My Zero Tolerance 0300 got a lot of looks when I carried it around. At over 9″ long and with a weight of 8.6 ounces, it definitely raised some eyebrows. The excellent S30V blade was a force to be reckoned with, and I really enjoyed the loud “thwack” of the assisted opening. It was generally a really cool knife to carry, but lets be real, it’s not always practical to tote around such a beast of a blade every day. After a while a knife of that size (and weight!) might get pushed to the back of your EDC rotation, to eventually fall off into a dark corner of your knife collection.
So the good folks over at Zero Tolerance decided to tone things down a little and offer a slightly tamer, yet no less cool version of the original 0300; the Zero Tolerance 0350. This little brother packs many of the great features that made me fall in love with the 0300, but comes in a size that is much more practical for many people to EDC (although it’s still a big knife – lets not kid ourselves). Lets take a closer look and see what the ZT 0350 is all about.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
WHile the 0350 is not as portly as it’s big brother, it still is not what I would call a “small knife.” The 0350 has an overall length of 7-5/8″ a 3-1/4″ blade and a weight of 6.2 ounces. So it’s still on the heavy side, and perhaps still too big for some to EDC, but if a sturdy good size folder is what you are after I don’t think it’s a huge issue.
The blade is a modified drop point design. There is a small recurve and tons of belly. This is the same blade shape found on the 0300, just shrunk down slightly. I like how the tip has been left very strong. The tip of the 0350 has good piercing strength, and the high flat grind makes the knife excellent for slicing. While recurves can be a pain to sharpen, they really help feed material into the edge and are great slicers. ZT rounded things off by applying a beautiful edge and laser engraved hallmarks. This is a great blade shape a wide variety of applications.
The steel on this knife is S30V, which is absolutely awesome stuff. I am a big fan of S30V because it holds a very nice edge for a long time, and is still reasonably easy to sharpen. S30V is also resistant to rust and corrosion. Zero Tolerance applied a very nice DLC (diamond like carbon) coating to the knife, which is about as durable as knife coatings get. In summary, this is a great blade shape made of great steel with a great coating applied to it.
Handle, Ergonomics and Pocket Clip
The ZT 0350 features a classic handle formulation – black G10 over very thick stainless steel liners. The handle has been meticulously finished – I absolutely love how everything lines up perfectly, and there isn’t a machining mark to be seen. As far as construction goes, everything is held together with torx bolts, and you have a partial G10 backspacer. My only suggestion for Zero Tolerance would be to mill out the liners a little to perhaps shave off a few tenths of an ounce. Really though, this handle is built like a tank and finished like a Swiss watch.
The ergonomics on the 0350 are extremely satisfying. I wear a large glove and it feels like the knife was custom made for my hand. The width and thickness to the handle really fills the palm while the choil and thumb ramp prevent your fingers from slipping forward. The G10 has a medium level of traction, which is very pleasant feeling and offers good feedback. In reverse grip there is additional jimping for your thumb. All in all it’s a very comfortable and secure grip.
The pocket clip is right out of the Kershaw parts bin and is simple, but effective. First of all, it’s unobtrusive with it’s flat black coating. It has excellent retention, which I find extremely important for a heavier knife – this means that the knife won’t slide around your pocket (or worse, fall out entirely). The fact that this is a true 4 corners clip (ambidextrous tip up or tip down carry) almost brings a tear to my eye. This is truly a well done pocket clip.
Actual carry isn’t that bad. I found the knife is about as unobtrusive as 6+ ounces can get, although it’s certainly a change from say, my more typical 3-4 ounce EDC knives. For guys who regularly carry larger knives, I don’t anticipate any problems at all.
Deployment and Lockup
The ZT 0350 gives you the option of either a flipper or thumb studs for deployment. In practice, only the right hand thumb stud is available (the left side sits too close to the handles) but my preference is for the flipper anyways. Either way the knife springs to life with very little effort due to the stellar Speedsafe assisted opening mechanism and high quality phosphor bronze washers. This is a knife that fires hard and fires fast. And on a tactical knife, this kind of easy of deployment can be the difference between life and death. If assisted opening knives aren’t your thing, it’s easy enough to remove the spring – deployment will be smooth regardless.
Lockup on the 0350 is accomplished by a very beefy liner lock. This is a very well executed liner lock, and it bites in early with plenty of room for wear. One of the biggest differences between the 0350 and the 0300 is the absence of the titanium framelock, but I have just as much confidence in this very thick liner. It almost goes without saying, but I didn’t detect blade play in any direction.
Zero Tolerance 0300 or Zero Tolerance 0350?
A common question people have is whether they want the ZT 0350 or the larger ZT 0300. If you are one of those people, I made a video comparing the two knives.
Zero Tolerance 0350 – Final Thoughts
The Zero Tolerance 0350 is an absolutely outstanding knife. I love everything about it, from the choice of materials, to the incredible fit and finish, to the stellar design, to the great ergonomics, right on down to the excellent pocket clip. I am also very pleased to see that this knife is made in America and still comes in at a decent price.
Currently these can be had for right around $100. When you consider how well this knife is made, I think it represents an excellent value – especially when the 0300 costs over $200. It’s been a real pleasure having this knife in my collection and it really makes me excited to review more Zero Tolerance knives in the future. The company really seems to know how to put together a great blade and am truly excited to see what they have coming up next.
I recommend purchasing the Zero Tolerance 0350 at Amazon.com.