This contractor-grade telescoping ladder more than a story high folds down to just 3 feet

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I’ve seen one of these. One guy giving us a roof estimate had one. (We went with someone else, but points for the ladder.)


I keep one in the closet and take it out to clean the gutters. It flops around a little but I’ve never died from it.


ALDI, €98. Usually around €120-150 in DIY stores.
Does the job, fits in the boot of my car.


something really odd about the premise of giving boing boing $400 for a ladder


Calling something a “contractor-grade” does not actually make it something a contractor would use. Kinda like calling something “military-grade” does not in fact mean anybody in any military anywhere actually uses it.

In fact I would bet you find pretty much no contractors anywhere using a telescoping ladder of any make (an estimator who travels in a small vehicle instead of a truck, maybe). They have WAY too many moving parts to screw around with and potentially break, and they are fragile as hell.


Yeah, they don’t “fold” they collapse. As cool and spy movie prop-worthy as this kind of ladder is, I’m just not comfortable with a tall ladder that is designed to collapse down to the ground. However, some Googling seems to indicate that the Xtend and Climb ladders have to be collapsed one section at a time, which seems like a big improvement over the kind that collapse all at once.


My limited googling seem to find them to be popular with inspectors, especially for inspecting attics because the telescoping ladders are easy to pull up through awkward access that is often in the ceiling of closets or laundry rooms.


There a saying “never buy anything from Harbor Freight that can kill you.” This comes in a couple notches below that for me.


At only 250lbs capacity, it’s not much use for contractors. I overload it even if I’m stark naked, let alone carrying a bunch of tools or materials up it.


There are plenty of self-employed/gig economy odd-job men who use them in London and other cities here, they can hook them on the back of a scooter to get around easily. They do flex a bit but they can do a reasonable job.

I’ve got one of these style of ladders, and I’m a fan of the design:

Folds down into a ~1m package for compact storage, very solid when locked into position and can be unfolded in a myriad of ways: low workbench, high workbench, scaffold, stepladder, hookladder, etc.



They’re a bit heavier than a traditional aluminium ladder, but still light enough to easily carry in one hand.


$400 is £300. Save over £60. You’re welcome.

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Here is a video I found that is quite informative about two different types of telescoping ladders:


This is why people should lock their second story windows.


I’ve seen the steel hubs on those tear right through the aluminum side rails. Those are handy for awkward spaces or making a workbench, but not great for working on the eaves.


One disadvantage of extendable ladders like this is that they are significantly heavier than a conventional extension ladder of the same ultimate length.


Yes, but we went with the guy who showed up with a working truck, a working ladder, and a face that had spent years in the sun up on a blazing hot roof, oh and a much better price. :rofl:


It’s even worse than that. In fabrication and woodworking circles, “contractor-grade” is the lowest of the low. Like, a DeWalt contractor-grade table saw is what you can buy at the big box store, but a woodworking shop will be using a SawStop or a Baileigh, and turn their noses at the former.


There seems to be a dichotomy in the meaning of “contractor grade”.

On some sites, contractor grade indicates that which a contractor would use, a notch above the ordinary and built to last.

On other sites, contractor grade is conflated with builder grade, indicating the lowest quality available (chipboard or MDF cabinets for example).

So, best to just treat the term as a buzzword.