Picking the Right Pole for Your Project

Need help picking the right pole for your project?  If you look through our product catalog you’ll be inundated with the breadth of our extension pole product lines.  Different lengths, materials, threaded ends, fluted, fixed length – the list of options goes on and on. We realized that up till now we’ve never really done a guide to answer the question: how do you decide which one will best fit your needs?

Begin by asking yourself these three questions.

What will I be using the pole for?
How often will I use it?
How high, or far, do I need to reach?

The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your selection. An example: I am a homeowner who will be painting the outside of my home this summer. I will want to use this pole to paint my interior sometime later this year. My home is two stories. I have a cathedral ceiling in my entryway.

Because of the multiple uses and high reach needed, you will want to choose a heavy duty or professional type extension pole. Also, when determining the length of extension pole to purchase the following rule of thumb applies. Your height minus 6 inches, added to the length of a fully extended pole tells you about how high you will be able to reach with that length pole. Most two story homes will require you to use at least an 18′ extension pole.

A heavier fiberglass pole suitable for painting may not be the best choice if you plan to use it only for dusting. For dusting you can choose a lightweight aluminum or steel extension pole. When choosing between aluminum or steel poles, most aluminum poles and sliders are anodized which prevents rust and provides a smooth extension. Steel poles can rust over time so don’t purchase a steel pole if your application requires contact with water.

Water-fed Poles

If you have a task that requires the use of water, Mr. LongArm offers two styles of water-fed poles to be used in many different outdoor cleaning situations. The HydraSoar and TeleWash extension poles can be connected to a standard garden hose via a flow control shut-off valve. Using various styles of brushes you can clean decks, siding, patios, windows, boats, RVs, automobiles, masonry and many other surfaces. Using a flow-thru angle adaptor you can also clean gutters or water hanging plants.

Non-Conductive Poles for Changing Light Bulbs

If you need a pole to change light bulbs you definitely need to choose a pole with a fiberglass handle or even better one with a fiberglass slider as well. Fiberglass is heavier and more rigid than other materials but more importantly it is non-conductive, under most circumstances, making it much safer to use around electricity than metal poles. Since, we’re on the subject, extension poles should never be used around electrical wires. Be sure that while you are extending your reach to finish difficult jobs you are not inadvertently reaching up to electrical wires since most extension poles are highly conductive.

Locking Mechanisms Explained

Twist locking extension poles
Super Twist-Lok extension pole.

Twist locking extension poles offer a good lock with the versatility of locking at any length. Mr. LongArm aluminum Twist-Lok and fiberglass Super Twist-Lok poles are bi-directional and lock and unlock with a twist in either direction. Twist-Lok Steel poles are uni-directional and unlock by twisting counter-clockwise and lock by twisting the opposite direction.

Compression locking extension poles

11710Alumiglass 3-section extension pole.

Compression locking extension poles, such as our Alumiglass or Pro-Lok Poles, also provide the versatility of locking at any length. Available in two section as well as three section extended length poles that extend up to 23′. Compression locking poles consist of an external chuck and collet locking device. To unlock these poles twist the chuck counter-clockwise and to lock, twist the chuck the opposite direction.

Positive locking extension poles

Super Tab-Lok extension pole.

Positive locking poles are popular with most paint contractors since they provide a push button locking device that make it faster to change lengths. This type of locking mechanism is found in our Smart-Lok and Super Tab-Lok line of poles. You will want to choose a positive locking pole for prep work such as sanding and scraping since these activities require applied pressure. Positive locking poles only lock in pre-set lengths, 1-2 ft and 2-4 ft poles lock every three inches and all others lock every six inches. Smart-Lok poles also offer a push button tool changing system as opposed to fixed threads. The Smart-Lok system, is universal and will work with most standard threaded tools. Smart-Lok is an excellent choice for multiple color changes and really increases your productivity.

Armed with this information, as well as your own personal preferences and budget, you should have no trouble picking the right pole for your project. Mr. LongArm extension poles are found in the paint department at many local hardware stores and home centers.

Need More Help?

If, even after reading this, you find that you still are unsure about which pole to purchase, you can speak with our customer service department at 1-800-821-3508 and we will be happy to assist you. To keep up with Mr. LongArm on social media, follow us out on Facebook & Twitter.