Zero Tolerance 0920 Takes Legendary Les George Harpy to Wider Audience

Last year when Zero Tolerance and maker Les George collaborated on the ZT 0900, a knife based on his Mini Harpy design, fans wondered if a production version of the full-size Harpy would follow. At SHOT Show 2017 the team delivered with the ZT 0920, which brings the elusive Harpy design to a wider audience as a high-end hard use utility knife.

The Harpy has its origins in a prototype that George started working on in 2006. The first official Harpy debuted in 2011, and it has become one of the most sought-after custom knives ever since. To arrive at the 0920, Zero Tolerance replicated the unconventional 3.9-inch blade and mimicked the intricate pattern milled into the scales seen on George’s custom work.

George acknowledges that the aggressive styling and size will not suit all users’ tastes. “I think that it is a polarizing design. People will like it or not and I doubt we will see much middle ground,” he tells us. “Executing designs in a polarizing way is a strength of ZT. I think that they did a great job on that here.”

Before he started making knives full-time, George spent 10 years in the Marine Corps specializing in ordnance disposal. In this high-intensity job, his frequent use of a blade as tool informs his approach to design. Although the word ‘tactical’ is often applied to his work, George doesn’t think of knives as weapons. “I don’t really look at a knife that way. I carry one because it’s a solution with a universal adapter,” he says.

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This will be the third George design in ZT’s catalog, following the stout 0909 and the smaller 0900. George is pleased with the variety on offer. As a custom maker, he has produced a diverse range of knives over his career. Modern folders, stiletto-style daggers, automatics, even classy gentleman-style folders; George has made them all. “I love all kinds of knives. I make knives full time because I just want to be around knives all the time.”

Knife featured in image: Zero Tolerance 0920