So, I won the 'Guess Tim Leatherman's EDC tool' on Facebook last week, and received a brand, spanking new Sidekick on Tuesday this week. After bumming around with it for a few days, I must say I'm impressed with the build quality compared to a few of my other tools; I had previously sent in my Charge Tti and ST300 for pivot issues, which have since been fixed by Leatherman's wonderous warranty department.
The tool itself is not much lighter than the Wave/Charge, but it seems more compact in-hand. It is hard to explain, but it feels smaller than it really is.
There isn't much that hasn't already been said about the knife blade. It is sharp as heck right out of the box, and one handed opening for righties. What is interesting is the one handed opening woodsaw for lefties. I like it a lot, it works well, and locks up tight. It's a tad short for extended use, but it'll do in a pinch.
The pliers themselves are standard Leatherman plier-heads, with a few things that set them apart:
1) No hard wire cutter. Not a deal breaker for me, but you may want to look elsewhere if this will be an issue,
2) They spring open from the closed position. They aren't one handed unfolding pliers, like some Gerbers. They must be unfolded manually, like other Leatherman tools.
3) The handles, when folding out, snap into position, instead of slowly wedging themselves against the plier-head.
Going inside, you get five tool blades and a lanyard ring:
1) Short, serrated blade. It's less than two inches, and inside accessible only. Sharp, though.
2) single cut metal file, with a rounded slotted driver at the tip, and a tiny ruler on the back. I don't use files that
much, so no loss for me, personally. However, given it's size, I can't see it being terribly useful
3) Standard lobster claw can opener and wire stripper. Works alright as both. Can't stand it as a bottle opener, though.
4) Large, slotted driver. Outlet and light switch covers don't need screwing that much, so I question it's overall usefulness. It does work well for what it is, though. Better for light prying.
5) Phillips driver. Nearly a flat Phillips driver, it is about on par with the Phillips bit onq my Charge TTi; certainy serviceable, but I would prefer a full 3D driver, a la the Super Tool or Kick.
6) Lanyard ring, for attaching the tool to stuff.
All of these pieces are slip jointed, meaning that you only need to exert enough force to overcome the spring tension to close the inside tools.
Other things of notes are the includec pocket clip (win), and the handles themselves. They're really slippery. The tool actually reminds me a bit of my Vic Spirit. I keep balancing the Sidekick on my knee, and it continually slides off. Might be an issue, might not be.
The fun doesn't stop there, though. The Sidekick comes with two extras: leather pouch and a rather interesting biner. The pouch isn't the traditional holster that attaches to your belt. It resembles a small sheathe with two grommets as attachment points. It is a light brown, and fairly rough looking, but it seems well made and would hold up well.
The carabiner is a multitool itself, with an integrated cap lifter and hex wrench hole that will accommodate typical 1/4" hex bits. I doubt I would use it as a dedicated tool, but it's definitely a nice extra. The gate seems stiff (a good thing), and the construction seems solid. It doesn't feel like it will fail or give out any time soon. Two gripes, though: the lip that the gate slams into prevents ease of placing and removing the biner onto a belt loop. This can be a theft deterrent mechanism
The other is the body of the biner is square-ish. I've had issues placing smaller split rings on it. As a result, I doubt it will see much use.
Overall, I really like this tool. If it were closer to the 50 or 60 dollar ranger, it would be price accordingly in my opinion. Given the 40 dollar price tag, it's a great value. I will undoubtedly use it, and hope to pick up. A Wingman when it becomes available.
So, for the tl;dr version:
-Good array of useful tools
-Awesome pocket clip
-Ruler, and no hard wire notch
-Still on the heavy side