Last updated: August 18, 2021

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When it comes to height, you need to take every precaution when it comes to safety. That's why when using one, you must have a good ladder that gives you stability and confidence. The question is, which of all the models and brands is the best?

At ReviewBox we give you more than just the technical details of each model. We want you to have all the information you need to make the best buying decision. From the most innovative models and the features you should compare, to the most common questions among buyers.




Summary

  • A ladder is a structure of two parallel or slightly converging pieces joined at intervals by crossbeams and used to raise or lower a person from one level to another.
  • Thanks to advances in the manufacture of tools, there are more and more ladders that offer greater durability, load support and portability, among which aluminium, fibreglass and wood ladders stand out.
  • Among the main factors you should consider before choosing a ladder are: Weight, Weight bearing, Storage, Length, Material of manufacture, Rungs, Fit, Safety.

The Best Ladder: Our Picks

Buying guide

For many, buying a ladder is a matter of minutes, however, those who use them regularly know that there are a number of factors to consider in order to make the best choice.

A ladder is a structure of two parallel or slightly converging pieces joined at intervals by struts and used to raise or lower a person from one level to another.
(Photo: Dolgachov/ 123rf.com)

What is a ladder and what are its advantages?

A ladder is a set of rungs or steps that are joined together, either with rope, fibreglass, wood or metal. Its configuration of two parallel or slightly converging pieces joined at intervals by crossbeams, serves to raise or lower a person from one level to another.

They are very useful for carrying out various tasks at height, such as: painting a wall, reaching a high cupboard or a shelf, among others, and their purpose is usually related to their design.

Due to its robust, flexible and durable design, choosing a ladder requires the consideration of several elements, offering advantages and disadvantages whose choice is conditioned by the type of ladder and the work to be carried out.

Advantages
  • Easy to transport: Aluminium and fibreglass ladders are made of lightweight materials
  • They allow access to higher levels that you could not reach with any other tool
  • Stainless: both aluminium alloy and fibreglass alloy allow longer life in adverse weather conditions
  • It is a tool with a long service life
Disadvantages
  • Thermal and electrical conductivity: Aluminium and wooden ladders are not recommended for industrial use
  • Shock sensitive: their material of manufacture in less resistant than traditional wooden ladders
  • The price of an aluminium or fibreglass ladder is higher than wooden ladders as they mostly offer higher functions and adjustment configurations.

Aluminium, fibreglass or wooden ladder What should you pay attention to?

There are three types of ladders: aluminium, fibreglass and wood, with the first two -aluminium and fibreglass- being the most popular. It is important to consider their manufacturing material when purchasing one to find out which one best suits your needs.

As you can imagine, any of these three ladders is good. The main difference lies in aspects such as the job to be done, working height, and load bearing. We'll talk more about each of them below.

Aluminium ladder. It stands out as an excellent material for various types of ladders because it can support a lot of load without risk of deformation. It is lightweight, which will make a big difference when transporting it from one place to another, and it is also affordable.

Fibreglass ladder. It is strong and does not conduct electricity like aluminium. However, it is a little more expensive than the other types, but the benefits may outweigh the additional cost.

An important aspect to consider with a fibreglass ladder is that after 7.60 metres, these ladders start to become unwieldy as they are heavier than aluminium.

Wooden ladder. Probably the most common and popular choice of ladder types. It is an affordable option that is easy to find at any home improvement or hardware shop.

It doesn't conduct electricity so you can safely use it anywhere you need a better reach. However, it is heavier than the other options and will deteriorate if left outside

Aluminium Fibreglass Wood
Electrically conductive Yes No No
Load capacity 90 to 150 kg 102 to 170 kg up to 95 kg
Recommended use Domestic Industrial Household

How much does a ladder cost?

The number of ladders on the market is varied. You can find different sizes, manufacturing materials, models and brands, however, the quality of the ladder you want to buy will depend on the product you choose.

Remember to keep in mind that the more functions the ladder has, the higher the price will be, therefore, we recommend you to identify what your needs are so that it fits your budget.

Thanks to advances in the manufacture of tools, there are more and more ladders that offer greater durability, load support and portability, among which aluminium, fibreglass and wood ladders stand out.
(Photo: Arturs Budkevics/ 123rf.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rank ladder models

When choosing a ladder, it is important to take into account features and functionalities that suit your needs and not to choose solely on the price of the product.

Weight

The weight of a ladder is a double-edged sword, as it adds stability to the ladder, but also makes it more difficult to transport. Weight is directly related to the material of manufacture and size of the ladder.

Similarly, the length of the ladder is directly proportional to the weight, the longer the ladder the heavier it is. If you will be using the ladder for domestic use, we recommend a ladder weighing no more than 12 kilos for ease of transport and storage.

There are three types of materials: aluminium, fibreglass and wood, the first two -aluminium and fibreglass- being the most popular.
(Photo: kasto/ 123rf.com)

Weight support

The weight a ladder supports depends on the material it is made of, which is in the average load range of 95 kg to 150 kg. It is important to consider not only the weight of the person on the ladder, but also the weight of other tools that add to the weight.

If the ladder is to be used for domestic purposes, a ladder that can support from 90 kg is sufficient, however, if you are looking to work at a greater height we recommend the use of a ladder that can support from 102 kg.

Storage

Proper storage is more than just finding space for a ladder. It is about preventing wear and tear and damage that could make it unsafe to use. Foldable or articulated versions offer practical solutions for this.

We recommend that you measure the space you have available to store the ladder. In addition, a moisture-free and easily accessible space should be available for easy access to prevent early deterioration of the ladder.

Fibreglass ladder is resistant and does not conduct electricity like aluminium.
(Photo: Richard Villalon / 123rf.com)

Length

The ladder should be of sufficient length to provide support for hands and feet in all positions in which it is to be used. If working on the ladder, there should be at least four free rungs above the position of the feet.

Although ladders have a maximum permitted height of up to 10 metres, the recommendation for the use of ladders - in indoor or outdoor domestic environments - is 5 to 7 metres in order to reduce the risk of falling from height.

Material of manufacture

The ladders, made from alloys, are lightweight, rust-free and fireproof. Therefore, aluminium ladders are recommended for use in the home, mainly because they are easy to transport and lightweight.

Fibreglass ladders are recommended for industrial work due to their epoxy alloy and fibreglass plastic which makes them non-corrosive and non-conductive of electricity.

As for wooden ladders, their recommended use is limited to functions with less risk of thermal conductivity due to their flammable structure. They offer fewer adjustment functions, which has led to a decline in their sale in recent years.

Rungs

When choosing a ladder you should pay attention to the configuration of the rungs so that you are safe, work comfortably and obtain the desired height, these pieces must have the right dimensions.

In general, a tread of 30 to 40 cm is recommended, with a depth of 8 to 12 cm and with anti-slip characteristics to avoid and reduce the risk of accidents due to falls at height

Depending on the type of ladder you can change the shape or fit, so they are very adaptable. Some models can be used as a ladder and at the same time as a fixed platform. Others can even serve as a bridge over short distances.

In general, the recommendation when buying a ladder is to have as many adjustments as possible, so you can perform all your jobs optimally, however, you should consider that the more functions and adjustments it has, the higher the price.

There is a wide variety of ladders that, depending on your tastes and needs, will fit your budget perfectly.
(Photo: zerbor/ 123rf.com)

Safety

Being a tool for working at height it is important to consider the risk involved, so when choosing a ladder it is essential when buying one.

For higher industrial work and in the presence of electrical wiring we recommend the use of a fibreglass ladder for its non-conductive properties and maximum weight load, displacing aluminium and wooden ladders for simpler and safer functions.

(Featured image photo: lightfieldstudios/ 123rf.com)

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