Multitools have been a part of our lives for several decades and have been engineered to be a do it all tool box. Manufacturers include everything but the kitchen sink to ensure that we have the tools we need for any occasion and to keep us prepared. The downside to this is the tool is not specialized for a specific task and this general design makes the tool heavy. It also can be a deciding factor in which tool you purchase or edc if you have a collection like me. Several tool companies are designing tools that are specific to a job title, recreational activity or task and the Leatherman Signal is one of those tools. The Signal is patterned after the Leatherman MUT design and scaled down so it’s not such a massive beast. Weighing in at only at only 7.5oz the Signal is enough tool for the task and light on the tools so it's easy to carry where ever your headed.
After Gerber’s sliding plier head patent expired, Leatherman decided to try their hand on this particular design, and their first offering is the OHT. It’s a large tool aimed at the tactical/EMT crowd. Leatherman doesn’t say what OHT stands for, but I’m guessing there probably is a One Hand somewhere. It comes with a MOLLE compatible sheath which will also work with belt.
Most parts of the tool are finished with black oxide coating, and handle scales come in either tan or black. Black oxide finish isn't particularly wear resistant, so expect the black to fade with use. The scales are painted stamped sheet metal, despite my initial impression of anodized aluminum.
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.
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.