Without being too critical of what is clearly a well-made knife, I wonder what exactly the Alaskan Survival Knife by Gil Hibben was intended to do. I also wonder why it was endorsed by the Alaskan Professional Hunters Association, because to me it looks like a fantasy blade from United Cutlery.
The Gil Hibben Alaskan Survival Knife actually is made by United Cutlery, the well-known manufacturer of fine fantasy weapons and historical reproductions. Gil Hibben’s experience as a hunter and guide in Alaska, and not the knife itself, may have earned the endorsement of the APHA. The Alaskan Survival knife seems more imaginative than practical — unless there are things prowling the Alaskan wilderness which I’ve never heard about.
As a hunter/skinner knife, this 12-1/2-inch-long full tang fixed blade might be more than tricky to use. A large portion of the knife’s spine is hollow ground to match the belly’s cutting edge, and in spite of the deep finger choils cut into the micarta slab handle, it does seem like a slip is very possible. The wide leaf-point blade, 6-7/8 inches long, looks like it would be more at home on the shaft of a spear.
More confusing is the strange half-loop dropped bolster, probably designed for fingertip control — but again, it looks like this innovation just puts the index finger in harm’s way. Even with the professional endorsement, I’d consider this knife a fantasy blade. Among fantasy blades, it’s actually one of the most practical I’ve seen, equipped with a good leather belt sheath appropriate for hunting whatever creature it was built to hunt. The lower grade 440 stainless steel used in this impressive knife is another clue that it’s meant for display and not too much real work.
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