Reviewed 12/07/2010 by cutter17
-Price Paid: $144.00
-Used for Every Day Carry
-Owned for Greater than 1 year
Been wanting to do this review but never found the time to do so. Now I've found the time to do one, so I'm going to give you the truth as seen by cutter17! :-)
I avoided this knife when it first came out. I had been spoiled by the ZT0200 in regards to ergonomics and it's heavy duty build, which put it's weight at 7.7 ounces. The specs on the ZT0500 put the weight at 4.8 ounces, which in my mind did not make this a very heavy duty knife. I know, weight does not make the sole requirement for a heavy duty knife, but for me I put some emphasis on it because it usually tells me something about the thickness of the components making up the knife.
When I finally did take a chance on the ZT0500 MUDD I was very impressed with the knife. The second I picked up the box I knew this knife weighed more than 4.8 ounces, that, or either a ZT0200 was packed in by mistake! First thing I did was to weigh the knife on my scales and it came up as 6.8 ounces, much more to my liking than the listed 4.8 ounces.
Here are the specs;
Blade Length (to handle): 3 3/4 in
Blade length (Cutting edge) 3 1/2 in
Overall Length: 8 3/4 in
Closed Length: 5 1/16 in
Blade Steel: 154CM Stainless ~ DLC Coated
Handle Material: Machined, aircraft aluminum, black anodized
Sheath Description: Pocket Clip
Weight: 6.8 ounces / 190 grams
As the specs tell you, this is a fairly large knife, and a heavy duty one to boot. There are a few things about this knife that are not real common in mainstream production knives.
First is the G&G Hawk sliding lock. This lock is located on the right side of the handle just behind the pivot. Though it is located on the handle I have yet to disengage the lock on any activity I have used the knife, and really don't notice it as I use the knife. The lock is a sliding hardened steel plate that has a U shape in it that slides over a stud, made from hardened steel, located in the blade. This locks the knife open with no bladeplay at all. Another identical stud acts as the detent to keep the blade in the closed position. The lock is covered with a boot of neoprene designed to keep grit out of the lock. Speaking of this, the pivot also has neoprene seals that work to keep anything out that would inhibit the lock. I've heard people speak of these seals as nothing more than a gimmick. It didn't matter one way or the other to me as I liked the knife anyway. But I was able to see a youtube video of Gavin Hawk burying this knife in wet sand, not once, but three times, digging it up, and opening and closing it with no gritty sand in the pivot nor lock.
These seals are no gimmick, and they DO work.
The second thing is the material used to construct the aluminum frame for this knife. Most every aluminum framed knife you see has 6061 aluminum as the handle material. This is a very good aluminum alloy, and works great for it's use as knife handles. Kershaw went a step further and used 7075 aluminum alloy, an aluminum that is stronger than any other aluminum alloy. The frame has black, checkered, G-10 panels overhaid on the aluminum to complete the handle.
A couple of other things include the 5/16" diameter pivot, with it's 7/8th's" pivot screws. These screws are not typical of what you normally see, and do not tighten/untighten with a torx driver. Instead, these have 4 small holes evenly spaced around the outside. I found a simple way to tighten the pivot by using two small nails and a screwdriver. The nails fit down into the holes across from one another, and then I place the shaft of the screwdriver between the nails and turn it clockwise to tighten, counterclockwise to untighten it. The thumbstuds are also different as they are much larger than most. Being knurled all around the edge, they are easy to access with your thumb, and nice when you have gloves on. The last thing I'm going to mention is the deep-carry pocket clip. This clip attaches on the left side and goes around the end of the handle to come down on the right hand side for right handed people. As it comes, the clip is a little higher off the frame than I like it to be, so I modified it to slide down between the "ears" at the handle's back. It still places the entire knife inside my pocket with only a small clip to show on the outside.
All in all the ZT0500 is a heckuva' of good knife that will do the job you ask of it, and come back begging for more!!