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A inside out review of the ZT 300 (TONS of pics)

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by So-Lo, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. So-Lo


    Jun 12, 2006
    I will start by saying I have not beat up on this knife. Just normal EDC duty type of stuff, even some light prying. So this review is more a work bench type of review. (Also my first review, so go easy on me.) :cool:

    Also the Digi ZT 300 in my pics, has been modded by me. It now has a finger choil, more info with pics HERE. (click me)

    Specs are:

    Blade Length (to handle): 4 in
    Blade length (Cutting edge) 3 3/4 in
    Overall Length: 8 5/8 in
    Closed Length: 5 1/16 in
    Blade Steel: CPM S30V
    Handle Material: 3D Machine Textured G-10
    Weight: 8.1 ounces / 226 grams

    This knife feels great in your hand. Near perfect ergos. (IMO) No hot spots, thanks to the 3D handles. The knife is a hard use knife, no doubt about it! Fit and finish on mine have been dead on. No wiggle when locked up. The speedsafe will fire this thing like a rocket. The lockup feels bank vault.

    On with the pics, as they can tell you more than I can. ;)

    You might see the 300 dressed like this

    Or like this one a TAD gear only Digi.... with the different swedge. (this is the modded one)

    This knife fits my med. sized hands great.


    With my finger choil, the choked up grip is great! With out it, its not as good.
  2. So-Lo


    Jun 12, 2006
    OK here is one thing that might fall a little short. The Hinderer button is used on the ZT 300. It purpose is to stop the lockbar from being sprung over while unlocking it. It ALSO stops the lockbar from moving up and down, as you grip the knife. (remember that "hard use" knife..this might be way way over kill, but thats what you want in a "hard use" knife.) Anyways, the ZT button is not thick enough to stop the up and down movement. Not that is a big problem of anything. Just its not the SAME as a XM. Honestly its not really a big deal, if I grip the ZT 300 I can't get much movement at all. But it is due to the thick lockbar, not the button. Here are some pics, they might help my case better.


    See how when locked up the XM's button will stop the bar from moving up? (think gripping it as hard as you can, the lockbar will not move up at all! Due to the button.)

    The ZT's button is thin, and misses the lockbar when locked up.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  3. So-Lo


    Jun 12, 2006
    Really though, its not a make it or break it type thing at all. Just letting you know.....you know?

    Like I said Fit and Finish is top notch all the way!

    Nice lockup!

    Lets take a look inside this beast.

    Quick tip, I use tape to cover the pivot bolt, then unbolt her. (No scratchy ;))

    Speed safe

    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  4. So-Lo


    Jun 12, 2006
    All apart. I like how the G-10 side has a steel liner. (can you say "hard use?")

    Hardware, look at that beefy pivot! :eek:

    No plastic washers here!

    Also be sure when you put her back together, you put the flat side of the bolt up. (Like so)

    All most back together. See how the Speed Safe bar pokes out on both ends? One goes in the hole at the tang area of the blade. The other goes in the G-10 back spacer.

    Just need to put the lid on her, and she is good to go!

    Here it is next to some other "hard use" knives. Yes, its does hold its own next to all these costing 2 to 3 times as much. :eek:


    OK over all, I love recurves. So The ZT's blade shape is a winner for me. The curved part pulls into a cut, much like a hawks bill blade shape. But, the bull nose front, lets the tip area of the blade, act much like a drop point blade. Its a great EDC shape for me.

    Its wide in the pocket, and a little heavy. But most "hard use" knives are a bit on the heavy side. They are not tanks because, they are lightweights. Its not pull your pants down heavy, you will know you are EDCing the ZT 300. The clip can be move tip up or tip down, left or right handed. (Very nice!)

    The thumb studs(Blade Stops)are hard to get to. Almost useless (IMO), but not really needed as the flipper speed safe is all you need. Most "hard use" knives use this type of stop, because its more stable side to side.

    Also, like most "hard use" knives, the Ti lockbar has the cut out on the outside of the scale. (think XM, SMF, SNG, lots of customs...and so on and so on)

    Full tang lockup on the ZT 300 as well. Very nice!

    The factory edge is a little thick for me, but that can always be fixed.

    Hands down I think it would be hard to find a better "hard use" knife, for the same price. Kershaw did a top notch job on this one! If you do not have one yet, and are thinking about it..........JUMP! Its that good! Really...
  5. orthogonal1


    Oct 30, 2005
    Man, that is a good bit of useful information, with pictures, too.

  6. spiralarchitect


    Apr 29, 2007
    SO-LO, this review is excellent. If you plan on doing more of these in the future, I'll be there to read 'em. Keep up the good work:thumbup:
  7. kneedeep


    Jan 28, 2007
    Great overview So-Lo!
    The take apart is excellent!
  8. slipstickLibby


    Jun 14, 2008
    Great review!
    Pictures really are worth a thousand words. And those are good pictures.
  9. Shaolin


    Apr 25, 2008
    Very nice knive, excellent review. I also like my ZT0200.
  10. John Frederick

    John Frederick

    Apr 17, 2001
    Nice review and nice pics. I also like your modification. Did you grind it out with a dremel?

    I've had my ZT301 for a few months now and it's hands down the best folder I've ever owned. Most Highly Recommended!
  11. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    can someone coment on the frame lock material?(scales?) the one i looked at seemed to be made of plastic, with no inner steel liner.....it felt cheap....when i opened and closed it i was afraid the frame lock palstic would break.....will it?

    never handled these before a few days ago....


    see how there is steel on one side (green scale side) but not on the framelock bar on the black scale side.......are they just using G10 to lock the knife? :O
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2008
  12. AR fan

    AR fan Banned BANNED

    Oct 28, 2006
    I think the piece you are refering to is the framelock, it's titanium.
  13. So-Lo


    Jun 12, 2006
    The lockbar scale is titanium :D Not sure what type, but Kershaw did not skimp anywhere on this knife. So my bet is its of good quality, like the rest of the knife.
  14. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    so the black scale is entirely Ti ?

    other than that issue i mentioned above i like the knife, I loved the lil flipper and the assisted opening, and the big fat beefy scales, they fit my hand and were comfortable to hold and use. It felt like a good hefty knife, not a little delicate knife.

    I'll prolly pick on up now that i know about the scales.

    cheers, i appreciate the replies.
  15. So-Lo


    Jun 12, 2006
    Yes, a dremel and the larger ( still real small) sanding disc, lots of blue tape. I wrapped the whole knife up in it, the only part showing what the area to be cut. I got it close to the scales without bumping them. Then took it apart, and finished it out. I didn't want to bump the scales.

    I then went to the med grit disk, made it just the right size, then rubbed it with wet sanding paper going up in grits untill it had a nice satin finish while still letting the grain like texture (from the course sanding wheel) show through.

    Took about two hours, I'm sure I could of done it faster. But, I take my time on stuff like this...

    Thanks for all the kind words :D..... :cool:
  16. John Frederick

    John Frederick

    Apr 17, 2001
    Thanks for the answer. That's how I figured you did it, I just wanted confirmation :) The finger choil is the only thing I miss since retiring my Manix.
  17. markksr


    Mar 15, 2007
    :thumbup: Good job, So-Lo.
    Awesome pics.
  18. svrider3


    Jul 14, 2007
    Great review!! It's great to have the detailed pics to go
    along with it. Nice job So-Lo. :thumbup:
  19. gajinoz


    Sep 2, 2003
    Definitely a great review and the pics really added that extra goodness.

    I'm not a giant fan of recurves but that certainly looks like a knife I could easily own.
  20. The Mastiff

    The Mastiff

    Apr 21, 2006
    Good job So Lo. Excellent review, pictures are well done and help explain everything. Now, if I can just afford the knife, I'll be alright. I've been contemplating one for awhile. Joe

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