If you want a custom-quality, harsh-use knife, then the ZT0920 that is under review today, should catch your attention. It is made by Zero Tolerance.
Zero Tolerance Knives
Zero Tolerance (ZT) knives is a division of Kershaw Knives, and they’re made right here in Oregon in the same plant where many Kershaw products are manufactured. Every ZT knife is only made in America. They claim their knives are over-built, and I’m sure not going to argue with ZT about this. We are talking about custom-quality knives that are every bit as well-made as any custom knives I’ve seen. I used to collect custom-made/hand-made knives, so I have something to compare the ZT line to.
Military and Law Enforcement
Those in the military and in law enforcement, who are looking for a knife that will never let them down, look to ZT knives to serve their needs. We are talking about hard-use knives that you can’t afford to have fail you; this pretty much sums up Zero Tolerance knives. However, savvy civilian knife users are also many of the customers that ZT serves.
Not Paid To Say Nice Things
Look, no one pays me to say nice things about their products, no one! And, our editor takes my articles at face value. He doesn’t reject them because I might be too critical of a product, and I certainly appreciate this. In the past, I’ve had a few companies threaten to sue me if I wrote an article that they considered overly critical of their products. Still, I don’t back off. One company said they had a product that was a better stopper than a 12 GA shotgun. When I was publishing a rag called Police Hot Sheet, I had one of my writers test this product. Needless to say, it didn’t live up to the claims of the maker. Threats were made if I published the piece. I did and didn’t get sued.
No Time To Review Junk Products
Personally, I have no time to review junk products, and I know this upsets some people. I just won’t waste my time or SurvivalBlog’s time reviewing junk. It would be a disservice to our readers. So you will only find some of the best of the best products under review. Once in a while, I’ll start testing a product, and it fails early on. I stop testing and return the product. I just don’t have the time to test junk for our readers, period!
Decent Folding Knife Overseas, But Some Want Best We Can Afford
When it comes to cutlery, you can find a decent, really decent, folding knife made overseas (save the hate mail) for $30. For many users, that’s all the knife they’ll ever need. However, there are some of us who really want the best knife we can afford. This is where ZT knives comes in. I was touring the Kershaw Knives plant some years ago, and during a meeting I was sworn to secrecy and shown some of the very first ZT knives they were going to produce. I was blown away with the quality of the pre-production samples. Believe me, it was hard, real hard, waiting for samples of those knives to reach my hands for articles.
Not Rich But Save For Superior Knife or Firearm
Like most folks, I’m not rich; I’m far from it, very far from it. However, when I’m in the market for a superior knife or firearm, I’ll save my money so I can get it. I don’t want to waste my hard-earned money on anything less than what I really believe I need and want.
Zero Tolerance’s ZT0920 Knife Design
The ZT0920 is based on custom knife maker Les George’s “Harpy”, and it a functional and clean design. It doesn’t have anything it doesn’t need.
The 3.9-inch blade is made out of CPM20 CV, which is a powdered super stainless steel. I had my doubts about powdered steel knives when they first came out, but they are top-notch in all respects. I’ve never had a blade fail me. The blade on the ZT0920 “has a scooped spine, top swedge, and a slight recurve to cutting versatility,” according to the ZT website. There is no thumb stud for opening the ZT0920, instead it has a “flipper” on the rear of the blade, with ZTs KVT ball-bearing opening system, and it is fast, and super, super smooth. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure on the flipper to open the blade, and it locks solid in the Titanium frame-lock that has a hardened steel lockbar insert, which is nice!
Handle and Clip
The handle material is made out of Titanium, which is strong stuff and very expensive to produce. There are CNC’d vertical serrations on one side of the handle scales for a sure grip, and it just adds to the overall eye-candy appeal on this folder. ZT found a clever way of keeping this big folder’s weight down, for easier carry. The inside of the handles are machined with weight-relieving pockets, and ZT also adds a little color with a bronze anodized aluminum spacer and bronze-anodized Titanium pocket clip. When closed the knife is 5.1 inches long; when opened, it is 9 inches long. It weighs 5.4 oz. The blade itself is stone washed for a nice subdued finish that is very tactical looking. The pocket clip is reversible for tip-up carry, and a nice lanyard hole completes the overall look on this folder.
I carried the ZT0920 in my right front pocket for close to a month, and it was used daily for all manner of cutting chores, many involved opening cardboard boxes from FedEx/UPS. The folder was also used around my small homestead for daily cutting chores, one of which is the never-ending blackberry vines that grow thick and are hard to slice through with one swipe of a knife. Yet, the 0920 was up to the challenge, though. It had no problems at all slicing through those blackberry vines.
I also “stabbed” the 0920 into stacked cardboard. The blade went right up the handle, and this is also a good test of a locking folder’s mechanism. The strong lock on this knife never gave a hint of failing me.
The Knife is Man’s Oldest Tool
Of course, the knife is man’s oldest tool, and in reality, if you think about it, it is more of a tool than a weapon. However, any good knife can be used to fend off an attacker or two. The curved blade on this folder will easily slash/cut through flesh with ease. Even if a person is wearing heavy winter clothing, this knife will do a number on them. I tend to think of a knife, as mentioned, as a tool first and as a weapon second, so I look at any knife with these two things in mind.
Having lived in a big city for many years, I was unfortunate to be involved in a knife fight or two. That’s not something you really want to look forward to. The good news is that most perps usually have knives that won’t cut through warm butter. So, this can be to your advantage if your only weapon is a knife.
Never Had to Touch Up Blade on ZT0920
The CPM powdered stainless steel held an edge during my testing, and I never needed to touch-up the blade at all. Many types of stainless steel are overly hardened and can become brittle. Then the edge will chip, and they are very hard to re-sharpen, too. I have no doubts the ZT0920 will be easy to re-sharpen. I say this, because I never had a chance to try and re-sharpen the blade. The knife got lost. How it fell out of my pocket is still a mystery to me. The pocket clip is very stout. Maybe I just didn’t have the knife down far enough in my pocket. I guess I’ll never know. It’s almost a crime to lose such an outstanding folder. Then again I’ve had knives turn up when mowing my lawn. So it may be around my digs.
Retail Price and Supply
The ZT0920 retails for $300, which is a lot of money. However, if a custom knife maker made this one for you, it would easily cost twice or three times that amount of money and maybe even more. ZT knives are always in short supply, so if you see one and like it, it’s best you buy it “now” and not later because it’ll be gone.