My first Zero Tolerance was the 0770CF and I was really amazed by the quality of manufacturing provided by that Peter Kershaw’s brand. But I wanted something hardchore, heavier at the opposite of my C36 Military which is light and fast like the Hussein Bolt of knives. I have given a chance to the Megalodon, Real Steel flagship. But a poorly designed clip ruined my experience. So I have asked some advice on the Zero Tolerance Facebook group and I have invested in a ZT0562CF ! RIL lock, deep carry dark clip, no hot spot on the handle. The attention to detail is amazing and the ooze of quality. Designed by Rick Hinderer it has won Best American Made Knife at the Blade Show some years ago.
It’s a true flipper, the “thumb” studs cannot be used to open the blade as the detent is too strong. They are just here to be part of the lock. Their also a stop pin but it’s only used to stop the blade once closed not opened.
The first edition of the Real Steel Megalodon used to have the same system and the handle kept that “S” on the front which form two horns which can used as deterrent in case of self defense situation. As you can notice, it’s easy to pinch your finger between the stud and the handle when opening the blade. So really, it’s a true flipper made to be open in that way. And here the experience is wonderful. The smooth KVT ball-bearing opening system. A washer with caged ball bearings surrounds the pivot and makes opening the knife nearly frictionless. Only the detent ball brings some minor friction actually. But it’s really minimal. The knife opens every time. The balance is perfect, just behind the pivot. So the blade is alive in my hand. What you noticed first when handling the ZT0562CF is her smooth Carbon Fibers scale and butter like action. It’s 156 grams heavy compared to my Military 120 grams (titanium clip)… You fee the heft. And that’s exactly what I wanted. The corners are chanfered and there is no hot spots even the clip is not felt in hammer grip. I love the details on the blade: the stonewashed flat side and the satine grind. It offers alsmot the same working edge. It carries tip up and it’s not as fast to draw as the Millie even with its titanium deep carry clip. The blade is made of CPM 20CV but it was first offered in M390 and CTS204P like on the Spyderco Southard. “CPM-20CV has a high volume of vanadium carbides and a high amount of chromium. You get exceptional edge retention and outstanding corrosion resistance.” said Zero Tolerance site. In fact CPM-20CV is the twin brother of M390 and CTS204P. Different manufacturer and same super steel with at 1.9% carbon, 20.0% chromium, 1.0% molybdenum, 4.0% vanadium, 0.3% silicon, 0.6% tungsten, and 0.3% manganese. The heat treating and the grind will make the difference. But as a Powder Metallurgy (PM) tool steel, you should get a combination of impressive wear resistance and edge retention plus the added benefit of being highly corrosion resistant due to its high level of chromium. You can notice the different surface works on that picture. But as far as the blade was beautiful I felt the edge was thick compared to what I’m used too.
And unfortunatly the ZT did not pass my Plastic Bottle Butt’s test ! It was blocked and even a saw motion did not change anything. The blade was stuck before to reach the thicker part. So I had to summon: the diamonds, the sandpaper and the ceramics and put on thinner edge on that beast of a knife.
I have started with the diamonds of the Fallkniven DC4. It was not easy as I felt the thumb studs was going in the way. eventually I was able to de-shoulder the edge and even to scratch the blade. That “Hinderer flat-ground “slicer” grind” that should provide both slicing efficiency and a tough point was not easy to get at first. Against the scratches I has used a P1000 Sandpaper and they were erased. No big deal. They have disappeared just but doing an 90° motion. I have treated all the blade for good measure. Then came the work on the brown stone, the brown ceramic and the white ceramic. My edge was slowly going convexed. My favorite one for stropping. Soon CPM-20CV was back to razor. I was amazed by the way the steel react under the ceramic. It was much easier than I thought. I had the same excellent experience with my Southard.
Then came the leather work with some polish white paste and I was able to achieve a nice mirror finish. At all it took me one hour for thinning and polishing the edge to my own taste. True convex razor as the hairs were jumping on the blade.
It was time to test it on the Coke bottle butt again:
And this time it was a success ! The blade pushcuts steadily through the thick transparent plastic. And then on tomatoes skin which can be tricky with a polish edge.
Some mozarella slices… with its open construction it was a breeze to clean under the tap.
And eventually all the ingredients wre turned into a salad for lunch. Conclusion: the ZT0562CF is now in my pocket to be tested on a longer run but it already got such great qualities to make it a keeper: unearthy smooth operation, great ergos, best high tech materials and top notch steel. The thumb stud does not get in the way while cutting and the point is strong enough to feel confident about its resilience. The innovative deep carry clip makes it easy to disappear in the pocket. It’s the perfect adequation between hard working and gentleman folder.