The 5 Best Multi-Purpose Ladders [Updated for 2021]

Last Updated on June 29, 2021 by Camille

Ladders are one of the most basic tools you have for reaching areas you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to. They’re relatively portable, simple to use, and effective in most situations.

Multi position ladders take that to the next level because different configurations of the ladder can be utilized to suit different kinds of tasks. Instead of having a different ladder for every kind of job, these designs let you get the most benefit from a single ladder, they can also be used to reduce the number of ladders you need for any given project.

Little Giant Ladders is an innovative manufacturer whose designs are focused on improving ladder safety and making ladders easier to use and more effective overall. The results are ladders that look a little different from typical aluminum ladders, and which are significantly sturdier and more flexible.

The Velocity is one of their more versatile multi-position models, and is available in a range of different heights. We recommend the 22ft version for most users since that’s tall enough for cleaning second story gutters and other home tasks, but also offers versatility to be used when you need a shorter ladder indoors as well.

This multi position ladder can be configured into 4 different positions with ease, including a staircase ladder that’s safe to use directly on your stairs as well as flat ground. The other configurations include extension, trestle, a-frame designs.

It’s important to mention that Little Giant Ladders does make and sell some additional accessories to go with their ladders. If the base model doesn’t have quite everything you need, like the plank and trestle brackets for that configuration, you might need to purchase additional accessories.

Tip and glide wheels included with this design make it much easier to move this ladder from place to place. That’s perfect for professionals who do a lot of ladder work and want to make setting their ladder up and moving it from place to place more efficient.

This ladder is also designed with rock and lock position adjusters to help you lock your ladder into position when you change the configuration. The design is incredibly sturdy, which is exactly what you need when you’re looking for a good multi-position ladder.

Little Giant Ladders has also come up with an impressive aluminum alloy that works well for ladders in particular. That’s because it offers the high strength and durability you need to keep a ladder safe, while also being lighter and more portable than regular aluminum.

That’s why they are able to offer a 22ft long type IA ladder that only weighs 39 lbs.

This design also has Little Giant Ladder’s characteristic double-leg design. The second set of legs is kicked out a little from the main ladder, creating a wide base and a more stable platform while you’re on the ladder. That combined with the extra grippy bottoms creates a significant stability improvement over traditional aluminum ladders.

Pros

Cons

Our Verdict

This design is one of the most versatile multi-position ladders out there. It’s effective locking hinges and innovative design combine to make this ladder significantly more stable, no matter what position it’s set up in. It’s durability and strength make this ladder a good option for professionals as well as homeowners who do their own maintenance.

Our Rating

5/5

Dark Horse, another Little Giant Ladders multi-position ladder, is basically similar to the Velocity in it’s features and design. It’s also a 5-configuration ladder, but the main difference between this model and the Velocity is that Dark Horse is made from Fiberglass instead of an aluminum alloy. That means that this ladder is heavier (slightly over 40lbs), non conductive, and a little more stable than the aluminum version.

This is a good option for professionals who are looking to buy a ladder once and not have to replace it later. That’s because fiberglass is the more durable of the two materials, and the most durable material commonly used for ladders.

The non-conductive nature of the fiberglass also makes this ladder an excellent choice for contractors, construction workers, and electricians, as well as anyone who might be working with live electrical wiring on the job.

The wide flared base on the Dark Horse is a little narrower and closer to the ground than the second set of legs on the Velocity, but that makes sense since fiberglass has less natural twist and bend than aluminum. If the ladder isn’t twisting around the legs while you’re working you don’t need as much support further up the ladder.

The smaller secondary legs on this design still provide extra stability and help distribute the weight of the ladder over a wider space, making it both more durable and less prone to slipping. Grip bottoms on all of the feet help further decrease the chances of the ladder slipping out from under you.

This ladder also has the tip and go wheel system which makes it easier to transport the ladder from place to place. These wheels are durable enough to handle the extra weight of the fiberglass design, and don’t touch the ground at all while the ladder is set up in most working configurations.

Similar to the Velocity, this ladder comes in a wide range of different heights so you can choose the ladder that will suit your projects and needs best.

Pros

Cons

Our Verdict

This model is a great ladder if you’re looking for a more durable and long-lasting design. It’s a good option for electricians and anyone else who is likely to work around live electricity. This model is good for both interior and exterior work. If you’re looking for a fiberglass ladder that will last you for a long time, this is a great ladder to buy. Find out more about the differences between fiberglass and aluminum ladders to decide which one is right for you.

Our Rating

5/5

Luisladders folding ladder design is one of the most versatile multi position ladders out there thank to the many configurations you can use with the one ladder. It’s got 7 different configurations, each designed for a different kind of work or for making the ladder more compact for travel.

That last part is important for professionals since being able to take the ladder from jobsite to jobsite can often be an important part of the job and having a ladder that folds into a more compact shape can make transporting it significantly easier. and having a ladder that folds into a more compact shape can make transporting it significantly easier.

This design has three basic working configurations, a leaning ladder, A-frame ladder/stepladder, and a scaffold. All of these designs are good for different situations, so you can really tailor the ladder to your needs on the jobsite.

However, this ladder isn’t designed to work with staircases, which can make it a little less functional for interior spaces, especially if you’re working with light fixtures, decorations, or other suspended elements above your staircase.

Slight variations on the height and shape of the ladder when it’s in use make up the other 7 configurations this ladder offers. So it has slightly fewer basic configurations than the Velocity or Dark Horse ladders, but more variations on each configuration.

Zig zag anti slip foot straps help to keep this ladder firmly in place, no matter what terrain you are working on or how you shift your weight on the ladder. However, since this is an aluminum ladder and doesn’t have the additional stability features some of the other ladders in this article have included, it’s also a little more likely to shift or twist while you’re working.

All of the joints on the ladder use a click and lock system to keep the joints stable and secure in each configuration. That means that you don’t have to worry about the joints failing while you’re working. The click of the click and lock system also helps give you positive feedback when you’ve got the joint properly configured.

Pros

Cons

Our Verdict

This design is one of the better options if you’re looking for a highly portable ladder that doesn’t need a full truck bed or other large vehicle to transport. It’s also a good option for people who need their ladders to do dual duty as scaffolding or stable tables. It’s also great for craftsmen who have wide ranges of jobs and never know exactly what kind of equipment you’ll need from one job to the next.

Our Rating

5/5

Werner is another high quality ladder manufacturer that’s known for having extremely durable and hard wearing designs. This ladder is a little different from most multi position ladders. It’s designed to give you more vertical flexibility compared to other multi position ladders.

This 22ft ladder has 28 different working heights between straight extension settings and the additional positions the ladder is designed to handle.

It’s only got three distinct position configurations, but that’s not too bad. The many different height settings mean that there is a lot of versatility with this ladder even though it doesn’t have as many configurations as the Little Giant Ladders version.

The extension ladder’s setting works from between 11-19ft of functional height. It’s important to remember that the slope of the ladder means that your functional height is shorter than the full length of the ladder.

This Werner model was designed specifically for professionals. Its double riveted rungs are more durable than your average ladder rung, which is great if you’re looking for a long-lasting ladder. This design also uses a double foot system at the bottom of the ladder, which adds durability and stability, while also reducing the possibility of the ladder twisting as you shift your weight.

This model is made from aluminum though, which means that it is a conductive design. It also means that it’s a little lighter than most fiberglass ladders, but heavier than the Velocity design from Little Giant Ladders.

Pros

Cons

Our Verdict

Overall, this design is more durable and stable than most aluminum ladders, but not quite as durable as fiberglass alternatives. It’s a good option for professionals who don’t want the added weight of a fiberglass design, or for professionals who need the extreme height variability of this design.

Our Rating

5/5

For the last ladder on this list we’ve gone back to another Little Giant Ladders for a multi position ladder that’s a little more geared toward indoor spaces and works well for craftsmen who focus on building, refurbishing, and remodeling interiors.

Of course it’s not completely limited to the interior, this ladder has all the same adaptations as larger Little Giant Ladders, which make it a good option if you’re looking for something that can handle compact spaces but also works for some taller or outdoor work.

This design does come in larger sizes than just 13 ft as well, so you can get a slightly larger ladder if you’re looking for something that’s a little more balanced.

Dual pin hinges of this ladder help keep it secure and well contained in any configuration, as well as providing added durability and stability to the ladder.

Don’t let the size fool you. This smaller ladder is still rated type IA, or able to carry up to 300 lbs at normal capacity. The biggest limitation on this design really is the smaller size. In terms of stability, durability, number of configurations, and other important features, this ladder is just as advanced and well-designed as other Little Giant Ladders designs.

Pros

Cons

Our Verdict

This smaller Little Giant Ladders model still has all of the advanced adaptations and design features that make it such a great ladder manufacturer, repurposed for a smaller frame and a smaller overall design. That makes this ladder a great addition to most professional and DIYer ladder collections, but it might not be as well suited to being a standalone ladder as a taller version.

Our Rating

5/5
best-multi-purpose-ladder

Multi Purpose Ladder Buyer’s Guide

We’ve already talked about the best multi-position ladder options on the market right now, but let’s talk about what makes these ladders great, their individual features.

Not all of these ladders shine in every category though, so considering each of these features individually is a great way to find the right ladder for you.

Weight Rating

The weight rating of your ladder determines how much weight it can hold on the job. Usually higher weight classes are important for professionals since the ladder needs to be able to hold you and your materials and tools safely to be effective.

That’s why all of the ladders on this list are rated Type IA, or 300 lbs. capacity ladders. That’s usually enough weight to hold professionals along with some leftover for toolsets and materials that are getting handed up the ladder.

There are higher weight capacity ladders available though, so it’s important to consider whether these designs are going to be able to handle the weight requirements of your work.

The heavier your materials are, and the more likely you are to use a ladder to get them to your work area, the more likely you’ll need a heavy-duty ladder design.

We don’t recommend choosing a ladder rated less than IA for professional or even home maintenance and repair work. It’s just too likely that you’ll overload the ladder. While that might not cause problems the first time, it will contribute to the ladder breaking down over time. Worse, it may cause sudden and unexpected failures with regular use.

Ladder Material

Choosing the right material for your ladder is almost as important as choosing the right design and height. The material determines how the ladder works, it’s weight capacity, and the weight of the ladder itself.

Aluminum is the cheaper and more lightweight option, which means it’s usually the most common option. However, aluminum isn’t quite as long lasting as fiberglass, and it conducts electricity unless it’s been specifically coated to make it non-conductive.

Fiberglass is the next most common option, and it’s generally considered the most durable and stable option. However, fiberglass ladders tend to be more expensive than aluminum alternatives. Most fiberglass is also significantly heavier than aluminum, so it’s not always the best choice for portable ladders that need to move around a lot. That said, it’s also naturally non-conductive, which makes it the safest option for working around live electricity.

Height

The height of your ladder determines how high you can safely reach. It’s critical to make sure you’ve chosen the right ladder for the job, or you’ll likely be tempted to climb too high on the ladder, not give it a safe working angle when it’s set up, or to reach and twist in a way that makes the ladder less stable.

In general, plan on at least a 75% angle, which means that the working height of your ladder is about 25% shorter than its maximum height. The taller your ladder, the more height will be lost when the ladder is set up properly.

For instance, a 22ft ladder will usually only have a safe working height between 16-18 feet, depending on the configuration and exact details of the ladder.

Weight and Portability

In general it’s important to have a lightweight ladder if you’re looking for a portable option. Heavier ladders are harder to move from place to place, harder to load and unload, and can be more difficult to set up without damaging your work surface from the extra weight.

That means that if you’re looking for a more portable ladder you might want to stick to a lightweight aluminum option.

However, some multi-position fiberglass ladders fold into smaller more portable sizes, which can help make up for the extra weight of the ladder.

Safety Features

Having good safety features is critical for your ladder since these features make the ladder easier to use and more effective.

The most common safety features are rubber or plastic grip feet on the bottom of the ladder, locking mechanisms that help brace the ladder and hold it in position, and textured rungs to make it harder to slip while you’re climbing the ladder.

Other safety features can include:

  • Nonconductive materials or coatings
  • Tool racks
  • Staircase compatibility
  • Brightly visible paint or markings
  • Joint lock mechanisms

The Takeaway

All of these ladders have great features and accessibility that makes them stand out from more standard multi position ladders. These designs are innovative, sturdy, and most importantly, stable. Each of them is a good option for professionals, homeowners, and DIYers alike.

Of all of these ladders though, our strongest recommendation has to be for the Little Giant Ladders, Velocity with Wheels. Its innovative safety features combined with the versatile length of the ladder and it’s lightweight aluminum alloy make it one of the best ladders for professionals. That’s not to mention that this multi-purpose ladder gives you some of the best configurations to get more from the design.

This model is one of the best options on the market, no matter what you need it for.

Paul King

I have an unhealthy obsession with contracting and renovation. I’ve been a contractor for over 15 years and I love tackling challenging projects to make them look amazing.