Photos Ultimate Customized ZT 0640

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by xzonin13, Mar 19, 2019.

Is the original green scale ugly?

  1. Yes

    16 vote(s)
  2. A thousand times yes

    11 vote(s)
  3. No, and you're crazy for saying so

    23 vote(s)
  1. xzonin13

    xzonin13 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2017
    Credit to reddit user kscarbaj for the custom scales/thumbdisk and credit to MXG gear for the custom clip (the 920 has the same clip as the 640 so all of these clips work)


    Essay warning! TLDR: Buy this knife, it's great, but also buy custom scales/clip so be prepared for an investment beyond MAP.

    Howdy folks! Once the Zero Tolerance 0640 was announced last year, I knew it was almost the perfect knife for me. Almost. In terms of sheer design, it hits all the right buttons. Emerson design but ZT quality, long blade but not too long, slender but not too slender, incredibly pointy but with a robust blade stock, solid jimping where you need it without covering the knife (cough contego cough). The only aspect of the design that doesn't really work for me is the choice to leave the extended tang exposed, giving the appearance of a front flipper without being a reliably effective front flipper (you can do it maybe 5% of the time and it kills your thumb). Having owned a 0620, I like that model's use of two stop pins instead of one. If they went with that approach on the 0640 they could have lost the somewhat ugly exposed tang, but if that's my only complaint with the design then that's acceptable to me. So it's almost perfect in design, but there's two glaring red flags in the aesthetic choices that ZT made with this model.

    Optimized-IMG_20190319_115610 (1).jpg

    First, the pocket clip just plain sucks. I've had a 0920 in the past and it's the same clip, props for them using titanium instead of spring steel but the complete lack of ramp and height makes it a chore to get either knife into your pocket with the stock clip. On the plus side, it does mean you don't notice the clip at all when it's in hand and there's zero potential for hot spots. But, it's also quite low carry, somewhere between a Para3 and a 0393. Luckily, there's tons of aftermarket clips that fit this hole pattern. I tend to use MXG gear for my clips, always gotten high quality work from them and this knife was no exception. The new deep carry clip is more noticeable in hand, but the design is good enough to eliminate any real hot spots. More importantly, it completely transforms the pocketability of this knife. SO much easier to get in and out, and much more discrete even if it's not the ultra deep carry of a 0562. Unlike the Para3, I would not say a clip upgrade is a necessity for this knife, but if you love this knife as much as I do and want to carry it daily, you will be thankful for a new clip.

    Optimized-IMG_20190319_115341 (1).jpg

    Moving on, there's the giant green elephant in the room. ZT's exploration of colored carbon fiber seems to have a roughly 50% success rate. I'm not sure whose job it is to approve new colors, but they're not doing good. The 0850 and the 0462 with blue and red respectively look phenomenal. Sure, CF purists can say that anything besides a standard 1x1 or 2x2 black weave isn't necessary, but it is nice to provide some visual variety in my collection of CF scaled models. However, much like the rusty brown of the 0460, this 0640 (just noticed that symmetry) has what to me is the ugliest shade of green I've ever seen. Maybe a darker forest green or a brighter jade green could have worked, but the shade they let the factory make is just plain ugly. Still, the design itself spoke loudly enough to me that I was willing to give it a shot. After about a week of owning it, I gave up on trying to like the green and started looking into custom scale makers. I've always enjoyed modifying my knives, but up until now that's been limited to anodizing and replacing clips or hardware. Some quick googling pointed me to the maker kscarbaj on Reddit, and it was easy and reasonably fast to get a set of scales made. I decided to go with a marble CF because I don't have any marble in my current collection and while the new 0470 doesn't really push my buttons it did remind me how cool marble can look.


    Just for the fun of it, I also had kscarbaj to a matching thumbdisk out of the same marble CF. I have no complaints with the standard disk, but I thought it would be interesting to try. It'll be curious to see how CF holds up to long term use as a thumbdisk, and it's not as grippy as the stock disk, but depending on your preferences the lack of grip might be a good thing. In use, a less grippy disk just means you have to be more conscious of your thumb placement and pressure when opening the blade. Outside of use, it just plain looks great. I think it really pops with the scales and keeps the theme of the knife very nicely. The new scales completely transform the knife, and have pretty much kicked out the rest of my collection from my pocket. The maker did a great job with everything, and I'm thinking about ordering more varieties.

    This knife is just plain gorgeous now. Sleek and fancy but aggressive and solid, it's now the perfect representation of my taste and interests in this hobby. 20CV steel, non-serrated and non-coated blade, titanium frame lock (I know you can argue it's a liner lock but I'll save that for a later post), carbon fiber scales, and a deep carry titanium clip. In use, this is an incredibly comfortable knife that is slim enough to be easily manipulated between hammer, saber, reverse, pinch/samurai, or forward grips. The jimping is significant without being painful (cough manix cough), although I've never gotten the point of the underside jimping at the tail on any knife design (0562/0393). The blade is ground somewhat thick behind the edge but that's par for the course with ZT's, so if that's ok with you then you won't notice any difference. Cutting through paper or cardboard is easy and comfortable, and while it's not perfect for food prep it'll get the job done.

    In summary, with the modifications I've done, I'll be hard-pressed to buy new knives after this one. It so perfectly fits my tastes that any future knives I buy will need to either be a unique mechanism or design flavor. Having owned a Sebenza 21, this is my personal Sebenza in terms of perfection. Future modifications may still be done, I'm going to extend the sharpening choil a bit and I may anodize the titanium and upgrade the hardware to titanium. Normally anodizing is one of the first things I do, but I kind of like the look of the raw titanium paired with the solid black CF. Let me know what you all think! I also have a set of copper shred carbon fiber scales as well as some other options for clip and thumbdisk, let me know if you want to see pictures of those as well. This knife is quickly becoming my grown-man version of a dress-up doll. Emerson and ZT knocked this one out of the park, and my aftermarket makers completely perfected it.

    Also pictured in the photos: Pen - WE Knife TP-02, Light - Olight S1R II Baton - Hank from Urban EDC Supply
    Daniel, Wasatch11253, Wharn and 7 others like this.
  2. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    If you love this knife you should try a Hinderer Firetac.

    I know Hinderer sounds rediculous compared to this style of knife but I actually typically don’t like Hinderers I like knives like this 640. It is built using much thinner but very strong titanium and both these knives are like brothers from another mother.

    Excellent review. I wish they would have put the glow in the dark cf scale on this one.
  3. xzonin13

    xzonin13 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2017
    The Firetac has been on my shortlist for a long time (ha puns)! Very similar lines, very similar language. Also with the BM 720. I think between the three the 640 wins, even if only for the fact that I can (relatively) easily swap scales whenever I like. Plus the 640 with a set of custom scales and clip is still cheaper than the Firetac.

    Unrelated, just realized I didn't do an action portion of the review. Centering is great, the bronze washers work great just like on the 620 and 850. I'll say the action is closer to the 850, flies out and a smooth sebenza-like close. Not a guillotine, but not stiff. No play in any direction, and strong enough detent to not shake out like either of those ZT's did.
  4. Brummie

    Brummie Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I love this blade shape. One of the first fancier (at least it was fancy by my standards at the time) knives I bought was an Emerson Specwar A. This is basically a much upgraded version of that.

    However, for me the 0640 is still a frustrating missed opportunity because I really, really want to see this pattern with a wave opener.
    Nate Perkins likes this.
  5. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    I just received this knife after a holiday sale. I held it in hand briefly about a year ago. I ve been thinking about getting one ever since.

    The color of my carbon fiber is muted olive and black. I like the way mine looks.
    The fit and finish is great. My first ZT since the 0560 first came out. The action is smooth, lock up is tight and the grind is spot on.
    I like the slim blade shape and the thick blade stock. The blade length is good for my edc/work. The knife appears quite strong for its light weight.
    Personally I don't like waves or flippers so this knife suits me well in those regards.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  6. ScooterG

    ScooterG You mean Ireland? Yeah, it’s mine. Platinum Member

    Mar 15, 2016
    Agree that those pickle relish carbon fiber scales had to go.
  7. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Got a 640, took 2days to figure out how to deploy the blade. During the learning curve I ordered a monster disc from Pete Grey and green micarta scales from suingab! Now just twiddling my thumbs waiting. What a.nice knife though. I have been so sick of flippers, be a long while before I buy anything with a flipper! Gimme studs, discs & holes. ZT long overdue to make a non flip!
  8. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    IMG_20200128_134936.jpg IMG_20200128_134930.jpg IMG_20200128_134856.jpg IMG_20200128_134833.jpg IMG_20200128_134924.jpg Here's the results!
    grybsh7, Daniel, Wasatch11253 and 2 others like this.
  9. bigsurbob

    bigsurbob Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    I have yet to own a ZT. These 0640s are sweet. As many ZTs as I've researched, I may have overlooked this knife. Excellent modifications too. The 0640 might have to be my first ZT.
    Texasdawg likes this.
  10. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Well worth it in my opinion! Last ZT I bought was the 561. Loved it too but it was swiped from my belongings whilst in the hospital. Only have the 301st left, but that's just sitting on the knife shelf cause I love.looking at it. The 640 is great and I'm sick of flippers so its perfect for me.
    bigsurbob likes this.
  11. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    There has to be some more make overs for this out in the wild now!!!
  12. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    I left the stock scales on mine. I added a Benchmade Bugout clip and Pete Gray monster thumb disc..

    Just about the only knife I ve ever modified. But those two changes improved it s useability.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
    jfk1110 likes this.
  13. Wasatch11253

    Wasatch11253 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 31, 2020
    Just found this thread. Heres mine. All Adrenaline X titanium hardware including standoffs, Sharp Dressed Knives marbled cf scales, MXG Benchmade deep carry clip. Did the mods in December 2020. This is one of my favorite ZT's.



    Daniel, jfk1110 and JonesE like this.
  14. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    This is by far my favorite ZT model.. Still have a region's and cerakote in mind, just have other things ahead of it!! IMG_20200301_100143_kindlephoto-234733757.jpg
    grybsh7 and Daniel like this.
  15. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    No other jazzed up 640's out there!!?? Come on!!!! IMG_20200329_033848.jpg
  16. xzonin13

    xzonin13 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2017
    Mine currently has a Gray Precision Monster Disk in Zirc, the new 308 clips because they actually have the right amount of bend to them unlike the original 640 clip, and the same marble scales. Got a couple sets of contoured scales from that are great but the clip section is recessed under the top of the handle contour, so until I work out how to extremely bend the clip for enough clearance those scales aren't really pocketable. Picked up a set of copper scales from some maker on Ebay but the lockside pivot isn't a hex bolt, making them pretty much useless unless I want just a copper show side. Still debating having Razor Edge do a DLC when their books reopen, but also still hoping for an actual sprint from ZT someday. I hear Aramis is working on a set as well, we'll have to wait and see what he comes up with. This knife just really benefits from contoured scales, it's such a great platform to show off interesting materials in the way flat scales just don't. If anyone knows another maker who does contoured scales for this one, let me know.
    jfk1110 likes this.
  17. jfk1110

    jfk1110 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Sharp dressed knives is one! If you go to Instagram #ZT640 there's a lot of jazzed up ones an usually the after market guys sites are listed in each pinned up Photo!!! That how I got to suingab aka g10it.!!
  18. Bad Rattle

    Bad Rattle Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 23, 2017
    Something I modded last year but I just sold it a couple weeks ago.


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