What is immediately striking about this new folding knife is not only its attractive appearance but also the elegant simplicity and sobriety in its form and finish. The blade, with a harpoon style shape, has a length of about 100 mm for a 3.1 mm thick on ricasso, and has a curved cutting edge which ends with a thin and sharp tip. The steel used in this model is the CPM S35VN, with BlackWashTM surface finish, among the best sintered steels produced by Crucible and used in modern knives.
The CPM production process (Crucible Partical Metal) produces a more homogeneous material, with a uniform distribution of carbides. This involves a superior stability and toughness, as well as more clean finishes and better grindability compared to steels produced with the traditional method. Clearly, all this results in a much better mechanical performance.
This steel, an evolution of the CPM S30V, was produced in 2009 and compared to its predecessor has in its composition the addition of niobium (which appears in the acronym with the N letter); the specific composition of CPM S35VN is 1.4% of carbon, 2% of molybdenum, 14% of chromium, 3% of vanadium and 0.5% niobium. This formula improves the toughness (and therefore the resistance to chipping of the cutting edge) without reducing cutting edge holding.
The 0095bw has the flipper opening, on which has been made jimpings; blade opening is very smooth thanks to the KVT technology (Kershaw Velocity Technology) that consists of a plastic frame in which the bearings are nestled, and these replace the traditional washers on both sides of the pivot. The latter consists of a Torx screw with dual-tone coloration that certainly gives a more eye-catching appeal to the product.
The blade opening abuts on the stop pin, which takes its place in a special recess ensuring an accurate support; all mechanical couplings are made with extreme precision, and the blade in the open position has no play and is firmly held in position.
The knife design is elegant and clean, with a continuum between blade and handle - made of titanium - thanks to the BlackWash ™ finish used on all the surfaces. The continuity feeling is even more pleasant with the absence of the thumb-stud (the pin for the opening of the blade, which then opens only through the flipper) and also with the option to use only one spacer placed on the terminal part of the handle.
The latter may appear pointed but in reality all the edges have been beveled enough to make it pleasant. Also the pronounced curvature of the handle is an ergonomic solution that offers considerable comfort and safety grip.
The frame lock mechanism is made of a rugged thick titanium frame of about 4 mm; in addition a steel insert has been applied - placed in a recess formed in the locking spring - to act as an interface with the blade tang. This mechanical solution, already practiced in other Zero Tolerance's models (as in many other quality products that use a titanium frame lock), is ideal to ensure the highest level of safety and accuracy of the couplings of the block system, because titanium alloys have a hardness below that of steels.
The knife is equipped with an ambidextrous reversible pocket clip placed in tip-up position. Carrying this knife feels very comfortable and it protrudes from pocket only slightly. The well designed clip does not cause any discomfort, even when tightening the grip in the hand.
The European price of the 0095bw model is around 265,00 euro, whereas the USA retail price is around $ 275,00 (but it is possible to find it at a lower price).
The qualitative cutting test, carried out as usual on various materials (paper, double wall corrugated board, ropes of different type and diameter, car safety belts, and so on), has revealed an exceptional factory sharpening, as well as a great cutting edge retention. Since it is not a work knife we have not carried out the tip resistance testing, which looks pretty thin, so probably under stress it may well break. The knife handle curvature is such that the knife is extremely ergonomic and really comfortable in hand.
Overall the Zero Tolerance 0095BW is an EDC folding knife that offers superlative cutting performance as well as a modern and elegant design that definitely makes you want to always take it with you (of course in the Countries where it is legally permitted).
Producer: Zero Tolerance knives – KAI USA LTD. - www.zt.kaiusaltd.com
Type: folding knife
Loking mechanism: frame lock, with steel insert
Opening: flipper with KVT ball bearing
Blade: CPM S35VN steel with DLC BlackWash finish
Blade length: 98 mm
Blade thickness: 3.1 mm
Overall length: 213 mm
Closed length: 124 mm
Handle: titanium frame with DLC BlackWash finish
Pocket clip: ambidextrous tip-up
Weight: 150 g
Made in USA
Where to buy
This article has been published on the magazine "Armi&Balistica" n. 55