Man, it’s been a long time since I last made a review. And, to be honest, I missed the knives. Changed my work and place of living but never gave up my love for blades. Now, enough of the sweet nothings. Today we are talking about hard core folding blades. Ever heard about Zero Tolerance? I am not speaking about the 2015 action movie here. Does the name Rick Hinderer ring a bell? If it does, then welcome aboard. Otherwise, welcome and join the cruise, we are going to examine the acclaimed Zero Tolerance Flipper – model 0562.
You know, the only thing I hate about KAI and their affiliated company is the blade naming. I mean, everyone knows what Para-Military 2 is. But when guys like me gather and talk about Rick Hinderer blades on annual knife expos, it’s always (I mean ALWAYS) hard to understand the numbers. Because numbers are actually the model names here. Is it the 080X or the 0350 you’re talking? Man, I honestly don’t remember. And it is hard to keep all that stuff in mind. Anyway, we know what we are talking about now. The 0562 flipper is a 4.8-inch (closed length) blade, designed by Rick Hinderer. The knife comes in a black matte box with the legendary “Built like a TANK”, “Proudly overbuilt in the USA” and company’s blue logo on it. It has frame lock, it’s heavy, it’s stiff and it’s freaking immortal. But first and for most – it is a good slicer. Why? Just get over to the next section.
- Weight: 5.6 oz.
- Blade length: 3.5″
- Closed Length: 4.8″
- Steel: ELMAX super steel, stonewashed and satin finish
- Blade Lock: lockbar stabilizer
- Material handle: Textured G10 front, stonewashed titanium back
- Country of origin: USA
Here’s a great video ZT 0562 Review
The first thing that literary shoots out in Zero Tolerance 0562 is the blade. Aside the flipper action on this knife, the stone washed blade looks just gorgeous. Yes the dust bitten satin has always been number one choice for Rick Hinderer designs. But hell, it works. It is practical and simple. The shape of the blade is drop point. Combined with the high flat grind this kid here slices’n’dices. The guard on the rear of the blade protects your fingers from slipping on the cutting edge. While the prominent swedge and fat tip provide confident piercing action. In a nutshell – the blade is awesome. As usual, I took the knife on back country journeys and mountain backpacking. Did carving, did feather sticking, twice chopped and battoned with it. I know it is crazy and stupid, but the knife did the job. I had to see its limits. And what I saw was fascinating. It can be compared to Cold Steel products but with a truly ergonomic handle we’ll talk about later. Carrying Zero Tolerance in suburban areas, doing some regular daily tasks was not a problem either. With quite a simple and not-so-tactical design, model 0562 can truly be recommended for anyone who’s into strong drop point blades. You won’t break or injure it with reasonable use and care. And it will cut like crazy. All thanks to the ELMAX steel grade.
It is the first time ELMAX appears in my reviews, so let me introduce you first to the peculiar chemistry of this truly premium grade steel. ELMAX, produced by Bohler-Uddenholm, is usually called “high chromium-vanadium-molybdenum-alloyed steel”. Formally it contains 1.7% carbon, 18% chromium, 0.3% manganese, 1% molybdenum, 0.8% silicon and 3% vanadium. Compared to other grade steel like S30V it is much more whimsy at 62 HRC. But with the added chromium it stays clean much longer. The knife with ELMAX has very good edge holding ability as well as the mentioned corrosion resistance. Additionally the steel’s production process, combined with small sized powder and carbides, makes it extremely easy to sharpen and maintain. Finally what we have is tough grade-A steel that is not a beast to sharpen and is likely to develop a rolled edge, rather than a chipped area. Like I said – took the knife outdoors, did crazy things with it. Through rain and woods, Zero Tolerance is still alive and ready to serve its purposes. In terms of sharpening it is a piece of cake. Hard to explain how Bohler-Uddenholm did it. But, surprisingly, ELMAX is as easy to hone as 8Cr13MoV on a Spyderco Triange. No wonder this steel is so popular among bush crafting blades and people using them.
Like with the blade, the handle on Zero Tolerance 0562 is a story to tell. Starting with the construction, the handle is made from G10 (with stainless liner) on the one side and the titanium frame on another. Quite a standard frame-lock built with the open pillar construction arrives in a new perspective with Rick Hinderer design and approach. I mean, yeah, this is not an $800 custom from the knife maker. However it inherits the very best from the original knives. The titanium frame lock-slash-liner is light and ergonomically comfortable. The finger grooves are easy to grab. And the G10 texturing is aggressive enough not to slip away. Plus, the gimping makes it easy to pistol grip the 0562 model and do safe piercing. Everything, I mean, everything about the handle seems just correct. It is not cool or fancy like on my purple Spyderco Endura 4. It is just well built, solid and comfortable.
And yes, you there lightweight EDC lovers, the handle is heavy. Although the titanium lock takes away some of the pressure, the steel liners beneath G10 are not skeletonized. So I wouldn’t expect anything easy-to-carry straight from the box. However the thickness is really something to talk about. It is immediately obvious the handle on ZT 0562 is slim profiled (0.49 inches). Still it’s wide enough to give a good grip. Not a perfect choice for hardcore tasks. But again – do you really want to spend half an hour carving wood with any folder at all? Don’t forget – this is still an EDC blade, so I guess a slim handle is something this knife actually needs. Because once clipped to the pocket – that’s when you realize the benefits of all the details.
Ergonomics (pocket clip, locking mechanism and deployment)
Like I said, Zero Tolerance 0562 is extremely well designed knife with superb ergonomics. From the moment you take it from the pocket and till the last drop of sweat on your forehead, this blade here will give you nothing but joy. Take my word for it! The bent handle shape, the lockup, the rocket-speed deployment, the fit and finish – everything screams of quality and ergonomics. Speaking of witch, hang on for a little while longer and discover what makes Zero Tolerance function so good.
You probably guessed already – the pocket clip on this guy here won’t be another brick in the wall. Earlier I claimed Spyderco’ belt clip to be the best. Sorry, Glesser, but you’ve just lost the first place in my top list. And I am here not to dis Spyderco or whatever. But man do I love deep carry pocket clips. Like on this Zero Tolerance. First of all it is easy to put into a pocket and then unclip the knife. Secondly the clip is integrated into the rear standoff. Sounds like another SOG knife. But it looks a hundred dollars better. I mean it. I’ve never in my whole life felt so good about a pocket clip. It is gorgeous and there are many other words I’d like to describe it with. But let’s get serious and talk about deployment.
A common misunderstanding I faced, when first seeing this Zero Tolerance knife, were the thumb studs… Those are actually the blade-stops. You see, the only reasonable way to open ZT 0562 is to use a flipper. And when deployed, the knife reveals the whole idea. You can of course try and flick it open with the “studs”. But man, it is nothing, compared to the speed you get with the flipper. The knife shoots out like crazy with no assist. It is of course due to the caged bearing system and the correct detent on the blade. The action is so smooth you can literary depress the lock and watch the blade slowly drop into the initial position.
The locking mechanism on ZT 0562 is the old good frame lock. The fat and solid titanium frame reinforced with a stainless insert will guarantee the early lockup of the blade. Not only this looks good, but the insert itself can be removed and change when needed. Additionally the lock-bar stabilizer, incorporated into the knife design, prevents the frame lock from over extending. Which leads us to the lockup that is, well, worth the money. And isn’t that what you’d expect from a ZT knife anyway? It is so rock solid I almost wanted to compare it to the ball-bearing Spyderco lock. Being a much easier-to-fix locking mechanism, Zero Tolerance 0562 frame lock gives you the same amount of blade play. That is none whatsoever (nuff said).
Guys, frankly speaking, the facts already mentioned are just a small part of a long story called ZT 0562. I’ve been using this knife for about half a year and still there is much left to acknowledge about it. This is a very well designed blade, that is not custom and available in the nearby arms shop. The MRSP on it is now about $200 but, heck, the price is even lower on Amazon and eBay. So, you guessed it, I recommend you making up one’s mind and trying out this beast. As usual, good luck and stay sharp.