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Little Giant Ladder v Gorilla Ladder

July 9, 2005

HI Gang,

Well, I need a ladder. I am thinking about the Little Giant. It looks great, easy and well made. I now see that HD has a Gorilla Ladder that looks like a clone of the Little Giant. Can any of you tell me how they may compare? I know that Lowes also sells a Werner that looks like a Little Giant. I need it outside to clean gutters, wash windows, hang plant hooks and bird feeders, etc. Inside the house I would be using it for painting. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Gang.


Comments (35)

  • sdello

    I can't speak to the competition, but the Little Giant IS "great, easy and well made". After more than 10 years, of what I would consider, greater than typical usage I still very satisifed.

    They are not cheap, but if storage savings and/or portability are a criteria then it is well worth it.

    Note: If you're not concerned with storage or portability then you can probably do better money-wise buying both a quality 6-8 ft step ladder and a 17-20 ft extension ladder.

    my 0.02

  • sooey

    Hey, sdello,

    Thanks you for your response. Everything I have heard about the Little Giant has been very positive. My Brother just got one a few months ago and has already used it several times. Your point about getting two ladders, a 6' step and a 20' extention is well taken. I'm sure that even buying very good ladders you would still have change in your pocket when compared to one Little Giant.
    Much to think about...thanks again.


  • mike_in_kc

    For what it's worth, my brother owns a large commercial roofing company. He and his estimators carry collapsible cast aluminum ladders with them in their cars and trucks so they can climb up and check out potential jobs. He says they tried the "Little Giants" some years ago, but they were awfully heavy-- too heavy to lug around. Wish I could tell you what brand it is that they use.

  • Don_

    Mike, I think this is the ladder you are referring to. Our roofing salesman had one. It is as slick as can be.


  • jrdwyer

    ClimbTek ladders are another option that are similar. I bought the 16' one for $162 on sale at a local hardware store. It is a bit heavy, but it is a good strong ladder. The accessories are a bit expensive. It is made in the USA. Here is the Amazon link describing it:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Climbtek

  • sooey

    Wow, thanks ALL! Good info. Now I have a lot to think about. I had seen the collapsable ladder before and worried that it would be to flimsey. I think I'll give it another look. I worry about the Gorilla/Little Giant being a bit heavy for me. I'm glad I asked, thanks for responding.


  • oberon476

    I have the Little Giant at home. I use a Werner version of the Little Giant at work. The Werner is a very good ladder and it is about 2/3's the price of the Little Giant. But, the Little Giant is a better ladder....I would estimate by about the amount of the price difference.

    The folks that sell the Little Giant like to advertise how light it is...garbage...that darn thing does get heavy if you have to lug it around a lot. BUT, when I am standing on the very top of the ladder (something I do not do with a conventional ladder) when it is being used as a step ladder, or when I am 22' off the ground when I am using it as an "extension" ladder and I feel very comfortable because this ladder is not moving at all, that bit of extra weight becomes insignificant. In fact I LIKE that bit of extra weight in those situations because that weight translates to me as solidity and it makes me feel much safer.

  • painterjo1818

    I own both the Little Giant and a Gorilla ladder from Home Depot, and I'd like to throw my support on the side of the Gorilla. The most obvious advantage is the price -- $99 versus $375 for the Little Giant. I see no obvious benefits that the LG has over the Gorilla. Both have welded steps (with caps covering the welds on the Gorilla), both are heavy-duty and strong, and both work great. I actually feel more comfortable using the Gorilla in the scaffold mode because of the hinges they provide. It also feels lighter, but I'm not sure about that. Of course, with all the benefits you get from these ladders, it's hard to complain about the weight. I say save the money and the time it takes to get a LG to you and buy the Gorilla. I wish I had known about it before I ordered a Little Giant.

  • kesca

    Oberon, Does the Werner stay as steady as the Little Giant?

  • doug1010

    i was in the same dillema... Little giant or gorilla? the info provided was very helpful, so thanks to all. My question now is, with the little giant ladder they have the platform accessory, does the gorilla have the same accessory available? All info greatly appreciated.

  • oberon476

    I am not familiar with teh gorilla, but it sounds like a good ladder. The Werner is also a very good ladder and I would not hesitate to buy one.

    In my experience (two Werner's and one LG), the Werner's are not quite as tight as the LG. But, that is very little data to compare with. The LG seems to be steadier when fully extended than the Werner's, but the Werner's are still a damn site better than any aluminum extension ladder I have ever used.

    I agree 100% with painterjo about the extra set of hinges. Werner also provides a set and LG does not. I think LG is making a huge mistake in not following that idea. That is a definite advantage for the Werner and Gorilla, IMO.

  • ebv923

    I just recently did research on the Little Giant vs. the Werner alternative. I decided to give the Werner a shot and so far I'm very pleased.

    doug1010 - You asked if the platform accessory was available for the gorilla...I do know that it is for the Werner if you are interested. I bought the Werner MT-22 at Lowes. I found the platform accessory part number AC18MT on the Werner website. I did a search for this part online and found it for around $35 + S&H at doityourself.com.

    If I decide to stick with the Werner, I will certainly invest in the platform. All in all the ladder really seems to have all the same functionality as the LG and is proving me wrong about going the "cheaper" route. Perhaps the extra money for the LG is really spent on those GREAT infomercials! :)

  • tkeenan1

    I bought the LG 17' type 1A ladder, and later tried out the Gorilla model at Home Depot. They appear to be very similar products.

    In the long run, in my opinion, more important than the brand is deciding what size is right for you. Buy too short, and it won't go where you need it to go. But if you buy a longer, stronger ladder than you really need, you may find yourself with more weight than you can safely manage alone. I find even a 17' multifunction ladder fairly hard to set and raise into the fully extended position. So if you need a 22' ladder, consider the type 1 LG (unless you are very heavy). If you need anything longer, stick with a conventional rope-raised extension ladder.

  • mike_kaiser_gw

    Both the Little Giant and Gorilla are essentially the same ladder with the latter being a Chinese copy of the original. With R&D costs reduced, cheap labor, and the big box economic formula the Gorilla is a lot less expensive. In any case, both are fine ladders and would likely be a lifetime purchase for the average homeowner.

    My person opininon is if you're going to own just one ladder, one of these is the type to have. The only drawback is weight but it's a small price to pay for the versatility these ladders offer.


  • wily_william

    On the advice of Consumer Reports, September 2006 issue, I bought a Gorilla, model AL-13, at Home Depot on Thursday, August 3, for $120 plus tax. It outranked the Little Giant ladders and was ranked as a CR Best Buy (at $100 in the magazine). The one downside is the appearance of the aluminum welds on a couple of braces: they're sloppy-looking--but apparently OK. Time will tell.

  • sacto_diane

    My understanding is that Little Giant had a patent on it's hinge mechanism and had the bulk of the folding ladder market. That is why they were able to charge a premium price. My understaning is that their patent has expired and you are now seeing the knock offs of the little giant type of ladders and thier hinge technology. I have a Werner that functions just like the LG ladders that I purchased at 1/3 the cost that I am happy with. I think that you'd be happy with the Werner or Gorilla makes of ladders.


  • vonhug

    My wife purchased the LG 22 for me for Christmas ($400). I tried to expand it to the full 22 ft length and it was not easy. The ladder that they use in their infomercials is the LG 17 which is easier to manage. In the infomercial you don't see Richard Karn put the ladder through its configurations, it is Mr. Wing who has done it many times judging from his biceps. Did you know that the LG also doubles as a weight machine! Although the LG 22 has wheels it is hard to roll around on the lawn or dirt and so I sent it back for my refund. Today I purchased a nearly new LG 17 on Craig's List for $50. I suggest looking for a used LG.

  • eal51


    I'm going to disagree with you on the ease of use of the LG 22. I purchased one a year ago at HD. Yes, the weight is about 42 lbs. But raising up to a full extension does not require large biceps. It is a matter of technique in raising the extensions.

    I wouldn't trade my LG 22 at all!!!!!

    Enjoy the journey.

    eal51 in western CT

  • qsuz

    What is the trick to extension. I am only 5' tall, and my LG kicks my butt when I try to fully extend! I looked for instructions but of course, there are none!

  • gardenerman

    I've had nothing but really good experiences with my Little Giant Ladder.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Little Giant

  • bobismyuncle

    I got the Gorilla ladder last year. I don't have enough experience with it to give a review one way or the other. But what I can say is Home Depot had it on their "Black Friday" (day after Thanksgiving) sale for about 1/2 price (17' @ $89). It is already much less than the Little Giant, but this made it too good to pass up. So unless you are in a hurry, you might wait a few months and see if they have another special offer this fall.

  • dan_t

    I believe, that I learn more and more everyday. It depends on who you ask and where you ask. I can't speak for anyone else, but I have owned the little giant for many years now.
    It is a little heavy but it now comes with wheels and that helps. It did not come with wheels when my wife purchased mine. I recieved an offer and put wheels on mine. I love it. I sold my other ladders not to long after I got this one. I would not trade it for anything else. It has helped me reach places safely that I could not have reached with a regular ladder. Hope that helps a little.

  • sierraeast

    Ditto the little giant. We got a 26' which at the time was the biggest residential they make. I had to have it that big in order to reach the rake walls when framing. It is heavy and akward until you get the hang of it, one being finding it's balancing point, but has been an invaluable part of our build. I got a deal that included the stabilizer bar, work platform, and leg leveler at purchase. All accessories that i would recommend. Not being the greatest at heights, i found it extremely stable and comfortable to work off of. The only downside is the weight, but i found that if i make the adjustments while it's laying on the ground and then stand it up, not so much a problem compared to raising or lowering while it's up in the air. Also have a 13' werner that is great for the lower stuff.

  • dmilb

    I have both plus a LG work platform. The LG is smooth operating, but heavy. The Gorilla has brackets for when the sections are separated. The Gorilla always seems sticky when sliding the sections. I have never had the strength or nerve to try to extend the LG to its 22' length.
    The LG work platform is great. Very stable. Using that makes it a snap to paint ceilings, crown molding, wide windows, really anything where you'd have to move every 3 minutes.

  • kaminokids

    I had a ladder accident years ago that left me with limited range of motion in my once-shattered wrist. While I have no residual fear of ladders, I'm much more concerned about safety and stability for obvious reasons. I've had the Werner 22ft. equivalent of the Little Giant for about 4 years now and am very happy with it. I feel secure on it regardless of the height. I liked the idea of the rungs being riveted directly to the uprights, as opposed to the plastic endpieces on the LG. My only difficulty is handling the weight and imbalance when you're going for full extension. On a typical extension ladder you're extending half the ladder while half is resting on the ground. With the LG type ladders you're extending 3/4 of the weight while only 1/4 is stationary. I might also mention the Werner is MUCH less expensive. Normally, cheaper would sound an alarm, but considering the reputation of the Werner name with the pros, cheaper was a bonus IMO.

  • kim007_shaw_ca

    Be careful when purchasing a little giant ladder.my ladder
    broke in to two pieces,when i was installing a blind.I was
    about 18 ft high when the ladder snapped in the middle resulting in me crashing down to the floor.
    Wing Industeries will not take responbility

  • MongoCT

    Well, I own both. Two 22' Gorillas, two 22' Little Giants, plus a couple of Werner ladders.

    The Little Giant has a smoother operating slide mechanism, the Gorilla gets a little sticky at times.

    When I slide the Gorilla to its lowest position, the bottoms of the legs always catch on the crossbars. Both have been that way since I bought them. I've bent the crossbars out, but they seem to just flex back in on their own under load. Not a huge deal, but it is an inconvenience at times.

    As far as mobility and maneuverability, they're essentially equal.

    As far as functionality, I find them equally useful.

    For the most part, the price is the only significant difference between the two.

  • sooey

    Hi Gang,

    I came in here needing some info on ice dams and found this thread from '05. Great info on LG/Werner/Gorilla ladders. These forums are really the place to go with questions like this.

    We ended up getting the LG17 from Home Depot. It has turned out to be a great ladder, but not perfect. If I used it every day it would be no problem at all, but for the occational user like me, it can be a pain to remember exactly how to get it to do what you need it to do. But, that would be the same issue with a Werner or Gorilla. It is also not a ladder to use in smaller, in home, spaces. I find it has a 'massive' feel to it so it is not the ladder I grab when painting a small bedroom, bath or even a hallway. For that reason I use it as my outdoor ladder and for that, it is just great. When cleaning gutters, getting on the roof, doing tree work, the LG is great and lives up to it's rep. When on it, I feel secure, safe and there is no sway or flex like I always got when using a aluminum extention ladder. I might spend more time figuring out the best way to get it into the size that is correct for the job, but once it is, the job goes much faster and I feel safer being on it.

    I really, really like my LG, but if I had it to do all over again, knowing what I know now, I would go for an in store, hands on test of each. Check out the Werner & Gorilla for weight, easy of manipulation, sway & stability. No need spending $325.00 if spending 160.00 will get you the same result.

    Thanks for all of your input.


  • mikevb

    I was just at Costco here earlier this morning and they have the LG MegaLite 17' ladder for $179.99

    That puts it the same price as the Werner 17' ladder.
    Since it is the same price I think this LG is a good deal!

    Here is a link that might be useful: LG ladder at Costco

  • brickeyee

    None of the jointed ladders are suitable for weather exposure.

    Do not store them outside, do not leave them erected outside, get them inside at the first sign of rain.

    The joint mechanisms contain steel components that corrode very easily (especially springs).

    If they get we do your best to get they dried out quickly.
    Liberal application of WD40 helps.

  • dkenny

    after several years of use..
    I'll keep my little giant ladder.

    user synthetic oil on the joints instead of WD40..its doesn't dry up..so the protection stays around longer.
    sorry cannot comment between the too..Little giant created the ladders.

  • brickeyee

    "user synthetic oil on the joints instead of WD40..its doesn't dry up..so the protection stays around longer. "

    While almost any actual oil lubricates better than wd40, almost none of them are better at drying the mechanism than WD40 (Water Displacing, 40th try).

    The coating left behind is basically a thin paraffin layer, not a lubricant.

    If the joints get wet, blast them with WD40, allow the volatiles to evaporate, the apply a better lubricate oil.

    Grease would be better than anything, but there is no good way to get it into the mechanism.

  • lbpod

    And above all, make sure and buy a ladder rated to handle
    your weight. Don't buy a ladder rated at 200 lbs. if you
    weigh 250. Actually, go a little higher, for safety reasons. Nothing sucks worse than being 20 feet in
    the air on a flimsy ladder, and below you is a wrought
    iron fence with sharp pointy finials looking up at you.

  • dkenny

    if you are at all concerned about weight..
    get the little giant..the 300LB rating is a joke..
    check the ads..think platoon..military..yes ALL OF THEM!! at once...

    yes WD40 will displace water.. don't get my wrong here.i've used to get a car running when the distributor was wet..
    but keep it away?
    NO! do some digging...gunsmiths won't touch the stuff..
    most oils dry up..you've never seen this in a motor?? like at attic fan...sorry WD40 isn't a lubricate.


  • M Compton

    I bought the 22 ft gorilla and I am impressed! I am 250 lbs and this ladder was rock solid even when I had it extended well past the roofline. As for it being heavy, I am 70 years old and I have no problem carrying or lifting this ladder. By the way, I just lay it on the ground to extend it and then raise it up. It does weigh more than a regular ladder but is not as heavy as some people are making it sound. I am very happy with this purchase.

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