Step Ladder Vs Extension ladder – Find Which is Better for You

A ladder is an essential home improvement tool that is required in almost every Indian household. You need a ladder if you have to work at a height for organizing cabinets, housekeeping, or accessing hard-to-reach areas.

Many people consider that certain risks are included with the use of a ladder. No matter what, the best ladders in India are viewed as handy tools that can be used at both the home and commercial space.

You can erect a ladder within a short space. Mainly there are two types of ladders that most people prefer while buying one for the home. They are extension ladders and step ladders. Now let’s take a look at how these two ladders are different from each other so that you can decide which one is ideal for you. 

Before we compare, let us know a few key points to consider for both the step and extension ladders.

How can a Step Ladder help you?

The minimum height of a step ladder should be 4 ft. It would be best if you thought about the purpose for which you are buying the ladder before actually buying it. The step ladders range from 4 ft. to 20 ft which is suitable for fixing kitchen chimney, light, ceiling fan, or painting on the wall. With a step-ladder, organizing cabinets has never been easier before.

Side rails are present on both sides of the ladder, and a user can only climb from one side of this type of ladder among different varieties of ladders and their uses. You can find spreaders to be present in the middle of the ladder.

When not in use, you can fold the ladder to save storage space in the house. At the bottom of the ladder, anti-slip safety shoes also offer the user a better grip. 

step ladder

How can you use it?

Step ladders are highly portable due to the hinge in between the sides of the ladder. The steps on one side are flat, and a user should climb from that side only. The ladder can bear the burden of one person at a time.

A person can stand at a 2 ft. height approximately from the top of a ladder. One can use a step ladder to clean the dust from the ceiling. You can also use it to keep something on a higher portion of the house and get something from the top. It is a must-have in Indian households due to its numerous uses. Know the best way to use a step ladder easily and safely at your home.

When to get a step ladder?

If your highest reaching point is below 3 ft., then the step ladder is the ideal choice for you. The ladder’s load rating is a significant factor that one needs to look for before buying a step ladder.

This is because the weight of the person climbing on it matters. If you have enough place to spread the whole ladder, then only get one. Another important thing is to make sure that you know all the basic techniques about using a step ladder. 


What is great about an Extension Ladder?

You can adjust the length of an extension ladder according to the requirement. The ladder consists of two or more two segments in total. A rope and pulley system is present in this type of ladder. The main two sections of an extension ladder are the base section and fly section. The base remains still, and the fly section is extended to reach the desired height. 

extension ladder

How should you use an extension ladder?

The telescopic sections present in the ladder help the user to achieve the desired height. The telescopic areas that offer an adjustable variation of height, can be modified with the help of extension locking devices. These extension locking devices are known as rung locks.

Due to the presence of these rung locks, the extension ladder cannot be used as a single ladder. Often it has been seen that a rope and pulley system is attached to the ladder.

If the ladder consists of three sections, a wire cable is used, which has a specific diameter. The rope used in the rope and pulley system has a minimum breaking strength of 560 pounds.

Safety shoes, spikes, and several other slip-resistant feet are attached at the base of the extension ladder. 

When to get an extension ladder?

Selecting the right ladder for the job is not so difficult if you know certain things related to ladder usage. If you can support the ladder with a roof, you should consider buying an extension ladder.

If the work side has a height restriction of more than 14 ft., only then can you consider purchasing this type of ladder. As this ladder requires all four side rails for support, ensure that you have sufficient area to spread the whole ladder properly. Only buy this type of ladder if you are fully aware of how to use the extension ladder. 


Differences Between Step and Extension Ladders

Application and Purpose of the ladders

If you are thinking about buying a ladder for cleaning the dust from the ceiling or getting things down from the top and vice versa, you should opt for a step ladder. The step ladder is ideal to use at places where the roof is not too high.

On the other hand, an extension ladder needs to be used where there are at least three feet of space remaining after setting up the ladder. It is better to use it under the sky and not inside the house. In the case of the step ladder, make sure that you spread the ladder properly.

Other than that, also ensure that you are climbing from the right side of the ladder. To use the extension ladder, bolt the rung locks properly with the pulley system attached to the extension ladder.

Safety when working at height

No matter which type of ladder you are using, read the user manual properly to use the ladder properly. The ladder’s legs need to be adequately spread in case of a step ladder that can also be used as a single ladder.

But you can never use an extension ladder as a single ladder. If both the ladders are compared, the extension ladder is much safer compared to a step ladder. This is due to the rope and pulley system and rung locks, which can bear a high tension level. 

Maintenance for step and extension ladders

The design of an extension ladder is more complex compared to a step ladder. Just because of this, high maintenance is required in the case of an extension ladder.

You can keep a step ladder inside the house anywhere, but you need bigger space to store an extension ladder. To maintain the performance of both the ladder, you need to clean the ladder properly after a limited period. 

Extension ladders cost more than step ladders

Multiple variants of both these ladders are available in the market. In the case of a step ladder, the buying cost depends on the number of steps present in the ladder. The number of steps varies between 4 to 10 in most cases.

You can buy a step ladder within a price range of 800 INR to 4500 INR. If extension ladders are considered, the price varies between 5000 INR to 14000 INR. The price of an extension ladder depends on the number of segments present in the ladder. 

Step ladders are easier to use than extension ladders

As discussed earlier, designing an extension ladder is more complex than a step ladder. Just because of that, a step ladder is easier to use. To use a step ladder, you need to spread the ladder legs, and it will be ready to use.

In the case of an extension ladder, you need to determine the height, and after that, you need to set the rope and pulley with the help of rung locks. After that, it will be ready to use. 


step ladder vs extension ladder

Step Ladder vs Extension Ladder Comparison

TopicExtension LadderStep Ladder
ApplicationThe extension ladder is not a self-supporting ladder. An extension ladder should be used at a place where it can be extended.A step ladder is a self-supporting ladder. A step ladder can be used at a place where there is a low roof as it cannot be extended.
SafetyAs there are various safety measures like rope and pulley systems, rung locks are safer to use than a step ladder. It can also be used as a single ladder.You cannot use this as a single ladder. Open the stepladder properly, and only then can you use it safely.
MaintenanceThe extension ladders require high maintenance due to the complex design of the ladder.Step ladders are easy to maintain.
CostThe cost of an extension ladder depends on the number of segments present on the ladder. The price range varies between 5000 INR to 14000 INR.The cost of a step ladder depends on the steps. The price range varies between 800 INR to 4500 INR.
Ease of UseAs the setup is more complex, the extension ladder is hard to use.A step ladder is easier to use compared to an extension ladder.

With the help of this article, you must have formed an idea about both the step ladder and extension ladder. Choose the one that meets your needs as explained for household or professional works.

These types of ladders are available in both online and offline markets. After buying, you also need to make sure that you are taking good care of the ladder. Appropriate maintenance will automatically extend the longevity of the ladder.


Soumya

Soumya is the editor-in-chief of Homeplace and a mechanical engineer with more than 8 years of experience. Having a long exposure to working with home and kitchen appliances in the fields of product development, manufacturing, maintenance, and quality control, he is an expert in this field.

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