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29 Feb 2024

telescopic ladder vs extension ladder

Need an extending ladder but can’t decide between a telescopic ladder and an extension ladder? Keep reading – this guide looks at the pros and cons of both options.


What is a telescopic ladder?

A telescopic ladder is a type of ladder than can be extended and collapsed in a similar way to a telescope. This clever, compact design enables telescopic ladders to fully collapse into themselves so they can be easily stored in smaller spaces.


Telescopic ladder pros

  • Extremely compact and portable – Telescopic ladders are perfect for people with limited space, or for those working on the move. They can fit comfortably into most cupboards, car boots and vans.

  • Fully adjustable height extension – The telescopic design allows you to set the ladder to the exact height you require, making this a versatile choice that’s suitable for all sorts of different jobs.

  • Less prone to damage – Because the rungs and stiles are hidden away when collapsed, telescopic ladders tend to be less prone to weather damage, scuffs and scrapes.


Telescopic ladder cons

  • Weight limitations – Telescopic ladders tend to have a lower weight capacity than other ladders, particularly when fully extended. This means they may be unsuitable for jobs that require you to carry heavy objects.

  • Stability – Telescopic ladders can struggle to distribute weight as efficiently as other ladder types, so you need to be extra cautious when working at height and always try to distribute your weight as evenly as possible to prevent the ladder from toppling.


What is an extension ladder?

Extension ladders are also extending ladders, but instead of collapsing into themselves, they are made up of 2 or 3 sliding sections that can be extended to reach the required height. Again, these ladders are very versatile and can be compactly stored, though not as compactly as telescopic ladders.


Extension ladder pros

  • Extended height – Extension ladders are favoured by tradespeople and DIY-ers because of how high they can reach. Some extension ladders can extend up to 10 metres tall (that’s over 32 feet). They’re an ideal choice for both domestic and commercial environments, whether you need to clean your gutters or work at height on construction sites.

  • Stability – Extension ladders are designed to be very robust, giving you plenty of stability so you can feel confident in carrying out any job safely. This makes them particularly good for jobs that require the prolonged use of a ladder.

  • Load capacity – Generally speaking, extension ladders can take more weight than telescopic ladders, making them an ideal choice for tasks that require you to move heavy tools and materials while ascending or descending the ladder.


Extension ladder cons

  • More bulky and harder to store – Compared to telescopic ladders, extension ladders require more space when they’re in storage or being transported from A to B. They’re also heavier, making them harder to move around.

  • More prone to damage – Compared to telescopic ladders, extension ladders are more prone to weather damage, scuffs and scrapes due to the simple fact that more of the ladder is on display when being stored/transported.


Here at Ladders UK Direct, we stock a brilliant range of both telescopic and extension ladders to suit practically any budget or job.

If you have any questions about any of the ladders we stock, you can always contact the team here at Ladders UK Direct for advice. We'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you find the right product for you.

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