U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Tualitin, Oregon based Zero Tolerance (sister company to Kershaw) is always hard at work designing new blades. The number of new products they release each year is pretty surprising, considering they have consistently maintained a reputation for exceedingly high quality. Despite excellent in-house designs, they often team up with other well-known knife makers. In today's case, they collaborated with Rick Hinderer to bring forth the ZT 0393 GLCF.
While the 0393 GLCF might not have the catchiest name, it boasts a lot of impressive features. Starting at the front, we're looking at a 3.5″ “Spanto” harpoon style, CPM-20CV steel blade with a stonewashed finish. This steel is excellent for use in knives, with skillful edge retention and great wear resistance. The “flipper” spins on a KVT ball bearing, and offers considerable leverage over using the thumbstuds.
The frame is constructed from titanium, with carbon fiber slabs overlain; this keep the overall weight really low, only 5 ounces. The pocket clip is reversible for right or left hand carry, tip-up in either pocket. A frame lock keeps the blade from collapsing shut, with a hardened steel lockbar insert for maximum wear prevention. Those carbon fiber handles hide one more neat feature: glow in the dark inlays within the carbon fibers. During daylight, there's no visible difference. But at night the lights come on, giving the 0393 GLCF a checkered glow. This can get really bright as well, through the application of a flashlight. I hit the handle with a powerful beam and could easily see the glow in the daylight.
While the usefulness of this will undoubtedly be a topic of great discussion, I welcome it. It's been more than once I've set a pocketknife down while hunched over a midnight camping project, working on a torn tent or scraping together some tinder for a fire and either had a little trouble finding it or worse, grabbed it further forward than preferred. The glowing panels have no down side really. The 0393 GLCF isn't markedly more expensive than the standard 0393 was at launch, meaning there's a nice bonus without a drawback.
Leaving nocturnal activities aside, let's take a look at the rest of the knife. The frame's shape is fantastic. While it carries like a medium sized pocket folder that's on the smaller side of the range, it fills the hand like a folder on the larger side of medium. Two carved out portions give your index and middle fingers their own spot to rest, keeping them in place even if your hands are wet or if you're applying serious pressure. The frame lock engages firmly, and disengages with ease.
The exterior coating on the blade and frame is called a “hard-use working finish”. I'd have to agree on that, as anything short of a gouge doesn't seem to faze the stone-ground finish. This is seriously scratch and scrape resistant.
The blade came with a very sharp edge out of the box. The width of the blade increases significantly towards the spine, showing pretty clearly that the 0393 GLCF is intended for hard-use, not just gutting trout. Edge retention has been really good thus far, despite significant cutting and prying in the shop and at the range.
For those of us who treat knives like tools and not treasures, the Zero Tolerance 0393 GLCF is an awesome pick. From camping to hunting to working in the shop, the 0393 has what I need. Easily a good choice for EDC as well, the ZT 0393 is the whole package. Street price on this is around $280 right now. Check it out!
About Rex Nanorum
Rex Nanorum is an Alaskan Expatriate living in Oregon with his wife and kids. Growing up on commercial fishing vessels, he found his next adventure with the 2nd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt. After 5 tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, he adventured about the west coast becoming a commercial fisheries and salvage SCUBA diver, rated helicopter pilot instructor (CFII) and personal trainer, before becoming a gear reviewer and writer.”