When you hear the word “Ladder” most of the time you will picture a step ladder. As the most common and popular of all the different types of ladders, the step ladder can be used for multiple jobs. The brilliance of step ladders is the fact that they can support themselves. You don’t need to find the right spot to lean your ladder against the wall just so your ladder will be stable. You can set up your step ladder inside or outside with ease. Need to change the light bulb in your ceiling? No problem, just set your step ladder underneath it and change it at your leisure. Have to clean the outside windows of your house? Piece of cake, just position your step ladder and clean those smudges away.
There are two different types of step ladders being used in the market today, the Front Step Ladder and the Twin Step Ladder. The Front Step Ladder has one side that you climb on to do your work and the other side has been designed for support only. The Twin Step Ladder is designed to support use on both sides. Two people can climb simultaneously, one person per side, on either side of the step ladder. If there is a light fixture that needs installing then one person can hold the fixture up while the other does the wiring. Or if you are painting a wall you can paint your side of the wall while your buddy does the other side.
Step ladders have small platforms on top. Some of these platforms have holes in them to place your tools in while others are smooth or have grooves for traction. The platform is considered the top step of your step ladder. So if you were to buy an eight-foot step ladder then the small platform on top will be the eighth step.
Having a small platform is fine and all but what if you need more space to set your tools or paint tray? Some step ladders have a molded pail shelf attached to them so that you can set down your paint supplies or power tools. This pail shelf is placed on the back of the ladder one rung down from the top step. Don’t ever use this pail shelf as a step as they are not designed to hold a lot of weight.
What prevents the step ladder from buckling in on you is the spreader brace hinges. The spreader brace hinges are the two little bars that you see on the side of the ladder. You just lock these in place to secure your step ladder.
Choosing Your Size
When picking out a step ladder you need to keep the height in mind. Step ladders have a huge range of height at your disposal. For safety purposes you are asked not to stand on the top three rungs when working. So you want to keep that in mind, just because you are getting an eight-foot ladder doesn’t mean you will be standing eight feet off the ground safely. The smallest of the step ladders start out at three feet and can be compared to that of the step stool. The average step ladder used is between five to nine feet, though step ladders are made as high as twenty feet. The rungs of the step ladders are set apart at ten to fourteen inch increments but most manufactures prefer to set them at one foot increments. The widths of the rungs are set at twelve to fourteen inches.