The Little Giant Ladder has been a staple of TV infomercials and ads for years. It's easy to think of heavily advertised products as being little more than gimmicks. But the Little Giant Ladder has a number of strong merits—though some downsides—that make it worth your attention as being the one ladder that you own for all activities around the house.
What Is a Little Giant Ladder?
A typical six-foot ladder is called an A-frame ladder. The two sides hinge outward to form an "A" shape and two jackknife-like metal brackets prevent the ladder from opening any further.
The Little Giant Ladder dispenses with those brackets and uses a super-strong hinge at the top to form the shape of the ladder. This hinge is the real secret to the Little Giant because it allows the ladder to be formed into many different shapes.
Homeowners often have at least two ladders on hand for various activities: a conventional six-foot A-frame ladder for interior activities like painting and a straight extension ladder for accessing the roof. The Little Giant Ladder incorporates those two shapes, plus more, in one ladder.
Little Giant Ladder Shapes
Conventional A-Frame Ladder
Little Giant can become an A-frame ladder that is extended up or down.
90 Degree Shape
The Little Giant Ladder can form a 90-degree angle shape, so that one side of the ladder is parallel to a wall, allowing you to get closer to that wall.
A staircase ladder fits the angle of a staircase. One side is higher or lower than the other side so that it can accommodate the unevenness of stairs.
The Little Giant Ladder straights out to become a ladder that is straight and which leans against the wall.
Two Scaffold Ladders
A single Little Giant ladder pulls apart into two smaller A-frame ladders, or trestles so that you can put a plank across the two ladders and form a scaffold.
Easy to reconfigure into many different shapes.
Solid and sturdy
The "Tip & Glide" wheels make it easy to move the ladder.
Can conform to inclined surfaces.
Trestles provide a ready-made surface for a scaffolding plank.
Shrinks down to a manageable size.
Heavy to move.
Can feel shaky in extension mode.
Where the Little Giant Works Best
If you live in a condo or apartment and have limited storage or if you need to transport it in a car. The Little Giant Ladder fits into a regular closet or even in the back of a car. Ladders—especially extension ladders—suck up lots of storage space. The Little Giant really does shrink down to a manageable size.
The Little Giant Ladder is valuable for resting on uneven surfaces since conventional A-frame ladders cannot do this. Propping one side of a conventional A-frame ladder on the descending section of the stairs is ineffective and highly dangerous.
Downsides of the Little Giant
The Little Giant is heavy, about 25-50 pounds, depending on the model you purchase. Its weight is the reason for that "Tip & Glide" function.
The extension function has some give to it that may make you feel uncomfortable when you reach higher places.
For some, the Little Giant might be more ladder than you need. Ask yourself if you really need all of those different configurations.
The Little Giant Ladder is not cheap. Ranging from $180 to $495, the Little Giant's price is on par with that of other ladders.
Should You Buy?
The Little Giant Ladder is definitely more ladder than you need if you only need to change out the occasional lightbulb. For that type of use, you can easily get by with an inexpensive aluminum A-frame ladder from the local home center.
If you are remodeling your home, you might want to consider the Little Giant since it will help you tackle many projects, all from the same ladder. If you move a lot or if you live in a condo or apartment, the Little Giant does shrink down to a compact size for stowing away.
While the Little Giant Ladder is expensive, its expense can be justified because you don't have to purchase multiple ladders for your home.