Buck been using steel similar to American made D-2 tool steels with a hardness of around 58 RC(I tested many). Takes and hold a edge superior to what those from outdoor edge will ever. Benchmade is using some high-teck tool steels now that are excellent. Japanese make some of the best for the food industry's.For 30 plus years I've used my Buck 110.....gutting....skinning...deboning and finishing different cuts of meat. That's it. All in one knife.