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June 23, 2012 Comments (0) Blades & Tools, Gear & Equipment

Leatherman Wingman and Lenser P5R Light Reviews

Leatherman has always been known for their tough multi-tools that hang on the belts of hands-on men across the county. This latest set of tools from Leatherman is just as comfortable in a pocket or backpack as they are on a belt. In this review, Woods Monkey looks at the Leatherman Wingman multi-tool, and the LED Lenser P5R flashlight.

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Leatherman sent the Wingman multi-tool, and a LED Lenser P5R flashlight, for review. Both of these items are light, pocket sized, and in my opinion, well suited for every day carry use. The Wingman is a true pocket size multi-tool, and with the included clip attached, is very comfortable to tote around all day. As a matter of fact, after a few days, the Wingman was being toted everywhere with me, clipped into my off side pocket. Leatherman describes the Wingman as an entry level tool, but after toting it around for a while, it’s a full-fledged working multi-tool.

Most folks familiar with Leatherman’s products will easily recognize the build style of the Wingman. It’s a pliers-based tool, with other drivers and tools that fold out from the handle. Everything is attached to the Wingman, so you only need to find the tool you need and fold it out. On the exterior of the Wingman is a half serrated knife, capable of being opened with one hand. While not as easy to open as the knife on the Leatherman MUT, I was able to open and close the knife with thin gloves. With thicker or heavy gloves, I couldn’t. This is not a major issue for me, as I see the Wingman as more of a tool than a knife, and I normally pair a multi-tool up with a strong one hand folding knife anyway. On the opposite side of the Wingman, and accessible from the outside, is a pair of scissors. This makes a lot of sense, and in use, I found it very handy.

Wingman2a

On the inside of the Wingman you’ll find a flat and Phillips driver on one side. On the other, is the can opener/cap lifter, file with flat head driver, and what Leatherman calls a ‘package ripper.’ This package ripper is a pretty neat device. It’s a small hook, chisel sharpened at the tip. The idea is that to get into those annoying blister and clam shell packages, you insert the tip of the hook, and then pull it around the exterior of the package. I was a little skeptical about this, but in use, it zipped stuff right opened! And, I didn’t have to resort to my normal machete hack job to get into a fresh package of batteries. Pretty darn neat.

Wingman3a

What has to be the best part of the Wingman is that the pliers are spring loaded. Yep, they open themselves and you just put pressure on ’em to close them around whatever you’re working on. The needle nose/regular pliers are normal Leatherman, and do an excellent job on everything from fishhooks to nuts. While in Louisiana recently on a fishing trip, the Wingman removed several dozen hooks from catfish, and the spring loaded jaws made the task so much easier. During a back woods ride in my Bronco, I used the Wingman to cut some spare electrical wire that was used to hastily wire up a 12 volt socket to my solar panel. The Wingman handled it all quickly and easily.

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To complement the Wingman, Leatherman sent along the LED Lenser P5R. This is a pocket sized light that takes a single AA sized battery, and is completely rechargeable via a very cool system. The P5R’s battery, although AA in size, cannot be replaced with any other AA battery. The terminals are different, and a normal battery will not function. Additionally, I’d like to apologize to the reader here. I was so anxious to start using the P5R, I didn’t get pictures done before leaving for a fishing trip. On that trip I dropped the P5R in a gravel parking lot, from the back of a pick-up truck while searching for gear in the dark. The scratches you see on the flashlight in the pictures are from that fall. But to the P5R’s credit, it suffered no ill effects other than surface scratches, and it has continued to give good service for the two months after that. I consider that a sign of good build quality.

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With that aside, the P5R is amazing. Simply put. This is a light so packed with technology; it’s the first light I felt like reading the booklet on just to make sure I was doing everything right! The P5R has a set of programs that LED Lenser calls the Smart Light Technology. This essentially allows you to program which functions and brightness levels you get from different series of tail cap presses and clicks. It sounds more complicated than it is. For example, I found my favorite SLT setting was the one that gave me Boost mode when the switch was slightly depressed and high power when fully clicked on. In this setting, when the light is off, a quick press of the tail switch, followed by a full click within one second, gives me the low power mode. And at 15 lumens for 70 hours, low mode is impressive. High mode pushes nearly 200 lumens for 3 hours, and Boost mode does 200 lumens completely for slightly less time. I have lights that cost well over $150 mounted on some very expensive firearms, and they can’t come near that kind of output.

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What closes the deal for me with this light are all the accessories that come with it. First off the package is a reusable, plastic, molded container designed to keep track of all the pieces for the P5R. Inside the packaging, you’ll find what LED Lenser calls the “Floating Charge System.” This is a plastic, wall mountable carrier that can house the light when not in use. The charger is 110v compatible, but also has a USB output for charging anywhere that you have access to that type of port. For me, this is a fantastic winner, because I can charge my light on my solar panel using my 12v car charger with USB outlet as an adapter. All of this comes together to give you a light that can be charged anywhere, puts out an amazing amount of light, carries perfectly in the pocket, and can be recharged 1,000 times before the battery needs replacing. The P5R has quickly become my favorite carry light, and I use a flashlight a lot.

The Wingman is one of those ‘great buys’ out there, and performs well above its price point. The P5R is amazing… the amount of output it is capable of will astound you. The Leatherman Wingman is available for under $24. It’s truly that kind of great buy. The LED Lenser P5R is around $66. All in all, a great tool and light, and you really can’t go wrong!

www.leatherman.com

http://www.ledlenser.com

 

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