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Zt vs traditional emerson

Discussion in 'Emerson Knives' started by Twinsdad, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. highestpoint

    highestpoint Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    I own a 0630 and absolutely love it. Yes it may be a tad heavy but I don't mind considering I hardly ever wear slacks or basketball shorts.

    I wish I would've seen this thread or I would've snapped some pictures last night when I took it apart. I love the Emerson design and everything about it.

    I prefer it over any Emerson's I've held only because the ones I've held have been new in store and not broken in. Not saying they're not great knives but I like the s35vn over 154 and the frame lock over liner lock.

    I still want to try something in the commander series.

    Now as for the Kershaw/Emerson's.. The only reason I kept it for as long as I did was because of the coolness of the wave. That's all I'm saying
  2. gooeytek


    Jul 12, 2011
    Because the collaboration has resulted in a better knife. Desireable? not as much. That's why I still have my Emersons.
  3. kerberosWXIV


    Dec 30, 2012
    My own limited experience is that even supposedly premium Emerson production blades (Signature series, Emerson Combat Fighter, in my case) compares poorly to ZT-Emerson collaborations (have both 620CF & 630), in terms of fit & finish, materials and values for money (since they are all Emerson's designs and Made-in-USA). Action is far smoother on both ZTs and the ZTs will likely be significantly stronger in term of thicker blade stock and the Ti-frame lock. The only thing I like more on the Emerson is the better handle design...
    ZT0620OWNER likes this.
  4. rayster357


    Jun 13, 2014
    My opinion is there are pro's and con's to both though I do like both brands.

    I personally like linerlocks more than framelocks for my work knives. On framelocks, I notice how the handle's lockbar bends inward to lock the blade. Hell, some have the lockbar cut in a way that have left me with less than desirable torn up skin on my index finger. I do like framelock flippers though as those have better action from what I have owned (mostly ZT's).

    Emerson do feel rough as they need to break in due to the finish on the liners (IMO, kind of rough). Very smooth after that all wears in with the nylatron washers. Some of the resistance felt when opening a Emerson may also be due to the fact that it may have the double detent system Emerson uses on most of his folders. That alone will add to a sticky feel. I can say that the single detent Emersons that I have are just as fast as the ZT's I have to thumbflick open without any wrist action. The ZT's are smooth out of the box and smoother after breaking in. My complaint with the ZT's is the detent strength is too much, it's not a flipper. Had to file down the edge of the detent hole on both my 0620 and 0620CF to make it not destroy my thumb using the thumbdisc (yeah, I should send in for warranty). The 0630 being the closest to how I would want it though still a bit of forced break in opening it while pushing on the lockbar forcing the detent ball in. Made a nice tick sound after a dozen pulls on a piece of tape towards the tip of the blade for grip and leverage. It was perfect after that. Must have chipped off a little bit of the blade as the ball was still fine.

    Blade steels... The first day I got my ZT 0620CF, I busted the a little bit of the tip off and chipped up the edge doing the usual work routine/chores. It was a absolute chore to sharpen those chips and nicks out of the ZT where a Emerson would have been done in a couple minutes and back to videogames I go. My ZT's don't get that much pocket time these days as my primary work knife due to maintenance time as I'm not that great at sharpening. Sometimes as secondary knife for the day. My ZT 0620 lives at work next to my Emerson Specwar-A SF and A Microtech Scarab EX SE if that means anything but those are backup's.

    Price difference is what it is. I'm one of those individuals that will pay the asking price if it's something of interest regardless of brand. The prices for some of the customs that really aren't $2000.00 better than a ZT LE is what really shocks me for knife prices and I have owned some customs. I work as a bicycle mechanic at a shop that deals with true vintage and antique bicycle related "things". Some of the asking prices of that stuff makes me scratch my head but there is always someone that wants it at the asking price. Folding bike for paratroopers from the first world war anybody??? Oil lanterns for your handlebars from that era too!:D

    I like both brands though I have bought 10 times more Emerson's over the past 15 years than ZT's. That's me though.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  5. EChoil

    EChoil Banned BANNED

    May 22, 2014
    The ZT's are a click below MY Emersons. Have no idea about yours.

    You're the one who bought a copy of something, not me. Cheaper was it? Check ya own damn eyes....
  6. gooeytek


    Jul 12, 2011
    Definitely the other way around for me as well. The ZTs or ZT/EKI collabs I've gotten and held on to have been better built right out of the box than any of my Emersons with regard to fit and finish. However, after the break-in and customization, it's a whole different story. It's that whole ritual of tweaking and customizing that makes me value my Emersons more. Someone said that it forms a bond, and I agree.
  7. Mark Schmitt

    Mark Schmitt

    Oct 5, 1998
    ZTs are very well built and yes the 0620/0630 is chunky.

    I have EKIs, ZTs, and Emerson customs and I prefer Emerson and EKI over ZT. The ergonomics are just superior on the Emersons, IMHO.

    ZT knives are, quality-wise, some of the best knives for the money on the current market.

    I have XL hands and prefer the larger Emerson designs and was looking forward to the chunkiness and feel of the 0630. Having owned two of them they each suffer from the same problem - can't open them with the thumb disk. The angle between the disk and the pivot is too acute, for my hands anyway, and trying to open using the disk just feels like I am pushing the blade closed as much as open.

  8. jylong_away


    Nov 13, 2006
    Hey, can I ask who did your karambit framelock conversion? I got a cqc-15 converted way back when by STR, and am kicking myself that I didn't ask him to do my karambit back then too...
  9. EChoil

    EChoil Banned BANNED

    May 22, 2014
    Finally...down to the essence. :thumbup:
  10. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Other than weight and slicing ability I'd give all other advantages to ZT over a regular Emerson.
  11. Peroni1973


    Mar 25, 2010
    I also have both and whilst my heart leans towards my Emersons, my head (and my pocket) says that my ZT0630 is greater comparative value, with better steel and honestly higher standards of production. Don't get me wrong I love my Emersons but the ZT's are a viable alternative/option.

    For me gooeytek's comments are bang on the money...

  12. EChoil

    EChoil Banned BANNED

    May 22, 2014
    Real quick....I have an early micro-Commander that over time has impressed me so much as a nearly perfect EDC for many. Small size with all the Emerson strength....and that blade. Might be a good one for you to try first.

    I've said here before that, for me, the Commander blade is almost too much in the regular and Ubers. By the time it reduces to the micro-Com size, however, it is very nice, very useable. The spec says 2.9 inch blade but I NEVER see it as less than about a 3.25" blade, both at sight and as a working blade. The illusion created is amazing at that size. I think it's all 98% of buyers would ever want in an EDC.
  13. r_seng


    Mar 14, 2015
    Like post earlier in the first page. The only Emerson I own is a combat karambit so my knowledge is super limited with Emerson knives. I am pretty interested in getting the 0630 as I've quite a few ZTs and love their build quality (not say Emerson isn't good either).
  14. McBokerson


    Aug 3, 2013
    I second this, adding that you also can't beat Emersons ergos. ZT on the other hand has always had better F&F and overall quality in my experience. I've owned several knives from both Emerson and ZT and can't say I like one company more than the other, though.
    ZT0620OWNER likes this.
  15. Twinsdad

    Twinsdad Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 13, 2015
    My zt 562cf came in today and I have to say I like my cqc7 better.this zt is a pretty knife and all but I don't see myself carrying it much or keeping it very long unless it needs a break in period. Also I think I likebliner locks more then frame locks.
  16. Twinsdad

    Twinsdad Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 13, 2015
    I think I was the problem with the 0562 the frame lock too some relearning. Still like my 7 more
  17. rayster357


    Jun 13, 2014
    I just want to say something about the fit and finish in regards to scales and liners. You guys can take it however you like but it is my observation.

    Biggest complaint I hear/see from other people is the matter that the scale is a little bigger than the liner leaving a little bit of overhang and not being flush on the production knives. To me, that is intentional. Think about it. If it were a mess up in manufacturing, would every single linerlock from EKI have a very similar trait. Look at all the pictures posted from all the folks that LOVE! and dislike EKI's knives. Ever single one I have personally owned over the past 15 years have been like that , @100 knives (some kept, flipped or gifted). I even recalling seeing somewhere that it was something Emerson and Benchmade came up with intentionally. I too have bought the EKI/KAI collaborations. The ZT/EKI colab's have a little bit of scale overhang on the 0620, 0620CF and the 0630 that I own and the few that I have handled just like a stock linerlock Emerson. What about that. Is ZT's own MFG off and sending out blems? I look at pictures of these ZT models that other people have posted and I see the same thing. Is it a flaw???? It's all Emerson's intended design, not a manufacturing flaw IMO.
  18. AngryBear


    Aug 6, 2015
    +1 ZT are nice and good value but there's a reason they wanted to do a collab with Emerson.... Emerson for me!
  19. Officer's Match

    Officer's Match Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 23, 2013
    I've handled the collab's (ZT), and for some reason I can't really put my finger on, they just don't appeal to me. Same goes for the Hinderer/ZT's.
  20. ebidis


    Jun 23, 2012
    I own many Emerson's, and love them all. I own one Kershaw Emerson, and while it's a nice knife for the price, it's kind of meh, compared to my Emersons. I owned a 0620cf for a while, and it was a very nice knife, but I ended up trading it for an Emerson Specwar with hard chrome coated blade.

    I also think that the 0620cf has nothing over my Iron Dragon, which is, IMO, one of the best TI frame lock knives I've ever owned. I also think that my Sheepdog is one of the best flippers I've ever owned.

    Both knives have no fit and finish issues. As a matter of fact, I have no issues with the fit and finish on any of my Emersons. I've seen far too many posts from people complaining about stiffness, grittiness, and lock stick right out of the box, and dumping the knife without ever letting it break in. This is lack of experience/knowledge about the product and its design IMO, and not a fit and finish issue.

    I also believe that the EKI knives have more "soul" that the ZT's.

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