Everyday Carry

Zero Tolerance 0230

Mikey Bautista
Zero Tolerance 0230

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With a sleeker, understated look and no-nonsense designs with a focus on efficiency and functionality, traditional knives are a great go-to when it comes to an everyday blade. But while a traditional knife often carries a mental image of the knife your grandfather used to carry, many manufacturers have brought the classic style to modern blades. Knifemaker Jens Ansø has plenty of iconic designs and collaborations to his name, creating some of the most memorable designs across many types of gear, and he brings his talents once again to Zero Tolerance for the 0230. It's a modern slipjoint knife with a minimalist profile designed for maximum performance for EDC.

In spite of its stark, understated profile, there’s plenty of features that set the 0230 apart from not just gent’s knives, but also modern knives as a whole. Its business end features a 2.6“ sheepsfoot blade with a full-width flat grind, a potent combination that allows long, precise, and controlled cuts. It’s made from CPM20V, a top-tier steel with exceptional wear and corrosion resistance, not to mention holds a long-lasting edge. Keeping in line with the cleaner gent’s knife design, Zero Tolerance opted not to put their logo on the sides of the blade; it’s placed instead along the spine.

True to traditional slipjoint deployment, a nail nick is provided to engage the blade, but unique to the 0230 is a double-detent system where two steel balls site on each side of the blade while closed, ensuring increased safety while carrying so there isn't any accidental openings. The 0230 also comes with a half-open position for a more controlled deployment or stowing action. The blade folds into premium carbon fiber handles, allowing excellent strength and resilience while keeping the weight down. An anodized blue backspacer should be a familiar detail to those familiar with Ansø's work, and comes with space for a lanyard attachment.

The Zero Tolerance 0230 is an exceptional example of a knife that does more with less, letting the fine details speak for themselves and adding up to an excellent choice for an EDC knife. Pick one up from Amazon at the link below.

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Discussion (1 total)

AJ Mayfield ·
I love this knife! Locking and flipping mechanisms are an annoyance to me on small knives with Wharncliffe and sheepsfoot style blades. You pull the knife out, open it one-handed with a finger and thumb on the protruding blade spine, make your cut (which should involve a downward slicing stroke and no "poking" with these blades, then close the knife with a quick swipe against your leg. Other mechanisms just add complexity to a simple task. Three things about the ZT 0230 that I would change: First, the nail nick (which is totally unneeded) is too far back. Moving it about one nail-nick's length toward the tip would make using it much easier, with far better leverage—But as I said, it's unnecessary anyway given the blade shape and ease of grabbing it with thumb and forefinger. I do realize that it's a style feature of Jens Anso's Monte Carlo, upon which this knife is based, but it's about the only thing about the knife that isn't perfectly ergonomic. The second niggle (minor at worst) is the lack of pocket clip. Jens Anso's custom Monte Carlos are available with clips. While it's not a serious fault, given the 0230's incredibly light weight and tendency to ride vertically against the front seam of most pockets, I'd prefer a suitable clip. The third thing is another Jens Anso style feature—the lanyard "slot" along the top of the back spacer. While it looks cool, it's almost useless for me. Even a short lanyard in that position caused my knife to constanly fall down in my pocket. Turned with the lanyard facing the front pocket seam pushed the knife back until it fell over, and turning it around added just enough weigh to pull the knife over. To cap it off, I found the lanyard to be uncomfortable in use. In the end, I just took it off. I suppose the rather unobtrusive slot will be there if I ever need to carry my knife on a cord around my neck, or secure it with a cord to my clothing or something. Moving it closer to the butt of the knife would work better, though.

The CPM 20CV, fully-flat ground blade slices like a laser, and does it practically forever before needing sharpening (which is surprisingly easy). The stonewash blade finish is much nicer in person than in photographs (and much nicer than other stonewashed blades I've seen). The carbon fiber scales are grippy enough for most users, and suitably chamfered on the edges. The double-detent mechanism provides just enough resistance to opening and closing without making either more difficult than necessary. It also makes it possible to use "bare" carbon fiber scales, minimizing the knife's weight.

All in all, this knife is a real winner, and a perfect left pocket companion to the little Spyderco Roadie that always rides in my right pocket, and the Fellhoelter CF Frikky folder that occupies my fifth pocket. Seems like I may have become fixated on Wharnecliff blades, lol.