Best Step Ladder for Multi-Purposes (April 2019): Editor’s Top Picks And Reviews
Sometimes, a paint roller’s reach might not be sufficient to touch the ceilings or high walls, and it could be frustrating. To solve this problem, people use the best step ladder for additional reach. Depend on the height you want to reach, there are particular sizes of ladders for certain heights. The larger the size, the further it can reach.
The moment you step onto the ladder, you put your life at risk. So unless you want the ladder to collapse, pay attention the limit weight capacity of each ladder to see how much weight it can withstand. Also take into consideration the anti-slip feature of the ladder, and the material it is made of.
As you can see, choosing a right ladder might not be an easy job. In this article, we will try to deliver to you the careful review of a list of the ladders that we consider the best of its types. We hope the information we provide will help you choose the best paint ladder that fits your own needs.
Best Step Ladders (April 2019): Top 6 Reviews For Painter
22 feet/19 feet
Office step stool
8.9 feet/8.9 feet
6 feet/3 feet
Office step stool
best telescoping ladder
12.5 feet/12.5 feet
24 feet/24 feet
Why are these ladders included?
We all need a ladder to paint, stain or varnish. However, depend on the situation, we might need different types of the ladder. That is mainly the reason why we include all types of ladders in this article. We pick out the best ladder of its type to include in this list. We divide the product into two categories, the Low-To-Average Access and the High Access.
Normal Step ladder
A normal stepladder is usually A-frame shape. The rungs are a little bit narrower than an office step stool. The ladder is heavy and has large weight capacity and high reach. This is recommended for the pros rather than the amateurs. For a stepladder, you can take a look at Little Giant Flip-N-Lite.
Office step stool
Perfect for low access work, an office step stool can provide a reach below 6 feet, and it’s easy to carry or store; it's often designed with wide steps and can be leaned against for extra safety. The ladder is suitable for elder people or people with Acrophobia (fear of height). In this section, we introduce to you two office step stools, namely Rubbermaid RM-3W and Cosco Three Step.
Telescopic extension ladder
If you want a ladder with higher reach but can be stored easily like an office step stool, you can take a look at telescopic extension ladder. It works like a telescope with each level stacks up to the next one. Because it collapses on itself, the ladder is pretty handy when closed down; can be stored in a small closet.
An extension ladder is for additional reach that a normal ladder cannot touch. It’s heavy and has weight capacity of 300 pounds, suitable for painting the vaulted ceiling or exterior painting. Due to the height, this type of ladder usually provides extra safety than the normal one and is very sturdy and durable. We include Little Giant Flip-N-Lite for the extension ladder section.
It’s simply a combination of A-frame stepladder, staircase ladder, 90-degree ladder and extension ladder. The staircase ladder will help you stand on an unusual place like on the stairs, over obstacles and even ground. The 90-degree ladder is to stay closer to your work. The uses of A-frame ladder and extension ladder are already explained. We include Little Giant Velocity Multiple-use Ladder as a representative of this type.
Founded in 1970, Little Giant is specialized in producing professional-grade, multi-use ladder system. The brand name is well known for its strong, safe and versatile products.
Versatile – The products can be used as 4 types of ladders, namely as an extension ladder, A-frame ladder, staircase ladder, 90-degree ladder. Thanks to such versatility, you can use this ladder to accomplish a variety of tasks with only one ladder.
Although there are 5 types of ladders as advertised, you have to purchase additional parts to form a trestle-and-plank scaffolding system. As a result, we only mention 4 types in this review article.
Stability & durability – To make sure that the ladder is sturdy, this ladder is covered by aluminum and is constructed with a dual-pin hinge; this construction maximizes the extension stability, securing maximum reach of 19 feet, and giving access to vaulted ceilings, second story roof lines, gutters, and other hard-to-reach areas.
Creative Rock Lock System – The process of adjusting the ladder is easy due to this system. It simply pushes the lock for release, creating a way for adjustment of the ladder. Afterward, it taps the lock to relock it.
Professional-grade ladder system – Little Giant offers convertible designs which including 33 unique configurations available for use.
Safety and Comfort – It has wide rungs to protect the worker from foot pain; the rungs also help prevent fatigue. This feature will increase stability when climbing.
For additional safety, deep treads are included to increase traction while climbing. There are also wide-flared legs to keep the ladder from sliding off the ground.
Tip & Glide Wheels – The ladder is a little bit heavy to carry around, therefore, it has wheels on the legs for easy transportation.
Too heavy – As mentioned before, it is heavy. It weighs 39 pounds which is heavy for a petite person to carry it around.
Expensive – The price is higher than its comparables. However, you get a 4-in-1 ladder so that should compensate the initial cost.
Questionable customer service – The customer support takes forever to reply to the customer, therefore, the quality of the warranty might be suspicious.
Lack of ladder brackets – It lacks additional accessories, without those accessories it cannot perform as a trestle-and-plank scaffolding system.
Narrow rungs – Although the rungs are wide compared to its peers, they are still too narrow for a big person to step onto them.
It’s a good ladder system, and the 4-in-1 design is pretty innovative. The ladder is safe and sturdy. On top of that, the locking mechanism is easy to operate. Even though the ladder is heavy, the manufacturer still manages to help the workers carry it around by including the wheels.
Overall, it’s a good product. The price might be high but it could be equivalent to the cost of purchasing 4 different ladders at the same time. Not to mention that the separate ladder might be low-quality, while you can trust on the quality of Little Giant name.
In general, this product can serve multiple purposes and can also reach high places. Unless you want a trestle-and-plank scaffolding system, you should buy it. In this article, we rate this product as the best one in our list, based on the price and the performance.
Rubbermaid RM-3W Folding 3-Step (Best Lightweight Ladder)
Exists for nearly 80 years, Rubbermaid represents innovative, high-quality products that help simplify life. The Rubbermaid RM-3W (best Lightweight ladder) is a suitable tool if your ceilings or walls are not very high.
Non-marring feet – This feature is important if you own a tile floor house. Since other brands don’t have this type of feet and end up leave scratches on the floor. The non-marring feet are designed to solve such a problem.
Portable – The product is lightweight plus it folds up slim and tidy, therefore, carrying it around should not be a problem.
Wide rungs – The plastic steps are large and balance, providing comfortable and safe feeling when using it. Foot pain can also be prevented thanks to these wide rungs.
Conveniently Compact – When the step stool is folded up, we measure it to widest point and get the dimensions of 44.5 x 20.75 x 2 inches. With the size this small, it won’t take up a lot of space or room. It’s folded easily for storage, you can put it in the corner or closet.
Durability – Although the steps are plastic made, the other parts of the ladder are made of steel and have a silver finish. Such material will make the ladder sturdy and durable, allowing it to be used for a long time.
Can’t use for heights work – The ladder is only 8.9 feet, therefore, the reach is not that high. In addition, its weight capacity is only 200 pounds, so be careful of the weight when you are on the top step.
No replacement – The manufacturer does not sell the replacement parts, Tricam is the distributor of those parts but it only sells the feet. If your ladder gets broken, you might need to buy the entire new one.
The product is recommended for low height work. We recommend this product for the elders since it is easy to carry and has wide rungs. Even though there is no replacement, the price of the product is cheap; the product is also durable so it can be used for 3 years or more.
If your ceilings or walls are not very high, and you don’t want to pay extra cash for the expensive one, then we highly recommend this product for you.
This is the best ladder for home use.
Little Giant Flip-N-Lite Ladder (Best Step Ladder)
We already know about Little Giant, however, this product is not so expensive. Despite the inexpensive price, the manufacturer still tries to deliver superb quality to the product.
Climb-In-Comfort – Even with the light weight, slim profile, the weight holding capacity is up to 300 pounds limit. The product features comfortable deep rungs, and a huge, secure standing platform providing a safe feeling while climbing.
Full Foot Support – Thanks to the extra width of the standing platform, the users of this ladder are free from foot pain and fatigue.
Super light weight – With such weight capacity and height, the manufacturer can still lessen the weight of the ladder to the maximum. As a result, the ladder only weighs 14 pounds yet still sturdy. The light weight allows the ladder to be carried around easily.
Can be leaned in for extra security – The sides of this ladder can be extended to another 25 inches. Such extra height enables you to lean in toward the top bar, providing safe feeling when climbing to the fly section of the ladder.
Handy tool tray – At the top bar, there is an orange tool tray to hold your items. The dimensions of the tray happen to be 3 W x 12 L x 1 D inches which are big enough to hold nails, screwdrivers, hammers, brushes, rags, and other small things.
Smooth frame – Some ladders have rough edges or jagged part that could cut your hands by accident, this happens because the manufacturer is using the cheap metal material with a rough finish. However, you can be saved from such injury because the frame of Little Giant Flip-N-Lite is made of aluminum with a smooth finish.
Easy to store – When the ladder is folded up, the height is 64 inches. The ladder can be easily put into a Toyota RAV4 car with the passenger seat collapsed. In addition, it can also be stored in a clothes closet.
Wide rungs – To add extra safety, the manufacturer include rungs that are wide, and grippy, making it comfortable to stand on.
Misadvertised height – The advertised height is 6 feet but the actual height is only 3 feet. Meanwhile, the average 6-foot ladder height is at least about 5-feet off the ground.
This ladder can only be used for low access, height around 6 to 7 feet is ideal. You might not be able to access rafters in the garage, or the doorway to the attic.
The risk of getting defective one – Some ladder has a malformed hinge. This is the sign of heat stress fractures due to bad manufacturing. So check your product carefully and return the bad one as soon as possible.
Sturdy but light weight supported with extra safety, and has very nearly no technical issue; the product is easily the best one for the low access category. If you value comfort and security the most, while only need the access to the height of 6 to 7 feet, we strongly recommend this ladder for you.
Cosco is one of the largest manufacturers in producing folding furniture and, step stools and ladders. Cosco Best Step Ladder is one of the low access step stool of the manufacturer.
Sturdy and Light-weighted – The step stool is made of steel, providing strong stability and support. The steel material also increases the lifespan of the step stool; it can be used up to 3 years or more. Even it is made of steel, the weight of the whole step stool is just 17 pounds, making it easy to carry around.
Wide steps – The first step is 9.75 inches, the second step is 19.75 inches and the third step is 29.5 inches. The average foot size of a man is 10.5 which is equivalent to 10.75 inches (according to statistics from statisticbrain.com). So an average man foot is 1 inch larger than the top step, such difference should not cause a big problem.
Convenient tool tray – Like Rubbermaid RM-3W, this step stool also has a tool tray at the top. It’s a deluxe molded utility tray for tool and paint tray and pails; its height is measured as 42.75 inches.
Rubberized feet – The feet is rubberized so it won’t leave any mark on the floor, especially tile floor, which might be hard to clean up.
Smart handle design for extra safety – The handle that opens and retracts the step is poorly designed in other brands. The bar that the handle clips to is located at the back edge of the step, which might cut your fingers if you are not careful when opening it.
Knowing about the problem, Cosco sets the bars back from the edges and put a plastic piece between the bars and your fingers to protect the fingers. The clip on the bar is also easy to release; you don’t need to pull it loose with force like other brands.
Comfortable while climbing – The top step is the most nervous step, it would be great if you have something to hold. Cosco knows this feeling, thus, the manufacturer makes a top bar handle for you to hold when you are on the top step.
The top non-step holding platform is also curved inward so you can lean against it for more balance, and it can also support your legs.
Competitive price – The step stool only costs 50 bucks, which is way much cheaper than its peers.
Not suitable for high access – Like other office step stools, it is not designed to reach high stuff.
Might be slippery for smooth surfaces – Be extremely careful on this issue, since the feet are rubberized, they could be slippery on a smooth floor. Make sure to check if the floor is wet or not before you decide to climb on the step stool.
It’s a fine step stool overall, with a little innovative design to provide good safety. However the big downside is the slippery legs, this is extremely dangerous. Watch your floor carefully before you use it.
The big advantage of this product is the price, it’s much cheaper than the other step stools. With such quality yet the low price, if you don’t have the slippery floor, you should totally go for it.
Ollieroo EN131 (Best Telescoping Ladder)
Ollieroo is an expert in producing the best telescopic extension ladder with superb quality and heavy weight capacity.
Telescopic Extension – Just like a telescope, each level of the stacks on each other, they collapsing on themselves to save spaces. Make sure to remember to pull from the bottom first since doing it in the opposite direction might hurt your finger.
The aluminum tubes have extreme tolerance, making them slide in and out easily. The ladder has total 12 steps, adjusting in 1-foot increments.
Innovative locking mechanism – The extending and locking mechanism, with just the simple thumb button clicks you can lock and extend smoothly and effortlessly. The stable locking key located between two neighboring steps helps avoid bumping and friction.
Anti-slip feet – Thanks to the rivets at the bottom of the ladder legs, it can stand in most of the surfaces without slipping off the ground.
Sturdy and Well-Protected – The body of the ladder is covered with anodized aluminum alloy for anti-corrosive protection. The material has strengthened the whole ladder, you will feel like climbing in rock-solid steps. Just make sure that the lock for each rung is clicked into the right place and you don’t need to worry anymore.
Easy to carry and store – The ladder itself weighs around 24 pounds, the size when folded up is 34x19 inches. It can be stored easily in a small closet, and you can carry it with ease.
Unclear instruction – The instruction is difficult to understand and lacked information. The locking mechanism, despite sounding easy, is very hard to get used to. It might take you a considerate amount of time to attach the stabilizer bar and to lock/unlock the rungs through trial and error.
Dangerous when closed down – Sometimes, the black tap that indicates whether the rung is closed or not, does not work properly. As a result, you don’t know whether it’s locked or not, so it could be dangerous to climb on it.
The rungs collapse with light speed (it’s exaggerated but still), when unlocking the rungs your hands are in their travel way; if you don’t get your hands out fast enough, you might literally break your fingers. So do it carefully.
Sometimes, the office step stool is not enough to do the job since its reach is pretty low. However, you still need something that is easy to store yet has high reach because you don’t want to buy a whole garage just for additional space to keep a ladder.
In this case, the telescopic extension ladder is perfect for you. Not only it has heavy duty construction (330 pounds weight capacity) but also being small to be put into a closet. The price of the ladder is quite reasonable, just watch out for some safety issue when unlocking the rungs.
Louisville Ladder FE3224 (Best Extension Ladder)
This is the last and the only extension ladder in this list. It’s a product from Louisville, one of the largest American manufacturers of ladders.
Non-slippery during wet weather – Fiberglass D-shaped rungs that are fully serrated for a slip resistant surface. With 300 pounds weight capacity, it has enough stable support for heavy duty jobs. Even on a rainy day, you won’t be slipped off the rungs; this ladder is suitable to use outside of the house.
Strong locks – The ladder is firmly extended thanks to the cast aluminum locks with a quick latch system.
Non-slippery and Non-marring shoes - Steel plated swivel safety shoe with thick rubber treads keeps the ladder from slipping off the smooth ground. In addition, the ladder also has non-marring feet that leave no marks on the floor.
Over-extended protection – At the top base section of the ladder there are two extra slide guides combining with a stop on the fly section to prevent over-extending the ladder.
High reach – The ladder can be extended to 24 feet, which high enough to reach vaulted ceiling and other high places.
Narrow width between steps – If you are too tall, the narrow width between steps might make you feel uncomfortable. However, it is not a big problem.
Might be too heavy – It weighs 50 pounds, and the dimensions are 8 x 19 x 148 inches which could be too large to be carried around by a short person.
Bad shipping service – There are many complaints about the shipping protection. The ladder usually arrives with all sorts of scuff marks, dings, dents, and scratches. You should try to detect such damage early to get the ladder return.
High price – The ladder costs you 289 bucks, which might be too much. However, it is designed to last very long, so it should not be a problem.
The price of this product is very high, so consider your need carefully. If you don’t really need 24 feet high ladder, you can always get the cheaper one.
For each extra height you reach, you want extra safety to come with it. This extension ladder has the highest reach on the list yet still safe and secure. If you need high access ladder, we confidently recommend this ladder for you.
Choosing the best paint ladder is not an easy task after all. We have listed out different types of ladders including A-frame ladder, office step stool, extension ladder, telescopic extension ladder and multiple-use ladder to increase the options for you.
The most important thing we want to remind you is that when it comes to choosing ladder, evaluate the height you want to reach to get the right size. Last but not least, the safety problem. You put your life at risk every time you step on the ladder, so choose carefully.
Anyway, we rate Little Giant Little Giant 22-Foot Velocity Multi-Use Ladder the best ladder in this list. We hope that the information we provide in this article will be useful for you.