Friday, September 13, 2013

Zero Tolerance 0350 Review

The best survival knife is usually the blade you have on you when faced with a bad situation. As most know- its difficult to get away with carrying a fixed blade on most occasions (possibly even landing you in jail in some areas). I do try to carry one when I can. Usually riding in my EDC bag. However there are times I don't have one with me. For those times I wanted a beefier/no-nonsense folder to keep me company. I searched the web over the course of a few weeks and came across a video displaying the ZT 0350 in a survival scenario (video posted at the bottom of the article). I was impressed by the toughness of this blade in the video and decided to give it a try.

This particular ZT 0350 was a limited edition run from BladeHQ. It features orange G10 handles. So I don't loose the knife by sitting it down somewhere and leaving it behind. Also getting away from that "tacti-cool" look that may scare some when you whip it out in public.

Lets go over the specs of the ZT 0350:

  • Overall length: 7.75"
  • Blade length: 3.25"
  • Blade thickness: 0.125"
  • Blade material: S30V
  • Handle length: 4.50"
  • Handle material: G10
  • Weight: 6.2 oz.
The ZT 0350 is by far the heaviest and beefiest folder I've used. But again, that's what I was looking for. If you want a dainty pocket knife; look somewhere else. Due to it's weight it took some getting use to as an EDC knife. The handles do give a variety of carry options with its quad mounting system (pre-drilled holes on each side of the handle for tip-up/down or right/left hand carry). There is also a lanyard hole if you so choose to loop some paracord through the handle. 
The knife features a "modified recurve" blade design. I've read mixed reviews with some points being valid. The only concern I noticed was with sharpening. It took some finesse but wasn't impossible. Outside of that I really didn't have any problems with normal cutting task. While on the topic lets go over sharpening. After putting the knife through the paces and dulling the blade;  I had no problems sharpening the S30V steel with a DMT Sharpener (pictured above). It took a hair-popping edge fairly easily. This particular model features a nice stonewashed blade. Aiding in hiding blemishes the blade may incur. 

The spine of the blade has a thumb ramp for applying more force when cutting something tough. Deployment of the blade is by way of Ken Onion's speed safe design for one-handed opening. The blade has a lever that flicks the blade out with intense speed. While not an essential feature it does add to the "cool" factor. 
The ZT 0350 has a traditional liner lock built from stainless steel. Even though there are a ton of locking mechanisms on the market; I tend to like liner locks. They are simple and effective. 

This limited edition model pretty much sold me when I saw the orange grips offered. I'd like to see them offered in their general production of the ZT 0350. The G10 grips are excellent quality and provide a sure grip. Even when they were wet I had no problems. 

I do notice a rattle in the main retaining screw when the knife is opened. When I tightened the screw to stop the rattling it prevented the blade from opening and closing. This could be nothing but I thought I'd mention it. I've noticed no failure in the knife so it may be a fluke. 

If your looking for a folder that can handle serious task this is definitely it. If I did not have a fixed blade on me this would be the next best thing. Don't take my word for it- check out this Bug Out Scenario Field Test by Dan from the Daily Prep:




3 comments:

  1. Just FYI, it's not the retaining screw that is rattling on your 0350, it's the torsion spring inside. Open it up with a small torx, and put a small dab of lithium grease in the spring area.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If I open the knife and add grease does this void the warranty?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can you provide any tips or tricks for sharpening the recurve with the DMT stone? Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete

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