ZERO TOLERANCE

0560/0561


Alongside the Ka-bar and the oldschool Buck folding knife, the Zero Tolerance 0560 is fast becoming an American classic folder design. Based on Rick Hinderer's original XM-18 handmade slicer, the blade and handle shapes are recognizable from miles away.

This is probably one of the most traded knives on Bladeforums.com alongside Hinderers original designs. This is also where I obtained my own specimen - a used 0560 with a custom scale from Rival. This is the scale you see in the pictures on this page - I very much prefer it to the one that came with the knife. The custom one follows the 3D pattern that Ansø Knives made popular with his sculpted Böker collaborations, the Haddock and Anso 67.

The ZT features a 3.75" stonewashed Elmax blade, a titanium frame lock and KVT ball-bearings to enable the smoothest flipping you will ever see.

The lock side is incredible 3D-machined titanium in a very detailed, yet cohesive and functional scale-like pattern that just never looks old.

ZT is manufactured by KAI, who also runs the cheaper, even more popular Kershaw line. Their websites just underwent a massive make-over that makes it very easy to browse and compare their various models. I think it is a good sign that knife companies are starting to see the value in taking their brands seriously... Maybe there is even a redesign of the ZT logo on the cards? Smiley face.


 Click to read more about Rick Hinderer. Image ©Hinderer

Click to read more about Rick Hinderer. Image ©Hinderer

With the combination of designing art knives, and his real world experience as a first responder, this unusual perspective allows him to design hard use tactical folders that are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but extremely comfortable in the hand.
— rickhindererknives.com
 

AESTHETICS

★★★★

The knife is beautiful. The stock scale that comes with it is decent - the back of the knife is incredible. It puts a lot of other lazy knife designs to shame. I am less and less a fan of G10 and if anything could be improved, I think it would be the stock scale. Fortunately there are a host of options for customizing the non-lock side. You would not be disappointed with some of the offerings from, say, Cuscadi in Germany. They do beautiful custom wooden scales, 3D molded, translucent, you name it.

 

ERGONOMICS

★★★★½

The 0560 is the best fit for my hand of all my folders. It feels safe, it just slides nicely into place. The weight is perfect, the balance rests right on the index finger. I want to hold it all day long.

 

FIT & FINISH

★★★★½

Great attention to detail, no funky fit there. Everything is rounded and feels great with no rough edges. In fact the blade itself feels soft and delicious.

 

RUGGEDNESS

★★★★

I'd rate this guy in the mid-range for a folding knife. I am sure it can take a beating. The quality of ELMAX steel is debated in the knife lover community, but I definitely have had no brittleness here. Go to ZT's blog to read more about their magical powder steel formula. This is a user knife, but wouldn't rate it as an abuser knife, like the Nemesis reviewed elsewhere on this site.

 

USEFULNESS

★★★★½

Easy to carry, if a tad large, this knife will follow you around. I personally prefer a tad smaller knife, but the 0560 is not prohibitively large. It slices well, the tip is strong, the lock is strong. It is a perfect camping knife.

 

FONDLE FACTOR

★★★★★

This is probably one of the most satisfying folders to sit and fiddle with while watching Millionaire Matchmaker. The size is perfect, it has fantastic heft, you really feel you are juggling a hefty piece of steel. The bearing-boosted flipping action is simply second to none - so incredibly smooth it is hard to believe there is no blade play or other sad trade-offs.

 


PIVOT SCORE

★★★★½

All-round a near-perfect knife. A perfect price for someone who wants incredible quality without moving into I-could-buy-a-gun-for-this-much range. 

For people who never handled a high-end folder, this will definitely be an eye opener. After flipping this beast you wonder why all other folder don't sport flippers. It is fantastically easy to flip open, very easy to close, is safe to use and fits your hand like a glove.

As I say, I only wish the stock scale wasn't "just" bread+butter flat G10. It makes the knife feel a notch less premium. I prefer scales like Pohl Force's Mike One/Foxtrott One: a bit more sculptural and edgy. Maybe even a titanium option like the stunning Fox Ansø Flipper Folder? I am so full of good ideas.

I am not the only one to praise this folder. Check more reviews on the right. And buy it at Blade HQ.

At a glance:

  • Blade: ELMAX®, stonewashed finish, 3.75 in. (9.5 cm)
  • Handle: 3-D machined G-10 front scale, 3-D machined titanium back handle, stonewashed finish
  • Closed: 5 in. (12.7 cm)
  • Overall: 8.8 in. (22.4 cm)
  • Lock: 3-D Machined Titanium framelock
  • Weight: 5.8 oz.
  • Made in USA


More resources:


Goes well with

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 Review by Sir Twomey Twinherd

Review by Sir Twomey Twinherd


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