The Zero Tolerance brand has an excellent reputation among knife fans from all over the world for the reliability of their products which are always made with high quality materials, and their design philosophy. Their knives are, in fact, designed to withstand intensive use but, at the same time, they have been developed with great attention to design.
For the ZT 0560 model the prestigious company of KAI USA Ltd group entrusted the design to Rick Hinderer, a successful knife maker which ensures an assurance in the world of tactical knives. His custom and semi-custom folding knives, made with modern technology of CNC, are indeed appreciated all over the world for their shapes and functionality.
The new BlackWashTM finish (ZT0560BW) gives a lived-in look to the blade, on which has been applied the Tungsten DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating, a protective treatment based on carbon and tungsten carbide that provides high surface hardness, excellent resistance to corrosion and chemical attack, as well as greater resistance to abrasion.
The knife, an EDC frame-lock with generous dimensions, has a total length of 225 cm, with a weight of about 169 g which, thanks to the titanium frame, is incredibly light for its size.
The modified drop point blade with hollow grind has a slightly curved spine with a thick swedge that preserves tip strength. The appearance is therefore very robust. The thickness of the blade is 4 mm and 95 mm length.
The steel used is the Elmax made by the Austrian manufacturer Bohler-Uddeholm. It is a third-generation alloy steel with a high content of chromium-vanadium-molybdenum produced by powder metallurgy, which combines a high wear resistance with excellent resistance to corrosion and edge retention. To make the most of the features of this steel, it is hardened to 58-60 HRC.
The blade opening is very smooth thanks to the functional design of the flipper and to the technology of the ball bearings employed by Zero Tolerance. The traditional Teflon or bronze washers were in fact replaced by the innovative washers KVT (Kinetic Velocity Technology) consisting of a plastic frame on which the bearings are nested. The ball bearing function is to limit the surface contact on blade tang, greatly reducing friction.
The realization of the couplings of the knife are perfect and with the blade opened has no play in any direction and is firmly held in position by the ambidextrous thumb studs, which act as stop-pin.
The unlocking of the blade is easy and simple; the finish of the interface of the blade tang with the blocking spring is made to perfection, just as you would expect from a high-quality knife.
The locking mechanism is frame lock type; this model is also equipped with the "Lock Bar Stabilizer", a steel washer that has the function of travel stop of the locking spring preventing hyperextension which would lead during time to the titanium yield strength, making the knife unusable.
The handle is made from a solid 6AL4V titanium frame (with average thickness of about 4 mm), with BlackWash finish and 3D texture, which is followed through on the black G10 scale placed on a thinner liner steel, made with a skeletal structure to minimize the weight.
The knife ergonomics is perfect for all sized hands and once the blade is opened through the flipper, the index finger is comfortably positioned on the finger-groove on the handle. To improve control and grip on the knife several jimpings have been made at various strategic points (on the release system of the blade, on blade spine and on the other points where grip is needed).
Finally, the handle is equipped with a large lanyard hole that completes the knife features together with the discreet and functional clip, configurable in four positions (ambidextrous tip-up and top-down).
Being a knife for daily use qualitative cutting tests were carried out on various materials (paper, cardboard, mooring ropes of various diameters up to car safety belts), and a qualitative test of blade tip strength.
Considering the thickness of the blade, the knife cuts really well thanks to the bevel geometry, and the tightness of the edge after several cuts appears excellent. The blade tip has passed the test very well, proving itself decidedly robust and effective.
Incredibly lightweight, with fast and smooth opening, the ZT0560BW is a stunning knife that combines excellent finishing with first class materials, representing the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.
Producer: Zero Tolerance Knives – KAI USA LTD. - www.zt.kaiusaltd.com
Type: folding knife, frame-lock, flipper opening, KVT ball bearing
Blade: drop point, hollow grind
Steel: ELMAX® with Tungsten DLC BlackWash™ finish
Blade length: 95 mm
Blade thickness: 4 mm
Closed length: 129 mm
Overall length: 225 mm
Handle: titanium frame with BlackWashTM finish, 3-D Machined black G-10
Clip: Quad-mount deep-carry clip (tip-up/down; left/right)
Weight: 169 g
Made in USA
This article has been published on "Armi&Balistica" magazine n. 39