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Ladder Buying Guide

Whether you're painting, cleaning gutters, or getting the cat out of a tree, you need a ladder. There is no substitute for a ladder properly matched to the project at hand.

Ladder Buying Guide

Choose the Right Stepladder

Choose the Right Stepladder

Ladders vary by material as well as size. First determine what size is needed. The following measurements are for a person who is 5 ft. 6 in. tall with a 12-inch vertical reach.

Choose the Right Extension Ladder

How to Choose the Right Extension Ladder

Ladder Load Capacity

Ladder Load Capacities

Load capacity is important. The load capacity includes your own weight plus the weight of materials you will be carrying. Match your needs with the following chart.

Ladder Materials and Structures

Ladder Buying Guide

To use a ladder safely, you should understand the differences between ladder materials.

Wood Ladders

  • Economical
  • Electrically nonconductive (when clean and dry)

Aluminum Ladders

  • Strong
  • Lightweight
  • Corrosion resistant
  • WILL conduct electricity

Fiberglass Ladders

  • Electrically nonconductive
  • Great value
  • Strong

Always use fiberglass ladders when working with or near electricity.

Other Types of Ladders

Ladder Buying Guide

In addition to standard stepladders and extension ladders, articulating multi-use ladders are a good investment if your needs are varied. They can be used as a regular or stairway stepladder, an extension-type straight ladder, or a scaffold system support.