Kershaw parent company KAI USA sells three different brands of knives: Kershaw, Shun (kitchen cutlery) and Zero Tolerance. Some would say they’re four different brands, because many users make a distinction between US-made and imported Kershaws. I’ve got nothing but good things to say about my imported Kershaws, although I’ve got even better things to say about my US-made models.
The Zero Tolerance brand is all US-made, and it’s their top of the line in tactical knives, an S30V Lexus to Kershaw’s 14C28N Toyota. Many of the same design elements are common to Kershaw and Zero Tolerance knives, but the ZTs are bigger and stronger and made with fancier steels. They’re not cheaply made, and they’re not cheap.
I only got turned on to Zero Tolerance knives when I visited the Kershaw booth at last year’s SHOT Show. Each one I looked at had an exotic steel blade and was built like a brick shithouse, but I knew that ZT price points were basically out of my reach.
Imagine my lust when this ZT 0350TSST assisted opener called to me from among a box of its siblings at the Kershaw Factory Sale. When I saw the deeply-discounted price of this factory second (but couldn’t find a single blemish anywhere on it) I knew that my ZT drought was coming to an end.
This knife is sick: a 3.25″ S30V combo blade with a tigerstripe tungsten DLC coating, G10 scales, the thickest liners I’ve ever seen, and a fully reversible 4-way pocket clip. It’s all made in the USA with a street price of $140, but I got this no-warranty second for just less than half of that. (I think I may have found the blemish, but I’ll have to find just the right photo of a standard 0350 to be sure because it doesn’t actually look like a defect. Stay tuned for the full review.)
I’m not usually a fan of combo edges, but I decided to give them a try this time because the deep belly of the plain section gives it a lot of usable slicing edge. And also because S30V is so monstrously tough that I probably can’t trash the serrations unless I try to saw through a roofing nail. I can’t wait to test this beast.
As always, stay tuned for the full review.