Updated: Oct 12, 2016
Extension Ladder Reviews:The ladders I use around my house the most are my Louisville aluminum extension ladder (16 foot) and my Werner 24 foot extension ladder. I probably don't need both but I made the mistake of buying the 16' extension ladder first and didn't realize that I would end up cleaning my gutters which are high up on the 2nd story and nearly 22 feet off the ground. After paying $150 for some guy to come out and clean up the high gutters I thought I could do the same thing and save some money. The Werner ladder cost me over $200, but having used it now for 2 winters straight to clean out my clogged gutters, I have easily made back the $300 or so I would have spend to have a professional do the job. Extension ladders are an essential piece of equipment around any house since they allow you access to places that you could otherwise not reach. Just which ladder is right for you - keep reading for our buying guide below and we'll try to give you all the details on brands, prices, and sizes.
Buying Guide - Let's start with the top brands in extension ladders. The 2 clear leaders are Louisville and Werner - they both offer lots of different sizes and their product reliability is top rated. I have owned both brands over the last 20 years and neither has ever given me a single problem. Safety is my #1 concern when 20 feet off the ground and I can trust my ladders to stay level and sturdy. In terms of sizes - you will find 16 foot, 20 foot, 24 foot, 28 foot, and all the way up to 40' extension ladders. Choosing the correct size is not that hard if you look around your house to determine what the highest point you'll need to reach is. I made the mistake of assuming I wouldn't be doing my gutters and bought a ladder that was too small for the job. I kept the 16' extension ladder for smaller jobs, but now I own the taller 24' ladder solely for the purpose of cleaning out my gutters. Which material is best for an extension ladder? We get this question quite a bit and there is no right answer. Aluminum ladders are lightweight and easier to move around for that reason. Fiberglass has a few advantages over aluminum - it won't bend under pressure and it's non-conductive meaning you can use it around power lines and not worry. Fiberglasss is heavier, though, so lugging a 24 foot fiberglass extension ladder around your yard may not be the thing you want to do. I have found that the top selling fiberglass extension ladders tend to be made for commercial work - painters, construction workers, handymen, etc. The average homeowner should be able to buy an aluminum ladder and have it hold up just fine. How much is an extension ladder? A basic 16 footer from Louisville will cost you less than $100 (aluminum style) while a Werner 24 foot aluminum extension ladder with intergrated leveling system will be closer to $300. The fiberglass models will be at least $100 more for the same height. There are newer telescoping extension ladders on the market which we cover on another page. I bought a stabilizer for my 24 foot ladder so that when I'm up that high I can feel secure while cleaning my gutters. For safety purposes, I highly recommend one of these. Also, make sure the feet of the ladder are always secure on the ground before getting up on the ladder itself. We did some comparison shopping between Lowes, Home Depot and Amazon and found Amazon to have the lowest prices. If you can wait a week for delivery, then buy your ladder on Amazon. You can browse the top selling extension ladders online here.
Best Extension Ladder:
RECOMMENDED - Depending on the size of your house and how high up things like gutters and awnings are, a 24 foot ladder should reach all areas of your home just fine. Anything beyond a 24' extension ladder is probably not needed for home use. The Werner D6228-2 300-Pound Duty Rating Fiberglass Flat D-Rung Extension Ladder, 28-Foot has all the features you need to do home improvement projects outside of your home. Comes with a built in bubble level and heigh adjustment is easy with a large knob. You get a 90 degree swivel action foot which owners say works great on hard or soft terrain. This same ladder is available in 16', 20', 24' and 29' sizes. See all the top rated Werner extension ladders here.
16 Foot Extension Ladder:The Louisville L-2321-16 Aluminum Extension Ladder 16-Foot is a solid ladder with a duty rating of 200 pounds. It's both durable and lightweight with O-shaped rungs and Mar-resistant feet. The only drawback on this ladder is it's weight capacity which is a little light. The 24 foot aluminum extension ladder from Louisville handles up to 250 pounds, but it may be too much ladder for the average homeowner. The 16' ladder is priced to sell at $100 and a great deal. You can view all the most popular Louisville extension ladders here.
Fiberglass Extension Ladder:If you need a heavy duty extension ladder for jobs beyond those you find around a home, then consider the more expensive and durable fiberglass ladders. Both Louisville and Werner make these variety, but we prefer the Werner fiberglass extension ladders for customer ratings and satisfaction. If you are going to put out $200 or more one of these you want a ladder that will last and give you no problems. RECOMMENDED - Check out all the top rated fiberglass extension ladders online here and make an informed buying decision based on customer feedback and your specific needs for the ladder.
See our buying guides for all ladder types below: