I’m never buying another EDC knife again.
I’ve been carrying the Zero tolerance 0305 TS (Tiger Stipe) for nearly a year and a half and I’ll never buy another EDC knife again. I love this knife. It’s sharp, holds an edge, has outstanding build quality, I can adjust the clip positioning, it has a strong lock, has an easy-open assist, and the tiger stripe finish holds up against anything.
This is an everyday carry/utility knife. If you are looking for an ultra-sharp skinning or backup shaving knife then this blade is not for you. I bought the Zero Tolerance 0305 because of the SP-30 Vanadium steel blade. This steel is very different from the popular 440 stainless steel of most carry knives. The SP-30V is a very, very hard steel and not easy to sharpen.
440 stainless is a higher carbon steel and it can be sharpened to a much finer point without chipping off. SP-30V, on the other hand, is hard enough where you can sharpen it to a razor fine point (after hours of sharpening), but due to the low carbon the blade is brittle and chips easily if honed too fine.
My Zero Tolerance 0305 did chip one time when I tried to sharpen it like it was 440. Now, I keep a thicker edge on it and it holds up against anything I throw at it, while maintaining a consistent edge. The Ken Onion blades of the 0305 will withstand 99% of what you’re doing and require less maintenance if you keep the right edge on them so they don’t break off.
The handle and clip of the Zero Tolerance 0305 are fantastic. The textured grip is made of a G-10 hardened glass epoxy that is extremely durable and is comfortable to hold. I’m not kidding when I say durable; I open beer bottle caps with the back of the handle and there are just a couple of worn spots. This epoxy is no joke. I found no problem holding the rough grip bare handed or with gloves. The texture is just right. The ergonomics fit my hands well, and I have rather large hands.
The steel pocket clip can be positioned facing either direction on either side of the knife frame. Just back out the two screws that hold it in place and position it however is comfortable for you. I moved mine so that the hinge faces down into my pocket, but that’s just personal preference. The handle also has a precut hole for a lanyard at the back.
I have had folding knife locks fail on me in the past and one time I nearly cut my fingers off. Since then I have been hesitant to fully trust the locking mechanism in other folding knives. No more; I fully trust the lock on the Zero Tolerance 0305 to hold the blade in place when I’m working with it.
I never would have guessed how much I love the open assist knob on the back of the blade. I always used the thumb knob on other knives to open them. Couple that with the spring-loaded open assist and I can’t go back to the old-fashioned way of pushing my thumb against a blade-mounted knob and doing a wrist flick.
Finally, let’s look at the ascetics. I think it’s a great-looking knife. I love the aggressive design of the handle, the machining of the blade and, of course, the unique tiger stripe design. This coating isn’t painted on, but is a hard Duracoat similar to what you’ll find on modern firearms like the Glock and M&P.
It’s very durable and the only thing that I’ve found that it can’t resist was my first, rookie attempt to sharpen the knife with a diamond stone. Since then, I’ve learned how to properly sharpen the knife with minimal scratches. I have stripped electric wire, pried staples from shipping boxes and even cut into drinking cans with no more wear on the finish. I’m shocked at how resilient it is. If I didn’t screw up the first time I sharpened it, I’m sure the knife would have literally been perfect. Well, you live and you learn.
I am all about price compared to performance and I rarely buy the premium or flagship offerings from manufacturers. I am glad that I spent the premium cost to buy this knife. For as much as I use this thing, I would have gone through three other lesser knives that together would have cost more than the Zero Tolerance 0305.
I’m never buying another pocket knife again.
All photos by Ryan Ross