GT Leatherman Wingman & Sidekick
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- Last updated: 15/12/2016
Leatherman have often diversified with product, the last time was when they began producing what I termed minimalistic multi-tools. The first was the Skeletool and a definite case of the less is more treatment, which some agreed with, whereas others did not! Other major players followed suit by releasing their own take on a stripped down multi. However, Leatherman did it first, took a risk and it seems got it right and the Skeletool became a best seller as soon as it was launched. Now we have their similar looking Wingman and Sidekick.
Down to Earth
These butterfly openers can be seen as two, retro-style yet fully featured multi’s using modern high quality build materials. No fancy Zytel side plates for grip but a couple of down to earth yet very well thought out compacts with a take us or leave us attitude.
On initial inspection, they seem very similar. However, look beneath the skin and they are configured to show as two quite individual tools. Granted they’re built on the same chassis but begin using either the Wingman and Sidekick you immediately realise they have their own characteristics! In fact, I’d wager Leatherman have never done this before, so they must have a good reason as either would initially seem to suit all needs! However, after detailing the build of these kissing cousins, a closer look at the different tool functions reveals what lies beneath.
The all-stainless frames share the same dimensions of 3.8” closed and 6 ¼” open, main blades being 2.6” in length and both multi-tools weigh approximately 7oz. You can’t see the carabineer clip cum bottle opener of the Sidekick as it’s held in the handles, at first you presume it’s incorporated rather than use the more traditional formed tool used in the Wingman. However, the Sidekick also boasts a dedicated can opener and bottle opener. The carabineer-style clip being more use for attaching to your belt or pack within arm’s reach rather than setting it down to potentially lose! Both have spring-action, needle-nose and regular pliers, wire cutters and strippers, removable pocket clip, wood/metal file, small and medium slot head and medium Phillips screwdrivers.
It’ only upon using either model, the attributes of the specific tools common to each begins to show, which will make your decision for you. The Wingman is slightly more domestic having a compromise part serrated blade and a long pair of strong sprung scissors. Those who want a wider choice of blade and saw will certainly opt for the Sidekick. So it’s not a case of being sold the same product twice moreover being given specific feature options in the same multi-tool design, style and build.
FOR - Well made and catering for different requirements
AGAINST - Not a lot
VERDICT - Good design, competitive prices and practical