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Zero Tolerance 0308 Knife

The El Guapo of Pocket Folders

When we opened the Zero Tolerance Knives box and enjoyed our first glimpse at the ZT 0308, we swear we heard Jefe's voice from The Three Amigos say, "you want a man's knife ..not a little sissy knife." Yeah, man, the ZT Knives 0308 is definitely no little sissy knife. A big, meaty chunk of steel, titanium, and aluminum, the 0308 is one of the finest pocket folders we've had the pleasure of wrapping our grimy paws around. So let's take a closer look at this exceptional piece of hardware.

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Not Only Big, But Substantial

The claim to fame of the ZT Knives 0308 straight from the company is that it's "for those who prefer their knives on the larger side." Don't get us wrong. The ZT 0308 isn't some overblown piece of machismo like Rambo or Crocodile Dundee would flash on camera. Rather, it's a scaled up version of the company's usual pocket folder like the company's 0562 or 0393 models. And with an overall length of 8.9 inches (the 0562 is 8.3 inches), a blade length of 3.75 inches (the 0562 is 3.5 inches), and a weight of 6.9 ounces (the 0562 is 5.6 ounces), the ZT Knives 0308 is definitely large but not rediculous. But what a difference in perceived substance those little increases in size lend when you're actually using the 0308. The blade, for example is 0.156 inches thick, which is the same thickness as the blade of the 0562. But the blade width of the 0308 is so much thicker it provides a rock-solid feeling of security no matter what the material or angle at which you're cutting. It's just a burly, meaty chunk of awesome.

The large ZT Knives 0308 (top) compared with a more commonly sized ZT Knives 0562 (bottom).
The large ZT Knives 0308 (top) and its more commonly sized sibling, the ZT Knives 0562 (bottom).
Both the ZT Knives 0308 (top) and ZT Knives 0562 (bottom) feature titanium handles on the frame lock side.
Both the ZT Knives 0308 (top) and ZT Knives 0562 (bottom) feature G10 epoxy impregnated glass handles on the side opposite the frame lock.
Despite its additional length and width, the ZT Knives 0308 (left) is virtually the same thickness as the ZT Knives 0562 (right).

High-End Handles and Finishes

The coyote tan handle on the ZT Knives 0308 is made of the company's G10 material, which is an epoxy-filled woven glass fiber that's very durable and super lightweight. The G10 is tinted throughout so any scratch you may put into it will show the same tan as the outer surface. As for the silver handle side, generally speaking any material that ends in "ium" is pretty impressive stuff. Contrasting the G10's Coyote Tan is bead-blasted silver titanium handle. Titanium is incredibly hard and durable, yet super lightweight. Both handles are 3D Machined with a faceted no-slip design that provides a secure grip and great hand purchase.

The handle on the frame lock side of the ZT Knives 0308 is genuine high-quality titanium with a bead-blasted silver finish.
The ZT Knives 0308 coyote tan handle is the company's G10 epoxy-filled woven glass that's color-impregnated throughout so scratches won't show with any high degree.

Blade Steel

The 3.75-inch-long, 0.156-inch-thick ZT Knives 0308 blade is made from ZT's CPM 20CV steel with a stonewashed finish. The CPM 20CV is a powdered steel by Crucible Industries in New York, and is a blended steel that features a high level of vanadium carbides and very high levels of chromium for excellent corrosion resistance. The USA-made steel blade takes an exceptionally sharp edge and the 0308 comes out of the box razor sharp and ready for work.

The blade on the ZT Knives 0308 is CMP 20CV, which is a high-vanadium, high chromium powdered steel by Crucible.

Easy Operation and Adjustable Bearings

Unlike many pocket folders that use simple bushings, many ZT Knives models use true ball bearing in the pivot that allow the blades to glide open out of the handle without the need for a complex spring or torsion bar. And true to form, at 0.25-inch in diameter the ball bearings in the ZT Knives 0308 are somewhat larger and scaled up than those found in its more common pocket folders. The bearing tension is adjustable by taking an open-ended -inch wrench. We found ours was a bit stiffer to open than we were used to so we loosened the adjuster by roughly 1/8-turn and it greatly improved the ease with which the blade unlocked from the handle and began opening. Just press your finger on the flipper at the back of the blade and the knife swings open smoothly and securely with either hand. And speaking of either hand, both 0308 handles are drilled and tapped for pocket clips, so you can run the knife in either right- or left-hand draw orientation.

Although not an assisted opening device via spring or torsion bar, the slick KVT bearings in the ZT Knives 0308 allow one-finger opening by flicking the flipper.
The KVT ball bearings on the ZT Knives 0308 are larger and provide less resistance than a similarly sized bushing.
In addition to being very smooth in operation, the ZT Knives 0308 KVT ball bearing preload is easily adjustable with a -inch wrench.

Secure Locking Functionality

Unlike a simple liner lock, which is a thin strip of metal housed inside the blade liner, the ZT Knives 0308 employs a super sturdy titanium frame lock with a hardened steel lock bar insert. It's one of the most secure methods of locking open a folding knife blade and indeed, when the 0308 is opened it's not closing unless you tell it to by sliding the lock bar sideways and then intentionally folding the blade closed.

The frame lock on the ZT Knives 0308 is titanium with a hardened steel liner.

Living with the ZT Knives 0308

We've been carrying this made-in-USA knife around every day since it arrived. The first thing we did was flip the pocket clip to accommodate our southpaw disability. We say disability because we've found almost all liner and frame locks are designed to easily accommodate one-hand closing with only the right hand. It's a cumbersome procedure to try to slide the lock open and fold the blade with only the left thumb, so generally we'll either transfer the knife into our right hand or use two hands to safely fold the 0308 closed. Additionally, although the 0308's width is never even noticed when riding in our front pocket, the knife is long enough that it hits against our phone. And in a battle between a titanium knife handle and a glass iPhone screen, guess which team wins. Otherwise, the 0308 is an absolute joy to have on your person. It's secure in operation, stable in any job you toss its way, and an absolute pleasure to hold in your hand either open or closed.

The ZT Knives 0308 comes drilled and tapped on both sides for a ZT or aftermarket pocket clip. The 0308 uses longer T7 Torx screws on the G10 handle side, which are included.