These tools are a bit like fraternal twins, at first glance they look nearly identical however they are very capable individuals. Both tools are lower cost options in the full size category from Leatherman but don’t be misled by cost alone as they are no Ed McMahon to Johnny Carson or Ethel to Lucy. The Wingman is a trusted friend and companion and the Sidekick a competent multitool ready for a task. I feel Leatherman nailed these offerings, though not just for the budget minded consumer but for anyone looking for a tool to do exactly what it was designed to do, which is perform.
When you need pliers on the go a multitool is great to have. But what about when that multitool feels like a brick in your pocket? Sheaths are an option but not everyone wants one on their side and not everyone wears a belt. There are also keychain tools, but the pliers on them are too small for many tasks. So what do you do? You get a Leatherman Mini-Tool.
Locking pliers are a feature seldom explored by the multitool manufacturers, and not a tool I frequently need – but when you do need them, nothing else will suffice. Gerber entered the fray with the Grappler which features one hand deployable locking pliers (one fixed jaw and one movable one) with anvil style wire cutters. On the outside of the tool are four additional one hand opening tools, which means this was the world’s first full sized multitool where everything can be opened one handed, despite conflicting claims from elsewhere.
It wasn't a planned purchase. I didn't even know it existed until I saw it in the display case at the Brigade Quartermaster on Ft. Stewart more than a year and a half ago. I liked the idea of having a small tool to carry on my keys, since the Gerber MP600 I was issued was too big and bulky to carry out of uniform. I purchased the tool for around $20. It has been on my keys ever since.
I have been aware of the Gerber Curve for quite some time now and was attracted to it for it’s organic shape, locking implements and minuscule size. I was just never able to justify paying $10 for the tool and $5 shipping. I found one while browsing in a Dick’s store about two weeks ago. Its the first time I’ve seen one in a store, and seeing it in person made me want it even more. I ignored the $15 price and bought it.
An often-overlooked entry into the keychain size MT market is the SOG Crosscut. I was talked into buying one from ‘Sharper Image’ or some such mall shop many years ago, and as overpriced as it was, I would have paid it again. The original Crosscut was an absolutely excellent tool. It has been replaced by the Crosscut 2.0, with only a few refinements, and a fairly major drop in build quality since production switched from the United States to China. While it’s not what it used to be, it’s still an excellent option for keychain carry.
After the well received introduction of Leatherman Supertool 300 as replacement for the venerable Core, Leatherman shrunk the Supertool by half inch, and gave us the Rebar. It has since replaced the Blast family of full sized tools in Leatherman’s line up, and I would say it’s a worthy successor.
For years, I never understood the allure of one-piece multitools (OPMTs). I have carried plier-based MTs for as long as I can remember, and I always thought the OPMTs (One Piece Multi Tools) were too small to be of any real use... and besides, I already had full functionality with my plier-based MT, right? Then one day, it dawned on me -- one of these OPMTs could complement my usual EDC! After doing some research, I settled on a TT Chopper from, and now I wonder how I lived without it.
The Chopper is made from 3/16” thick 154CM stainless steel and loaded with features. (pictured next to a Victorinox Classic and a Leatherman Micra for size reference)
How useful a review of a discontinued Leatherman pocket multitool might be? Well it depends. The Leatherman Juice Pro has very subtle differences from the Juice's line flagship, the Xe6. Essentially it just adds two hidden small tools, a pair of tweezers and a small curved blade with mini serrations, known as a foil cutter. Thus, a potential buyer of the Xe6 might find this review helpful.
In a field of so many great keychain-size tools offered, why would you stop to give the Leatherman Style PS a second glance? The answer can be summed up in three letters: TSA. This bladeless offering is a great travel option. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not a half-baked compromise tool either.