Types of Stepladders

How many times have you regretted not having purchased a certain type of ladder yet? Or you have lent it to a friend, and now, you need it urgently? Ladders are almost a must tool in every household. Whether we need to climb on the roof, repair the gutter, pick fruits from a tree, change a light bulb, mount a chandelier, or rotate – those activities that are impossible to imagine without ladders. Although considered to be a typical male tool, ladders are equally used by women as well. Window washing, changing curtains, knocking nails, wiping dust off the top of the shelves are also tricky to do without this tool. Ladders are found in the arsenal of fixed assets for painters, construction workers, especially firefighters using the so-called telescopic ladder.

The use of quality ladders is a daily necessity for both professionals and homeowners. When buying, the main features to be handled are quality and safety. They are manufactured in various shapes, sizes, and materials. Make sure you also check what weight it can carry before purchasing. In the past, they were made of wood, but because of mobility, they are increasingly made of aluminum, fiberglass, plastic, steel, and fiberglass today.

Ladders through the history

Throughout history, they have had different uses. During the attack on large fortifications, ladders were used for military purposes in siege towers for infantry to the upper levels. They are mentioned in the Bible. Specifically, they appeared in the dream of Jacob, as an object descending from heaven to earth. It is not known whose invention, but the oldest evidence of the use of the ladder is ten thousand years old, as a cave in Spain found a stone depicting two men trying to collect honey from a hive on a tree using a ladder. Jews and Egyptians allegedly created them.

Over time, various types of ladders evolved. The most common model is a so-called tread pattern with a treadle constructed by John H. Bailey in January 1862. That model allowed greater safety at work as well as more accessible storage after use.

The main division

The primary division of the ladder is on flexible and rigid. 

  • Flexible is also called Jacob ladders, which are made of rope, grass, and other flexible materials. On the other side, the rungs can be rigid or flexible. They are used for climbing in extremely restricted space for training and emergency boats or temporary access to the side of the ship.
  • There are multiple rigid ladder models. The most well-known are the extensions ones, which provide the ability to adjust the length. Well, they are suitable for jobs at different heights. Two-sided ladders have trodden on each side so that they allow two people to work simultaneously. 
  • Most households have small, folding ladders with two to three steps. 
  • A special group consists of ladders for the attic. They are attached to the entrance of the attic. It is necessary to pull the door entry levers to lower the ladder and allow you to climb to the attic.

Types of stepladders

Stepladders sometimes referred to as stairs, will help those slightly shorter people to retrieve items from the highest shelf, wipe the dust off the ceiling, clean gutters, and the like. They are used by industry workers as well. Stepladders do not need any support – they stand alone, which guarantees maximum flexibility. They can be used in the room, the yard, and all other places where it is necessary to reach a certain height. Stepladders generally have a height of 3 to 9 feet, but some models reach up to 20 feet, so you should consider all options when buying and match them to your real needs.

1. Step ladders – Most households should have them. They serve the most basic needs, like replacing a light bulb, wiping out dust. Because of their dimensions, they are quite practical.

2. Platform ladders – The rail protector guarantees maximum safety while using the ladders. It is a great solution if your job requires you to use both hands as the ladder provides an excellent comfortable standing position.

3. Pillar chairs – the so-called short ladder. When designing and constructed, the manufactures took care that when ladders are folded, it can be stored in a small space. They can be used for less demanding jobs like dusting, fitting something, and the like.

4. Multipurpose ladders – have a multifunctional purpose. They are made of solid materials, and the legs are wide set for safety and stability while standing on it.

5. Painting ladders – intended for those involved in the arts, primarily painters. Although poorly used today, some have remained loyal to this model, which also provides shelves for depositing paint and brushes.

6. Orchard Ladders – Compared to the classic ladder, this model has a similar function; it also provides climbing to higher altitudes than step ladders. The model has a support that can be detached in some variants, so ladders can also serve as classic ladders. They are most commonly used for orchard jobs such as picking fruit, pruning, and the like.

7. Articulated ladders – also belong to the multifunctional ladder. They can be used for a variety of jobs. They have a lot of hinges to fit in a variety of custom-made positions but have a limited height range.

8. Step stool – serves for less demanding jobs that do not need to climb to a higher altitude. It is great for the most ordinary household chores or arranging goods on shelves,  replacing light bulbs, etc.

For the end

If you don’t want to buy a stepladder from the manufacture, you can always build one if you know how to build a stepladder. It will take some time, but at least you will be proud of your project. The most important thing is to know how to use a stepladder safely. Step stools and stepladders are a must for everyone.


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