Pros: Materials, Finish, Handle Material, Weight, Overall Quality, None
Cons: Sheath/Scabbard, Blade Sharpness
The knife is a nicely designed knife, as are most of Gil Hibben's knives. I wish he would put a lot more thought into the design of the sheaths, though. The retainer strap gets hung up on the knife, when you go to draw the knife out. Also, the way they have fused the retainer strap into the layers of the sheath cause handle of the knife to stick out from the sheath, rather than laying flat against the sheath. This doesn't lend well to concealed boot knife carry. I corrected this problem by making the old type retainer straps at the top of the handle. They flip to the sides clear of the knife allowing me to draw the knife easily.I don't know where this new strap idea came from. Maybe the Chinese anchor their knives that way. Maybe we should go back to what our ancestors found to be a tried and true way to anchor a knife, which didn't interfere with drawing the knife, and keeps the knife tight to the sheath.I have atleast 100 knives, and every one using this new strap type anchoring system have the same problem of the strap getting in the way. In fact, many times it takes two hands to put the knife back in the sheath. One for the knife, and one to hold the strap out of the way.Now, I'm from Idaho, and not the KungFu type, so maybe this design appeals to the KungFu's out there. I want a knife that is going to be there for protection. I need to be able to draw it quickly should I come across a bear, wolf or mountain lion, while in the mountains. I can't afford to have it hang up on the sheath strap, and have to use two hands.I haven't taken time to check out the steel in this knife. I have been disappointed in the steel in other Chinese, Pakistan, and India made knives. They are hard to sharpen, as if they don't have much carbon content. Or maybe they are made of recycled metal, with who knows what steel and carbon content is in the mixture. I'll put this one to the test, and see how it does as a reliable knife. If it fails, its pretty, and can be displayed on my wall. I have plenty of good American knives I can trust in the field.I, also, bought the larger version of this knife. It's a well made knife, too, but the sheath has some design problems. The strap is anchored a little different and falls out of the way not hanging up, when you draw the knife, which is good. The main problem with the sheath is it has a really aggressive belt loop. They have this giant belt loop large enough to accommodate atleast a 4-inch belt. When you go to draw the knife, it will slide on your belt a good 2 inches. Who are they planning on selling these to? One of the old time pirates with the wide belts, or Santa Claus. The belt loop is made of stiff leather, and being so large causes the handle of the knife to stick out from the body a good 3 inches. The problem is they have folded over one piece of leather at the top to make a belt loop. This causes a hoop effect at the top. If I carry this knife, I will cut that loop at the top into two pieces. Then I will sew the two pieces back together at the top to make a flat belt loop. I'll, also, reduce the loop size down to a human size of a maximum of 2-inches, so it doesn't slide when I draw it. This will allow the knife to lay back against my side, like it should, and be a functional sheath. I think this is just United Cutlery finding a quick and dirty way to put out a sheath. If you're going to put out a quality Gil Hibben knife, why cheapen the purchase by mating it with a worthlessly designed sheath? If the sheath doesn't make it enjoyable to carry your Gil Hibben knife, why buy a Gil Hibben Knife?