Cleaning out rain gutters isn’t particularly a pleasant activity, nor something we’re likely to be looking forward to, but much like de-weeding the yard and mowing the lawn, it’s just one of those things that needs to be done, and done thoroughly. And just like those activities, cleaning out rain gutters requires the right equipment – especially the right ladder. After all, you’re going to be much higher off the ground than you would be reaching into a high cupboard or stretching to change a lightbulb – it’s a matter of safety and stability, and picking the right ladder is critical to preventing entirely avoidable accidents.
For starters, you’ll need an option that extends a good bit beyond the highest contact point you’re looking for, an option with sufficient clearance that lets you access your gutters safely without exceeding the highest standing level (four rungs down from the top for extension ladders, the most common option for use when it comes to cleaning out gutters). Now, while the height at which your gutters are situated will likely vary, we’ve gathered together a diverse and versatile array of options with all the features we’re looking for in a good, safe and durable ladder for gutter-cleaning.
Little Giant 22-Foot Velocity Multi-Use Ladder
Although this isn’t going to be as lightweight as a handy aluminum ladder you’d use to change your curtains, the ladder weighing nearly 40 pounds, the weight comes secondary considering how robust and versatile this unit is, especially as this is better suited for those jobs that only occasionally require you to bring it out of storage. Available in different heights to suit your needs, the 22-foot unit features multiple configurations, making this not one but many ladders packed into one – the unit can be modified and used as anything from an A-frame ladder to an extension ladder to scaffolding and more, making this the perfect multi-functional ladder to keep around the home not just for gutter cleaning but any task that requires reaching for something at a height.
With a duty rating of 300 pounds, the ladder is structured out of durable and rugged aluminum, enhancing not only the unit’s longevity but its sturdiness as well, so you can climb up it and work away without fearing that the ladder might give way underneath you. To make it even tougher and more rigid, the ladder features dual pin hinges and Rock Lock systems to lock and hold your height adjustments and modifications tightly in place, so you can safely use the ladder’s multiple configurations without worrying about stability. As an extension ladder, which is the mode most likely to be used for cleaning out gutters, the maximum height of the ladder is 19 feet.
The only con we can find with this ladder (which, in our opinion, takes the majority of the worry out of climbing the unit or having a loved one climb it for gutter-cleaning or painting, thanks to its impressive stolidity) is the weight. But this does not mean movability is an issue. In fact, the brand anticipates the problem and includes Tip & Glide Wheels to simply let us push the ladder along to where we need it without having to struggle to carry it.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Little Giant Ladders, Velocity with Wheels, M17, 17 Ft
Another brilliant multifunctional option by Little Giant Ladder Systems, this one is a tad more budget-friendly than our top pick but nonetheless does not skimp on the features we’re looking for in a good sturdy and safe option for cleaning out our gutters. The Model 17 features a maximum extension height of 18 feet with a duty rating of 300 pounds, but is also available in different models and heights and can be reconfigured for use as a stepladder, scaffolding system, staircase and more.
Triple-locking hinges give this already rugged aerospace-grade aluminum ladder extra stability and rigidness, so you can remain worry-free as you climb it knowing it won’t shift around under you, the smooth-rolling caster wheels handy for rolling the unit in and out of storage and positioning it where you need it without needing to put in too much elbow grease.
Louisville FE3224 Fiberglass Extension Ladder
Although the model featured here is the 24-foot option, the unit is also available in six other height options to give you plenty of choices depending on the height of your gutters. A duty rating of 300 pounds and rugged fiberglass construction make it a heavy-duty option to use outdoors. The unit features serrated steps to give you the right friction and grip to get a steady foothold as you climb and work, a solid quick-latch system ensuring the rungs are held tightly in place when you extend the ladder. Additionally, the unit also features steel plated swivel safety shoes to keep the unit and the user stable and safe, thick rubber treads ensuring the ladder is held properly in place.
Werner D6224-2 Fiberglass Flat D-Rung Extension Ladder
This 24-foot fiberglass ladder is also available in four other height options to suit your needs, and features a duty rating of 300 pounds. Gravity spring locks hold extended and overlapping segments tightly together, while Shu-Lok slip resistant pads keep the ladder firmly held to the ground as you climb and work. Structured out of durable, non-conductive fiberglass, the ladder weighs approximately 52 pounds – though this is quite heavy, it does give the user the degree of solidness and stability one would desire when so high up off the ground cleaning out gutters, retiling the roof or fixing up a section of peeling paint. The ladder extends to a maximum height of 21 feet, slip-resistant rungs also giving you a better foothold.