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.
Ladder Buying 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.
- Louisville Ladder – https://www.louisvilleladder.com/
- Vulcan Ladder USA – http://www.vulcanladderusa.com/
- Cosco – http://www.coscoproducts.com/eng/