Last updated on March 24th, 2021
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Have you ever wondered how to paint your two-storey ceiling when the extension on your paint pole isn’t long enough? Or how to reach the tallest branches of the tree you want to trim when there’s nowhere to prop a ladder? Welcome to the world of scaffold towers. Scaffold towers come into play when you don’t need (or can’t afford) fully-fledged scaffolding or when a ladder just can’t do the job or you want a tall stable platform. Or when you just find ladders too wobbly to go higher than the second rung.
Our review of the Best Scaffold Towers introduces you to the best towers out there. We’ve examined towers of different heights, and one that is customizable for difficult projects and sites. We even review a platform for those of you who won’t step on any ladder at all. We tell you their features as well as their individual pros and cons as we make our recommendations.
Our Best Pick is the BPS Access Solutions 5m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower which is suitable for most above-eye-level home DIY tasks. The Runner-up is the Top Tower Classic 6.3m (WH) DIY Galvanised Scaffold Tower which comes as a basic tower to which you add accessories to customise it as you want.
We also include a Buyer’s Guide to scaffold towers that details the features that you should look out for in your selection. Above all, we urge you to look for the safety features that these towers have as well as the ones that are missing.
If after reading this review, you decide that you’d like to go back to a standard ladder, we have reviews for those too. Our Best Telescopic Ladder and Best Work Platforms for Working Safely articles give you all the information and reviews you need to make your selection.
This is a great choice for DIY work at a height around the home and garden.
Top 4 Scaffold Tower Reviews
1. BPS Access Solutions 5m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower
The BPS Access Solutions 5m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower lets you easily and safely reach to the windows of a two-storey house. This tower is made of superior grade aluminium making it both lightweight and strong. Unlike steel towers, the smooth anodised finish on this one will not rust.
The BPS 5m tower comes with a single platform made of marine plywood for a strong and safe working surface. It’s also non-slip for added safety.
You can set the height of the platform within the tower in increments of 30cm (12 inches). This gives you significant customization of the setup of the tower for the particular job you’re involved with. The maximum height to which you can set the platform is 3m (almost 10 feet); this allows you to stand safely protected by the top guardrail.
The stability braces are both horizontal and diagonal and fit to the outside of the frame, leaving more room on the platform for you to work and to place your equipment. In addition, the “twist and lock” features of the braces help to make assembly of the scaffold tower fast and simple. The platform has quick-release clamps that add to the ease of putting together and taking apart the tower.
Two stabiliser bars are included with the BPS 5m Scaffold Tower to increase the area of its footprint. You put them on the bottom of each side and this gives the tower more stability when you’re on it. This is especially important when you’re climbing or descending the tower using the rungs on its sides. Whenever you’re using the tower, you should have the tilt-and-glide wheels locked in place. However, to move it, just tilt the tower and wheel it to its next location.
- Tower is 4m tall; the maximum platform height is 3.0m; the reach height when you’re on the platform is 5m.
- Single, non-slip platform adjustable in 30cm heights for your customization.
- Platform size is 1.45m by 0.5m for a comfortable work area.
- Can hold 150kg of you and your equipment.
- Tool-free assembly, so you don’t need to find your toolbox.
- Two stabilizer bars are included to make it steadier.
- Twist and lock braces for stability and your safety.
- Horizontal and diagonal braces fit to the outside of the frame for more room on the platform.
- Weighs 24.5kg so relatively lightweight.
- Compact storage size of 2.0m by 0.66m by 0.2m can fit into a garden shed or the corner of a garage.
- The manufacturer has ISO2001 accreditation so its products meet strict engineering quality standards.
- Misleading product description; the tower is 4m tall; 5m is the reach height when you’re standing on it (if you’re 2m in height).
- You’ll need help putting it together and taking it down.
- Assembly instructions are just diagrams, no written instructions; some may find them a little difficult to follow.
If you’re looking for a solution to height problems in your home and garden DIY projects then the BPS Access Solutions 5m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower is definitely worth a look. You can reach up to 5m when you’re standing on the platform at its fullest extent, so you can paint your second storey window frames but you won’t be able to reach to clean out the eaves.
The smooth anodised superior grade aluminium of this scaffold tower means that you can cover it and leave it outside all year long, as it won’t rust. Several online reviewers have dismantled it into just several pieces rather than all the way, wrapped it in plastic and left it behind their garage or garden shed in the winter.
When assembling the BPS 5m tower, especially for the first time, you are on your own as reviewers have reported that you receive a set of diagrams but no instructions. Several found that looking at photos of the tower helped them with the task. In addition, people have also reported that this scaffold tower is a little unsteady when fully assembled, especially if it’s not on a completely flat surface, such as outside the house. Reviewers have come up with solutions that include attaching wires to the tower and then to bolts in the outside walls of the home or using guy ropes and pegs in the lawn.
Finally, as we talked about in our Buyers Guide, be aware of what the heights actually mean. The maximum platform height is 3m and the tower is 4m tall. The 5m refers to the reach if a 2m tall person is working on the tower. Always read the details from the manufacturer.
For its quality and usefulness for general home and garden DIY tasks, the BPS Access Solutions 5m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower is our Best Pick for Scaffold Tower.
2. Top Tower Classic 6.3m (WH) DIY Galvanised Scaffold Tower & Boards (20’9″ x 4′ x 2’6″ Base)
If you’re knowledgeable about scaffold towers and know what you want in yours, then take a look at the Top Tower Classic 6.3m (WH) DIY Galvanised Scaffold Tower & Boards. This scaffold tower comes as a basic unit and you purchase everything else you want separately. Customise your tower to your project requirements or the worksite situation without buying features that you’ll never use.
The Top Tower Classic 6.3m is just one of a set of scaffold towers with a range of base sizes and heights. The first step of your customization process is to decide which size base and which height you need. The Classic 6.3m maximum platform height is 4.3m and the reach is 6.3m. The base size of the model we review here is 1.21m by 80cm. The range of base sizes available also includes 1.21m by 1.21m; 1.21m by 1.82m; and 1.82m by 80cm. Whichever size you choose, the manufacturer recommends that the scaffold tower be tied to a building for stability and your safety.
The basic Classic tower comes with the frame, base rails for stability, horizontal braces, base plates and single handrails. It also comes with platform boards.
You’ll notice that there aren’t any pieces to ensure full stability in the base package; the base rails aren’t enough. The manufacturer recommends that you purchase at least a pair of stabilisers as well as tie the tower to a building. To ensure the most stability, buy the optional safety pack that includes the stabilisers, a tower stand-off, double handrail frames and a double handrail. Note that this is an upgrade pack that will replace the lower quality items in the base pack and that you have to buy it at the time you purchase the tower.
With just the basic Classic tower, there’s no way to climb up to the platform so you’ll need to use a ladder. But it’s safer to purchase the optional ladder attachment that fits inside the tower frame. Toe boards are another safety feature that you may need. They go around the platform and stop things from falling off it.
If you want a mobile scaffold tower, purchase the standard castors for wheeling it around on flat surfaces. If your job site is uneven or on sloping ground (maybe even a roof), you may want to consider the adjustable castors (mobile) or adjustable bases (stationary).
- Maximum platform height is 4.3m; the reach height when you’re on the platform is 6.3m.
- Frame is made of rust-resistant pre-galvanised steel for long-term durability.
- Base plates (for each leg) are supplied for extra stability.
- Weighs 78kg so it’s quite heavy.
- 200kg working load can handle heavy equipment.
- Must be securely tied to a building for stability so it’s not stand-alone.
- Customizable to different terrains and projects through optional accessories.
- Comes with three boards for use as the platform.
- Single handrail all around the working platform for your protection and safety.
- Braces are horizontal around the tower.
- Modular, so can build it at different heights up to the maximum.
- Easy to put together so you can do it by yourself.
- 10-year guarantee against faulty material or workmanship so you’ll have your scaffold tower for a long time.
- Range of base sizes to have the platform size you need.
- Comes with just the basic features; not enough to use the tower safely.
- Stabilisers and other safety features recommended but not included.
- Need a ladder to climb this tower; not supplied
The Top Tower Classic 6.3m (WH) DIY Galvanised Scaffold Tower & Boards comes as a basic unit for which you purchase optional accessories that either delights or horrifies people. If you’re an avid DIYer and know exactly what you want your DIY scaffold tower to look like, then this is a model that you can get behind. If you’re just looking for a tower for general home and garden tasks, this isn’t the best scaffold tower for you.
The customisations available for the Top Tower Classic 6.3m enable you to use it in different places and on different terrains. Uneven floors, slopes and even roofs are not problem areas anymore on which to erect scaffolding and gain extra height. This scaffold tower is modular, so you don’t have to build it to its full height. You can use just the bottom section, for example, if you want to just reach up a few extra feet but need a stable platform to work from.
Some online reviewers report that the downside of this DIY scaffold tower is what others call its upside – its customisable nature. The basic package has barely enough features for you to use the tower safely – the manufacturer recommends tying it to a wall or some other stable structure. You really have to buy some basic safety features such as the stabilisers or the ladder.
If you’re looking for a scaffold tower to suit non-normal conditions, then this may be the one for you. We’ve made the Top Tower Classic 6.3m (WH) DIY Galvanised Scaffold Tower the Runner-up in our Best Scaffold Tower review.
3. BPS Access Solutions 7m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower/Towers
The BPS Access Solutions 7m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower is a taller version of our Best Pick, the BPS Access Solutions 5m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower. It has the same pros and cons as the Best Pick model but a few additional features due to its extra height.
With a 7m reach – that’s the height that a 2m person can reach up to standing on the platform at its highest point – this scaffold tower gives you the ability to clean out the eaves of your two-storey house or to repaint all of the vaulted cathedral ceiling in your lounge. You can set up your tower with the two included platforms at the different heights (in 30cm increments) needed to clean out the sloping eaves or to paint different heights of the ceiling. You climb the frame on the inside and go up through a trapdoor in the non-slip platforms.
The BPS Access Solutions 7m Scaffold Tower comes with four stabilizers that you put on the bottom of the tower to increase its stability. As you’re up 7m now, the extra stabilization is needed. Most of the frame is made of superior grade aluminium and is rust and corrosion-resistant.
Putting together the BPS 7m Tower needs two people but it’s quite fast. You don’t need any tools as everything fits together and either twists or turns to lock.
- Tower is 6m tall; the maximum platform height is 5.0m; the reach height when you’re on the platform is 7m.
- Two platforms are included with trapdoors to climb through.
- Platform size is 1.45m by 0.5m and gives you enough standing and working space.
- Hold up to 150kg of you and your tools.
- Tool-free assembly, everything fits together and locks.
- Four stabilizer bars come with the tower for adequate stability.
- Twist-and-lock horizontal and diagonal braces for stability and your safety.
- Weighs 52.7.5kg so you’ll need help moving it.
- Compact storage size of 2.0m by 0.66m by 0.2m; fits in smaller storage spaces.
- Manufacturer has ISO2001 accreditation so the tower is made to strict quality assurance standards.
- Needs two people to assemble.
- Assembly instructions are difficult to follow and are on the back of the platform boards.
- Safety straps on the trapdoor in the platform make the doors awkward to use.
- The paint peels easily from the painted parts e.g. the cross braces.
Take a look at the BPS Access Solutions 7m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower if you need to reach greater heights in your DIY projects. Even if you do so only occasionally, this tower is worth a viewing as it can be used at heights (including 5m) up to its fully extended reach. You can paint your first-floor window frames and then extend it to paint the second floor trim.
The four stabilisers included with the tower provided stability to the frame so you’ll feel safe at any height. Even though you’ll need help in assembling this scaffold tower, you don’t need any tools. However, online reviewers report that the instructions are in the form of difficult-to-follow diagrams so you have to figure out yourself how it goes together. They suggest looking closely at the photos on websites for extra help. And although the frame is made from aluminium, some parts of it are painted. The paint easily peels off and so will be susceptible to rust. Be sure to repaint these bits yourself.
Problems specific to this 7m model of the BPS Access Solutions tower include the difficulty of adding the platforms. Reviewers have found that the easiest way is to fully construct the tower and turn it on its side and then put the platforms in. You then flip the tower back up. This needs two people, some coordination and lots of floor space.
We recommend the BPS Access Solutions 7m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower if you need to soar to new heights in your DIY projects.
4. Stilliac Aluminium Working Platform Mini Scaffold Tower
If you have some DIY tasks to do at around ceiling height but you wisely don’t want to stand on a chair to do them or you feel unsafe on a stepladder, then check out the Stilliac Aluminium Working Platform Mini Scaffold Tower. Additionally, anyone with a strong fear of heights will feel safe when standing on this scaffold tower platform.
This mini scaffold tower platform is just that – a platform that’s 1m high topped with a three-sided guardrail. Allowing for a 2m tall person, you have a 3m reach with this model. That’s enough for you to reach the ceiling of a regular room inside your house or a decent height shrub or bush in your garden. All the while, you’ll be standing securely on a large platform safely within the guardrails.
The large platform holds up to 150kg including your equipment, the same weight that the larger scaffold towers hold. The lower part of the platform tower has braces on all four sides for stability. To get up to the platform, the tower comes with a three-step ladder that you attach to the side of the platform tower. The tower has two swivel castors at one end, and they may or may not be lockable, as reports vary. Even if the wheels aren’t lockable, the tower can’t move anywhere accidentally as the other end of the tower has feet attached.
The Stilla mini platform tower is lightweight and easy to put up. The manufacturer claims that you can do this in 30 seconds, the large platform unfolds and the safety bars pivot up or down and drop into pre-moulded slots. You reverse these actions to collapse it and it folds neatly into a 160cm by 60cm by 20cm space. Store it under the stairs or in your garden shed, or easily load it into your car and loan it to a friend.
- The maximum platform height is 1.0m; the reach height when you’re on the platform is 3m.
- Aluminium frame is lightweight so you can move it around the room easily.
- Holds up to 150kg of people and equipment.
- Easy to put together.
- Folds up neatly when you’ve finished using it.
- Small, so easy to load into your vehicle or to store in your shed.
- Includes a three-step ladder so you can climb up to the platform.
- Two swivel castor wheels for ease of mobility.
- Weighs 14.4kg so you can deal with it by yourself.
- Indoor and outdoor use with appropriate safety precautions.
- Strong and sturdy build quality helps you feel safe and secure when using it.
- Doesn’t have lockable wheels.
- Has only one height.
If the other scaffold towers in our Best Scaffold Tower review seem like overkill for your DIY tasks, then the Stilliac Aluminium Working Platform Mini Scaffold Tower might be what you’re looking for instead. This lightweight (14.4 kg) platform lets you work at ceiling height in the house and first-storey height outside. Made of aluminium, it’s rugged and hardwearing, and you can put it up by yourself in less than a minute.
One other downside may be that it only has one height (3m), but this works out well if you don’t do any really high-up DIY projects.
This is the scaffold tower for you if you don’t like using a stepladder or do just a few not-very-high DIY projects around the home and garden.
A scaffold tower is very much a specialist piece of equipment to purchase. It basically does one thing – lets you work at a height safely and securely. It’s not that complicated a technology – some side pieces, some platforms, a stabiliser or two, and the small pieces that hold it all together. But behind this seeming simplicity is some thoughtful engineering designed to keep you safe when you’re 7m or so above the ground wielding a paintbrush or even a chainsaw.
In this Buyer’s Guide, we cover the essential features to look for in a DIY scaffold tower so that the one you buy serves your purpose.
We start with what turns out to be the most confusing feature. There are usually three, but at least two, heights associated with a scaffold tower and you need to know them all. If you’re looking at a listing for a 5m scaffold tower, what do you think the 5m high refers to?
- The height of the tower?
- The maximum height the platform can be at, given that there has to be a guardrail around it?
- The highest point a person of average height can reach when standing on the platform at its highest point?
The answer is: any of the above including kind-of-c.
You really have to read the small print about the height of the scaffold tower. The height of the tower (a) will give you the height up to the top of the top guardrail. The maximum position of the platform (b) gives you the highest safe point that the platform should be at and that’s where you stand. And the reach point (c) gives you the highest point that a person 2m tall (that’s the average height they use) can reach up to and work at.
In most cases, a 5m scaffold tower refers to (c), the reach point; the platform point will be 3m (2m below 5m) and the tower height will be about 4m.
Be careful. Don’t buy a 5m scaffold tower assuming that you’ll be standing 5m above the ground. You may or you may not.
Scaffold towers are usually made out of aluminium or steel. Aluminium is lighter than steel but tends to buckle and dent more easily. Steel is stronger but is heavier to put together and move. Aluminium is usually treated to be rust and corrosion resistant, which is useful if you plan on using the tower outdoors or storing it there. However, aluminium is highly conductive so don’t buy a tower made of it if you’ll be around power lines. A third option is fibreglass. Fibreglass is denser than aluminium and so is heavier to set up and carry.
If you’re going to be using your scaffold tower primarily to paint your home then load capacity won’t be a big issue. But if you’re planning to take large power tools up to the platform with you, then you need to be aware of how much weight the tower can safely support. All the towers in this review can take a load of 150kg or 200kg – but that includes you as well. This seems to be standard for DIY scaffold towers but, once again, don’t take it for granted; read the fine print. And this is not a time to be in denial about how much you weigh.
We’ve left this until last even though it’s the most important feature. Be aware if you’re buying a basic scaffold tower that needs additional accessories to make it safe to use. These accessories may not really be optional at all. (See the Top Tower Classic 6.3m (WH) DIY Galvanised Scaffold Tower in this review). And consider going beyond the minimum safety requirements.
Here are some safety and stability features to consider:
Stabilisers can range from braces across the bottom rung of the tower to fins that attach to the legs and flare out to the sides. The shorter towers (reach height of 5m or less) may have just two stabilisers and taller towers should come with four. Feel free to attach extra stabilisers to the shorter towers for added support.
Braces are often horizontal, diagonal or a mixture of both. If you feel that the one or two braces that come with your tower aren’t enough, or that your tower sways or moves too much, add more braces. You could also add guy ropes or another kind of tether to the tower and tie it to the ground or a structure to make it more stable. And speaking of moving, if the tower has four castors can they be locked to avoid the tower accidentally running away?
Platforms can be wood or metal. If the wood seems a bit flimsy or doesn’t have an anti-slip covering, consider a different make of scaffold tower or make adjustments to the provided platform. If you get a bit queasy at heights, consider a tower with a base and platform wider than 0.5m so you’ll have a more solid-seeming place to stand.
Also consider replacing single guardrails or handrails with double ones. These are more difficult to bend or buckle and they give an added sense of safety. And check how you have to climb up the tower. Can you climb up the inside going through the trapdoors in the platforms or do you have to shimmy up the outside in the open? And do the rungs have an anti-slip covering on them so you don’t slip off in wet weather.
This Best Scaffold Tower review has presented you with an alternative to precariously balancing on a ladder to do DIY tasks that are above your head. You no longer have to use your paint pole at full extension while balanced on a kitchen chair when painting the skylight in your home. Scaffold towers provide a stable platform on which to safely carry out some of the highest projects on your list.
Our Best Pick is the BPS Access Solutions 5m DIY Aluminium Scaffold Tower which you put together without tools. This tower comes from an ISO2001-accredited manufacturer so it’s of a very high quality. It’s lightweight and you can reach up to 5m when using it.
The Top Tower Classic 6.3m (WH) DIY Galvanised Scaffold Tower is our Runner-up and lifts you even higher, letting you reach up to 6.3m. This tower is customizable and can deal with a variety of projects and uneven terrains. Maybe you think a scaffold tower is too large for your needs and a scaffold platform too low. Don’t worry, there’s another option. Check out our review of the Best Tripod Ladders, freestanding ladders that let you get close to objects without needing anything to lean the ladder against.
Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API