Ever since Karl Elsener started producing the Schweizer Offiziersmesser, “Swiss Officer’s Knife”, in 1891 human kind has been producing multi-tools. Today, everyone from adventurers, military types and do-it-yourself enthusiasts have found various multi-tool configurations have become essential parts of their packs and tool kits.
While the Swiss Army knife has always been centered around the knife, Tim Leatherman chose to make pliers the core of his multi-tool platform and a new legend was created. He started production in 1983 and new models have been produced every year since.
I’ve owned several Leatherman models and every one has been stolen. While that’s very frustrating for me, it certainly says something about the tool’s image and desirability. I’ve certainly been happy with each model I’ve had and keep purchasing replacements.
Today there are about 30 different models of Leatherman so you’re sure to find one that will fit your need and wallet. Today we’re going to take a look at one of the more economical models, the Wingman. As of this writing you can pick one up from Amazon.com for about $35.
The Wingman was created in 2011 and has 14 tools. It’s a little heavy at 7oz. so you ultralight backpackers probably won’t want this model. However, the diy person or casual camper or backpacker on a budget will love this model. It’s put together well with very little play allowed in the joints. In fact when you first get yours you’ll find the tension and friction of the moving parts to be just slightly to tight. Leatherman’s are known for this and will loosen to be just right with some use. I personally think this is indicative of Leatherman’s attention to detail.
Like all Leathermans, the primary tool is the plier assembly. This model effectively gives you needle nose pliers, standard pliers and wire cutters. The plier’s are spring loaded which makes single hand operation pretty easy. Other tools included are a knife, file, wire striper, bottle opener and the list goes on. See Below.
While Leatherman has other models which have more tools, and some with tools more suited for camping, the Wingman is an excellent starter / budget conscience model.
2.6 in | 6.6 cm (Blade Length)
3.8 in | 9.7 cm (Closed)
7 oz | 198.4 g (Weight)
Spring-action Needlenose Pliers
Spring-action Regular Pliers
Spring-action Wire Cutters
420HC Combo Knife
Ruler (1.5 in / 3.8 cm)