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Leatherman Wingman: not recommended 25318

No Life Club Posts: 3,652
Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« on: October 15, 2011, 03:25:52 AM »
I did this little review on another forum, but it really belongs here in the center of the MT universe.   :tu:

I received a Wingman yesterday from a well-known online retailer.  According to other intel here, Home Depot has 23 per store, but they aren't on the shelves yet.



The Wingman, which retails in the $29.95 - $34.95 range, is definitely a step down the food chain from its more expensive siblings.  The thumb pad for the scissors, for example, is tiny and not comfy.  I would go so far as to say its poorly designed.  And the rolled edges of the handles just seem a little cheapish.  The wire cutters do not overlap slightly to provide a cutting action as with other MTs.  On the Wingman, the wire "cutting" surface - actually more of a crushing surface - is not machined and simply butts up against each other when closed.  It has a 2-dimensional phillips like the Wave (though not removable like that of the Wave), but I knew this going in.  3D is always preferable.  Has a pocket clip, but no sheath.  The clip is good, and may be removable, though it hard to tell.  With the clip removed, that pivot/torx may be too long. 

Upon using the Wingman, it became apparent that the lock on the scissor would disengage spontaneously, which rendered the scissor inoperable because the scissor spring tension is dependent on the lock engagement.  Additionally, the scissor can be very difficult to deploy as there is no nail nick or other means of extracting it.  If it resides too far down in the body of the MT, there is no easy way to get it out.  Honestly, this design and implementation is like a Chinese piece of cr@p. When using the scissor, its very easy to push the thumb pad down past the opposite scissor arm, which it clearly is not intended to do.  This is due to the tiny, curved profile of the thumb pad and the play in the scissor pivot. 

After using the Wingman some more, it appears that the lock is solid when the scissor is deployed.  But when you start to use the scissor, there are some strange physics going on that cause the lock to disengage - at least on my example.


Teeny thumb pad on scissor.



Now, I understand why the Wingman is the way it is - more labor means more cost.  Even the Leatherman stamp is missing from the plier pivot.

I love the spring loaded plier.  Every MT should have that.  The blade and scissor each lock, but the drivers, file, clam shell opener and can opener do not.

But overall, I would advise against purchasing a Wingman because of its design and assembly issues - at least on my Wingman.   Poor thumb pad on the scissor that hurt the thumb.  Crappy lock which won't stay engaged and makes the scissor unusable.  A wire cutter which, while it may function, does not incorporate the design of the PS4, Wave and other models with cutters that have a machined cutting surface.

The Leatherman Rebar, which has not been released, is on some websites (not in stock) for $49.95.  Its basically going to be a 2/3 size version of the excellent Supertool 300.  If the Rebar is anything like the ST300 in terms of construction, which it almost surely is, its going to be a much better MT for not much more coinage.  Vastly, immeasurably better. Just something to consider. 

As the owner of probably 20 Leatherman multitools, this is the first that has not hit the mark.  Leatherman gets credit for exploring the low end of the multitool market.  They just missed the mark on this one.  Better to save up a little more and get a Juice or Wave, or hold out for the Rebar.  Used PST and PST II's can be found on ebay, with a decent leather sheath, for about the same money as the Wingman.   

I take no joy in dissing this one, but it is what it is.




No Life Club Posts: 1,014 "Live long and ..useful."
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 03:35:16 AM »
Excellent review and thanks for the heads up.

I think an entry level tool with an outside opening blade is still worth consideration.  I can't wait to get my hands on one.

I think the rebar is interesting but I just won't carry a multi-tool that doesn't have an outside opening blade.

:)
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,445 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 03:39:22 AM »
Thanks for the review.  Since I don't have one yet it's interesting to see what others think of it.  I have to say that I am somewhat impressed by the Sidekick- not because it's anything special, but because it's better than many things in it's price range.  I'd assumed the same thing about the Wingman, but now I'm not so sure.

I'll still get one, as if that was in any doubt, but I will keep your scissor comments in the back of my mind, because scissors are perhaps the most important part of a tool to me.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,789 What's the matter, kid? Don't ya like clowns?
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 04:45:36 AM »
Thank you for the great review of the Wingman. I know I said this in another thread but you might want to consider sending it in for warranty work/repair for the Wire Cutter and Scissor problems.

I'm the milk man!
Turd Bucket No Life Club Posts: 2,633
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 07:58:47 AM »
That is a Shame
My tool is awesome
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 04:47:32 PM »
The Wingman and Sidekick are the same to each other  Def.

I have played with my examples for a few days now, and I must say, my experiences on the whole has been positive.

I do not like the wire cutters. Anything you have to reef away on the handles in order for the blades to meet and do their job is poor at best. The Hardwire cutter isn't, but a designed stress relief hole...or so I am told (not having cut any hard wire with it).

The handles are very nice, and comfortable. I have around 20 Kick/Fuse/Blasts, and I can say with no qualms, that it was a real turkey shoot on getting one with razor sharp nylon inserts that would cut into the hands. The Wingman and Sidekick do not do that.

On top of that, the tool has a pleasant feel and weight to it. I was expecting far cheaper for the price point then what it turned out to be.

The scissors, I am not overly fond of either. I find that turned lip too small and badly shaped to use these scissors for any length of time comfortably . Something I am not at all happy to see change, as I found their older design far superior.

For what you get, pricewise, it is a steal of a deal. Some design issues notwithstanding.

Great review powernoodle. I always like reading other peoples thoughts and impressions.  :salute:

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,156
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 04:51:26 PM »
The Wingman and Sidekick are the same to each other  Def.

I have played with my examples for a few days now, and I must say, my experiences on the whole has been positive.

I do not like the wire cutters. Anything you have to reef away on the handles in order for the blades to meet and do their job is poor at best. The Hardwire cutter isn't, but a designed stress relief hole...or so I am told (not having cut any hard wire with it).

The handles are very nice, and comfortable. I have around 20 Kick/Fuse/Blasts, and I can say with no qualms, that it was a real turkey shoot on getting one with razor sharp nylon inserts that would cut into the hands. The Wingman and Sidekick do not do that.

On top of that, the tool has a pleasant feel and weight to it. I was expecting far cheaper for the price point then what it turned out to be.

The scissors, I am not overly fond of either. I find that turned lip too small and badly shaped to use these scissors for any length of time comfortably . Something I am not at all happy to see change, as I found their older design far superior.

For what you get, pricewise, it is a steal of a deal. Some design issues notwithstanding.

Great review powernoodle. I always like reading other peoples thoughts and impressions.  :salute:
except for, you know, the scissors. ;)

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Ambidangerous Mistress of Mod Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 15,038 I'm not all bad, I'm just drawn that way.
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 05:05:53 PM »
I'd still like to have a play with one, but they certainly don't appeal to me... your review might be the last nail in the coffin!

A dyslexic man walks in to a bra...

All my music for free: http://soundcloud.com/chrissyvandyke
No Life Club Posts: 3,274
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2011, 05:40:18 PM »
thanks for the review/thoughts on the Sidekick.  those scissors do look tricky. :-\ 

One of these days someone will come out with a stellar, light, quality, easy to
use tool with a pocket clip!  I've a few and am not happy with any of them to
make them a edc.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,893
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2011, 06:54:28 PM »
Thanks for the review PN. The Wingman really doesnt appeal to me at the moment. I`m sure at some point I`ll get one but I`m in no hurry to do so.

What? Enablers! Are you serrrrious? Where? I dont see any.
Hold Fast
Full Member Posts: 229 I shot the sherrif...
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2011, 08:55:06 PM »
too bad. A shame really, b/c I really like the looks of it. I was thinking it could be a great "upgrade" to a skeletool ( a bit low in the tool count), but I rather have a good low count tool, than a less stellar high count tool.
No Life Club Posts: 3,950
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2011, 09:19:58 PM »
I was not attracted to the Wingman and Sidekick even at first sight.
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,789 What's the matter, kid? Don't ya like clowns?
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2011, 11:01:34 PM »
I was not attracted to the Wingman and Sidekick even at first sight.


That's how I was as well. When I first saw them I said OH NOOO..... in my head. Its just not my style of tool. I love the traditional style and actually think I like non-spring pliers.

With all that said I am still going to buy both the Wingman and Sidekick to add the the collection.  :D

I'm the milk man!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,256 Armed with camera and not afraid to use it.
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2011, 12:23:04 AM »
Neil, there are more differences then that, but overall, they are similar tools.

A little Leatherman information.

Leatherman series articles
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,973
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2011, 12:38:04 AM »
Nice to know I'm not the only one who doesnt get along with the Wingman

There is no beginning,or ending,and for this we are thankful,cos now is hard enough to understand!
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2011, 04:37:59 AM »
Neil Gareth, there are more differences then that, but overall, they are similar tools.


Fixed. :salute:

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 32,156
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2011, 10:05:00 AM »
Neil Gareth, there are more differences then that, but overall, they are similar tools.


Fixed. :salute:
cheers Bob. :D

Dan, obviously they are similar MT's but my point was that there are significant enough differences that a person could like one but not the other.  If you read Powernoodle's review one of his biggest gripes is with the scissors and how they work, not an experience you'd get by owning a Sidekick.

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
No Life Club Posts: 3,652
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2011, 07:02:47 PM »
I suspect that I would like the Sidekick for the reason Gareth stated.  But then you are getting away from the El Cheapo $29.95 price which is the Wingman's biggest selling point.

A $29.95 Sidekick would be pretty groovy.  I'd be happy to lose the carabiner and leather sheath to the price down.  Because for me, if I'm going to blow $45 for an MT, I might as well start thinking about a Juice, Wave, SOG, etc.

Its also worth noting that like most of you cats, I'm not the average MT buyer.  I have dozens of MTs already, so the reasons that I buy are different from the average guy who is buying his first MT to carry on the job or whatever.  I could make it through the day just fine with a Wingman - even with the crappy scissors.  I just don't have to.  :)

No Life Club Posts: 1,793 I EDC a cell phone
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2011, 09:51:33 AM »
I love my wingman.
its worth the $25 i paid for it any day IMO.

The scissors on mine are great. =)
I think I got a really good one...I like how snappy it is.
feels like a USA leatherman...oh wait...it is! 
wingman is a good value.

Quality Control
Materials
Design
No Life Club Posts: 1,793 I EDC a cell phone
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2011, 09:57:24 AM »
I suspect that I would like the Sidekick for the reason Gareth stated.  But then you are getting away from the El Cheapo $29.95 price which is the Wingman's biggest selling point.

A $29.95 Sidekick would be pretty groovy.  I'd be happy to lose the carabiner and leather sheath to the price down.  Because for me, if I'm going to blow $45 for an MT, I might as well start thinking about a Juice, Wave, SOG, etc.

Its also worth noting that like most of you cats, I'm not the average MT buyer.  I have dozens of MTs already, so the reasons that I buy are different from the average guy who is buying his first MT to carry on the job or whatever.  I could make it through the day just fine with a Wingman - even with the crappy scissors.  I just don't have to.  :)

I agree...lose the carabiner and sheath on the sidekick to bring the price down.

Quality Control
Materials
Design
No Life Club Posts: 2,902
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2011, 02:44:25 AM »
I don't find the Wingman or Sidekick appealing from a purely practical point of view.  I understand they're new entry level tools, and for that they seem to be a good model for LM.  Once people get an idea of what a decent MT can do, they're going to want something better, and will eventually move up to a Wave or a Charge.

For me, the issue is weight and size.  They're just too darn heavy for what they offer.  Admittedly they are higher end tools, but for the weight of a Sidekick or Wingman, you can get a Wave or a Charge and have a better tool with more functionality.  If they were 5 oz. instead of 7 oz., it'd be a different story.  I know that's not a lot of difference, but for me it's important.  I do a lot of cycling and hiking and those small differences add up. 

The first Noble Truth: life is suffering.  Only by accepting that fact can we transcend it.
No Life Club Posts: 3,306 One Day Closer To Death
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2011, 01:49:12 AM »
I'm not sure if your's is defective or not, but I find you need to engage the scissor lock almost like the Surge's, but instead of pushing on thumb pad, you push on static part of scissor after you open it and slightly raise pad, than you get an audible click of the lock....of course they don't includes this tidbit in the info sheet.

BB :B:
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,810 Aggressive in defence
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2011, 08:59:51 AM »
I'm not sure if your's is defective or not, but I find you need to engage the scissor lock almost like the Surge's, but instead of pushing on thumb pad, you push on static part of scissor after you open it and slightly raise pad, than you get an audible click of the lock....of course they don't includes this tidbit in the info sheet.

That's exactly how mine is , once you get used to it it's fine .
No Life Club Posts: 3,652
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2012, 11:15:58 PM »
I'll take another look at mine, thanks.

Edit:  nope!  :)  I make sure that the lock is fully engaged, and then cycle the scissors about 20 times and the lock pops open.  Its not the end of the world, but its the first of my many Leathermans that has ever had a defect in design or execution.  I'm sticking with my "thumbs down" on this one.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 11:25:06 PM by powernoodle »

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2012, 09:41:51 PM »
I picked up a Wingman a few days ago. The scissors on mine are fine. A point about opening them, and not having a thumb nick... the entire spring bar acts as a huge groove for deployment and is perfectly rigid for this purpose... at least on mine. The scissors on mine also have no play at the pivot, and try as I might (within reason), I can't get the thumb pad to slip past it's intended stopping point. This is using the scissors right or left handed. I think the OP should seriously consider returning the tool as a defect.

I purchased the tool for an externally accessible blade, and had hopes there'd be the possibility of swapping the blade and scissors, since I'm a lefty. No such luck. The tool is asymmetrical, with the 'well' that the blade fits into being deeper than the other side. If you swap the two, the blade won't close. Just a head's up on that. However, on the flipside... the problems right handed users have with the uncomfortable scissor pad are not an issue to lefties, since the left thumb rests on the smooth roll of metal, not an edge. I can open the blade while holding it left handed, with an utterly awkward index-finger half open, followed by finishing the open with my thumb. That sucks, though.

The file is nice, the can opener works as promised (it's 'meh', but works), and the package opener ROCKS! I've opened several blister packs with it, and it works great.

As of this point, the screw drivers are untested, and the slip joint 'locks' (while fairly stiff) give me pause. The pliers and wire cutter also remain untested. I have exactly zero faith in the wire cutting ability, and assume the pliers are pretty standard.

It's a little heavy for my taste. The pocket clip will remain unused on mine (being a woman who carries a purse all the time, I don't intend to stick it in a pocket).

I was hoping to replace my current EDC (a SOG Crosscut, a Sheffield 12010, and a Spyderco Delica) with a single tool. The SOG's scissors are better, and the Delica is a very easily OHO blade, even left handed. For the benefit of improved blister-pack opening ability, and bigger pliers, I just don't think the Wingman is a win for me. YMMV
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,810 Aggressive in defence
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2012, 07:21:54 AM »
Did you find that while using the scissors they had a tendancy to push the material you were cutting out the scissor jaws so you kind of end up chasing it ? I actually found the wire cutters ok so you may be in for a pleasent surprise . May I suggest you remove the pocket clip as this will give give the tool a thinner and smoother profile .
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2012, 08:10:50 AM »
I've only used the scissors on paper. They worked fine. I haven't run them through any kind of paces.

I'm going to keep the clip on mine, because if I remove it, it will disappear in a junk drawer, never to be seen again, and since it's resides in my purse, if I intend to use it, I don't notice the clip or care. It doesn't interfere with trying oho left-handed, and actually lets me clearly know which way I'm holding the tool.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,555

Zed gb

******** *
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2012, 01:40:51 PM »
I love my wingman.
its worth the $25 i paid for it any day IMO.

The scissors on mine are great. =)
I think I got a really good one...I like how snappy it is.
feels like a USA leatherman...oh wait...it is! 
wingman is a good value.

$25  :D  we get so shafted in the uk  :-\ not sure on that converted but must be around £20  :think: i would buy one for that and im sure it would be great value for money,
Hero Member Posts: 911
Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2012, 02:46:54 PM »
I love my wingman.
its worth the $25 i paid for it any day IMO.

The scissors on mine are great. =)
I think I got a really good one...I like how snappy it is.
feels like a USA leatherman...oh wait...it is! 
wingman is a good value.

$25  :D  we get so shafted in the uk  :-\ not sure on that converted but must be around £20  :think: i would buy one for that and im sure it would be great value for money,
Hate to do this but it is currently about £16.50 ie about what we pay for a style.
Newbie Posts: 31
Re: Leatherman Wingman: not recommended
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2012, 03:33:17 AM »
I have a Wingman, and I am liking it. I got it for about $25 (USD). Its nice to have a tool I can beat to death and never worry about it. The scissors work fine for me. The drivers could be left unpolished to get a better grip on screws, but that's personal preference.

The only minor complaints are:
- I can't sharpen serrated blades very well, so full straight edge would be preferable.
- Hands tend to slip towards the plier head when holding tight on something.
- The hard wire cutters are less than great. I have to start to cut the hard wire with them, then move to the regular cutters to finish the cut.

It was definitely worth the money I paid for it.   

Took the red pill...

 

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