Multi purpose ladders are the ultimate in ladder versatility. Where a combination ladder offers a step ladder and extension ladder, the multi-purpose ladder offers a step ladder, extension ladder, staircase ladder, work platform and more. Usually constructed from four sections hinged in three places, these ladders fold up to a small size when not in use, but can be unfolded and secured in several different positions, covering nearly every requirement for a ladder. For decorating and renovating jobs these ladders are perfect, as they adapt to most tasks. Work on stairways can be tackled with these ladders, as can simple wall painting. Leaving the top of the wall and the top cutting in until last means you can get most of the job done with feet firmly on the ground, then deploy the ladder as a work platform then easily and quickly finish off the top without having to move a stepladder several times along the wall. Of course, these ladders can be deployed as step ladders for those jobs which require a more stationary approach, and as a straight ladder for jobs that require more height, for example clearing guttering and fixing outdoor lighting to exterior walls. When used in the platform position the ladder can also function as a sawing horse, workbench and impromptu coffee table for those essential breaks. Another great feature of multi-purpose ladders, when set up as stepladders, is that both sides can be ascended, making it easy to share a job such as wallpapering or painting, or allowing one person to use both sides of the ladder to work from before repositioning. A labourer once described multi-purpose ladders as “the Optimus Prime of ladders”.
This domestic use multi-purpose ladder is made up of four sections, each with three rungs, giving a fully extended height of over 11 feet (when used as a straight ladder). The maximum step ladder height is 5’7” and when used as a work platform it gives a height of 3 feet and working platform length of just under 5 feet. The ladder is now supplied with a rigid platform that can be fixed across the rungs when the ladder is in the platform position, and this deck means that full use can be made of the large working area. This application of the ladder is perfect for painting the tops of ceilings without needing to move a step ladder every few feet. The hinges that fold the ladder are stainless steel and feature a dual lock mechanism for extra safety, as do the stabiliser bars on the ends of the ladder. These keep the ladder more stable when used in any position, and there are ten working positions this ladder is capable of. If you thought it didn’t get any better, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the ladder also comes with a hook-on workshelf for holding tools, paint pots and anything else you need to access while working at height, all courtesy of Midland Ladders. This multi-purpose ladder folds down to an incredibly small size and fits easily in the boot of any car (except maybe a Porsche!), which is great for all householders as you get a ladder with a long reach, but a small storage size.
If the three rung per-section model does not offer enough height then there is also a four rung per-section model, which also comes with the free workshelf. This ladder has a fully extended height of 15 feet, and a step ladder height of 7’4”. Weighing in at only 14kg it is not very heavy but can take a load of 150kg, folding down to just over 4 feet tall. Again, this ladder features the stabiliser bars for extra safety and can be used in ten different positions, certainly a challenge for even the most enthusiastic DIYer to use all of them in one day!
For the professional, Zarges offer a multi-purpose ladder in three different heights, which functions as a telescopic extension ladder, step ladder and stair ladder. From 13’9” to 21’ in the fully extended position, the four, five and six rung models are unrivalled in build quality and engineering, and suitable for regular trade use. Because the ladders are designed with two telescopically extending sides and flared end legs they can be used safely on stairs and uneven ground, perfect for outdoor jobs where stability is key on differently leveled surfaces.
Another trade standard multi-purpose unit is this scaffold, work platform, stepladder, stairway platform and extension ladder (which also functions as two separate ladders in case you’re lucky enough to have a helper!). It comes with a work platform that can be set up between the two ladder units either on a flat surface, or on stairs (because the platform sits between the rungs, many different heights can be achieved, and the stabilising bars at the foot of each ladder section keep the whole thing sturdy). The two ladder sections join together in an A frame to create a step ladder with a height of 1.63 metres, and as an extension ladder offer a height of nine feet. When used as a scaffold there is a working height of 10 feet, and the unit can take a load of 150kg, well enough for tools and paint as well as yourself. This multi-purpose ladder is a great investment for anyone who finds themselves doing indoor and outdoor work, needing to be at different heights, spending a long time working around stairs and who needs one of the most versatile trade standard units that money can buy, whilst being affordable to those on a budget.
As anyone who knows their ladders will be well aware of, Little Giant make the most versatile ladders around, and to very high standards. The Little Giant Classic ladder is the best known and the original model that Hal Wing brought to the USA from Germany many years ago. It is popular with householders, DIYers and professionals alike due to the versatility build quality and ease of use. The Little Giant Pro series is certainly the best looking of the lot, with a black, oil-resistant anodized coating that really makes you look twice at this bit of kit. The Pro series, like the Classic model, has twenty four different configurations (including a 90 degree ladder, essentially a step ladder that has one side parallel with the wall, thereby allowing you to get as close to the wall as possible while retaining the stability of a step ladder), meaning there is virtually no job this ladder can’t cope with. The tallest six rung model offers a maximum extended ladder height of over six metres! The Pro series is available in heights of four, five and six rungs (which is effectively double that on either side, as each side is telescopic). The flared legs of the bottom sections mean that even at this extended length, the ladder will remain sturdy. As you would expect with a Little Giant ladder, the Pro series models have tip and glide wheels, making it easy to move this beautiful ladder around site. The accessories range for Little Giant ladders fit the Pro series, so the tool shelves, work platforms and other bells and whistles can be used on this ladder like any other. In fact, the separate work platform is needed to use the Pro series (and Classic series) as a working platform, which can be set to four different heights. Words cannot do this ladder justice, so have a look at the video on our website to see for yourself just what this ladder is capable of. It really does speak for itself.
Whether the Little Giant floats your boat, or something more simple will fulfill your needs, there’s no doubt that a multi-purpose ladder can replace a set of different height and styles of ladder, whilst taking up less space and being more efficient. When the time comes for a spring clean (and it’s just around the corner) you’ll be set for anything with a multi-purpose ladder.