Master Knife Maker Gil Hibben’s HTF Recon Knife, produced by United Cutlery, intends to cover both the tactical needs and hunting needs of any owner. Much less fanciful than some of Hibben’s creations, the HTF Recon still has the trademark flair of a Hibben knife and does manage to be practical.
The HTF Recon isn’t a minimal hunter/skinner. Mr. Hibben worked in Alaska as a big game hunting guide for several years, and the experience shows in this 10-inch-long heavy hunting knife with 5-1/4-inch blade. It certainly has the heft needed for big game. The drop point blade has an exaggerated convex cutting edge well designed for slicing and skinning and a jimped section on the blade’s spine for thumb pressure. The tactical aspect of the knife is a little harder to detect. The drop point features a false upper edge for better penetration, and the oversized dropped bolster and heel could be as much punching weapon as grip insurance. The grip design keeps fingers inside the guard — a concept not always standard with Hibben designs. Capping off the rat tail tang with a steel hex nut makes the knife a good striker as well as cutter.
The Recon is a knife you’d be proud to show off around the campfire or display at home with a high polish on the 420 J2 high carbon stainless steel and a finely detailed laminated wood grip. That’s a little shiny for a tactical knife. This is actually much more a hunter’s knife than a recon weapon. Even though the 420 steel will need some loving upkeep to stay razor sharp, it’s a knife to treasure.
The HTF Recon comes with a custom fitted belt sheath of top grain leather.
Gil Hibben also designed a larger hunting blade, the Alaskan Survival Knife. Although it’s a little unusual for a hunter/skinner, you may like it.