Ever wondered what goes into a blade? Steel is steel right? Wrong. Steel is made up of different combinations of metal and alloys to produce blades for different purposes and with different characteristics, like edge retention, corrosion resistance and hardness, which are the most common characteristics the end user looks for in a blade.

  • Edge retention is the blade’s ability to hold an edge between bouts of sharpening. In other words, the number of times the blade can cut before it needs to be sharpened again.
  • Corrosion resistance is the blade’s ability to prevent staining from oxidation processes. Stainless steel does not mean it is steel without any stains, rather it is steel that stains less than normal steel from corrosion effects.
  • Hardness is the blade’s ability to endure use without suffering permanent deformation and is measured on the Rockwell scale.
  • Leatherman multitools primarily makes use of three different steels for their blades: S30V, CM154 and 420HC.
  • 420HC STAINLESS STEEL: An improved, high-carbon (HC) form of 420 stainless steel that works well with high production tooling. 420HC’s strength is optimized in Leatherman multitools by heat treatment.
  • S30V: A powder-made stainless steel with exceptional corrosion resistance made especially for knives. S30V blades hold an edge approximately six times longer than 420 stainless steel but may require some expertise when sharpening.
  • 154CM STAINLESS STEEL: A high carbon, high alloy, and corrosion resistant stainless steel that holds its edge three times as long as 420 stainless steel. This steel is used on some premium Leatherman tool features, such as knife blades and wire cutters.


Kindly note that we operate the Leatherman SA web shop ( via our Awesome Tools website ( which ships out of our warehouse in Cape Town and the after sales service is handled by Awesome Tools.

While browsing, you may find yourself on the Leatherman USA ( site which has shipping options to South Africa out of the USA. This site is managed from Leatherman Head Office in Portland, Oregon and we have no affiliation with this site and any issues or queries must be addressed with them directly.”