Laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS) is a new minimally invasive surgical technique that presents physical and mental challenges to surgeons. Currently, LESS procedures are commonly performed using surgical instruments designed for traditional multi-incision laparoscopic surgery. A pilot study was conducted to determine which laparoscopic instruments were the most efficient for LESS procedures. In a LESS surgical trainer, 24 novice users completed a simple surgical task using standard (non-articulating) straight laparoscopic graspers and two different articulating instruments. Task performance was scored based on completion time and the number of errors. Analyses showed that the use of the simpler straight instruments produced significantly faster times (p = 0.004 and p = 0.014) and higher task scores (p = 0.005 and p = 0.021) than the articulating instruments. These results suggest that standard laparoscopic hand instruments enable better novice performance for a basic LESS task.