A surgical instrument is provided which is insertable through an endoscopic tube to enable a surgeon to perform a surgical technique inside a body cavity. The surgical instrument includes a shaft with a pivotally mounted tip attached thereto, the shaft extending from a handle for gripping the instrument for insertion to the body cavity. The tip of the shaft is adjustable to different angular orientations relative to the support shaft and is rotatable at any angular orientation of the tip. The support shaft may be rotatable about its longitudinal axis relative to the handle, or it may be fixed with respect to the handle, in which case the handle may be rotated to rotate the shaft inside the body cavity. In one embodiment, the surgical instrument comprises an endoscopic stapling device and the tip of the instrument comprises a staple cartridge which is rotatable 360.degree. about its axes after the cartridge has been articulated with respect to the support shaft. An improved device for articulating the shaft tip is also provided in which a control knob is mounted to the support shaft for providing sweeping articulation of the shaft tip. Separate actuator mechanisms are provided on the handle to control the pivotal movement of the shaft tip, as well as the rotation of the shaft tip and the rotation of the support shaft.