Zero Tolerance 0450CF Carbon Fiber/Titanium Flipper Knife, CPM-S35VN Black Blade

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SKU:
ZT0450CF

The 0450 series is a production version of the original award-winning 0454 design--wrapped in a more compact package that boasts plenty of sophistication and pizzazz. Each Dmitry Sinkevich designed 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 emerald green barrel spacers and dressed-up appearance keeps it unique among the competition. This model features a carbon fiber front handle scale, a black titanium rear handle scale, a drop point style blade in a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) black finish 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.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Length: 3.25"
  • Overall Length: 7.35"
  • Blade Material: CPM-S35VN Stainless Steel
  • Blade Finish: DLC Black
  • Handle Length: 4.1"
  • Handle Material: Carbon Fiber / Titanium
  • Weight: 2.7 oz.

Zero Tolerance

The ZT brand first made its appearance in 2006 when opportunities presented themselves to meet the needs of professionals in the military, law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel. Zero Tolerance is a brand of Kai USA Ltd. Zero Tolerance’s initial products were combat knives. Since that time, however, their line has expanded to include a variety of general use and premium knives. All of their products are built in Tualatin, Oregon USA. From larger and heavier outdoor knives to slimmer and lighter every day carrying knives such as the Sinkevich. Now, Zero Tolerance is providing a darker alternative to the original 0450 with the 0450CF.

 

Specs

Before “sinking” into the Sinkevich’s details, here is a list of all of the different specifications for the knife.

  • Product Type: Flipper Knife
  • Overall Length: 7.40"
  • Weight: 2.70 oz.
  • Handle Length: 4.10"
  • Blade Length: 3.25"
  • Blade Thickness: 0.120"
  • Blade Material: CPM-S35VN
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Handle Material: Titanium
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Sheath Included: No
  • Pocket Clip: Reversible Tip-Up
  • Lanyard Hole Included
  • Made in the USA

 

For being a flipper knife, the Sinkevich is slim and user friendly. There will be more details to come.

 

Opening

Flipper:

The Zero Tolerance Sinkevich opens with a "flipper." The flipper is a part of the blade that protrudes at the knife spine when the knife is closed. One advantage to having a flipper is when the blade is opened, it acts as an additional finger support when gripping the handle. It also, depending on the size, can serve as an extra way to protect your fingers when cutting. When proficiently skilled, a user can open a flipper knife in the blink of an eye.

Without the use of a spring or torsion bar to assist the blade out of the handle, the KVT (Kershaw Velocity Technology) opening system is a manual opening system that provides a smooth, easy blade opening. The KVT system uses a series of ball bearings that surround the pivot point of the Sinkevich. As the user pulls back on the flipper blade protrusion, the ball bearings rotate so that the blade glides out of the handle then locks into place, ready for use.

How to Open:

The Flipper, unlike an automatic knife, requires a little more skill than just pressing a button as it is quite a different motion. You begin to open your knife by holding 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 getting the blade fully out of the handle, try adding a slight flick of the wrist. There is a bit of resistance that needs to be overcome when opening the blade. This resistance is necessary to help keep the knife closed.

 

The Blade

Blade Style: Drop Point

The blade on the Sinkevich is the all-purpose drop point blade. This is your standard blade that you will find on many knives. It is capable at standing up against anything that it comes across because of its simple strong structure. The large edge for cutting makes it perfect for slicing. One of the big advantages that a drop point has is the tip of the blade. The point is sharp and is thicker than other blade styles. The tip is also great when it comes to accurately controlling the blade. The drop point is an all-around good blade to have on a knife.

Blade Steel: S35VN

Considered an upgrade from the popular S30V stainless steel, CPM-S35VN or simply S35VN is slightly superior due to its toughness and chip resistance. Made in 2009, S35VN is enhanced to increase toughness and resistance to edge chipping without loss of wear resistance. It provides a sharper, longer lasting edge. The addition of Niobium and Nitrogen increases corrosion resistance and hardness; and reflects the adding of N in the name of the steel. The contents of S35VN include 3% vanadium, 1.4% carbon, 0.5% niobium, 2% molybdenum, 0%-13% nitrogen, and 10.5% chromium.

Both S35VN and S30V steels were developed in a collaboration between knife maker Chris Reeve and Crucible Industries, using Crucible Particle Metal (CPM) technology. CPM technology helps to make a homogeneous steel, by distributing the carbides in the blade evenly. Carbides are the hard particles in steel that allow the blade to keep an edge. This high-end process leads to greater stability, toughness, grindability and a cleaner finish than many traditionally made steels.

Blade Finish: DLC

The blade is finished with a DLC coating. Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) is an extremely hard and tough coating that serves to protect a blade against scratches and corrosion. It lowers friction, offers high wear resistance, and enhances hardness. From a strictly hardness point of view, some people say that DLC is harder than diamond. When someone needs protection from corrosion, DLC coating has some advantages. If one tends to forget proper maintenance, the coating can resist corrosion for a longer time. Zero Tolerance’s Tungsten DLC blade coating is not about looks, it’s about performance. The benefits are obviously important when it comes to knives.

 

The Handle

Two Different Scales:

The handle on the Sinkevich is comprised of two different handle scales. The top side of the handle is made from carbon fiber. The back side, where the frame lock is located, is made from titanium.

Carbon Fiber- Carbon fiber is composed of carbon atoms bonded together to form a long chain; they are extremely strong and lightweight. These chains make up thin strands of carbon, which are tightly woven in a weave pattern. After these carbon fibers are woven together, they are then layered with epoxy and compressed under high pressure to create the carbon fiber sheet from which the handle is made. It is a futuristic looking material with an awing factor. Of all the lightweight synthetic handle materials, carbon fiber is one of the strongest. It also takes a lot of intensive work to make, which results in a higher priced knife. But it is well worth the cost due to all of the benefits it carries with it.

Titanium- Titanium is a lightweight, corrosion-resistant metal with high tensile strength. Zero Tolerance uses it as the handle material. It also used as the lockbar material on the Sinkevich because it is a rather springy metal. The particular titanium is a nonferrous metal alloy, and is commonly found in the form of 6AL/4V: 6% aluminum, 4% vanadium, and 90% pure titanium. When compared to an aluminum handle, which has a cold feeling to it, titanium has a warm feel that is pleasing to hold.

The Handle’s Look:

The main visual attraction of the handle is the carbon fiber with the ability to reflect light, making the weave pattern highly visible. When direct light reflects off the handle’s surface, the weave design can be noticed. This makes the knife more unique and interesting to look at. The weave pattern, a twill weave, is similar to that found on a pair of Blue Levi Jeans.

Another visually stimulating part of the knife are the emerald or lime green spacers that are found near the butt of the knife. It helps break up the grayscale of the rest of the handle. It isn’t too overbearing to make the knife look goofy in any way.

The pocket clip on the handle is a reversible one. With its ambidextrous design, the knife can be used be virtually everyone. The clip runs about two thirds of the length of the handle. It is a deep carry pocket clip, so no need to worry about the knife falling out of your pocket.

Lastly about the handle is its compact size. The handle is less than half an inch thick and is about an inch wide at its widest point. Being such a slender knife, you still get plenty of blade to use.

Frame Lock:

The frame lock on the ZT Sinkevich is a similar concept to the liner lock, but instead of a separate metal liner within the handle, the knife’s frame is the actual lock. Usually a frame lock is stronger because it is thicker than a liner lock, plus it's much easier to clean. When the knife is opened, the frame positions itself beneath the tang of the blade so it cannot fold. Both the blade tang and the lockbar are precisely angled so they fit together for a secure, reliable lockup. Closing the blade requires the frame to be pushed back to its original position. This type of locking system puts a greater portion of metal against the blade, ensuring a strong lockup for all the different tasks a knife encounters. Frame locks are seen in many mid to upper range knives. Not only do they add a unique look to the knife, but they’re also easily operated with one hand.

 

Field Test

As a part of these reviews, I like to include a more practical evaluation of what the knife has to offer. The tests that I conduct to see the knife’s performance include: paper, cardboard, rope/paracord, and plastic tests. These items are common materials that are cut on a day to day basis. The following is how the Sinkevich performed:

Paper- The S35VN helps a ton when cutting, especially cutting paper. The edge is ridiculously sharp. Normally, when doing a paper cutting test, the cut isn’t the cleanest. The Sinkevich wat much different. The cut was clean, straight, and accurate. It also had no trouble when cutting multiple layers of paper. Before I do the cardboard test, I imagine that the Sinkevich will have no problem cutting it.

Cardboard- Interestingly enough, I was left slightly disappointed. The Sinkevich had a hard time sinking into the cardboard to cut it. It was able to perform the task, but not how I had imagined. Part of the problem might be the size of the knife. Being a smaller knife, there isn’t as much to grab onto. This cuts the leverage power that could have been there.

Rope- The size of this knife definitely makes it a great everyday carry knife, and not a heavy duty, industrial knife. The knife has been able to cut all the different materials up to this point, including the rope (paracord). When the rope was cut, it wasn’t the cleanest. Nevertheless, it was cut. The problem with the Sinkevich not cutting to well may be the fact that the knife isn’t as sharp as it could be. Many knives come razor sharp out of the factory. Perhaps the Sinkevich doesn’t (for various reasons) come razor sharp. If you were to hone an edge on this knife, we would be having a different conversation.

Plastic- Different types of plastics range from being thin as tape, to a thickness similar to that used in Tupperware. Unlike the previous tests, the Sinkevich was able to cut through all sorts of plastics with ease. The tape that is used to seal up your products you purchased online was nothing when the knife faced it. It was like cutting thin air. When it came time to test the blade on thicker plastics, it took a little more effort. In the end, this knife is still pretty sharp and tremendously tough though.

Conclusion

The highlights of the Sinkevich are its size, and it will last you forever. This knife fits great into your pocket. It is hardly noticeable, and will always be there to help you with your everyday needs. The Sinkevich is made of seriously tough materials that will last a lifetime (if properly taken care of). When flipping open the knife, it almost seems easier to use than a typical automatic knife. It is also fun to take it and flip it open a bunch of times. The Sinkevich is not a knife to sink to the bottom of my favorite knives. It has risen to be one of the top. Get one today, you will not regret getting one.