A while back I screwed up the blog and re-posted an old post about my every day carry (EDC) knife being a Kershaw Compound. While that was a great knife, I did eventually replace it – with my daughter’s approval. I have always liked Zero Tolerance knives. Think of them as a higher end brand to Kershaw. Both are owned by KAI USA, so I think it is fair to say that. In the past I owned a ZT 200 and that was just way too big to be an EDC. It’s a huge folder but not something I wanted to lug around in the shop all the time. I actually sold it and wound up buying a ZT 350. The 350 is way slimmer and lighter but still has assisted opening. It’s a hair over 4-1/2″ long when closed and about 7-5/8″ when open. It’s about 0.518″ wide not including the belt clip and my digital scale says it weighs 6.2 oz.
Size and weight are important to me because I keep this in my front pants pocket. I don’t want a ton of weight dragging down jeans, sweats or shorts nor do I want to have it really noticeable or uncomfortable. On that last note, big and heavy knives suck in the front pocket – they need to go in a belt sheath, which I don’t want to wear unless I am camping or hunting.
The knife is designed by Ken Onion, who happens to be one of my favorite designers. In addition to the very ergonomic handle he designed, the blade is made from S30V steel, which is excellent. Now this is not a safe queen. I dug back in my records and I’ve been using this since 2015. I can’t tell you how many boxes, cords, ropes and plastic pails this thing has opened. I don’t recall ever using it to pry things open but suspect it would hold up pretty well. The following photos are of the blade in April 2017 and I didn’t bother cleaning it up. The ZT black finish has held up remarkably well.
The S30V steel really holds an edge but it can be a bear to sharpen. If you want a working edge, a Lansky Blade Medic pocket sharpener or diamond rod can help. If you want a razor edge, I would recommend a Ken Onion Work Sharp (KOWS) belt sharpener or it will take forever by hand. I use my KOWS all the time because it is quick and easy but do take both the Blade Medic and the rod on camping trips.
The only maintenance, other than sharpening, that I have done to it is blow it out with compressed air and then use a precision CLP applicator to lubricate the blade’s pivot pin. I think I’ve only needed to do that once or twice max.
So, there you go – that is my current EDC and I highly recommend it.
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