The Damascus steel is a very strong steel. Made by folding and forging the metal many times. It is recognized by it's distinct wavy lines in the steel. Originally used in the Middle East there are many rumors about Damascus steel being strong enough to cut through the barrel of a gun or can be sharpened to a point that a hair falling on it would be sliced in half. Or course those are only rumors but I can tell you that this is a nice blade on this Tanto.