The visitors defended superbly with skipper Neil Austin diving in to deny Jordan Chapell in the first minute and then Christian Burgess clearing two efforts off the line to deny Torquay's on-loan targetman Callum Ball.
Hartlepool could have won the game in the final minute when teenager Brad Walker beat home goalkeeper Martin Rice but fired past the post.
Knill said: "We created more chances in the game than any so far and have to take the positives from it because it's our first clean sheet of the season."
"There are way more positives to take from that performance than negatives and I can see we are getting better.
"We have improved over the month since the opening day draw with Wimbledon so the aim is to get better again next month and so on and so on.
"If someone had said to me you are going to only lose once in your first five games, you would take that because it is such a new team.
"We were playing Hartlepool and last season they were a League One team and we dominated the game from start to finish.
"Obviously we want three points but it's important that you don't lose. And again a team coming here to Plainmoor has made it really difficult for us. We are speaking about it more and more how it is really difficult to win at home because teams are doing what Hartlepool did.
"I thought the players were probably as good as they have been passing it. We opened them up quite a few times but just didn't have that final bit."