In dangerous situations where you might be called upon to defend your personal safety or depend on your knife to perform well out on the trail, you need a reliable knife at your side. Zero Tolerance is a knife manufacturer the military and law enforcement trust to create knives that can stand up to the unique requirements of such situations.
What is ZT?
Zero Tolerance — or ZT — is a subsidiary brand of the Japanese company KAI, which specializes in manufacturing razors, surgical tools and housewares. This company understands precision steel. KAI takes Japanese design expertise and combines it with premium American manufacturing to create high-quality knives for its ZT brand.
The brand first appeared in 2006, initially aimed as the premium line to complement the more standard, highly-popular Kershaw pocket knife brand. Initially appealing to the enthusiast market with overbuilt folders, Zero Tolerance then added to its repertoire with sleeker, lightweight designs more suited to everyday carry.
Today, knife users know ZT as one of the best manufacturers in the world. American users value the company’s practice of manufacturing knives domestically and respect ZT for its background in military use. Collaborating designers include Todd Rexford, RJ Martin, Les George, Rick Hinderer and Ernest Emerson — an all-star cast of top knife designers that have given ZT knives excellent style and functionality over the years.
Who Uses ZT Knives?
ZT built the brand on a background of producing designs aimed at the military, law enforcement and emergency response personnel. These jobs require knives that are durable and continue to perform at the highest level for many years. It’s no good in a combat situation if your knife gets stuck or your blade dulls after a few uses.
Recognizing the quality on offer, knife enthusiasts quickly adopted the brand for use as tactical carry knives. As time went on, broader interest grew in ZT knives, which is reflected in its increasingly broad range of blades suited to a broader variety of uses, including survival. Despite variations in the size and weight of its products, ZT still maintains its place as a provider of premium products with high-quality manufacturing and eye-catching designs.
The powerful look and smooth draw of ZT knives can help to deter threats by demonstrating that your weapon is an effective tool. Additionally, these knives won’t let you down in a survival scenario, offering exceptional durability, a fine sharp edge and reliable lock and draw actions.
The ZT 0560 model is one of the most iconic in the ZT range of knives. Designed by Rick Hinderer, this knife was his second collaboration with the company, and it won the Collaboration of the Year Award at Blade Show 2011.
This knife is notable for its excellent balance, exquisitely textured G-10 handle and high-grade Elmax steel. It epitomizes the soul of ZT with its overbuilt design — reaching almost nine inches — so it could be a little large for certain everyday carry scenarios. However, for those who love a large knife, this is an absolutely stunning specimen.
A variant of the ZT 0560, the ZT 0562 knife takes the award-winning design and ethics of its parent knife and shrinks it into a package more suitable for everyday carry. The overall length is reduced by about half an inch, trimming down to about 8.3 inches.
This is a knife built for EDC and deep pocket carry, utilizing a reversible, tip-up clip. It is still not the smallest knife on the market, but it can fit comfortably in a suitable pair of pants. Although not the lightest at almost 6 ounces, many users might be happy about being able to feel the knife, whether in their pocket or their hand, so they know where their blade is at all times.
The ZT 0562 is an ideal slicing knife with a solid frame-lock design. The 3.5-inch blade doesn’t lose a lot over its bigger brother, so it’s still an excellent choice for use in self-defense and a wide range of survival techniques.
The ZT 0460 is an excellent example of ZT’s successful expansion into the broader everyday carry market. The 0460 is a refined version of the famous 0450, offering extra length with a curved blade and a carbon fiber handle.
At a weight of just 2.3 ounces, this lightweight 7.5-inch knife is a dream to carry out every day. It uses S35VN steel, offering enhanced toughness while resisting chips and nicks along the edge. The blade looks cool with its ergonomic curve and two-tone stonewashed or satin finish.
Overall, this is an excellent choice for deep-pocket carry. The single-hand activated flipper action makes the blade fast on the draw, allowing you to react quickly to any situation where it might come in handy.
The Trusted Brand for Quality Everyday Carry Knives
ZT has carved a niche for itself as the trusted brand for everyday carry knives that meet exacting standards of quality. With a ZT knife by your side, you’ll always be prepared to face whatever knife-appropriate situation life throws at you.