The Ranger 0121 Fixed Blade from Kershaw U.S.A.’s Zero Tolerance line won’t win beauty contests, but you also don’t find many smaller backup knives as tough as pry bars. Keeping it strong and simple, the ZT Ranger won’t fail.
At only eight inches in overall length and 9.1 ounces in weight, the Ranger’s unusual four-inch-long dagger blade of high carbon S30V stainless steel still looks like a heavy-duty fighting knife. Both blade and full tang are wider than most civilian knives of this type, and that extra steel contributes to the knife’s rugged strength. Built for piercing as well as slashing, the compound curve of the plain cutting edge bites into rope or harness straps instead of sliding across. The cord-cutting notch is a little too close to the finger choil for convenient use. If you keep the blade sharp, you’ll probably cut through any cord small enough to fit the notch before you even find it.
The dark tungsten DLC coating of the Ranger’s non-reflective blade resists abrasion and adds to the steel’s already good corrosion resistance. Ample handle slabs of textured OD green G-10 provide extra hand traction and excellent twisting leverage. The G-10 is easy to grip in all types of weather and through extreme temperature changes as well as resisting damage from most chemicals. For extra safety, string a wrist lanyard through the hole in the knife’s heel.
Built with military rigging in mind, the Ranger’s Zytel sheath meets MOLLE standards and adapts to many types of gear as well. Nothing fancy is required — the sheath also fits nearly any ordinary belt, military or civilian.
See the CRKT Operator by Jim Hammond if you need a small knife of tactical quality with a slimmer build.
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