A few years ago, Little Giant released the Select Step, bringing their extending, transforming ladder concept to the stepladder. I’ve owned one since it came out and have used it on a variety of jobsites where it has received unanimous praise from guys in just about every trade. Basically, everyone loves the thing and there are a lot of reasons why.
The Select Step can do quite a bit. At it’s most basic, it’s an aluminum stepladder that can be adjusted to a height of approximately five, six, seven, or eight feet. Unlike the traditional Little Giant Ladder with its awkward pin system, the locking mechanisms on the Select Step are simple and very user-friendly. One side moves when two locking handles are pressed in and the other side unlocks with the twist of a large handle. The sliding motion is smooth and it’s easy to locate and lock in the different stops up and down the rungs.
The ladder legs can also be adjusted to different lengths which allows you to set it up on stairs, a ramp, or hard against a wall. One of my electricians, who was hanging lights, really appreciated this feature, especially with the large pendent hanging in the stairwell.
The Select Step also comes with something called the AirDeck. It’s a multi-position tool tray that can be attached to the top of the ladder. In one position, it sits horizontally and in the other configuration, it sticks up from the top of the ladder and acts as a handrail. Even in this vertical position, the platform can be pivoted to horizontal to you still have a place to put your tools. When not in use, the tray clicks into the ladder for easy storage.
The great thing is that the AirDeck provides enough tool storage that once you go up on the ladder, you may not need to ever come down. It has 14 different tool holes, a magnetized tray, a spot for a paint can and two notches that are designed to secure extension cords or air hoses. This is all in addition to the standard storage at the top of the ladder itself.
The trade-off of all of this functionality is weight. The Little Giant is pretty heavy when compared to a 6-fiberglass ladder. Because there are really four sets of rungs, even when it’s compacted to its smallest size I found it difficult and awkward to carry around on my shoulder. If you have to go up and down a set of stairs multiple times in a day, this ladder gets old pretty quick.
So it’s a great ladder, but not for everything. A regular fiberglass step is going to be better for quick trips to a site or for a fast-paced task like putting in light bulbs at the end of a job. But if you’re setting up to work in one spot for a while, this is the perfect ladder to use.
Select Step Specs
Load Rating: A1; 300 pounds
Height: adjusts 5-8 feet (large model available; 6-10 feet)
Material: aluminum (also available in fiberglass)
Country of origin: China