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~~~ZT 0562CF & 0620CF now only in Carpenter CTS-204P

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by GearBarrel.com, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. StryCoShaw

    StryCoShaw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    It's interesting, yes the steels are very comparable as ZT points out. But I wonder what are the factors when ZT says m390 is hard to obtain. Is it literally not readily available in mass? Backlogged orders? Or did the price of the steel increase and therefore current retail prices couldn't be sustained?

    "M390 has slightly more silicon, CTS-204P has slightly more tungsten and manganese; all other elements are the same."

    Is the silicon ingredient the problem? (cost/availability). Why didn't ZT go with cts-204p to begin with? Was it because m390 had more name recognition / hyped up marketing? After all this new steel is USA produced and seems like they would have preferred the "made in america" steel to begin with.

    Overall I agree its small potatoes. Just curious.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  2. hookahhabib

    hookahhabib Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    I imagine m390 was selected because it was THE steel to have when ZT debuted the 0562. A great steel that was real trendy desirable at a time when besides a couple Spydercos, CTS-204P, was not as widely used (and as a result, not as widely known).

    Who knows, maybe if ZT originally released it in 204P back then, it might have started the great 204P trend....

    I have a feeling this steel will become a lot more popular in the next year or two- the next m390, so to speak.

    Take all this conjecture with large grains of salt ;)
  3. BBKoenigsegg


    Jul 7, 2014
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but ZTs Elmax and M390 were made by the same company, correct?
  4. Sikael


    Aug 30, 2014
    I think the decision to go with M390 was absolutely a combination of the two reasons just mentioned -- M390 has one of the best reputations of any steel, while CTS-204P has only gotten noticed since Spyderco used it on the Southard, and their deal with Austrian manufacturer Bohler-Uddeholm to use Elmax extensively made M390 (also a Bohler steel) an easy, logical choice, showing loyalty to their former primary steel supplier.
  5. JuJu-

    JuJu- Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 7, 2011
    KAI has had a good relationship with bohler-U for awhile now. They used m390 way back when (09") on the Kershaw RJ martin Volt 3600, a composite bladed beauty. Since then obviously Elmax.

    Recently the wait times have been humongous and with people crying about said wait times they did what any good manufacturer would do and switched to the more easily obtainable. Simple as that, went with what was available.
  6. BBKoenigsegg


    Jul 7, 2014
    Thank you for confirming that!
  7. exmaxima


    Jan 30, 2006
    Yes, which is probably the reason that Elmax was also changed to S35VN in the G10 ZT0562
  8. DapperDan

    DapperDan Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    I have the 562 and the 620 in M390. I probably will indeed pick one up in the CTS 204P but I am not a collector I am a user.
  9. bodog

    bodog Banned BANNED

    Dec 15, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  10. BBKoenigsegg


    Jul 7, 2014
    I didn't know that! Thanks for the info!
  11. oregonknifenerd


    Dec 5, 2011
    Making money and trying to support American companies are not mutually exclusive. You presented a false dichotomy.
    Do you know of any companies that aren't trying to make money? If they aren't trying to make money, then they aren't a business.

    You are correct that KAI is a Japanese company. They really let KAI USA run themselves. I don't know what amount of money goes back to Japan. I suspect it is not a lot. I do know that KAI brings a lot of money in to the local economy through direct employment and with the work they provide to IonBond and other local companies.

    I'd rather see a company sell 500 knives at $200 profit and keep 80% of the income local ($80,000) than see a company sell 200 at $300 and keep only $60,000 local. What is important is the impact on the US economy, not where they have a headquarters. Google is an American company that makes billions and uses Ireland and the Netherlands to exploit tax loopholes to skip out on billions in taxes. Where is your outrage over that?

    Everytime you say something bodog it seems to be an ignorant attack on ZT. I'm sorry if you had some bad experience in your past that you now feel the need to do that. I think if I were you I'd quit spouting off such nonsense because you have to know by now that you'll be shot down with logic and common sense every time.
  12. wobly


    Sep 20, 2012
    And what is your obviously superior definition of "American Made"? Parts from the US and American workman labor are combined in a factory inside the borders of the United States and that doesn't qualify? What about my Dodge Ram 1500? Engine from Canada and the transmission from Mexico assembled in the US. Is it American?

    More to the point, WTF is your problem with ZT? You can't mask it and you let it ooze out like an open wound every time you post about them. Yet, for some reason, you continue to do so. You must have a true hatred for things you don't like or disagree with to seek out opportunities to post negatively when there is absolutely no need.
  13. Sikael


    Aug 30, 2014
    Good points... I'm not concerned at all if profits end up in the pocket of Japanese investors; I care about the product. ZT uses the best knifemakers around, and have an in-house design team led by Jim McNair (I think) that is excellent. Their shotcallers are all American, and they have a state of the art facility with a 'one person does one knife' production policy. They employ well-trained workers who are amply compensated, and seem to possess some company loyalty that is hard to find nowadays. The Made in the USA tag is certainly about selling knives, but not just to flag-waving uber-patriots; I'm Canadian, but I'd prefer to see a 'Made in the USA' stamp on my knives instead of a Chinese made competitor. It's a sign of quality -- not always, but often enough.

    While Toyota brought their entire company to N. America, adapting Japanese design to American geographical diversity, ZT was an American-born idea funded by a Japanese cutlery conglomerate. There's plenty of American companies with foreign shareholders, and that money leaves the US too -- its a global economy.

    But I agree with you, morality has nothing to do with it. Profits drive every business. But quality knives make profits. A trusted brand name earns profits. And appearing to share the morals of its customers makes perfect sense. The Made in the USA thing wasn't a lie, but part of it no doubt came from pandering to a core demographic... in other words, advertising. I don't give a shit about 'corporate morality' -- that's an oxy-moron anyway. I care about end results, and the results have been great.

    One last point -- being a Kai America offshoot, with this switch to US steels (again, I agree, the switch was about profits, more than anything else -- but making decisions that will satisfy much of the customer-base will also bring in profits, as their reputation continues to climb), ZT is far more American than all these US-based companies who buy Chinese materials, use Chinese factories and workers, then slap a CRKT logo and a flag on the box, like Gerber, SOG, etc.

    Personally, the knives I'm set on getting some day soon are 'Made in Russia', and that particular Russian Bear logo looks better than any flag on the planet to me. :D


    Apr 4, 2007
    Still I respect that they are building in the USA. Especially now that there are high quality factories around the world that they could be using to produce the products. You point out that it could be marketing. But maybe its just pride in american manufacturing? Id rather see foriegn companies producing the states than local companies farming out to other coutries to make the products. Manufacturing jobs are careers that require an education. Anyone can get a job at CRKT doing quality control and shipping. And really with companies like spyderco proving that insanely high quality knives can be produced in asia and still bring a premium I dont subscribe to it being solely for money that Kai decided to produce most of its products in the country of which has some of the highest manufacturing costs and salaries.

    While I dont think they are making a killing I dont know how much of this statement makes sense to me. You even eluded to the fact that companies are made to make money. I dont know how long a japanese corporation would fund a US based production facility if it wasnt turning a respectable profit. And if that profit doesnt present a benefit to that japanese corporation what motivation would they have to continue it?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  15. bodog

    bodog Banned BANNED

    Dec 15, 2013
    I didn't attack KAI. Some of the knives they make are clearly superior to some other knives in the same price range. I didn't say ZT was bad just like I didn't say Toyota made a bad truck. All I said is that their decision is almost obviously one of profitability, either due to faster processing of product or less up front costs to manufacture a product of equal quality. That's business. There's nothing wrong with that and I don't believe I implied that there is. Is there something wrong with me saying that KAI is a business and they're trying to make money from it? Man, don't insinuate that I find capitalism wrong. Good God man. Can't say anything about KAI without someone getting up in arms about it. Don't worry, I'll go back and delete the post that spun you up even though for the life of me I can't figure out why. I'll just refrain from saying anything at all about KAI even though I own several of their knives, both ZT and Kershaw, and have used them for years. I have no idea what's going on with some of you guys.

    Hell man, I've been contemplating buying a KAI razor because I know that when they want to they can produce an outstanding product. I didn't bring any negativity to this. I was just discussing knives and the companies that make them, man.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  16. bodog

    bodog Banned BANNED

    Dec 15, 2013
    Absolutely. They're fine and I'd much rather buy from them than a company that is deceitful or uses some kind of slave labor. I'm glad they're forcing some other companies to keep innovating. Competition spawns quality and ZT does bring the competition.
  17. bodog

    bodog Banned BANNED

    Dec 15, 2013
    Back on topic, I'd rather have elmax than S35VN because IMO elmax is a better steel but I'd rather have 204P over M390. 204P is American made and supports American jobs. Whatever their motivation for doing so, the result is better for the country I live in.
  18. Sikael


    Aug 30, 2014
    That's one thing I wonder about; I'm not sure that workers in Chinese factories are being treated any better than prisoners. I doubt they were given any say about the course their life has taken. But who am I to say? All I know is that China's twisted brand of socialism -- after Stalin, Pol Pot, and Kim Jong Il, I don't think there's any other kind -- is corrupt and sick. Supporting a repressive totalitarian regime (which it still is) by giving them business is something I'm not real comfortable with... I don't think it's different from contracting parts and labor from North Korea -- which actually happens, believe it or not; North Korea is an unlikely player in cell and digital animation.

    But that's not really pertinent to the more pressing issues of the day... :)
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
  19. wobly


    Sep 20, 2012
    When given a choice between two items that are available with comparable value and comparable price, I will choose the American-made choice when I can. I have had good luck with M390, but I have had that same success with 204P. I won't turn away from M390, but if I can, I would take the American option of 204P.

    It would be interesting to see if the Kershaw Link 1776 series could, someday, come with 204P in a high-end version. For those not tracking, the Link is an American made Kershaw instead of Chinese made. And they run about $30-ish!
  20. Sikael


    Aug 30, 2014
    I'm surprised they haven't used CTS-XHP instead of S35VN. Elmax/M390, CTS-XHP/CTS-204P. Maybe its another availability concern. I'd personally prefer Elmax or XHP, but I won't cry about S35VN. It's fine, just... boring. How can a slab of metal be boring? The better question is how can a slab of metal be exciting?

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