This year Zero Tolerance (ZT) released the new Model 0393 knife at SHOT show. The 0393 is a combination of Rick Hinderer’s and ZT’s design.
Zero Tolerance 0393 Design
Based off of the 0392, a limited collaboration with Hinderer that quickly sold out to collectors, the Zero Tolerance 0393 offers a similar offering that will not be a limited production. While 0392s sold new for $350-400, it is not uncommon to see them sell on the secondary market for over $600. Coming in at an MSRP of $300 with a street price of $240, the 0393 will provide fans with a knife they can use as opposed to the more collectable nature of the 0392.
After initially opening I noticed the blade came sharp from the factory. Opening the blade was very smooth even without having to be worked in. The lockup was also very solid. The grip was not aggressive but felt solid and gave good control of the blade when combined with shape of the frame.
ZT made the blade of the 0393 from a high quality CPM 20CV steel. This steel and ZT’s heat treatment process provides corrosion resistance, hardness and edge retention.
In standard ZT fashion the handle was built out of titanium with a G10 overlay. The G10 was made with Rick Hinderer custom texture to allow for improved grip and aesthetics.
The ZT 0393 is not a small knife with a blade measuring 3.5”, an overall length of 8.25” and a closed length of 4.75”. However, it does fit comfortably in the pocket, carries well and works well for my daily tasks.
The clip on the 0393 is reversible to allow for right or left carry with the tip up. While knives are often advertised as deep carry I have always seen this as a less than low visibility option that still gives a major tell that a person is carrying a knife. This knife is no exception, but can be carried with minimal printing if simply kept in the pocket for less permissive situations.
The clip is the only real issue I experienced with this knife, however I do not believe it is truly a fault of the company or the design. Over a few months the retention on the clip lessened to the point it is easily lost.
While the clip could be beefed up, I have also experienced this issue with the pocket clips on flashlights I carry for EDC and simply view carry clips as a disposable component. This is covered under the warranty and ZT will ship you a replacement clip.
After easily removing the clip with a small star head, I was also able to bend the clip back to its original orientation and it now provides the expected level of retention. The standard clip can also be swapped out for hinderer clips which are titanium and come in an array of other colors.
Easily deployed with a quick flick of the wrist, the 0393 uses the KVT Ball-Bearing Opening System.
This system was designed around a ring of ball bearings where the blade pivots. The ring allows the bearings to rotate freely but keeps them in position. Anyone who has opened a knife with KVT Ball-Bearings knows that the opening is smooth and easy to do with a single hand. The 0393 is no exception.
The flipper tab is in my opinion the perfect size. It is easy to access and the handle is recessed to improve access to the tab, but it is not sticking out substantially and causing accidental opening of the blade or snag hazard. The recessed handle also provides for a very ergonomic and supported position when holding the thumb along the back of the blade.
Originally I assumed the thumb stud was designed as a secondary means to open the blade. However, it is not a thumb stud but actually a stop pin. The pin was only intended to be used as a stop pin to keep it from rotating past the intended position.
The stop pin can be used to open the knife, but my thumb will often slide off the stud and not open the blade fully when opening quickly.
I will be the first to say I am by no means a “knife fighter’, but I do carry blades for self-defense. I personally am not a fan of a folding blade for self-defense and strongly prefer a fixed blade. However, I realize that some are not of that mindset or have legal restrictions prohibiting other options prefer a folder. The blade shape and design I could see as a good defensive design for the purpose of stabbing. However, when looking at the thickness of the blade slashing effectiveness, even with a sharp edge is less than that of thinner blades.
I prefer this knife more for utility purposes. I have used it on the range setting up paper targets, cutting boxes, and other daily tasks. Thanks to the ergonomics of the handle and sharp edge the 0393 worked well for my uses. The only true issue I saw with mine was the clip and as addressed before even this was really not an issue. Those looking for a high quality, rugged and reliable utility knife will be happy with the ZT 0393. For more information or to purchase a Zero Tolerance knife check out Brownells or Indiana Knives.