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LM Sidekick Review

Discussion in 'MultiTools and Other Pocket Tools' started by Stuey, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    Full Leatherman Sidekick Review via TG

    This is a summary review focusing on a few points of EDC-interest. If you want more, the full review and pics are up on my site, linked above.

    Pros:
    • "value-priced"
    • spring-action pliers
    • 3D Phillips screwdriver
    • solid feel, great build quality
    • tool "locking" system works well

    Cons:
    • wire cutters are so-so
    • one-handed knife opening isn't quick & doesn't feel natural

    I can see a few instances where LM simpilified the tool's design, probably for cost-saving purposes. Most noticeably, the wire cutters are V-ground and X-shaped. They get the job done, but require more effort and crush smaller wires before cutting through.

    I find it difficult to open the knife with one hand. I can do it in one motion, but it feels a bit awkward. If I reposition my hold half-way, I can deploy the knife in 2 smoother connected motions. It may just be that I need to get used to the tool's geometry, but I don't think so.

    Overall, I'm still quite impressed. I wasn't sure what to expect, with this being an "entry-level" offering and all, but it seems like a very nice multi-tool.

    For $40, I think it's a great buy. The ~$30 Wingman looks like a good deal as well, and I will probably buy one of each once they're released.

    For photos and more details, the link at the top of the post points to my blog review. If you guys have any specific Q's, let me know. I have a couple of LMs in my personal rotation that I can compare the Sidekick to.

    Disclosure: sample was provided at no-cost unconditionally.

    Update: Sidekick vs. Wave and Skeletool size comparison photos are in post #14.
     
  2. defloyd

    defloyd Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you for the review. On paper I liked what I saw in the Sidekick, but was kind of weary about what kind of cost saving things they were using in this tool (nutnfancy spoke a little on this in his LM Shot Show vid). Your review however eased my concerns and now I have mine on preorder.
     
  3. stugumby

    stugumby Loaded Pockets

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    Quick question, is this compatable with the removable bit driver as it attached to the phillips drivers box shaped shaft?
     
  4. vegassprky
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    vegassprky Loaded Circuits

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    May order one just to get the carabiner!!!!!
     
  5. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    You're welcome!

    The knife pivot was a source of minor concern, but I'm used to it now and can open it w/ ease even though it could stand to be a little looser.

    There may be other cost-cutting measures to subtle or minor to detect. All in all, I'm actually very impressed at what they accomplished at this price point.

    You're talking about this one, right? I would assume that it would be compatible, but will check with LM.

    The carabiner is quite nice, and combined with the leather pouch, it would be enough reason for me to spring for the Sidekick over the Wingman as well. Although, the Wingman has scissors...
     
  6. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    Just heard back from LM - no, the removable bit driver does NOT fit over the Phillips screwdriver on the Sidekick.
     
  7. HappyStuffing

    HappyStuffing Loaded Pockets

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    Great review and nice clear pictures.

    I was wondering if you could comment on the thickness of the Sidekick vs the Wave? Fuse?

    I find the one aspect of almost all reviews for multitools is the thickness of the tool always gets left out. When I'm sticking that thing in my pocket, thickness matters.

    Do tell, Stuey :)

    Thanks!
     
  8. ezeqdb

    ezeqdb Loaded Pockets

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    Also interested in the thickness, would be nice if you also compare it with the Skeletool!
     
  9. matt0

    matt0 Loaded Pockets

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  10. HappyStuffing

    HappyStuffing Loaded Pockets

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    Oh God, say it ain't so. Don't even go there with Imported. That would be the worse decision Leatherman ever makes if it outsources its products. Look what it did to Gerber. .
     
  11. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks!

    It's slightly but very noticeably thinner than the Wave, and ever so slightly thicker than the Skeletool. It'll take me some time to pull a few photos together.

    I'm on it!

    Leatherman's literature for the tool strongly emphasizes that the Wingman and Sidekick are value-priced but still made in the USA.

    I couldn't find concrete details, but if anything were made overseas, I'd guess it was the leather pouch.
     
  12. HappyStuffing

    HappyStuffing Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, Stuey!

    Looking forward to seeing those thickness comparison pictures.
     
  13. defloyd

    defloyd Loaded Pockets

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    Someone made a boo boo, the Wingman says made in USA on their site.
     
  14. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    It's difficult to capture the size differences, but I gave it a good try. If there other angles you'd like to see, let me know.

    The vertical one shows thickness a little better since the Sidekick's pivot bolts protrude more than you would think if you're familiar with the Wave's design. The machine screw/bolt heads are not at all noitceable when the tool's in-pocket.

    [​IMG]
    Leatherman Sidekick vs Wave and Skeletool Size Comparison by ToolGuyd, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Leatherman Sidekick vs Wave Size by ToolGuyd, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Leatherman Sidekick vs Wave and Skeletool Opened Handle Size Comparison by ToolGuyd, on Flickr
     
  15. ezeqdb

    ezeqdb Loaded Pockets

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    Woow! very nice pictures! I have both, the Wave and the Skeletool, and I didn't think they were so similar in size. When you hold them, the Wave seems to be much bigger, but I think that's due to the weight (240 vs 140g).

    I EDC the Skeletool, which I love to have in the fifth pocket of my jeans, because of it lightness and size. I still don't know If I will get one of these (Wingman or Sidekick) to use in that place. I don't know if it will feel bulky as the Wave..
     
  16. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks! I'll see if I can make the size difference easier to see, but I'm finding it difficult due to the different designs of all three tools. If the Skeletool were a 1 and the Wave a 10 in terms of size and bulk, I would rate the Sidekick a 3 or a 4. Let's just say 3.5.
     
  17. HappyStuffing

    HappyStuffing Loaded Pockets

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    Terrific pics Stuey. You're very good at making the comparison shots.

    The Wingman (and probably the Sidekick) really isn't as small looking as I thought it would be. Though I think this may be on of those cases where once I hold it I may notice a definite difference. I'm sure that the 1.5oz difference between the two must be noticeable in the hand and pocket.

    I already own a Fuse, beatup and used - but not broken, I've always wanted outside opening blades. If I get the Wingman, my main motivation is going to be the outside opening blades and clip.

    I can live with the slight weight increase over the Fuse because the Wingman comes with a pocket clip. I always struggled with the Fuse to the point where I sometimes didn't carry it because there wasn't always a good place to carry it. I always had to put the Fuse "in" something where with the Wingman I'll be able to clip it or "wear" it on many places around my hips and pockets.

    I like the idea that I can easily just clip the Wingman to random places on my backpack too.

    Versus the Wave, it really looks to me that once I hold both in my hand, the Wave is going to show it's weight and size. Even if the difference in the pictures look negligible.

    It's like when you think your own dog is small, until it comes up beside a marginally smaller dog. At that point your own dog seems like a giant, however slight the difference may be.

    Time will tell. The only way to settle this is to fondle Wave/Wingman/Fuse at the same time :drool:
     
  18. ezeqdb

    ezeqdb Loaded Pockets

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    The only thing I'm sure, is if I wouldn't have the Skeletool, I would have already get one of these. They seem to be the same quality, have more tools, and costs a half part :/
     
  19. Stuey

    Stuey Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, I'm glad the differences show through in the photos! If you look at the full-size version of the first comparison, cover the Sidekick's dome-shaped bolts with a piece of paper on both the top and bottom, and then compare the tools' thicknesses again.

    It really is somewhat subjective to compare tools, and although I do feel a difference when carrying the different tools in-pocket, it's hard to tell what's real and what I'm finding because I'm looking for it.

    If you still want a Sidekick, you can always add it to your holiday or birthday wish list. I have quite a few multi-tools and just ordered a Juice S2 for more casual carrying. Different tools for different social situations. ;D