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I bring the Pivit ladder tool with me to jobs where I'm painting from an extension ladder placed on stairs or slopes or when I will be working on a rooftop. I have owned this tool for five years, and it's taken a beating in that time but shows no signs of damage.
The Pivit ladder tool, made by ProVision Tools, is a multi-use leveler for extension ladders. When I'm painting high walls above stairs, I use this tool to position my extension ladder on the staircase so I can cut-in the ceiling corner above.
I have the Werner Equalizer ladder with adjustable legs, which I'm very happy with too, but adjusting the legs of a heavy extension ladder on a staircase can be a pain sometimes. I have found that this tool fits well on all of the stairways I have used it on. I also feel more stable using this tool than my ladder with telescoping legs
I have used this tool to level my twenty four foot extension ladder inside and outside hundreds of homes without any issues. The bottom of the tool is coated with rubber that prevents movement on slippery surfaces like wood stairs.
The top of the tool has a textured, non-skid surface. The front of the tool also grips the stair above it for stabilization. I'll admit I was a little nervous the first time I climbed up my twenty four foot ladder placed on top of this tool, but it does work, and I feel safe when I use it.
On roofs, I have only used this tool as a holder for my painting supplies, so I can't comment on how it performs on shingles under an extension ladder. I do know that the Roof Boot accessory must be used though, in order to use the Pivit box safely on a roof with an extension ladder on top of it. The metal Roof Boot is fastened to the roof with nails and holds the nose of the Pivit tool in place to keep it from sliding down.
I paint exterior trim on homes that requires me to access the roof. If you have ever painted while on a roof then you know it's usually not possible to set anything down, other than a caulk gun or a roll of tape. When I need to set my paint can down, I used to hang the can from the top rung of my ladder with a bucket hook, but I'd have to constantly walk back and forth to the ladder when I needed the paint. I carry the Pivit tool up onto the roof and use it as a holder for my paint can and caulk gun.
When positioned correctly, the tool design is level enough for me to place my paint can on top without the paint can, or the whole tool itself, sliding down. I have worked from steep rooftops and never had any problems. There is also an open storage compartment in the front for supplies.
I haven't personally used the Pivit to set up a plank from an extension ladder, which requires two of these, but it is designed to do so. A plank can be set up between two ladders, or from a ladder to a staircase. This would come in handy for an electrician needing to access lighting on a high wall over stairs, or in situations where drywall repair work needs to be done.
The only con I can think of with this tool is the price, which is around $120, as of this writing. The price is a little high for essentially a plastic wedge, but if you paint for a living like me, or your job requires you to use extension ladders frequently, it is absolutely worth the money. The Pivit tool paid for itself the first painting project I used it on.
Prior to purchasing this tool, I used a brush extender to cut-in high ceiling corners above stairs, which works too, but using an extender is very time consuming. The leveling box allows me to complete my painting jobs much faster.
Most importantly, I feel safe when working on staircases with this tool. I always make sure it's positioned perfectly, and I usually test it by jumping up and down on the first couple rungs before climbing all the way up to the top of my ladder. I haven't had any issues with it sliding or wobbling.