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Which Pole, SLX or Extreme.....18ft or 22ft?


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I have read through a few threads on here about which pole to buy, but im still at a bit of a loss so was hoping I may get direction from some here that may have experience of a similar situation. First of all, a bit of background on my conundrum:

Started window cleaning as my main job back at the end of March (yep, I know, great timing!). And have inhereted the use of an SLX-27. So far the furthest I've ever had to extend it would be all bar 60% of the final section for one awkward window. Everything else is only 2 story (ground and 1st) although there is some over extensions etc.
Now, I have a few underlying health conditions which make using the SLX-27 quite a strain - Scoliosis, Spondylosis, Slightly crushed L4 disc, reverse curvature of the spine....yep, I sound like a written description of the hunchback of notre dame🤣 (local doctor kept telling me theres nothing wrong with me though, too young for that you see🤨). Thankfully they are only mild symptoms, and the physical work is helping to strengthen my muscles to support the problems. But im finding that I have a lot of pain in my shoulder from throwing the weight of the SLX around. I use the Extreme sill brush to try and keep things as light as possible.

What I would like to know is, firstly, what length pole should I be looking at? I originally thought an 18ft would do the job, but today noticed that for 1st floor windows with small extensions over them (pretty much 99% of my work on one estate) Im having to use about 3.5 sections of SLX27 pole, which I think means it'd be touch and go for an 18ft (SLX27 = 1.35m/4.5ft per section from my calculations). Would a 22ft be a better option? Both poles are/will be tubeless so changing over wont be too difficult, although I'd like to remove the inefficiency of having to keep going back to the van for a different pole.

Then comes the other choice, Extreme or SLX. And Extreme 18' sounds perfect for me weight wise, but the reach is an issue and its fragility. I can be a bit clumsy/heavy handed, and at the moment haven't had time to find a way to secure the poles in the rear of the van, so there is a chance they decide to take a little trip off the top of the tank if they try hard enough, and I'm a little concerned this may break the pole! Is 230grammes really worth the worry and £275 extra over the weight difference I'd feel between the SLX27 and SLX18?

I did a few weight/section length calculations to try and work out what was best below:

SLX18 = 1.325m per section 0.99kg
SLX22 = 1.3m per section   1.27kg
SLX27 = 1.35m per section  1.67kg

Ex18 = 1.335m per section  0.76kg
ex22 = 1.316m per section  0.99kg
ex25 = 1.51m per section   1.1kg

Which then made me wonder if its worth going for the Extreme 22 over the SLX 18 at the same weight to give that extra flexability if the pole passes the 'tough' test. Or should I focus purely on weight?
If there is anyone else here with similar health conditions that might be able to relate and give advice it would be appreciated👍 Apologies for the long post that overlaps with some previous posts, but I couldn't quite find what I was after information wise.

Thanks in advance!
Rob

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Get a swivel then all you do is twist your wrists, I think @Den has competition now with who has the most ailments 🤣

On the basis of the original post, the health issues and the reach needed, my choice would be the: Extreme 22, Extreme Sill Brush with the jets of personal preference (100 degree fan jets in my case.

Your very welcome.👍 I’ve been at this 20+ years and thought i knew everything until I came on here. You can read and study all you like but there’s no better way of learning than experience which is a

I found the Xtreme 22 to be a great pole. Same weight as the SLX 18.

Do you need a sill brush? It’s surprising how much lighter the standard Xtreme brushes are in comparison. The TaperTec hybrid version is a very nice brush. When the pole is extended you really do notice the difference of those few less grams on the end of the pole.

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@Robt100 hi Rob. I don’t know about the extreme pole but I’ve just got an SLX 18 last week and it’s really good. The big thing for me is the rigidity - much less of the pole swinging back and forth when you extend it. I have some muscular problems around my back and torso so I try to keep work equipment as light as possible. I use the SLX with either the Xtreme sill brush (brilliant), the normal sill brushes (24cm which are also very good) or the supreme brushes (the 23cm ones) which I really like. The xtreme brush wins for weight though. I’m only 5’7” but usually find the 18 foot pole just about ok for most everyday work. I also use the swivel gooseneck as it can get into all sort of angles in frames without you having to turn your body into awkward positions. I don’t know where you live but I have a few bungalows on my round so for low level work I got a CLX 4 which is so light and really useful for less wear and tear on the body (although I’d probably get the CLX 10 if I was choosing again). I think some window cleaners like some of the heavier/hard wearing brushes which is fair enough but they’re not for me. Until recently I had been using an old fibreglass pole which had more whip on it than Indiana Jones so if you’ve been using anything like that you’ll notice a massive difference.

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An 18ft pole is good but for those houses with window over a conny, garage roof or decent sized porch then a 22ft pole is better for the extra reach even though a lot of time you won't fully extend it, I also manage to do quite a few modern townhouses with my 22ft xtreme without needing extensions 

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I use slx18 all day and its great improvement over slx22 I've used before, you will love it after using slx27... If it suits your needs, you can keep it as a spare and invest in extreme18 😉

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Your already have a usable SLX22 within the pole you are using albeit with the wrong base section @Robt100.

My first step to try would be replacing the brush head with an Extreme and see how that works for you.

If that works for you then you could then order an SLX22 base section provided the SLX27 is still in good condition.

 

Edited by spruce
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Posted (edited)

Thanks everyone for your input so far, it is helping.
Just to confirm to @spruce@Marko067 I currently have the Extreme sill brush which is 140g, I see that the standard extreme brushes would get to half that, my only concern is then the ease of actually cleaning the window sill, as twisting/changing angle with the pole really does my back/shoulders no favours, its very weak when it comes to rotation.

Also, thanks for the tip about being able to chop and change the base sections to make a smaller pole, my only concern there is then if I did need more than 18 or 22ft, id need to strip the pole down just for one window. So I think id rather have two poles that I could use.

Has anyone here had both the SLX and Extreme equivalents of the 18 or 22ft models?? It'd be handy to get a direct comparison. Or if anyone lives in the Mansfield/Worksop/Rotherham area that would let me clean a window or two with them😆

I'm starting to lean more towards 18ft for length, I have an old CLX 18 sitting around somewhere, so will have to see what I can reach with that to make a final conclusion.

Edited by Robt100
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7 minutes ago, Robt100 said:

my only concern is then the ease of actually cleaning the window sill, as twisting/changing angle with the pole really does my back/shoulders no favours, its very weak when it comes to rotation.

Get a swivel then all you do is twist your wrists, I think @Den has competition now with who has the most ailments 🤣

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Also. @wgwindows thanks for your detailed reply. I'm using an SLX27 at the moment, so im used to a stiffer pole, its mainly the weight and whip thats the things i need to negate. I do have a CLX18 in the van, bit the whip on it causes so much extra force through my shoulders that I find it as hard, if not harder wearing on me than the SLX27!

I definitely think I'm going to investigate the Swivel end, will look up so videos of it in action later, but I reckon that might be something that'd help me. Do they work ok with Univalves? or would pulling on that spin the swivel?

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2 hours ago, Robt100 said:

Thanks everyone for your input so far, it is helping.
Just to confirm to @spruce@Marko067 I currently have the Extreme sill brush which is 140g, I see that the standard extreme brushes would get to half that, my only concern is then the ease of actually cleaning the window sill, as twisting/changing angle with the pole really does my back/shoulders no favours, its very weak when it comes to rotation.

Also, thanks for the tip about being able to chop and change the base sections to make a smaller pole, my only concern there is then if I did need more than 18 or 22ft, id need to strip the pole down just for one window. So I think id rather have two poles that I could use.

Has anyone here had both the SLX and Extreme equivalents of the 18 or 22ft models?? It'd be handy to get a direct comparison. Or if anyone lives in the Mansfield/Worksop/Rotherham area that would let me clean a window or two with them😆

I'm starting to lean more towards 18ft for length, I have an old CLX 18 sitting around somewhere, so will have to see what I can reach with that to make a final conclusion.

I have had both the extream 18 , slx18 ,25 , I think weight wise the extream 22 would probably be fine for  most of what you are wanting to do 

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19 minutes ago, Pjj said:

Has anyone here had both the SLX and Extreme equivalents of the 18 or 22ft models?? It'd be handy to get a direct comparison. Or if anyone lives in the Mansfield/Worksop/Rotherham area that would let me clean a window or two with them😆

Why don’t you pop over to airforce in Leeds, they sell Gardiner poles. Then you can see the weight of each pole, brushes etc. You need to make the right choice at the end of the day to suit your needs, we all have different favourite combo’s. 

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if you only just started in march funds will probably be tight....id do what spruce suggests and buy a SLX 22 base section and convert the 27 into a 22....this should cover all your work,id also go for a 10" carbon gooseneck and standard xtreme brush,this will make your pole VERY light at the top end and the carbon gooseneck will help with the sills(id go with a 55degree).......

 

you can always go for an xtreme pole when your more established and have a better round....they are expensive and dont last as long as the SLX range

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Weight of equipment is an issue if you are nursing an underlying health issue.

However, IMHO there is a fine line between weight and cleaning ability. If your equipment is too lite then you are going to have to push down on the pole to have an effective scrub. Scrubbing is better with a heavier brush but this can aggravate torso issues. You need to find the best compromise for you.

Our introduction to carbon fiber poles was converted Ron Thompson Put Over fishing poles. They were so light and stiff they were totally opposite to what we were used to. I loved that side of it. But I missed some of the weight of my old pole and Vikan oval brush. The only way I can describe it is a single piston engine without a heavy enough flywheel.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Robt100 said:

Also. @wgwindows thanks for your detailed reply. I'm using an SLX27 at the moment, so im used to a stiffer pole, its mainly the weight and whip thats the things i need to negate. I do have a CLX18 in the van, bit the whip on it causes so much extra force through my shoulders that I find it as hard, if not harder wearing on me than the SLX27!

I definitely think I'm going to investigate the Swivel end, will look up so videos of it in action later, but I reckon that might be something that'd help me. Do they work ok with Univalves? or would pulling on that spin the swivel?

I’m not sure about the univalve as I don’t use one at the moment (I will probably fairly shortly though). I have a slightly longer length of hose coming out of the hole in the gooseneck to let it swivel ok and I think univalves people do the same and then put an o-ring around the bit of hose that comes out and up towards the brush. That way when you pull on the valve it doesn’t yank the hose connector back through the pole. @spruce makes a good comment about the ability to clean with all lightweight equipment. I use a flocked brush quite a lot as they scrub the glass very well with a light pole - but the flocked brushes don’t last as long as the medium-soft and you need to give them a rub with a cloth more often as cobwebs and other dirt stays in the bristles longer.

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1 hour ago, Jango said:

Why don’t you pop over to airforce in Leeds, they sell Gardiner poles. Then you can see the weight of each pole, brushes etc. You need to make the right choice at the end of the day to suit your needs, we all have different favourite combo’s. 

Thanks @Jango, its about a 2hr round trip but might be worth it to test the poles out👍

@spruce Strangely enough this was something I came accross the other day, but in the other direction, I found I was 'forceibly' scrubbing the window with little effect, yet if I let the pole/brush just rest on the window it was working a lot better, I think down to the health conditions, I find it more natural to put some force on the pole rather than balancing it on the glass, so the lighter pole may work better.............then again, I may just need to sort out technique🤣 Been cleaning on n off for about 2 years, but only started it as my main job in March so I'm probably now finding all the bad traits I've picked up from working casually.

@Pjj What is your opinion on the difference between an SLX18 and the Extreme 18, both for weight and stiffness??

Thinking back to my CLX18 useage, I definitely want to be sub-1kg if possible, which narrows it down to SLX18 or Extreme 18/22

Im also prone to dropping poles or knocking them on things (the dodgy back means my balance isnt the best!) would an extreme put up with this on the ends?

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Hope I don’t offend you, but have you thought this out, if your back is so dodgy and balance etc is this the right job for you? It would be a shame if you bought an extreme pole then realised you can’t cope with all your illnesses. I didn’t realise you have only started in March. I would give it six months before throwing a lot of money at it, or at least do a winter. All the best though

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On the basis of the original post, the health issues and the reach needed, my choice would be the: Extreme 22, Extreme Sill Brush with the jets of personal preference (100 degree fan jets in my case. I also like the 50s), short Quick loc swivel, Univalve with Skxawng hose clamp and Hoseless.

This is my everyday set up, having up to recently used the SLX 22. I found I can work longer hours with the Extreme as I'm not yet back to full strength and stamina after a big operation in December. I would recommend the SLX to anyone in full health and vigour but the, perhaps modest weight difference has made a difference to me.

I personally don't scrub the glass unless I can see bird muck or other contamination. I just glide quickly over the glass with only the very slightest of pressure, making sure that everything gets at least three, light contact passes. I do use a slight pressure on the frames, more if they're very dirty. I rinse on the glass. I used to scrub the glass in my first year or two but after experimenting I came to the belief that generally there's no need. It wasn't easy to get used to not scrubbing but I reckon I probably save about 10%-20% of the effort and energy I was using (that helps me a lot) and my brushes seem to last forever.

The Extreme is expensive and by all accounts is quite delicate, we just have to be mindful and careful.

 

Edited by Davy G
Slight tweek, as I nearly always do. 🙂
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1 hour ago, Jango said:

Hope I don’t offend you, but have you thought this out, if your back is so dodgy and balance etc is this the right job for you? It would be a shame if you bought an extreme pole then realised you can’t cope with all your illnesses. I didn’t realise you have only started in March. I would give it six months before throwing a lot of money at it, or at least do a winter. All the best though

For those who are reasonably fit probably won't understand what having a dodgy back means in reality in the same way I couldn't understand what its like to be pregnant.

At least we who suffer from back issues have our feet firmly on the ground whilst cleaning windows. We are gainfully self employed in a job which means we have to stay active and do some form of exercise. Having had 8 weeks off hasn't helped my back at all. In fact, its made my back and balance issues worse.

Whilst again it makes total sense to most of us to wait for a while before considering investing in a lighter pole, it maybe the only option @Robt100 has to remain in gainful employment. When I commented about removing the base section of his SLX27 I didn't know about @Robt100's back issues. What I do know is that there is a lot of difference in base pole diameter between the SLX22 and SLX27. It may only be a couple of mm but if you have arthritis in your fingers its very noticeable.

I have pondered an Extreme pole many times as I have pondered an electric hose reel. Will I be able to clean a couple of extra houses a day to eventually pay for my investment? Or is having a heavier SLX22 pole actually forcing me to keep a little fitter? Is manually winding in my hose reel of more benefit to me exercise wise despite the pain?

I used my SLX40 for some really high work this morning. When I dropped down to the level my SLX22 would reach I packed the SLX40 back in the van and used the lighter pole. That was a relief. I can imagine the feeling is similar between the SLX and Extreme poles.

And @Robt100, you are right about brushes. Its so easy to forget that we should use our hands and arms to guide the brush with our pole but to let the brush do the work.

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2 hours ago, Robt100 said:

Thanks @Jango, its about a 2hr round trip but might be worth it to test the poles out👍

@spruce Strangely enough this was something I came accross the other day, but in the other direction, I found I was 'forceibly' scrubbing the window with little effect, yet if I let the pole/brush just rest on the window it was working a lot better, I think down to the health conditions, I find it more natural to put some force on the pole rather than balancing it on the glass, so the lighter pole may work better.............then again, I may just need to sort out technique🤣 Been cleaning on n off for about 2 years, but only started it as my main job in March so I'm probably now finding all the bad traits I've picked up from working casually.

@Pjj What is your opinion on the difference between an SLX18 and the Extreme 18, both for weight and stiffness??

Thinking back to my CLX18 useage, I definitely want to be sub-1kg if possible, which narrows it down to SLX18 or Extreme 18/22

Im also prone to dropping poles or knocking them on things (the dodgy back means my balance isnt the best!) would an extreme put up with this on the ends?

The extream 18 is lighter and stiffer  than the slx but the slx is more robust and will survive more abuse than an extream , the extream is a lot of money is it worth it that’s a hard one to answer , I have extream18 slx 18 and clx 18 the clx is the heaviest and most flexible pole but at £120 I think they are ?.. cheap as chips the extream is around £600 I believe , if you have the opportunity tk try both give them a go and see which suites you best . I have tennis elbow in both arms and fir the last year have been using the clx 18 everyday and tk be honest don’t find I suffer any ill effects using it , however the extream and slx are far more accurate poles to use when cleaning gutters as they are much stiffer , but in windows you can make the flex in the clx work to your advantage 

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