Tiger Shark vs Dolphin Comparison Review (2017 Edition)

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: Two Robot Heavyweights Square Off

A good robotic pool cleaner costs a decent chunk of change.  So that’s why it’s important to your research and read some robotic pool cleaner reviews before you buy.  In this article, the main matchup will be Tiger Shark vs Dolphin by Maytronics.  After we compare those two, we’ll be taking a look at two other pool cleaning solutions: Solar Breeze NX and PoolSkim.

Here are the 2 main robot pool cleaners we’ll be looking at:

1. Dolphin Premier Pool Robot.  The first and best product on the list is a full-featured float valve enhanced pool cleaner bot.

2017 Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
List Price: $1,197.00
Price: $1,097.00
You Save: $100.00
Price Disclaimer

2. Tiger Shark Robotic Pool Cleaner.  Tiger Shark is very similar to the Dolphin Premier.  But, it’s not quite as good and it’s slightly cheaper.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: In-Depth with Dolphin Premier

If money is no object, get the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner.  It’s a bit pricey, but it’s the nicest pool cleaning robot out there.  It’s all the details that make the difference.  With the Dolphin Premier, you get a slightly powerful motor– 3000 RPMs instead of 2700.  The Premier also has a nicer remote with lots of powerful scheduling options.

Also, with the Premier you can get 3 different types of brushes.  Also, it comes with two different types of filters.  So it’s a little bit more customizable.

Some people have complained that the TigerShark (robot number #2 on this list) isn’t balanced very well.  Sometimes it flips over and gets stuck.  Nobody seems to have had this problem with the Premier Dolphin, though.

One major selling point of the Premier Dolphin is that it comes with a 3 year warranty.  With the TigerShark, you only get a 1 year warranty.

  • I recently wrote an in-depth review of the Dolphin Premier.  Check that out here.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: Energy Efficiency

The Premier Dolphin isn’t quite as energy efficient as the TigerShark, but it’s not far behind.  Premier needs about 180 watts of power to run.

To put that number in perspective, a traditional pool cleaner needs at least 2,000 watts of power.

The TigerShark uses about 100 watts, which is slightly less energy than the Premier Dolphin.

Just like most self-contained pool robots on the market, you don’t have to buy any extra filters or pumps to use the Premier.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: Brains

The Premier Dolphin’s brain is very similar to the TigerShark’s.  Both robots use advanced robotic sensors to scan your pool’s walls and floor.

The Premier Dolphin records where it’s been and makes sure that it covers every inch of the pool.  If it runs into an obstacle, it can back up and go around it just like a Roomba.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: Cleaning

dolpin-premier-review-bagJust like the TigerShark, the Premiere Dolphin features a modular design that makes it very easy to clean.  All you have to do is snap out the filter when it’s time for a rinse.

Unlike the TigerShark, the Premier Dolphin comes with two different kinds of filters.  If there are lots of leaves floating around, you can strap on the bag filter.  But if you want Premier to do focus on the walls, you can use the microfilter instead.

The Premier Dolphin comes with one universal type brush.  But if you want more cleaning options, you can buy two additional types of brushes.  The additional brushes are nice to have if you own a pool with special cleaning needs, like a vinyl pool for instance.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: How do they work?

Screenshot 2016-08-02 01.39.18

Like the TigerShark, Premier mostly goes about its business independently.  It methodically covers every surface in your pool, getting rid of gunk and parasites.

The remote that comes with the Dolphin Premier looks nice and it has many good features.  The TigerShark remote, on the other hand, is basic and looks like a R/C car remote.

The Dolphin Premier can be scheduled to run on certain days of the week.  So if you want Dolphin Premier to only work 3 days a week and take the rest of the week off, you can make that happen by punching in a few simple commands.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: Why Dolphin is better

It’s the little things that push the Premier Dolphin over the top.

The Premier Dolphin is sturdy.  It’s got the longest warranty (3 years) of any robotic pool cleaner on the market.

Also, Premier scrubs just a little bit harder than the TigerShark and most other pool cleaning robots because it’s got a 3000 RPM motor.  Plus, it’s got a nicer remote control with more options and features.

2017 Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
List Price: $1,197.00
Price: $1,097.00
You Save: $100.00
Price Disclaimer

Best Features of the Premier Dolphin Pool Cleaner Robot:

  • Its powerful DC motor
  • Optional specialized rollers
  • Nicer remote
  • 3 year warranty
  • Click here to buy Premier Dolphin

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: Good things about Tiger Shark

The TigerShark Robotic Pool Cleaner is the second best robotic pool cleaner on the market today behind the Dolphin Premier by Maytronics.

The TigerShark and the Dolphin Premier are fundamentally identical.  The both have floater valves that allow them to clean pool walls.  And they both have advanced robotic brains and sensors designed to map the inside of a pool.

Even though the Dolphin Premier is slightly nicer, I do like the Tiger Shark.  It’s slightly less expensive and even more energy efficient than most pool bots.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: Energy Efficiency

Hayward says that their pool cleaning bot is the most energy efficient one out there.  A glance at the TigerShark specs list reveals that they are probably right.  Like the Dolphin Premier Pool Cleaner, the TigerShark comes equipped with a DC motor.  The difference is pretty negligible, but the TigerShark’s motor unit is slightly more energy efficient.

tigershark specs motor
The TigerShark’s motor specifications

Both the TigerShark and the Dolphin Premier Pool Cleaner will save you lots of money on your utilities if you’re currently using some type of old school A/C powered pool cleaner.  Both the TigerShark uses about as much electricity as a single 100 watt light bulb.

Also if you get a pool robot, you don’t have to use any extra equipment.  No need to buy an additional pool pump or a filter or anything like that.

Advanced Robotic Brain 

The TigerShark pool cleaner comes with an advanced brain and sensors.  That’s how it can map out your pool and clean it in a systematic way.

1-tiger-shark-robot-review

Most people don’t realize how truly awesome modern automated robots are when it comes to moving around in confined spaces.  Robotic microcontrollers and sensors are cheaper than ever before.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: How to Clean a TigerShark Pool Bot

Pretty much all pool robots are super easy to clean.  Most robotic pool machines have modular parts.  To clean the TigerShark, all you have to do is snap out the filter and spray it down with a hose.

The TigerShark only comes with a microfilter.  The Dolphin Premier has two different types of filters: one for filtering out the small stuff, and a larger bag filter for grabbing leaves.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: How Does TigerShark Work?

Like most automated pool cleaners, all you have to do is plop it in the pool.  The robot’s brain takes care of the details.

If you want to take control of the pool robot for spot cleaning purposes, you can move it around with the included remote.

The remote works just fine, but it’s a bit basic compared to the Dolphin Premier’s remote.

Tiger Shark vs Dolphin: Tiger Shark Benefits

One of the best things about the TigerShark is that it has floater valves that lift it up to the surface when it’s time to clean the walls.  Some robotic pool cleaners only move back and forth across the floor of your pool.

Another nice thing about the TigerShark is that it has two cleaning modes.  An intensive cleaning takes about 4 hours to complete.  But if all you need is a once-over, you can tell the TigerShark to do a quick clean.

Finally, the TigerShark deserves credit for being the most energy efficient robotic pool cleaner on the market.  As mentioned above, the TigerShark uses about the same amount of energy as a standard light bulb.  From an engineering perspective, that’s really quite amazing.

Best Features of the TigerShark Pool Cleaner Robot:

  • It’s got floater valves that clean the walls
  • It has two cleaning modes: normal and quick
  • It’s the most energy efficient robotic pool cleaner out there
  • It’s less expensive than most competing robot pool cleaners
  • Click here to buy TigerShark

Next up are 2 unique (but not quite as effective) alternatives to Dolphin and Tiger Shark:

1. Solar Breeze NX.  Solar Breeze is completely cordless and runs on sun energy.

2. PoolSkim.  If you’re just looking for an inexpensive way to get rid of leaves, check out this option.

PoolSkim Pool Skimmer and Pool Cleaner
List Price: $114.99
Price: $114.99
Price Disclaimer

An Interesting Option: the Solar Breeze NX

The most intriguing thing about the Solar Breeze NX is that it requires no electricity to run whatsoever.  Because no cords are needed, you don’t even have to plug it in.  All you have to do is drop the Solar Breeze in the pool and let it do its thing.

Solar Breeze NX

The Solar Breeze NX doesn’t clean walls, but it does a great job of picking up leaves and filtering out free-floating dirt.  If all you want is a robot that scoops up the big stuff, the Solar Breeze NX could be what you’re looking for.

The Solar Breeze NX can even run at night for a few hours because it charges its batteries during the day.  The filter is easy to pull out and rinse off.

One additional thing that separates Solar Breeze NX from the competition is its ability to distribute sanitization.  If you load in some chlorine capsules, it’ll keep your pool fresh.  The only problem with it is that it’s super pricey.

Energy Efficiency

Because it’s powered by the sun, the Solar Breeze NX doesn’t require any electricity whatsoever.  It’s got dual 12 watt solar panels, brushless motors that guaranteed to last for more than 30,000 hours and a high capacity battery.  In sunny areas, the Solar Breeze NX only needs a short 30 minute nap every day.  If conditions are good, it can run up to 23.5 hours per day.

Solar NX Primary Specifications:

  • Two 12 watt solar panels
  • Brushless high efficiency motors
  • 5300mAh 7.4 lithium ion battery

Advanced Robotic Brain 

Solar-NX-robot-reviewThe Solar Breeze NX’s brain isn’t as advanced because it doesn’t understand depth.  But it doesn’t need to, because it only skims the surface of the water.

The Solar Breeze doesn’t map out the pool and record where it has been.  It just kind of floats around randomly, scooping up leaves and debris.  It is programmed to change its direction every time it initiates a movement.  Also, the Solar Breeze can go in reverse if it hits an obstacle.

How to Clean and Maintain a Solar Breeze NX Pool Bot

solar powered robot reviewThe Solar Breeze NX is designed to be left alone for long periods of time.  But you do have to perform some maintenance every so often.

A window located on the top allows you to see into the tray.  When the tray is full, just pull it out and rinse it off.  The manual states that you shouldn’t use a pressure washer to wash the Solar Breeze NX.

After a few months of constant use, mineral deposits may begin to form.  When that happens, all you do is rinse it off with soap and water.  Optionally, you can use glass cleaner on the solar panels.

How Does the Solar Breeze NX Pool Robot Work?

Just like the two pool robots mentioned above, all you do is set the Solar Breeze NX in the pool once you assemble its components.  No programming is necessary.

But unlike the TigerShark and the Dolphin Premier, there’s no way to manually control the Solar Breeze NX.

What Makes the Solar Breeze NX Pool Cleaner Special?

The most attractive thing about the Solar Breeze NX is that it uses the sun for energy.  The second best thing about it is that you don’t have to constantly put it in the pool and take it out.  You can just leave it in there until you decide to go for a swim.

In my opinion the Solar Breeze NX concept is good but it needs more development. It’s worth checking out if you’re a big supporter of solar energy.  But, it is pretty expensive for what it is.

If what you want is a robot that does an awesome cleaning job, go with either the TigerShark or the Dolphin Premier.

Best Features of the Solar Breeze NX Robotic Pool Cleaner:

  • It runs on the sun
  • No cords
  • It dispenses chlorine
  • You can leave it in the pool 24/7
  • Click here to buy the SolarBreeze NX

The Cheapest Option: PoolSkim

how to get rid of pool leavesTechnically, PoolSkim isn’t really a robot.  It doesn’t have a brain or a motor.  It doesn’t even use electricity.  But it is a clever little pool cleaning machine.  But I decided to include PoolSkim on this list just in case someone is looking for a cheap and easy way to clean their pool.

To use PoolSkim, all you do is hook it up to your pool jet.  The rush of incoming water creates a vortex that draws in any leaves that are floating on the surface of the pool.  The vortex that the PoolSkim creates is called a venturi.

After the PoolSkim sucks down the leaves, it stores them in a permeable sack.  Once the sack is full, you just empty it out.  The PoolSkim reduces the workload of your pool equipment, helping save energy.

Energy Efficiency

The PoolSkim is super energy efficient because it actually doesn’t use any kind of energy at all– not even solar energy.  The shape of the PoolSkim passively uses your pool’s jets to create a vortex.

PoolSkim components:

  • 90 degree PVC pipe
  • 45 degree PVC elbow
  • o-ring
  • Inlet return adapters (male and female)
  • 7 inch PVC pipe
  • Mesh bag

Advanced Robotic Brain 

The PoolSkim is completely brainless.  It has no electronic components– but it does feature an awesome and clever design.

poolskim leaves removal

The smartest thing about the PoolSkim is the trumpet-like piece on the top that moves up and down.  When the water level changes, the PoolSkim automatically adjusts.

How to Clean and Maintain PoolSkim

poolskim machineNot much maintenance at all is required.  The surface of the PoolSkim is dirt and grime resistant.

All you have to do is clean out the bag when you see that it’s getting full.  Otherwise, once you install PoolSkim you’re good to go.

The PoolSkim comes with a bumper that prevents it from trapping other pool cleaning systems.

How Does the PoolSkim Work?

There’s not much to explain here, because the PoolSkim’s design is brilliantly simple.

Water pushed out by your pool’s jets gets funneled into the PoolSkim.  When the water comes out, it creates a vortex that draws anything that’s floating around in your pool towards the central hole.  Once the debris is trapped in the PoolSkim bag, all you have to do is dump it out.

What Makes the PoolSkim Special?

The PoolSkim concept is so simple and effective that you will wish you thought of it yourself.  All it is is an attachment that fits over your pool’s water in valve.  Yet it does a pretty amazing job of sucking up debris.

But what the PoolSkim doesn’t do is keep the walls and floor of your pool clean.  If you want to keep your pool completely free of dirt and grime, you should get a full-featured autonomous pool robot.

PoolSkim Pool Skimmer and Pool Cleaner
List Price: $114.99
Price: $114.99
Price Disclaimer

Best Features of the PoolSkim Pool Cleaner:

  • Simple design
  • Extremely low maintenance
  • Doesn’t require power
  • Built out of durable PVC pipe
  • Click here to buy PoolSkim

About Alex Munkachy

Hello and thanks for visiting Robot Fanatics! The aim of this site is to introduce people to the fun and interesting world of robotics. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RobotFanatics.