A low-quality, old, or shaky step stool is a serious safety concern. Even though you are only up a few steps — maybe 2 or 3 feet — a fall could still be really serious. So we all need to make sure we are standing on strong, stable step stools. With that in mind I decided to move on from my nearly broken step stool and upgrade to a Little Giant Ladders 4-Step. Read on for the full review.
Little Giant Ladder Systems Jumbo Step Specs
- Steps: 4 (also sold in 2- and 3-step models)
- Maximum Weight: 375 pounds
- Rating: Type IAA duty-rated
- Top-step height: 2′ 11″
- Maximum Reach Height: Over 9′
- Weight: 19.5 pounds
Jumbo Step 4-Step Rationale
When doing home improvement work, I’ve noticed that I’m on a step or step ladder quite often. A step ladder can be super useful for work indoors, but I’ve found that I tend to use them casually and I was not exercising the same level of caution when using them that I would when using a ladder.
With this in mind, I decided to get rid of my old, rickety step ladder that I had been gifted to me and upgrade to the Little Giant Ladders Jumbo 4-Step Step Stool. This model costs about twice what I expected to spend relative to a nice step ladder from a company like Rubbermaid, but I thought it would be worth it.
Using The Jumbo 4-Step Ladder
If you are looking for a wide, stable step ladder, anything from Little Giants is aimed at you. These step ladders range from high-end home grade to professional grade, depending on which models you get.
My step ladder (model 10410BA) has 4 steps, which bring me to a standing height of about 3 feet. It’s made mostly of aircraft-grade aluminum which means it’s sturdy and relatively light. It folds to a depth of just 5.5 inches and has steps that are super wide at about 6 inches in depth!
This model has a weight capacity of 300 pounds (ANSI Type IA certified) which is a strong indicator of quality.
Please note, because this confused me for some time: I bought the Jumbo Step Ladder, there is also a Safety Step Ladder, which is the pro model. That model has grip tape on the steps and a weight capacity of 375 pounds. It costs about $50 more than the standard model.
Both models have a handle rail, which is an important safety feature but also gives you a work area that incredibly convenient when you are doing something that takes a long time, like installing a ceiling fan.
Using the Little Giant has been great. I’m about 4 months in and I’ve painted some ceilings, installed two fans, changed smoke detectors, installed light fixtures, torn down and replaced garage shelving, fixed a garage door opener, cedar-lined a closet and done much more. I’ve found the Jumbo Step ladder to be extremely stable and easy to work on. It can more than support my weight and provides a very secure platform for lighting and leaning.
I really like the safety rail, which swings up and locks above the top step. This prevents you from leaning over too far, and it is a major reason why a step ladder is a safer option than a step stool.
This safety rail has a shelf on it with an area for holding nails, screws, and other small things, as well as holes in it for placing a hammer, impact driver, or stapler. The only thing it can’t accomodate well are larger, narrow things, like screwdrivers.
Downsides Of The Jumbo Step
While I have really enjoyed the Jumbo 4-Step step ladder and I think it’s worth the money, it’s not a perfect product. I have two main issues with it.
First, I don’t like how the step ladder opens and closes. A pro-grade tool like this should lock open and lock closed. When moving it around when it’s closed the ladder wants to open, which is annoying and can lead to pinched fingers. The safety rail does lock open, but I have a problem with this as well because it closely too quickly and can badly pinch fingers or hands if it’s not closed with care.
Second, and lastly, the step ladder is quite heavy at nearly 30 pounds. I know, you can’t have something that is overbuilt but also light, and I’ve rather have a step ladder that is secure but heavy than flimsy and light, but it’s still a hassle to carry around your home. This is made worse by the fact that is doesn’t lock shut.
Overall, this is the best step ladder that I’ve used and I highly recommend it if you are OK with its weight.