Does anyone make a cheaper equivalent to Stihl's really long pole-pruning saws?

Well it was pretty obvious that you, @lostinthelight, were making unstated (and almost certainly unfounded) assumptions. But until I knew what those assumptions were I could not comment on them.

You saw "to use a polesaw in a controlled way requires the use of two hands" which is broadly true but not relevant as I said "I ... use either the handle that is part of the saw or the 800mm handle". With the built in handle it is a one-handed saw and the 800mm handle does not have to be held at the very end, so not really a pole-saw.

Also "I have also witnessed cut branches swinging back into the ladder" is not that relevant. I clear as many thinner side branches as I can with loppers and then with the pruning saw, both to take as much weight off the branch as possible and make the area to work on clearer, above & below the branch. Then I cut off the branch a few feet away so that it falls clear and does not swing back towards me. Then I make a clean cut near the trunk where there is only a couple of foot of branch to fall.

Because I am close enough, and I clear the area, I can cut under the branch as well as above it, so that it falls cleanly. Branches are, IME, far more likely to swing in an unexpected fashion when you cut from the ground as normally the fully weight is there and it is very hard to under cut them so they go suddenly.
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