Zero Tolerance 0357 Hands-On Review
Premium Quality ZT Knife with an Affordable Price Tag
We’re pretty well-acquainted with Zero Tolerance at this point, having reviewed a number of these knives already. The ZT line always uses quality components and top-quality stainless steel. We feel the brand consistently designs rock-solid EDC knives that look good and just work. However, when getting the kind of quality that comes with the ZT name, the price tag can wind up proportionally high. That’s why, upon inspecting the Zero Tolerance 0357, we found ourselves a little surprised this knife retails for under $150.
- Under $150
- Black G10 machined on both sides for solid grip
- CPM20CV steel holds edge well
- SpeedSafe assist feels very lively
- Liner lock feels pretty stiff even after a few weeks of use
RecommendationThe Zero Tolerance 0357 has the kind of design that I find particularly appealing. It’s not flashy and feels exceptionally solid. It has an effective grip, and it features a blade design that’s useful for a lot of tasks I take on daily. The fact that it retails for around $50-$150 less than most other knives in the Zero Tolerance catalog makes it an especially compelling option.
Zero Tolerance 0357 Blade Design
The Zero Tolerance 0357 features a 3.25-inch drop point blade that has enough of a belly to tackle any slicing applications with ease. Around the shop, it’s among our favorite blade shapes. The tip comes to a fine point that does make it good for piecing, though you’ll want to be careful to avoid drops as tips this fine—regardless of the steel used—are prone to breaking.
CPM 20CV Blade Steel
Speaking of the steel, ZT uses a CPM 20CV steel for this blade. This is a hard steel that resists corrosion and wear. It also holds its edge really well. If you’re a steel nut—here’s the breakdown:
- Carbon 1.9%
- Chromium 20.0%
- Vanadium 4.0%
- Molybdenum 1.0%
- Tungsten 0.6%
This mix comes in with the same hardness of 440C but with considerably more wear resistance and additional corrosion resistance. The downside is that it can be a bear to sharpen, but with the right sharpening tool and enough time on your hands, keeping an edge won’t cause you too much of a headache. ZT has given the 0357 a working finish, which hides any scratches you’ll put on it.
At the blade’s spine, it measures in at 0.121″ thick. This gives it a sturdy feel without making it super beefy. It also keeps the overall weight of the knife to 4.3 oz. I’d say it feels solid without feeling heavy.
For those of you who need to adhere to carrying laws, when the 0357 is open, it measures 7.625 inches long. Check with your local ordinances to make sure you can legally carry it.
Black G10 Handle
One of my favorite things about this knife revolves around the handle. The ZT 0357 features black G10 on the front and back of the handle. This is a dent-resistant, moisture-resistant material made from compressed fiberglass sheets and epoxy resin.
In this case, it’s been machined for a texture that feels similar to 320-grit sandpaper. It’s not so rough that it’s uncomfortable to handle, but it has enough texture that using it with damp hands won’t cause it to slip. It has something like a matte black finish that I find a lot more attractive than something shiny and flashy.
The Zero Tolerance 0357 has a lanyard hole in the butt end of the handle so you can tether it, minimizing your chances of dropping it from heights. The pocket clip, which feels robust, can be swapped to the left side for southpaws. You are limited to tip-up deep-carry, however.
The handle design feels good ergonomically, with the clean lines matching the shape of my hand. Gentle indentations guide my fingers to where they ought to be rather than forcing them to a particular location. Some jimping on the back of the blade gives my thumb or pointer finger a secure place to press when I need to bear down on something.
Opening & Closing
The Zero Tolerance 0357 features SpeedSafe, the brand’s spring assist system for opening the blade. Pressing down on the flipper results in blade practically jumping out of the handle. While I generally prefer a knife with a bearing in the pivot, the spring-assisted open on the ZT 0357 feels very lively. It snaps open quickly and without requiring an inordinate amount of applied pressure.
You are, however, limited to the finger flipper at the back of the knife. Personally, I don’t usually care for thumb studs or a blade hollow, so I don’t miss that they’re not here.
The 0357 features an inner frame-style liner lock to keep the blade in place while in use. When it drops into place, the whole width of the liner lock butts up against the back of the blade, securing it against inadvertently folding over on my fingers while the knife is in use.
When disengaging the lock, we have noticed that the liner lock feels pretty stiff and requires a bit of wrestling to fold the blade back home. We’ve been using this ZT for a few weeks, and it hasn’t loosened up yet. We can close the blade with one hand, but it’s a little uncomfortable to do so. Still, all things considered, we’d prefer the knife err on the side of having a stiffer blade lock over a flimsy one.
You can pick up the Zero Tolerance 0357 for around $148. Considering the vast majority of the ZT catalog generally retails for $200 or more, this price makes it feel like I’m getting the employee discount or something.
And, of course, Zero Tolerance offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty against manufacturing defects. They also offer free sharpening service if you’re not willing to do that yourself. For more information about warranties, replacement parts, or sharpening your Zero Tolerance knife, click here.Shop Amazon
The Zero Tolerance 0357 has the kind of design that I find particularly appealing: it’s not flashy, it feels exceptionally solid, it has an effective grip, and it features a blade design that’s useful for a lot of tasks I take on on a daily basis. The fact that it retails for around $50-$150 less than most of the other knives in the Zero Tolerance catalog makes it an especially compelling option.
Zero Tolerance 0357 Specs
- Blade Steel: CPM 20CV
- Blade Length: 3.25 in. (8.25 cm)
- HRC: 60-62
- Blade Finish: Working finish
- Blade Thickness: 0.121 in. (0.31 cm)
- Closed Length: 4.4 in. (11.2 cm)
- Handle Material: G10
- Handle Thickness: 0.47 in. (11.2 mm)
- Overall Length: 7.625 in. (19.4 cm)
- Weight: 4.3 oz. (122 g)
- Price: $148
For more information about the Zero Tolerance 0357, click here.