Pros: Handle Material, Blade Material, Lock Ease of Use, Handle Feel, Overall Quality, Ease of Opening, Blade Sharpness
Almost unbelievable action
I have a lot of knives, a number of them high-end production models (e.g., ZT, Spyderco, etc.), all the way down through mid-level production (e.g., Kershaw, CRKT, etc), to offshore production no names. So I'm by no means a knife snob, but I know an exceprionally executed folder when I see it. The ZT 0450 is such a folder. The folks at Kai must have spent aa LOT of time getting the pivot and the bearing system just right, because this is the best action of any knife I have ever owned. This thing opens faster than my ZT0770CF--and that one's an assisted open! Incredible. It's open in the blink of an eye. And when you release the framelock, it's unrel how freely the blade moves around the pivot, yet there's no play in any direction when the blade is deployed--there isn't even any play side-to-side when the blade is HALF open! I'm floored by the engineering and the workmanship on this. While the handle is not textured, no grip issues. It's narrow enough--a good thing for a gentleman's folder--so that it stays tight between my knuckles and the top of my palm, if I need a tactical grab. It's also ergonomic enough so that it's fine for everyday EDC tasks (packaging, twine, fruit, cheese, breaking down cardboard boxes). Nice S35VN steel from Crucible, in upstate NY. Great grind; this thing slices effortlessly. The pocket clip, while initially seeming a bit much for such a light knife, serves another purpose: it makes it easy to deploy the blade without grabbing onto the framelock and getting in your own way. I note that in some other reviews, a couple of people had trouble with this. Don't worry about it. No issue. You get used to it in seconds. And I have very large hands (XL to XXL glove size), so if anyone was going to have trouble with this, it'd be me. This is a perfect gentleman's EDC: light, unobtrusive, and although seemingly slight, built like a ZT. This thing is strong. When the blade is deployed, not is there only no lateral movement, but I cant bend the blade--at all. Wolf in sheep's clothing. So go ahead and turn the occasional screw with the back of the blade (Oh, you've done that too, don't deny it). It can take it. And it arrived arm-hair-shaving sharp. The only thing I'd change: I'd make the clip a deeper carry. But as it is, it's not bad. And in non-permissive environments, this knife is light enough so that it's an easy carry in the bottom of a pocket. Wow, a ZT like this?! Understated and elegant looks, impeccably engineered and beautifully executed. I[ve handled so-called custom knives that were not this good in fit and finish. For this level of product, a reasonable price. Get it, you won't be sorry.