Next on the batch of knives I’ve ordered at the end of 2015, a very fine Chinese clone of the ZT-0562CF. As the name says, it’s got a carbon fibre scale on the presentation side. The original came with a M390 steel blade, and was a limited edition. Now you can’t get one any more. But the clone is real good, so…
It’s a Hinderer design and as all the mannerisms of these, it’s a close cousin to the fame XM18. But this one, as opposed to its super-expensive-nigh -unobtainable sibling, flips good!
We are speaking of a 156.5 g, one side titanium, one side stainless-steel plus carbon fibre, 21cm overall length affair. The blade is 9 to 9.5cm long, 4mm thick, quite sharp out of the box and made in 9Cr18MoV (the Chinese equivalent to a slightly boosted 440c… quite good overall and with good corrosion resistance). The grind is very well executed, sharp and symmetric lines. It’s a “slicer grind” and the flats are in stonewash (including the blade spine) while the rest is done in a very nice satin brushed surfacing.
Both scales of the handle are about 3.9mm thick and they are connected by 4 pillar stand-offs in black. It’s a frame lock with the classic over-travel preventer disc and a steel insert.
The flipper tab is large enough and not gimped (a problem at times since the detent is rather strong) and might be a bit painful if you flip it very often. The bright side of the detent is that it helps the knife flip strongly and authoritatively. The blade is on caged bearings and therefore operation is very smooth, but still not enough for a “fall under its own weight” folding back. I think that’s the friction of the detent ball on the stonewash. It’s improving noticeably over time and might end up glass smooth.
The ergonomics are great and the knife fits perfectly my hand. The pocket clip being mounted on top allows a very deep carry that is further made almost totally unnoticeable by its black colour.
The only problem I have with this knife is that the carbon fibre is not perfectly matching the stainless steel liner under it at one point, allowing a very very tiny gap… Even knowing it’s there, I have a hard time noticing it! The centring of the blade is as perfect as can be and the tolerances generally rather tight.
Overall a very good catch that will often be in my pocket in the coming years, I think.