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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 6'2" tall.

Recently used a 20" high bench under a 7'10" ceiling and it felt just about Perfect for me.

Most ceilings will be 8'+, and working on renovations and basement suites in older homes sometimes they're under 8'. I filled the flats on the 7'10" ceiling on my toes vs. the bench (Slight ripple, so that's the MAX I can reach) & did the butts off the long bench, I Think stepping backwards as I went. I've only used stilts a couple times - pretty sure I'll be able to just step backwards to complete a butt joint pass on them vs. having to do part of it and leaving a liftoff.

I have a couple of old pairs of stilts that are rather uncomfortable for me. I'm contemplating buying either Surpro SP2 Magnesium 18-30" or the newer Surpro S2X Flexion Magnesium stilts that are 21-31".. 18's I can definitely get under 7'10" ceilings if I can do 'em off a 20" bench, but 3 more inches makes me 7'11" tall + shoe thickness.. so maybe I'd be shooting myself in the foot buying the Flexions and not being able to use 'em under an 8' or slightly lower ceiling ? Hmm.

How much clearance do you think is minimally required ? I know I've read on here that other guys 6'2" are using 18" under 8' ceilings.. but what about 21" stilts ? Any 6'2" guys have any insight as to how low you can go on 21" stilts?

It's not really the extra 1" of reach on the top end that interests me.. but rather the design if it's truly much more comfortable to walk on for longer periods w/o fatigue/pain etc.

Input appreciated!
 

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i like to be just tall enough so my hair dont get wet. lol you do well with the short dura stilts. imo i used to have a pair but sold them when stopped walking on them. kept the big pair just in case im ever starving again. 😁 knees are shot from walking them almost 40yrs. im gona try and literally limp them to the grave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, thinking.. hence the measurements and this discussion thread before I buy anything.

I was considering buying the 14" Durastilts (and if so, III or IV.. mixed reviews) but then when I realized I just finished a 7'10" ceiling off of a 20" tall bench with no problems. Why be 4-7" Lower down on 14's ?? I mean, walking might be easier/faster and more stable being lower.. but then there's a fair bit of reaching up And the stilts are less versatile as I would only be able to get up to 9' or 9'6 ceilings whereas any of the mid range ones that go to 30-31" high would get me up to 10 footers with ease and that would Really cover a huge range of ceiling heights.

My 6'2" height + 20" bench Should have put my scalp at the ceiling.. but I don't recall so much as touching any mud with the ball cap I was wearing -> which makes me wonder if that ceiling height varies around the basement, OR, if I was consistently below the ceiling by naturally having my knees in a bit of a bent stance ? I should be returning to polish that basement later this week and will take a few more measurements and see. Heck, I might even set my iphone somewhere and film myself polishing ceiling butts just to see what my stance looks like stepping backwards along the bench.


IF I can manage to load and polish a 7'10" ceiling Very Comfortably off of a 20" bench and not feel like I'm too close to it, then I can't really see a reason to buy 14/15" stilts. If a ceiling is as low as 7'6" or whatever, I can EASILY do it from the ground with no stilts -> even this one that's 7'10" I loaded the flats while standing on my toes instead of dragging the bench around the room. I could see a few ripples but they'll sand and polish out. I didn't bother trying to load the butts off my toes because it seemed obvious they'd look bad if I did.

When I go back to that bsmt, I'll see if I have a 1' or so thick plank to lay across the top of the bench and see what it feels like to be 21" high under a 7'10" ceiling. Maybe I'll see if I have something 14-15" high to stand on, too.

At ~$500ish/pair, I don't want to make the mistake of buying the wrong stilts for Me and the ceiling height ranges I work on most. Would be nice to hear from any other 6'2" tall guys with long arms what heights you tend to use under what ceiling heights!
 

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I always buy Durastilts, the parts for them are sold locally. Anyway I buy the dura stilts 4 and modify or change out some of the lighter plastic parts with tougher Durastilts III parts. I do have other brands of stilts but they've always been a freebies from purchasing a certain $ amount of tools at one time. I feel like some of the other brands would work just as well but I'm used to these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, dura stilts have a 14-22" model.. which I considered when I thought I Needed shorty stilts. However, after finishing a 7'10" ceiling off of a 20" bench, I feel like those would be too short - unless I were maybe 6'6" tall or something. I'm 6'2" tall.

With a baseball cap on, I finished a 7-10 ceiling without getting my hat in the mud due to naturally bending my knees a bit. I also seemed to work with my tools in front of me and never directly overhead - whereas I Thought I'd want to be a bit lower so I could clear a trowel above my head.. but my natural positioning was to be a step back from the work and to work slightly in front of me always.. which means I Can be taller and closer to the work.

The gap to a 7-10 ceiling was pretty minimal, like maybe 1", so I think if I had 21" stilts if it's not at least a true 8' ceiling then I'd be crouching and uncomfortable. A lot of basements are slightly under 8' or might have been 8' with a popcorn ceiling that's been boarded over.. sooo, at the moment, even though the 21" model are different and marketing says they're superior for a natural walking motion and reduced fatigue, I'm leaning towards the more standard design 18" ones. Hmmm, I do have to go finish sand that ceiling later this afternoon - I don't have a 1" thick plank, but I do have one a bit thicker that if I lay it over the bench will put me up at about 21.5". Maybe I'll do that and see how it is to be "too close," to that 7-10 ceiling. Maaaaybe 21" IS possible under a 7'10" ceiling.. maybe. That's about the lowest I'd ever need to get as I was able to fill the flats off my toes.. anything lower and I should be able to do it off the ground with no stilts.
 

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""Yeah, dura stilts have a 14-22" model.. which I considered when I thought I Needed shorty stilts. However, after finishing a 7'10" ceiling off of a 20" bench, I feel like those would be too short - unless I were maybe 6'6" tall or something. I'm 6'2" tall.""
you do know those stilts are adjustable rt?

you can always do what i do now if i take a job for someone. i use a perry step up. they are mostly used by wallpaper guys around here. i find it handy for all kinds of things. i have finished 4 room jobs off it before. i was still able to complete job in 4 days. not near as fast but neither am i anymore. 😁 i stopped walking stilts several years ago to save what knees i have left. plan on "limping" them to grave now. lol
 

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if you havent ever walked stilts before you better go talk to people that have for years. they can give you all sorts of safety tips! i have seen many broken arms legs and an electrocution, from getting stilt in power panel!! they are very serious business. i only fell 2 times in 35yrs. i can thank god for that i guess. we did stupid stuff like walking a plank out over cathedrals or stairs on them. couldnt pay me enough to do that now! lol

BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I know they're adjustable lol but if a ceiling is a 2-3 inches lower than the 7-10/7-11 ceiling I was working on, I won't need stilts at all.. I can just reach up and do everything off my toes. No need for super short stilts at all in that case.

So, I figure they're most useful by being about as tall as I can get away with under the lowest ceiling I'll likely ever work on.

Standing on a 20-3/8" bench I was able to finish & sand the ceiling just fine with a ball cap on that never touched the ceiling even when I was looking up. I added a plank to the bench that made it an even 22" high and then when I stood atop it I did hit my hat on the ceiling at first (but didn't smash my head lol) and then did my finish sanding and light checking off the bench at that height for a bit. I was able to just adjust my stance a bit, knees bent a bit but not uncomfortably so or anything, and managed to sand things out just fine. At one point I bent backwards a bit and was working overhead directly in front of my face no problem vs. out in front of me. Not sure if it'd be quite as comfortable to bend backwards a bit while on stilts.. but maybe - I do recall using a pair of probably 18" ones on a ceiling that was a bit too low in parts of the basement and I had to sort of crane my neck sideways to move around. Ended up being on ill fitting stilts for like 7 hours that day as my first real time using them.

I've worn stilts 3 or 4 times.. but something I'd forgotten until it was pointed out to me recently is how to adjust them properly for the brace to be Just Below the knee and no lower. Obviously the older timer I was working with didn't know that, either. All he had to say was that some guys are comfortable on stilts and others can't seem to get it.. umm, no, it's because all of your stilts are adjusted for your short legs and when tall guys borrow them the brace is far too low and it makes them super unstable. That was super sketch working on 12-13' high ceilings in a basement while jacked way up on stilts that in hindsight were obviously not adjusted to fit me. Definitely won't be making that mistake again ever!

Seems silly to buy stilts that are 14-15" starting height if I'm going to jack them up to 18+ inches to work on an 8' ceiling anyways. I've also read someone else' post on here about wearing 18's at 6'2" for working on 8' ceilings. They'd then be more versatile as I'd be able to boost up and do 10' ceilings off of them. The great debate now is whether or not a 21" starting height is too tall or not.. only because the Sur Pro Flexion's start at 21". Otherwise the regular style magnesium stilts start at 18".

@ 500 bucks a pop or so I don't want to make a mistake in which pair I buy to be the main stilts I use. Hence this thread and the questions. But I may still hold off a bit and pay closer attention to the head clearance other guys have while using stilts. (Even though I'm pretty sure what I'll observe is that they don't bother changing the height if they can reach their work from whatever height the stilts were last set at.)


Perry step up or something similar is a possible option here and there. At the moment I mostly just use an aluminum bench (sawhorse) or two, and sometimes toss a plank between them. If there's nothing else around and I don't have to get up very high for very long I'll just a flip a 5 gallon bucket over and hop up and stand on it.
 
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