ZT Knives and Les George have done it again with another great knife. Last year we reviewed the excellent ZT 0900 and this year, ZT and Les have returned with a new design – the Zero Tolerance 0909.
My first impression of this knife was that it was a big folder, yet had great ergonomics! More detail on that later. Basically, in the time it took me to take it out of the box and get it into my hands, I knew the Zero Tolerance 0909 would be a workhorse.
The 0909 was introduced as the replacement of the now discontinued ZT 200 series. ZT knives had their beginnings with large folders intended to withstand heavy use that would meet the needs of professionals, military, and law enforcement.
Zero Tolerance describes their knives as “Proudly Overbuilt” and they should be proud of the 0909 – this thing is a tank of a knife. Just like the ZT 0350 we reviewed a few years back, I think the 0909 could be added to the list of both a premium heavy-duty work knife and a defensive carry knife.
The Zero Tolerance 0909 blade consists of S35VN stonewashed steel on a classic drop point blade shape with a nice thick spine and oversized jimping. For me, the oversized jimping on this knife worked great for both function and looks. The handle has a black medium textured G-10 scale with extra thick stainless steel liners.
It has a lanyard hole and reversible deep carry pocket clip. It is a tip-up carry position only, which I personally prefer, and seemed to be the best carry option for a knife like this.
For deployment, the ZT 0909 employs a KVT ball-bearing opening system, which is triggered by a finger flipper. It has a hex pivot nut and bolt, which I didn’t find to be the best looking, but functions well. The blade length is 3.8 inches with a handle length of 4.75 inches and a weight of 7.5 ounces.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Zero Tolerance 0909 is a big knife with great ergonomics. The handle is nice and beefy, and offers a full hand grasp. The weight of this knife comes from the thick liners and blade. Even with the heft, it presented itself as impressively well balanced in my hand.
The curves on the grip allowed me to get a nice, strong grip without any hot spots on my hand. The non- aggressive medium texture of the G-10 provided good grip, but I do wish some of the edges were a bit more rounded off. Jimping on the flipper provides an excellent texture without being too aggressive.
Overall, the knife carried well in my pocket and the weight wasn’t a factor for me at all. Some users may not prefer this as an EDC if a lightweight folder is their knife of choice, but it really did carry well in my pocket.
If you’re a ZT veteran, you know that Zero Tolerance knives come crazy sharp from the factory, so I will spare you the time. The KVT bearing system made this knife deploy super-fast, almost like I had a spring assisted knife in my hand. Deployment didn’t require any wrist movement. The momentum gained by a heavier blade like this often gives it incredible opening speed and smooth operation with a bearing system.
The blade had no movement in the beginning, but after a month of use and constant opening and closing the pivot nut became a little loose giving the blade a bit of play. With the pivot nut being a typical hex, I was able to tighten it easily using a 3/8 inch socket.
The blade has excellent retention in the closed position. The liner lock has held up extremely well – just as I had expected because of the extra thick liners. The thick liner lock gave me confidence that the opened knife would not fail and fold into my fingers during heavy use.
The pocket clip seems small for size of the knife, however it does have decent strength to it. It is certainly strong enough that I haven’t had any worries the knife would easily come out of my pocket.
Overall, ZT has another winner with this hard hitting, heavy duty, take on anything knife. Its larger size and weight lend itself for use where other knives would rather hide in the tool box. When it comes to every day carry, the Zero Tolerance 0909 by Les George fits the bill for both the professional contractor and the responsibly armed citizen. Military and law enforcement professionals will be impressed by the quality and design, though the lack of serrations may relegate it to off-duty carry.
Zero Tolerance 0909 Specifications
- Country of Origin: Made in the USA
- Depoloyment System: KVT ball-bearing
- Deployment Trigger: Flipper
- Clip Style: Reversible deep-carry clip (left/right, tip-up)
- Locking Mechanism: Secure liner lock
- Blade Steel: S35VN, stonewashed finish
- HandleMaterial: Textured G-10
- Blade Length: 3.8 in. (9.7 cm)
- Closed Length: 4.75 in. (12.1 cm)
- Overall Length: 8.5 in. (21.6 cm)
- Weight: 7.5 oz. (212.6 g)
- MSRP: $225
- Street Price: $180 (Amazon)