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Knife Review: Zero Tolerance 0770 Assist Knife

Knife Review: Zero Tolerance 0770 Assist Knife

Posted by SD on Apr 23rd 2020

The Zero Tolerance 0770 Assist Knife


We will continue to build the kind of premium-quality, professional knives that our customers can depend on every single day.”

Zero Tolerance is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. The ZT brand first made its appearance in 2006 when they saw a place in the market for a Made-in-USA line of hard-use knives that would meet the needs of professionals in the military and law enforcement, as well as other first responders, such as firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

The initial products were combat knives, but since that time, the line has expanded to include a variety of general use and premium knives. From larger and heavier outdoor knives to slimmer and lighter everyday carrying knives that are built to ZT's high-performance standards, ZT knives always provide knife owners with top-of-the-line quality.

ZT says that they are “Proudly ‘Overbuilt.’” Zero Tolerance Knives are manufactured of premium materials such as S30V, S35VN, or CTS-204P blade steel and G10, titanium, and carbon-fiber handle scales. Operation is conspicuously smooth and ZT fit and finish is second to none. Their customers have described ZTs as a “real beast” and—proudly—"overbuilt." All ZTs are built in their Tualatin, Oregon USA manufacturing facility by their most skilled workers.

ZT is also a brand of Kai USA Ltd. Kai USA Ltd., the makers of Zero Tolerance Knives, is a member of the Kai Group. Kai is a major manufacturer and distributor of disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care products, and housewares in Japan.

Today we will be discussing the ZT 0770 Assisted Knife.

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel. This steel is designed by Crucible Industries in collaboration with Chris Reeve. They produced this steel as a follow-up to one of their most popular steels: S30V steel. It seemed like everyone loved S30V steel because of its perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention. However, the original steel proved complicated to sharpen. To eliminate that problem, the two started with a finer steel structure. Then, they added in niobium, which is where the N in the name comes from. These two changes meant that the steel was able to keep the perfect balance, the fantastic corrosion resistance, but now it was going to be easier to work with. When it comes to the elite knives, S30VN is usually chosen above S30V. When it comes to day to day tasks though, the differences are minimal. Crucible describes the CPM process as, “The CPM process produces very homogeneous, high quality steel characterized by superior dimensional stability, grindability, and toughness compared to steels produced by conventional melting practices.”

The blade on this knife has been finished with a stonewashed finish. This finish is created when the manufacturer tumbles the blade steel with ceramic pebbles, to create a rugged texture. After the steel has been tumbled, it is removed, smoothed out, and polished. This keeps the rugged and well-worn look, but also gives a smoother blade that is going to have less drag. The stonewashed finish works to prolong the original look of the blade overtime, because it does conceal scratches and smudges that accumulate with time and with use.

The blade on this knife is fully of sweeping curves and not any angles. The spine of the knife curves down from the handle slowly at first, and then about 2/3rds of the way up the blade, it begins to curve much more sharply until it reaches the tip. The belly on this knife is large enough to make slicing a complete breeze for you. The point on this knife is lowered, which is going to allow you to perform fine detail work. It is also broad enough that you won’t have to worry about the knife breaking when you have those tougher chores at hand. That being said, because it is a broader shape, you are not going to be able to pierce or slice as easily as other blade shapes are going to allow. This blade shape is a modified drop point, giving you the same loved characteristics of the drop point, but having the aesthetic of large curves.

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of black Carbon Fiber. The name for this material is a basic name for a material 

Zero Tolerance 0770CF

that is made out of thin strands of carbon that have been woven together tightly and then set in a resin. Carbon Fiber is strong and lightweight, which is one of the ideal combinations for a knife handle. However, it is also an expensive material because it does take some hand labor and plenty of time to get the weaving pattern into each of the handles. Although this material is a strong material, it is not unbreakable. All of the carbon fibers are arranged in a single direction. This means that in that specific direction, the handle is going to be incredibly tough. But, it also means that when the handle is stressed in other directions, the material is going to being to break apart or chip. This also leads to the knife being brittle, which does mean that if it has a hard or sharp impact, it is going to be prone to breaking.

This material is often used for the aesthetic purposes because the manufacturer can weave the fibers in a large variety of different ways, which makes the light reflect off the knife in different ways. On the ZT 0770, the carbon fiber has been woven neatly into a basket-like weave. This weave is also going to give the knife the texture that you except from such a high quality knife.

The spine of the handle begins by curving inward, which will give you a more comfortable grip. Once the curve reaches about half-way up the handle, it angles down to the butt of the handle. The belly of the handle does have a small finger guard. The finger guard is followed by a finger groove that has been equipped with jimping inside to give you even better control over this knife. After that, the handle angles toward the butt.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible deep carry clip. It is reversible for either left or right hand carry, which is one of the reasons that this knife is fully ambidextrous. That being said, it can only be carried with its tip up. This is the more dangerous way to carry your knife, but with a high quality brand like ZT, you won’t need to worry about it popping open in your pocket.

This is a deep carry pocket clip, which means that the knife is going to fit lower in your pocket. This does two things: the first is that it is going to conceal the knife much better than a non-deep carry clip would. The second thing that it does is it’s going to make your knife much more secure inside of your pocket. You won’t have to worry about it slipping out when you go about your daily tasks.

The pocket clip is rectangular and does not taper towards the bottom like many do. It has been finished with a sleek black color that matches the Carbon Fiber handle perfectly. It is kept in place by black screws which match the rest of the hardware on this knife.

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife. This is a type of folding knife that does have an internal mechanism more closely related to a switchblade than a manual knife. That being said, it does not open automatically—you have to open the blade slightly before the mechanism will kick in and open the blade the rest of the way. This is not a fully automatic knife, so it shouldn’t fall under the strict switchblade laws. However, many states have very specific regulations when it comes to knife carrying. It is your responsibility as the user to know your local regulations before purchasing or carrying this knife.

The blade has been equipped with a flipper, which is a small triangular protrusion that sticks out of the spine of the handle when the blade is closed. This protrusion is a piece of the blade’s metal. When the knife is opened, the flipper acts as an enhancement to the finger guard. The flipper does two major things for the knife: it enables fast and easy one-handed opening, and it helps to make the knife fully ambidextrous. The second one is because the flipper is on both sides of the blade, unlike a thumb stud. You can access the flipper from either hand easily. The flipper is also safer than the thumb stud, because when you are opening your knife, it does not put your fingers into the blade’s path like a thumb stud does. However, the flipper is more complicated to get the hang of. To open the 0770, ZT says, “Hold the knife handle vertically in one hand. Place your index finger on the top of the flipper or thumb on the thumbstud. Gently apply downward pressure on the flipper. The SpeedSafe assisted opening system opens the knife quickly and easily, and the blade locks into place. Keep fingers away from blade edge while closing.”

The knife has also been equipped with their SpeedSafe mechanism. They say, “Assisted opening makes it fast and easy to deploy the larger blades of many Zero Tolerance knives. Kai USA, the makers of Zero Tolerance Knives, were first to bring this assisted opening technology to a wider market. Today, almost all knife companies offer some sort of assisted opening knife.” The SpeedSafe is a patented system that assists the user to smoothly open this knife with a pull back on the flipper. The heart of this assisted opening system is its torsion bar. Closed, the torsion bar helps prevent the knife from being opened by "gravity;" it creates a bias toward the closed position. To open the knife, pull back on the flipper to overcome the resistance of the torsion bar. After the blade is out of the handle, the torsion bar moves along its half-moon track and takes over. The blade is going to open smoothly and lock into positon, ready for use. Assisted opening knives are designed for sporting, work, or everyday situations where one-handed opening is preferable and safer. It’s safe, efficient opening has made it a popular choice for hunters, fishermen, and those who require the one-hand opening function on the job-site.

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.25 inches long with a blade thickness that measures in at 0.121 inches. The handle on this knife measures in at 4.3 inches long. When the 0770 is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3 ounces. It was also made in the United States of America.

Conclusion: When ZT is discussing this knife, they say, “The original, award-winning Zero Tolerance 0777 was a very limited-run knife. Yet interest in it is high among blade aficionados. That's why Zero Tolerance is happy to announce a new version of that award-winning knife—one that will be much more generally available. The 0770CF offers the style and performance of the award-winning 0777, but in a slightly smaller, streamlined version.

On the performance end, the blade is CPM S35VN powdered steel. S35VN offers toughness and resistance to edge chipping with no loss of wear resistance. A stonewashed finish on the blade hides hard-use scratches and makes maintenance easier. The sweeping lines of the original 0777 are preserved in the lightweight carbon-fiber handle that fits securely in the hand. An inset liner lock secures the blade.

The 0770CF opens quickly and easily thanks to SpeedSafe® assisted opening and the built-in flipper. Includes deep-carry pocket clip. For a final touch of class, ZT adds a handsome oversized pivot.”

You can check out this knife at BladeOps.