Dual Wielding Leathermans. Leathermen?

One evening this weekend, Jennifer and I were sitting around with good friends when Kelly noticed two metal clips protruding from one of my pockets.

“Michael,” he said, “are you dual wielding Leathermans?”

“I suppose I am,” I chuckled, “there’s a story about that and I’ll share it with you in a moment.”

Well, inevitable tangents happened, and ultimately I did not explain to Kelly why I had two Leatherman pocket tools in my pocket. But, that’s what the internet is for, am I right? This last Christmas, my father-in-law gave me a Leatherman Sidekick.

01Sidekickoriginal

This was a nice little multitool with pliers, a locking straight-edge knife blade and locking wood saw blade, as well as a pair of screwdrivers, can/bottle opener, file/small screwdriver, small serrated blade, and a fold-away lanyard loop. This very quickly became my go-to pocket tool, displacing one of my pocket knives as well as the screwdriver set and P38 can opener that had previously lived in my pockets. It went everywhere with me until it disappeared one day. After I had not found it for a couple weeks, I decided to see what was in stock at the local Ace Westlake Hardware store. I had a $5 coupon to the store, so I dropped in to check out their inventory. I wound up purchasing a Leatherman Wingman that was on sale. This unit was very similar to the lost Sidekick.

02Wingmanoriginal

The two units are built on the same frame, with the same pliers and screwdrivers. The blade on the latter is partially serrated, and it has a pair of spring operated scissors instead of the saw blade. The bottle/can opener and the file are common between the two models, but where the Sidekick has a serrated knife blade, the Wingman has a ‘package opener’ which consists of a protuberance with an inward facing chisel point for cutting tape and straps without being an actual knife blade. I mused to Jennifer that it would be nice to have a unit with the three knife blades, as each one fills a bit of a niche. So, although the replacement was a little different, I began to enjoy having it around; and then of course, you know what happens when you replace something that you have lost.

03 Sidekick and Wingman

Having the two side-by-side has been interesting.

04similarities

The differences were few but significant.

05 differences

Of course, I was reminded of my earlier conversation with Jenni in which I said that I’d like to have all three knife blades in one unit. I noted that the leftover parts would make a unit that didn’t have a knife blade in it at all but would still have a handful of very useful tools. Apparently, it was time to void some warranties. I took out my torx driver and started swapping parts. The saw blade where the knife belongs functions nearly as though it was meant to be there. The lock doesn’t function quite as intended, but I don’t feel like a lock is necessary on a saw blade anyway. The knife blade where the saw belongs however… it bolted in, and would lock open, but it would not close completely into the handle.

06 blade gap

It turns out that the blade stop was bottoming out shallower on this side of the unit than the one where the knife blade is intended to go, and it fit like this:

07 blade stop issue

instead of the way it works in factory format like this:

08 stock blade stop

So, I put a cutting wheel on my little Black & Decker Wizard and ground away a tiny bit of the pocket bottom, like so:

09 backstop mod

This allowed the blade to sit a little deeper in the pocket, while still retaining the function of the blade stop.

10 mod fit

And, that made it so that the blade closes as though the factory intended for it to be there.

11 blade fit illustration

Once I had reassembled the cases, they don’t look like they have been tampered with at a glance.

12 Sideman and Wingkick

I placed the partial serrated blade for a right thumb open and the straight edge as a lefty opener. I initially had an excuse for this decision, but it escapes me now, so it may have not been as important as it seemed at the time.

33 dual blades

So, one of these now has an excess blade and the other has no knife blade at all. If I’m going into a place that disallows knives, I can very honestly claim that it is not at all a knife, and make a strong argument for keeping my multitool on me.

35 modded Leathermans

3 thoughts on “Dual Wielding Leathermans. Leathermen?

  1. This is FRIKKIN AWESOME!!! And the “stick it up your tailpipe” explanation to any snobby clerks who want to ban nailclippers and other “dangerous” items (probably whilst toting a purse with enough nail files to free an entire prison bloc) is the icing on the cake!

  2. my leatherman came with a little book of optional things that could be ordered and it even has a quick release feature for swapping stuff without tools… and yes I’ve saved it forever in that place things go so I can’t find them again.

Leave a Reply to RabidAlien Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *