The Ultimate Buying Guide For The Best Ladders For Cutting Hedges
A beautifully manicured garden is the pride of any home. Neatly shaped hedges, perfectly clipped shrubs, and topiary sculptures are something everyone wants to invest in.
But hiring a full-time gardener, especially if you have a small to medium-sized garden, is not economical. In such cases, it makes more sense if they do it themselves.
Moreover, many owners with green fingers also prefer to do the clipping and pruning of their hedges themselves.
However, even if you cut your hedges yourself, you still need to use the same tools and equipment as professionals.
Best Ladders For Cutting Hedges
|Image||Name||Weight Capacity||Check Price|
|Little Giant Alta-One Ladder||250 pounds|
|Werner FTP6206 Ladder||300 pounds|
|Little Giant Ladder 15131-001 Adjustable Ladder||375 pounds|
|Louisville FXS1510 Cross-step Ladder||300 pounds|
|Louisville Ladder FT1510 Tripod Ladder||300 pounds|
|Werner FTP6212 Tripod Ladder||300 pounds|
This is because cutting hedges is a very specialized activity and using ordinary, daily-use tools for doing it can be anything from inconvenient to outright dangerous.
This applies in a major way to the ladder you use to work on your hedges. Hedges can have many different heights, widths, and lengths as well as different requirements.
Using an ordinary ladder that you use around the house will not have all the features necessary to make it suitable for use on unpaved surfaces as found in a garden in general and for pruning hedges in particular.
So what you need is a ladder made especially for cutting hedges.
Why Should We Use Specialized Ladders For Cutting Hedges?
When we think of ladders and how they are used, we all come up with a mental image of a ladder placed on the plane, hard ground and propped against a solid surface or placed near it, with us working on something on or near that surface.
When we cut to the idea of shearing hedges, the issue becomes very apparent. Neither does the hedge provide a solid surface to place the ladder against, nor is the garden a reliable enough surface to put the ladder on.
But a ladder manufactured for the express purpose of cutting hedges works around these problems to provide an easy and safe option.
Security and Stability
Cutting hedges requires the ladder to be placed on the garden surface, which is almost always soft and uneven ground.
This calls for some feature that provides extra stability and safety for the gardener. This is ensured by making the base of the ladder much wider than the top and providing more reinforcement to the side rails and legs of the ladder.
Hedges can be of various heights, from knee-height to several feet high. Ladders made for general purposes may or may not have height adjustability, which will make it unsuitable for hedge cutting.
Even if it does have adjustable height, the range of height allowed may not be enough to reach every hedge.
Ladders for hedge cutting always have greater adjustable height than conventional ladders, making them suitable for managing hedges of all heights.
Moreover, a hedge-cutting ladder should have separately adjustable legs so that they can be set up comfortably on uneven ground, especially when the area nearer the hedge and farther from it are made to have different heights.
A ladder is quite a bulky equipment. It may not fit properly among the branches and leaves of a hedge and trying to do so forcefully may not give the ladder a stable enough footing to be safe for work.
A hedge-cutting ladder is designed especially to be compact enough to tackle this issue.
While any ladder you buy for any purpose be should rustproof for safety and durability, a ladder for cutting hedges should be even more so.
Hedges can be wet for many reasons, for example, due to watering, transpiration and so on. Thus, a hedge-cutting ladder has even more chance to get in contact with water, and more frequently too.
So, it must be made of corrosion-resistant materials like aluminum, steel, and hard plastic so that it lasts a long time.
Best Ladders For Cutting Hedges
On reading this guide, you will a pretty good idea regarding the dos and don’ts when it comes to buying the right ladder for hedge cutting and using them safely.
Keeping in mind all the above points, a list has been compiled of the hedge-cutting ladders we feel are the best in the market, to make it easier for you to choose the right one for yourself.
Little Giant is the most trusted brand when it comes to ladders of any kind, and it does not disappoint with this one.
It is the Model 17, thus it gives you a height gain of 17 feet at its highest. The aircraft-grade aluminum body can carry up to 250 pounds and two people on both sides in the double-sided stepladder configuration, yet it is light and easy to move around.
The triple-locking hinge ensures that the ladder is securely set before you climb it, which is especially essential if you are working on the unpaved ground in the garden.
It also has anti-slip feet that make it equally safe to use on paved walkways in the garden. The ladder is absolutely safe to use as it complies with all OSHA & ANSI A14.2 standards.
It also has wheels on one side so you can easily roll it from one place to another without having to drag or lift it. You get a lifetime warranty on the product.
Sturdy but Light
The ladder is made of aircraft-grade 6005-T5 aluminum which makes it very sturdy and robust. It is resistant to all kinds of impact and stress.
The heavy walls of the aluminum ensure that the body parts of the ladder do not get bent or dented easily. This makes the ladder last for many years in spite of all the rough usage which is unavoidable around hedges.
In spite of that, the ladder is extremely light in weight and very easy to handle and carry around.
This ladder can be used in a whopping 24 configurations. Its arms can be rotated using the hinge system in the middle to make it into an A-frame stepladder, extension ladder, and 90° ladder.
Due to independently extendable legs, the ladder can also be turned into a staircase ladder system, which is useful when cutting hedges on a raised area, near a stairway to the garden or on uneven ground.
It also gives the extension configuration many different heights, which eliminates the need for different ladders for hedges of different heights.
Scaffolding System in Itself
The two arms of the ladder are telescopic and the rails that go inside can be separated from the rails that are outside.
This gives us two trestle ladder parts, the arms on each side held by the hinge for the inside rails and by the locking system for the outside rails.
If you have a platform, you will not need a second ladder to form the two trestles. Thus, if you plan to use a scaffold for hedge cutting, you will not need to load yourself with two ladders.
You will get three scaffolding positions for cutting your hedges at any level.
Dimensions: 27 x 8 x 56 inches
Weight: 30 pounds
Maximum height: 15 feet
Contracted Height: 4 feet 7 inches
Base Width: 23.5 inches
Duty Rating: 250 pounds
The Werner FTP6206 is a tripod ladder of 12 feet, making it perfect for work on high and medium-sized hedges. It helps you get closer to the hedges, even in tight spaces and corners and cut them safely.
You can even place them across barriers like broken-down walls and low hedges, unlike other types of ladders, thus providing greater accessibility to the hedges.
The steps are double-riveted to provide exceptional strength, and they are wide enough to allow the user to work for long hours without any discomfort or tiredness.
The ladder also has a spread handle design that not only helps set up the ladder in a stable and securely but also aids in carrying and transport.
The ladder comes with specially treaded feet that help it keep its position even on uneven ground. They are also replaceable in case they get worn away too much.
For convenience, the ladder has a Tool-Tra-Top fitted on top, so that you can keep all your tools there and work comfortably without exerting yourself too much.
You also get a lifetime warranty from defects and workmanship, so that is one less thing to worry about.
As a ladder, this Werner FTP series 12-foot ladder is quite compact. Due to its tripod nature, it can easily be placed closer to hedges, in between them and even at hedge corners without requiring the user to place the ladder perpendicularly and lean out, which is dangerous.
The ladder is made out of fiberglass, which makes it especially resistant to any kind of damage. Scratches and grazes are impossible to avoid while working with hedges since most hedges are shrubs, which are not soft like herbs.
The molded external rail shield of the ladder protects the ladder body from all kinds of abrasion and damage, not only from the hedges but also due to accidental falls and hits.
The steps of the ladders have traction-treads. This provides an ample amount of friction to ensure excellent footing to the climber and prevents slips due to any reason, even when wet.
This is an important feature since gardens are inherently wet places.
Dimensions: 77.8 x 54 x 22.6 inches
Weight: 51 pounds
Maximum height: 12 feet
Duty Rating: 300 pounds(IA)
This Little Giant Select Step ladder combines ladders of five heights in one, ie, it can be adjusted to give you a height boost of 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 feet.
This helps you access hedges of any height easily without having to buy any more ladders.
The rails of the ladder are made of fiberglass-resin composite that is not only responsible for the IAA ANSI rating of the ladder but also makes it non-conductive so that if you are doing your hedges near electrical systems like lampposts, you will not be in any danger of shocks.
The black resin fiberglass also resists fading and damage due to UV rays.
The rails of the ladder can be extended or contracted independently of each other, which makes it perfect for cutting hedges on uneven surfaces, sloping grounds and stairways in the garden.
It has an extra flared base for added stability. The telescoping system of the ladder is controlled by proprietary Rock Locks and SelectGrip Handle which makes it extremely easy to adjust the height of the ladder and also makes the setting sturdy.
Safe and Comfortable Design
The topmost rung of the ladder, that should not be used, has been removed altogether here. This has two advantages.
First, users will not be tempted to use the top step at all to reach a slightly greater height. Using the top step is one of the major causes of ladder-related accidents.
Second, the space created by the absence of the rung provides greater movement space and also prevents the user from hitting his or her shin on it while working.
Widely Flared Legs
The front side of the ladder comes with extra rail reinforcement that greatly augments the base width of the ladder, while the back rails come with wide feet stabilizers that perform the same function.
Flared legs impart high stability to the ladder, especially on uneven ground as often found in gardens. It also prevents the ladder from toppling even if the user tries to overreach.
This Little Giant ladder is an actual giant when it comes to its weight rating. It has an IAA rating, which means it can easily carry a load of 375 pounds.
This means you can easily have two people on each side of the ladder, as well as any tools you may need to cut your hedges.
Dimensions: 9 x 36 x 73 inches
Weight: 39.7 pounds
Maximum height: 10 feet
Contracted Height: 6 feet
Base Width: 23.5 inches
Duty Rating: 375 pounds(IAA)
The best thing about the Louisville Cross-Step ladder is its design. It is made in such a way that it allows the worker to get closer to the hedge without toppling himself along with the ladder.
The ladder can be placed easily in all kinds of positions around the hedges due to its clever design.
It can be used both as a step ladder as well as a normal shelf ladder, which is useful if you are working near a pole or a tree. The ladder is flared at the bottom for stability.
The ladder is made of fiberglass. This makes it light, and thus, easy to carry around, while still being sturdy enough for heavy-duty work.
In fact, you can load up to 300 pounds on it. All the connections are double riveted for extra strength.
The front and back sections of the ladder are also attached with a locking latch to ensure that the rails remain secured during hedge cutting.
The tool tray of this ladder is specialized for keeping any kind of tool you may need while shearing hedges. There are a number of slots to hold different kinds of tools of different sizes.
The tray also features a magnet so that even if there is no more space in the slots, you will have a place to keep one of the smaller tools.
The tool tray is part of a V-shaped Pro-Top that helps support the ladder when used as a normal ladder against poles or tree trunks.
Greater Proximity to Work
When used as an A-shaped step ladder, the ladder angle comes at an optimum value so that you can get closer to the hedges to be able to work better on them.
But it is not so low as to destabilize you while you are leaning or moving while working.
The ladder is equipped with the proprietary Shox impact absorption system that prevents unwarranted wobbles when you move around for extra stability.
It also has Raptor boots firmly bonded with treaded feet that prevent any kind of slips, even in highly unstable soil or smooth pavers.
Dimensions: 122 x 30 x 7 inches
Weight: 39 pounds
Maximum height: 10 feet
Duty Rating: 300 pounds(IA)
Warranty: 90 days
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Another from Louisville, this ladder is one of the best when it comes to hedge-cutting ladders. With a body of fiberglass, this ladder is sturdy and light at the same time.
It is also non-conductive, which protects you from shocks in case you are working near live circuits. The ladder has an IA duty rating, which means it can take up to 300
pounds with ease. It has a guarantee of quality and safety from OSHA, ANSI as well as CSA.
The ladder is extremely easy to use and handle due to its ergonomic design. All connections are secured by double rivets so that they do not come loose even after years of use.
The center-pull spreader brace not only sets the ladder up firmly on any kind of ground but also makes opening and closing the ladder smooth and easy.
Meets All Standards
A ladder is not something that we can test and judge the quality of as we use. Our safety depends on it, which is why we need a more solid guarantee that it is going to be able to support us.
In that respect, this ladder has all the guarantees you need. It meets the standards of OSHA, ANSI as well as CSA, so you need not worry about the quality of this ladder or its standard as a hedge-cutting ladder.
Employs Top-Grade Systems
The Louisville ladder has the best technologies used to design it. It has a Raptor Top that provides a sturdy mechanism to hold the rails together.
The Top also works as a tool tray with several slots as well as a magnet, which prevents the tools kept there from falling.
The ladder also comes Raptor Boots fitted with treaded feet that provide maximum slip resistance, while the Shox system is used to give the ladder durability and stability.
The steps of this ladder are 50% wider than the steps of other common or popular tripod ladders in the market. This makes standing on the steps highly comfortable.
Even if you have been standing on them for hours, as usually happens while trimming hedges, you will not feel any kind of fatigue.
Dimensions: 121 x 51 x 7 inches
Weight: 44 pounds
Maximum height: 10 feet
Duty Rating: 300 pounds(IA)
Warranty: 1 year
This ladder was reserved for the last because it was the tallest in the list.
Its height gives it a greater edge over the others, as you can use it to reach not only the tall hedges but also the tall topiary sculptures and branches of big trees in case you want to prune them.
This is a heavy-duty ladder, capable of lifting up to 300 pounds. The Tool-Tra-Top gives a platform to keep all your shears, cutters and other tools as you cut your hedges.
The ladder is made out of fiberglass, which makes it light yet robust.
The durability of the ladder is further enhanced by the molded external braces on the rails of the front section, that keep damage and abrasion at bay.
The front rails are connected to the back pole of the tripod ladder by a spreader handle to ensure easy operation and a firm set-up
This Werner ladder is a whopping 12 feet in height, which is more than enough to work on any kind of hedge or even topiary or tree that you may have.
In spite of being so tall, it does not cause any instability while working. This is due to the flared steps and the spreader handle that work together to ensure that every time you use the ladder, it is absolutely safe and stable.
The steps of the ladder are made extra strong to add to the robustness of the ladder. Every step is installed with braces.
The connections are made especially secure using double rivets and the topmost ones are covered by metal back-up plates for extra protection.
Each step is traction-treaded to prevent slips and falls, which can be very dangerous from a ladder this tall.
Gives High Accessibility
The tripod shape of the ladder and its sleek design makes it possible to get the ladder in places where other types of ladders would never have fitted.
You can even place it across the lower hedges if you need to do their tops or get to a hedge beyond them.
The greater height of the ladder helps you reach the top of the tallest hedges without standing on your toes, which is dangerous.
Dimensions: 77.8 x 54 x 22.6 inches
Weight: 51 pounds
Maximum height: 12 feet
Duty Rating: 300 pounds(IA)
Things To Look Out For While Buying Ladders For Cutting Hedges
A ladder is a good investment. The right one can, without exaggeration, be the solution to all your tasks at a “height”, while the wrong one can cause serious accidents.
A garden with hedges has numerous areas where such accidents have the potential to turn out to be fatal or permanently damaging. That is why it is imperative to tick all the necessary boxes when you are buying a hedge-cutting ladder.
The type of ladder you get should be decided by you and your garden only. Neither does everyone feel easy using every type of ladder, nor may the geography of their garden allow it.
So not only should you get that ladder which you feel confident would suit both you and your hedges, but you should also try the ladder out once before buying to be sure of your comfort level with it.
This is one of the biggest necessities of any ladder for hedge cutting. Gardens are bound to have different heights at different points.
Many people often construct a platform around their hedges too for aesthetic beauty.
If your ladder does not allow the front rails and the back rails to be adjusted separately, it will cause a huge problem working on such an irregular surface.
If you have a ten-foot hedge, neither is a five-foot ladder practical nor a twenty-foot one.
When you buy a ladder for hedge cutting, the best way to go about it is to get a ladder whose topmost step or platform is a foot or two higher than your tallest hedge you have or are planning to have.
This is a crucial factor in ladders used for hedge cutting. There must be some sort of leg support like a flared base, long stabilizers or extra rails.
This is to allow the wiggle room necessary when cutting hedges. The wider the base, the better will the ladder be able to support the person on top, no matter which way his center of gravity shifts.
The steps of any hedge-cutting ladder should be extra wide. If possible, it should also have a wide platform on top.
A hedge can take up a lot of space and hedge-cutters are often tempted to cover all of it without having to get down and set the ladder up in a new position.
So, although this is not advised at all, wide steps and platforms do allow the person to move around slightly, either to get a nearby errant branch or to make himself more comfortable.
The width should also be more towards the center of the ladder than outwards so that the shin of the person does not get grazed by the steps too much.
A ladder for hedge cutting, an activity that involves a lot of leaning and stretching, should have extra rails that you can hold on to or harnesses that can restrain your body from going beyond the permissible limit when pruning your hedge.
Precautions To Take When Using Ladders For Cutting Hedges
As it was mentioned before, a garden with hedges has a lot of things on which you can seriously hurt yourself, that includes the ladder and hedges themselves.
There is no way to remove most of these potentially hazardous objects. So the best we can do in our capacity is to take the precautions necessary to keep ourselves safe.
Examination of Ladder
A hedge-cutting ladder is frequently in contact with moisture and dirt. This makes it highly susceptible to rust and other forms of corrosion.
While buying a rustproof ladder and keeping it clean and dry helps, we cannot entirely stop the corrosion process. Therefore, checking the ladder for damage before use is a must.
Ladder Stability on Ground
A person on a wobbly ladder has danger written all over it. Unless the ladder is stable on the ground and its axis does not change with a slight touch, you should not get onto it.
This is especially applicable to hedge-cutting ladders, which are used on grounds that is anything but even. Adjust the leg heights, shift the ladder around until you find the right spot.
If you don’t, then level the ground first, allow it to harden and only then use the ladder on that spot.
Safe Reaching Limit
It is easy to feel tempted to get just one more leaf, one more bud or one more branch by overreaching when you think about how much extra effort is needed to dismount the ladder set it up at the right spot and mount it again to continue with the hedge-cutting.
But don’t, because there is nothing more dangerous than that. More people go to the ER due to falls from overreaching while on their ladder than due to some problem with the ladder itself. Make the extra effort and be safe.
Safe Carrying of Sharp Tools
Cutting hedges requires sharp tools like shears and cutters. No one needs to remind you of how much caution you must exercise when using such tools.
When you are on a ladder and working, you also have to mind other things like your footing, your balance as well as the hedge itself.
That is exactly why you must be doubly careful around these tools. If possible, carry them in a worker’s belt or cloth bag. If a tool is out, keep them a safe distance away.
Firm Footing and Hold of Gardener
Although common to the use of all ladders, it applies especially to hedge-cutting ladders because your ladder is often on uneven ground.
The steps may also get wet from the moisture in the hedges. A firm footing allows you to have extra control over your balance and save yourself from slips and falls.
Also, hold on to the handrail if one is provided. Maintain a three-point contact with your ladder at all times, which is the golden rule of using any ladder.
Prevention of Support on Hedge
This is the worst idea ever. Supporting your ladder against the hedge is no safer than climbing a wobbly ladder. A hedge is, after all, a shrub.
It is hollow and cannot provide solid support a ladder needs to be stable. Support your ladder on a nearby wall if available. Otherwise, use a ladder with the A-shape for self-support.
What Is The OSHA Standard For Ladders?
OSHA, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, specify certain regulations for ladder use and design.
For example, while climbing, you must face the ladder, hold it with one hand and not carrying anything that can cause you to lose balance.
The steps, rungs, and cleats of the ladder should be level, parallel and spaced within 10 to 14 inches. For portable ladders like hedge-cutting ladders, steps or rungs should have non-slip surfaces and the top one should never be used.
They should be secured and stabilized, especially on slippery and uneven surfaces and when used in places where human or vehicular traffic is imminent.
The ladder should also not be loaded with more weight than what its duty rating specifies and should have a metal spreader or lock system to prevent overspreading.
The ladder should also not be shifted with the person on it, and its height should not be increased by attaching another ladder or placing on unreliable bases like stools or crates.
Can You Stand On The Top Step Of A Ladder?
OSHA regulations for portable ladders in 29 CFR 1910.23(c), the top step should not be used by a user for any purpose.
This is because when you stand on the top step, the chances of the ladder toppling over increases manifold. A secondary reason would be that any handrail to be used for support would also be out of your reach.
How Do You Use A Tripod Ladder?
Examine the ladder well before use. Set up the ladder on the firm ground only. In case you need to keep the front legs and the tripod on grounds of different heights, the tripod should be placed on the higher ground.
Climb the ladder facing it and without carrying excess loads. Climb only up to the fourth-highest step of the ladder. When using the ladder, do not overreach.
Also, maintain a three-point contact with the ladder. Maintain the same rules for climbing down as for climbing up.
How Do You Keep A Ladder From Slipping?
When you are placing the ladder on the ground, make sure the ground is not slippery by rubbing your shoe on it, especially for a paved surface.
For a soiled surface, use the same method to check not only if the ground is slippery but also if it is too soft. If any of these is the case, do not put your ladder on such ground or it may give away under the load.
If the ground is not slippery or soft, then use the ladder, making sure it has some form of leg stabilizers.
In case of soiled ground, make sure the legs of the ladder are lodges slightly into the ground for stability.
For paved ground, you can use some surface as support to prevent slipping.
Which Is The Best Ladder For Gardening?
Whether you are cutting hedges, picking fruits or doing any garden work requiring ladders, a tripod ladder is your best bet.
The tripod ladder was created keeping in mind the conditions of working in a garden. If you are cutting your hedge, no other ladder will give you as much support, stability, and comfort as a tripod ladder.
We hope that this article about the best ladders for cutting hedges will be very helpful in choosing the right ladder for hedge trimming.
Whether you are a professional topiary artist or an ordinary gardener who likes to do things themselves around their garden, it is imperative that you use only the safest and the best equipment to make your job easy and safe. For this very reason, you
should only ever use a ladder that is made for hedge cutting. Such ladders have extra features incorporated in them especially keeping in mind the problems you face during hedge cutting.
This exhaustive guide should make your task much easier when you are planning to buy a hedge-cutting ladder or using it in your garden.
You may also refer to the specially curated list above for a hedge-cutting ladder of assured quality and convenience.