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Benchmade vs Zero Tolerance

You are looking for an American Made pocket knife? If you do, you often end up with a Benchmade or Zero Tolerance knife. But what are the differences between the two brands? And why would you choose one over the other? We will explain!

What do they have in common?

Let's start with the similarities. Both brands produce their knives in the United States. And even in the same region: Benchmade and Zero Tolerance are both located south of Portland, Oregon, USA.

Differences between Benchmade and Zero Tolerance

Product range

Even though both brands mostly produce EDC pocket knives, there is a difference in the product range. Zero Tolerance, for instance, only sporadically produces a fixed knife, while Benchmade always has a collection of fixed hunting knives and survival knives.

Zero Tolerance, however, truly specialized their flippers over the past decade. Benchmade also occasionally produces a pocket knife with a flipper opening mechanism. But that remains an exception.

Axis lock vs framelock

Anyone who is familiar with the Benchmade range has seen their Axis lock before. A great lock that is perfect for both left and right-handed use. Zero Tolerance, on the other hand, uses the framelock, or their own sub-framelock. Also great, especially for flippers. But truly designed for right-handed use.

Benchmade vs Zero Tolerance
Benchmade vs Zero Tolerance

Price range

The price also differs. Both are premium brands. But we see that Benchmade produces a lot of knives listed between 100 and 200 euros. Zero Tolerance produces a couple knives that are listed between 150-200 euros, but most of the knives cost more than 200 euros. So the Zero Tolerance knives are a little more expensive.


Both brands produce amazing knives and you cannot go wrong with either. But when we take a closer look at the details we see that Zero Tolerance is a little better when it comes to the finish. You notice it when you look at the tuning, so how they move and when you look at the grind.

Benchmade vs Zero Tolerance: summary

Both produce excellent knives in the United States. Benchmade offers a broader range, with more favourably priced models. Zero Tolerance, however, produces knives with a slightly better finish. Which brand will you choose? Or will you simply get one from both!

Benchmade vs Zero Tolerance
Benchmade vs Zero Tolerance