Knife Review: ZT450CF

Ah…Belarus, a small Eastern European landlocked country best known for its Stalinist architecture and grand fortifications.  If you’re stopping for a tour, make sure you visit KGB Headquarters looming over Independence Square and the many Great Patriotic War monuments commemorating the country’s role in WWII.

Sounds bleak, doesn’t?  Especially the tour of KBG headquarters which could last 20 to 30 years.

Zero Tolerance, Knife, Belarus
I really like the carbon fiber handle.

From this country comes Dmitry Sinkevich, knife maker and artist.  His knife designs are snapped up by companies like Spyderco and Zero Tolerance.  It only takes a simple look to see why.

Let’s look at his design, the ZT 450CF for example.  The knife sports a 3.25 inch slice of CPM S35VN.  More on this steel later.  The blade is a saber grind, drop point with a long false edge and flipper.  The blade glides open on KVT ball bearings.  The front of the handle is carbon fiber and backed with titanium.

The clip is reversible and provides a relatively low profile look when pocketed.

This makes for a very trim and graceful knife weighing in at 2.45 ounces. 

The lock mechanism is a standard frame lock, but because titanium can’t be hardened to the same values as steel, the locking bar sports a small steel insert that serves two functions in addition to locking the knife open.  One, it takes the wear of contacting the steel blade and two, acts as a stop to prevent the bar from being pushed out beyond its elastic limits.  The insert, in case you were wondering, is replaceable.

Dmitry Sinkevich, knife
The carbon fiber is striking.  This is a very nice Gent’s Knife.

S35VN is martensitic steel which contains 3% vanadium and 0.5% niobium in addition to chromium.  All three elements are carbide formers, but chemical properties favor the formation of vanadium and niobium carbides over chromium.  These two carbides are harder and finer in size than chromium carbide and reinforce the steel more. 

Tests by CPM indicate the steel has better edge retention, less wear and more corrosion resistance than many steels including 440C and D2. 

I like the open back and the green spacers are just for fun and very cool.

The knife is strikingly impressive in my opinion.  It fits my hand and the blade flicks out on the KVT ball bearing.  The knife is set up for tip-up carry and the clip is reversible for left or right carry.

I can’t take it for a test run, as it’s not mine to use.  If ZT would like to send me a writer’s sample, I’ll run some cutting tests and expand this. 

The Sinkevich ZT450CF is light, trim and comfortable to use knife which is, bladed with a techno steel to give you long life and edge retention.  Frankly, at the retail price of $245 it looks like a bargain.