What’s In My Pocket? #6: Zero Tolerance 0200

It occurred to me today that I haven’t posted about my sharp-object obsession since I moved here to the new digs.

Well, it’s high time.

Pretty much the only surviving vestige of my boyhood tour of duty in the Cub Scouts — besides my pathological dread of adult men wearing neckerchiefs and khaki shorts — is my passion for pocket knives. For most of my life, I’ve toted around some version of a Swiss Army knife. You’d be amazed how many times each day I find myself in need of something sharp.

Some years ago, I switched from SA knives to folding blades. Two reasons propelled the change: (1) I grew frustrated with the lumpy thickness of a multifunction knife in my pocket; and (2) I never really use anything except the knife blade anyway. So it made double sense to streamline.

In the years since, I’ve acquired a dozen or so quality folding knives, most of which rotate into and out of my pocket on a regular basis. My pieces range from a utilitarian Kershaw Storm II on the low end, to a beautiful Chris Reeve Sebenza with cocobolo wood inlays that by itself cost as much as half my other knives combined.

But if I’m ever stranded on a deserted tropical island with only one folding knife in my possession, I hope that’s the day I’m packing my Zero Tolerance 0200.

Zero Tolerance 0200

The ZT0200 is one massive beast of a knife. It’s not the longest blade I own — my Benchmade Skirmish boasts a whopping 4.30 inches of gleaming steel — but it’s the heaviest (nearly eight ounces), toughest knife in my kit. If I had to, I’m confident that I could bring down a water buffalo with this sucker, without even deploying the blade. I’d just club the bovine between the eyes with the handle. (Sorry, PETA. I’m speaking hypothetically.)

KAI USA — the same people who make Kershaw knives, as well as the Shun kitchen cutlery endorsed by the Food Network’s Alton Brown — markets the ZT0200 primarily to professionals in the military and law enforcement fields. You know, the sort of folks for whom a rugged, all-environment knife comes in mighty handy. I grew up as a Department of Defense dependent, and my daughter is a criminal justice major, so I feel qualified to carry one myself.

The ZT0200’s 3.75-inch recurve blade is struck from tungsten/carbon-coated 154CM, an industrial-grade, American-made stainless steel that lends itself to exceptional blade stock. It’s extremely durable and corrosion-resistant, and can withstand a good deal of abuse. The blade can be deployed easily with either hand, using either the finger trigger or one of the dual thumb studs. The liner-lock mechanism opens smoothly and locks the blade so solidly that it feels like a fixed blade — which can’t often be said about a liner-lock folder.

The ZT0200’s handle is 3D-molded G10, a fiberglass laminate bound by epoxy resin, frequently used in electronics manufacturing due to its moisture resistance and lack of electrical conductivity. I could hack my way through the Amazon rain forest without ever losing my grip on the textured scales. (Not that there’s an Amazon rain forest in my foreseeable future. But one never knows.) That texture makes it a bit of a challenge to get the knife in and out of a hip pocket, so I usually only carry this one when I’m wearing a well-broken-in pair of jeans.

As an added cool factor — not that this knife needs help in that department — KAI USA makes a donation to the Paralyzed Veterans of America for every Zero Tolerance knife they sell.

My ZT0200 will be the only hand tool I’ll need should Gilligan, the Skipper, and I ever take a three-year detour out of Waikiki.

Or if Jack Bauer invites me to tag along when he’s having another of his really bad days.

Explore posts in the same categories: Sharp Objects, SwanStuff, That's Cool!, What's In My Pocket?

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