The traditional Parang is the equivalent to the South American machete but has a heavier blade that is optimized for chopping and shaping the woodier jungle flora found in the knife’s birthplace of Southeast Asia.
Parangs are generally for bushcraft, but are also used as carpentry tools and occasionally weapons. Typically the blades are fashioned from leaf spring, are around 12″ (approx. 30 cm) long and are sharpened with a varying edge. The spine of the blade normally sweeps down to provide a sharp utility tip similar to a wharncliff. The center is sharpened with a steeper angle for chopping while the blade has a shallower bevel toward the handle for controlled cuts.
The handle found on the traditional Parang is usually wood (occasionally bone) and has a large outward sweeping pommel to prevent the handle from slipping forward while chopping in the humid jungle environment.
The Alfredo Doricchi designed Fox “Parang Buschcraft Jungle Knife” is more parang inspired than parang. This knife uses the Austrian made Bohler N690co steel found in most contemporary knives of Italian origin and is coated with a black finish very similar to Benchmade’s BK1 that Fox calls their “Idroglider” coating. At 6.7″ long (17cm) and .23″ (6mm) thick the Parang has a sizeable, weighty blade but still comes in at about 5″ shorter than the typical traditional variety. The Fox Parang has a steep upswept belly with a small drop at the point which begins and terminates within the swedge area. It does not have the typical wharncliff like tip but rather the opposite.
The spine of the parang has a good inch and a half of useable jimping followed by a gentle upward curve allowing for a controlled grip when choking up on the blade. The deep choil also lends itself well to this grip however the edge’s continuation up to the choil will make its use precarious without some modification.
The knife has a full tang and the handle is made from forprene. Forprene is a hard injection mouldable synthetic that feels rubbery to the touch and gives good grip. It is known to be impervious to liquids including oils and solvents, but can potentially crack in sub zero temperatures when exposed to excessive shock. Along the surface there is some scalloping for your fingers with moulded ridges. Overall the ergonomics are a bit awkward and the fairly straight pommel ignores the anti-slip feature of the original indigenous design. The front quillion is adequate to prevent forward slipping but won’t help much while chopping. Two holes drilled after the blade (one on the quillion and one near the spine) and a useful lanyard hole at the end of the handle allow for different lashing configurations.
The knife comes with a MOLLE compatible cordura sheath and a small survival kit that can be attached to the front of the sheath or left behind. Webbing and snapped straps allow it to be attached your belt (via snapped strap or velcro fold) or MOLLE compatible gear. The cordura is line with a thick plastic sheeting and the two halves are separated by a dense foam. Straps hold the knife in place by snapping over the front guard and around the centre of the handle. Unfortunately the strap for the front guard is sewn into the knife side of the sheath rather than from the back, causing it to get cut and abraded when the knife is drawn if you don’t hold it out of the way. The sheath also lacks a drainage hole which should be on all sheaths in my opinion, for easy cleaning/drainage. two loops on either side of the knife are designed to hold the supplied glow stick.
The Survival kit comes in a waterproof aluminum tin containing several typical items including :
- A flint steel and striker
- A tea light
- A whistle
- A wire saw
- Snare wire
- A compass
- A small pocket knife with a nail file and scissors
- A roll of fabric adhesive bandage
- A small fishing line, sinker and hook
- Sewing kit
- Paper and pencil
- a razor blade
- A small waterproof container
Overall the quality of the included items is very poor and could be excluded. The extra pouch for the kit and the tin are useful if the purchaser fills it with items of better quality.
All in, the Parang is a reasonable buy with some decent chopping power bundled with an adequate sheath. The handle ergonomics are a bit to be desired and classification of this knife as a parang is a bit confusing in that it lacks the typical shape, length, varied edge and handle of it’s original predecessor. It might more accurately be described as “inspired by Southeast Asian blades”.
Good heavy blade
multiple carry options
Questionable handle ergonomics
Poor quality survival kit
Total Dimensions and weight :
Length 11.8″ (30 cm):
weight 12 Oz (340 g)
Blade Length 6.7″ (170 mm)
blade steel : Bohler N690co 58-60 HRc
blade thickness .24″ (6 mm)
cutting edge 7″ (17.78 cm)
Black “Idroglide” or “Hydroglide” coating
Includes pouch with survival kit and glow stick
Made in Italy