Ever watch one of those infomercials and find it so intriguing you have to lock yourself outside to keep from picking up a phone and placing an order? That's the way our Joe Terrell felt when he saw the commercials for the Little Giant Ladder System. Trouble is, he had his cell phone with him outside. This week, he puts the Little Giant, to the "Does It Work?" test.
It's the Swiss Army Knife of ladders. 33 different configurations. Extension, staircase, double sided a-frame, 90 degree ladder, and more. The first thing you need to know about the Little Giant Ladder is, it's little, only 5 feet 7 when folded up. But it's heavy. This thing is 39 pounds. This particular model (Type 1 Alta-One - Model 22) came with wheels included. That's a little bonus and it certainly makes it a little bit easier to get around. But remember, this thing, heavy. @ It all hinges on the big hinges in the middle. Unlock the hinges and we go from A-frame design to extension ladder in seconds. The Little Giant is rated at 250 pounds. Holds great, but there may be a psychological issue with knowing the thing hinges in the middle. The little ladders inside the main frames extend. And every couple of feet there's a hole to lock it in with retractable U-brackets.
This particular Little Giant goes to 19 feet. And what you gain in versatility, you lose in ease of use. Since it splits from the middle, to get it to its maximum length you have to work from both ends of the ladder to extend it. It's more involved than an extension ladder, and in tight spaces, certainly a little more trouble.
By extending one side longer than the other, in just a matter of seconds, we have a 90 degree A-shaped ladder that gets us right up against the wall.
And indoors, the Little Giant really shows its worth on stairs. This is our favorite use for the Little Giant.
"Does It Work?" As usual, a tool made for each task is usually better than a tool that does multiple jobs. But the Little Giant is sturdy and versatile. We give it a "yes".
There are many versions of the Little Giant available online. You can get the exact model Joe tested at Sam's Club for about 200 dollars.