I love Gil Hibben knives. It’s a premium brand that almost always delivers on quality. The United Cutlery GH2011 Gil Hibben Gen. 2 is a set of budget knives, well, budget for Gil Hibben. It tries to bring all the good stuff from Gil Hibben at a cheaper price point.
The United Cutlery GH2011 Gil Hibben Gen. 2 does a solid job at nailing the basics and may be one of the best entry-level competition knives out there.
This knife got an honorable mention in our best Gil Hibben throwing knives list purely because of the price point. For a budget choice, you could certainly do worse. If you’re trying to take knife throwing seriously, however, the brand has higher-quality knives.
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United Cutlery GH2011 First Impressions
When you take the knife out of the box, you do not think they were special. The stainless steel seems pretty standard, and the single-piece construction looks quite similar to really cheap knives. There is a lanyard hole, and the 8-inch overall length makes it a compact and ergonomic knife in hand.
However, you realize upon further inspection that the knife has been conducted with quality materials, and the stainless steel blades do not feel like they will crack anytime soon.
Unlike many other models in the Gil Hibben range, this United Cutlery knife set does not come with a leather sheath. Instead, you get a nylon sheath that is well made but is nothing special compared to other knives at an entry-level price point. Some people (like myself) appreciate a solid quality throwing knife holster, but considering the price point, the nylon one will do the job.
How I Reviewed the Gil Hibben Gen. 2 Throwing Knife
I used the Gil Hibben Gen. 2 prior to the review, although I did not use it much as I prefer to use the Gil Hibben Tanto and a couple of other models from their range.
For this review, I tested the knife over the course of two days and tried to compare it to other knives in the price range. I also compared them to other knives by Gil Hibben that cost a lot more to see if the Gen. 2 can be a viable choice compared to them.
I’ll admit, I was pretty impressed by how they stood up, even when I was intentionally trying to throw them too hard. I’ve broken more expensive throwing knives with less effort.
How the Gil Hibben Gen. 2 Knife Compares
Amazing For Tough Use Cases
It’s well-known in the throwing knife world that the larger the knife, the more durable it is supposed to be. At an 8-inch overall length, the Gen.2 is one of the toughest knives I have used at this price.
The great thing about the knife is that it just doesn’t break, but also that it maintains its shape, and the blade does not need filing even after extensive use. As such, it is great for enthusiasts that want a knife that works out of the box and will not require a lot of maintenance.
Sturdy and Sturdier
For its size, the United Cutlery GH2011 Gil Hibben Gen. 2 feels quite heavy in hand but not so heavy as to cause discomfort or make it difficult to throw the knife at longer ranges.
I found it very easy to throw the knife at longer ranges. Due to its weight, it does not wobble at all and can achieve a stable flight. It’s well-balanced and manages to do it without giving up on the design.
Due to the heavier weight, the knife has no problem sticking into even the harder surfaces, and it would be ideal for people that like to go into the woods and throw knives at tree barks.
Gil Hibben Quality for Cheap
Most of the Gil Hibben models that I have used cost around twice as much as the United Cutlery GH2011 Gil Hibben Gen. 2. This makes it one of the cheapest premium knives that you can purchase.
Some beginner throwing knives I suggest are a little cheaper, but if you’re looking to up your throwing game with a more competitive knife… it’s hard to argue with this.
A Dime a Dozen Looks
Gil Hibben knives have a way of looking premium.
However, the United Cutlery GH2011 Gil Hibben Gen. 2 does not stand out in any way. If you were to show the United Cutlery knife set along with a set of standard stainless steel blades from Perfect Point, I doubt a novice would be able to tell which one is more expensive.
They don’t look bad. But they wouldn’t take a central place in my display cabinet.
While this is not a huge problem, many online reviews reported the fact that the knives do not feel very balanced. After using the knives, I feel the same way. While this is not a huge problem and something that you can get used to very quickly, it is perhaps the biggest problem with this knife.
The biggest problem is that the knife handle itself is heavy. If it tilted towards the blade, you would be able to solve the problem with a simple cord grip. However, that is not a possibility here.
If this is your main thrower, it won’t matter. You’ll always get the knack for your knife but if you tend to swap through different blades, then this is worth keeping in mind.
Is United Cutlery a Good Knife Brand?
United Cutlery makes a wide variety of knives under different brand names. The Gil Hibben brand is one of the more high-end brands by the company, and it is one of the best knife brands that I have ever used.
Usually, a knife by Gil Hibben guarantees quality, and the GH2011 Gen. 2 is a great example. What’s great about this particular knife is that it offers most of what makes Gil Hibben great at a much lower price point than other knives by the brand.
Gil Hibben Gen. 2 vs Gil Hibben Tanto Thrower
The Tanto is one of the knives in the main Gil Hibben line, and it is a much better knife than the Gen.2. Of course, it costs a lot more as it is made of higher-quality steel and is ideal for both beginners and advanced users. However, there have been reports of the steel rusting over time, so that is something to be aware of.
If you are tight on budget, then the Gen. 2 still serves as a great option for its price. However, if budget is not a concern, then the Tanto is a much better option.
Trying not to be too biased here, as the Tanto is one of my personal favorites.
Gil Hibben Gen. 2 vs Gil Hibben Competition Throwing Knives
The Competition throwing knives by Gil Hibben are designed for competition (no surprise there) and are some of the best knives that you can purchase on the market. However, the knife is quite heavy and can be a bit difficult to use as it is slightly unbalanced (just like the Gen. 2).
Once again, those that do not have a budget for the Competition should go for the Gen. 2. However, if you are someone that is looking to participate in knife-throwing competitions or just looking for a great set of knives that will last you years, the Competition (or even the Tanto) is a great option.