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Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review 3061

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« on: October 29, 2018, 03:30:23 AM »
So, you're deciding on an entry level MT from a big-brand MT company? You would like outboard blade and scissors? Smooth opening? Both of these can be purchased for about $30-$35 depending on the time of the year. Each tool has good and bad things about it. These are mostly going to be personal preferences, so here are some details and photos of the Gerber Suspension NXT and Leatherman Wingman. Given the example you purchase is the way it was intended to be, each of these are quite smooth in operation and are satisfying to use. in my personal opinion of course.

So, without writing a book here, lets get down to business. I hope these details and photos can help you make a decision based on your personal preferences. As always, please feel free to ask any questions and request other measurements if need be(but, please don't ask me to measure these to the 1000th of an inch).


Gerber Suspension NXT:

Weight - 6.91oz
Length closed - 106.8mm (4.2")
Length open - 163mm (6.35")
Width closed (widest part) - 42.5mm (1.67")
Width open (handle splay) - 73.7mm (2.9")
Thickness (including clip and screws) - 19mm (0.74")
Finish - Satin.
Blade - Outboard Semi-One-hand Opening Partially Serrated - Locking.
Scissors - Outboard Opening - Locking.
Phillips - Outboard Opening 3D #2 - Locking.
Lg. Flat Driver - Outboard Opening - Locking.
Med. Flat Driver - Outboard Opening(on file/measure) - Locking.
Sm. Flat Driver - Outboard Opening(on end of opener combo) - Locking.
Wire Stripper - Outboard Opening(on Lg. Flat Driver) - Locking.
File - Outboard Opening Cross-cut(on Med. Flat Driver) - Locking.
Can/Bottle Opener - Outboard Opening Combo tool - Locking.
Awl - Outboard Opening - Locking.
Short measure(mm & inch) - Outboard Opening(on Med. Flat Driver) - Locking.
Pliers - Spring Loaded with Fine teeth.
Cutters on pliers - Anvil.

Leatherman Wingman:
Weight - 6.77oz
Length closed - 97.7mm (3.84")
Length open - 156mm (6.3")
Width closed (widest part) - 34.1mm (1.3")
Width open (handle splay) - 66.1mm (2.6")
Thickness (including clip and screws) - 20mm (0.79")
Finish - Polished.
Blade - Outboard Full-One-hand Opening Partially Serrated - Locking.
Scissors - Outboard Opening - Locking.
Phillips - Inboard Semi-3D #1/#2 - Non-Locking.
Lg. Flat Driver - Inboard Opening - Non-Locking.
Sm. Flat Driver - Inboard Opening(on end of file) - Non-Locking.
Wire Stripper - Inboard Opening(on Can Opener) - Non-Locking.
File - Inboard Opening Single-cut(on Sm. Flat Driver) - Non-Locking.
Can/Bottle Opener - Inboard Opening(can opener used to open bottles) - Non-Locking.
Package Opener - Inboard Opening - Non-Locking.
Short measure(mm & inch) - Inboard Opening(on Sm. Flat Driver) - Non-Locking.
Pliers - Spring Loaded with Coarse Teeth.
Cutters on pliers - Anvil.


















« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 03:47:51 AM by gerleatherberman »

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
No Life Club Posts: 2,152
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 05:08:32 AM »
Thank you for the time for writing this comparison. Nice work as always! I am leaning towards NXT. Both have their strong point and their shortcomings. Everything seems better on the Gerber. 💪
No Life Club Posts: 4,052
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 05:09:03 AM »
Nice Gerleatherberman :cheers:
The Wingman looks a bit more pocket friendly size wise :like:

Sent fra min FRD-L09 via Tapatalk

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 08:34:30 AM »
Some extra comparison photos with SOG's closest competitor to the NXT and Wingman. The SOG PowerAccess - Now can be found around $30-$35 online. Main notable difference is *No Scissors.*

SOG PowerAccess:
Weight - 6.14oz
Length closed - 105.2mm (4.14")
Length open - 152mm (6")
Width closed (widest part) - 33.5mm (1.3")
Width open (handle splay) - 47.9mm (1.88")
Thickness (including clip and screws) - 18.8mm (0.74")
Finish - 'Stonewash' Satin.
Blade - Outboard Semi-One-hand Opening Partially Serrated - Locking.
Phillips - Outboard Opening 3D #1/#2 - Locking.
Lg. Flat Driver - Outboard Opening - Locking.
Med. Flat Driver - Outboard Opening(On bottle Opener) - Locking.
Sm. Flat Driver - Outboard Opening(on end of can opener) - Locking.
Micro Flat Driver - Outboard - Locking.
File - Outboard Opening Cross-cut(one side) and single-cut(opposing side) - Locking.
Can Opener- Outboard Opening - Locking.
Bottle Opener - Outboard Opening - Locking.
Awl - Outboard Opening - Locking.
Measurement Markers on edges of handles - MM & Inches.
Pliers - Compound leverage with fine teeth.
Cutters on pliers - bypass.













Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 08:39:19 AM »
Thank you for the time for writing this comparison. Nice work as always! I am leaning towards NXT. Both have their strong point and their shortcomings. Everything seems better on the Gerber. 💪
:hatsoff: and Thank you, Sam! :cheers:
I am feeling partial to the NXT as well. It is technically not as refined as the Wingman, but something about it feels "fun", if that makes sense. :think:
It may be the Saf-T-Lock system. I've always been a fan of it. :)


Nice Gerleatherberman :cheers:
The Wingman looks a bit more pocket friendly size wise :like:

:cheers: and Thanks, RF!
I would agree with the Wingman being the pocket baby of these entry level tools. It has the least hot-spots. But, with that said, the NXT and PowerAccess don't feel like too much for the pocket either.  :)

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 08:56:38 AM »
Quick non-technical plier force test on a bamboo skewer.
Left to right:
Wingman - 7/10(least comfortable to squeeze hard, but still better than most cheap tools).
PowerAccess - 9/10(advantage from compound leverage and somewhat comfortable handles ).
Suspension NXT - 8/10(comfortable to squeeze hard, and unlike the OG suspension, the NXT doesn't have handle flexing).

This post and conclusions are purely are subjective from squeezing the MT handles on each tool with about the same force.

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
No Life Club Posts: 4,052
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 09:15:07 AM »
Thank you for the time for writing this comparison. Nice work as always! I am leaning towards NXT. Both have their strong point and their shortcomings. Everything seems better on the Gerber.
:hatsoff: and Thank you, Sam! :cheers:
I am feeling partial to the NXT as well. It is technically not as refined as the Wingman, but something about it feels "fun", if that makes sense. :think:
It may be the Saf-T-Lock system. I've always been a fan of it. :)


Nice Gerleatherberman :cheers:
The Wingman looks a bit more pocket friendly size wise :like:

:cheers: and Thanks, RF!
I would agree with the Wingman being the pocket baby of these entry level tools. It has the least hot-spots. But, with that said, the NXT and PowerAccess don't feel like too much for the pocket either.  :)
It's no problem carrying the NXT in a pocket, but I don't like that it's so wide when you carry it with the pocket clip as it makes it impossible to get anything else without removing the NXT first.

Sent fra min FRD-L09 via Tapatalk

Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 60,291
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2018, 11:17:07 AM »
Excellent write-up and pics :like: I don't think I realized that the NXT and Wingman were so similar in so many different aspects :o the PA is also very close so this makes for a great comparison :tu: Thanks for taking the time to do this :salute: :like:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,397
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2018, 11:21:42 AM »
Thanks a lot gerleatherberman for this great comparison  :like:

Funny how I like some things here and others there...

Guess I just figured why I have a box of MT's and stuff :D
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 11:23:17 AM by MTMatt »

Formerly known as MTMatt
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2018, 12:33:55 PM »
Quote from: RF52
It's no problem carrying the NXT in a pocket, but I don't like that it's so wide when you carry it with the pocket clip as it makes it impossible to get anything else without removing the NXT first.
Another reason to pull it out and use it.  :D

Kidding aside, it does have a larger frame than necessary. It does work well in my work jeans (carpenter jeans) pocket with my cell phone beside it. But, it wouldn't jive well with my cell phone in off-day pants. :ahhh

Excellent write-up and pics :like: I don't think I realized that the NXT and Wingman were so similar in so many different aspects :o the PA is also very close so this makes for a great comparison :tu: Thanks for taking the time to do this :salute: :like:
Thank you, Poncho! :cheers:
I didn't even think about it until I got to thinking about what less than $40 could get someone looking for a new decent-quality entry level tool.  :)

Thanks a lot gerleatherberman for this great comparison  :like:

Funny how I like some things here and others there...

Guess I just figured why I have a box of MT's and stuff :D
:hatsoff: and thank you, Matt! :cheers:
Having MT options is awesome. Some days I want to use one thing and another day something else. Having a box of MT options will keep us MT-folks happy. :iagree:

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 47,194
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2018, 01:04:08 PM »
Great write up and comparison !     :salute:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,661 Master LM Squirt Ps4 And Lord of Navitools
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 01:52:24 PM »

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,596 Firm believer of Sturgeon's Law
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2018, 02:14:33 PM »
a most excellent comparison GLBM!  :hatsoff: I never really paid attention to the NXT but it looks so similar to the SOG and Wingman, two tools I like and I've had my eyes on (and in the case of the Wingman, I had two of them and enjoyed their features a lot  :tu:)

it definitely look like Gerber upped their game and has pulled out a big competitor!  :o

My toys:

MTs: Surge (2x), Skeletool CX, Rebar, Blast, Fuse, Micra, Squirt (3x), Wave, Crunch, Mini, Spirit (2x), Pro Scout, MP700 (2x), Diesel, Powerlock, PowerPlier (2x), PocketPowerPlier, Blacktip , ST6 (2x), 5WR, A100

SAKs: Bantam, Executive, Ambassador, Minichamp, Classic Alox, Champion, Farmer, Explorer, Swisschamp, Golf Tool, Wenger Champ, EVO 52, Pocket Tool Chest
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2018, 02:35:13 PM »
Thank you, TP! :cheers:

I do like the NXT. It isn't as well constructed as the original Suspension, but there's the weight compromise. The NXT is easy on the pockets, not just on the wallet.  :)

Oh, and you'll like this part. With a little practice, you can open/close any of the tools and the pliers with one hand (in mid air). :tu:
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 02:39:24 PM by gerleatherberman »

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,596 Firm believer of Sturgeon's Law
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2018, 05:52:25 PM »
Thank you, TP! :cheers:

I do like the NXT. It isn't as well constructed as the original Suspension, but there's the weight compromise. The NXT is easy on the pockets, not just on the wallet.  :)

Oh, and you'll like this part. With a little practice, you can open/close any of the tools and the pliers with one hand (in mid air). :tu:

so Gerber has the flick opener and baliong opener to in their catalog  :D :gimme:
love it when you can do that  :multi:

My toys:

MTs: Surge (2x), Skeletool CX, Rebar, Blast, Fuse, Micra, Squirt (3x), Wave, Crunch, Mini, Spirit (2x), Pro Scout, MP700 (2x), Diesel, Powerlock, PowerPlier (2x), PocketPowerPlier, Blacktip , ST6 (2x), 5WR, A100

SAKs: Bantam, Executive, Ambassador, Minichamp, Classic Alox, Champion, Farmer, Explorer, Swisschamp, Golf Tool, Wenger Champ, EVO 52, Pocket Tool Chest
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,515 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2018, 06:18:42 PM »
Nice comparison  :tu:

I have owned a Wingman before I dismantled it for parts, and have handled a PowerAccess, which helps me get a perspective on the NXT. I think ergonomics would be the prohibitive factor for me (as is often the case), and I found the Wingman overly splayed, so I think I'd really dislike the NXT handles.

The inboard tools do look like a good step forward from the original Suspension though, and they stack up to the other two tools there very well too by the looks of it.



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,549 Man of Multiple MultiTool Manufacturers
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2018, 07:44:23 PM »
Nice comparison  :tu:

I have owned a Wingman before I dismantled it for parts, and have handled a PowerAccess, which helps me get a perspective on the NXT. I think ergonomics would be the prohibitive factor for me (as is often the case), and I found the Wingman overly splayed, so I think I'd really dislike the NXT handles.

The inboard tools do look like a good step forward from the original Suspension though, and they stack up to the other two tools there very well too by the looks of it.
Thank you, AI! :cheers:
Yeah, the splay is bad and trying to loosen/tighten the screws, to do mods, is a gamble. They will strip out in a second if you're not careful.
The big handles are comfortable, but the tool is really never going to be more than an 'occasional medium-duty tool'. But, being cheap as hell makes it a contender for someone looking at getting an entry level tool. IMO of course. :)
Indeed, the tools are good and an improvement over the old Suspension tools. :)

Pontificating particularly pious positions pertaining to polymorphic paraphernalia. G-Man.
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2020, 03:38:24 AM »
I now have both the Wingman and the NXT.

Both tools have good points and bad points.

Wingman Pros:
  • Comfortable handles
  • Quality feel
  • I didn't have to adjust any of the pivots - the tool came perfectly adjusted
  • The scissors cut very well, making short work of plastic grocery bags and bubble wrap

Wingman Cons:
  • Too much handle splay
  • None of the inside tools tools lock. Non-locking drivers is a show stopper.
  • All of the short inside tools open when I try to get at just one. Or they fall out partway if you shake the tool
  • The cutters do not meet. I had to file down the tips of my pliers to get them close enough to cut solid wire and zip ties, instead of just denting it. Cutters are useless for stranded wire.
  • No saw and a dinky short single-sided file
  • Phillips driver is 2.5D
  • $50 on Amazon, 60 retail.

NXT Pros:
  • Excellent tool selection
  • Drivers have exceptional reach.
  • 3D Phillips driver is the correct shape to access recessed screws
  • Cutters meet precisely and can cut stranded copper wire with ease
  • All tools lock!
  • $20 brand new off of eBay. ~$30 retail

NXT Cons:
  • Feels cheap in comparison to the Wingman
  • All the tools were extremely tight, making it impossible to open the blade one-handed. All of the pivots are lock-tited and the Torx sockets are too small, and the metal too soft. They'll strip out and small vice grips are necessary to adjust the pivot tension. This of course damages a brand new tool. If I hadn't had the torx bits and the know-how, I would have returned the tool for being too tight. Using a torch to defeat the locktite isn't an option either, as the lock mechanism is plastic and there is a plastic cover on each handle as well.
  • WAY TOO MUCH HANDLE SPLAY
  • Pocket clip on wrong side of tool (ease of use issue)
  • Scissors aren't up to Fiskars quality - they can't cut plastic grocery bags or bubble wrap
  • Handles flex VERY badly when using screwdrivers
  • It's brand new, but the handles do not line up when closed
  • Like the wingman, no saw and a dinky file

So, both of these are entry level tools with pocket clips, which makes them suitable for EDC (for me at least. A pocket clip is my #1 criteria for any multitool). They're under $50, also important. They have scissors. I prefer a saw, but can live without one. So on paper they both meet my criteria. So which do I prefer? Well, honestly I don't like either one of them. They both have too many cons for me. The Wingman's miserable wire cutters and dangerous folding drivers mean it will never be a daily carry for me. The NXT's cheap flexy handles and too-tight tools are a huge turn off, but I could live with that. I can't however live with the absolutely insane handle splay. It's like the tool was made for a gorilla, it's just unusable by normal hands.

So... what do I use then? Well, what works for me is neither Gerber nor Leatherman. It's actually the Ozark Trail Multiforce. At $37.77 it's right in the middle between the Wingman and the NXT. It has a pocket clip, 2 locking blades (PE and serrated), a full-size file, and a saw as outside-opening tools. Drivers, can opener, and scissors as inside tools. It has the quality feel of the Wingman, and though it did need adjustment like the Gerber, the pivots use the purple locktite instead of the blue, and were easily broken free. All of the inside tools lock, and it includes an industry-standard 1/4" bit driver. It even comes with a bitdriver extension.  The handle splay is just about perfect. The only real con is a lack of warranty support. If you can live with that, it's a FAR better tool than either the Wingman or the NXT.

I do have a SOG PowerAccess on the way. I'm interested in seeing if it's any better than the NXT or Wingman. Stay tuned, I'll get the sucker this week!

Charles.
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2020, 06:46:15 AM »
So... after I posted all of that, I figured I bought a $20 NXT. So... if I start modding and destroy it, not much lost there.

I saw another post where people were filing the two wings off the handles to reduce plier splay. This worked, but leaves the tool a little too loose when it's closed. I didn't want that, so instead I took my files and removed material from the stops on the pliers instead. Getting the screws out of the pliers side of the tool is easy. 5 seconds from a propane torch and the locktite releases immediately. Can't do that on the tool side because of all the plastic.

I filed and fit and filed and fit and eventually filed too much off. So I grabbed the welder and added a spot of weld to each stop, and then went back and filed the weld back down, and came to a usable splay. My NXT now has ever so slightly less splay than my Wingman. I was going for even less, but there was just no way to do it and have the tool be tight. I went too far, so you don't have to. I can get my pointer finger between the end of the tool now, but I cannot push the second knuckle through. Any more material than that taken off and it'll be loose and floppy when opened.

The splay is still more than I like, but it's manageable now. I can actually use the tool and not feel like it's the most awkward thing I've ever held in my hand.

Now all I need to do are find a couple of pivot screws to replace the ones I've knackered, and it'll look new again :)

I'm going to carry this for a week, and see how I like it.

Charles.
Hero Member Posts: 899
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2020, 03:02:14 PM »
I concur with you, CC; the factory splay is abissmal. I took the same approach: removing material from the pliers head so that it kept its distinctive snap when closing. Also, filled in the stampings on the handles with paint and file, and polished the clip (for some bling). I also made a bit adapter but, it's been in storage as I have not taken a true liking to the tool because of the handle flex, and I've only used it for light duty around the house. For the price, its a really good tool (combo tool, drivers, scissors, awl, NAIL file; all good ones and, for price-per-functionality better than its competitors), but I use more pliers than anything else and for that, I have others.
 Thanks for your input!

Edit- Ooooh, and my gripe: I can't for the life of me, make a keen sharpening on its blade; I can make my MP's, Wave, ST, PST, even Revs hair-shaving sharp, but not the NXT's!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 03:13:33 PM by Juan el Boricua »
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2020, 04:56:35 PM »
Weird, because my blade came shaving sharp out of the box.

Oh forgot to mention, there is also less tip offset wobble in the pliers head vs the wingman. However, that flex directly translates into handles that don't line up when the tool is closed, and somehow the Wingman doesn't have that problem.

To be clear on the handle flex, there is minimal flex when using the pliers as pliers. In the direction of squeezing, the handles are plenty strong. I can squeeze as hard as I can, and cannot damage the tool. My palm, on the other hand, is not happy. (too many pointy angley bits biting into it). The problem arises when using any of the drivers. Torquing, twisting, or prying immediately shows the weakness of the handles. They're strong in one direction but not the other. I can't even think about extending one leg out to get extra torque on a stubborn screw, as the whole tool feels like it will come apart from that.

Granted I can't do that on the Wingman either, because the driver collapses and I bash my fingers and curse, and that, for me, is worse.

Note that even with the splay reduced to the minimum possible, and below that of the wingman itself, the Wingman is still more comfortable to hold, grip, and especially bear down on.

I'm really hoping the PowerAccess is better than either of these two. I doubt it'll be better than the Ozark Trail, but I'm going to give it a fair shake.

Charles.
Hero Member Posts: 899
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2020, 05:03:56 PM »
Good to know then that it might be just my one and not the series with the wobbly handles; overall it is a good, light duty tool with a good value-price.
When cash begins to flow again, I might buy a 2nd one to see if the handles are better.
And yes, too many sharp ends on handles to "comfortably squeeze to my heart's content"! :tu:
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2020, 05:39:19 PM »
This is how much offset the handles have closed. It will close and be somewhere between perfectly matched and this maximum offset. It doesn’t look or feel good when it’s offset like this, but it doesn’t really effect the usefulness. Still, it’s not gerber’s normal quality.

This translates to about 1mm of movement at the plier tips.


Charles.
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2020, 02:17:40 AM »
So, my SOG Power Access came in today, and I want to compare and contrast with the Leatherman Wingman and the Gerber Suspension NXT.

First off, let me preface and say that this is the tool I'd choose. If I knew then what I know now, I would have skipped buying the Suspension NXT and the Wingman altogether. The SOG is simply the better tool. And I got it for $33 off of eBay, with a sheath, bit kit, and an adorable little knife that is now clipped to my jacket's zipper pull. (It's that tiny).


Now... why is the SOG the one I'd choose? Well, let me not get ahead of myself. First, lets do the Pros and Cons like the other two tools.


PowerAccess Pros:
  • Compound leverage. I had no idea how useful this was until I cut a screw in half, barely trying. I tried the same screw in the Wingman and NXT and got absolutely nowhere, squeezing as hard as I could.
  • Excellent tool selection
  • Drivers have exceptional reach.
  • 3D Phillips driver with good reach (not good for deeply recessed screws like the Gerber, but still VERY good)
  • Cutters meet precisely and can cut stranded copper wire with ease
  • It has a file, and the file (at least on mine) is pretty decent.
  • Eyeglass driver! Finally!
  • Pocket clip can be moved to either side of the tool.
  • All tools lock!
  • $33 on eBay, $40 on Amazon

PowerAcces Cons:
  • Handle splay is fine for small objects, but for larger bolts it quickly becomes too much for use
  • Smaller plier head than either the Wingman or NXT
  • No OHO blade. The blade that is there is more akin to a letter opener.
  • No scissors or saw.
  • Pulling out one tool pulls out all the rest

The SOG Power Access is about the size of the Wingman when they're both folded up. Thickness and width are roughly the same, but the tool is slightly longer than the wingman. It's the exact same length as the Suspension, but it's a little thinner and considerably less wide. The finish is bead blasted, but it's somehow more of a stonewashed look. It takes damage a lot easier as well, scuffs easily, which gives it a well-used look pretty quickly after opening the box. Which I actually like. It has more tools (8) than either the Wingman (7) or the NXT (also 7). The tools themselves are about the same length as the Gerber's. The blade is a hair longer, the phillips driver a hair shorter. Longer awl, shorter big flat blade. Nothing really of note in tool size. While the main blade is longer than the NXT's, it's not as deep, and appears more like a letter opener than a knife blade. It's roughly the same sharpness as the Gerber. The file is full-sized, and actually useful. I used it on aluminum and mild steel with no issues - it cut well and cut deeply. However, using it on stainless steel did work, but it caused damage to the file. So the hardening is only acceptable for mild steel or softer.

The build quality is much better than I expected. The handles are made out of the same thickness of steel as the Suspension's handles, but have less flex when squeezing. This is likely due to the two pivots. Like the Gerber, there is a lot of twisting of the tool if you try to use it in a right-angle configuration, or hold it loosely while torquing a screw. However, if you hold it tightly closed while torquing a screw, there is ZERO twisting. How? There is a notched area on one end of the handle and a raised area on the other handle, and when you close the tool the raised area fits into the notch. So using a flat or phillips driver results in zero twist, even though the handles are quite similar in flex to the NXT. It's an absolutely ingenious little feature that I'd never have noticed if I hadn't bought the NXT first.

The compound leverage pliers are a gimmick, but they're a damn effective gimmick. I can see this tool being useful in ways the other two are not. I mean, if I know I'm going to need to manhandle big stuff, I bring my MP600. For EDC, I think this is a good compromise. Exceptional gripping force and power from a relatively small tool. I've already proven it far more effective for heavy-duty tasks (within its jaw capability). I cut a knackered Gerber Suspension pivot screw in half with this tool. Both the wingman and the NXT struggled to even put dents into the screw, when squeezed with all my might. In comparison... I barely used any force on the PowerAccess. I was preparing to bear down with all my might and the screw just popped in half like it was a piece of 12ga copper wire. It seriously felt like cutting through 12ga copper with a normal multitool.

The fit and finish on the SOG is above average, and quite a ways above the suspension. It's hovering right below the wingman in looks and quality feeling. It's far better feeling than the suspension. In pliers mode, there are no hot spots and it feels very good in the hand. Closed up, however, it might actually have more hotspots than the Suspension. It's not very comfortable to hold that way or grip hard. That said, the tool feels far more quality than the suspension. It doesn't wiggle or wobble and it has the least amount of tip deflection of the three, at under half a millimeter.

Now, I said above that the SOG has 8 fold-out tools. Taht's true, but it actually has a 9th hidden in the plier head when the tool is closed. The insides of the handles can grip a standard 1/4" bit, or a standard bit holder used in a drill. This makes the tool even more useful. I grabbed a spare bit holder from the garage, and used the bits that came with it to screw hinges and doorknobs and stuff all over the house. Then I used the torx bits that CAME WITH IT to disassemble the NXT to attempt a little modding. I didn't find that the bit slipped or that I had to grip it with all my might, as is a common complaint for the smaller powerpint. It just worked, and was a nice little bonus.

Lastly, both the Wingman and the SOG came with a nice sheath. The bargain-priced NXT did not come with one. The SOG sheath holds their bit kit, and that bit holder extension can be jammed behind the bit kit and it stays in place just fine. It's an excellent sheath, and can be vertical or horizontal carried. (Though with a pocket clip, it's hard to want to use it).

Really, for an entry-level tool, the choice is between the SOG PowerAccess and the Ozark Trail MultiForce. The Wingman and the Suspension NXT aren't even in the same class. And I would argue that both tools are worth getting and EDC-ing, for different reasons. The Multiforce is bigger, and it has a very large saw, PE blade, serrated blade, and file. The pliers are big and robust, and the bit driver is exceptional. But it's a big, heavy tool. It's the size and weight of a Wave. And that's good. If oyu know you're going to need all that functionality, it's a great tool to have on you.

But if you want something a little smaller and a lot lighter, which is still massively capable, then the SOG PowerAccess is the obvious choice to me. Yes, the main blade is more of a letter opener, and there is no saw or scissors, but it makes up for it with overall quality, an excellent tool selection, and the jaws to do heavy duty tasks with a tool whose size says "medium duty".


Also, I want to make it clear I'm no SOG fanboy. This is my first experience with the compound leverage pliers. I've had other SOG tools... and there was always some "WTF were they thinking" horrible design choice that turned me off in some way. Like the Sync II. Why would you make the scissors and file locking tools, but not the phillips and flat drivers? Why design the latest mini toolclip so the tool unlocks and opens as you clip it to your pocket. There's no reason to have another lock tab on the clip side of the tool. And even if you're going to leave it there, why not make it so the tool unlocks when you pull it OUT of your pocket, instead of when you put it in??  And problems with files that are poorly cut or in one instance not cut at all (I mean, one side basically didn't have any ridges at all, it was just solid metal).

If anything, I expected the SOG to have something glaringly wrong with it. But it didn't. It comes in solidly tied with the Multiforce. For an entry level tool, which one you get depends largely on how much weight you're willing to carry clipped in your pocket. If you're willing to go heavy, then the Multiforce has more tools and bigger blades. But if you want to go lightweight without compromising on strength or tool selection, the PowerAccess is the one to get. Or get them both, and carry heavy on days you're going to need a bigass tool, and light on days when you just want something in your pocket for that just-in-case moment that always seems to pop up.

Charles.
Hero Member Posts: 899
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2020, 02:34:17 AM »
Great review, Charles, thanks!  :tu:
Now you got methinking that I do not have any SOG's; if I were to get one, it'll be a PowerLock with scissors, and black oxide.
No Life Club Posts: 1,310
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2020, 01:04:46 AM »
I took the NXT apart for modding, and the handles actually straight up do not line up with each other. It’s not just in the plier head wobble, they come off the plier pivots at different angles. It’s a manufacturing defect. 

So i removed the plastic center piece, spring, and tool lock, and all the tools of course, and then it was easy to bend each side plate of the suspension chassis to the same angle as the other arm. So my biggest gripe about the way the handling of the tool is now repaired. That said, I shouldn’t have had to repair that myself.

Granted the handles at different angles didn’t really hurt anything in the usefulness of the tool, but it did detract a lot from the perceived quality.

I still like the NXT. It’s telling though that both the NXT and the wingman needed repair straight out of the box. The handles didn’t line up on the NXT and the cutters didn’t meet on the wingman.  The sog needed nothing. It is the clear winner in the “major manufacturer’s entry-level with a pocket clip” category.  The more I carry the sog the more I’m appreciating it. It’s a supremely useful tool.

For second place, things are murkier. It would depend what’s more important to you. Fit and finish, a large blade, and large scissors... or a superior selection of locking tools. If you have bear hands, the nxt is a good choice. If large handle splay irritates you and you’re not into modding tools, then it might be a hard pass. For me, I can’t live with screwdrivers that just don’t work. If they fold up, they’re worse than useless - they’re dangerous. So the NXT, even with its serious flaws, would be my second choice. Especially at the $20 price point.

The wingman has a great blade and good scissors, but the rest of the tools just suck. It’s over priced and the cutters don’t work. It does feel amazing in the hand, and it certainly looks good clipped into molle webbing... but it’s just not a good tool for using every day. Last place.

And to be clear, the multiforce is probably the best tool of this bunch, and it’s definitely an entry level tool in terms of price. It is not however from a major manufacturer. It’s still one of my all time favorite budget tools, and one of my all time favorite tools period.

For me, I’d get the multiforce and the PowerAccess and decide which to carry based on how heavy I want my pants to be and what I expect to be working on.

Charles.
Hero Member Posts: 899
Re: Gerber Suspension NXT vs. Leatherman Wingman Photo Comparison Overview Review
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2020, 01:15:31 AM »
Thanks for the review, CC! I would've probably ranked them the same. :tu:

 

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