Thursday, January 22, 2009
ZT 0500 Mudd Knife
I've been hearing great things about Zero Tolerance knives for awhile now, but it wasn't until shortly after Xmas that I had the opportunity to play with them at a local gunshop. ZT is a division of KAI, Kershaw Knives' parent company. From my research, I believe that all ZT knives are made in Kershaw's Oregon facility. Most are designed by Ken Onion. The exception is the 0500 Mudd folding knife designed by Oregon's own father/son team Grant and Gavin Hawk. I remember seeing pix of their custom Mudd line on a custom knife site, and I was excited last month to have some spare cash to blow on the ZT version of this awesome folder. MSRP is around $180, but I paid about $150, more than fair for a knife of this quality.
It's a massive aluminum and G10 handle with a blade of 154CM, a great steel for any knife. The blade is coated with black DLC, or DiamondLike Carbon, a hard and hearty coating indeed. Grant and Gavin Hawk have a patent on the unique lock, I believe they call it a RAM lock, which is also used on this Hawk folder design that is produced under Kershaw's banner as well:
I have yet to really take advantage of this knife, as i now have so many favorites, it's hard to pick my EDC knife!
The Zero Tolerance 0500 is unique, I'm not aware of another knife that has such unique features. The pivot and lock are covered by neoprene seals which block dirt, grime, and er...mud from entering the locking mechanism. With the knife open, all one must do to fold it away, is pull back on the lock button, it's not a linerlock, the lock is contained and protected inside the pivot and handle. Steven Dick, editor of Tactical Knives did a short article on the Mudd in the current Feb. 2009 issue. Mr. Dick buried the 0500 in the sandy bank of a creek near his home after soaking the knife in creek water. He proceeded to dig it up and open the knife into a locked position without so much as shaking any grime off the knife.
Pretty impressive. Lockbacks,linerlocks and many other knives would not be able to lock up after being coated in sand or crud. I remember Steven Dick writing about the original Benchmade McHenry and Williams Axis lock, the very first axis lock. In his TK article back then, he gave Benchmade's Axis mechanism high marks for locking up solidly regardless of the amount of dust or debris entered the lock channel. I've found this to be true as well, as my Axis locking knives are among the few folders I own that I rarely clean. However, I don't think the Axis lock can compete with the 0500 Mudd's crazy sealed pivot and lock button. The following is a video I found on YouTube, of somebody performing the same experiment. I'm willing to bet this folder has found a home in the kits of many Spec Ops types, divers and other folks who use their knives in unsavory environments. Now, if only somebody would mate this sealed folding knife system with Spyderco's rust-proof H1 steel....then we might see the perfect knife for waterborne missions and combat divers....
Some additional phone-pix of my ZT 0500 sporting a LanyardZone mini-cobra lanyard with a pewter day of the dead skull:
I'm happy with the ZT 0500 and I like the extremely deep pocket carry clip, the beast, with its nearly 4" blade just seems to disappear once it's on my person.
For further info, check out the Zero Tolerance SITE