The Zero Tolerance ZT0095BW isn’t actually called the Grey Man, but it ought to be. This is one very nice folder. Read on, we’ll explain why we (and several other publications and sites) think so.
Note: This article not paid for or sponsored, but Zero Tolerance did provide the knife for our report.
The ZT0095BW Is One Baller Little Blade
We’d Lie To You About Some Things, But Not This
The Zero Tolerance ZT 0095BW (Black Wash) has been available in the US for about a year now. Unlike many of ZT’s folders, this one was designed and built “in-house,” but the lack of a knife-making celebrity name has done nothing to subtract from the quality. It’s a production version of a previous limited edition 0095BW; some people refer to it as the ZT Harpoon Flipper. We prefer ZT Grey Man, and yes we’re using grey with an e. It’s a very nice daily carry folder, and we’re gonna tell you about it.
The ZT Grey Man is made in the USA. It’s a little slimmer than many of their other designs (particularly the brawnier models like the ZT0456) and is about the length of a standard pencil (8.4 in.) tip to butt once the blade is deployed.
The flat grind drop point (they describe it as “harpoon style”) combines with a sleeker but broader-bellied blade than we expected when looking at the website. This makes it a great “slicer” (for food prep while camping or backpacking, for instance), though obviously, it would work just as well for a wide array of your typical EDC activities: opening packages, pruning in the garden, working in the shop, or, if you’re really lucky, emasculating guys like Mohammed Karrar and William Charles Thomas.
No, we don’t mean metaphorically.
The action is smooth and crisp, moving on a KVT ball-bearing system, and the Ti handle has a nice blackwash finish — which will quickly scratch (as you can see in these images) if you use it like a tool. (Which, you know, is kinda the point.) It uses a steel tube spacer, a reversible clip (left or right handed, tip-up carry only), titanium frame lock, and a steel lockbar insert so it doesn’t fold up on ya. Lockup is what you’d expect of a ZT production folder, which is to say it works just fine; Zero Tolerance has not, to our knowledge, put out a substandard product.
That’s one of the reasons we really like Zero Tolerance.
The 0095Bw is an open pillar design, which has come in handy a couple of times when we needed to wash fish guts or other viscera out of it, and there’s an overtravel stop so you can’t hyperextend the lockbar…or at least, not easily. Theoretically, you could hyperextend it, but you’d have to subject it to some retard-strong mishandling to do so.
There’s a scooped thumb ramp on the spine of the blade, which we appreciate, but given our ‘druthers many of us would prefer a more overt thumb ramp. That’s a matter of personal preference, of course, and isn’t a deal breaker in any event — though if you’re one of those who subscribe to the code duello, we’d recommend looking at some of ZT’s other options.
Grunts: code duello.
There are some people who don’t like the ZT logo on the pocket clip. We respectfully disagree. Mostly because that’s a stupid detail to piss and moan about.
Here’s a look at the manufacturer’s video. Our gallery of photos follows. More reviews below that.
- Made in the USA
- KVT ball-bearing opening system
- Reversible clip (left/right, tip-up)
- Titanium frame lock, hardened steel lockbar insert
- Decorative pivot hardware
- Steel: S35VN, tungsten DLC BlackWash finish
- Handle: Titanium, BlackWash finish
- Blade Length: 3.6 in. (9.8 cm)
- Blade Thickness: 0.121 in. (0.307 cm)
- Closed Length: 4.9 in. (12.4 cm)
- Overall Length: 8.4 in. (21.3 cm)
- Weight: 5.3 oz. (150.3 g)
The ZT0095BW has an MSRP of $275 here on their website, but there’s at least one on Amazon here for $229, which saves you enough money for a lap dance and cab fare (or three lap dances and the breakfast buffet at Nancy’s Squat & Gobble if you have less discriminating tastes).
Reviews on Amazon average 4 1/2 stars, which is a pretty good indication of value. Reviews on any manufacturer’s own page (or one of the product-centric retail sites) are likely to be skewed by hard-core [insert manufacturer here] fans, but that’s typically not the case with Amazon.
Hit us up in the comments if you have any specific questions.
Other Perspectives on the ZT0095BW
Looking for more info on it? PROTOOL Reviews gave it an overall score of 4.7 (using the 5 categories of Build Quality, Features, Sharpness, Edge Retention, and Value) out of 5 in this article.
Tactical Reviews published a very thorough review a few months back as well. Here’s an excerpt.
What it is like to use?
Again this knife surprised me, as in contrast to its modest appearance (mainly thanks to the stonewashed finish), the 0095BW displays modern lines and has particularly good slicing and piercing ability. The blade cuts very aggressively and eagerly.
With a narrow point angle, the tip cuts very deeply (frequently deeper than you might want) and means you have to be wary of this. The high flat grind makes this almost a full flat grind and as such it slices very well. Add to this the blade being only 3mm thick and it makes those deep slicing cuts very easily.
The 0095BW is a good size folder with 3 1/2″ blade, yet remains slim, light and easy to pocket due to the Titanium used for the handles. This cuts both ways though, and does make the handle a little thin for heavy or extended work. As an EDC blade for sporadic cutting, the compromise is ideal.
You can find that article online in its entirety here; it’s extraordinarily thorough, so if you’re seriously considering buying a ‘0095 we strongly urge you to read it.
Want your product or service featured in a SPOTLIGHT article? Contact Jen, Jennifer(at)BreachBangClear.com. She’ll get you sorted.
But wait, there’s more.
Phil White reviewed this knife on The Firearm Blog as well, to wit:
During the seven or so weeks I’ve used it I’ve used it for the regular chores I mentioned as well as giving it some abuse in testing. I went so far as sticking in through the top of a metal 55 gallon drum that was on the shooting range. It went right on through the first time I tried it. The steel drum left a few minor scratches to the blackwash finish but they didn’t really amount to anything. I even used the butt of the handles to drive a couple of smaller nails into a target stand. The edge held up well with no chips noted even when viewed under a low power microscope. Generally just using a fine ceramic rod would bring the edge back good as new.
Read the rest of that here on TFB.
Lastly, if the written word is just too much for you, check out the following videos.
Want your product or service featured in a SPOTLIGHT article? Contact Jen, Jennifer(at)BreachBangClear.com. She’ll get it set up…be forewarned, however, if you ask for subjective content along with the informational report, we’re gonna be honest about it. Don’t send us something that dicks the dog when we try to use it.
Breach-Bang & CLEAR!