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Leatherman Wingman: not recommended

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by powernoodle, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member Gold Member Platinum Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Note: after posting my initial thoughts about the Wingman in this thread, I determined that the Wingman is not something I would recommend. I edited this post after brothers Skyhorse and Wharn made their posts.

    I received a Wingman yesterday from a well-known online retailer. 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 [email protected] 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.

    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.


    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  2. skyhorse


    Jan 30, 2010
    Thanks for the photos and you're review of the Wingman,Noodle!:thumbup:I'll be looking forward to seeing the Rebar.
  3. Wharn

    Wharn Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    Thanks for the review man. You can be my wingman anytime. Wait no I did not just say that.
  4. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member Gold Member Platinum Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    First post edited, thanks.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  5. quattromori


    May 7, 2011
    I was curious to read some review about it. I'm not a MT fan as you, but I like them, I find them useful, and also they make great gifts.
    Honestly, this one sounded kind of "wrong" to me from the first time I saw it, even though I couldn't explain why.
    I own an entry level LM and I'm very happy with it. Maybe they wanted to add more tools and features at the same low price, and the general quality of the product was affected.
    Thanks for the review.
  6. Chris Pierce

    Chris Pierce

    Nov 15, 2006
    I like the idea of a multi tool in general. I like the idea of sprung jaws. I like the price point on this tool but I don't think I'll pick one up after reading your review.
  7. IUKE12


    Nov 25, 2005
    Nice pics there powernoodle. I can see just how cheesy those scissors truly are. This is one I'm staying far away from thanks to you. The Rebar sounds promising however.
  8. JNieporte


    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks for the scoop. If you're at all interested in trading your Wingman, let me know. There are a few things I think I can engineer to make it better.
  9. JoeBW


    Jun 12, 2004

    Until your Wingman breaks in a bit, push down on the Scissors tip after you open it. I think you'll find the lock snaps in pretty well. Yes - I do have two of them and that's what I've found.

    Best - Joe
  10. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member Gold Member Platinum Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Good idea, Joe, that might do the trick.
  11. skyhorse


    Jan 30, 2010
    I got you're drift Noodle,that you weren't too stoked on the Wingman.Good or bad,it's nice too get you're take on a new multi.:thumbup:
  12. Varg Lobos

    Varg Lobos

    May 20, 2007
    I saw the Wingman and Sidekick for sale last weekend at the local Scheel's Sporting Goods store. They were in a clam pack and I could tell they weren't for me. I, like powernoodle own around 20 Leatherman's(and they are my favorite multi-tool), but I could tell that these were too "cheaply" made for me.

    Looking forward to the Rebar- the black oxide looks nice on that one.
  13. Revvie


    Dec 30, 1999
    Thanks for the post Powernoodle, I've got a few Leatherman tools and still like the OLDDD PST the best of all of them - then the Micra - I "bit" on a combo Freestyle and Style PS - not all that impressed for the buck I like the "Fuse" as a pretty basic tool - I really thought I'd like that wingman from the words but now seeing the pictures I'll just keep what I've got@! Thanks again.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  14. lava_lamp


    Oct 5, 2006
    Thanks for sharing. I'm typically reluctant to slam a brand as a whole, but I've owned several Leatherman multi-tools and a few of the knives. I broke the screwdriver on one of the knives with normal use and the multitools developed rust. In use, I've found the multitools to be clumsy. They have good pliers and bad everything else. They seem overpriced compared to the competition, as well.
  15. xrbl


    Oct 19, 2011
    I argree with many of the critics above(although the scissors on mine seem fine) and would add my pet peeve with so many folding knives and tools, the knife blade could have been almost 1/2 an inch longer and fit in the same space! Also the file should be 2(or 3) sided insted of the rediculous attempt at a ruler on the flip side and whats with that package opener? Isn't that what a knife is for? I'm a fan of a secondary blade for dulling or destructive cutting jobs. BUT before you discount the Wingman note that it offers alot of pocketable utility at a Great price and if you've ever lost one or had to sacrifice a major component for the greater good you know the downside of a $50 or $100 unit.

    Additional thought; I don't see a need for the scissor to be acessable when the tool is folded, if it had been on the inside there would have been room for an additional blade, saw or file.
  16. ed_bltn


    Apr 7, 2011
    And their advertising campaign for it is really, really lame IMO. I do like Leatherman's tools, and I hope they do better with Rebar.
  17. Bordercollie


    Oct 26, 2011
    I'm an avid collector of multi-tools, mainly American made ones. I have purchased numerous Leathermans over the years. I also collect Gerber, Schrade, Victorinox, Wenger, Paladin, Sog and etc. The Wave is by far the best tool that Leatherman has ever designed. I was so excited when I found out that Leatherman had released two new tools that I went ahead and ordered both the Wingman and the Sidekick just to add to my collection. Luckily I ordered them over a month ago and paid only 29.99 and 39.99 respectively on Amazon. Since then their prices have gone up about $5.00 each. I still got the free shipping. It was a good feeling getting the knives just released and being able to check them out for the first time. I have to agree very strongly with "Powernoodle." These two brand new Leathermans just don't have the traditional quality that Leathermans have. Good thing they still have the 25 year warranty on them. I'm sure they will be getting a lot of returns for repair and/or replacements. Grant it, I will keep them just for the sake of my collection but I do agree that Leatherman is going in the wrong direction with these two tools. Guess they wanted them affordable for everyone to possess. The sheath that was included with the Wingman was a joke. Two cheap pieces of cowhide sown together in China. I currently use the Carabiner to attach my keys to the belt loop of my pants.
    After reading Powernoodles review I quickly ordered the Rebar and I'm anxiously awaiting it.
  18. Seals


    Oct 12, 2007
    Im a huge fan and user of leatherman mt's with the Wave being my favorite go to tool.Im glad i saw this review as it looked like a good piece for the money.Apparently its just one more example of "you get what you pay for"
  19. jonnyt16


    Jul 17, 2007
    After watching the movie 127 Hours I will never skimp when it comes to a multitool. But I do get what you're saying because I've had my Swisstool Spirit stolen and lost. I'm on my third one now and it hurts!
  20. Gollum

    Gollum Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    I couldn't agree more on how useless the scissors are. The scissors on my SAK Classic are far more useful.
    Something I noticed on one of Powernoodles pics is what looks like a spring on the scissors. Mine didn't have any kind of spring. When you close the scissors they stay closed which makes them useless. I bought mine online and as it turns out a local knife shop I went to a couple of days ago had one that didn't have any spring either, the scissors stay closed after one cut.

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