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Blade Coatings & Finishes
The coatings and finishes on ZT blades and some titanium handles are part of the knife’s design and aesthetic, as well as adding some protection against scratches, wear, and corrosion of the metal surface.
Anodizing is a process ZT uses to add durable color to titanium handles and some aluminum parts, such as backspacers. Anodizing is an electrolytic process that manipulates the native oxide layer of the metal to create a colored surface that remains stable and unfading.
The knife blade is “blasted” or sprayed with a mixture of fine media, including glass and aluminum-oxide beads, under high speed and pressure. This smooths the blade surface and creates a soft, non-reflective, matte look. Depending on the media, this finish can produce a darker or a lighter blade color.
Our BlackWash™ finish produces a look like that of a well-used tool. ZT’s BlackWash™ finish helps hide use scratches and adds blade protection.
Tungsten DLC Coating
Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating displays properties similar to those of natural diamond. Zero Tolerance’s DLC blade coating is not about looks; it’s about performance. Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coatings lower friction, offer high wear resistance, and enhance hardness. The benefits of such a coating are obvious when it comes to knives.
PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposition. Specialized materials are vaporized via a vacuum process. Then the vaporized material is deposited as a thin layer on selected objects. In our case, it enables us to finish our blades and/or handles with a thin coating that adds color and offers excellent wear and corrosion resistance.
A ZT satin finish will typically show a faint pattern of vertical lines across the blade. It is somewhat shiny and is relatively light in color.
Blades are tumbled with ceramic “stones,” which gives the blade surface a desirable roughened or scuffed look. The look can be pronounced or subtle. The finish helps hide scratches and fingerprints.
Sometimes ZT will combine two different blade finishes on a single blade, for example, satin finish on the blade grinds and stonewash on the blade flats. A two-tone finish may sometimes include a coating.
Devised by Rick Hinderer, ZT’s “working” finish is designed as a hard-use finish that helps hide scuffs and scratches even better than stonewashed.