A surgical instrument particular suited to endoscopic use is disclosed. Various embodiments include an end effector that is sized to be inserted through a trocar. An elongated shaft assembly is coupled to the end effector and a control handle. The elongated shaft assembly has a distal portion that is adjacent to said the effector for insertion into the trocar. The elongated shaft assembly further has a proximal portion that is remote from the distal portion such that the proximal portion protrudes from the trocar when the end effector and distal portion are inserted therethrough. The control handle is articulatably coupled to the proximal portion of said elongated shaft assembly to enable the surgeon to move the handle portion to a more ergonomically comfortable position while carrying out the endoscopic procedure. Various articulation joint embodiments and locking arrangements are disclosed.