What can I expect from my first ZT? [560CBCF]


Knifemaker, Jeweller. Custom Books Open!
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
May 3, 2012
I know ZT's are tough, damn tough knives. I just couldn't justify buying one for the longest time, as most of the designs just didn't scream 'buy me now!'. Now I've got a 560CBCF on lay-away, 1/4th paid off. Since it'll be some time until I actually get to take it home, I thought I'd ask you guys some questions about the knife and the S110V steel it uses.

I've admired the KAI community in general as they've been responsive and helpful. Don't let me down now, guys! :D

1. How does the frame-lock hold up over time? I've read good and bad things about lockup longevity, but not about this particular knife.
2. How does the steel perform? I've never, ever had a knife with this steel, and although I have no doubt that I'll enjoy it, I'd like to hear about it! Rust resistance? Edge retention [in particular, compared to D2]?
3. Any pocket clip issues?
4. Any QC slip-ups I should watch for? When I examined the knife in-store, I didn't notice anything amiss, although there may be something I didn't think to check. I don't mind minor, cosmetic issues, but I'd like to break in the knife myself... :p
5. How does the knife perform under hard use? I don't mean abused. I don't mean used as a pry-bar. I mean used as a knife is intended to be. If someone has some info, I'd love to read about the experience.
Nice...first ZT and you pick up an LE. Definitiely a current grail for many. Way to jump into the ZT world head first with your hair on fire!

1. I haven't seen many complaints about the 0560's lockup, so you should be fine. If you somehow get a lemon, Kai customer service will make it right.
2. S110V is one of the current premier steels for edge retention. D2 is no slouch, but not in the same league as S110V, even at a 59 HRC.
3. Haven't seen any problems on the forum with the 0560 on this either.
4. I have seen a complaint about the CF scale not matching up with the liners, but that looked like a one off. Check the blade centering and machining for blemishes, and make sure it flips open smoothly. I think you will most likely find all is good in your new ZT world.
5. I can't tell you first hand on the use of it, mine is still in the box, but there are some on here that are using the hell out of theirs and should be able to chime in shortly.

Welcome to the world of Kai!
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A steel like S110V really performs even after it's lost what some would consider its fine edge. The structure of that stuff makes it a very good cutter.
Thanks for the responses. I think the 560CBCF will go great with my Damascus Double Cross and Shun personal steak knife. :D

... Does KAI make any decent, classy looking fixed blades somewhere in the 2" - 5" range? I'm more of a Benchmade / Spyderco guy, but that seems to be quickly changing.
I was actually in a really similar spot a few weeks ago. I'd been EDCing a Sebenza and wasn't happy with it for ranching and outdoor use (it was great, but just not for me really), so I sold it and decided on the 560cbcf. Since then I've worked the knife thoroughly. It's done daily ranching chores, it's cut bait for salt water fishing, and has never left my pocket. I actually wrote up a little review on it that I'm sure is a few pages back now. The short gist of it is this thing is incredible. The design is great, it's super easy to maintain, and the s110v even at the lower rc absolutely had blown me away. The sanvik 14c28n spine isn't just super rust resistant and I've had a few tiny spots, but a little rem oil has cleaned them up. I'm a huge huge fan of this knife as a user. It had exceeded my expectations in pretty much every way.
Try some tuff cloths or barricade wipes on the blade, great for keeping the rust spots at bay.
Try some tuff cloths or barricade wipes on the blade, great for keeping the rust spots at bay.

I've heard good things about both of those- I've actually just been a negligent owner about purchasing any of that stuff. Rem oil isn't ideal and certainly a distant 3rd rate option, but I have it readily available. It hasn't been an issue really for me (though ill eventually get some good protectant), but for anyone really concerned I'm sure they'd protect it better.