Telescopic Ladder Buying Guide

When you are buying a telescopic ladder, there are many factors that you need to look into.

Some are immediately obvious, like price, but others are more subtle and may require a little prying on your part.

In this guide, you will learn how to look at both the obvious and not-so-obvious factors so that you can make an informed buying decision.

Max Weight Capacity

One of the first things you want to look at when selecting your Telescopic ladder is how much weight the ladder can safely carry. When browsing through product descriptions, you will often come across ratings for the product you are interested in. Any rating quoted in this way represents the maximum load the ladder can carry. This means that your weight and that of the other materials you carry has been summed up to arrive at the figure.

Most times, when you are going to work, you will need to carry some materials and tools with you. If you are going with your lumber rack, saws, tool belt or any other material, you need to put their overall weight plus your body weight into consideration. You may be tempted to load the ladder up to half the height; after all it is your tool. But don’t.

People who do this onsite are only risking a catastrophic accident but you want to be as safe as possible. Remember if you always carry heavy load or intend to, then a telescopic ladder cannot replace your conventional ladder – which is appropriated rated and setup properly for this kind of job.​

Safety Ratings

The safest collapsible ladder is the one that has a very high safety rating for its max weight carrying capacity. Make sure you choose the one that has the highest rating if you want to be completely sure of its safety during your workmanship. Often, you will come across three different rating patterns for this kind of ladder – try to pay attention:

  • ANSI: American National Standards Institute
  • OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Organization
  • EN 131: European Safety System

​If come across a telescopic ladder that doesn’t have any of these ratings, better don’t buy it. No matter what marketing goes behind it, you can’t trust the build materials or design of such products. Instead, go for one that is certified and trusted by the relevant government organization, listed above.

Since you are in the UK, you want to make sure that the seller of the ladder you are buying provides an EN 131 certificate. Some may even provide CE certificate too, so be sure to pay attention to that. To go a step further, you can ask for an EU Certificate of Ladder Safety and ensure that the EN 131 provided by the seller is complaint to the British Law and not that of a foreign country.​

This is because of the discrepancies that often occur between countries as regards safety standards. Taking these extra steps will ensure you don’t buy a non-verified ladder which may lead to serious injury and maybe even illegal to operate industrially.​

Extended Height

During your search for the best extendable ladder, you will often come across different heights. The highest you will come across on any product is 16 feet. Anything above this height require a wider and heavier design to ensure proper safety mechanism.

The main selling points of collapsible ladder are that they are easier and more convenient to transfer than the conventional type of ladder. By making them heavier and wider, this convenience of transfer becomes lesser and they gradually lose their advantage over traditional ladders.


Two important features you should look out for are Anti-finger jamming and the multi-height adjustment features. The multi-height adjustment feature allows you to select different heights according to your preferences without having to expand the ladder fully. This not only saves time and effort, but can make your life easier if you are working on a large project that requires constant movement in height and location.

The anti-finger jamming feature prevents the ladder from jamming onto your fingers when you are collapsing it after usage. It is common for collapsible ladders to collapse at a high speed when you are retracting them, so having something that can protect your hands from getting hurt is a nice feature to have.​

Don’t Sacrifice Quality Over Price

Don’t make the mistake of buying a ladder outside the UK, even though they may be cheaper than their UK alternatives. If you buy from manufacturers from abroad, you may end up getting a product that is not only of poor quality but also less durable. This is often the result of the practice of some manufacturers reducing the thickness of the aluminum on the ladder to save costs. To ensure you are getting the best one available, check out this ​telescopic ladder review.

About the Author Harry Thompson

Gaining a BSc Honours in building/ property maintenance at the University of Portsmouth Harry went into the field of renovating properties. Along the journey, he has developed a wide variety of home & garden DIY skills such as installing new kitchens and landscaping gardens.