Proudly built in Tualatin, Oregon, ZT Knives was founded in 2006 when they recognized a void in the market for an American made line of hard-use knives. A line of knives suitable for both military and law enforcement use. Since then, ZT has not only continued to over-engineer their offerings for first responders, but offer several daily use and premium knives. Some from world-renowned knife designers like Rick Hinderer. The ZT0393 is one of those premium knives. And for good reason.

The ZT0393 borrows some elements from Rick Hinderer’s Maximus and Eklipse knives. Most notable is Rick’s “spanto” blade design. Forged in CPM 20CV, this powdered metallurgy tool steel from Crucible has a high volume of vanadium carbides for exceptional wear resistance and a long-lasting edge. This blade offers excellent corrosion resistance as well as high polish-ability. The ZT0393 also features a partially Diamond-Like Coated (DLC) blade to contrast the machined satin silver finish also found on the blade. Producing a striking looking blade and one of my favorite design cues on this Hinderer knife.

ZT0393
DLC coated blade

The 4.75″ titanium handle is anodized in a handsome yet sophisticated blue tone. In contrast, you’ll find a distinctive “fish scale” style G10 overlay in all black. This unique machined finish is just another one of Ricks designs that blend both form and function. Offering a superior grip on this lightweight masterpiece. For versatility while carrying, a reversible steel pocket clip rounds out the most visible features of the ZT0393.

ZT0393
Reversible pocket clip

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the crown jewel of this knife, however. I’ve recently had a fascination with automatic knives now that they are legal to carry in my state. Prior to that, I was all about the assisted opening. But my last two ZT knife reviews had neither an assisted or automatic mechanism. Yet both were from renowned custom knife designers. The ZT0850 utilized a manual thumb stud opening. And the ZT0393 uses a KVT ball bearing mechanism. With just a flipper, this knife opens as smooth as glass. No need for a spring to lock the 3.75″ blade into place. There’s something to be said about simplicity. A design that will not fail or ever let you down.

ZT0393
Rick Hinderer designed G10 scales

ZT0393 specs and features courtesy of zt.kaiusaltd.com

  • Made in the USA
  • KVT ball-bearing opening system
  • Flipper
  • Reversible clip (left/right, tip-up)
  • Titanium frame lock, hardened steel lockbar insert
  • Steel: CPM 20CV, DLC coated & machine satin finish
  • Handle: Titanium, blue anodized, with machined G10 overlay
  • Blade Length: 3.5 in. (8.9 cm)
  • Blade Thickness: 0.156 in. (0.39624 cm)
  • Closed Length: 4.75 in. (12.1 cm)
  • Overall Length: 8.25 in. (20.9 cm)
  • Weight: 5 oz. (142 g)
  • MSRP $300
ZT0393
4.75″ folded length

I now own 4 or 5 knives from Zero Tolerance. For the past three plus years, I have yet to experience an issue with any of them. These knives are not only over-engineered, they maintain a “like new” feeling throughout their life cycle. Just simple maintenance and a little lube will keep these tools functioning like the day you purchased it. My first ZT knife model 0350 still serves a more rugged EDC purpose. While the premium ZT custom knives get rotated regularly in my EDC lineup. With the 0450CF still my go-to when in a suit or trying to keep it classy. ZT offers knives and tools for almost any occasion.