A parang machete is traditionally used in the Malay Archipelago. You can find them at work in the forests (and some cases on the streets) of Malaysia and Indonesia.

In some countries where guns are banned, local gangs carry parangs due to their immense chopping power. That and they look intimidating as all hell!

In South East Asia, the jungles tend to be woodier than Latin America.  This calls for heavier, thicker tools that deliver more chopping force and durability. As a result, parangs are often thicker and heavier than Latin American Machetes. The “Sweet Spot” is nearer the tip of the blade to really add bite to your swing.

Parangs are still good utility blades, though. For example, their pointed tips and sharp blades make them suitable for skinning large game. And the solid, well-balanced body allows it to be used as a decent means to whittle and notch. Of course like all survival tools, there exist considerable differences between the available models. Read on to discover our 5 best parangs of 2016. You can find all the reviews and some great videos below, too!

Read on to discover our 5 best parangs of 2016. You can find all the reviews and some great videos below, too!

5 Of The Best Parang Machetes of 2017

ModelImageDetailsPriceReview
Fox Parang XL MacheteFull-Tang
440C Steel
17"
15.5 oz
$$$$Read Our Review!
My Parang Duku Chandong 10"Authentic
5160 CS
17"
$$$$Read Our Review!
Condor Bushcraft Parang Full-Tang
1075 HC Steel
19 3/4"
1 2/3 lbs

$$$Read Our Review!
CRKT Halfchance Parang MachetteFull-Tang
65mn CS
1.4 lbs
19.5"
$$Read Our Review!
Bear Grylls Compact Parang Full-Tang
1055 CS
15.08"
13.6 oz
$Read Our Review!

For other styles of Machetes, check out our page here.


Fox Knives Parang XL Machete Review

The Fox Knives Parang XL is a uniquely effective bushcraft tool designed by one of the world’s foremost outdoorsmen, Alfredo Doricchi.

This 17″ parang machete was born out of necessity when existing machetes failed Dorrichi. He set out to build a world-class bush tool from the ground up, one he could personally use and rely on. The result was a parang unlike any other.

The Fox Parang’s 10.25″ blade is made of tough 440c steel and is very well balanced. 440c steel is a good “all rounder”. Although it’s not a “stainless steel”, it has superb rust resistance. It’s tough, durable and sharpens well. All great qualities for a machete.

Despite the rather hefty 3.5mm thickness and 2.36” width, the Parang XL is surprisingly light. The extra thickness helps the blade absorb shock better and limits flex, giving it a solid feel.

The light weight is due in part to the special handle. The ABS handle is both contoured and dimpled for exceptional grip. It is also much lighter than the traditional wood found on most machetes.

You do need to know that this ABS material is not quite as flame resistant as some treated woods. Unfortunately once a critical temperature is reached, rather than scorching, it will begin to melt. So it’s not recommended to place the knife in close proximity to open flames.

The Parang XL has a two part carry system. The top half can be attached to a belt or webbing. The bottom half has a loop so it can be tied down to prevent unwanted movement. Its ingenious sheath is Molle compatible and allows for both quick unsheathing and unfastening with the blade cover still attached. A nice touch indeed.

Overall this is quite a remarkable parang. As you’ll quickly discover, it swings like a much lighter knife but cuts like the heaviest golok. You can find the latest price here.

Pros

  • Full Tang
  • Designed by Alfredo Doricchi
  • 440c Steel
  • Relatively thick blade
  • Lightweight for size
  • Very durable

Cons

  • ABS handle not flame resistant


MyParang Duku Changdong Review

The MyParang Duku Changdong is an authentic parang machete from Malaysia. “Duku” translated to “Parang” in Malay. The Duku Changdong is a traditional Malaysian design for clearing bush and taking heads. 

This is a multi-use tool. The pointed end makes it suitable for skinning animals. It is also right at home whittling notches into green wood. And it fells trees as well as any short handle axe. It easily dispatches green shrubbery with one swipe. But its main purpose was always in chopping through hardwood (and sometimes necks). In that role, it excels above other field-worthy parangs.

Myparang source their hand forged 5160 carbon steel blades from Bidor, Malaysia – an area famous for producing this steel. The Duku Changdong has a traditional rat-tail construction, but they have reinforced this with a brass pin under the collar. It might not be a “Full Tang” but this is a tried, tested and traditional method for forging parangs.

This is a machete that is designed to take the heavy abuse of cutting through thick, wooded jungle. It features a full tang and a robust pin system to keep the handle secure under stress. And the handle is carved from beautiful beech wood from Croatia – which is sustainable.

This is the parang Ray Mears uses, and you can see him using it in the jungle here:

Overall this 17″ parang is very well balanced. It 10″ blade swings like a lighter blade but has the immense cutting power of a heavy knife.

The Duku Changdong is slightly heavier than some other machetes at . It’s also considerably shorter in total length. But these properties make it a devastating cutting tool. It can easily reach very high blade speeds in a full swing and you never have to worry about it breaking.

The MyParang Duku Changdong is an indispensable survival tool that’s highly recommended for anyone venturing into the wild. You really shouldn’t be without one of these.

The Duku Changdong is available on Amazon.

Pros

  • Traditional parang from Malaysia
  • 5160 carbon steel blade
  • Reinforced rat tail tang
  • Beech wood handle
  • Very well balanced

Cons

  • Slightly heavy


Condor Bushcraft Parang Review

Condor produces heavy duty machetes direct from El Salvador, and their Bushcraft Parang is no different.

The Bushcraft Parang is a full-tang, 1075 High Carbon steel chopper. It has a thick, 0.16″  spine so it won’t chip or break on you if you happen to hit a rock by mistake.

The total blade length is 13” and it weighs 1.7lbs.  This gives it a lot of heft for a machete this size. It is also well-balanced and blade heavy to really increase it’s chopping power.

As it is 1075 steel you will need to keep it oiled regularly to stop it rusting.  As you can see in this video, it out-chops CRKT Halfachance Parang with ease

The handle is made of polypropylene and is contoured to fit the user’s hand. If you have a “Large” sized hand it will still feel comfortable even when wearing gloves. The plastic may put some people off, but if you find it too slick you can use sandpaper to roughen it up a bit.

The Bushcraft Parang comes with a ballistic nylon sheath. The sheath can be easily attached to a belt or can be carried separately. There is a design fault with the sheath. The blade actually cuts the throat of the sheath when it’s drawn!

Unfortunately, there’s not a readily available replacement sheath. You could always get a leather or Kydex one custom made from somewhere like c2gfab.

If you’re looking for a parang with a lot of chopping power that you’re planning to use and not display, the Condor Bushcraft won’t let you down.

On the Condor website, it’s available for $74.98, but you can also find it available on Amazon.

 

Pros

  • High carbon steel
  • Natural finish
  • Contoured polypropylene handle
  • Ballistic nylon sheath
  • 13” blade
  • Heavy yet balanced

Cons

  • Not ornamental


CRKT Ken Onion Halfachance Parang Review

The CRKT Ken Onion Halfachance Parang’s bite is as mean as its bark.


This is a full tang,  survival Parang with a traditional southeast Asian look and feel. Designed by famed bladesmith Ken Onion, the Halfachance has a weighted sweet-spot nearer the tip of the blade. This allows it to chop 6-inch diameter trees in a few seconds and with as many swings. It’s also surprisingly lightweight and can be swung nimbly even in close quarters.

CRKT have used 65Mn steel, which is hard enough to retain an edge yet soft enough to sharpen without undue burden. 65Mn steel does originate from China, but it’s equivalent to American 1065 High Carbon Steel. 65Mn steel is used as a base for diamond-coated saw blades so its tough and durable.

The Halfachance also has a contoured, easy-to-grasp handle. It has a textured rubberized handle to provide a great grip. Even under hot and humid jungle conditions when palms become sweaty, the CRKT parang will remain firm in your hand. There are also 4 lanyard holes in the handle for you to better secure the blade.

The Halfachance comes with a really versatile nylon sheath that provides great retention and different carry options. There’s an adjustable belt loop that can either secure the blade close to you or allow a bit more slack for walking. You can see for yourself here:

One potential drawback is that the Onion Halfchance has a thinner, 1/8″  blade than some parangs and goloks. While that does reduce inertia the Halfchance’s blade is so well designed that the increased swing speed more than compensates.

This is a formidable parang machete that’s available at $69.99 on the CRKT website. However, it’s worth checking the latest price on Amazon for comparison.

Pros

  • Full Tang
  • Ken Onion Design
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Great Handle
  • Versatile Nylon sheath
  • Easy to grip handle

Cons

  • Thinner blade

Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Review

The Gerber Bear Grylls Parang is a small parang style blade with a lot of utility. It’s designed to cut through brush and limbs with minimal effort. Its 9.7″ blade and “Zero Slip Grip” handle hel add more control for when your chopping through dense bush.

But like all good parangs, it’s also adept at cutting through green wood and even felling large trees. Its size makes it the best “Starter Machete” on the market today – especially at the price!

The blade is strong, made of 1055 carbon steel. There’s a bit of controversy around this. Firstly, it might be considered as “Medium Carbon” (and not “High Carbon”). The second is it’s definitely not stainless steel.

Gerber do list it on their website (in error) as “Stainless Steel”. Stainless is a poor choice for a machete blade. However, 1055 is good for taking repeated impacts and Gerber have heat treated it to Rockwell 46 – 48. This places it in the same range as the more expensive Woodmans Pal machetes. I have no idea why Gerber don’t update their website to reflect this!

This makes it not only highly corrosion resistant but also retentive of its edge under heavy use. It has a full tang and dual pin system to fasten the handle. This means it can take thousands of full on blows to hardwood without so much as loosening. And the textured rubber grip ensures the blade won’t slip out of your hand, even under wet or sweaty conditions.

The pointed tip makes it suitable for skinning animals while the blade is plenty sharp enough to cut through bone and tendon. Of course, it can also be used as a secondary defense weapon. It  comes with a nylon sheath that can be fastened to a belt or carried alone.  The sheath can be configured for horizontal or vertical carry. It also has a lanyard cord for additional safety.

One minor complaint is that the rubber handle and color scheme conspire to make it look like a gardening tool. But it’s not meant to be a work of art. The Bear Grylls Compact Machete is a survival tool, built for function and not form.

Pros

  • Great “Starter” Machete
  • 1055 High Carbon Steel
  • Full tang
  • Textured rubber grip
  • Nylon sheath
  • Great Price

Cons

  • Guady Design