I recently received a Leatherman Sidekick in one of MTO's fine
giveaways (for which I am sincerely grateful), and thought it only fair that I do a quick mini-review of this model. Several months ago I looked at the Wingman, and it did not fair so well, in large part because the scissor on my example failed to lock open and because the scissor thumb pad was essentially non-functional. http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,32035.0.html.
Other folks seemed not to have the scissor problem, and the Wingman has generally been well-received.
As for the Sidekick, I am well pleased with it. It arrives in your mailbox with a thin leather sleeve and carabiner accessory sporting a hex bit driver and bottle opener. The Sidekick has a clip and does not ship with a belt sheath, though one can be purchased at minimal cost.
Like the Wingman, the Sidekick is billed by Leatherman as an entry level multitool. According to the LM website, it is "a great choice for first-time users . . . a handy second backup, [and] you can't beat the value of the Sidekick." I regard the Sidekick's value as both its primary selling point and main detraction. At $32.95 shipped on ebay, its a good tool for the budget minded, or to give away or keep in the vehicle or EDC bag. For seasoned MT addicts, lack of refinement may be a detraction.
The primary selling points of the Sidekick include its value pricing, full selection of tools and spring-loaded plier. It pack both a flat and phillips driver (though the latter is essentially 2-dimensional), blade, saw, mini file, can opener and mini serrated blade. The tools deploy easily, though only the main blade and saw will lock open. The Sidekick is finished well (for its price point) and the two main blades are outside accessible.The Wingman is distinguished from the Sidekick by its inclusion of a scissor and clam shell opener, and lack of saw and serrated mini-blade.The Sidekick's 2.5" saw.
What the Sidekick gives up to its more spendy siblings are the truncated size of the file and serrated blade (with a truly tiny 1.5" cutting surface), single cross hatching on the peewee file, and unmilled wire "cutter" which pinches but is not sharp or otherwise milled and does not actually "cut". But more refinement in this area would drive up the price, and the Sidekick would no longer be a value model, so I get it.Wire "cutter", which is not sharp and does not touch. More of a pincher really.
I like this MT, though, and its characterization as mutt of the Leatherman litter gives it a certain underdog appeal. Unlike the Wingman with its non-functioning scissor (again, on my example only), my Sidekick functions as it is supposed to. I give the Sidekick a thumbs up for its intended market: entry level buyers, gift givers, backup, beater, etc. For the rest of us, its probably worth saving up for a Rebar or one of Leatherman's other fine offerings. But I like this one very much, and it is getting plenty of pocket time.