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Ladder Angle Calculator

Created by Arkadiusz Wójtowicz
Reviewed by Hanna Pamuła, PhD and Steven Wooding
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

The ladder angle calculator can help you determine the angle between the ladder and the ground. The ladder length calculator can also be used to find the length of the ladder required to reach a specific height. It is a tool for making your life easier and safer (for example, when using the 4 to 1 ladder rule) when it comes to handling any ladder and managing your plan for working at heights.

How to properly set up a ladder?

To use the ladder properly:

  1. Face the ladder that you are going to climb on.

  2. Come close to the base of the ladder and place your feet against the front of the rungs.

  3. Straighten your arms out.

The above steps should help you get safer while using the ladder – but you also need to remember the 4 to 1 ladder rule.

The 4 to 1 rule says that for every four feet of height, the ladder's base should be moved one foot away from the wall or building. Of course, the ratio 4:1 itself is essential, so it can also be 4 meters to 1 meter or 12 feet to 3 feet.

How do you calculate the ladder angle?

The following equation calculates the ladder angle α:

α = arctan(R/B),


  • R — Ladder reach – the height you want to climb up; and
  • B — Distance between ladder bottom and the wall/structure.

With this simple mathematical expression, you can calculate the ladder angle and keep your work environment safe! The other application of this ladder length calculator – it can satisfy your mathematics teacher 😉

But what is arctan in this formula? Arcus tangent is the inverse trigonometric function of the tangent function and can be easily calculated with our arcus tangent calculator.

When it comes to safety there are no exceptions

There are many cases when we need to climb up a ladder for our housework or professionally: for example, when we need to shovel heaps of snow from our roof with the help of snow load calculator. Our ladder angle calculator can come in handy when it comes to safe & proper ladder use.

These rules will keep you safer when doing your work:

  • The ladder needs to be put at a 75-degree angle, which means we want to keep up with the 4 to 1 ladder rule. Let's say you want to clean up your attic and your ladder reach is 20 feet – make sure then that the bottom of the ladder is 5 feet away from the wall;

  • Do not bring any very heavy things with you;

  • Avoid going over the weight stated by the ladder's manufacturer;

  • Follow the common rules of the proper ladder use; and

  • Place your feet firmly at every rung of the ladder.

The ladder angle calculator is one of the Omni tools that can help make your work environment safer and easier. There are plenty more, such as a factor of safety calculator, that obtains the ratio of an object's or structure's maximum strength to its design load to determine its safety.

Always check if there are no chips or cracks on the rails, and make sure that the ladder is safe to climb on and won't break while you are on it. Ensure that the ladder quality is good enough and can easily carry your weight.

Do not stand on last 3 rungs of the ladder

Always make sure that you can catch the ladder with your hands. Standing on the last three rungs of the ladder is not safe at all, and you should avoid it; that's one of the principles of proper ladder use. Though our ladder length calculator is one of the helpful tools that you can use, always remember to take advantage of your common sense.

Injuries caused by falls from ladders can be very serious or even fatal. Around 500,000 people fall from a ladder every year in the USA, and 90,000 of them visit the ER as a result.

Work environment

Remember not to place your ladder on wet concrete floors or muddy or uneven ground unless it is properly secured or has slip-resistant feet.

Make sure that the ladder is cleaned up and has no slippery materials on it, and check if locks (or latches) are locked and holding to prevent overloading a rail.

Arkadiusz Wójtowicz
leaning up against wall/structure
Ladder leaning against wall. Ladder angle marked.
Ladder reach (R)
Ladder bottom (B)
Ladder working length (L)
Ladder angle (α)
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