Need a New EDC Knife. Zero Tolerance?

#1
I'm in the market for a new blade in the $100-150 range. I've used Kershaw Blurs for the last couple years and I love the curve of the blade. I am looking for a heavier blade and a little more up to heavy use than the Kershaw.

I was thinking of upgrading to a Zero Tolerance 350 with the Blackwash coating. Thoughts on this knife? Any other recommendations based on the criteria and $100-150 price range?
 
#2
I carried a ZT 350 for years until the lock up got a little sloppy. Still perfectly functional, but it bugs me. My current choice of almost a year is a Spyderco Manix 2. Absolutely rock solid locking mechanism and excellent ergonomics. The knife is a lot more rugged than it outwardly appears.
 

M Atwood

Newbie
Vendor
#3
Anything ZT will be a good knife. The only downside I see to the 350 is that it's a liner lock, which as @JPourciau noted will wear with time and start to get sloppy (this is endemic to the lock mechanism. Although ZT should warranty that and replace the part if you send it to them. It's just something that needs to be done periodically with any liner lock).
Frame locks and lock-mechanisms like Benchmade's AXIS lock or Spyderco's Ball-Bearing Lock will last longer (particularly the last two).
The Manix2 is an excellent suggestion... even the Large Manix2 with the 4"-ish blade comes in under $100, taking a quick gander on Amazon.

That said, my choice for a robust, heavy duty, knife of this type would be the Benchmade 275 Adamas folder. Heavier blade, with a strong mid-height flat grind, and the AXIS lock, makes for an extremely robust heavy use folder. The 275 runs a bit higher than your $100-150 range, running around $180 on the street. That may be a killer for you, but they're worth a look.
 

Default.mp3

Regular Member
Network Support I
#4
That said, my choice for a robust, heavy duty, knife of this type would be the Benchmade 275 Adamas folder. Heavier blade, with a strong mid-height flat grind, and the AXIS lock, makes for an extremely robust heavy use folder. The 275 runs a bit higher than your $100-150 range, running around $180 on the street. That may be a killer for you, but they're worth a look.
The 275 is 147 USD plus S&H directly from Benchmade, if you qualify for the pro-deal. ~103 USD if you add the NRALOD2015 code, which is one time use on an order. Note that the 275 uses D2, which is not a stainless steel, although the blade is coated, so that gives a big boost in corrosion resistance overall.
 

M Atwood

Newbie
Vendor
#5
Boom. There ya go.

I'll note, that the cerakote on the Benchmade should do a good job of protecting the blade. I edc the Benchmade 810 (I get more use from the slightly more "delicate", high ground, slicer blade on the 810) which has a CPM tool-steel blade rather than stainless, and I've had no issues with rust yet. And I am not super nice to it. The cerakote has yet to wear through anywhere in a year and a half, despite some scratches, and has done a great job of keeping the blade rust free even when I've left it damp.
With D2 having almost enough chromium to qualify as a stainless (a % short), and thus still not being super easy to badly rust, the combination of the steel and the coated blade should mean very few, if any, rust problems unless you're in really wet/salty conditions.
 

Andrew Y.

Regular Member
#6
I'm firmly in the Benchmade camp, if you go that route you can also customize a Griptiallian or Barrage (Assisted Opener). You can pick blade profile, steel and change grip scales and the pocket clip. I recommend the Split Arrow clip, it is very low pro
 
#7
What do you think of the ZT's in the Hinderer line? Not fat enough for your hands? I have the 0566 and it's just not quite fat enough for my hands. I'll tell you what I'm really excited about by ZT is there Emerson knife! I'm selling most of my knives to get that one! I'm a queen for a frame lock, I wish it had a stabilizer, but I know it would just be for looks.
 

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Grayman

Established
#9
Love my 950 Osborne! It's been used and abused for the better part of 3 years as my EDC; cut, pried, wedged and been used as a screwdriver more times than I'd care to admit. The edge has held up surprising well given the level of abuse suffered.

It's a good sized knife and I love the feel in my hand. I'd highly suggest it to anyone looking for a solid EDC option.
 

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Dan Easterday

Member
Network Support I
#10
I used to like Benchmade, but the Spyderco knives are better for me. I like that Spyderco has built in finger protection so that if the lock fails, you don't get cut. Bench made blades run the grind right to the handle, so if the lock fails under hard use, you get a bad Boo Boo. I daily carry a Spyderco Manix 2 on a daily basis. Great G10 scales, fabulous ergonomics, and a nice locking mechanism.
 

Pat Tarrant

Custom testicles
Staff member
Moderator
#12
Not knocking anyone else's knives, but I used to carry a Strider SMF. I've now got a ZT Hinderer that I've been carrying for not than a year, and like it very much. It's stout, locks solid, stays sharp and carries well. I also carry a multi tool for specific jobs, but the ZT makes. Good general purpose carry blade.
 

IkeInTexas

Regular Member
Vendor
#13
ZT makes some good blades for that price range. They're probably the best you can get in the sub $150 arena. I've had good luck with Emerson knives too. Most are going to be above the $150 and closer to $175-$280.

The Benchmade Griptilian is a solid choice but I'd rather have the ZT.

The CQC-7 would be a great choice too. With the discount code: P&S EKI (20% off all Emerson Knives) it would come to right at the upper limit of your $150 limit.
http://www.bigtexoutdoors.com/collections/knives/products/emerson-cqc-7bw?variant=6234177537


Lately I've been carrying a Strider SnG or Hinderer XM-18 but my Emersons still see quite a bit of use. The "wave" feature is what really has me sold on the Emerson designs.



Ike
 
#14
Another vote for the Adamas folder. I've had one for two years and beat the absolute shit out of it. Never had a problem and it's still going strong. I will note that it developed slight surface rust on the etched emblems on the blade after an 11 day field exercise in southern MS... 115* with 90 percent humidity every day. Got back to the barracks, wiped the blade down with some CLP, which took the rust off and have never had a problem since.
 

MrMurphy

Regular Member
#15
I'm generally a Spyderco guy, but I also like Benchmades. I carry a Benchmade Triage on duty, replacing a baby Griptilian I gifted to my dad.

The Spyderco Manix and Chinooks are favorites of mine, as are the full size Spyder-hole Griptilian. I love the Axis lock.
 
#16
There are a lot of great knife manufacturers out there. For me I really like spydercos. My two favorites are Paramilitary 2 and Stretch. The para2 is the fastest manual fighting blade I've seen. The stretch is a close second. The para2 has g10 and is grippier and better traction for me than the frn handled stretch. Para2 also has better steel and better thumb jimping. My third would be a waved endura but it is much slower to deploy so I would want to use that for waved deployment only. I would prefer the delica over a regular endura or a pacific salt over a regular endura.

Benchmades are beautiful knifes but even the fast edc manual knife such as the 940 has zero traction as a fighting tool....as an edc tool, it could work fine. With spyderco, you are just getting so much more knife for the money. Also, spydercos come way sharper out of the box. ZT are good knives too. They are just too heavy and too expensive. Not worth it in my eyes. YMMV
 
#17
ZT makes some good blades for that price range. They're probably the best you can get in the sub $150 arena. I've had good luck with Emerson knives too. Most are going to be above the $150 and closer to $175-$280.

The Benchmade Griptilian is a solid choice but I'd rather have the ZT.

The CQC-7 would be a great choice too. With the discount code: P&S EKI (20% off all Emerson Knives) it would come to right at the upper limit of your $150 limit.
http://www.bigtexoutdoors.com/collections/knives/products/emerson-cqc-7bw?variant=6234177537


Lately I've been carrying a Strider SnG or Hinderer XM-18 but my Emersons still see quite a bit of use. The "wave" feature is what really has me sold on the Emerson designs.



Ike

Yes and Yes - i have picked up my last 2 Emersons (mini's) during coupon events or at a table where the price was crazy low... I prefer the half straight blade and half serration with the wave.