The Zero Tolerance 0301 Ranger Green has been the best folding knife we’ve reviewed to date, and has made us an instant fan of this elite branch of Kershaw knives. We’re also fond of “flipper” style knives like this one. A flipper folding knife is a knife with a tab on the back of the blade designed to be depressed with the index finger, thereby extending the blade in conjunction with a flipping motion of the wrist.
There are many methods of opening a folding knife, what makes one better than the next is basically ease of use. In this situation what we’re looking for with ease of use is the least amount of training, dexterity, and fine motor control required to open the knife quickly and efficiently. This knife has the regular thumb stud you see on many "tactical" folders, as well as the flipper tab, either method can be used for opening this knife. We like the flipper because it’s very easy to index and depress, even when the hands are wet or an individual’s fight or flight nervous system response is in full effect. This particular model features their patented SpeedSafe opening system, a spring assist that makes it even easier to open. The heavy blade swings open violently and its strong lockup is both audible and palpable.
The titanium side lock and large pivot shaft with 3/8” hex head nut are some of the most heavy duty components we’ve seen on a folder that still maintains capability as a practical carry knife. This thing is overbuilt, just like we like it. The handle is large, fits very well in the hand, and has plenty of aggressive texturing making for a very secure grip. In fact, the handle scales are 3D machined. One out of titanium and the other out of G10.
The blade is heavy and wide. Blade shape is not necessarily the design of a purpose built stabbing knife but it’s weight, sharpness from factory, clip point angle, and relatively high quality steel (S30V) ensure it will serve this purpose well should the need arise. Construction, fit, finish, and the heat treat that lends proper blade hardness are all spot on. The slight recurvature associated with many Ken Onion blade designs also allow this to be an excellent slasher when manipulated either forward or reverse grip styles. The blade is coated with a Tungsten DLC coating in a tiger stripe pattern to reduce friction and increase blade HRC. It is also non-reflective. We prefer Cerakote over DLC, but we consider it a good finish.
This blade will serve the user well, if necessary, in self-defense situations. The design of this blade also makes it an excellent bushcraft and field knife. It will easily carve, whittle, shave tinder, skin an animal, and even split wood if propelled by a heavy object. It's large and heavy, but can still handle daily mundane cutting tasks if the weight and size don't bother you. The pocket clip is well made, sturdy, durable, works well, and can be mounted in four different configurations. These include left and right handed tip up or tip down pocket carry.
Design, functionality, fit, and finish of this knife are outstanding.
Weight and cost are the only limiting factors of this knife. It’s quite heavy and can only be carried in the pocket of sturdy pants or shorts. It’s also quite expensive.
Rating: We give this knife our highest rating, 10 out of 10 bones.
· Made in the USA
· Assisted opening
· Titanium frame lock
· Quad-mount clip (tip-up/down; left/right)
· Steel: S30V, Tungsten DLC coating, tiger stripe
· Handle: 3D Machined G-10 front, titanium back
· Blade length: 3.75 in. (9.5 cm)
· Closed length: 5.1 in. (13 cm)
· Overall length: 8.6 in. (21.9 cm)
· Weight: 8 oz. (226.8 g)