Zero Tolerance 0220 Titanium Flipper Knife, CPM-S35VN Stonewash Blade

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SKU:
ZT0220

The 0220 is an inaugural product of Danish knife and toolmaker Jens Anso and the Zero Tolerance team that provides a sleek and practical design with slight custom touches. Each model features an ultra-premium stainless steel blade that is deployed with an ambidextrous flipper function and the KVT ball-bearing manual opening system allows for quick fluid action even without the use of any springs. Additionally, each knife features a frame lock design in addition to including a steel lockbar insert for a superb lockup and the orange aluminum backspacer and blue "ZT" badge keeps it stylish and decorative. This model features titanium handles, a drop point style blade in a satin finish with stonewashed flats and the reversible titanium pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. Made in the USA.

Note: Earlier production runs of this knife were made with an anodized orange backspacer. In 2017, a running-change was made to now include a black backspacer. Which backspacer your knife has depends on when it was made

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Length: 3.5"
  • Overall Length: 8.4"
  • Blade Material: CPM-S35VN Stainless Steel
  • Blade Finish: Stonewash
  • Handle Length: 4.9"
  • Handle Material: Titanium
  • Weight: 6.2 oz.

 

The Zero Tolerance 0220 Flipper

 

            Zero Tolerance says, “ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN THE BEST

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 our 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 0220 flipper.

 

The Blade:

            The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S35VN stainless steel. This is a steel that is produced by Crucible Industries, along with Chris Reeve, who is a custom knife designer. This steel was created by the two to be a superior version of S30V steel. While S30V steel was known as having the best balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness, it was also known for being complicated to sharpen because of that same hardness that was an advantage. Crucible and Reeve decided to re-create the steel—without any drawbacks. They started with a finer steel structure, which helps to make the steel smoother and thus, easier to sharpen. Then, they added in niobium, which is where the N in the name comes from. The niobium works to maintain the original hardness, but it does make sharpening and machining this steel a lot easier. S35VN steel also maintains the high corrosion resistance levels that the original version of the steel had. While it is an upgraded version of the steel, if you are using your knife for general tasks, the original steel would have sufficed. And S35VN steel does come with a cost. But that’s the thing about ZT—they want the best, no matter the cost. When it comes to EDC knives, the 0220 is going to be one of the best in the business—for that exact reason.

            The blade has been finished with a stonewashed look. This finish is created when the blade steel is tumbled in an abrasive material, usually ceramic pebbles or stones. This gives the steel a rugged, well-worn look that you aren’t going to find in many other places. Once the steel has been tumbled, it is removed, smoothed out, and polished. One of the biggest advantages of a stonewashed blade is that it is crazy low-maintenance and works to preserve the original look of the blade overtime. This is done because of that texture I previously mentioned—it works to hide scratches and smudges alike that will accumulate over time.

            The blade has been carved into a modified drop point blade that does have a slight recurve to it. The original drop point is known for being tough and versatile and this modified one is going to be known for the exact same things. For starters, it is still versatile because it still has a very large belly. This belly is going to allow you to slice through different materials with ease, which is most likely what you will be doing with an EDC knife like this one. The spine is where the knife does start to differ from your typical drop point knife. Instead of having a slow curve from the handle to the point, it goes straight out of the handle for about 1/6 of the blade and then angles sharply down to the point. This creates almost a clip-point/tanto style spine. The point on this knife is still lowered, so you will have the same amount of control that come from a drop point blade. The tip on this blade is still broad, so you will still have the strength that people expect from a drop point knife. However, because the angle is sharper, the point is not quite as broad and instead, you will get some of your piercing capabilities back that a typical drop point takes away from you.

 

The Handle:

            The handle on this knife is made out of titanium. Titanium is often compared to aluminum, because they do possess similar qualities. Between the two, titanium is definitely the higher end material. It is still considered a lightweight metal, which means that it is not going to weigh you down, but you will have the heft that you need. Titanium is the heavier material between aluminum and titanium, but with the extra weight, you get so much more strength out of it. ZT says that they use this knife because, “Titanium is a lightweight, corrosion-resistant metal with high tensile strength. We use it as a handle material, a liner, a lockbar, or as part of a performance-enhancing coating.” This material is extremely corrosion resistant, but it does suffer from being prone to scratches. Also, because it is a stronger material, it is going to take more energy to work with this handle material, which does increase the overall cost of the knife. While titanium has plenty of benefits, it is a relatively expensive material.

            The handle on this knife is super sleek. The spine angles upward before angling down toward the butt of the handle. The belly does not have much of a finger guard, but when the knife is opened, the flipper is going to take care of that. There is a deep finger groove that will give you a more secure grip on this knife. The butt is slightly triangular. There is a large lanyard hole coming off the spine of the ZT 0220.

 

The Pocket Clip:

            The pocket clip on this knife is a reversible, deep carry clip. It is reversible for either left or right handed carry, which helps to make this knife a little more ambidextrous. It is not reversible for tip-up or down carry and is instead locked into tip-up positon. Because it is a deep carry, your knife is going to sit low in your pocket and you won’t have to worry about it slipping out. You also won’t have to worry about keeping it concealed, because the butt of the handle should sit inside of your pocket. The only thing that will show is the clip itself.

            The clip is rectangular and only slightly tapers toward the bottom of it. It is black, which contrasts with the rest of the handle but does match the hardware on this knife. In the middle of the clip, “ZT” is stamped in silver.


The Mechanism:

            This is a flipper knife that has also been equipped with the KVT ball-bearing opening system. The KVT opening system is a manual opening system that enables smooth, easy blade opening without the use of a spring or torsion bar to "assist" the blade out of the handle. Instead, the KVT system uses a series of ball bearings that surround the pivot point of certain Zero Tolerance folding knives. As a knife user pulls back on the flipper blade protrusion or pushes outward on the thumbstud, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use. The overall highlights of this system is that it is a manual opening system, meaning this is a fully manual knife. It is also going to enable smooth and easy one-handed opening, even with the heavier blades, like you are going to find on the 0220. This is accomplished without a spring or a torsion bar.

            The flipper is a small, triangular (or shark’s fin shaped) piece of metal that extends out of the spine of the handle when the knife is closed. This piece of metal is actually a piece of the blade’s metal. The flipper is going to enable fast and easy one-handed opening. It is also ambidextrous, which means this knife is fully ambidextrous—from the opening mechanism to the pocket clip. Also, when the knife is opened, the flipper is going to act as a finger guard, which adds an extra element of safety to the knife. The drawbacks to the flipper are slim, but the biggest one is that the flipper is a little bit complicated to get the hang of at first. To open the 0220 ZT says, “Hold the knife handle in one hand with the butt end resting firmly in the palm of your hand. Place your index finger on the highest point of the flipper. Push down strongly and quickly on the flipper. The blade will move out of the handle and lock into place. (If you have trouble moving the blade fully out of the handle, add a slight flip of the wrist.)”

            This is a manual knife, which does mean it is not going to fall under as many strict laws, like the automatic knife does. This knife is going to be legal in more states and cities than either automatic knives or assisted opening knives. The KVT ball bearing system ensures that this knife opens smoothly—for a manual knife. However, compared to an automatic knife, it is not going to be as smooth or quick.

 

The Specs:

            The blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.9 inches long. When this flipper knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 8.4 inches long. This knife weighs in at a hefty 6.2 ounces, due to the large titanium handle. This knife was made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

            When ZT is explaining this knife, they say, “Danish knife and toolmaker Jens Anso realized a long-time dream when he joined the ZT team earlier this year. One of the first results of our collaboration with Jens is the ZT 0220.

“The 0220 is a sleek, practical design with custom touches that will make it a must-have addition to any knife enthusiast’s collection. The modified drop-point blade with slight recurve is made of premium CPM S35VN stainless steel. This high-quality, powdered metallurgy steel is tough, wear resistant, and resists chipping. Additional niobium and vanadium carbides enable a razor-sharp edge and enhance edge retention. The 0220’s attractive stonewashed blade finish looks good and hides use scratches.

“The 0220’s stonewashed blade is paired with bead-blasted titanium handles—a contrasting combination that makes the 0220 exceptionally handsome. Zero Tolerance’s KVT ball-bearing system makes it fast and easy to open, too; just pull back on the flipper. The 0220 also features a secure titanium frame lock with hardened steel lockbar insert and a reversible, deep-carry clip.

“To enhance the 0220’s custom look and feel, Jens added a decorative pivot as well as a ZT logo medallion near the butt of the knife. The anodized aluminum backspacer features a built-in lanyard attachment.”

A small note: Earlier production runs of this knife were made with an anodized orange backspacer. In 2017, a running-change was made to now include a black backspacer. Which backspacer your knife has depends on when it was made.

You can pick up this knife today at BladeOps.