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Pocket tools with good blades, why not?


Platinum Member
Nov 28, 1999
I have often wondered, and in fact, have suggested to a couple of factory reps, why nobody makes a tool like the Leatherman or the Swisstool with blades made out of a really good blade steel. All the tools I know of have blades made of 440A at best. Wouldnt it be great to have a Leatherman type tool with cutting blades ground out of something like BG42 or CPM420V? I know they would cost a lot more, since their manufacturing tools would wear out a lot quicker, but I would buy one. I asked about something like this a couple of years ago at the Blade show, and never really got an answer one way or another. Sounds like something for a guy like A.G. Russell to follow through on.

Danbo, soul brother of Rambo

I usually feel the opposite - get rid of the blade! Put in another size screwdriver or something else more useful. These tools are expensive enough already and besides....I ALWAYS have a knife.

My only gripe about my Leatherman SuperTool is that the blades won't hold an edge. They will dull when cutting hot dog sticks! Surely Leatherman understands heat treatment and tempering!
The blades wont hold an edge because they are probably 420J2 or something similar. They make these tools out of a steel that is easy to manufacture and less likely to rust. This, as we all know, makes for a less desirable blade material.

Danbo, soul brother of Rambo
I'm with Steve-O. I never use the blades on my Multi-tools, besides the fact that they're no good I have a more accessible blade in my pocket anyway. Even if the blade was made of a quality steel, are you going to use it enough to justify the expense of the excellent edge holding of BG-42? I don't know what you have, but the handle on my Leatherman isn't the most ergonomic in the world. My hand would get sore and tired before the knife would dull. Better to use a tool designed for cutting than one designed for gripping that happens to have a blade in the handle. Plus, having a cheap blade which you really don't care about can be useful. It's just right for doing something you wouldn't want to subject a Sebenza or a custom to. I think the reason manufacturers aren't interested in high end blades is that most people don't care about the performance and wouldn't be willing to pay the extra cost, and those who would appreciate the performance already have high performance blades and think of multi-tools less as knives as just tools. Just my .02.