Zero Tolerance 0850 Forged by Unlikely Partnership

It won’t be long before knife people will be able to get their hands on the new Zero Tolerance 0850. Its sculpted carbon fiber handle scales, sub-frame lock, gun-themed accents, and satin sheepsfoot blade combined to make it one of the most memorable knives introduced at SHOT Show 2017.

The new model is among the most ambitious design in the Zero Tolerance catalog and it took a team of two of the biggest names in the custom knife world to make it happen. Dmitry Sinkevich and Todd Rexford, well known to fans of the Zero Tolerance brand, forged an unlikely partnership to produce a rare custom knife that inspired the new production model.

It all started in 2015 when Rexford and Sinkevich entertained the idea of partnering on a project. Both men make some of the most sought-after knives on the market, but typically like to work alone. “Neither of us had done much in the way of collaborations. So I knew it was going to be interesting for both of us,” Rexford says. Teaming up also meant overcoming hurdles including a language barrier, the travel time between Belarus and Rexford’s shop in Woodland Park, Colorado, and even different measurement systems.

The two knife makers began to establish some ground rules for the long-distance project. Sinkevich explains: “I would provide the general design of the knife, and then Todd would spearhead the work on details and dressing.” Drawings and parts were exchanged between the two makers as the knife (shown below) took shape. In 2016, they completed the project after Sinkevich spent a week in Colorado for the final push. Just two pieces were made, and both sold at auction for hefty five-figure price tags. “It turned out to be a really interesting knife,” Rexford tells us. “It kind of became a piece of its own.”

Rexford Sinkevich Custom

The makers submitted the design to Zero Tolerance, who pulled out all the stops to bring it to market-ready status in less than a year. The 0850 isn’t a 1:1 replica of its custom predecessor. It uses CPM-20CV blade steel instead of S35VN and in place of a titanium frame lock, ZT went with carbon fiber handle scales and incorporated their patented sub-frame lock mechanism. But the 0850 retains Sinkevich’s overall lines and Rexford’s unique revolver drum thumb stud and barrel shroud backspacer.

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With a price tag of $320, the 0850 will step onto the stage as the priciest full production ZT currently available. But, Sinkevich says he wants the see the 0850 in users’ pockets, not safes, and he’s leading by example. “I currently EDC a ZT 0850. We’ve surely designed it as such.”

Knife featured in image: Zero Tolerance 0850