Zero Tolerance is a sub brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai has been the leading producer of premier blades in Japan for over 100 years now. They have a commitment to innovation and are constantly coming up with new, ground breaking technologies. Kai is also a major manufacturer and distributor of disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care products, and housewares—all in Japan.
Zero Tolerance is also committed to innovation. They first made their public appearance in 2006 when they noticed a place in the market for a Made-in-the-USA lien of hard-use knives. They wanted their knives to meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcement, as well as other first responders, such as firefighter and emergency medical personnel. So that is just what they did.
When they first began designing and producing knives, they made combat knives, and only combat knives. Since that time, they have expanded their line to include a variety of products. They have produced larger and heavier outdoor knives to slimmer and lighter every day carrying knives. All of their products are built to Zero Tolerances high-performance standards. Zero Tolerance wants to prove their users with the top of the line quality.
One of Zero Tolerance’s claim to fame is that they are “proudly overbuilt”. This company only uses the top quality materials and the manufacturing is conspicuously smooth. Plus, the Zero Tolerance fit and finish is second to none. When you are carrying a Zero Tolerance knife, you know that you can trust it. And it will last you a lifetime. Zero Tolerance has just released a brand new knife called the 0920. And it is a showstopper.
The blade on this knife is carved out of CPM 20CV steel. This steel has been produced by Crucible, an American company. They designed this steel to compare to the Bohler’s M39p steel as well as Carpenter CTS 204P steel. CPM 20CV steel is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel. Because of this, you get a combination of impressive wear resistance and edge retention. And, because of the high levels of chromium, this steel is extremely resistant to rusting and corroding. This steel has been known as a super steel, because of its properties and its ability to perform. This is also a steel that requires very little maintenance. However, this steel is difficult to sharpen; a beginner probably wouldn’t be able to handle it.
The steel has been finished with a stonewash finish. This finish is made by tumbling the steel around in an abrasive material. This material is usually small pebbles. After it is tumbled around, the steel will be smoothed over and polished. The finished look is a rugged, textured look. One of the biggest benefits about the stonewash finish is that it preserves the look of the blade for long periods of time. The stonewash finish effortlessly hides fingerprints and scratches, which accumulate over time. Because of this, maintenance time is significantly reduced.
The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is one of the most versatile blade shapes, and is very similar to the drop point blade shape. This shape is commonly found on pocket knives and fixed blades. This blade shape is created by having the unsharpened edge of the blade run straight form the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area look like it is cut out and can be curved out straight. The 0920 looks a little bit different where it curves and then goes straight, but still has the portion that looks to be “clipped out”, which is where the shape got its name. This blade shape creates a lowered point which gives you more control when you are using the knife. However, unlike the drop point blade shape, the point is not broad. The tip on the clip point shape is very fine and sharp. This allows you to have stabbing capabilities. However, because it is finer, it is more prone to breaking or snapping. Another reason that makes it so versatile is because the clip point provides a large belly with a large area for slicing. The ability to slice makes this a perfect blade option for an everyday knife. There are many, many knife lovers that adore the clip point shape. This provides you with the ability to be prepared for the expected or the unexpected.
At the back of the blade, right next to the handle, there is a portion of jimping. This jimping is a little shallower and rounded than you would normally find, but it will provide you with a place to rest your thumb and give you more control over the blade while you are cutting. Right under the jimping, Zero Tolerance has stamped a black “ZT” logo.
The handle on the 0920 has been made out of titanium. While titanium is a heavier material than its little brother, aluminum, it is still considered a lightweight metal alloy. And while it is slightly heavier, with the extra weight, you get a considerable amount of extra strength. The extra weight is one hundred percent worth the strength you gain. However, because it is so much stronger, it is a more expensive material to machine, which does increase the overall cost of the knife. One of the most unique and loved characteristics about having a titanium handle is that it is a rare metal that has a warm feel to it. This means that you won’t have to suffer when you are using this knife in the winter or a cold environment. However, there are a couple of drawbacks to titanium. One of them is that it is prone to scratches especially when you are comparing it to stainless steel. The other drawback is that it can be a slick material, unless it has been properly texturized.
To add enough texture to provide you with a secure grip, Zero Tolerance has finished the titanium handle with a bead blast finish. The bead blasted finish is created when the metal has been blasted with small ceramic beads at a high pressure. The resulting look is an even, matte, gray finish. Because it is matte, the bead blast finish minimizes glares and reflections. However, because the bead blast finish creates micro abrasions in the metal, the titanium is going to be more prone to rusting or corroding. This means that you are going to have to keep up on maintenance time and make sure that you don’t leave it in a damp or humid environment. Another thing that Zero Tolerance did to increase the amount of texture was to add vertical milling pattern across the width of the knife. This texturing provides you with a secure grip no matter the environment you are in.
The handle sports a shallow finger groove, but a large finger guard to protect from slipping and injuring your finger.
On the butt of the handle, there has been a lanyard hole drilled into it. Having a lanyard tied onto your handle can help prevent against loss, improve the ability to find your knife if you happen to drop or misplace it, and you can add a little bit of your own personal style to the knife.
The frame lock design includes a steel lock bar insert as well as bronze anodized tube spacers with the same finish that will be found on the pocket clip.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip is a bent titanium pocket clip. This pocket clip actually does not match the handle, but instead sports a copper look to it. This pocket clip is reversible, so you can carry it either left or right handedly. However, it is not tip reversible. It is only drilled to carry the knife tip up. The pocket clip is kept into place by three small black screws. The screws that keep the clip in place match the rest of the black hardware.
This is a flipper knife that sports a KVT ball bearing opening system. Instead of the usual sharks fin flipper shape, the flipper tab on this knife is more rectangular. The KVT ball bearing system is an innovation that Zero Tolerance has created. This 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. The ball bearings in the KVT system surround the pivot point. When the knife user pulls back on the flipper protrusion, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle and then locks into place. This mechanism allows the user to open the knife efficiently with only one hand. This system is what makes this knife a fully ambidextrous blade.
This knife has been made in the United States of America. The blade length on the 0920 knife is 3.9 inches long with a thickness of 0.156 inches. The overall length of this knife is 9 inches long, with a closed length of 5.1 inches. This knife weighs in at 5.4 ounces.
The Pros of the 0920 Knife:
- Zero Tolerance has been known to proudly overbuild their knives.
- The steel that they chose to use is a super steel.
- The steel provides you with excellent edge retention.
- The steel effortlessly resists corrosion.
- The stonewash finish easily hides fingerprints and scratches.
- The stonewash finish preserves the look of the blade overtime.
- The clip point blade is extremely versatile.
- The clip point provides you with exceptional stabbing capabilities.
- The clip point also has a large belly that allows you to easily slice.
- The titanium handle actually has a warm feel to it.
- The titanium handle is lightweight, yet extremely strong.
- Titanium is one of the most corrosion resistant metals on the market.
- The handle has a large finger guard on the handle to protect your fingers from slipping and getting cut.
- The milling on the handle provides you with fantastic grip.
- The handle has a lanyard hole drilled into it.
- The bead blast finish on the handle also helps to give you a secure grip.
- The pocket clip is reversible, so it is ambidextrous.
- The knife sports a KVT ball bearing opening system.
- This is a fully ambidextrous knife.
The Cons of the 0920 Knife:
- The tip on the clip point shape is finer, so it is more prone to breaking or snapping.
- The aluminum does have a significant amount of weight to it.
- The bead blasted finish on the handle does make the handle more prone to corroding or rusting.
- The knife can only be carried tip up, because the handle has only been drilled for that.
Zero Tolerance knives have a reputation of being overbuilt. What does that mean? It means that Zero Tolerance only uses the highest quality materials and the manufacturing is seamless. The Zero Tolerance final fit and finish is second to none. They deserve the reputation that they have earned over the years. In 2006, when they saw the need in the market for made-in-the-USA knives that could take a hard beating, they swooped in. And we are so grateful that they did. They have produced countless ground breaking knives and have come out with many innovative mechanisms. It’s the little details that they pay attention to that sets them apart from all of their competition.
With one of their newest knives, the 0920, they paid special attention to the details. They started out with a super steel for the blade and finished it with a low maintenance look. The versatile blade shape demands an exceptional handle, so Zero Tolerance used one of the most durable materials. The reversible pocket clip is a cherry on top and the KVT ball bearing opening system makes deploying the blade a seamless task. This knife is a game changer that will definitely up the standards that you have for your pocket knives.