On most stairs, I walk backwards up a flight of stairs, moving the machine a step at a time over the stairs. This works best when the stairs are carpeted. You can also do this on most uncovered wood stairs unless the tread extends too far out over the riser. If the tread extends way out over the riser, then it is possible that you could chip the stair edge with the metal of the machine. In these situations I think the only choice is to carry it up, either by gripping the handle alone, or by holding the shaft with one hand, and the front end of the pad driver housing with the other hand.