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Spydie Fans: what do you REALLY think of ZT's?

Discussion in 'Knives' started by Moshe ben David, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    OK all y'all.

    Got a question. Well actually 2 of them.

    I've been contemplating purchase of EITHER a ZT 0450 OR a Spyderco Kapara.

    So:

    Q1: What are your thoughts of how these two compare? I already suspect the Kapara would be a better slicer, but in other respects I'm not so clear headed...

    Q2: As I've been doing some poking around I spent some time browsing on the Spyderco forums. Man oh man! There's a LOT of dislike for ZT over there! I realize some of y'all might also be on those forums; but I also suspect some of y'all aren't. So I am hoping for some additional thoughts...

    In case you're wondering, besides slicing capability, a major sort of objection seems to be lock up from the frame lock...

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  2. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    I'm probably more in the Spyderco camp, but I have absolutely nothing against ZT. Their knives doesn't appeal to me, but that's just a personal preference.

    I haven't tried any of the two your considering so it's hard to give specific advice. The Kapara is an interesting knife, but from what I've heard it's not the best implementation of the compression lock. With a different lock I think it would have been awesome. Then again, that might not matter as much to you.

    ZT 0450 might be the only ZT I've actually considered. I think it looks quite good and the hollow ground blade is probably a decent cutter, but as long as I don't really like flippers and prefer washers over bearings, it's kind of hard to justify.
     
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  3. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    I own a few Spydies and one ZT and like them all in varying degrees. I've never owned or even touched a Kapara or an 0450. With my qualifications clearly stated:
    • I like M390 and (so far) 20CV better than S35VN, and I like S35VN better than S30V. All are excellent steels.
    • I've stopped buying flippers and I'm slowly selling some of the ones I have. I don't like shifting my grip from where my finger needs to be on the flipper tab to where it needs to be to hold the knife.
    • I've mostly stopped buying Spydies because I prefer the AXIS / ABLE / Spyderco ball-bearing lock better than other locking mechanisms. Most Spydies I've held are hard for me to flick open and closed with my wrist, which is what I prefer.
    • The last two knives I bought were these (https://www.knifeworks.com/search/?q=Doug%20Ritter%20RSK%C2%AE%20MK1-G2) and I love them. But they won't be great for you if you don't feel the way I do about the first three bullets here.

    Disclosure: I have no financial affiliation with Knifeworks, Hogue, or Doug Ritter, but I do serve as the volunteer admin for Doug's ETS forums.
     
  4. ccwaters

    ccwaters Loaded Pockets

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    I've had many ZTs, lots of spydies, I no longer purchase ZTs. Fit and finish, fidget factor are high with them, however they tend to run steel on the softer side, they also tend to not be the greatest people to deal with, you can look through the now defunct ZT forum on BF and see this pretty readily. They also seem to be somewhat behind the times these days. The 920 and 456 are my only ones I kept. 450CF had a nasty tenancy to crack around the pivot area with any sort of hard use (maybe corrected now?), Ti version wouldn't have that issue. Never had the lock fail on any I owned, and I think the whole spine whacking debacle was overblown, but one thing could be gleaned from it, ZTs reps can be pretty nasty.

    Spydeco has made a few mistakes over the years and put out a few knives that have had issues, but they owned it and didn't give customers a hard time about it. I've not had the need to use Spyderco warranty service but have heard it can be hit and miss.

    As for the Kapara VS 450, if you want a fidget toy the ZT is gonna rule that category, although the latest Kapara is no slouch in that department. Slicing is not going to be much of a compare Kapara has a very slicy blade! And I'd probably have more confidence in the lock of the Kapara.
    Love the CF on the Kapara, but it is a little slick. I'd bet the steel is going to be better on the Kapara as well.

    Personally Kapara any day!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks @ccwaters, @chaosmagnet, and @aicolainen for your thoughts!

    I'm not looking for a fidget toy; I generally don't fidget with my blades. I do have some other flippers, including one ZT; also a bunch of 'normal' Spydies, and one ball bearing lock Spydie; and of course a bunch of thumb stud openers. So I'm ok with all of these approaches.

    @ccwaters: that issue of the cracking CF around the pivot on the ZT 0450 is something I didn't know about - thanks for that. If I did get the 0450, I am considering the Ti one though so I guess I'd be OK.

    The decision is still pending; not in any hurry. Many thanks to all!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  6. ccwaters

    ccwaters Loaded Pockets

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    Well one benefit of the ZT is it is much easier to get one, only know one place that currently has Kaparas in stock.
     
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  7. Lateck

    Lateck Loaded Pockets

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    I own 7 ZT's and twice as many Spydarco's. My Spydies are different knives. My ZT's are my tanks, large and solid.
    Each are great knives and I carry each at the same time depending on how and why I carry. One can't go wrong with either.
     
    Last edited by Lateck, Oct 8, 2019
    #7 Lateck, Oct 8, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  8. colin.p

    colin.p Loaded Pockets

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    I only have two KAI knives so take that into account, one Kershaw Camber and a ZT 0450cf. As was mentioned above, I am skeptical about the strength of CF around the pivot area of the ZT, however, I have only found a couple of references to failure and I would think that the 0450cf is one of ZT's best sellers as they must have sold thousands. I don't use mine too often (too many other knives to choose from) but I have never had any issues with my 0450cf.

    Now that that is out of the way, I do have the Kapara on my "need to buy" list as that one definitely calls to me. I would have bought one just a couple weeks ago, but I bought another 940 instead (on sale). Maybe the next one will be the Kapara.
     
    #8 colin.p, Oct 9, 2019 at 5:44 AM
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019 at 6:00 AM
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  9. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks @chaosmagnet, @Lateck, and @Colin. p . Y'all have sort of confirmed what I suspected - that ZT and Spyderco are obviously both solid brands!

    wrt to Kapara availability (and for that matter also SpydieChef). I'd been lusting after these for quite a while (no, not intending to get both by any stretch. Insufficient resources of course!). And like many I've been frustrated that they were just not available.

    I'm not at all clear what was going on with Spyderco, but all of a sudden both of these knives came available at just about all the on-line sellers that I turn to. Which in no particular order include KnifeCenter, Knives Plus, DL Trading, and Blade HQ. It appears that the SpydieChef may already be out of stock at several; but it also appears that the Kapara is still available at several.

    I also notice that much chatter has been about these knives as well as some others have been 'modified' as a consequence of a CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement) initiative at Spyderco. So perhaps that was one of the causes of the long draught?

    FWIW, I've also seen a sort of mini announcement of discontinued models particularly at BHQ.

    Hope some of this is useful to y'all!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  10. sl66ICEcuba

    sl66ICEcuba Loaded Pockets

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    I own many Spyderco's and Zero Tolerance products and I am happy with both. I don't take a preference, definitely what appeals to me I will research/purchase. I wouldn't hesitate with either, many people that complain about lock up issues in regards to spine whacking and all that non sense are clearly abusing a folding knife and not using the proper tool for the job. As far as fit and finish, Spyderco has significantly stepped their game up while ZT has been very consistent over the years for me. I know this is slightly off topic, Kershaw.... You cannot mention ZT without its relatable sister company. ZT has never disappointed which is ironic that I would advise against absolutely everything Kershaw makes. Fit and finish has been poor and every single Kershaw knife I have owned has acquired terrible blade lock up and wobble with light use. No matter what I do they all (for me) have gone down that road. So disappointed to the point that there isn't a single Kershaw in my collection (they all have been given away), nor would I ever purchase another no matter how nice, or even contemplate one again. Even as a beater, all of them are gone. Back to the point, both of the two companies produce a nice enough product that, which ever of the two you decide on, I think you will be happy.
     
  11. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    I tend to agree with you on many of the Kershaw products. But I've noticed for myself and have seen many reviewers also comment that the US made Kershaw products (e.g., Dividend, Link, Knockout, Leek) do not seem to suffer from the same quality issues as do the items produced in China. I do in fact have several of the Leek (a frame lock, a liner lock, a CF....) as well as the Knockout with M390 steel. These seem very solidly made with good blade centering and little if any blade play.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  12. BklynBoy

    BklynBoy Loaded Pockets

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    Moishe, I saw a Nick Shabazz video on the Kapara that he posted last week. Take a look at it. Nick says that without telling anyone, Sypderco made some very beneficial revisions to the knife. He seems to like it. I have lots of Spydies and no ZT's, but then again, most of my knives are 3 inches or or less tend towards the thin and light whereas ZT is known for their beefier knives.

    Both look like great knives. It really comes down to whether or not you want a flipper
     
  13. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    @BklynBoy: yup, I saw it. I subscribe to Nick -- IMNSHO he's one of the very best reviewers. This was actually his 2nd Kapara review; he reviewed the original Kapara, and this as you point out is the improved one, incorporating fruits of their CQI process.

    I'm not hung up either + or - on flippers. I like them, but not exclusively! I am though sort of lusting after the Kapara...!

    L'chaim & Chag Sukkot Sameach!

    Moshe ben David