Les George, with a past in United States Marine Corps in which he has served for over 10 years, began to produce knives in 1992 with a clear vision and idea of how knives and tools should be designed, manufactured and used.
Based on the Talos project of the famous American knife maker, the ZT 0909 represents a return to the beginnings of Zero Tolerance, when they produced mainly large knives, designed to withstand heavy uses.
The ZT0909 has an effective and acute drop point blade, 95 mm long and 4 mm thick, made of CPM S35VN steel (60-62 HRC), a high quality stainless steel produced by American Crucible powder technology. This material is able to guarantee excellent cutting performance as well as an excellent cutting edge retention.
The blade, with stonewashed finish, has a simple but extremely functional design (as indeed all George's designs are) and is equipped with a swedge that starts at about 2 cm from the tip and extends for almost 5 cm. It also features a thick jimping on a not too steep thumb ramp that provides a better grip on the instrument. It is precisely this latter feature, along with the functional blade profile, which distinguishes the creations of Les George.
For long-standing Zero Tolerance's brand lovers, the ZT0909 model evokes the "big" classics, such as the ZT0300 and ZT0200 series, returning again to the hex pivot nut (3/8 inch) and bolt. The blade rotates on the KVT ball-bearing system that make the opening extremely fast and smooth, without the need for any wrist movement. With a simple lever on the well-crafted flipper, the blade - after winning the initial resistance given by the detent ball – opens easily and then abuts on the stop pin. The flipper is the only opening system the ZT0909 is equipped with, given the absence of the thumb-stud.
The liner-lock locking mechanism is made of extra-thick steel liners of about 2mm thick, devoid of lightening milling. On the other hand, Zero Tolerance has always used these extra-thick liners in all models that adopt this locking system. The blade when open is firm and free from play. Even the knife closure is easy thanks to the recess practiced on the handle scale, which makes it easy to reach the flat spring to unlock the blade.
If you want to be really fussy, the only "no" from the aesthetic point of view is given by the partially exposed seat of detent ball on ricasso. Probably very few will notice it because it really is a few tenths of a millimeter and, moreover, since it's a working tool, aesthetic care in every detail is definitely not the most important factor.
The scales coupled with extra-thick liners are made in black G10 with a fine texture to enhance the grip on the knife. The shape of the handle, in its simplicity, is extremely functional and ergonomic, and is ideal for heavy duty tasks. The hand has a secure grip between the flipper - which acts as a small guard branch - and the beak-shaped bottom of the handle. The length ratio between the blade and the handle is in favor of the latter, which with its 120 mm length offers a comfortable grip even for larger hands.
The handle is equipped with a lanyard hole and has four Torx T10 screws that hold the various components through two standoffs. The knife features a deep-carry pocket clip that can be placed in ambidextrous configuration, but only in tip-up position. Of course you will definitely feel the ZT0909 in your pocket, with its weight of 198 g, but for lovers of large folding knives it will certainly not be a problem.
The Zero Tolerance ZT0909 is an excellent work knife, both for materials and construction, and also in relation to its price of around 215.00 euros (in Europe).
The knife has been tested on a qualitative level, as usual, by performing cutting tests on various types of materials (paper, cardboard, safety car belt, various ropes, etc.) and through a tip resistance test carried by stabbing the knife on a wooden board and making levers and twists. All the tests have been successful, show a very good factory sharpening and overall product strength that meets all the expectations of the Zero Tolerance brand.
The Zero Tolerance ZT0909 is definitely a knife designed giving priority to functionality and use. With this knife Les George has managed to perfectly combine his pragmatism with the philosophy of Zero Tolerance, which laid the foundations for his success by producing overbuilt knives made without compromise even for heavy-duty uses.
Producer: Zero Tolerance - zt.kaiusaltd.com
Designer: Les George
Type: folding knife
Locking mechanism: liner-lock
Blade profile: drop point
Steel: CPM S35VN (60-62 HRC), stonewashed finish
Blade length: 95 mm
Blade width (at ricasso): 33,9 mm
Blade thickness: 4 mm
Handle length: 120 mm
Total length (open): 215 mm
Handle material: G10 scales with fine texture
Weight: 198 g
Price: € 215,00 (Europe)
Made in USA