Zero Tolerance 0450 Sinkevich Carbon Fiber Review
Cons: Super expensive, small handle profile
Manufacturer: Zero Tolerance
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Zero Tolerance 0450 Sinkevich Carbon Fiber
|Price||$160.00 at Amazon||$131.02 at Amazon||$185 List|
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|Check Price at REI|
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|Pros||Top-of-the-line materials, tight construction, great blade||Incredible blade quality, assisted open, perfect combination of compactness/functionality||Great blade, classy wooden handle||Light, simple, well-made, full size blade, full-function||Small, excellent materials and construction|
|Cons||Super expensive, small handle profile||Pricey, blade lock mechanism not intuitive||Expensive, no assisted opening function||Expensive, low profile handle, flexy plastic construction||Short blade, issues with opening the blade, expensive|
|Bottom Line||A high-end pocket knife that is readily available at proven retailers; we only wish the handle were a little bulkier for heavy usage||Immaculately constructed knife in a form-factor that is easy to carry and large enough for virtually every task||This is one of the best knives we have ever tested with a wooden handle||For a full-function, full-size pocket knife, this is as light as it gets, and is the premier option for all sorts of human-powered adventures||Compact, carefully designed knife for the discerning user that seeks uniqueness and can forgive some usability issues|
|Rating Categories||0450 Sinkevich Carbon Fiber||Benchmade Mini-Barrage 585||Benchmade 15031-2 North Fork||Benchmade 535 Bugout||The James Brand the Chapter|
|Blade And Edge Integrity (30%)|
|Construction Quality (20%)|
|Other Features (10%)|
|Specs||0450 Sinkevich...||Benchmade...||Benchmade 15031-2...||Benchmade 535 Bugout||The James Brand...|
|Weight (ounces)||2.4 oz||3.4 oz||3.2 oz||1.9 oz||2.8 oz|
|Blade Style||Drop point, straight||Drop point, straight||Drop point, straight||Drop point, straight||Drop point, straight|
|Blade locks closed?||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Opening Style||Back of knife finger tab||Assisted, ambidextrous thumb stud||Ambidextrous thumb-stud||Ambidextrous thumb stud||Thumb stud|
|Lock Mechanism||Frame lock||Proprietary (Axis)||Proprietary (Axis)||Proprietary (Axis)||Frame lock|
|Carry Style, in addition to loose in pocket||Pocket clip and lanyard hole||Pocket Clip and lanyard hole||Pocket Clip||Pocket clip and lanyard hole||Pocket Clip|
|Blade Material||S35vn stainless steel||154CM stainless steel||S30V stainless steel||S30V stainless steel||S35vn stainless steel|
|Handle Material||Carbon fiber||Plastic||Stabilized wood||Grivory||6al4v titanium|
|Blade Length (inches)||3.2 in||2.8 in||2.9 in||3.0 in||2.7 in|
|Closed Length (inches)||4.1 in||4.0 in||3.9 in||4.2 in||3.8 in|
|Overall Length||7.4 in||6.9 in||6.9 in||7.4 in||6.5 in|
|Thickness (w/o pocket clip) (inches)||.4 in||.6 in||.5 in||.4 in||.3 in|
|Other Features or Functions||None||None||None||None||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The absolute best (and most expensive) pocket knives are made by small, boutique outfits and are available in extremely small production runs. We don't review them here, as our findings might be different with the next production run or you might not be able to purchase a new knife like that anywhere, anyhow. Where the market for widely-available, readily-compared pocket knives tops out is where the Zero Tolerance 0450CF sits. When you eliminate pocket knives that are not readily available at retail, this ZT and just a couple of others (that often win awards with us, incidentally) top the market. The 0450CF is made with premium materials, close attention to detail, and sells for a price that reflects all this. We like the 0450CF a lot. At this price point, though, we like others a little more. This ZT doesn't win any of our awards, but that doesn't mean that it isn't just as good as virtually any pocket knife we've ever tested.
Blade and Edge Integrity
S35VN stainless steel is the best steel we know of for mass-produced, widely-available knives. Zero Tolerance shapes it into a nearly-perfect configuration. We can't think of how we'd improve this blade. Our cutting experience has been flawless. It holds an edge better than most. The blade and edge geometry that ZT uses is carefully tuned and balanced for precise cutting and longevity. Every millimeter of the edge is usable. No thumb stud, hinge hardware, or blade "tang" protrusions interfere with the use of the edge. This is an easily overlooked blade attribute that really affects your use of it.
The Zero Tolerance 0450 is a full-length pocket knife with a relatively narrow (in both dimensions) handle. Its pocket clip can be configured for either right or left pocket carry (tip up only). It locks open with a frame lock. The 0450 opens with two hands or one. To open it with one, ZT designed it with a "finger flip" style deployment.
The handle isn't as bulky as we'd like for optimum ergonomics. The carry options are nice. The frame lock works every time. Finger flip opening isn't for everyone. If you like it, you like it. However, most of our test team prefers thumb-stud opening. Some knives open with finger flip or thumb stud. ZT committed to the finger flip mode.
The 0450CF knife is about average in bulk and mass. The pocket clip is fairly standard; some of the knife's handle will show above the edge of your pocket. The semi-sharp exterior angles of the knife and handle will exert some wear on the inside and edge of your pants pockets, but not a lot.
You expect a knife at this price point to have the best materials and for those materials to be assembled immaculately. You get that, for sure, with the ZT 0450CF. The carbon fiber scale, for instance, saves just grams and adds significant cost. This is a no-compromise tool. The frame lock has a reinforced, presumably replaceable working surface. The pocket clip is so tight that it pulled threads from the fabric of our pants pocket, which brings us peace of mind that this expensive tool won't slide out unintentionally. This is a well-made product.
There are no other features on the 0450CF to report on.
You don't choose a knife like this for its value. You choose a knife like this for optimum performance, durability, craft, and "flash." The carbon fiber alone is a showy choice. It lends little to no performance advantage but lends great appeal nonetheless.
It is easy to find mid-priced knives to review. It is actually somewhat hard to find readily available top-of-the-line pocket knives. Generally, it seems, connoisseurs of high-end pocket knives like to source them from boutique, one-off manufacturers. Shopping and selection and customization are part of the consumer experience for many of these users. Those consumers have little need for our reviews. If you want the best, but don't want to make a job of working with the manufacturer, your options are more limited. In those limited options, the Zero Tolerance 0450CF is a top contender.
— Jediah Porter