Review Check the bearings on your ZT

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by 3L3M3NT, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. 3L3M3NT


    Feb 10, 2015
    If you ever considered upgrading your ZT knife to ceramic bearings and didn't, you should check out these 2 sets of bearings that were pulled out of 2 of my 0562s and reconsider. And yes both knives were fairly well taken care of and one actually saw very little use seeing as how it's the 0562ORBLK one.
    For the record I would have bought 3 sets of ceramic bearings if they'd been available, but all they had was 2 sets left.

    Those sets came from the 0562CF and the 0562ORBLK in this picture. I still need to install a set of ceramic bearings in the all Ti model.

    I purchased my 2 sets from a guy that had them on Reddit and for a while had them listed on Ebay, but I can remember his Ebay username, other than it started with USMC...I know a big help, right. lol
    I was finally able to track down the person that sold me the new ceramic bearings that were pre-assembled in a phosphorus bronze cage.

    I'll more than likely be buying my 3rd set here.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  2. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    Wait, what's wrong with the ZT ones?
  3. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    Did you bury your two 0562s underground for two years? How in the world can the ball bearings become so rusty?
    Chronovore likes this.
  4. 3L3M3NT


    Feb 10, 2015
    The ZT ball bearings are made from some type of stainless steel and just like your SS blade can form rust on it over time, apparently the SS ball bearings in 2 out of my 0562 knives have rusted to the point you see them above.
    I noticed the knives were a little bit harder than some of the other knives I own that are on bearings, so I ordered 2 sets of caged ceramic bearings to put in place of the factory ZT bearings. When I saw how bad they were I was really glad I was replacing the factory ones.

    I will admit that I'm not the original owner of any of my 0562s, so I have no idea how they were treated or what they were used for before I got them. I did a pretty decent job of cleaning and lubing them every so often, but both of the knives never saw any intense action. The 0562ORBLK was used for cutting up steak and some chicken when I had it, but it hasn't been in my rotation for over 2 years.

    I'm really kind of interested now in how the bearings look on the all Ti model?
  5. marrenmiller


    Apr 6, 2017
    The bearings are the same on the Ti model, as far as I know.
  6. 3L3M3NT


    Feb 10, 2015
    I know that they're going to be the same set of bearings as the others, I'm wondering what kind of condition they'll be in compared the ones that came out of the other 2 knives.;)
  7. Mick Boardman

    Mick Boardman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 15, 2020
    My ZT0801 flips like a champ, so I’m doubting I need to even look at the bearings. Ceramic bearings sounds nice, but I’m not messing with this knife as long as it’s performing like it should.
    jacksterp and Razor like this.
  8. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    If you want steel bearings to not rust use a light grease on them instead of oil, especially if it's a knife not used much. If you open your knife pretty often and maintain it oil is fine. I have yet to have a rust problem with bearings, however switching to ceramic has intrigued me ever since I got my Artisan Tradition. A $50 knife with better action than pretty much all of my much more expensive bearing knives. I'm not sure it is all to do with the bearings though, but it is worth experimenting one of these days I suppose.
    3L3M3NT likes this.
  9. Srtr


    Feb 9, 2016
    another reason I prefer phosphor bronze washers on all my knives
  10. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    My ZT 0801 and 0562 are already as smooth as a folding knife can be. This may sound weird but I do not want them to be smoother than what they are currently. Plus, I think you can request free ball bearings from ZT. So I am not sure about spending $22 on the taco bearings. The thin washer added between the taco ball bearings and the scale is a cool idea but that also means one additional part.
  11. marrenmiller


    Apr 6, 2017
    Ah, I see.
  12. timbo813


    Jun 24, 2014
    I agree. My spydiechef is extremely smooth on pb washers and needs no maintenance. My only ZT is an 0450 and the action was great but it started getting some grittiness. Those bearings look like the OP. If ZT would do ceramic bearings or (even better) pb washers I would be much more interested in more ZT’s.
  13. The Aflac Duck

    The Aflac Duck Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2014
    I had bearings that had a little rust like that once. I put them back in and just kept using the knife:thumbsup:
    WValtakis and craytab like this.
  14. Eversion

    Eversion KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 9, 2020
    I picked up a ZT 0452CF used from the Exchange, and the bearings were just as rusty as yours.

    It took some baking soda scrubbing, then vinegar to clean them up.
    razorburn and bigsurbob like this.
  15. ferider

    ferider Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 20, 2018
    I have a beautiful M390 0452 that came (used) with bearings rusted even worse. And there is only so much a cleaning can do, since the rust pits the bearings. Anyways, most of my ZTs now run on ceramic multi-row bearings sold to me by a guy called zone_305 on ebay. Mechanically much better, and also come with steel washers (needed as spacers - the multi-row ceramic balls are smaller than stock ZT bearings). It's a great upgrade, IMO. No other connection to the ebay seller but being a happy customer.
    golden_dragon and Eversion like this.
  16. 3L3M3NT


    Feb 10, 2015
    Yeah, I might have to give the light grease a try on the ZT 0562Ti that I still have the factory bearings in.

    I'd say it's worth the $22.50 to give the ceramic bearings a try.;)

    Yeah, it would be really nice if ZT just went ahead and installed ceramic bearings right from the begining would be amazing.

    I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that has issues with the factory ZT bearings.

    Apparently it's the original owners of these ZT knives that are to blame for all these rusted up bearings.:p

    The seller you linked to on Ebay is the same person selling the ceramic bearings on this site The advantage to buying the ceramic bearings on the website is that they're only $22.50 versus $25 on Ebay.

    I'd have to completely agree with you that upgrading to these ceramic bearings is completely worthwhile upgrade.:thumbsup:
    ferider likes this.
  17. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    If mine ever rust I may upgrade. Until then I'll just keep using them. KAI will also replace them for free, so might be worth getting a new set from KAI and a ceramic set and compare new to new. Maybe one day.
    3L3M3NT likes this.
  18. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    My oldest ZT is a Gen 1 0561 without the lock bar insert. The bearings are just fine and so is the lock up. Despite not having a lock bar insert, the lock bar hasn’t moved since break in almost a decade ago.
    razorburn likes this.
  19. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    I just picked up a 0562 on the exchange and for the heck of it ordered a set of ceramic replacement bearings. Knife is relatively new and smooth, I'm told, so I will do a comparison and post here.

    I ordered the ceramic bearings because I specifically got this knife in -204P to have an all-weather flipper I can use wearing gloves in wet weather. Or if I'm out hiking and decide to go river/creek exploring. I otherwise have mostly carbon steel folders. This will be the knife on board if I expect wet conditions.

    So I am wondering what else on the knife may exhibit corrosion if left for a little while. Guess we'll find out.
    BD_01 and 3L3M3NT like this.
  20. soc_monki

    soc_monki Basic Member Basic Member

    Apr 5, 2019
    you say its a 204p model, so it should have a carbon fiber show side. The liner under the CF is steel, and will corrode. give it a coat of mineral oil every once in a while and youll be fine.
    TRfromMT likes this.

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