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10 May 2024

Different ladder types

Nowadays, ladders come in all shapes and sizes to suit a huge range of jobs and environments. While all ladder types are useful, it’s important to know which one is best suited to the job at hand. Using the wrong type of ladder could put your safety at risk.

To help you understand the difference between them, we’ve put together this handy list of ladder types and how to use them…


1. Straight ladder

Straight ladders, also known as single ladders, are one of the simplest ladders designs. Featuring just a single frame/section with a series of rungs, these ladders may be basic, but they’re one of the most stable ladders available, and are very easy to operate since you won’t need to make any adjustments to them. Just make sure you lean your ladder up against a surface that’s sturdy enough to support it!

Common uses for straight ladders:

  • Painting indoors
  • Cleaning ground-level windows


2. Extension ladder

Extension ladders are leaning ladders that are made up of at least two sliding sections. The longest extension ladders can be extended to reach heights of up to 10 metres.

This type of ladder is very versatile, and their compact design makes them very easy to store.

Common uses for extension ladders:

  • Window cleaning
  • Electrical work
  • Cleaning gutters


3. Step ladder

Step ladders are hugely versatile tools. Their A-frame design makes them self-supporting, so they can be set up practically anywhere and are generally very safe to use.

They consist of at least two treads/rungs but can have up 14!

Common uses for step ladders:

  • Changing lightbulbs
  • Hanging artwork
  • General decorating


4. Telescopic ladder

Telescopic ladders are a type of extending ladder that benefit from an incredibly compact design, making them very easy to store and transport.

Their telescopic design does make them slightly less sturdy than your standard extension ladder. But they are perfectly safe to use and enable you to customise the ladder to perfectly suit the desired height.

Common uses for telescopic ladders:

  • Domestic DIY
  • Some professional trade jobs (depending on the ladder’s rating)


5. Multi-purpose ladders

Multi-purpose ladders (also known as combination ladders) are designed to convert into several different configurations to suit various jobs and environments.

They can be used as leaning ladders or free-standing ladders with just a few simple adjustments.

Common uses for combination ladders:

  • Jobs within the home
  • In workshops
  • Garden work
  • Working on stairs
  • Working on stairs


6. Step stool

Step stools are handy for quick jobs where you need to access something that’s only slightly out of reach.

They’re often lightweight enough to carry around from job to job, but sturdy enough to be used for all sorts of tasks.

Common uses for step stools:

  • Fitting a light
  • Reaching the top shelf of your kitchen cupboard
  • Accessing objects in stockrooms


Buy ladders from Ladders UK Direct

Here at Ladders UK Direct, we stock a brilliant range of ladders to suit practically any job. Whether you’re after a heavy-duty extension ladder or a lightweight step ladder to use around the house, we’ve got you covered.

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