The Wave was the first Leatherman model to use a lever lock. It also had blades that opened from the outside of the closed tool rather than the inside. It was a popular improvement.
The blade on Leatherman multi-tools folds out from the handles, and locks in place when fully open. It is a hefty and solid tool that will cut most materials, including soft metals like aluminum sheeting or copper.
Most Leatherman blades are made of 420HC stainless steel, which is a hard steel that holds a good edge. Leatherman blades are tougher than the blades on Victorinox Swiss Army knives, but they are also more likely to become stained or corroded.