Ladders are a staple around most homes and workplaces. These versatile pieces of equipment can be used for projects around the home such as hanging pictures, paintings, or even changing light bulbs. Ladders are also used for maintenance-type situations at homes such as roof repairs or window work. On the job site, this piece of equipment can be priceless and must be made of quality material to ensure safety when using. Below we discuss the top ladders in 2021 available on the market based on durability and efficiency.
This 12.5-foot ladder offers the whole package at a great price. Versatile enough for use on any job around the house whether painting, changing fixtures and bulbs, or anything in between, this ladder is perfect for all projects and dependable for multiple uses.
The Ohuhu ladder is made from a sturdy premium aluminum alloy for a lightweight design great for easy carrying and extended use
It features a one-button retraction for quick storage after the job
Non-slip end caps allow for up to 330lbs of weight and the retraction is slow to avoid finger injuries
Reports of broken pins are reported after using several times
This ladder’s retraction system has been known to have issues
Considered more of a step stool than a ladder, this product is a handy piece of equipment for smaller jobs and taking care of issues around the home. Featuring three traction molded steps, this compact step stool offers safety and convenience.
This Rubbermaid step stool includes a built-in project tray to hold items while working that are detachable and offers additional storage when not in use
Rubber padded feet allow for safety and slip resistance
Lightweight and slender design for easy storage and holds up to 225 lbs
This 22-foot telescoping ladder offers the versatility to tackle any and all projects. With the ability to be used as a two-person stepladder, extension ladder, or scaffold this piece of equipment has 28 adjustable heights and positions for perfect use.
The Werner ladder features a 300 lb weight rating and features push knobs for easy adjustments to get projects done quickly
Double riveted steps for additional safety
Heavy-duty, non-marring feet provide slip resistance
Here’s a ladder featuring aircraft-grade aluminum and supporting tubes to make this more stable to use.
LUISLADDERS is good to use a scaffold and stepladder for different jobs
The click and lock system can give you more stability and comfort to change the shape of the ladder to suit your needs
Sometimes the ladder may lock in weird positions
Best Ladder Buying Guide
How did we pick the best ladders?
We have done in-depth research so that we can figure out what are the factors in choosing the best ladders. With a lot of ladders on offer, it can be pretty challenging to know which type of ladder you should choose. So we'll take you through the different kinds of ladders to show you how to select the ideal one for you.
What should you know before you purchase a ladder?
What type of ladder will you need?
How tall does it need to be?
What will you be using it for?
What material is the best?
How much time will you be up the ladder?
Will you be able to store and transport it?
We've made this guide to provide you a bit of information about the various sorts of ladders, what they're commonly used for, and why they're different from others? So read till the end!
What are the different types of ladders?
1. Step Ladders
You can use step ladders everywhere, and the reason for this is because they don't need a supporting wall to lean on. This is ideal for a variety of jobs, including painting, cleaning, and construction work. They come with a specific mechanism that secures them in an 'A' shape, it's essential that you engage this mechanism before using the step ladder. There are various step ladders, and each serves its purpose, but here are the most common ones:
Small Step Stools
Platform Step Ladders
Fibreglass Step Ladders
Swingback Step Ladders
2. Extension Ladders
If the step leader can't help you reach higher things, then the extension ladder will help you. It can be made out of two or more sliding parts that can be extended to a total height of over 10 meters. A lot of the users find them pretty helpful because of their versatility and compact storage size. So if your work is mainly at heights, then a simple extension ladder is the solution.
3. Telescopic Ladders
When we're talking about compact ladders, you can't find a more compact ladder than the telescopic one. It works in a pretty identical way to binoculars or a telescope. These ladders can be packed down to a pretty small size whenever you're not using them. This style of ladder is ideal for people with limited storage or for people who are required to reach tall heights on the move. They can easily fit inside most car boots and vans.
4. Combination Ladders
If you use the ladder regularly and for various jobs, then a combination ladder is perfect for you. Combining the functionality of a step ladder and an extension ladder, you're buying something that will be worth every penny.
What is the best material for a ladder?
Step ladders and extension ladders are mainly manufactured of wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. On the other side, the telescopic and combination ladders are made out only of aluminum.
Many decades ago, wood was the most common ladder material. But now, except for permanent attic ladders, wood is rarely used because of its massive weight.
The ladders made out of aluminum are strong, lightweight, durable, and resistant to corrosion. Aluminum can quickly transfer electricity, so picking the fiberglass ladder is a better choice if you're working near electrical lines.
What is the price range for ladders?
The price for the ladders can vary depending on the type, size, and brand.
Step stool leaders range from only $20 and up to $60;
Telescopic ladders can vary from $70 to $250;
Extension ladders can differ from $100 and all up to $700;
Combination ladders can range from $110 to $750.
How much weight can a ladder handle?
The maximum weight that a ladder can hold is identified as its maximum load capacity. On some ladders, you may see this called performance rating. Look for the following ladder ranks:
IAA Type ladders can handle up to 375 pounds.
IA Type ladders can handle up to 300 pounds.
I Type ladders can handle up to 250 pounds.
II Type ladders can handle up to 225 pounds.
III Type ladders can handle up to 200 pounds.
When discovering the ladder load capacity required for your project, factor in your weight, the weight of anything you'll bring with you on the ladder, and any tools you'll put on the ladder.
Choosing the Right Ladder Height
Another critical factor is picking the correct height of the ladder. Be sure that you think about the types of tasks you will be taking with your ladder, and what height you would be required to reach. Many of the ladder accidents are caused due to overbalancing, which is mainly due to users trying to stand too high up the ladder. It's essential to comprehend the Platform Height (the height at which it's safe to stand) for every single ladder. Ladder heights range from 3- or 4-foot stepladders and up to 40-foot for extension ladders. You will be able to see this at the ladder specification.
So, for example: if you know how high you want to reach, let's say 12', you would likely purchase an 8' step ladder allowing you to stand almost 4' over the ground securely.
Safety Tips for Using a Ladder
Before each use, visually inspect the ladder for any wear and tear indications, defects, or loose parts.
Never use steel or aluminum ladders when operating with power tools or any other electricity as they transfer electricity pretty quickly, leading to an electric shock.
Place a ladder on sturdy and firm terrain where it will not move from side to side and possibly fall over because of the movement of your weight.
For ladders that need to be placed on something for support, such as the extension ladder, choose the support precisely as it will need to sustain your weight safely. If it seems unstable or thin, do not place your ladder on it; you would be risking property damage and injury to yourself.
Verify that the maximum weight your ladder can handle (the load capacity) is larger than the weight of you and the equipment you will be using while on the ladder. You should be able to find this information on the label.
Always face the ladder and hold both feet and at least one hand while mounting and dismounting it.
Extension ladders should be set at an angle of 75 degrees.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.