A handle for a laparoscopic instrument is provided for manipulating a distal laparoscopic tool. The handle includes a casing, a pivot handle pivotally attached to the casing, and an actuating shaft mechanism extending outward from the casing. Attached at the distal end of the actuating shaft opposite the casing is the laparoscopic surgical tool. The actuating shaft mechanism is longitudinally movable in a first direction by a pivotal movement of the pivot handle for manipulating the laparoscopic tool. A detent carried by the casing allows movement of the shaft longitudinally in the first direction while restraining longitudinal movement of the shaft in a second opposite direction. A thumb wheel attached to the actuating shaft mechanism allows the actuating shaft mechanism to be rotated for further manipulating the laparoscopic tool.