What are telescopic ladders?
Quite simply they are ladders that can change length by extending outward or inward to make them larger or smaller. If you can find versatile muiltipurpose ladders then this makes them really good for lots of different things. This also makes them some of the best telescopic ladders on the market. Read our best telescopic ladder reviews to find the best.
No need for short step ladders to clean the windows and large ladders to reach the roof of your house.
With telescopic ladders you can take a small compact ladder and extend it out so it is able to reach high areas.
Almost any kind of ladder can be classed as a telescoping ladder. As long as some adjustment can be made then they can be called telescopic ladders.
- Step ladders – provide you with a safe way to reach higher maybe 1 or 2 feet in height. perfect fopr reaching high shelves or painting ceilings. You can find step ladders that give different heights. With them being self supporting too, they don’t need to be leant against a wall
- Multipurpose ladders – really these are specially designed advanced ladders that perform a wide range of duties. They can act as step ladders, extension ladders, and can fold up likle other single use loadder types. If a ladder can perform more than 2 or 3 duties of other ladders then you can say it is multipurpose.
- Folding ladders – fold down when not in use making their storage far easier. Inside a van or car, or garden shed for example.
- Telescoping extension ladders – two small ladders couple together. One of them slides upwards along the other ladder and hooks on to any one of it’s rungs, so that the ladders length can effectively double in length. Good for homes and travels well in a van.
Which are the best ladders?
This really does come down to what is best for YOU, and of course what you think you will need them for the most. This buying guide is here to help.
My own personal preference (not those of my fellow workers here at 10 Warriors mind!) is for a multipurpose ladder that covers lot’s of different things.
Ladders Comparison Table
Nowadays there are some amazing ladders on the market.
Some of them can reach as high as 5 metres or more and even come complete with a safety cage on top for when you are working.
Telescopic ladder reviews
So we come to the crunch. We had to think really hard about how to categorize and choose each of the ladders in question.
The truth is that it was very hard because there are a lot of really great ladders on the market at the moment.
We did find out favourite top 10 best ladders, and chose a favourite. At the same time however we wanted to let you know what we thought were the laders that made it as the best for multi use, best for small steps etc and so on, so let’s take a look at those.
Best Long Ladders
We looked at 4 sets of ladders in this category and found that one stood out. Strong, sturdy and reaches up to 8.6 metres. This is achieved by the Lewis 3-section Aluminium ladders.
Best multipurpose ladders
My own favourite here is the ergonomically designed Little Giant 5 Rung Revolution XE. Already mentioned this above, and the usual American promotional videos do help to showcase what it can do. Great for stairs.. working 90 degrees right up close to a wall, high up a house, as step ladders and so much more. There are also several optional extras for these ladders like a paint tray that clips on (*and its non stick so you can peel the dry paint out when done). Brilliant for home improvement and many other tasks around the home.
Best step ladders
We also wanted to mention that the ladders that fit this category best are also great safety ladders in so much as their is an upper safety rail included in this 4 step step ladders set. See this the heavy duty home discount 4 step step ladders built to tough safety standards!
Best telescopic compact ladders
We love these ladders as they can extend right up to 5 metres, yet fold down to almost nothing when stored away. How great are these with their superb compact design! Check out these finether 5 metre telescopic folding ladders.
Best garden ladders
With all the uneven surfaces in a garden it’s important that safety is taken care of more so than ever before. We chose these tripod ladders as you can adjust the legs to fit uneven surfaces. Take a look at thee huge 3.6 metre outdoor ladders (smaller sizes also available).
Best escape ladders
If you live in a 2nd floor (3 storey) floor flat or upstairs space it might be one of the best investments you could ever make. A simple 7.6 metre fire escape ladder that folds down and can be popped under a bed if ever needed. Take a look for yourself.
These ladders are actually our favourite set of ladders out of the “many” we looked at and tested. Of course all of the 10 in this list are “fantastic” and all of them deserved the number 1 position. Not all of us picked this set to be our favourite but the majority of us did.
So, let’s take a good look at these ladders.
Little Giant ladders are a US based company who have dominated the late night “infomercial” slots usually reserved for the dark hours of the night (the kind of times when fitness equipment is sold on tv). Their promotional messages have showcased the benefits.
For 99% of jobs these ladders are perfect.
As you can see in the picture above, you can have each side of the ladder at different lengths / heights, so this makes them great for stairways while making the job far far safer at the same time.
The bad news
They aren’t the “very best” for outdoor garden use (although are pretty fantastic) as you cannot adjust each individual leg. However for most situations they are brilliant.
Value for money?
It depends on what you consider value for money. These are not cheap ladders but they are really really good. With them costing on average between £300 and £400 they do need to be something super special.
Thankfully they are REALLY good.
- 20% lighter than most ladders
- Use them in many different environments and situations.
- Adjust each side for stairways, or when working close to a wall (safely!)
- Quick adjustment of the heights with their “Rock locks”
- Legs that flare out at the sides to make the ladders incredibly stable during use (unmatched stability)
- Aerospace grade Aluminium construction
- Easy to move around with the tip and glide wheels at the base
- The Revolution XE is made using the latest litewave aerospace technology So it’s ultra-strong while remaining light and portable.
- 6 Rungs,
- Max Step height: 3.35m,
- closed height: 2.01m
- Weight: 21.3kg.
These are our most loved ladders despite the price tag. They are not 100% the perfect ladders for everything in so much as you cannot adjust each leg to a different height but for the rest, they are great.
Tall heights, stairways, outdoors, loft access and so much more.
This ladder set is a great and well priced multipurpose set of ladders from Abbey ladders.
- New Platforms with improved under rung latches & new safety stopper to prevent platform movement.
- Features stabilizers for added stability.
- Enjoys an easy to use ‘click & lock’ hinge system.Take a look.
- 9 % thicker sides than most competitors models for added safety.
- Collapsible (can fold down) making it easy to transport and store.
- In the closed position it measures: 1.24m
- The platform height is: 1.24m
- The step ladder position has a height of : 2.3m
- The extension ladder length is: 4.7m
- The ladders weight is: 20.5kg
- Affordable price
The reach on these ladders, combined with their safe features makes this set one of the BEST Telescopic ladder sets money can buy.
Reaching a full 7.11 metres, it’s a no frills, good solid safe set of telescoping extension ladders.
It can safely handle up to 23 stone in weight.
As one of the more popular models, it has an extra wide stabiliser bar at the foot that increases the stability of the ladders making you feel safer when scaling high areas. Also features sturdy nonslip end caps on either end.
It measures a touch over 3 metres in length (when closed) so will fit inside most mid sized vans such as Transit, Vivaro etc. or you can pop them onto a roof rack if you need to use them at various locations.
For the home they can simply stay at your property and be shackled to a chain and padlock on the wall when not in use. Perfect for clearing out your gutters, reaching upper windows and accessing the roof. Take a look.
Features of these ladders:
Super long extendable ladders – great for reaching high spaces without fancy extras thanks to the telescopic extension sections.
- Has an integral stabiliser bar that gives a far greater footprint and therefore unparalleled stability when compared to others on the market – a superb safety feature which we feel every ladder should have.
- With safety in mind, these are EN131 tested and certified (Trade & DIY use) for your safety and reassurance. Lightweight “alloy” construction for ease of use, but very strong – with a massive weight rating of 150kg (23.5 stone).
- Unique auto-locking “wrap around” clamps fitted to lock ladder sections firmly in place for added safety and peace of mind when climbing. These same clamps secure the ladder closed for safe and easy transportation.
- Heavy duty contoured non-slip feet fitted on all sections top and bottom to maximise grip on both the floor and the wall the ladder is resting against.
(features courtesy of Amazon Uk)
While not technically a telescopic ladder, we wanted to feature a variety of ladders to help you choose what your main needs are. There are several GREAT telescopic ladders within this list.
These ladders are simply put, great step ladders that are very sturdy.
The perfect “around the house” set of ladders.
- The floor to the top step measures 42 inches or about 105cm. Perfect for reaching ceilings.
- The treads are nice and wide, unlike the many “so called” trade steps that hurt your feet after being on them all day long, so these are great for tradesmen
- When closed the ladders are about 13cm wide, so storage is nice and easy.
The main features include:
- ribbed steps for safer use.
- There are rubber feet to help keep it sturdy.
- There is a handy tray at the top to hold a few items while you are upon the steps.
- The handy extended bar at the top provides additional “points of contact” (vital to help keep you safer when on ladders)
For the PERFECT quality hard working set of ladders you need. The ELT-330 3 section ladders are simply great extending ladders that extend to over 6.85 metres in length so plenty of room to reach all hard to reach areas.
Lyte Ladders have been producing ladders for more than 70 years. Their ladders have been used all over the world, in TV movies and even played a part iin the 1953 Mount Everest summit climb by Sir Edmund Hilary when they scaled across a crevass. It is believed that ladder is still there today!
- When closed the ladder height is 2.92 metres.
- Weight is 18.5 kg
- Heavy duty and hard wearing telescopic extension ladders.
Some of us here believe that these are the best telescopic ladders money can buy. When not in use these Finether 3.8m ladders are small enough to go in the boot of a car and extend to a whopping height (close to 4 metres) making them great for indoor use to access the loft or for outdoor use to access high places!
Features(taken direct from Amazon):
- MADE TO LAST: Built using tough aluminum alloy, it has a sturdy frame and slip-resistant rungs for supporting weight up to 330 lbs (150 kg) and is resistant to corrosion and rust
- EXTENSION AND RETRACTION DESIGN: Specially designed rungs can be extended or retracted with ease
- SAFE AND RELIABLE: double couplings on every rung guarantee your hands in right position to avoid pinching; bottom caps on the feet can avoid tipping over
- PORTABLE AND CONVENIENT: lightweight and compact size, easy to transport and store; a heavy duty securing strap secures the ladder firmly and with the grip handle, you can easy to carry the ladder with one hand. Great to store and transport.
- ECO-FRIENDLY: it’s qualified with the EN131 certificate for safe materials, environmentally-friendly and high performance
7: Ladders-Online Trade 3.0m (9.84ft) Standard – Garden Hedge Cutting Tripod Ladder – Lightweight aluminium frame, double rung treads review
Perfect for the professional outdoor user or for the home user who wants good quality strong and stable stuff. These ladders fit the bill brilliantly. It is a tripod shaped frame with a telescopic 3rd leg and makes for brilliant use outdoors where uneven ground surfaces no longer pose a problem.
8: Henchman Maxi Hi-Steps Aluminium Garden Ladder-Ideal to Cut 15ft Hedges, 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty Review
Looking for the best money can buy? Starting from £450, Hecnhman ladders are completely adjustable in a multitude of ways, completely safe and won’t fall over. They support you on all 4 sides when you are atop the platform with bars you can really lean hard against and a safety rope behind you.
Super sturdy, super strong, incredibly robust.
- Ideal for cutting hedges up to 14ft 6in (5.31m)
- Lightweight aluminium platform
- Work with confidence from a fully enclosed platform
Get more done in less time
These ladders are used by some of the largest authorities in the Uk, various Universities, the National Trust and many more. Trusted by professionals.
9: Henrys Tripod Garden Ladders with built-in Platform by Henchman – 3.00m -3.6m. 10′ Ladder. All 3 Legs Fully Adjustable. Lightweight aluminium garden maintenance, hedge cutting, tree pruning, fruit picking, topiary ladder Review
Another firm favourite from “Henchman ladders” is this 3 metre version at around the £375 mark (click here to see the current price (opens in a new window)).
What’s it got? Why buy this one?
Each of the 3 legs are individually adjustable making it the undisputed king of outdoor tripod ladders.
It’s not too heavy (in the region of 10kg)
- Fruit picking
- Pollarding the tree tops
- Hedge cutting
Almost half of us wanted these to be the winning set of ladders. To be fair they are almost a tie in with the winner. Nevertheless, let’s take a good look at these ladders.
As step ladders they are great. As long high reaching step ladders they are brilliant. As single full length ladders to reach very high places they are brilliant.
Safety in mind:
These ladders feature a very strong safety steel restraining bar and secondary brace straps to keep it very sturdy and safe when in use – especially good when working at height.
Safety is always worth thinking about. For peace of mind when working at any height the extra items below might be the best investment you could ever make.
TB Davies Ladder Base | Ladder Safety Accessory For Use With All Extension Ladders | Stops Ladders Slipping [Energy Class A]
Handy and easy to carry around. The ladder base is made from a solid compound. We never thought we would like this product so much but it really does make a difference. Well worth the money.
- Reduces slip and works on wide range of surfaces
- Made from a hard wearing compound
- Reduces ladder feet wear
- Protects floor surfaces
- Prevents sinking into loose ground
Here we have what appears to be an unusual anti slip system. A metal “hoop” so to speak with 4 rubber mats on it that you can fold over (like a keyring hoop on your house keys). When laid flat, you could have it with two mats on either side for a nice anti-slip surface, alternatively, for uneven surfacs simply fold another mat over to even things out.
TB Davies Universal V-Shaped Down Pipe Stand Off – Ladder Accessory | Helps stop your ladder slipping from side to side
These V shaped ladder add-ons are suitable for almost all ladders and help keep you safe when up against the wall.
Hook them on to the top and they will fit perfectly around any downpipe you may encounter.
These help you get closer to the work without leaning at awkward angles.
There’s nothing worse than trying to juggle tools, accessories and the like when also trying to stay balanced halfway up a ladder. Enter the ladderlimb.
A handy tool that inserts into the empty space inside each of the ladder rungs, and has a carabiner clip on the end to hold your bits nice and safe!
Stop slipping and prevent scratching of delicate surfaces with these unique ladder pads that slip over the end of your ladder rails.
Universally fitting they help improve safety for the user and keep your property free from ladder scuffs.
Ladders buyers guide and ladders FAQ
Here’s a few things about ladders in general that you may not have thought about.
Why ladders should not be painted
- Paint, although it gives a nice fresh appearance to older wooden ladders, can also inadvertently cover up defects in the ladders.
When NOT to use metal ladders
- If you are working near any electrical things such as live electrical systems
For Extension Ladders – When you are using extension ladders the individual rungs (the bits you stand on) should overlap as follows:
- For ladders of up to 5m there should be an overlap of at least 1.5 rungs;
- For ladders of 5-6m then there should be an overlap of at least 2.5 rungs;
- For ladders of 6m or greater, there should be an overlap of at least 3.5 rungs.
More ladder safety advice can be found here at the University of St. Andrews website.
How to store a ladder
If you are storing ladders in a garage, the best way is to secure them to a wall. For complete safety it is best advised to store ladders by ensuring there are support hooks spaced out every 2 metres along the length of the ladder. This is to prevent sagging of the ladders (and fatiguing the metal).
You can read more about ladder storage here at the Canadian centre for Occupational health and safety
The ladder association
Safety is key when using ladders. If you own a company you need to visit the ladder association website to see how to access various training courses to keep you compliant with legislation.
Ladder inspection form
Want a handy checklist you can use to find any defects in ladders and help keep things safe? Access this handy ladder checklist right here from British ladders. Make sure you also access this Govornment “safe use of ladders guide” – it’s a superb resource – highly recommended.
What is the safest telescopic ladder?
With the amount of research and testing that went into this writeup we feel that each and every one of the ladders shown here are amongst the safest ladders around. We work hard to immediately filter out the bad ones and then sift through the rest to make sure they all pass stringent safety tests, do not wobble, help to keep you safe and have plenty of safety features.
How do telescopic ladders work?
The main way they work is through sectional metal that fits tightly inside larger and larger metal tubular sections. A little like a pull out telescope that you would see pirates using on their ships when looking out for other pirate ships.
The materials used are incredibly strong and benefit from toughened joints and safety locking mechanisms unique to each manufacturer that prevent closure or collapse accidentally.
Usually you can pull the ladders up and stop where needed. Then they lock into position. Then repeat for the 2nd side of the ladder (if being used as a step ladder). To close you usually have to release locks. Sometimes a lift up lever, or two spring loaded locks have to be pushed outward. This releases the locks and allows the ladders to collapse or close. Just watch where your hands are placed so as to avoid pinching while closing.
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