Category Archives: Folders

April 2017 – My EDC Knife is a ZT 0350BW


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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Additional Images:

Zero Tolerance 0350 Folding Pocket Knife; 3.25” S30V Stainless Steel Blade with Black Tungsten DLC Finish; Textured G-10 Handle Scales, SpeedSafe Assisted Opening, Liner Lock, Quad-Mount Clip; 6.2 OZ.

Features: High performance and premium quality S350V stainless steel makes the recurve blade extremely durable and resistant to corrosion and wear, Non-reflective black Tungsten DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) blade coating and black G-10 handle cleanly pair together to make a sleek, smooth, aggressive knife, Quad-mount pocketclip convenient for left or right-handed, tip-up or tip-down carry, EDC folding pocket knife ideal for use as a survival tool, during precision cutting, self-defense or tactical use, or as the perfect gift, General all-purpose knife great for everyday tasks while working, camping, fishing, hunting, utility or outdoor activities

Premium-built by Zero Tolerance in the USA, the G-10 Folder 0350 is versatile and powerful created durably for razor sharp cutting. With a compact precision blade, the 0350 is the perfect EDC for any outdoor activity, delicate and accurate cutting or household task. Non-reflective black Tungsten DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coats the extremely durable, corrosion and wear resistant S30V stainless steel. SpeedSafe Assisted Opening allows the blade to deploy quickly and easily using the ambidextrous thumbstud or flipper. The high-performance blade is paired with textured black G-10 scales for a secure grip and excellent mechanical strength under the roughest conditions. The quad-mount pocketclip is convenient for left or right handed, tip-up or tip-down carry. The liner locking system prevents the blade from closing during use and provides a secure way to safely fold the knife. With a utility design to conquer any task, the 0350 is the ideal EDC for any user, anywhere, any time, for any job.
List Price: $140.00 USD
New From: $140.00 USD In Stock

My Every Day Carry Knife – the Kershaw Compound (Back in 2014)

Kershaw Compound Folding Lock Back Knife

A few guys asked for details about my every day carry (EDC) knife.  It’s a basic Kershaw Compound but what makes it special is that my youngest daughter bought it for me as a birthday gift when we visited Smoky Mountain Knife Works a few years ago.  It is trades off size and weight such that it fits great in my pocket.  It uses their SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism, which is fast, reliable and does not open in your pocket.  I had a Gerber FAST years ago that I eventually gave away because the stupid thing would open in my pocket all the time.  Kershaw’s design is simple and has never opened accidentally on me.

At any rate rate, the blade is 3.5″ long and I opted for a plain edge so it would be easy to maintain – I sharpen it both on my Spyderco SharpMaker and my Work Sharp Ken Onion sharpening system.  I can’t even guess how many boxes I have opened, plastic containers I have cut open, etc.  Despite being used an absolute ton, look how it has held up:


I figure the pretty good edge retention, strength and corrosion resistance can be attributed to the 8CR13MOV alloy they used. With the heavy use I touch the blade’s edge up maybe weekly or every other week – it’s more “as needed” than scheduled depending on how much I have used it and how it feels while cutting.

The handle is in great shape and the liner lock is just fine as well.  It’s overall length when closed is 4-5/8″

In general, Kershaw is my favorite folding knife maker and am also a fan of their high-end Zero Tolerance folders (the parent company, KAI, owns both groups).  You get a great blade at a great price from either brand – Kershaw or ZT, and I definitely like my Compound – not to mention my little girl bought it for me!

If you are interested in getting one, the bad news is that they have been discontinued but they are still available from a number of sellers on Amazon:

Post Edit: This was back in 2014.  I really liked the Compound but use a ZT 350 now as it has much better edge retention but I did have to explain the change to my daughter 🙂  I’ll write about the ZT 350 at some point.