With uncompromising toughness and durability, the 0200 tactical response folding knife by Zero Tolerance is an unrelenting powerhouse of a knife that can more than stand its own. Though its price tag may seem a little high at first, the build, design, and quality of this knife makes it in a class all its own and well worth the cost.
Despite being above average sized for a sporting knife at 8 3/4 inches, it feels and acts uniquely like a combination of the power of a larger knife with the ease of use of a standard pocket knife. The weighty handle allows for more controlled motions and a firmer grip while the ergonomics prevent the mass of the handle from making it unwieldy or too large for smaller handed users. As it is made of G10, it is extremely tough and can handle severe impacts with minimal if any damage. A major bonus is the machine-milled ridged texture, which does feel less ‘smoothed’ than other handles but is intentionally left slightly ‘rough’ for more control. The ridges on the handle are even and ellipse-shaped so they do not result in discomfort or pressure stress that other friction patterns often cause. The thumb stop is one of few on the market that actually adds to the functionality of a knife due to the larger size and better shaping.
The blade itself is 4 inches long and incredibly durable. This is largely due to the 154CM steel used in tandem with DLC Tungsten coating, which produces a fine finish that is impact resistant and holds its edge. With the corrosion resistance inherent to 154CM steel and the additional coating, it’s extremely unlikely rust would ever be an issue with this knife. This is relatively standard for high end folding knives- what makes this knife unique is the actual shaping of the blade. Recurve blades are somewhat uncommon in folding knives, but offer more of a cutting surface and superior damage capabilities when needed. The small size of the tip is efficient for penetrative action, making it a strong candidate as a defensive weapon. The curve of the blade helps maintain a clean, constant stroke. It also lends itself to the blade being more front-heavy, which suits the weight of the handle. The actual thickness and size of the blade is impressive but not unreasonable, letting it handle tasks where most other knives would chip under the strain.
The locking and opening mechanism of the 0200 is extremely smooth and secure. With standard flipper or thumb stud opening, it is faster to deploy than the size would seem to indicate. The thumb stud is placed slightly higher up and further in on the handle than most knives, but this works out to be a major bonus as it allows for more natural use. Deploying the blade using the thumb stud also has an authoritative and definite-sounding ‘click’ to it, while the flipper is a little quieter. In dangerous situations, the ability to choose the method of deployment with ease and flick out the blade with confidence that this knife offers is a major advantage if not a literal life saver. Though Zero Tolerance does make models with automatic set ups, the hinging on this blade is so well done that there’s no significant speed difference in this version.
The lock is a liner mechanism and is fittingly secure and easy to use with no blade play in any manner. The blade stays firm when pressure is applied from any direction and its pillars and liners are thicker than usual, making them extremely reliable. The hardware used on the knife is phosphorous treated and will withstand damage far better than lower quality materials. Like all other elements, they are designed specifically for extreme abuse and can take a hit and still work.
The size does mean that it takes up more space in a pocket, but the included clip allows for an easy carry and more control so the size is no longer an issue. At 7.7 ounces, it is a larger knife but it doesn’t feel as heavy carried as it does wielded.
The Zero Tolerance 0200 is a major contender for one of the best high end knives on the market due to its recurve blade and sophisticated handle, making it highly desirable for tactical defense or sports use.