and clear out any debris from the engine. All the parts are modular, so they’re easy to replace, taking only minutes of your precious time.

The MX8 is particularly good at scouring away disgusting algae deposits, restoring your pool once more to its original visual allure.

Cons

Minus

The MX8 isn’t recommended for long, narrow debris such as pine needles or palm fronds. This kind of vegetable matter can wrap around wheel axles and stop your underwater robot dead in its tracks.

Many people complain that the wheels of the MX8 tend to wear out after a year or so. Even though they’re inexpensive to replace, they should last longer than this.

Another part you’ll probably have to replace is the gearbox. There are two of them, and they’re known for failing after a couple of years. You can easily replace them yourself, saving you from sending the unit back to the manufacturer.

Although it does suck up acorns, you might find that occasionally an acorn gets stuck in the debris inlet. This happens despite how large the inlet is.

The MX8 is supposed to have super-quiet operation. However, it can keep you up in the middle of the night if your bedroom happens to be close to the pool.

Like all other suction-side cleaners, the MX8 doesn’t suck up floating debris. You’ll have to leave that for the skimmer.

Alternatives to the Zodiac MX8

One alternative to the Zodiac MX8 is the MX6. These machines share a similar design.

Image of Zodiac MX6 - an alternative model you also could consider for purchase.

However, the MX8 has two directional gears on the bottom, making it easier to back up and change its trajectory if it gets hung up on an obstacle. The MX6 only has a single gear, which makes it more difficult to extricate itself.

This means you might have to give the MX6 an occasional helping hand.

The MX8 has dual cyclonic suction power, while the MX6 only has single. The MX8 also has a bigger debris inlet than the MX6.

Now, let’s compare the MX8 to the Zodiac Baracuda G3. The MX8 has much better maneuverability in shallow water than the Baracuda has. The MX8 sucks up dirt better than the Baracuda.

The Baracuda is a little cheaper than the MX8.

My Final Verdict: Should You Buy a Zodiac MX8

The MX8 has many top-of-the-line features that make this cleaner an outstanding buy.

It’s energy-efficient and has sufficient suction power to clean your pool from the floor to the waterline. It’ll even clean those hard-to-get areas that lesser models have a hard time with. Based on what I’ve seen, I can heartily recommend the MX8.

Zodiac MX8 is one great little device I can recommend

All in all, the MX8 is one great little device requiring very little maintenance!

If you want to read more about suction pool cleaners, check out our guide.

Author
Our pool maintenance expert, Luke Reed, earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1998. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of industries, including design and construction of luxury swimming pools.

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