Just got a United Cutlery Hibben 5026 survival bowie. For the fun of it.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Wind_Slash, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    So I know United gets a bad reputation at times, and I know mass produced Hibben stuff doesn't stand up to the blades that come out of his shop. But I had fun with the Hibben IV machete (Rambo IV) knife...so I thought, what the heck I will try one of his mass produced bowie knives. I have heard United is a bit better than they used to be so I thought.."Why not?" I do have some nice knives anyway. Kabars, Ontarios, Gerber, Case, Schrade, pre-64 Puma White Hunter, and a couple other nice knives. Nothing like some of ya'lls collections but decent.

    Well to the knife. Here is the model. http://www.knifeoutlet.com/shop/products/GH5026.jpg

    Anyway...I got the hankering to get one of these large Hibben style bowies for fun. Out of the box it was sharp enough to shave the hair on my leg. No kidding! I took a fine stone and a power sharp and cleaned it up a little bit, but honestly the blade was impressive out of the box. Handling is pretty good for a large knife, I am not sure what these huge saw teeth on the back are for. LOL Is that just cosmetic? Or should I be able to saw wood or something with them?

    Anyway, it shaved hair off my leg and arms, did good slicing through paper, and I stabbed through some raw hide and sliced through it pretty good.

    My only concern is the pommel were there seems to be a nut on the end. I assume that it was torqued down to hold the whole knife together. I never owned a knife like that, so I am not sure how much bushcraft abuse a design like that would take. Wondering if I should take it off and apply locktite to it for insurance. There again I have other knives better suited for bushcraft.

    As far as a large cutting tool, it is a pretty cool knife. the steel is AUS-6. Don't know much about it other than it is like 440 A or something. BTW: Got a pretty decent leather sheath, put mink oil on it and worked it out some. Seems nice.
     
  2. G. Scott H.

    G. Scott H.

    Jan 9, 2006
    I'd be concerned that it might have a welded on rat tail tang. If it's an integral tang that's just narrowed down and threaded, that should be okay, but I don't know if they'd bother to do that on a knife like this. It's easier to just weld a piece of threaded rod onto a stub tang on the blade. I don't think I'd try any heavy use until I'd taken it down and had a look (assuming the nut isn't epoxied or something).
     
  3. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    Good points. I have to admit...I hope this knive works out. I mean its just a fun big blade to play with, the balance is nice believe it or not. You think I should try to loosen the nut on it, and see what I can find?
     
  4. superfluities

    superfluities Moderator Moderator

    337
    Jun 29, 2008
    It's out of my interest range but I always wanted to put a kerf on those cutting teeth to see if you could actually do some real wood cutting like some actual shavings. I've used cutting teeth like that on other budget knives they usually just rub the wood to some ratty dust with a lot of my sweat. Maybe someone will try putting a kerf on one. As a Rambo fan I like the style of the knife. Interested in the tang construction too.
     
  5. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    Yeah I am not sure of the tang right now...not sure how to check without taking it apart. Can you explain to me what a kerf is?
     
  6. G. Scott H.

    G. Scott H.

    Jan 9, 2006
    I think it'd be a good idea, but it's totally up to you. Obviously, if you do decide to do it and you start torquing on the nut and it doesn't want to come loose with a moderate amount of pressure, just leave it. :thumbup: I did some searching and couldn't find any actual pics, but I did find this drawing, which shows what I'm worried about (they even labeled it for me:D):

    [​IMG]

    If you DO have a piece of welded rod in there, it could snap under impact (like during chopping, let's say), leaving the handle in your hand and the blade flying off who knows where. :eek:
     
  7. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    How about some pics. I'd like to see it.
     
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    If you are really interested, I'd take the nut off and have a look. The nut is what holds the handle and so forth on. Yes, I feel sure it is a reduced tang knife and as a result, probably not as strong as a full tang knife. I like this design. But I don't baton hard with the reduced tang knifes. Enjoy your knife.
     
  9. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    Yeah I don't think this is the type of knife I would baton with anyway. As far as slicing and cutting stuff it works great. I think maybe light chopping.
     
  10. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    Took it apart. It is a tapered tang but the skinny threaded part appears to have been grounded into shape from the primary piece of steel whether than welded. Also what gives me some comfort is the length of the nut covers quite a bit adding to the mass of the tapered tang.
     
  11. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    One tooth leans left. The next leans right. You have kerf.

    [​IMG]

    The result is that the slot you saw is wider than most of the blade - so it is less likely to stick in the work.
     
  12. Bill1170

    Bill1170 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    Professional woodworker here. What you wrote is correct, but the terms were a little off. The term you want to describe teeth bent to each side is "set." The teeth are bent to lean alternately left and right so that the slot in the wood (AKA the kerf) is wider than the body of the saw so that the saw (knife in this case) does not bind in the cut. The kerf describes the slot formed in the wood being cut; the set describes the lateral tooth displacement that prevents binding in the cut.
     
  13. CookieRawwr

    CookieRawwr Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2014
    Well I got the Gil Hibben Wild West Bowie for Christmas years ago and I'm assuming its just a wall hanger. The next year I got a Gil Hi Hibben Assault knife. It looks like its full tang, I've never tried using it out of concern it might break and hurt some one.
     
  14. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    I cut some stuff and did some minor chopping with mine. It appears the tang is part of the original piece of steel. It came out of the box sharp. I know its not the greatest knife in the world, but it handles pretty good for a big knife. If I had not suffered a serious concussion earlier today I would play with it some more but right now my motor skills and vision are not good. I was able to just take it apart a bit and check the tang.
     
  15. G. Scott H.

    G. Scott H.

    Jan 9, 2006
    Sounds good. I'm glad they aren't epoxying these things. I like to take stuff apart and see what's inside, so epoxy pi$$es me off. :D Thanks for the info. :thumbup:

    :eek: Let me guess. You drank too much eggnog and fell off the ladder while hanging Christmas lights? :D

    Seriously, though, I hope you feel better soon. Heck of a way to start the holidays. :(
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  16. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    When I got the hilt and handle off you could tell they used some epoxy in there...but the tang was thick enough coming down that it fits the wood grip tight, and the hilt stays flush so its not dependent on epoxy, or a weld. Once I tightened it up, it was solid.

    yeah the concussion is bad...I fell down last night and hit my head really bad...went to the ER and it appears I hit hard enough on the front of my head to cause damage in the back of my head. Thanks for the kind wishes.
     
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Sounds like normal life to me! :D Have fun with the little beast. .....and I thought you were joking.....
     
  18. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    Tip just broke...:( Called about a replacement. It may have had a defect, and I know those things can happen with any man made object so I am not going to judge it off that.
     
  19. NJBillK

    NJBillK Custom Leather and Fixed Blade modifications.

    Mar 27, 2014
    Are they going to replace the knife with money?

    Jp

    What were you doing to break the tip?
    -------
    Glad to see your back on your feet, try to stay there please?
     
  20. Wind_Slash

    Wind_Slash

    62
    Aug 3, 2012
    I was just pulling some bark back from some wood. Nothing I have never done before with other knives. I wasn't applying that much pressure. I am not going to condemn the knife and say the design was bad, it could have been defective. So I called and asked for a replacement. As far as a cutting, and chopping knife I really like it and want to give the design a second chance.
     

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