Get a Leg Up: A Review of the HB Tower Folding Step Stool

Step stools are indispensable for reaching overhead items. Find out how a top-rated model fared in our hands-on testing.

By Glenda Taylor | Published Feb 9, 2024 12:42 PM

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Best Step Stool Review

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Step stools are practical solutions for reaching overhead without having to stand on a rickety chair or other unsafe surface. HB Tower produces a wide range of high-quality step stools, home ladders, and commercial ladders, and its two-step folding ladder is right up there in terms of convenience and stability.

I tested the HB Tower 2-Step folding ladder in my home and compared its features and performance with other highly rated models to determine the best step stools for most users. The HB Tower 2-Step stood out in the lineup, claiming the top spot with a combination of safety, practicality, and reliable design. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darned good. Ahead, find out what I loved about this step stool, and what I think could be improved.

Best Step Stool Review

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

HB Tower 2-Step Folding Step Stool: At a Glance 

Rating: 9/10

SPECS

  • Number of steps: 2
  • Materials: Alloy steel, metal, plastic (treads)
  • Weight: 9.24 pounds
  • Load capacity: Up to 500 pounds
  • Extra features: Padded grip, anti-slip feet

PROS

  • Generously sized step treads provide secure footing and enhance stability
  • Ideal for household tasks such as hanging pictures or reaching overhead items
  • Exceptional stability thanks to sturdy design, quality materials, and locking mechanism
  • Soft-grip padded handle makes it comfortable to carry the step stool wherever needed

CONS

  • Plastic treads would benefit from being a nonslip material, such as rubber

Get the HB Tower folding step stool at:

Best Step Stool Review

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

What is the HB Tower folding step stool?

HB Tower’s two-step folding step stool is portable and lightweight (9.24 pounds), yet it boasts an impressive load capacity of 500 pounds. In my testing, which included carrying, storing, climbing, and performing stability checks, this step stool demonstrated exceptional stability, even when subjected to leaning and jumping.

This foldable step stool measures 20.1 inches long by 19.7 inches wide by 31.5 inches high when open and 34.3 inches long by 20.1 inches wide by 1.6 inches high when folded, making it compact enough to easily store in a closet or even slide in the space beside a fridge (after all, accessing uppermost kitchen cabinets can be challenging!). It features a secure metal buckle and back cross brace that adds stability, while the large step treads provide a secure footing. I found this compact step stool ideal for household chores like hanging pictures and decorating our tall Christmas trees—it’s well built and locks into place when open for added safety.

Best Step Stool Review

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Lots of Stability

This little two-step ladder was impressively stable in testing. It held up admirably in various scenarios, including leaning, standing, and even two testers jumping on it at the same time. A metal buckle and back cross brace give it added steadiness.

With an anti-slip texture, the large treads provided secure footing and made me feel confident throughout testing. They’re much more stable than the narrower treads that can be found on some step stools. However, I would have preferred the texture on the treads to be made from rubber rather than molded plastic—just for added nonslip assurance in case the user has wet shoes.

High Weight Capacity

The HB Tower 2-Step folding step stool is specified to support a weight capacity of 500 pounds. During testing, two people with a combined weight of about 300 pounds stood on the step stool without any signs of instability or stress on the structure. While this testing did not confirm the ladder’s ability to hold 500 pounds, the secure performance made us think it would likely be safe for individuals weighing more than 300 pounds but less than the specified 500 pounds.

Sturdy and High-Quality Construction

The HB Tower step stool features high-quality construction and durable materials, including a robust alloy steel frame. The oversize treads provide a secure surface for footing and increase the overall feeling of sturdiness.

The step stool held firm during testing with no signs of flex or instability, even under stress. The hinges and connectors appear well made and should enhance the product’s longevity. In testing, this step stool opened and closed smoothly with repeated folding and unfolding without compromising its structural integrity.

The compact and practical design makes it a versatile addition to any household. The ability to store it in a closet or other small, narrow space means it can be kept close at hand, and users won’t have to go outdoors to a garage or storage shed to find a stool.

Best Step Stool Review

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Should you buy the HB Tower folding step stool?

Investing in any small stepladder or stool hinges on specific needs and priorities. Priced between $60 to $90, this HB Tower is slightly costlier than some competitors, but I feel the sturdiness and quality build of the step stool justify the investment. The HB Tower model is worth considering for those who prioritize durability, reliability, and a sense of security in a step stool.

However, with only two steps, it doesn’t replace taller ladders for tasks requiring greater height. Additionally, users who don’t need a load capacity near 500 pounds may find that a step stool with a lower weight capacity might suffice. The HB Tower portable folding stool is well suited for those seeking a reliable and stable platform for everyday household tasks, such as reaching high shelves or completing home improvement projects. Ultimately, any decision should align with an individual’s specific needs as well as where the step stool will be used and stored.

Best Step Stool Review

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Where to buy the HB Tower 2-Step Folding Step Stool

Get the HB Tower folding step stool at:

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.