Zero Tolerance 0450G10 Short Run Knife Review

Zero Tolerance is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. The ZT brand first made its appearance in 2006 when we saw a place in the market for a Made-in-the-USA lien of hard-use knives that would meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcement, as well as other first responders, such as firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

The initial products were combat knives, but since that time, the line has expanded to include a variety of general use and premium knives. From larger and heavier outdoor knives to slimmer and lighter every day carrying knives that are built to ZT’s high performance standards, ZT knives always provide knife owners with top-of-the-line quality.

Zero Tolerance Knives are manufactured of premium materials such as S30V, S35VN, or CTS-204P blade steel and G10, titanium, and carbon fiber handle scales. Operation is conspicuously smooth and ZT fit and finish is second to none. Their customers have described ZT’s as a “real beast” and proudly “overbuilt.” All ZTs are built in their Tualatin, Oregon USA manufacturing facility by their most skilled workers.

Kai USA Ltd., the makers of Zero Tolerance Knives, is a member of the Kai Group. Kai is a major manufacturer and distributor of disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care products, and housewares in Japan.

Today, we will be discussing the Zero Tolerance 0450G10 knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of S35VN steel. This steel was released by Crucible and Chris Reeve as an ever so slightly superior version of their excellent S30V steel. To understand S35VN steel, you need to understand S30V steel. This first steel was also made by Crucible and has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This steel was designed in the US and was typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Crucible had added vanadium carbides to bring out the extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, it was generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steel with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. But, this first steel was tricky to sharpen. That was the biggest complaint surrounding S30V steel. So Crucible and Chris Reeve decided to revamp it and try again. They used a much finer grain structure and added small quantities of niobium, which is where the N in the name is derived from. Because of the niobium addition, they were able to make the outstanding S30V easier to machine while also improving toughness and the ability to sharpen. Many people believe that you will find the two steels near-indistinguishable. However, if the first steel was absolutely phenomenal, just imagine how exceptional S35VN steel is going to be. You will struggle to find any steel with better edge retention, toughness, and stain resistance for your money.

The blade actually has two different finishes. The blade sports a satin finish with a stonewashed flat. To form the satin finish, the blade is sanded in one direction with increasing degrees of affine abrasive, which is generally a sandpaper. A satin finish shows the bevels of the blade while also showcasing the lines of the knife and reducing its reflective glare. The finer the abrasive that is used, the ore even the lines; the more lean the satin finish blade looks. This is a semi shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted and mirror polish. This is also the most popular finish on production knife blades. To form the stonewashed finish, the steel is literally rolled with pebbles and then smoothed. This finish easily hides scratches, while also providing a less reflective nature than a brushed or satin finished blade. But, depending on the manufacturer, a stonewash finish can often look satin from a distance. A very positive benefit of stonewashed blades is that they are low maintenance and preserve their original look overtime; the stonewashed finish hides the scratches and fingerprints that can occur with use over time. Because of its ability to hide the fingerprints so well, the blade might not need to be polished as often as others with different finishes.

The blade on the Zero Tolerance 0450G10 has been carved into a drop point blade shape. This is a knife that can stand up to almost anything while also being able to perform a wide variety of tasks. One of the most common places that you are going to find a drop point blade shape in use today is on hunting knives, but it is not uncommon to find this blade shape on a variety of other styles of knives, especially Swiss army knives. To form this blade shape, the back, also known as the unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curving manner, which creates a lowered tip. It is this lowered tip that adds strength and control to your knife, which makes it a great option for tactical and survival knives. In tactical and survival situations, you are going to need a large amount of tip strength and the drop point blade style gives you just that. It is because of the controllable nature of this blade shape that makes this style such a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, easily controlled point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. The drop point blade style also is a popular blade option on everyday carry knives because of the large belly area that is perfect for slicing. The majority of your everyday tasks are going to involve some sort of slicing, so the large belly on this knife gives you the best capabilities to accomplish those tasks. When you choose a knife with a drop point blade shape, you are choosing a knife that can be used in many different situations from hunting and survival to your everyday tasks. This is because the drop point blade shape can take on the expected and unexpected without batting an eye.

This knife has been designed to take on a wide variety of different tasks, so ZT gave it a plain edge. This is the more traditional edge that is capable of taking on slicing, skinning, peeling, and push cuts. The plain edge blade style has been known for excelling at a wider variety of tasks as opposed to a combo or serrated edge. The plain edge gives much cleaner cuts than a serrated style blade. And, the plain edge is going to be much easier when it comes to sharpening, because you don’t have to worry about the specialty sharpening tools required to take on the teeth.

 

The Handle:

The handle is made out of G10 and Titanium. The front handle scale on this folder knife is made out of black G10. G10 is a grade o laminate composite made of fiberglass. It has very similar properties to carbon fiber, except that you can get it for almost a fraction of the cost. And although it is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber is, it still has to be cut and machined into shape, so it is not as cheap as something like an FRN handle would be. To make this material, the manufacturer will take layers of fiberglass cloth and then soaks them in reins. After they have been soaked, the layers of compressed and then baked under pressure. The material that you get is tough, hard, lightweight, and still strong. Actually, G10 is considered to be the toughest of all the fiberglass resin laminates and is stronger, although it is more brittle, than Micarta. This material is an excelled option for tactical and fixed blade knives because it is so durable and lightweight, but still non-porous.

Zero Tolerance 0450G10
Zero Tolerance 0450G10

The back scale on the 0450G10 is made out of Titanium. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy and it offers the best rust resistance out of any metal. It is often compared to aluminum, although it is a little heavier and much stronger. Even though it is heavier than aluminum, it is still considered a lightweight metal. However, it is much more expensive to machine than aluminum. Titanium has a unique quality to it in that it has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter time as something like aluminum. Unfortunately, titanium is prone to scratching, especially when being compared to stainless steel. Many knife manufacturers will act like titanium is the top dog and can do no wrong, but it is far from indestructible and not all of the titanium alloys are as strong as stainless steel.

The handle has a finger guard, ad deep finger groove, and anther groove to give your hand a comfortable place to rest. The butt of the handle does flare out slightly and there is a lanyard hole carved out of the handle. When you are using this knife for your EDC, the lanyard is perfect for hanging out of your pocket to give you easy access to your knife, while still keeping your knife concealed.

 

The Pocket Clip:

This knife has a reversible titanium pocket clip that has been designed for tip up carry only but it is eligible for a left or right hand carry option, helping to make this an ambidextrous knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a manual opening knife that uses a flipper mechanism to assist you. While thumb studs and holes enlist a thumb to open the knife, a flipper employs your index finger, and the feature is naturally ambidextrous. This mechanism is a small protrusion that extends out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. You pull back on this flipper and it pops the blade out of the handle.

This knife also is equipped with KVT ball-bearing system. The KVT opening system is a manual opening system that enables smooth, easy blade opening without the use of a spring or torsion bar to assist the blade out of the handle. Instead, the KVT system uses a series of ball bearings that surround the pivot point of this knife. As a knife user pulls back on the flipper blade protrusion, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use.

The 0450G10 blade also sports a frame lock. The frame lock is very similar to a liner lock except that a frame lock sues the handle to form the frame and therefore the lock. The handle, which has two sides, is often cut form a steel that is much thicker than the liner of most locks. Just like the liner lock, the frame lock is situated with the liner inward and the tip engaging the bottom of the blade. The frame lock is released by applying pressure to the frame to move it away from the blade. When it is opened, the pressure of the lock forces it to snap across the blade, engaging at its furthest point. Frame locks are known for their strength and thickness.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.25 inches long with a thickness of 0.121 inches. The overall length of this knife is 7.4 inches long, with a closed length of 4.1 inches long. This Zero Tolerance knife weighs in at 2.6 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

Based on the streamlined form and high-performance function of the original ZT + Dmitry Sinkevich collaboration—the 0454—and on its more-compact cousin, the 0450, the 0450G10 sprint run knife comes with a handsome G-10 front scale. The G-10 gives this 0450 a discreet look, while its 3.25-inch blade and lightweight-yet-stronger-than-steel titanium frame, make it an easy-to-carry EDC. ZT built the 0450G10 with an S35VN stainless blade that sharpens to a razor edge, holds that edge well, and then can be sharpened easily. The knife opens smoothly and easily with our KVT ball-bearing opening system and built-in flipper. A titanium frame lock with hardened steel lock bar insert ensures solid lock up, too. Pick yours up before these run out forever.

 

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