Leatherman Wingman Multitool Review Facts
Although it is an average-sized tool, the Leatherman Wingman, with its easy-entry price, is extremely durable and equipped with a reasonably extensive function list. The addition of a unique package opener and externally opening tools gives it the edge over many of its competition. The Gerber Suspension, the closest competition, is easier to use, but the Wingman is compact and relatively easier on the pocket. Its integrated pocket clip is a welcome feature too, though many users believe it should have come equipped with the removable pocket clip found on the Charge TTI. Overall, it certainly seems to be an out-of-the-park swing at Leatherman’s competitors known for producing budget multi-tools.
Speaking of design, the Wingman is quite impressive and modern. Its contoured shape makes it quite easy to use; the design makes it easier to use the main blade without having to fold out the pliers. The secure pocket clip performs well and adds to the overall aesthetics of the tool. You will also appreciate the compact handles of the pliers and the overall smoothness on the outside of the tool
. In fact, as compared to the SpiritX, the Wingman is much smoother and more compact too. So, ergonomically, the Wingman performs much better than many most of its competition.
Considering the price, the build quality of the Wingman is quite impressive. For the amount you pay, you get a lot out of this multi-tool
. The moment you grab it, you know that it is something really solid. Even though the stamped parts are used to assemble the tool, the steel it uses feels quite thick and sturdy. In terms of the general construction, the Wingman is not inferior to the Squirt PS4 and Micra. In fact, we believe that most people will really appreciate the fact that the tool uses tungsten coating, which is a good thing because it adds to the overall lifespan of the Wingman and makes it water-resistant as well.
Released a couple of years ago, the Wingman is a budget multi-tool but is still an excellent option for anyone in the market for a good portable handheld tool
. When closed, the Wingman comes in at about 3.8 inches long and weighing a neat 7oz. Smaller than the Charge TTI, but twice the size of the Gerber Suspension, it is smaller and lighter which is good for overall portability.
The pliers are sturdy with fine teeth for added grip. Even with a slight side to side movement from the hinged mounting, they work surprisingly well. This mounting and the movement from it can interfere with other tools use, particularly the cutting blades
. If you anticipate doing a lot of cutting, the Wave+ would be a better option. That said, the spring-loaded pliers on the Leatherman Wingman are efficient and easy to use when manipulating bolts, pulling staples or nails and getting into tight spaces. The presence of these spring-loaded pliers is the reason why you can continue using them for long without feeling much tiring on the hands. If you ignore the glitches and remember they are budget, you will be satisfied with Wingman and wire cutters are a bonus.
The Wingman is popular because of the quality of the knife and scissors and they certainly live up to their reputation. With a crafty inner lock to open them, if you need scissors on your multi-tool
the Wingman, is for you. In fact, the presence of the scissors is the differentiating factor between the Wingman and the Sidekick. You will like the fact that you do not have to open the tool to use the knife and scissors. There is a liner lock that you need to open to make use of the scissors. The Wingman scissors are likely to see less action than the knife but are perfect, nonetheless. You will really appreciate the fact that the scissors are quite sharp, but given their small size, you may not want to rely on them for extensive cutting.
Next to pliers, the knife is usually the most commonly used tools
while camping, and that makes the Wingman a preferred choice, especially in its price range. Easy to access via an oval thumbhole on the outer edge, it is excellent for single-handed operation. This 2.6-inch blade can easily replace any other blades you might think you need to carry. With partial serrating on the reverse tanto and equipped with a partial hollow grind, the Wingman is perfectly capable of handling itself on the routine cutting jobs and even those less routine; trimming expansion foam or insulation fiberglass, scraping paint, trimming wood shims are only examples of this knife’s cutting range.
When talking about the tools inside the handle, the most popular and arguably the most efficient are the screwdrivers. If you're a construction worker and use the screw gun a lot, the Wingman will save you from using a variety of manual screwdrivers because you can find the flathead and Phillips driver available with utmost ease. The Phillips driver makes the Wingman a valuable tool
, as it works exceptionally well on normal screws and is reasonably good on delicate screws. We believe that the flathead driver could have been a little slimmer. For delicate tasks, you may want to use the finer flathead driver available on the file.
In addition, some people believe it should come with a straight blade instead of a serrated edge, though we do not entirely agree with it because it still performs reasonably well. The issue people raise is that like any other knife, the Wingman will also require regular sharpening, and that is when it is easier to work with a straight blade
. While the serrated portion can still be resurfaced, it may cost you more, which may be a hassle for some. Well, it was not a deal-breaker for us though!
Other Handy Tools
The wingman's bottle opener is a handy tool, though you may not be using it that often. Similarly, the file is a nice addition, thanks to its decent size, but do not expect anything out of the ordinary. A rather odd but reasonably effective tool is a plastic package opener, which is mainly designed to cut through plastic clamshell packaging. This small yet sharp hook can easily tear into plastic "blister packs", but the good thing is that you do not have to worry about damaging what is inside the package. Cutting the packing tape on most of your cardboard box won't be an issue.
The only disappointing tool is the ruler. The ruler it comes equipped with is of 1.5 inches in length, but it is not going to help in most situations. It would have been better to have another, more useful tool included in its place.
The Wingman is portable although it does not come with belt sheath lanyard or pouch, which will have to be factored into the costs if that’s how you want to carry it around. If you like to carry your multi-tool in your pants pocket, you will not face any issue whatsoever when carrying the Wingman. The pocket clip is a nice addition and keeps the tool secure, but you can also use a lanyard cord because the Wingman has holes in the frame. Its rounded edges also go a long way in preventing any wear and tear.
It is important to point out though that some people have suggested that the pocket clip may not work that well considering the weight of the tool. If you have some nylon sheath available at home, you may want to consider using it to carry the Wingman around. Another important consideration is that you cannot turn the clip 180 degrees, which is why you first need to flip the tool in your hand and then pull the knife out to use the blade. It does not affect the portability that much but certainly lowers the usability score.
If you're looking for something from the "full size" line of tools, you may have to choose from the New Wave, the Charge TTi, the Rebar, or the Wingman. If you're on a tighter budget, no other option than the Wingman offers the better value. The Wingman really is a good buying option for anyone looking for a sturdy low-cost budget tool. The stainless steel construction makes it strong enough for the company to offer a 25-year warranty.
How you're going to use the tool will have an impact though because you may find the Sidekick to be a more valuable tool if you prefer using a saw than scissors. However, we really believe that it will serve you well if you're okay with the selection of tools it has, and of course if you anticipate medium usage.
Comparison to Other Brands
Like buying any tool it has to fulfill your needs, and the scissors on the Wingman might be a decision maker, as they are outstanding. However, how you want to use it will make an impact. For instance, the scissors you find on the Wingman are outstanding, but they still cannot compete with the compact scissors available on Victorinox Swiss Army Knives. You will find a screw that serves as the primary hinge on the Victorinox, which allows you to set the tension while using the scissors. The Wingman comes with riveted hinges, so you cannot adjust it to suit your needs. It may still be a better option as compared to the Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit X that also comes with fixed scissors.
Some believe that the Gerber Suspension is a better choice because of its two blades. Moreover, the blade on the Wingman is about a half-inch shorter than the one found on Leatherman Charge TTI. Yes, there are small gripes but bear in mind that you are getting these features at a price that many other budget multi-tools cannot offer.
The Bottom Line
The Leatherman Wingman is a compact and extremely useful budget tool with good value for money. In its price range, you will find so much competition, but none manages to stack up. It performs well on the job, around the house, and even at the campsite. With its one-hand opening blade and spring-action jaws, the Wingman is sure to become your favorite tool quite quickly. That being said, you may not like the fact that a rather useless ruler is included in the tool, which takes unnecessary space. Similarly, you can certainly use the pocket clip but it may be a better choice to carry it on your belt. Moreover, it cannot be compared with the top-end Charge TTI that comes with a much better build quality, but it also costs you more, which is the primary concern for many buyers. You will feel more comfortable and confident buying/using the Wingman considering that it is far more robust than the immediate rivals, such as the cheaper Leatherman Squirt PS4 and Gerber Dime. Overall, you can still expect the Weatherman to perform reasonably well in most situations, and it serves as a better choice than buying smaller tools like the Gerber Dime.