I got a little silly with my knife purchases in the last few years. If it wasn’t an automatic knife, my purse strings got tight. I’m not saying I’m a cheapskate, but I was ignoring some great knives in the premium market if they didn’t have a button to flip them into action. A friend told me I needed a Zero Tolerance because I had never owned one, and he sent me the Zero Tolerance 0308, and upon my reception of the knife, I saw how silly I was being.
The ZT 0308 is a sweet knife that’s designed for heavy-duty work, and it doesn’t have that fancy button I love to press to deploy a blade. I’ve always known that Zero Tolerance makes great knives but never had one I could personally experience. I quickly figured out how much I’ve been missing out on when it comes to ZT knives.
The Zero Tolerance 0308 is a new knife in the ZT line up and is a good choice for those who prefer a bigger knife for everyday carry.
General Dimensions and Blade Details
The 0308 has a 3.75-inch blade that is 1.375 inches wide, and .16 inches thick. The overall length of the knife is 8.875 inches long, with the blade open. The ZT 0308 weighs 7 ounces and is a big, beefy knife. This big knife is certainly not for everyone, and it may be a bit much for many looking for an EDC knife.
The 0308 is an excellent knife for those in the first responder field who need something a bit bigger than the standard pocket knife. This does offer those in that role a knife with a big, thick blade, a superbly secure lock-up system, and a grip that’s perfect for gloved use. I work in a field that takes me in and through the woods at times, so I do prefer a bigger knife for my daily carry.
The big, beefy blade does provide a very nice belly that gives you 4 inches of cutting edge and a drop point tip. The upswept drop point design does give you the ability to slice deeply and cleanly. The swedge on the top of the blade certainly helps when cutting straight through soft materials. It also reduces weight and does give the blade an eye-pleasing appearance.
Speaking of eye-pleasing, the stonewash finish is evenly applied and looks fantastic. It’s not overtly bright or eye-catching, but quite handsome. The top of the blade is jimped for texture, and the flipper is also jimped to ensure your finger latches on as you press the edge into service. At the bottom of the blade, we have a sharpening coil, which is a nice touch.
The 0308 steel is made from CPM-20CV steel, which is a Crucible Industries creation. This is very high-quality knife steel that is hard and extremely durable. It’s not difficult to sharpen and seems to stay sharp for absolutely forever. The CPM-20CV is an excellent all-around steel that stands up well to abuse. I batoned wood with it and have yet to see a cheap or bend, or anything else. Batonning wood is typically a function of hard, heavy-duty fixed blade knives, but the ZT 0308 is also up to the task.
During my quarantine blues, I’ve been setting up a bit of a home gym, and to hang a punching bag, I strung up some 10mm climbing rope. The ZT 0308 chewed through that thick rope without any difficulty. It just cut and sliced through that material exceptionally smoothly.
For more traditional cutting, the 3.75-inch blade chewed through cardboard, 550 cord, envelopes, heavy-duty clamshell packaging, and even fabrics including thick 5.11 Tactical pants.
I had a spare pair of work pants with blown-out knees, and I wanted to see how fast I could cut through them. This would replicate what a first responder may have to do to access a wood, cut through a seat, and more without stuttering the ZT 0308 cut right through them.
It’ll also cut right through chicken for my famous chicken fajitas.
Handle, Ergonomics, and Pocket Clip
As a guy with big hands, I love a big grip. The ZT 0308 has a significant grip that is a must for such a big blade. One side of the handle is a G10 panel, and the other is titanium. Both sides are textured aggressively but comfortably as well. Hot spots are only an issue at the area where the pocket clip sits. Loosen that grip a bit near the rear, and the knife comfortably works and works hard without rubbing you raw.
The texture is also well suited for glove use, which many first responders will undoubtedly be wearing. With my thick and heavy fire rated gloves, the ZT is still easy to wield, and both deploy the blade and put it away. Once the flipper is locked into place, it also acts as a tiny finger guard.
The pocket clip is broad and clings tight to the knife. This prevents it from catching on an armrest when you sit down, and as someone who does that all the time, I appreciate it. The pocket clip is reversible, and according to the ZT website, the knife is compatible with aftermarket pocket clips as well. On top of that is a lanyard loop, which is another good option for military and first responders.
Deployment and Lock-up
I was surprised by how fast and how easily and smoothly the blade deployed. A big heavy blade would be seemingly slow and rough to deploy. It’s just physics, right?
ZT utilized KVT Ball bearings in the action, and the blade slides out incredibly smoothly. It locks into place with a loud and satisfying thwack. The jimping in the flipper is also a must-have for gloved use, and ZT was smart to include it.
The titanium frame lock is beveled for smooth engagement, and you get plenty of real estate for pressing it inwards and allowing the blade to close. The frame lock is outfitted with a hardened stainless steel lock bar insert to protect that always wonderful titanium.
The lock-up is remarkably strong, and the blade doesn’t budge in any single direction. I can’t force this thing to give.
Zero Tolerance 0308 Review – Final Thoughts
The ZT 0308 is a very well made knife. It’s designed to be a big, hard-working tool with a big belly and a lot of power. It can take some serious abuse and still keep kicking. It’s big, and some will feel like 7 ounces is a boat anchor, but it gives me a feeling of confidence. The ZT 0308 showed me that my obsession with expensive automatic knives made me ignore some very well made and designed flippers. The ZT 0308 is my work and field knife for here on out, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
- Large 3. 7 Inch razor sharp blade, premium CPM 20CV Steel provides exceptional hardness, wear resistance, and edge retention
- Coyote Tan G10 Handle on the front scale with a titanium back - above average weight at 6. 9 ounces
- Stonewashed blade finish helps hide use scratches while a titanium framelock holds the knife open while in use
- KVT opening mechanism is manually opened with a flipper; the blade glides smoothly open on ball bearings. Pocket clip is reversible and compatible with many aftermarket pocketclips.
- Made in the USA - All Zero Tolerance Knives are produced in our Oregon facility
Zero Tolerance 0308 – $300.00