Tag Archives: Reeve Integral Lock

Zero Tolerance 0562CF — Bright and Beautiful.

wp-image-1933490811 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.wp-image-1687282944 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. wp-image-133474584 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. wp-image-748540201 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. wp-image-36373330 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.

wp-image-170153826 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. wp-image-908967677 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. wp-image-737758906 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. wp-image-1937876634 wp-image-1775073832 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. Now you can also check the Falcon here which is a true jewel in that flipping matter.

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Real Steel “Megalodon 2017” RS9611 – Enter The Dragon !

RS9611 Real Steel Megalodon

Again I got a really great bargain and service from my favorite Ebay retailer: Caledon2 Whole Sale Knives and Swords. Kuddos to them to beat record in shipping each time, mine arrived 4 days before its ETA.

I have found this Real Steel Megalodon 2017 model while browsing for a sturdy flipper three months ago.
Eventually I have found the Zero Tolerance ZT0770 as the Megalodon was not available. But I was caught by the beautiful lines and the materials used in this model. Chinese knives production are getting better and better and Real Steel is the new kid on the block in high end cutting tools.

According to https://chinaknives.blogspot.fr (Thanks Wayne for the head up!)

The brand was created in 2013 by the same people who brought you Sanrenmu knives.
Those folks saw the factory, that produced good quality OEM knives for American companies and cheap, but well made budget “original” design knives and thoughty it could be something bigger.
At first, they based on the same designers, that produced Sanrenmu original knives, the most known of them is Liang Gang, that designed some of SRM’s best known models. That is the reason that some of RealSteel’s designs look a lot like the Sanrenmu models (probably are the same, but with different branding).
Their breakthrough (in my opinion) came when they started working with Huang Liang Zhi, better known by the name Carson (Tech Labs). His designs were well known to the people who are interested in Chinese knives, but the quality of his knives is incredible, and second to none (maybe except some of Kevin John work).
Together they made an aluminium version of the Carson Griffin and also released his boiling flipper design under the name Megalodon (probably just put RealSteel logo on the Carson made knife).
There has been some conspiracy on YouTube lately, claiming that Carson has sold his knifemaking factory to RealSteel, but that information was proven to be wrong and was just speculation of one specific Youtuber with big imagination. Carson himself took a photo with his knives to prove this wrong.”

According to Real Steel:
“At the request of many of our fans, we have re-dedicated ourselves to the Megalodon. However Realsteel would not be Realsteel if we were satisfied with a simple relaunch of the old model. We have taken the strengths of the original megalodon on the basis of your feedback and renewed every single component. The result is a megalodon, which at first glance looks like its predecessor, but in reality it is surpassing its predecessor in its blade steel, in its finish and in many other details. This makes it interesting not only for users with the highest demands, but also for collectors.”

The Meg is destined to be a flagship. Mine is numbered  “474 “and come in a very nice box with its certificate and the name of the knifemakers: Carson Huang and Mr Li in the city of Huangao on the Yellow Sea, facing Korea. Funny to see how many people are thinking the late Kit Carson who invented the flipper is behind this one.

I knew M390 mainly from that incredibly great Spyderco Military Sprint Run.
For Jim Ankerson: “M390 even after 550 cuts it was still not getting noticeably harder to cut the rope, after 600 cuts it was still pretty easy and it would still slice paper clean…” he said in a test versus ZDP189 7 years ago.
So M390 is something of a super steel which, if well heat treated, can beat records. Again Jim Ankerson tests makes M390 ahead of many competitors for rope cutting.

The clip is not has good as my Mantra 2 or ZT0770 but it does the trick despite a very unorthodox design made to get caught in the lips of the pocket. There is a warp in the clip look which combined with the gap in the handle can make the pocket insertion tricky. The G10 version doesn’t have this issue.

Anyway, the Megalodon handle is some kind of work of art. It shows how the industry has progressed in machining titanium. Though it is not as impressive as the Slycz Bowie handle … But beautiful curves and clever design which made the illusion of a longer blade compared to its handle. It’s a very sleek piece of cutlery.
You got all the last gizmo in the knife industry. The Integral Lock is renforced again wear and has a security to avoid bending the spring too far for example.


There is milling on the inside of the scales making the full titanium handle very light and the knife is very well balanced once the blade is deployed.

The action is incredibly smooth thanks to its “Pin Bearing”. Kevin Cleary in his great video on 7th minutes explain it. No balls but pins. Simple as that.
The action is as smooth as the Rubicon 2 which means a really really smooth experience. Better than my Mantra 2 and quieter than the ZT0770 spring assist authoritarian opening.

The 3,5mm thick beautiful full flat blade is a razor right out of the box and the edge is thin. With 10 cm long this is not a short tool but it carries quiet well.
I have start to thin the edge further and you can see pictures of the process on our Facebook Group here.

The full open design of the handle makes it easy to rinse after use and I really think this Chinese flipper is made for being used in the wood with no afterthought. China is making now great “separators of matters” for the money, from the Spyderco Polestar, the Byrd series and now to the Real Steel high ends top of the notch folders, I think, after “Made In Taiwan”, “Made In China” is soon going to be a quality label.
But yet they are really shy about that.
“Real Steel” are word in English not Chinese.
And nowhere on the knife you will found “Made In China”  or  “Huangao” written…
Shyness versus China ?

To quote Gary W. Graley on his review on Bladeforums. on the difference with G10 version:

“I did end up getting one of the Ti versions, also a very nice knife, VERY smooth flipper and solid lockup,
Some differences between the G10 and this Ti version

Price, yep, you knew that was going to be there, it’s quite a bit above but with that you do get needle bearings for the pivot mech, Ti frame lock and M390 steel, all add up to be worth the extra price tag

the blade is a smidgen longer than the G10 versions

the blade grind is slightly thicker and as you can see ground a bit different, I am getting about .023″ at the edge bevel where the G10 I’m getting about .017″ so that’s a good bit thicker, but, it is still pretty thinly ground compared to a lot of folders out there, it does cut well.

Handle, the thickness of the handle is thinner than the G10, and of course being Ti it is a little smoother, but the contours provide adequate grip, I do like the thicker G10 handles myself though.

Overall, these are BOTH excellent value knives, highly recommend either one.”

The blade is centered.




Comparaison with other classics.



Comparaison with my 1996 Sebenza.


With the Spyderco Slysz Bowie.


With my CPM Cruwear Military.


With the mighty K2 !


a very Steampunk clip.



It cuts the Coke bottle butt with zero issues but it could and should do better.
Reprofiling is on its way here.


SPYDERCO SCHEMPP TUFF BY ED SCHEMPP ~ C151GTI – When The Going Gets Tough – The Tuff Keep Going

Spyderco Persian and Tuff Ed Schempp

The Persian is reviewed here.

Ed Schempp is a very clever designer. As I have noticed in my previous post, it took him almost a decade to get the Tuff to the End Line Users. The purpose of the design was to create the tougher knife possible, kinda über Strider Sebenza Blackwood mix… A folding pry bar.
But let’s not forget: Ed is a farmer. A knife user. And his previous design included the wonderful Persian. Since I got the chance to receive as a gift one of the first batch Persian made (thanks JD!) I was also able to compare the two designs.

Persian and Tuff Ed Schempp

Ed seems to love heavy knife. The one you know you (still) got in your pocket. But also Ed got a very precise idea about ergonomy. Both knives got that angle once open giving you a great cutting power without to twist your wrist. You can push cut vertically, locking your wrist and your arm, and just using the strenght and weight of your shoulder. The Persian and the Tuff share that particularity.

SPyderco Tuff

But the Tuff is almost like a Folding Kukri. A folding mini chopping knife. The pivot is oversized as is the stop pin. The lock bar is the hardest I have ever tried. Everything is tough.
But now that I have installed the clip for tip down carry, my Tuff can be open very fast (Spyder drop) and close easily.
Despite the fact that I have oiled the pivot, my Tuff is squicking/singing like a fiddle and I now considering that sound as a part of its character.

SPyderco Tuff

The “prairie dogs hole” on the G10 and titanium are not the most sexy way to remove weight but it gives some kind of steampunk look to the knife.
Once close it’s all oval, all rounded and not thick compared to other über folder like the Lionspy. I was really surprised how it disappears once clipped to the front or back pocket and is forgotten.
The clip is a little on the stiff side but no big deal. Anyway now that I carry it like my Millies, I enjoy deploying it just by holding the blade by the fuller. Hiiiii CLACK !!!
The lock got that Reeve Integral Lock with improvements with some hardened steel insert which ensure superior strength and increase wear resistance (as on the Millie Tie, and the Rockstead Higo) and a security to prevent over bending (good luck with that anyway). It’s hard to unlock but not as hard as other lock like some Triadlock folders.

SPyderco Tuff

Ha the Fuller! I love the idea. It’s almost like Conan’s Atlantean sword ! 🙂 I would love to see the fullers adapted on the Spyderco Salt for example.
The blade is gorgeous as the light play with the fuller and the flat grind. I was not able to have a patina yet. CPM 3V is not a stainless steel and will picture my Tuff again as soon as a patina will start to develop.
It’s an heavy blade. Like with M2, CPM M4, I always got the feeling that density of non stainless tool steels is higher than stainless. I remember having noticed something like 20% between M2 and ATS34, but I could be wrong. Anyway the CPM 3V feels heavy and the knife is really well balanced.

SPyderco Tuff

Now I was able to get it to razor by stropping it on leather with ease. This is not as difficult as S90V or ZDP89. CPM 3V seems very leather friendly.
The heavy thick blade of my Tuff is shaving hair with a gentle caress. But it was also able to pass my bottle butt test despite its thickness. A beautiful Opinel with its thin and mirror polished blade was able to do it like through butter, but the Tuff was able to cut through showing its good geometry.
On flesh the Tuff is cutting with ease and this time thanks to the ergonomy and the “Schempp Angle”. I was surprised how it was borrowed to kitchen duty. Those Prairie Holes make it sheeple friendly after all and the heavy blade can cut only with its weight.

SPyderco Tuff

Now the next step will be in the woods. Time to see how tough the tuff is. I have noticed that the stainless steel liner is skeletonized. The ease of cleaning will be test also as the handle is not fully open.
The Tuff feels very solid and screaming to be use hard but for the moment it has shown me its softer side: I can open it and close it easily (changing the clip position helped a lot), it’s easy on the trouser, and it’s precise and really sharp. The big choil is a big plus when you need to choke up the blade for precise works. Oh, I have found some hot spot which won’t resist to my diamond files. the back of the blade is sharp enough for striking an iron rod, but as I love to push my cuts with my thumb, I have round it for a more confortable use.
The tuff is screaming hard use but also is whispering cleverness. There is a reason why Ed Schemp took his time on that design and this one is going to be a knife which will grow on you. Just look at the belly, the point and the way the knife goes into action and you will start to see what Ed wanted to produce.
Again Taichung plant has made a flawless work and the Tuff is a beautiful piece of steel. Let see how it performs in the woods.

This is what Jerry Hossom has to say about CPM3V in 2007:

“In my opinion, CPM-3V is the best knife steel ever.

It has the finest grain structure of any high alloy steel used in knives today, about 1 micron. That translates into extraordinary toughness and arguably as fine an edge as can be had. When you sharpen it, you don’t have to cut through carbides, so it sharpens a lot easier than you might expect, certainly easier than S30V or even D2 IMO. I had a 3V knife at Rc61 destruction tested by bending it to 90 degrees, back and forth, four times before it finally snapped, and that blade was hollow ground which resists bending because of the geometry. 3% vanadium, coupled with extreme toughness to resist microchipping allows it to hold an edge a very long time.

The ONLY downside to 3V is its corrosion resistance which is pretty good but the nature of how it corrodes is annoying as hell if it happens. You do not get a smooth patina or a surface bloom of light rust. What you see IF it corrodes are some small orange spots on the blade, under which will be deep pits. This is likely due to minor oxide contamination in the steel, so I passivate all my 3V blades by etching them in 50% FeCl for about 10 minutes, before the final brushed finish is applied. This has ALMOST eliminated the problem, but I still recommend keeping a light coat of oil on the blade and have never had rust once a blade is etched and oiled. I use Birchwood Casey’s Synthetic Gun Oil, which is a great protectant for any metal. 3V is about the same as D2 in this area, but benefits by taking a much finer finish than D2 so corrosion has fewer toeholds than with D2.

I put a fine finish on all my blades, but with 3V I always go to ~800 grit. All of my 3V blades, except swords, are hardened to Rc61.

Tough? In one test of one of my swords, the tester cut laterally through a shank of beef, including over 9″ of meat and over 3″ of bone without splintering the outcut on the bone and the only evidence of the cut on the blade was a very small (~1/8”) flat spot on the edge, which had been sharpened to shaving sharpness. You couldn’t see the flat spot from the side, only by looking down on the edge where you could see the reflection. That was a single-handed sword and just an amazing cut considering that beef leg bone is a VERY hard bone.

It’s a great steel, and it’s unfortunate that more people aren’t familiar with it. It took a bit of a bad rap when it first came out because it is very sensitive to a well-controlled heat treating schedule, as is S30V for that matter, and some makers who tested it early on before that was well understood just didn’t get what the steel had to offer. That’s why I sold my heat treating oven and send all my steel to Paul Bos for heat treating.

I just read through this and guess this is as close to hype as I get, but the steel is a great steel and this is my experience with it. Just as an interesting side note, when I first started using this steel I told Crucible I was convinced that microchipping was a major component of knives going dull and that this steel would “wear” better than its component numbers might suggest because it was so tough. At the time CPM-10V was Crucible’s super wear resistant steel. About 18 months later at the Eugene knife show, the top metallurgist at Crucible told me that they we finding that 3V was “outwearing” 10V in stamping dies. When they studied the reasons they discovered the 10V was microchipping and the hard, sharp edges were crumbling long before any abrasive wear could develop.

People in the woodworking industry have known about the toughness issue for a long time and many of the best woodworking tools are made with A2, which is a very tough steel. 3V is about 7 times tougher than A2, and I recently consulted with some people in that world who made some chisels and turning tools with 3V and found they cut better and longer than anything they had ever seen. AND BTW, they are also now putting convex edges on their chisels…

Try it, you’ll like it.”