Editor's Review: ZT Knives Model 0308

March 27, 2020
This is definitely not a folding knife that you drop easily into your pocket. The pocket clip is sturdy and useful. It's not decoration.

Sometimes you get a new pocket knife and think, “This is nice. I can drop it in my pocket or clip it onto my pocket. It’s a decent size, weight and the grip is good.  Nice.”  Other times you get a new pocket knife and think, “Well, there’s just no way I’m dropping that in my pocket. Thank God for that pocket clip.” The Zero Tolerance Knives’ Model 0308 falls into that second category. We received one for testing and evaluation a couple weeks back and here’s how things have turned out.

First, as indicated, this is not a small pocket knife. Folded closed this knife measures 5.2 inches. The good news is that means the grip is 5.2” long and fills your hand nicely no matter how big your hands are. The blade is 3.75 inches and folds shut securely between the grip slabs. One of the things that will catch your attention about this knife is that it’s 0.6 inches wide… thick… it feels like you have a fixed blade knife handle in your hand rather than a folder.

Locked open the knife measures 8.9 inches – and just under nine inches is a good length for a standard utility knife whether it’s a fixed blade or folder. The blade doesn’t have to be super long; just long enough to perform the cutting chore at hand. The handle doesn’t have to be super small to be a good folder, nor any longer than necessary for a fixed blade. The ZT 0308’s 5.2” handle is about the perfect length for either (unless you want a short sword and this ain’t it with a 3.75” blade).

What makes this knife different from the ZT0562Ti is the handle material… and it’s noticeable. While the ZT0562Ti sports titanium handles that are slightly shorter, the ZT0308 has titanium on one side but a G10 slab on the other. On our test knife the G10 slab was coyote tan and textured to provide a greater level of grip friction. Additionally, the ZT0308 handle overall is slightly longer than that of the ZT0562Ti.

The ZT0308’s blade is manufactured from CPM20CV steel with an HRC rating of 60-62. The blade thickness is about 1/8” or, more specifically, 0.156”. The blade style is published as “drop point,” but because of the overall design it has a nice upswept profile that almost looks (and performs) similar to clip or skinner blade design.

One of the things we noticed upon receipt was that the one-handed opening “flipper” was quite stiff. With practice and manipulation we realized that there’s a distinct difference in opening ease depending on whether you swipe the opener or push on it. Pushing = harder. Swiping = easier. Leverage matters and the laws of physics don’t change to suit your habits.

The pocket clip held the knife securely in the pocket and is reversible for left or right carry, but only tip-up. The knife should always be carried below the belt-line for easiest deployment in a uniform pivot-down position. The knife isn’t light, weighing in at 6.9 ounces, or nearly a half pound. As was noted earlier: This isn’t the knife you take out of the box and think about how convenient it will be to drop in your pocket. It’s substantial feeling in your hand and you’ll appreciate the pocket clip to secure it while carried.

Now, with the specifications and description out of the way, how well did it perform it’s necessary task of cutting?  Very well actually.

To test how well a knife cuts you subject it to the process of cutting an assortment of materials and to various environmental conditions. For our test of environment, we dropped the knife in a bucket of brackish water and left it for a week. The water came out of the Chesapeake Bay (and went back when we were done) so it had a “happy” mix of salt, yuck and water. The knife looked no worse for wear and after we rinsed it, we wiped an oil soaked cloth across the blade. The knife showed no signs of rust or wear.

The list of cut-test items included everything from fishing line (120# test) to ½” rope and 1” nylon webbing. The knife pulled through every cut with ease and, after we finished the cutting tests and being washed, cut through a tomato without any issue.

While the ZT 0562Ti is a great knife and feels like a tank in the hand, the ZT0308 has become our preference. The preference is entirely subjective but still there. The handle feels better in our hand and the G10 textured slap on the one side makes it feel more secure in the grip.

Check out more information on the Zero Tolerance website.

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