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Review of the Zero Tolerance ZT0456


The Zero Tolerance ZT0456 isn’t a new knife – it was actually introduced in 2016.  I didn’t pick one up until the fall of that same year.  It actually took me a long time to come around to ordering the knife.  The all-titanium scales and subsequent weight (6.6 oz.) are both something I tend to shy away from.  Still, there was something positively mesmerizing about the aesthetics of this knife.  The anodized blue hardware..the blade finish…the detail in the scales.  I had try one for myself.

Having owned the knife for about six months now, I think I can provide a pretty good opinion on this knife.

Let me start off by saying I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ZT0456 carries easier in the pocket than I expected.  Clipped to the pocket, there’s no issue, but I work in an office environment and most often carry a knife in the interior of my pocket.  When carried this way, the knife didn’t pull or bulge as to be unsightly – no problems.

ZT gave this knife a 3.24″ wharncliffe shaped blade CTS-204P blade steel – Carpenter’s equivalent of Bohler-Uddeholm M390 steel and Latrobe Duratech 20CV steel.  I’ve been predominately carrying a ZT 0562CF with M390 blade steel, and the same finish applied to which the ZT0456 also has, for about the past 3 years.  In short, I love M390 – it’s my favorite blade steel.  I’m almost to the point that if a knife doesn’t have M390 or a chemical twin of M390, I won’t buy it.  I have to sharpen my ZT 0456 once or maybe twice a year.  When I do, it always sharpens back up razor sharp.

Looking to the lockside of the ZT0456, we find what I call the “standard” ZT pocket clip, with a blue coloration that coordinates well with the other blue elements in this knife.  I’m not crazy about the clip itself (it usually looks and feels “cheap”), but the blue looks awesome.  The lock itself is a fairly standard titanium frame lock with ZT’s steel insert.

Between the beautifully milled scales we find a blue aluminum backspacer.  Most of my knives have standoffs instead of backspacers.  Sometimes I like backspacers, sometimes not.  In this case I really like it.

Simply put, Zero Tolerance/KAI USA (ZT parent company) has all but perfected the flipper knife blade deployment system.  The perfect detent, combined with the ZT KVT captured bearing system around the pivot gives the ZT045 the same silky smooth flipping action which we’ve seen in ZT flipper action knives for several years now.

So it’s safe to say that I really like the aesthetic qualities of this knife, which was another surprise for me.  Dmitri Sinkevich designed the knife for ZT, and normally I don’t particularly go for his knives.  Most Sinkevich seem to be long and skinny which isn’t appealing to me.  But the ZT0456 seems to be a departure for him as is shorter and stockier than most of his other designs I’m familiar with – which is a good thing in my eyes. It’s also a good thing ergonomically speaking – the ZT0456 feels quite nice in hand, and feels like it would be usable in a defensive scenario if need be.

Now for the part of the review I’ve beeing trying to tip-toe around – the truth is, I don’t use the ZT0456.  Sure, I carry it once…maybe twice a week.  But I’ve yet to cut anything with it.  The ZT0456 is largely an “art knife” for me.  Pocket jewelry.  I couldn’t bare to scratch it up from use.  The ZT0456 isn’t really any more expensive than say my ZT 0562CF which I do use and have scratched up quite a bit.  So why don’t I use it?  I just don’t.  I’ve debated buying a 2nd one so I wouldn’t worry about scratching up the one I carry.  But I just can’t do it.  Normally I wouldn’t keep a knife that I don’t use.  But for whatever reason, this one is different – I don’t use it, and that’s OK.

The ZT0456 is easily the most unique and attractive knife in my collection, and sports some of the most premium blade steel and features found on any knife on the market today.  You can purchase the Zero Tolerance ZT0456 from Amazon by clicking here.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of, as well as and *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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