Earlier today, I replied to a new comment to my Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool review. Gareth said: Nobody I’ve spoken to knows what the little + and – dents are for on the screw drivers.
At first glance, the + is to identify one screwdriver as for Phillips-head fasteners, and the – is to identify the slotted screwdriver.
But is there more to it?
The Phillips driver is flatter than usual Phillips screwdriver bits and tips, and so I can imagine some users questioning whether it has a different function. Maybe the large slotted screwdriver could be misconstrued as a pry bar? Paint can opener?
And then I noticed the staggered placement of the markers, and the cut-out on the Phillips driver.
I pulled out a Leatherman Wingman from my drawer.
Aha! The markings allow you to quickly find the screwdrivers without having to open the tool first.
It’s a small touch, and one that I missed or took for granted, but it adds to the reasons why I love Leatherman multi-tools. It’s the care and attention to small details like this that separate better tools from the lesser ones.
Buy Now(Leatherman Wingman via Amazon)
Buy Now(Leatherman Sidekick via Amazon)
Leatherman all the way! My SuperTool 300 is pretty much permanently affixed to my belt, and a little Squirt ES4 is always in my pocket. I use each of them multiple times a day for all kinds of things. Sometimes not a normal usage, but hey, if it gets the job done…. Last thing I used my ST300 for? Last night at Dairy Queen with the family. We sat outside and it was a little breezy. I pulled it out, opened it up and it was a perfect paperweight so our napkins didn’t blow away.
I think Leatherman forgot to add “paperweight” to one of the included features. 🙂
I’m looking to get my first Leatherman multi-tool, but there are so many options. I’m stuck as to what to get. Is it worth going all in on a Wave+ to start? Or should I go for the $50 range of the Wingman/Sidekick? Or even the less expensive Rev? I’m paralyzed by choice…
What’s your budget? What tools do you want it to have? What functions/features?
You can’t go wrong with the Wave+. The Skeletool is a nice minimalist knife and pliers-focused tool. The Wingman/Sidekick have nice functions and are more affordable than the Wave+. There’s also the Rebar, which has all-internal tools, but it’s compact and has good upgraded cutters you would otherwise have to step up to pricier tools for.
I need to do some fresh reviews, but almost everything from my prior reviews still stands, except for the prices.
The Wave+ looks awesome, but I’m wondering if spending that much is value for money for me and my use case. Right now, I carry a Kershaw blade and have a Wiha multibit driver as I generally only ever need to cut something or screw something (occasionally pry, but I have a Gerber shard that I use in a pinch).
What I like about these Leathermans is they are stainless steel, which is huge for me as I live in The Bahamas and the salt air and humidity is rough on tools. If I could just roll with this for emergency stuff, that would be ideal.
I’ll be sure to check out the reviews, love the site btw!
I have a multi-tool or two that needs to be cleaned, but they are fairly durable and corrosion-resistant.
If it’ll be for emergency use, and not daily use or carry, I’d look closer at the Sidekick or Wingman as you suggested. But, larger tools do have other features and benefits.
Maybe start with a lower-priced one, and if you use it a lot, delegate it to emergency use and upgrade to something else for more regular use.
Yup, did a check over your reviews and I think I’ll go with a lower priced one for now as you suggest. If I do find myself using it a lot, I can always upgrade and put this other one in a bag, car, kitchen drawer etc. Thanks for the help!
The wingman is my favorite because of the tools it has and because the 2 tools I use the most, the knife and scissors, are accessible without opening up the tool. I had a Wave and the only thing I miss off it is the diamond file.
If you decide to go with the Wingman, but your budget is tight and you can wait a few months, Home Depot sometimes has Leatherman holiday deals. Over the last few years, I’ve picked up a Skeletool, Wingman and Sidekick for around $30 each.
I’ve picked up a Skeletool, Wingman and Sidekick for around $10 to $15each.
I have the leatherman surge. Best one out there IMO. Replaceable cutter blades AND t-shaft diamond file/saw blade tool. You can use Bosch jig saw blades in it if you break the saw. Those two features alone made it for me.
The black oxide is best for corrosion. even after it rubs off (unfortunately it does) it is embedded into the steel itself, so unless you give it a pretty good scratch, it won’t rust. (Based on at least a weeks research into the same question about stainless or oxide)
The wave didn’t have the removable diamond file OR saw, and I dont think replaceable wire cutters either, so I decided on the Surge.
I love the wave and have one for other carry/car duty. But I carry to work a wingman
Now that said those markings like you said was so you can feel out which blade is which – for people that are visually impaired.
Or rather that’s what I assumed they did it for.
Dangitall! I’ve had the good fortune to have Leatherman tools for what it seems like forever. And I never noticed this! Good job Stuart.
Ne neither, hence the post. I thought it was cool.
I carry a ChargeTi, and despite working in a shop full of tools, it gets a lot of use.
I’ve yet to find any other multitool brand that has the quality and attention to detail of Leatherman. My only complaint is that their nylon sheaths seem to fall apart pretty quickly, but they only cost about $6, so it’s not a big deal.
In Hawaii we called the screwdrivers plus or minus. Easy distinction. As to the pic, I saw why immediately. Not sure it’s necessary as one should get familiar with their tool quickly. Though I have a weatherman with bit adapter, I have always preferred my gerbers.
I have a Victorinox Swisstool Spirit. Awesome, love it, but I’ve always wanted a Leatherman to use as more of a beat up multitool (I can’t help but babying the Swisstool, it’s just too shiny and precise).
I’ll search your articles Stuart and I’ll likely get a leatherman soon.
I carry a Surge and a bit kit and extension on my hip everywhere. Larger pliers make all the difference to me. Just wish the paddle bits and extension were magnetic.
Wow! Eureka! What a discovery! It must have taken a lot of heavy thought to figure out the difference between a slotted and philips screwdriver. I’m pretty sure that every one in the world knows what + and – means on a screwdriver. They should’ve stamped positive and negative on it to make sure you or anyone else could never figure it out. Really? You can’t be serious.
“Aha! The markings allow you to quickly find the screwdrivers without having to open the tool first.”
Side note, it looks like our auto-shrinkatizer seems to be working perfectly. I had the choice of the Shrinkatizer 4000 or Disemvowelizer 5000, and I went with the Shrinkatizer. It’s set to automatically detect and respond to unproductive sarcasm and negativity.
best response I’ve read in a long time.