Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Telescopic ladders are extremely practical. Thanks to their telescopic mechanism, they can be folded up to a fifth of their extended length. Therefore, they can also be transported and stored without much effort. Extending and especially retracting them takes some practice at the beginning. However, this can be learned without much effort.

Our large telescopic ladder test 2021 will help you choose the best telescopic ladder for you. We have listed the advantages and disadvantages of lean-to and folding ladders and made further comparisons. In this way, we want to simplify your purchase decision process.




Summary

  • Telescopic ladders can be pushed together into a particularly small shape. Therefore, they are well suited for people with little storage and transport space.
  • A distinction is made between single and folding ladders. Both types are available in different lengths. The advantage of folding ladders is that they do not have to be leaned against anything.
  • When you pull them apart, you have to check carefully that all the elements are locked in place. And when pulling them together, be careful not to get your fingers caught between the rungs. There is a risk of injury.

The Best Telescopic Ladder: Our Choices

Telescopic ladders: buying and evaluation criteria

Next, we will show you the criteria you should use to decide between the many telescopic ladders. The features you should use to make your decision are as follows:

In the following sections, we will tell you exactly what the individual criteria are.

Length

The length is the most important criterion for a telescopic ladder. After all, it determines how high you can get. So think about exactly what you need the ladder for.

Most telescopic ladders are between 3.20 and 5 metres long. However, it should be noted that the length of the ladder is not the same as the so-called working height.

This is because the ladder can never be placed vertically. In general, it is advisable to place the ladder at an angle of 70 degrees to a wall. In addition, you should not stand on the top rung of your ladder for safety reasons.

As a working height, a distance of 1.50 metres above your standpoint. Therefore, the working height is still higher than the length of the ladder. So if a working height is given, you should use it as a reference.

If no working height is given, you can easily calculate it from the length of the ladder. Multiply the length of the ladder by a factor of 1.064. For example, if you have a ladder that is 4 metres long. The working height is: 4 x 1.064 = 4.26 metres.

Dimensions of the telescopic ladder

The advantage of a telescopic ladder over other ladders is that they take up much less space for storage and transport. Therefore, you should take a look at the dimensions of the telescopic ladder.

In principle, of course, a longer ladder is still slightly longer than a shorter one, even when folded up. Nevertheless, there are differences here that you should take into account if you have limited storage space.

Basically, folding ladders can be pushed together or folded to a shorter length than single ladders. We will come to the detailed advantages and disadvantages of a folding ladder later.

Maximum load capacity

The maximum load capacity describes the maximum weight that the ladder can bear. This is especially important if you want to use heavy machinery on the ladder. Don't forget to consider your own weight.

Most telescopic ladders have a maximum load capacity of 150 kilograms. In most cases, this is sufficient and should not limit your choice.

However, make sure that your chosen ladder has this load capacity.

The load capacity refers to one rung. This means that if two people, each weighing 80 kilograms, stand on the ladder, the maximum load capacity will not be exceeded. In other words, the weight is not added together.

Rung interval / number of rungs

Basically, the smaller the rung interval, the easier it is to climb the ladder. This is especially important if you are not too good on your feet or if you have to carry extra weight up the ladder.

Only for particularly tall people may a larger distance between the rungs make climbing easier.

The rung interval varies between 25 and 40 cm depending on the ladder. The number of rungs is often given instead of the rung interval. The general rule here is that the more rungs, the better. Some models also offer height-adjustable rungs.

Weight

The weight depends on several factors, which is why the weight also varies greatly. These include factors such as length, the material the ladder is made of and the load-bearing capacity.

Folding ladders tend to be heavier than single ladders.

Therefore, when considering weight, always look at the other criteria first. A ladder that is as light as possible is of no use if it is too short.

Short ladders, with a length of 3.20 metres, weigh about 9 - 10 kilograms. On the other hand, a 5-metre ladder can weigh up to 18 kilograms.

Of course, it makes sense not to buy a ladder that is unnecessarily heavy. If a lighter ladder also meets your requirements, you should choose the lighter one.

Compliance with standards (for commercial use)

Ladders for commercial use must comply with the European EN 131 standard. If you are looking for a ladder for personal use, the ladder does not have to meet this standard.

However, this standard can also be seen as a kind of safety seal, which is why we recommend paying attention to it in any case.

Telescopic ladders: Frequently asked questions and answers

We have selected questions about telescopic ladders. We answer them in the following sections. After reading, you will know all the important background information.

Who is a telescopic ladder suitable for?

Telescopic ladders have the advantage over other ladders that they can be pushed together. This means they can be stored and transported in a space-saving way. Accordingly, telescopic ladders are suitable for anyone who does not have much storage or transport space for their ladder.

teleskopleiter-test

Short telescopic ladders are also suitable for camping. When they are no longer needed, they can be folded up and stored in the car without any problems. (Image source: Michael Aleo / Unsplash)

This advantage is paid for by a slightly higher weight. So if it is important to you to have a ladder that is as light as possible, another ladder might be the better choice. However, we only found slight differences in weight.

What types of telescopic ladders are there?

In general, there are two alternatives: single ladders and folding ladders. We have listed the most important features in the table below:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Leaning ladders Lightweight, Easy to handle, More stability on level ground Longer when collapsed (with the same length extended), Cannot be used standing free
Folding ladders Can be used free-standing or leaning, More stability on uneven ground, Shorter when collapsed (when extended to same length) Heavier, Can be difficult to handle alone

Leaning ladders can only be used when leaning against a wall. Folding ladders, on the other hand, can also be used without the possibility of leaning against something.

They can even be used on slightly uneven ground. However, you should bear in mind that they only reach about half the height when folded.

teleskopleiter-test

The stability of folding ladders is particularly advantageous when gardening on uneven ground. (Image source: Nagesh Badu / Unsplash)

Because of the additional hinge, folding ladders are heavier than single ladders for the same length. In addition, it often takes some practice to extend and retract the ladder.

What does a telescopic ladder cost?

Prices can vary greatly. First and foremost, they depend on the length. A 2.6 metre single ladder is available from 40 €.

A 6.4 metre folding ladder, on the other hand, costs several 100 €. In general, our research showed that folding ladders are more expensive than lean-to ladders.

Product Price
Lean-to telescopic ladders Approx. 40 - 500 €
Folding telescopic ladders Approx. 70 - 500 €

As you can see, there are very big price differences. These also depend on the quality.

What are the alternatives to a telescopic ladder?

Alternatives are generally non-extendable and other types of extendable ladders. There are many other different variants. We have listed the most important ones in the table below.

Alternative Description
Sliding ladder Sliding ladders consist of two parts that can be slid over or apart. This allows the length to be almost doubled. However, they do not come close to telescopic ladders. On the other hand, they are somewhat lighter.
Rope pull ladder Rope pull ladders use the same principle as extension ladders. The difference is that they use a pulley to extend and retract the ladder. Therefore, they are easier to operate by one person alone than extension ladders.
Leaning and folding ladders Conventional leaning and folding ladders do without the telescopic mechanism. This means that they are always the same length. Therefore, they take up a lot of space when being transported and stowed away. On the other hand, they are somewhat lighter than their counterparts with telescopic mechanism
Household ladders Household ladders are short stair ladders. As their name suggests, they are mainly used in the household because of their short length. They are ideal for cleaning on top of a cupboard, for example.

Each alternative has its advantages. Nevertheless, the telescopic ladder is clearly superior to all of them, especially when it comes to space-saving storage. It is not for nothing that they are extremely popular.

How does a telescopic ladder work?

A telescopic ladder can be pulled apart between each step. This distinguishes it from the extension ladder. The latter consists of two ladder sections that can be slid over each other.

Place the telescopic ladder on a solid and level surface to extend it. It is best to put one foot on the lowest rung to get a better grip. Now pull the first element upwards.

When you have pulled the element up completely, you will hear a clicking sound. Check that it has really clicked into place. Then do the same with the element below and so on until you reach the bottom. It is important that you always start with the top rung.

To push the ladder together, stand it upright again. Most telescopic ladders have two push buttons on the steps. If you press these buttons at the same time, the top rung is unlocked and falls back into the collapsed form.

This happens very quickly, so make sure that no one has their fingers or other body parts between the rungs.

Conclusion

Telescopic ladders are particularly suitable if you have little storage space. Folding ladders are particularly suitable for working in the garden on uneven ground. They offer more stability on this type of surface. In general, folding ladders should be your choice if you want to use your ladder standing freely.

If you need to get as high as possible, a single ladder is better. They are relatively light, even if they are long. Beginners should be careful with the release mechanism when using them for the first time. If you are careless, you can quickly get your fingers caught.

Photo source: 123rf / 113142026

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