Zero Tolerance Knives
Founded2006; 18 years ago (2006)
HeadquartersTualatin, Oregon
Key people
Jack Igarashi, Chief of North American Operations

Zero Tolerance Knives (ZT Knives) is a knife brand of Kai USA, headquartered in Tualatin, Oregon, United States.[1] Both Zero Tolerance and Kai USA are members of the Kai Group, a global cutlery company.[1]


The first ZT knives were produced in 2006 alongside Kai USA's longstanding, Kershaw Knives brand.[2] The original line of ZT knives included collaborations between custom knifemaker Ken Onion and Strider Knives.[3][4] Early products were combat knives, but Zero Tolerance later expanded its market to include more general use knives.[5] Currently, all ZT products are manufactured in Kai USA's Tualatin, Oregon facility.[1][5]


Over the course of the brand's history, eight individual Zero Tolerance knives have won awards at the annual Blade Show in Atlanta, Georgia. The following models have received recognition:

Year Model Designer Award
2006 Model 0500 Grant and Gavin Hawk Most Innovative American Design of the Year Award[6]
2011 Model 0777 Kai Original Design Overall Knife of the Year Award[7]
2011 Model 0560/0561 Rick Hinderer Collaboration of the Year Award [7]
2012 Model 0888 Kai Original Design Overall Knife of the Year Award[8]
2012 Model 0600 R.J. Martin Collaboration of the Year Award[8]
2013 Model 0454 Dmitry Sinkevich Overall Knife of the Year Award[9]
2014 Model 0562CF Rick Hinderer American Made Knife of the Year Award[10]
2015 Model 0999 Kai Original Design American Made Knife of the Year Award [11]


ZT 0566BW
The ZT 0566BW was designed by Rick Hinderer.

Zero Tolerance Knives manufactures USA-made folding knives and fixed blades.[1][3] The brand has worked with custom knife makers such as Les George, Jens Anso, Dmitry Sinkevich, Todd Rexford, Rick Hinderer, R.J. Martin, Tim Galyean, Grant and Gavin Hawk, Ken Onion, and Gus T. Cecchini.[1][3][12] ZT Knives has also collaborated with Emerson Knives.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Eckstine, Roger (2017). Shooter's Bible Guide to Knives (2nd ed.). New York City, NY: Skyhorse Publishing. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-5107-1128-0.
  2. ^ Kertzman, Joe (2014). Knives 2015: The World's Greatest Knife Book (35th ed.). Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 54. ISBN 978-1-4402-4073-7.
  3. ^ a b c d Shideler, Dan; Sigler, Derrek (2008). The Gun Digest Book of Tactical Gear. Iola, WI: Gun Digest Books. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-89689-684-0.
  4. ^ Cascio, Pat."Kershaw's Latest Tactical Folders",Knives Illustrated, February 2007
  5. ^ a b McCarthy, Patrick. "Zero Tolerance 10-Year Anniversary: Interview and Factory Tour". Recoil Off Grid.
  6. ^ Shackleford, Steve (November 2006). "The Rich Just Got Richer! BLADE Magazine's 2006 Knives of the Year® Reflect The Finest in Factory Cutlery". BLADE Magazine. Iola, Wisconsin. pp. 13–19.
  7. ^ a b Sobieck, Ben. "2011 Knife of the Year Award Winners". BLADE.
  8. ^ a b Kertzman, Joe. "Kai USA Lands Four Knife-of-the-Year® Awards!". BLADE.
  9. ^ "Zero Tolerance 0454 Wins Overall Knife of the Year at Blade Show". The Outdoor Wire.
  10. ^ Sobieck, Ben. "2014 BLADE Show Knife Of The Year® Award Winners". BLADE.
  11. ^ Shackleford, Steve. "BLADE® Best Of Show Tribute". BLADE.
  12. ^ "Jens Anso Folding Knife From ZT Knives". Motorcycle Cruiser.