Equipment review – Leathermans Multi-tool

Give you an idea of the size of the Leatherman

Give you an idea of the size of the Leatherman

Over the past few years I’ve owned a few different multi tools varying from the bargain basement ones that come free with a torch at a service station, to the more expensive Leathermans. In that time I  have found them a very useful addition to my archery, camping and skiing kit.
Based on my experiences a few months back I started a survey on  Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArcheryNeedsYou/)  as to whether Leatherman or Gerber were preferred,  for those interested in the results it is presently standing at about 50/50 split.
Anyway I thought I would review a couple of Leatherman multi tools I have, both of which can fit easy into a quiver or belt pouch.
The two I have are the  Wingman and Sidekick. Essentially the two are nearly identical,  the second one (sidekick) being purchased as I thought I’d lost the first.
The only real difference is the sidekick has a small saw blade instead of the scissors that can be found on the wingman.
Leatherman opened up

Leatherman opened up

Tools breakdown
Here is a quick break down of the tools, both are made from stainless steel, are pocket sized and covered by the Leatherman 25-year warranty.WINGMAN –  described by Leatherman as having 14 tools in one
Tools:
420HC Combo Knife
Bottle Opener
Can Opener
Medium Screwdriver
Package Opener
Phillips Screwdriver
Ruler (1 in/2.54 cm)
Small Screwdriver
Spring-action Needlenose Pliers
Spring-action Regular Pliers
Spring-action scissors
Spring-action Wire Cutters
Wire Stripper
Wood/Metal FileMeasurements:
2.6 in | 6.6 cm (blade length)
3.8 in | 9.7 cm (closed)
7 oz | 198.4 g

SIDEKICK again it has 14 tools, and mine came with a Carabiner Bottle Opener Accessory.

Tools:
420HC Serrated Knife
Medium Screwdriver
420HC Knife
Bottle Opener
Can Opener
Phillips Screwdriver
Ruler (1 in/2.54 cm)
Saw
Small Screwdriver
Spring-action Needlenose Pliers
Spring-action Regular Pliers
Spring-action Wire Cutters
Wood/Metal File

Measurements:
2.6 in | 6.6 cm (blade length)
3.8 in | 9.7 cm (closed)
7 oz | 198.4 g

Uses in the field
I find the pliers useful when extracting  piles after the shafts snap in the boss,3d targets or more often trees and need removing.
A sharp knife is always useful if you spend any time outdoors whether it be camping, walking or archery.
Quick note here is I wouldn’t use it to cut a wayward  arrow from a tree though, as whilst sharp I would expect the tip to snap under the pressure. I use an old flat headed screw driver that I have in my quiver for this.
I have found the crosshead screwdriver is perfect for tightening the screws on my archery tab. This being on both the sidekick and wingman.
The wingman comes with a small pair of scissors which I’ve found surprisingly useful for archery, when fitting servings etc.

Leathermans knife blade and scissors

Leathermans knife blade and scissors

The sidekick  comes with a small saw blade, which isn’t going to chop down any redwoods but I have used to saw through branches of about an inch thickness with ease. For that reason I tend to have the sidekick to hand when camping or working in the woods.

Give you an idea of the size of the Leatherman saw blade and knife blade (the knife was not fully opened and locked in place)

Give you an idea of the size of the Leatherman saw blade and knife blade (the knife was not fully opened and locked in place)

Workmanship
The workmanship is good and the pivotal joints haven’t slackened off, which I seen on cheaper multi tools.

Leathermans pllers close up

Leathermans pllers close up

The finish on the back of the sidekick  serrated blade is a little rough which you notice more when folded up but that is the only criticism I have.

Close up on the rough part of the back of theblade

Close up on the rough part of the back of the blade

The rolled metal handle makes using the pliers more cumfortable in the hand which I  noticed when compared to cheaper budget copies.
I now make a point of always carrying one of mine when out and about.

So if you are looking for a birthday present or early Christmas present I’d say they were a good buy and addition to a kit belt or pouch. If you are looking for something a bit more then have a look at what I think they call the expedition range.
Rating 9/10

N.B. I  bought one of the tools from eBay and it was supposed to come with a leather case. It didn’t, instead it had a cheap nylon one and this is not uncommon looking at reviews.
Thanks for reading.

Blogging Future and answering questions

So over the last few months I’ve had a few questions from fellow archers at shoots, many of whom are followers of this site. In response I’m going to try and answer their questions now.

Why not YouTube?

A couple of people have asked why I don’t produce video or YouTube blogs like other archery reviewers. There are quite a few UK based sites such as the Merlins archery adventures , Wolfie instinctive archery , Nathan Skyrme add to these the US sites like 3D Archery  and you can see there are quite a few.

Perfect face for radio

Perfect face for radio

The simple answer is, I have a perfect face for radio 🙂
I’m also too self conscious when in front of the camera, so prefer a written or at least typed blog.

What are your future plans for the off the arrow shelf blog?

Autumn, or Fall for my American readers, is here, making for shorter days and longer nights. It also marks the slow down in the field archery calendar with less shoots along with less time and opportunities to practice.
This will mean a slight switch in articles as I post less shoot reports. My plan is to write a few more equipment reviews on items archers might feel useful.

Timber Creek Cobra

Timber Creek Cobra

I’m presently working on one on the Bear Grylls walking trousers, Leatherman multi tools, Timber Creek Cobra, along with testing the prokill24 target faces. I am always looking for other ideas for reviews, so let me know if you have any suggestions.

Example of the Prokill target face on the practice bosses

Example of the Prokill target face on the practice bosses

The winter months give me some time to catch up on my reading so I’m looking at literature reviews along with general archery or coaching related topics, including the use of mobile apps and cameras to support archery coaching.

How many Off the arrow shelf blogs are there?

The original blog is the one on WordPress which has been going for a number of years and has over 260 articles.
I recently started a tumblr site too as I found there was quite a lot of good material on there along with reaching a larger audience.
I can also be found on instagram, which is my latest adventure into blogging.

So there you have it. I’m always happy to hear from readers and it’s even better when I actually get chance to chat with you at shoots. Please come over and say hello.
Thanks for reading.