12 Types of Ladders to Efficiently & Safely Get the Work Done

Updated: | Categories: Garage
types of ladders

Whether you're changing a light bulb or painting walls of your new home, any of the types of ladders is a must and a preliminary piece of equipment needed for countless other tasks.

Not just for everyday household tasks, but ladders are used in professional industries like construction, shops, fire trucks, and so on. Since ladders cater to several jobs, they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

You need to choose the right types of ladders when you're ready to make a purchase. Although all of them primarily serve to elevate you to the desired height, not all ladders are the same or safe for certain tasks.

Depending on what chore or job you wish to execute, most ladder types are built with unique integrations to serve your purpose more efficiently, conveniently, and safely.

Choosing the right ladder will be not only convenient for you but also safe (yes, I'm stressing this factor). A ladder purchased with safety in mind stops very preventable accidents.

Despite them being seemingly easy-to-use and handle properly, the missing element of balance and stability in a ladder can cause some serious injuries. It's crucial to understand which ladder is the most suitable choice for your purpose for satisfying and safe future endeavors.

12 Types of Ladders

We have divided thsee into five broad categories, each containing several variations for different chores or jobs. You can read the list below to familiarize yourself with the different types of ladders that suit your needs best.

Basic Ladders

Basic ladders are found in almost every home or shop. Their primary purpose is to help you reach the desired height. Here's the two types:

Step Ladders

step ladder
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Step ladders are used for primary and quick household tasks like changing a light bulb or storing something on the top shelf. Step ladders are inexpensive and can be conveniently stored away when not needed.

They are safe for anyone to use as they are very stable due to their shortness. This keeps your center of gravity low, and in the case of a slip you have a lower distance of travel in your unfortunate trip.

A-Frame Ladders

a-frame ladder
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A-frame ladders are another standard household accessory. These ladders are sturdier as their double-sided frame and braces makes them more stable.

Such ladders are mostly used for activities when both hands are engaged in performing specific tasks such as hanging Christmas lights up. A-frame ladders are useful if you do not have anyone to help around by holding the ladder to support you.

They provide excellent stability so you can conveniently finish tasks that may otherwise take a while. But this is only the case if used properly. They'll warn you about not stepping higher than a specific step or you rapidly increase the danger.

Painting Ladders

Painting and ladders go hand in hand. Therefore, these ladders are explicitly designed to make your painting job more manageable and efficient.

Ladder with a Paint-Can Holder

painting ladder
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These ladders are designed according to the traditional A-frame design but have the added feature of a built-in paint can shelf. These ladders are suitable for painting taller rooms if you are going to do that task yourself.

Paint cans needs to be placed safely on the shelf, which folds up when the ladder is extended. The A-frame design in this ladder offers a reliable and sturdy base for you and your painting tools. You can strap on a tool belt or anything else to hold your brushes, etc.

Platform Trestle Ladders

platform trestle ladder
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Platform trestle ladders are built with a shelf-like platform between the two ladder legs. Their design is similar to the typical A-frame ladder, but they're more as sturdy than their counterpart as they're meant to be used in pairs, doubling the amount of legs.

The platform offers enough room for you to place a paint can and walk several steps back and forth. The platform can be a two by four piece of wood, another ladder, etc. Platform trestle ladders are usually used for outdoor surfaces such as painting a tall garage door or window frames.

Extension Ladders

If you find yourself in need of reaching high and far corners but don't have a lot of storage space to store a giant ladder, then extension ladders are perhaps the best option.

Extension ladders stack up or fold in to become a compact size when they are not being used. When they must be used, they can simply be pulled up and “extended” to the required length. Extension ladders can easily be stored in a garage as well, out of the way but safe and sound, as long as its at least the standard garage size.

Basic Extension Ladders

extension ladder
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These ladders are the most frequently used types of ladders and are useful for several purposes. They have screws or clasps that lock the extensions together after being pulled out to the required height. This keeps them from collapsing back down like you see in old comedy movies or cartoons.

The only thing you have to avoid with essential extension ladders is standing on the top rungs. These rungs are designed to provide stability but will not adequately support you if you stand on them. This can also make the bottom slip out from under you.

Attic Ladders

attic ladder
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These ladders drop-down when you need to enter the attic. Such ladders are convenient for small spaces as the extensions can be stacked on to each other to be stored away in the attic. Attic ladders provide strong, static support.

Their primary purpose is not portability due to them being attached firmly to a surface. These ladders serve to transport you into the attic if you do not have the room to accommodate a flight of stairs. The work well in two-story barns and garages as well.

Telescopic Ladders

telescopic ladder are one of the most unique types of ladders
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Telescopic ladders extend out to become the required length, with each subsequent step sometimes becoming less wide or sometimes not depending on the design. After you are done using them, you can push the ladder down to a very compact size.

Telescopic ladders do not rank high on the stability scale, but if you have people holding the ladder down for additional support, you can get the job done. Telescopic ladders can be stored away efficiently, even in large cupboard shelves or under your bed.

Malleable Ladders

fire escape ladder
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Malleable ladders roll up like a ribbon instead of being stacked up. These ladders are very flexible and portable. You can roll them up and fit them in your bag or car. They're often stored and used as fire escape ladders.

Malleable ladders are great for outdoor use, such as climbing up to a treehouse or climbing down from a window on the second floor. These include the typical rope ladders you may be accustomed to seeing.

Mobile Ladders

Mobile ladders may sound dangerous and understandably so. After all, the last thing you need is for your ladder to move when you are standing on it.

However, mobile ladders are convenient for large spaces that require objects to be moved around frequently. Mobile ladders come with wheels attached on the front legs, but these wheels can be locked to provide static support to the user.

Warehouse Ladders 

warehouse ladder
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 As the name suggests, warehouse ladders are the most suitable option if you have a warehouse or a barn-like facility. This ladder will enable you to move objects around from place to place and store them in high places with great ease. These are also useful when installing drop ceiling alternatives or drywall alternatives, etc.

Warehouse ladders often come with built-in platforms and safety railings for additional user stability. Some are attached to tracks where you can move yourself horizontally without stepping down to the ground first. Others have pedals you can step on to incrementally move yourself around as well.

Five-Step Portable Ladders

This ladder has only five steps, so it does not reach very high. However, the front legs have wheels to offer mobility, and the back legs have stoppers to hold the ladder in one place while you work. They are somewhere between a step ladder and an A-frame ladder in size, but function like a warehouse ladder.

Multi-Purpose Ladders

Multipurpose ladders are versatile and enable the user to carry out multiple tasks instead of one at a time. If you want to invest in a single ladder and use it for a variety of functions, then these ladders are the right choice.

Podium Ladders

podium ladder
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 Podium ladders offer stability and safety. Podium ladders come with a platform to rest tools or other items on and have a very sturdy body. These features will enable you to use it for anything like painting a wall or using a nail gun, without any hassle.

Scaffold Ladders

scaffold ladder
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Scaffold ladders have a unique design as they have detachable hinges. This feature enables you to unlock the hinges any time to create multiple ladder designs out of one. These articulating pieces are generally used to create a platform to walk across like scaffolding.

The locking hinges can be used to create both a platform as well as a ladder. With an articulated ladder, you can work comfortably on rather prolonged tasks.

All Types of Ladders Can Lead to Accidents

Ladders may seem easy to use but can lead to severe injuries if not appropriately balanced. Ladder safety is paramount to protect yourself from grave mishaps and accidents. More often than not, you may have heard of a ladder tipping sideways, slipping down, or people falling off.

These accidents are avoidable, and efforts to avoid them should be taken seriously. You must always have a three-point contact when climbing a ladder. This means either two feet or one hand, or two hands and one foot are ever touching the ladder while you are climbing it.

It is also essential to concentrate your weight towards the center of the ladder, so it does not tip over to one side. This can be done by placing your foot in the center when climbing the rungs and facing the ladder while climbing it, so you do not miss a step.

The Types of Ladders Are Many

Ladders are useful equipment for several essential tasks. Different kinds of ladders come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and unique features. Some ladders are specially tailored to facilitate specific tasks. Multiple factors must be considered when buying a ladder.

These include safety, storage space, convenience, and the ability to get the job done. We equally stress on maintenance and cleaning of your ladder.

It would be a remarkably simple consideration which surely pays of in the long run. Keeping these factors in mind, you can choose the most suitable types of ladders for your tasks from a wide variety of options.

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Rick Worst Headshot Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, who's life is consumed by all things home and garden. Starting as a hobby, Worst Room has grown into an information and inspiration wheelhouse for professionals and home owners alike. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Learn more about operation here.