Zero Tolerance is a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. The first time a zero tolerance knife was released was in 2006. Kai USA started the brand because they saw a need for knives that were made in the USA that could be used for heavy duty use. Especially by professionals in the military, law enforcement, and rescuers. The very first knives were combat knives, but since then Zero Tolerance has produces general use and premium knives. The company strives to achieve “overbuilt” knives, which means they always use premium materials and finish the knives impeccably.
The 0801 Flipper:
The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long. It has a spear point silhouette that sports a high flat grind. The blade has a swedge that ends well before the tip, to make sure the tip is still strong and supported. This is not a fancy looking blade, but it definitely stands up to everyday cutting tasks. The blade on this knife is thin, so the edge can get very sharp and does come sharp. The steel on this blade is ELMAX, which is a superior steel and makes this knife a higher end knife. ELMAX steel has fantastic edge retention and is still very easy to sharpen. ELMAX also has high corrosion and rust resistance properties.
The handle on this knife is made out of titanium slaps. These slabs are separated by three black standoffs. Titanium has the tendency to get machining marks, but the 0801 has no visible machining marks and all of the handle parts have lined up perfectly. The hardware in the handle is black, which adds a very nice contrast to the silver titanium. On the handle, you can find an engraved “ZERO TOLERANCE” and milled groves to add texture and grip to the otherwise slippery titanium. The handle has enough room to provide a good grip, even if you are wearing gloves. However, if you have super big hands it might be hard to get your whole hand on this handle. There is no jimping on this knife, so you don’t have to worry about your thumb. But, no jimping is a turn off to some people. The handle shape is very straightforward shape so it works well for almost everyone. There is a pocket clip on the handle. This pocket clip is not ground breaking or unique, but it is very practical. There is also a stainless steel lockbar insert in the framelock; the steel on steel helps keep everything very secure and not sticking together.
The overall length of this knife is 8.2 inches while open. This knife weighs 5.85 ounces. This is definitely a heftier knife than most everyday carry knives, so it might take some time getting used to. However, it will feel sturdy when performing harder tasks.
Pros of the 0801 Flipper:
- The tip on this blade is strong and supported.
- The edge is extremely sharp, holds the edge, and is easy to sharpen.
- The steel has very high corrosion and rust resistance properties.
- The titanium handle has milled grooves.
- The pocket clip is very sturdy and can hold up the heavy knife.
- Feels sturdy while performing hard tasks.
Cons of the 0801 Flipper:
- This knife is definitely on the heavier and longer side of the spectrum.
- There is no jimping on this knife.
The 0562CF Hinderer:
Rick Hinderer and Zero Tolerance has collaborated multiple times before, but this one may be their best collaboration yet. The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long, which many people consider to be the best size for an everyday carry blade. The blade on this knife is a drop point silhouette that is similar to the other knives in the XM series. A unique part of this blade is that it has been given Rick Hinderer’s “slicer” grind, which is a slanting high flat grind. The slicer grind takes more material off than Rick’s standard “spanto” grind. The slicer grind makes slicing a breeze; it can easily cut through thicker materials such as cardboard and rope. The thumb studs on this knife are actually designed to be a blade stop and trying to use them to open the knife probably won’t succeed.
The handle on this knife is made out of carbon fiber/G-10 slabs that are placed over a full stainless steel liner and then a titanium frame lock. This is a cheaper option than the 0560 because on the 0562 there isn’t extreme 3D machining. The barrel spacers on this knife are blackened and the knife boasts an oversized decorative pivot. This handle is slimmer than other handle, which does make it more comfortable. There is also no sharp jimping on the handle, which also works to make it more comfortable in your hand. There is a short row of thumb jimping on the spine. Other than that, the knife is very smooth. The knife has finger choils in the handle. The locking mechanism is a framelock that sports a stainless steel lockbar insert.
The pocket clip on this knife helps you carry this knife very deeply and discreetly. It is a stainless steel ambidextrous knife. There is a spring action on the pocket clip that holds the knife firmly in place.
The overall length of this knife is 8.25 inches long and it weighs about 5.5 ounces. This knife is also on the heavier side of things, but it isn’t uncomfortably heavy. It is a long knife while opened, but like I previously said, the blade is a great length.
Pros of the 0562CF Hinderer:
- The blade is a great length for an everyday carry knife.
- The blade sports a slicer grind which makes cutting through thicker materials a breeze.
- This is a cheaper option than some of the other knives in this series, but you don’t lose quality.
- The pocket clip is a deep carry, ambidextrous clip.
- Feel sturdy while working on heavier tasks.
Cons of the 0562CF Hinderer:
- This is definitely on the heavier side of your options.
- The thumb studs are actually blade stops instead of an opening mechanism.
- The handle is very smooth.
This is a rarer knife because it was a limited edition knife. It has been considered more of a collectible than an everyday knife. However, this is still a fantastic knife for you to use all the time.
The blade on this knife is 3.75 inches long. Half of these limited edition knives are made from Maxamet steel and the other half are made out of M390 steel. Either way, the steel is coated with a Diamond Like Coating. This knife has a drop point silhouette. The Maxamet steel is one of the hardest steels out there, which makes it hard to grind. It also left some warping after the heat treatment, which is why Zero Tolerance switched to the other steel for the second half of the limited edition run. Maxamet is a great steel, but it would be extremely hard to sharpen when the time arises. If you are looking for this knife in a purely collectable stand point, I would recommend looking for one with a Maxamet steel; however, if you are looking for this knife to actually use as a knife, I would look for the second steel.
The handle on this knife makes it a very unique knife. It has 3 pieces in the titanium handle and you cannot see any of the hardware, except of the custom pivot. The handle looks more elegant than many other handles that you are going to find. Not being able to see the hardware gives for a cleaner look. The full titanium back spacer is engraved with “Zero Tolerance”. This knife is all black. This knife is larger, but it is still comfortable. It has a very simple shape, so you can hold onto this knife very well. There is no jimping whatsoever on this knife.
The pocket clip is a tip up, ambidextrous clip. It is 3D machined from one single piece of titanium. This is a flipper knife that has a very smooth action. While using this knife, you do need to keep your finger off of the lock bar when you are using the flipper.
The overall length of this knife is 9.125 inches and it weighs 7.56 ounces. This is a large, heavy knife. You are going to feel it if it is in your pocket.
Pros of the 0888MAX:
- This is a limited edition knife.
- The blade is coated in a Diamond Like Coating.
- The handle is extremely sleek; you cannot see any of the hardware except for the pivot.
- It is an all-black knife, which looks very sleek and clean.
- The simple shape of the pocket makes it comfortable in your hand.
- The pocket clip is ambidextrous.
Cons of the 0888MAX:
- This is a large and heavy knife.
- The Maxamet steel is not going to be easy to sharpen.
- The Maxamet steel is prone to warping.
- This is more of a collector’s knife than an everyday use knife.
The 0900 by Les George:
Almost every knife built by Zero Tolerance have been large, overly large. Until very recently, there were no small knives. This knife breaks the record for the smallest knife ever made by Zero Tolerance. The size of the blade is 2.7 inches. However, don’t be turned off by the tiny size, this is definitely a little-big knife, meaning that even though it is small, it packs a punch. The blade is a drop point that has a big belly with a spine that stops at a row of thick cut traction. The thick jimping is a signature of Les George’s designs. The blade is made out of Crucible S35VN. This steel is a powdered steel that works great for everyday carry knives. The edge of the knife is thick, with a thick tip. This means that it can take on heavy duty tasks, but it won’t be a great knife to do intricate detail work.
The handle on this knife is made out of two titanium slabs. This handle is larger than the blade, which allows you to get a solid grip on the knife. On the slabs, there is a small amount of milling, which adds a little bit of finesse. “ZERO TOLERANCE” is engraved on the show side of the handle. The pivot on this handle is a satin finish, along with the other hardware on the knife. A pro to having a satin finish is that it wears better over time as opposed to the black coated parts. This is a flipper knife that is extremely smooth.
The overall length of this knife is 6.6 inches long with a closed length of 3.9 inches. The knife weighs in at 4.3 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.
Pros of the 0900 by Les George:
- This is a small knife, but it packs a punch.
- The blade is very thick, so it can stand up to heavy duty tasks.
- The satin finish wears or ages much better than a black finish.
- The steel is perfect for everyday use.
- The handle is small, but you can still get a solid grip on the knife.
- It is a lightweight knife, so it won’t wear you down.
- Made in the United States of America.
Cons of the 0900 by Les George:
- Because of the thicker blade, you cannot do fine or intricate work.
- This is still a very small knife and some people prefer size.
Zero Tolerance knives are known for being high quality or “overbuilt”. They use premium steel and other materials on all of their knives to ensure you with the best possible knife. This is a list of the four best Zero Tolerance knives for you and your purposes. Any of these knives would be a fantastic addition to your collection. They will be reliable, sturdy, and efficient. You will not regret buying and using any of these knives.