This review of the Leatherman Wingman multi-tool has lots of detailed pictures and describes the pros and cons of this unit. I hope you find it helpful.
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I acquired a Leatherman Wingman multi-tool over 5 years ago. Overall I have been quite pleased with this unit. I thought it may be helpful for people looking to get a multi-tool to write a quick review of my thoughts and experiences with this one.
The Leatherman Wingman I describe here is made out of stainless steel and has a total of 14 tools. You’ve got your basics, like a knife, pliers, and screwdrivers. Plus a few other nice to have tools like a wire cutters, a wire stripper, scissors, bottle and can openers, and a file. The remaining “tools” are a little more questionable, things like a package opener (?) and a ruler.
There is a similar multi-tool out there without the scissors, it is a little cheaper and can be found at this link for the Leatherman Store.
The Wingman is assembled in Portland, OR, with the individual components coming from all over, like Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
Specific Tools and their Functions
The main thing I like about this unit is just the way it feels so solid. It seems very well built. I’ve had mine for at least 5 years now, and it shows no signs of wearing out. The stainless steel is very high quality.
If you want to see product details and further reviews of the Wingman, click the following link:
Leatherman Wingman <– View on Amazon
The knife on the Wingman is a ‘blade out’ design, meaning that the blade folds out from the outside, so you don’t have to unfold the tool in order to access the blade. I appreciate this feature, since the knife is by far the most commonly used of the tools (followed closely by the pliers or screwdriver, in my experience).
The bottom half of the blade is serrated, and the top half is a clean blade. In the past I haven’t been a huge fan of serrated blades since I find them more difficult to sharpen, however, I have been pretty pleased with the amount of serration on this one. It allows for a good grip and slight saw-like action to begin a cut.
The knife has a locking mechanism to keep it from folding in on you. It works well and is not annoying to retract the blade. You can fairly easily deploy and retract the blade one-handed. The locking mechanism isn’t overly tight.
The pliers on this multi-tool are quite solid. They are the classic needle-nose type, with a round-out for gripping curved or angled surfaces. They feel quite solid and can handle 80-90% of the types of jobs you would expect them too.
At the base of the pliers is a wire cutter. I haven’t used this too much; it both looks and feels pretty dull, mainly intended for large gauge wire that would be crimped, then bent back and forth to work harden before breaking.
The pliers are well made and haven’t seized up from rust or other contaminants getting into the joint. They are lightly spring-loaded, meaning that they have a tendency to stay open when using them. This is a nice feature as well.
Some multi-tools I have seen have the pliers pull out of the unit in order to use them. These are not like that. You unfold the multi-tool backwards on itself revealing the pliers.
There are two screwdrivers on the Wingman. A flat-head and something shaped like a Phillips, with two of the blades filed down. I suppose you could also call the end of the file a small flat-head screwdriver as well, though it has an overly tapered end, so I have not used it that way.
You deploy the screwdrivers by fitting your fingernail into a notch at the base of the implement and pulling, just enough to get the main part out, then you pull it the rest of the way out with your fingers.
The screwdrivers are solid and work fine. I really haven’t had any complaints on these. They feel very rigid to the unit, not loose and wimpy like you see on some of the knock-off multi-tools out there. These can handle quite a bit of torque on the unit itself.
Can-Opener and the Other Tools
The other handle houses three other implements. They are a can/bottle-opener, a file (with ruler on the back) and a sort of hook-bladed tool that I believe they call a “package opener.”
I haven’t used the can or bottle open, so can’t comment on the function of those units too much, but they feel solid. In my experience, manual can openers like this take a certain amount of finesse to use properly, but in the right hands work just fine.
On the back of the file is a ruler. To be honest, this is a rather disappointing ruler. It only has markings for 1.25″ or about 30 mm, and there are no numbers, just the hash marks the smallest unit appears to be 1/16″ or 1 mm. The length is just too small to be of much use. I have seen multi-tools in the past that have measurement markings along the outside, all the way down the handles, which I find to be much more useful. How often do you find yourself wanting to measure something about 1 inch long or less? Maybe some would find this more useful than I, but I have not once used this ruler that I recall.
The scissors is also a “fold-out” type, so you don’t have to open the whole multi-tool to get it deployed. It is a reasonably solid scissors, but keep in mind it is fairly small. I use the scissors now and then, but I would not say frequently. Nonetheless, it has held up very well. The spring mechanism is well-built, and hasn’t gummed up, like scissors on these and Swiss army knives usually do, which has been a pleasant surprise. To by honest, I expected very little from the scissors on the Wingman, but it has performed much better than I expected.
There is a clip on the outside of the unit that nicely grasps a belt up to about 1.5″ wide with about 1/8″ gap. I’ve used this before and it clips on solidly and comes off easily, but not too easily. However, usually I just put the whole thing in my pocket. It is right at that size where it can fit in your pocket, but you probably wouldn’t keep it in a pocket all day long, so if you carry it all day, you may want to use the clip or the nylon case.
Size and Fit
The size of the Wingman when folded up is about 4″ long, 1.5″ wide, and 3/4″ thick. The knife blade is about another 2.5″ when extended. Even though there are a lot of protrusions on the outside, like bolt heads and the clip, it feels pretty smooth and solid in your hand. It doesn’t dig into you palm when you are carving, due to the smooth, contoured edges.
In short, the Leatherman Wingman is a very solid, very well-built multi-tool. If you end up getting one of these units, you will not be disappointed. The quality and workmanship of the Leatherman is head and shoulders above the knock-off brands you find on the end-caps at the big box stores. Sometimes you can get away with getting the cheap item for some things, but for a multi-tool that you don’t want to fall apart on the first several jobs, you want to get something with some heft and high quality.
The size is what I would call ideal for the number of tools it contains. It has been polished down very well, so the whole thing feels smooth. There are not any sharp edges (other than the intentionally sharp blades!) that will catch on things like your pockets or what not.
The polished stainless steel looks great and lasts a very long time, with no signs of corrosion or rust.
If you are thinking about getting one of these for yourself or as a gift, I highly recommend the Wingman. For more details see:
Leatherman Wingman <– View on Amazon
Thanks for reading this review, I hope you found it helpful! Not the right multi-tool for you? Check out this post on the Leatherman Wave!