We looked at 20 of the most popular ladders on the market and considered them for sturdiness of construction, size ability, design, materials used in construction, extra features, customer feedback and other considerations. The three ladders reviewed below are at the top of the list when compared to all of the others looked at. Any one of them would be a great addition to your workshop for all of those projects where you need height.
Introduction to the Ladders
Ladders are used for many different tasks both around the home and on the work site. These tasks includes changing light bulbs, painting houses, both indoors and out, cleaning out gutters, reaching something on a high shelf and many, many other tasks where you need to get additional height.
There are many different types of ladders that are available on the market. Each of them has different uses that they are best suited for. Choosing the right ladder will make these different tasks and projects much easier and will also ensure that you remain safe while you do them. This guide and the reviews below will help you choose the best ladder for your tasks and projects.
With all of the choices available, you may feel overwhelmed without the right information to guide you in your research and shopping. The information you will learn here will make the process of finding the right ladder much easier and you will be able to make the right decision for your project needs.
Top 10 Ladders
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Louisville Ladder L-3016-06 Fiberglass Stepladder, 6-Feet
The Louisville Ladder is a 6 ft, Type IA, fiberglass stepladder that has a rating of 300 pound load capacity.
The wide back braces that is u-shaped and mounted vertically. They are spaced at intervals of one foot each and provide plenty of strength.
The feet of this ladder are slip resistant and will provide you with stability and sure footing thanks to the thick rubber treading on all four of the ladder’s legs.
On top there is a molded top with slots for tools and a non conductive and rugged recessed tray that is perfect for any small parts that you need to have close by while you are working on your projects.
The bright red finish and yellow accents are easy to see.
Each step has been secured with rivets that are semi-tubular and super strong.
They are made from long lasting steel so you don’t have to worry about the ladder being wobbly and unsteady. If need be you can replace the rubber tread on the feet. The design of this ladder from Louisville will prevent pinches fingers.
Vulcan Ladder USA ES-17T11G1 17-Feet Multi Task Ladder
This incredibly versatile ladder has 23 different configurations possible with one foot height increment adjustments.
This ladder is a step ladder, wall ladder, scaffold frame, stairway ladder and extension ladder in a compact, all-in-one design that redefines convenience.
This ladder is all the ladder you will ever need. The no pinching hinge is patented and makes using the ladder safe and easy.
Constructed from aluminum that is aircraft grade, you will have 4 positions to choose from along with those 23 configurations, making this the most versatile and useful ladder on the market.
The wide base offers plenty of stability for the user. The flared rails provide the most stability you can get in a ladder.
The rubber feet won’t mar the floor and is safe for use on bare ground, wood, concrete, asphalt and other flooring as well.
This lightweight, sturdy ladder will take care of all your tasks and projects where a ladder is needed. If you are looking for a ladder to add to your workshop, business or home, this is the one to choose.
Cosco 20-61AABL Signature Series Step Ladder, 6-Foot
This Signature Series, 6 foot step ladder has been named a Best Buy by Consumer reports due to its great value and superior design and quality.
It has a patented boxed frame design that is constructed out of aluminum and features two project trays that will keep your tools right in reach where you need them.
This Cosco Signature Series ladder folds up easily and has a one handed release/lock latch.
The carrying handle with lock makes this ladder very easy to carry and move from place to place as you need to.
The platform step has slip resistant tread with a large platform step that makes it much more secure to stand on.
There are many features that make this step ladder a terrific addition to your garage for all of the chores, tasks and projects you have that involve being on a ladder.
Top Rated Ladders Summary
Having a good quality ladder is very important when you have jobs to do that require you to reach places that you can’t normally reach without having some added height. There are many different styles of ladders on the market that you can choose from.
All three of the top rated ladders featured above are excellent choices when you are looking to add a good quality ladder to your tools and supplies. All three of them have safety properties in place to avoid the feet sliding and also have different configurations that can be utilized. One of our choices has a whopping 23 configurations it can be changed to!
To learn more about what factors to consider when choosing a good quality ladder, read our buyer’s guide below. It has all the information you need to sort through all of the different options and make a decision that will fit your needs, the kind of projects you will need a ladder for and your budget as well.
Compare: The 10 Best Rated Ladders
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Ladder Buyers Guide
Purpose of Ladder
Ladders are used for all kinds of purposes and because of that, there are a variety of ladders available on the market. Many people get a couple of different types of ladders to accommodate all the ladder needs they have and others try to find that one ladder that will cover everything.
Once you have read this buyer’s guide, you will know what type of ladder you are looking for, and know how to research the different choices so you can make the best selection for all your ladder needs.
Different Types of Ladders
There are many different types of ladders available for you to choose from. We have listed the different types of ladders below so you will be able to identify the different types and know what each type is suited for.
- Step – Step ladders are used for a lot of different tasks both inside and out. The purpose of a step ladder is to give you a little bit of extra height but not a large amount. You would not use a step ladder to clean gutters or fix something on the roof. Step ladders are excellent for kitchen use when you need to get something out of the top cabinets or change a light bulb.
Step ladders have an A-frame design with two side, one for supporting and one for climbing. They meet in the middle and are connected by a hinge. A step ladder can range from 2 feet to as big as 14 feet. Most step ladders are made of aluminum or fiberglass. They are designed to be easy to fold up and store and also travel with as well, especially the smaller ones.
- Extension – This type of ladder is used for reaching high areas and is most often used outside. There are two sections to an extension ladder and they can be adjusted so you can achieve the height you are looking for. Extension ladders will range anywhere from 16 feet to 40 feet. Extension ladders are made of aluminum or fiberglass. They are designed to be leaned against a support of some kind and should be at least 3’ from the area being worked on. They are lightweight, durable and super easy to carry.
- Multi-position – These ladders are a combination of a few other ladders and have many different features that you will find in the other types. A multi-position ladder can be set up as an extension ladder or a smaller step ladder. It can even be set up as a scaffolding base. Multi-position ladders usually range from 13 to 26 feed and can be used inside or outside. Most multi-position ladders are made of aluminum and are very strong and durable.
- Scaffolding – if you need a stable work space a scaffolding ladder is the way to go. It is used to provide users with a strong, stable platform to support the workers along with their tools for extended time periods. They are designed to hold larger amounts of weight safely. Locking casters allow the scaffolding ladder to be moved around but they can be locked down when in place to provide plenty of stability.
Ladders are made from several different types of materials. Learn about the different materials below and what they are best suited for based on their construction. Never use metal ladders when working with or around power lines or electrical wires. There are three basic types of materials that are used when making ladders:
- Wood – wooden ladders can get older and broken down as they age. They may be natural wood or stained wood. It is not advisable to paint a wooden ladder because it can mask any problems the ladder has.
- Aluminum – Aluminum is a very durable and long lasting. Aluminum ladders are not as dense as wood or fiberglass. They are resistant to oxidation. Aluminum ladders are super light and very easy for anyone to carry. This does not take away from their strength. They are rust resistant which means they can be stored outside with no problem. They should not be used when working with electrical projects of any kind.
- Fiberglass – This combination of plastic and glass fibers come together to make an extremely durable ladder that resists nicks, bending and other weakening issues. Fiberglass ladders can be used when working with electrical projects and are fine in all kinds of weather.
As with any kind of tool or piece of equipment, safety is an issue. All safety precautions should be followed to ensure the safety of the users.
- Inspect the ladder often – There are many things that can damage a ladder such as oil, water and other substances. You need to make sure that none of these substances are left on the rungs of the ladder or rails. Wipe off the ladder rungs and rails before you use it and wipe it down after each use as well.
Check the hinges for any issues and tighten any bolts that need it. (Don’t over tighten) Check the lanyard for any wear or fraying on extension ladders. Make sure there are no dents, loose rivets or bent parts. You also want to check fiberglass ladders for splits, chips, cracks, loose ladder rungs and other problems.
- Proper Set Up – Always make sure that you are using the ladder the way it is designed to be used. Never use a ladder of any kind with it being fully opened and set up. Look out for hinges and other parts that can pinch you if you’re not careful.
You want the ladders to be on a flat surface that is very sturdy. Make sure that extension ladders are extended properly, locking each section and then moving on to the next one. Always look for potential hazards when setting up a ladder of any kind. When leaning a ladder against a structure make sure that both rails are supported. Set up the base of the ladder 1 foot away from the wall for each 4 ft of height the ladder is.
- Safe Use – Don’t use ladders during lightening, strong winds and rain. You need to be careful when climbing up or down the ladder and move slowly, facing the ladder and holding onto the side rails. Never reach more than 12” out to either side.
If you have to reach farther than that, the ladder is not close enough to your project. Don’t move quickly when working on a ladder. If you have to move the ladder, climb down, move the ladder and climb back up. Only one person at a time should ever be on a ladder. Never sit or stand on the rear side or supports of the ladder. Keep your tools in a secure tool belt that is around your wait properly. If you have to work with paint cans or some other type of awkward tool, make sure you pull them up with a rope.
Ladders are almost a mainstay of any homeowner, construction worker, handyman or repair man. They are used in many professions and businesses and there are a ton of different kinds available. The first order of business you will need to take care of is deciding how you will be using your ladder.
The projects you need it for will determine the right ladder for your needs. The information in this buyer’s guide will help you sort through all of the different ladders that are available and make the right decision on a ladder for your specific needs.