July 24, 2014

Outdoor Sales

Leatherman Sidekick vs. Wingman Comparison Review

The fastest growing segment of multi tools is the entry level market. The entry level multi tool is priced to be affordable and simple, but with Leatherman you still retain the quality you need in a good tool at a great price. Leatherman has in fact released two new entry level models. These are aimed for those with little experience with multi tools, or those who don’t require any specialty tools. They can also make good backup tools. The price on both models is under 30.00 dollars, making them an excellent choice for anyone who wants to enter to our multi tool community.

These models are affordable and still made in America. They haven’t shipped any production overseas to cut costs and improve their profit. Leatherman is still making their tools in Portland Oregon. You have to have a lot of respect for a company that doesn’t put profits before American engineering.

Leatherman Sidekick vs. Wingman Battle

Getting my hands on both tools I was impressed. I understood they were entry level tools, and cheaper than the average Leatherman I had experience with. I was expecting to find some cost cutting compromises, but honestly I couldn’t find any kind real compromise. Neither tool comes with a cheap feeling. Both the SideKick and Wingman feel very well built.

Both are attractive tools, plain and Spartan, made to work. The tools both opened smoothly with little effort and locked in with a nice little click. The tools do have a lot in common. Both are actually very lightweight and very pocket friendly. They both feature a 2.6 inch blade, they are both 3.8 inches closed, and both weigh around 7 ounces. The tools both feature tools that can open one handed, including the knife blade.

The Blade

Since the blade is similiar for both the Sidekick and the Wingman I’ll go ahead and talk about it. The blade is a 420HC, a tough and dependable blade that holds a great edge which is popular among large tactical folding knives. The blade length also makes them legal in most localities. The blades do have a small difference I’ll go into later.

Leatherman Wingman

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Screwdrivers and Pliers

Both tools also feature a small, medium, and Phillips head screw driver. I personally love the addition of different screwdrivers. It’s an incredibly frustrating situation to need a screwdriver to only find the one included with your multi tool won’t fit. Having multiple options on a budget friendly tool is incredibly handy.

Both tools feature Leatherman’s full sized pliers complete with wire cutters. Leatherman’s pliers are well known for their quality, and neither the Sidekick nor the Wingman disappoint. Both pairs of pliers were used on a recent car stereo project and worked wonders. The Wingman and the Sidekick both feature spring action pliers/wire cutters as well.

Leatherman Sidekick

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Unique Features

So we know what the Sidekick and Wingman have in common, and at this point they seem identical. In fact to the untrained eye trying to decide which is which is pretty difficult. You may find yourself wondering what the differences are. The first is the price point, the Wingman retails for around  21.00 usd and the Sidekick comes in around 28.00 usd Both are priced low enough to be affordable to nearly everyone.

The Sidekick comes with a saw and the Wingman has a pair of spring loaded scissors. The small saw blade does exactly what you expect it to. I like these small saw blade for close in work for carpentry products, this is where there small size comes in being very handy. The Leatherman scissors has never let me down either.  A lot of times these multi tool scissors are a waste of space and are either not even capable of cutting paper, or gum up too bad to use, or both in a lot of cases. The Leatherman scissors are a fine pair, and are capable of cutting thicker materials like jeans.

I mentioned the blades weren’t exactly identical. The Sidekick has a straight blade, and the Wingman has a combo straight and serrated blade. The Sidekick really doesn’t need a serrated blade since it comes with a saw. The Wingman which doesn’t have a saw can really benefit from the extra serration.

Leatherman Wingman Serrated and Straight Combo Blade

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The Sidekick also comes with an additional small serrated blade, not quite a saw, but useful for tougher cutting. The Wingman comes with a clamshell package opener. Clamshell packages are such a pain, and this little tool really cuts through them with ease. This is really a toss-up to decide which I like more and honestly it comes out to a draw for me. I guess it’ll be a personal decision for any buyer.

Overall Thoughts

I carried the Sidekick for an entire week, and then transitioned to the Wingman. Both served with distinction, and I really enjoyed the multitude of tools, and their light weight made them pleasant for pocket carry. Both fit almost every situation I found myself in. I can’t say it enough, I love the addition of three different screw drivers. I used them when replacing a computer screen, repairing a cabinet, and baby proofing some drawers.

While I carried them in my pocket there are nylon and leather sheaths available, as well as a MOLLE sheath for military and law enforcement. They are also backed by Leatherman’s 25 year warranty. There is a lanyard attachment included, and a pocket clip that can be added. The item is also compatible with Leatherman’s combination carabineer/ bottle opener/ hex nut wrench.

Leatherman has made two wonders with these tools. The Leatherman sidekick vs. wingman are what I’ve taken to calling gateway multi tools. They are perfect to get a little taste of the usefulness of multi tools. They may be resigned to backups after one takes a liking to multi tools. I can see them serving well, but being replaced by larger more expansive and more expensive multi tools. Even so they are incredibly lightweight, and easy to carry, so even then they may be every day carry tools.

 

Let us know what are your thoughts!

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