Here is the product page. There is a step up version with carbon fiber handle scales and an M390 blade. Knowing ZT, I am sure there will be a half dozen other variants before the design is discontinued. Here is a written review. Here is a video review. Here is a comparison between the XM-18 and this knife. This review sample was provided by KnivesShipFree, where you can find the Zero Tolerance ZT0562, and all proceeds benefit the site when you purchase things through this link:
Here is my review sample (to be given away):
Twitter Review Summary: Better than the real thing.
NOTE: When I got this review sample the blade was off centered. It was not touching but off centered. I tweaked the pivot and it has been fine ever since. It is such a minor flaw with such a minor fix, I am not going to deduct points anywhere, but I thought you should know.
The moment I took the 0562 out of the box I was struck by how nice of a blade it was. I noticed how nice everything looked and how solid it felt in the hand. I really, really like this knife. The design, in many ways, is classic Hinderer, but thankfully, that aesthetic has been filtered through other folks because, as I referenced above, the Humvee look and feel is overused. The jimping is tamed down. The bulk is just a smidge less. The pocket clip is actually quite innovative. The flipper is a better shape. The wide chamfer around the handle is a welcomed touch and the elimination of the quilted pattern in the G10 is a good thing.
In many ways the 0562 is just the XM-18 3.5" slicer grind with the aggro touches reduced to a more palatable level. Remember the Skidz brand pants from the early 90s? The XM-18 is going to be dated in the same way. People will see that knife in thirty years and say "Remember that crazy overbuilt folder trend from the 2010s, when people carried knives that couldn't cut stuff well and all they did with them in flip them open and closed on video?" The 0562 may fall in line with that trend, but its design has been altered enough that it won't be neon purple and black plaid pants.
The ratios aren't amazing, but you know that going in. This is a porker. The blade:handle is .72, which is decent (better than the Delica, for instance), while the blade:weight is distinctly pedestrian at .64. Ratios aren't hard use knives' strong suit (unless you happen to be the Paramilitary 2), so don't fret too much.
There is one curious thing, something I am going to note but not subtract points for. In all of the debut videos ZT went out of their way to say that the thumb studs were blade stops and not thumb studs. Jim McNair mentioned in a few that they were domed to prevent people from trying to use them as blade stops. That is a good talking point, but when I got the knife I was surprised to see this:
Yep, the knife has a stop pin. That's fine, but then why bother with the thumb stud/blade stops at all? I have had a bunch of knives that have just blade stops and they work fine. The knife would look cleaner and better without them, but having them isn't a huge issue. Its just striking given that KAI USA drew our attention to them in the first place.
Fit and Finish: 2
Its getting pretty boring to write these sections on ZT products as they are uniformly excellent and my rendition of the 0562 is no different. There is not a single real issue I could knock even if I wanted to.
Ah...a bona fide mistake. The double finger groove feels great in the normal forward grip, as these finger groove handles are want to do, but when you use any other grip it is just about unmanageable. This is a perfect lesson in handle design. These finger groove handles all FEEL great for about ten minutes when you are using the knife in this grip:
But stray from the path and you will be punished. These finger groove handles are design cheating. They feel good superficially and they look ergonomic, but they are in fact, both hard to use and not ergonomically correct for the anatomy of the hand. I have referenced this before, but it bears repeating--as the hand closes to tighten one's grip, the fingers come together. If there is something that impedes the fingers coming together is prevents you from getting the strongest possible grip. This came from Kyle Ver Steeg, a hand surgeon. Its something he has referenced many times and in doing some research of my own, it is 100% true. These finger groove handles are just a failure and while the ZT0562 isn't so bad its just below par. Its not a failure, I just think that the handles on the 0560 or even the XM-18 itself are better.
This is a big knife. Even with the low ride clip it still feels like a pendulum swinging in your pocket when you run. But the really weird thing, the thing I strongly disliked, was this:
There were more than few times that this inexplicable hook poked me in the leg. Now I know its for the blade stops but there are two responses to this--first, the blade stops are unnecessary given the stop pin, and second, even if they were necessary there are solutions to this problem. Strider found one:
Get rid of either the superfluous blade stops or this claw thing. Neither are necessary and both are annoying.
Taken together these two quirks--swinging in the pocket and the claw thing--are worth a point.
The Elmax disbelievers are silly. They seem to be hellbent on science, but take only the crudest approach to the subject. They also seem to miss the notion of sample size. Even the Almighty Lego has errors (their error rate in 13 per million parts, well better than anything I have ever seen in manufacturing data). So don't worry and just go with it. Elmax is an amazing steel. Even after REALLY thumping (like "Did I break this thing?" thumping) through some green red oak, the edge was fine, maybe not shaving sharp, but pretty close. The Anti-Elmax crowd is a confluence of two of the worst features of internet communities--bro science and pig piling--combined into one, with a dash of fanboyism thrown in for good measure. The reality is simple--Elmax's makers have millions invested with thousands of man hours perfecting the product using state of the art technology run by some of the best metallurgists in the world. Given the money at stake, they ain't fuckin' it up on a broad level. Just not going to happen.
Blade Shape: 2
Slicer or Spanto or whatever. These are marketing words, buzz words, but whatever the name the shape is pretty old fashioned, and damn good; its a drop point and a very refined one at that. It has a nice pronounced belly, a good degree of tip stability, and a clean look. Excellent.
I am not so sure I buy the utility of the so called slicer grind, but it doesn't make things worse, so I am okay with Hinderer putting it on a bunch of knives. According to the Hinderer marketing, by lowering the grind line across the length of the blade it shortens up the angle making the knife slicier at the tip and more robust in the rear (oh God, innuendo alert...). Is it a huge or even perceptible upgrade over a full flat grind or a hollow grind? Nope, but if people like it and it doesn't make stuff worse, I am fine with it. The grind here is actually quite good, with a nice wide cutting bevel. The knife failed the "apple test," cracking them instead of slicing them, but most folders this big fail that stringent slicing test.
This, Mr. Hinderer, is how a flipper should deploy. Rumor has it that the latest XM-18s flip better, but the two I had were pretty bad. The 3 inch was more broken in and it could go without a wrist flick but I practically had to meditate to make that happen. The 3.5 inch wasn't making it, no way making it, without a bit of wrist action. Here the 0562 fires without fail every time, no wrist flick required. This is a damn good flipper just like almost all of the KVT-equipped knives I have tested. The detent and pivot are so dialed in at this point, it almost goes without saying--ZT's flippers are goddam rockets launching.
This is a very nice clip, better than the original and better than a lot of other clips. Its funny because Thomas mentioned not giving two shits about clip designs and then ZT releases this clip. It can be switched to both sides easily, buries deep in the pocket, helps control the knife moving around as much as it can, and looks good. This is an excellent clip. It can't do magic though and this knife sways a lot in the pocket, but that's not the clip's fault (and I already deducted a point for it in the Carry section above).
As faultless as the flipping action on ZTs are, the locks are equally well dialed in. There are no stickiness issues, no problems with engagement, lock rock or wiggle when engaged. They are just rock solid.
Overall Score: 18 out of 20
There aren't too many objective ways to cut it--the ZT0562 is a better knife, price blind than the 3.5" XM-18. The reasons are numerous--better flipping action, better handle scale pattern, deep carry clip, and less aggressive but equally effective jimping. When you factor in the price--yikes, its a suckers bet. And if you step up to the CF version, well, I am not sure you can get an XM-18 in M390...and that knife STILL has a price advantage on the XM-18.
As a standalone product the ZT0562 is a marvelous large EDC or hard use folder. I still prefer the Paramilitary 2 as it is almost as stout but much lighter and a much better cutter, but this is a close second. The flipping action is really surprising. Thomas et al hit a home run with this one and if you don't like the PM2 or want something Hinderer-ish, this is an excellent choice.