I just got my GB 2, and I've got the GB 1 already. So far despite what I predicted, I like the GB 1 more. I thought for sure it would be the other way around. I still really like them both though.
Personally the exposed liners work perfect on the one. The way it feels, it fills your hand, and gives it that rounded feeling. I have average, medium size hands. I feel the exposed liners on the 2 don't feel as good. Still fine, I'm just comparing them. The 1 just fills/fits my hand perfect.
I do like the blade shape a tad more on the 2. I like the grind on the 2 how part of the blade has a horizontal grind, or grind marks moving from pivot to tip. Excuse my ignorance of knife terms. It makes the blade seem a lot longer than it actually is.
I like how a previous poster described the blade deployment as almost hydraulic like. That is a good description. The GB 2 is my easiest deployed spyderco out of my 6. Once I practiced with it some, I have no problem closing it.
I usually don't like carbon fiber. I know this is "fake" and just a top layer. But I was surprised to really like the look. I don't think it goes with the theme of hard use but I do like the CF layer they use on some of their Taiwanese knifes.
After holding them both it puts the GB 1 in a whole new perspective. What a knife, them liners, wow. It stinks that it has to be discontinued (not to take anything away from the 2). In my mind there is room for both, but I understand. They really are 2 different knifes all together though. The GB 2 is a better everyday edc choice and I think maybe will have a tad more mass appeal, just my 2 cents.
I am loving them both. Paging Mr. Ketchen.....