Whether it is for washing the top floor windows or painting the middle floor externally, an extension ladder is required at some point of time while at home or in office. Certainly, the uses of such a ladder are as numerous as the steps on it. Wherever a human hand or a non-extensible ladder cannot reach, an extension ladder is indispensable.
This is perhaps the reason why extension ladders in the market are available in different weights, heights, construction material, and functional features. These are the important buying factors one needs to consider as per the identified needs, for buying the safest, most convenient, and cost-efficient extension ladder, which does not tip sideways or slide out.
Extension Ladder Material: Which to Choose
Most ladders, right from three-section to four-step models, are made of the following materials, each having its own pros and cons.
- Fiberglass: Features a blend of plastic epoxy and glass fibers forming a non-conductive surface, ideal for usage close to electrical lines. Such ladders are similar to aluminum equivalents in terms of non-corrosiveness and durability.
- Aluminum: Is famous for its non-corrosive property due to which aluminum ladders are highly durable. Such ladders are also lightweight and are available in the size ranging from 30 to over 70 feet once extended fully. Choose this material for working indoors and outdoors.
- Wood: Is known for its conductive property as well as robust performance. Wood ladders are available in different sizes.
Weight Bearing Ability: Which One is Suitable for Me
This factor is known from a ladder’s duty rating placed on it, which indicates how much weight the product can hold. This rating also includes the weight of power tools and other gear along with your own while on the ladder. You will find five duty ratings namely, special (Type IAA, 375 lbs max weight), extra heavy duty (Type IA, 300 lbs), heavy duty (Type I, 250 lbs), medium duty (Type II 225 lbs), and light duty (Type III, 200 lbs).
Extension Ladder Type: Which One is Right for Me
Selecting the right type of extension ladder totally depends upon on how each ladder will be beneficial in your unique circumstances.
- Conventional: Is most popular, has two or three sections to extend, and is ideal for a flat surface.
- Folding/Articulated: Extends in length by locking or moving joint sections vertically, is versatile enough to assume different settings such as vertical, horizontal, or both for chores over obstructions.
- Self-leveling: Extends through the bottom to adjust to uneven surfaces such as ramps and steps, ideal for painters working in different positions and locations
Other Features: How to Choose
The best extension ladder shall also have the desired height, stable base, safe locks, and strong steps.
- Height: Needs to be long enough to touch up to the desired highest point while retaining a protected grip and support.
- Base: Needs to possess non-skid rubber pads and the ability to pivot freely to act easily at different angles; look for a base with the legs’ bottommost area is wider than the remaining portion of the ladder, as it offers a highly stable platform.
- Steps: Need to be comfortable to accommodate your foot smoothly as well as resistant to slippage.
- Adjustments: Need to be comfortable; adjustments refer to the way in which a section moves or slides.
- Locks: Need to secure the sections.
Top Models Reviewed: Is My Best Extension Ladder One of These
To make your selection task simpler, we have made a thorough analysis of different popular and reliable models and have come up with the following four top choices.
Louisville Ladder FE3224 Fiberglass Extension Ladder (24-feet, 300 lbs): Is an extra heavy-duty option for lighter industrial use with a loading capability of 300 lbs suitable for working on residential, electrical, utility, and light construction chores. The ladder features D-shaped, serrated steps with a slip-resistant surface, slide guides atop the base and a stop on fly section to prevent over-extension, mar-resistant rail end caps securing landing surfaces, and steel swiveling shoes. Overall, ease of lifting, safety, and versatile uses are its best selling points.
Werner D1116-2 Aluminum Flat D-Rung Extension Ladder (16-Foot, 200 lbs): Is a lightweight, Type III duty extension ladder featuring slip-resistant steps attached to rails via the brand’s signature Alflo joint for twist-proof performance. The rails are interlocked safely through the bottom guides in the fly section, while the gravity spring locks ensure a smooth operation. The ladder also comes with slip-resistant pad, collapsing ability for storage, and pivoting shoe. It extends up to 13 feet to access even those areas that seem tough to reach. Overall, lightweight but sturdy design and safe performance are its best selling points.
VonHaus Aluminum Telescoping Extension Ladder (12.5ft, 330 lbs): Is a reliable alternative to full size ladders that have storage issues. The ladder comes with a unique telescopic design that can wind up down up to 3ft for ease of storage even in cars and haulage. It also features a distinct and smooth extending and locking means, super lightweight aluminium for easy maneuvering without compromising safety and sturdiness, finger protectors between steps to take care of fingers while collapsing, and stabilizing crosspiece for extra protection through the included supplies. Smooth operation and additional safety are the best selling points of this ladder.
Little Giant 14016-001 Alta One Type 1 Model 22 Ladder (22 Foot, 250 lbs): Is the most versatile model to enable you to use is compact body in one of the 33 configurations, such as 90-degree, A-frame, and extension. With this one, you can work on a step ladder, scaffolding system, extension ladder, and wall ladder. The telescoping sides and 22-inch hinge locks ensures safe adjustable use. While the aluminium of aerospace-grade makes it ultra-light as well as ultra-strong, the rubberized feet, flared legs, and great design ensures unbeatable stability in any setting. The model is ideal for medium-sized chores. Its versatility is its biggest selling point.