I often get requests for high-end folding knives, that our readers want to have me review. It is no small task requesting samples of expensive knives, but our friends at Kershaw Knives/Zero Tolerance (ZT), always come through with something new and exciting to test. Today we’re checking out the sleek model 0460Ti, and here’s one definition of the word sleek: “having an elegant, streamlined shape or design…” And, you’ll see why I agree with this description of the particular folder.
During a visit to Kershaw many years ago, to tour their (then) new plant they had just moved into, I was shown several brand-new knife designs, that they were going to put into production. I was quite impressed with the high-quality and designs. However, I was sworn to secrecy. So I couldn’t report on the new knives and the new “Zero Tolerance” line-up from KAI International. I was promised that samples would be coming, that I could test and write about, and true to their word, Kershaw got those knives into my hands in short order.
First things first: Zero Tolerance knives are made 100% in the USA, I know this is important to a lot of our readers, and ZT only uses the finest materials available to produce these knives, and they are advertised as being for “professionals”. I believe that. This line-up was originally intended for military and law enforcement use – and to be sure, many of these pros use ZT knives. However, savvy “civilian” knife users, also want the best cutlery they can find, and I’m betting more ZT knives are sold to us civilians than to the law enforcement and military communities.
I’ve toured the Kershaw factory several times over the years, the old plant as well as the new one, and have been astounded with the growth that has taken place with each subsequent visit. Plus, I’m more than a little impressed with the folks who manufacture the Kershaw and ZT line-up, from the blank blades, to the finished product. Equally impressive every step along the way includes the hard working crew who sharpen each blade, and those who do a final inspection before the knives are shipped out. Quite honestly, I’ve examined quite of few of the “rejects” that don’t leave the factory, and I couldn’t find any blemishes or defects myself in those knives. I’ve had their inspection folks point out the flaws, but if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have spotted them on my own. So, they are very meticulous. And at every station along the way, those employees can reject a knife that made it to their station and/or return it to the previous station for correction in the assembly process.
Dmitry Sinkevich Design
Okay, let’s take a look at what the ZT0460Ti is all about. First of all, it is one of the most popular knives in the ZT line-up. It features front and rear handles that are made out of Titanium – super tough stuff to work with, and it makes for a super tough knife handle. This knife is designed by custom knife maker, Dmitry Sinkevich, and is based on his larger Polychotky Jr. folder. The handle and blade itself are ergonomic – sleek – in the way it is formed and fit together. It kind of reminds me of something out of old Persia. It is no small task to get that curved blade to fit neatly into the curved handle scales, and the knife just feels fantastic in the hand. There is also partial 3D machining on the handle itself that adds a very secure grip on this folder.
The blade on the 0460Ti is 3.25-inches long and is made out of one of the new stainless super steels, that takes a great edge and seems to hold it just about forever, this is called CPM 20CV. The blade also has a two-tone finish, stonewashed on the flats and machine satin on the grinds. This is also very cool looking.
The knife opens with a flipper, and the blade has the KVT ball-bearing operating system. We are talking butter smooth when you press on the flipper to open the blade. There is just a single position pocket clip for right pocket carry, tip up. The frame lock is made out of Titanium – again, expensive stuff. It also has a hardened steel lockbar insert for added strength. The handle itself is also stonewashed for a nice subdued finish. The entire knife only weighs-in at 2.9-oz, so you don’t even know that it is in your pants pocket. There is a matte black anodized Aluminum spacer in the butt of the handle, and the black spacer compliments the black hardware. The pocket clip is also anodized black. The entire knife is more than a little handsome if you ask me – very classy!
Regular readers will know that I like folding knives with a blade between 3.5-inches and 4-inches. However, the 3.25-inch blade on the 0460Ti and the design aspects of this folder, makes the knife look bigger and it fits the hand perfectly. I showed this knife to a LOT of folks, and every last one of them commented on how great this folder felt in their hand.
Tough CPM 20CV Stainless Steel
As already mentioned about the CPM 20CV stainless steel, about how tough it is, and what a great edge it takes and holds. The blade’s edge resists chipping. I’ve seen many lesser stainless steel blades easily chip – and I returned them to the source they came from – for a replacement. I did some light chopping on a 2X3 hunk of wood with this folder, and the blade’s edge did not chip – not even close.
Of course, my usual testing includes chopping through super tough blackberry vines, and we have some thick ones for a testing media. The 0460Ti easily sliced right through this stuff with a single swipe – if a knife isn’t sharp, it won’t cleanly slice through one of these vines with a single swipe. Never lack for cardboard boxes to cut up, or cut open for testing, and this folder easily cut the thickest boxes – and to be sure, cardboard is tough stuff, it will dull a knife is short order – no problems with this folder – it held an edge. Poly rope is a real challenge – even for many sharp knives, but I easily cut right through this material.
My wife used the 0460Ti around the kitchen and loved the way it felt in her hand – she made short work out of veggies, as well as some tough meat. I used the knife at the kitchen table to cut up some of my meals. We had no problems at all, with any of those tasks.
I Forgot It Was There
I carried this ZT folder for close to a month in my right front cargo pants pocket, and often forgot it was there. In fact it got washed several times in the washing machine – no damage to the knife at all – thankfully. I didn’t even realize the knife was in my pants pocket when carrying it – it slipped right in, and came right out when I drew it out of the pocket. Titanium is lightweight stuff, and there is plenty of it in this folder.
The ZT 0460Ti retails for $275 – if you can find one in-stock. I shopped around, and I found a few on Amazon.com — a couple for around $220, and just one for $196 – but they were selling out fast.
This folder is very classy looking in all respects, and more importantly, it is tougher than it looks. Check one out. I’ll bet you’ll fall in love with it.