Let's talk about parangs.

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Ptpalpha, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I've always thought that the parang was a great looking design. Realizing that there seem to be different styles out there, I'm specifically thinking of the My Parang version.
    I'm interested in hearing what you all think about any parang, real world use experience, general thoughts, anything.
    I will say that I don't like buying a cutting tool that I don't know what steel it's made of, so I may be leaning towards a more modern, perhaps US made model, but I'm really just starting to dip my toes in the water here. I haven't begun the research process yet... this thread is Step One.
    So tell me what you think about parangs. As always, pics if you have any.
    Thanks! Looking forward to seeing what turns up.
    -Paul
     
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  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I know several members here have and use them...2 that come to mind are @DomC and possibly @tobiism ...?
     
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  3. schapm

    schapm Incompetent City Dweller Supporter

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  4. 62flint

    62flint Scout

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    Some years back I needed a tool for clearing trails and trimming around hunting stands in Virginia. Mostly, I was dealing with mountain laurel and rhododendron, but everything else from white pines to oak. I bought a Gerber BG parang, and when that one was stolen I bought a 14" SOG machete with sawback. It didn't take long to notice that it took more forceful swings to cut with the SOG than it had with the parang, so I bought another Gerber BG online. I've since had the occasion to use both side by side while my wife was helping....I gave her the SOG and saw that she was struggling to cut stuff, so I handed her the parang. She noticed immediately that it was easier to use. I had sharpened both with a file, so apples to apples on edge.

    I've since looked at the Condor products and really like their mini duku, but wish it was larger like their bushcraft parang, or wish their buscraft parang had wood for handles. I've lusted after a Bark River parang, but they seem to be made of unobtanium. The Kabar Parangatang might be reasonably priced piece of steel, but I haven't handled one. Tops El Chete is another that I've eyed.
     
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  5. Mikewood

    Mikewood Guide

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    If you ask most folks, they will tell you a hammer is a good tool but an Eskimo will tell you it’s useless for building an igloo. A large parang is a jungle tool. The long graceful ones are great for tropical vegetation. The shorter stouter models are pretty good for general chopping and most all camp chores. If you like the shape then go for it. Condor makes a few tool like this. Their village parang looks like a winner. I had one for a bit along with a Thai Enep machete and they both work well. Their Golok would also fit the bill. Basically it’s hard to go wrong with a moderately sized blade with a sweeping edge.
     
  6. JohnP

    JohnP No more half measures Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My wife and I have used CRKT Halfachance parangs to clear a lot of greenbrier vines and thick underbrush. They work well, better than the 18” Ontario machetes and other things we’ve tried, and didn’t break the bank to buy. We got them on sale for around $25-30. Here’s a photo of mine. I’d show you a photo of my wife’s, but then you could tell who does all the work around here.

    B8975CD1-FF17-41EA-BD22-E8F52B14879D.jpeg

    The Halfachance was designed by Ken Onion and has a very nice handle. It is comfortable to swing. I have no idea where it’s made. It is 65Mn carbon steel. I like the parang a lot, but the sheath that comes with it needs help. It works, but not well. I’ve thought about making a leather one, but this knife really gets thrown around a lot so I’m gonna use the one that came with it as long as it lasts.

    JohnP
     
  7. Wasp

    Wasp We are GO for Sting! Supporter

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    I have always thought the design looked practical for most of what I'd need a larger blade for but have never gotten one yet. I saw a Filipino parang once in a picture is where it first stuck out to me. I tend to like the looks/idea of the round nose shorter ones.
    As far as american ones that I really relate to, a Bark River Golok round nose in A2 seems like it would fit the bill. I would not be opposed at all to experimenting with a few authentic ones from over seas though. One day.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  8. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    IMG_2184.JPG
    Here is the/my only foto of a "My Parang" Duku Chandong HD (Heavy Design) made from a Bidor blank in Malaysia. The handle has tennis racket tape wrapped around it as the handle is smooth textured and is somewhat slippery. This is one time a lanyard hole is useful, but is lacking. I've had the darn thing slip out of my hand while clearing brush.

    It is made of 1/4" thick forged 5160 steel which is spring steel used for vehicle leaf springs. It is also used for sword building btw. It is a heavy blade and it is a fantastic wood splitter/ batoner which is what I primarily use it for. I believe My Parang has a lighter thinner version also. I'll prolly invest in that version one day.

    The sheath is a standard nylon one which serves it's purpose and nothing to write home about. This baby screams for a kydex one though....and a baldric style carry sling. Beltcarry is cumbersome to say the least.

    One word of advice......install a lanyard hole or if you dislike using a lanyard, apply some tennis racket or hockey stick tape to that smooth handle as I don't wanna see any bloody pictures haha:eek::17::18::18::dblthumb:

    Dominick........
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  9. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    I'm a big fan of the parang pattern, it's just a very well thought-out, versatile design IMO. The swept-back blade keeps the user's hand out of the brush, and the long ricasso gives a nice secondary grip for more controlled work...the traditional handles and scabbards are great, too. The blades tend to be thick enough to damp vibration better than most machetes; even a small one chops well above it's weight.

    As a knifemaker, I've mainly used my own versions, but I tested out quite a few different sizes and blade weights (up to 14" long - 1/4" thick) before I settled on the particularly small, light one I use now. I recently handled a Condor mini duku and was surprised how large it was, but I'm a fairly small guy; it seemed like an excellent choice otherwise. I've heard good things about Bidors, as well.

    My current fave...it has a rather unusual steel socket handle, which I like for toughness and the ability to mount extension handles for power chopping. The scabbard is PVC, but has most of the same features as the trad models. Plastic scabbards seem to be popular with the native users, too.

    parang.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  10. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    Not a parang, but,I have to deal with a lot of Mt. laurel, and like my Condor Warlock. I burn wood for heat most of the winter, and also find it's great for processing material down to a smaller size for starting fires as well. It's beefy enough to baton with.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  11. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Y'all are talking parangs because I just ordered a golok, aren't you? ;)

    Looking at pics of both they do seem to have some models that resemble the other.
     
  12. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    Here are the specs of the MY PARANG DUKU CHANDONG HD (HEAVY DESIGN).......
    • Overall Length 18.75 in.
    • Blade Length 12.00 in.
    • Blade Thickness 0.22 in.
    • Blade Material 5160
    • Blade Edge Plain
    • Blade Style Sheepsfoot
    • Blade Finish Hand Forged
    • Handle Length 6.75 in.
    • Handle Thickness 1.12 in.
    • Handle Material Beech Wood
    • Weight 19.0 oz.
    • Sheath Nylon
    BTW, The cheapest price I've seen is here where I bought mine years ago:

    https://www.knifeworks.com/shop-all-brands/my-parang.html

    Dominick..........
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  13. tobiism

    tobiism Supporter Supporter

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    mine is the thinner 5160 10" my parang model. here it is with the sheath i made for it. and i totally agree about the lanyard hole
    20180616_142353.jpg
     
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  14. 62flint

    62flint Scout

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    Length and weight play a big role, so it depends on what your purpose is. The heavyweights for serious chopping are the Bark River Senegal and Tops El Chete. Bark River's Dakkar is shorter and lighter, but still a serious chopper. Kabar's Parangatang has 14" of 1095 crovan while being lighter than the heavyweights, so definitely on my radar.

    I bought the 18" CRKT machete thinking its thicker, longer blade would be what I wanted. I've since decided its too sword like, too long, too pointy, too heavy for my purpose so will be shortened back to 14" or so. The rubber handle may require a glove to prevent blisters, so that may go as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  15. Calafia666

    Calafia666 Guide

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    I have pretty much the same blade as @DomC

    I love the Parang design and it is one of my favorite choppers. Great for fruit and melons in the kitchen as well. 5160 and the way a handle should be designed.
    DBA5F12C-10F8-42BB-8153-AFDC7AB809F5.jpeg 7BCA033B-5860-44D9-91DA-E4EF3BDCDE8F.jpeg 7283684E-3ADF-4886-A33D-1E70F270AE43.jpeg
    BFF9B19C-9DE9-4C30-8A69-C8CDBEEB9A62.jpeg
     
  16. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    This is the one my son Nick owns.....it's a definite chopper to investigate if you're lookin' for a U.S. Made chopper.....;):dblthumb:
    Dominick.........
     
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  17. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great, great responses! Exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks!
     
  18. rustystove2017

    rustystove2017 Supporter Supporter

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    Have had a Condor Parang for a couple years- the wood handle cracked and failed at the first pin so I rehandled with some very heavy duty High Voltage heat shrink tubing. It is a bit heavy but a very good chopper. Will try to find some pics later.
     
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  19. hillst1

    hillst1 Supporter Supporter

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    I have a Condor Bushcraft Parang and a Mini Duku Parang. Both are excellent choppers.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  20. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Never used one or even seen one in person but I love the design. Been tempted by the My Parang several times when I've seen them available.
     
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  21. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

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    I love the looks of the handle. it seems like it would work really well with my grip/stroke, but can someone explain why/if the blade shape is better for what it is used for than a straight bladed machete, or even a recurve like a Kukri?

    also the point. is there a function associated with this drop or clip point?..
     
  22. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    ditto :)
     
  23. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    I very recently pulled the trigger on the 10" Duku Chandong from My Parang. I had spent some time looking and comparing etc. and had whittled my choices down to the last few. These were a Condor mini duku, a condor village parang, the condor eco parang and the Duku Chandong Bidor parang(s). There were a number of things that decided me to go for the one made in Malasyia and the 10" blade rather than the 12+" and I will try to explain them here.
    1) Partially for authenticity, a parang is a Malaysian tool after all!! As part of that, the fact that the Duku Chandong has a rat tail tang. From what I have seen on You Tube it would be far easier to fix or even replace a handle in the wild, than with a full tang! ETA The Bidor parang does also have a pin through the handle and tang hidden under the brass collar, so not quite a pure rat tail.
    2) Size does matter, especially depending upon your expected uses of the tool. If you are going for a grass cutter or thorny briar type stuff then longer seems to be better at keeping your hands out of harms way and saving the back from being so bent over. But if you want it as a woods chopper then shorter is more manageable and less tiring to swing. There is also the portability point, shorter is more packable if you carry in your pack and not quite so restrictive to movement if you have it on your belt. Hence me choosing the 10" blade over the 12" (or above).
    3) Weight. This is one of the main reasons the Condor village parang dropped from my list. It is very chunky and heavy especially with the thick leather sheath. Yes it is a meaty chopper and if you are only going to use it a few minutes at a time, then it may stay on your list, but for me it felt heavy and almost cumbersome YMMV. Another reason for the shorter blade choice I made.
    4) Steel. The Condor parangs use 1075 and the Bidor ones use 5160. Now I am not a metallurgist or expert on knife steels so I may be talking out of my posterior here, but I *feel* that a spring steel for this type of blade is going to perform better than a more normal knife steel. Also the Bidor blades are advertised as being differentially hardened and again I *feel* that that gives them the "edge" (pun intended) over the Condor ones. I know that there are a lot of people who have nothing but good to say about the Condor blades on both parangs and other knives they make, I am just expressing my gut feelings here and am not intending to denigrate the Condor offerings in any way.
    5) Handle material. Straight up I prefer wood over plastic. Hence my two finalists were the mini duku from Condor and the Bidor My Parang, so I dropped out the Condor Eco parang (and/or the Condor Bushcraft parang).

    I would also suggest you watch some You Tube videos about parangs, their use, care, repair and differences. There are two channels (a little outside of the normal unboxing/backyard test) that I would point you at for starters. The first is a guy who goes under the handle Junglecrafty and one of his videos is about different types/sizes of parangs (see it here … ), he has a lot of videos about use, repair and care/sheathing of parangs and I found a lot of his stuff illuminating. The second guy goes under the handle MSL Bushcraft & survival and he has a particularly interesting video about how to re-handle a blade in the field (but some other interesting stuff too), See it here …

    Hope you find something useful from my ramblings (if only the you tube links LOL).

    OJ
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  24. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    Certainly against a straight blade, the parang shape means the blade always hits well before the knuckles!! Perhaps not so much against the Kukri :eek:
     
  25. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Man, now I want one too!
     
  26. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    i've been going between the condor mini duku and my parang 10" as well and could never decide. so my friend i think you just convinced me to go with the my parang!!

    where did you get yours from?
     
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  27. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    Mine came from knifecenter see it here … https://www.knifecenter.com/item/MY...e-carbon-steel-blade-wood-handle-nylon-sheath

    Will say a couple of extra bits. The sheath you get is nothing spectacular, but is serviceable and light. I may well look into creating my own in the future if this one gets too damaged. Specially like the idea of a wooden one like I saw made on one of the vids, but plastic may do just as well.

    I would also add that it does not come "shaving sharp", but certainly has a good enough edge for wood processing type tasks. I am probably going to sharpen a section closer to the handle with a scandi type edge for finer work. Also the back is fairly comfortable to hold and use as a draw knife, but the squarish back is not quite "sharp" and I may just sharpen up a section of the spine (again, more towards the handle end) for use as a wood & bark scraper/ferro rod striker. There have been a couple of recent posts well worth checking out about sharpening various long blades to give you several different edges to extend/expand the utility options of the big blades. I believe one of the main contributors was @Pict who has a video about modding/sharpening in this way.

    Hope this helps. OJ
     
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  28. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    thanks! i've seen @Pict videos on his mods to the Tramotina and actually picked one up and did his mods to it. lots of fun now looking for something heavier duty for batoning, splitting and other fun :)
     
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  29. JD Miller

    JD Miller Scout

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    Ka Bar parang ...........................I want to get a Bidor Parang next
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  30. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    This thread has made me quite sure that I'm getting a parang.
    I'm leaning hard towards the MY Parang Golok 125.
     
  31. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  32. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    Besides keeping the user's knuckles up and away from the work, the backwards tilt also produces an almost automatic draw/slashing cut. I like the drop point for the continuous curve it gives the blade, but not all Malaysian parangs have this style of point, either...there are some with points more like a bolo (as in the pic just above) or a golok.
     
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  33. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    I gots khukuris, I gots Beckers, I gots parangs, I gots TOPS, I gots other big whackers.
    What I don't gots is a good way to carry 'em.

    Has to be baldric, has to be a solid sheath.
    Those systems are not easy to find.
    Denis
     
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  34. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    Don't EVER post that Golok picture again!!!!!!!
    I'm having a hard enough time resisting one....
    Denis
     
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  35. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Here is a Parang I got quite a few years ago from David Farmer. 1/8 1095 and Brazilian ebony. I’ve used it quite a bit to clear trails and its light weight causes little fatigue. it is so sharp and thin that it slices through branches and such with ease.
    33A333F2-3C03-4293-90F1-0BBCC5DAD61E.jpeg
     
  36. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    That's a beauty. I'll take it!
     
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  37. DPris

    DPris Guide

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    I like the Condor parang handles, but prefer the My Parang steel.
    Now, if anybody could arrange a romantic meeting between the two, alone on a tropical island weekend getaway, maybe with a couple bottles of wine...….
    I'd definitely buy the first offspring. :)
    Denis
     
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  38. Rod tak

    Rod tak Tinder Gatherer

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    I got a condor village parang a few years ago, I fell in love with the parang pattern. The ergos, like others have said the swept back handle keeps your hand out of the way. The condor is really solid, great chopper. I did grind down the handle quite a bit, it was so thick and round it tended to spin in your hand. Now it's great, the swell at the end really locks you in. I am digging the looks of the my parang, I'm just not sure how they attach the handle, I'm guessing burned and epoxied. The condor is pinned.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  39. tobiism

    tobiism Supporter Supporter

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    the "my parangs" have a pin through the tang under the copper ring.
     
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  40. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  41. Gruntinhusaybah

    Gruntinhusaybah Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    Oh man, I’ve admired parangs for a long time. There’s definitely something magical about blades that are built to be used all day every day.

    I ordered one from Sepuh Crafts awhile back but apparently it was stopped by customs going OUT of Malaysia, which was weird. Anyway, long story short I didn’t get one and still don’t have one. I’m tempted to make one, but I need to feel a real one first.
     
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  42. tobiism

    tobiism Supporter Supporter

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    want to borrow mine? i can send over the 10 and 12"
     
  43. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm torn. Half of me is ready to pull the trigger on the My Parang Golok 125, and the other half wants to mod a 14" Tramontina machete into a PLA (Parang Like Animal).
    It's that darn recurve section of the My Parang that's giving me pause. Not a fan of recurve blades.
     
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  44. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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    You could compromise and ... do both... :)
     
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  45. Meshach

    Meshach Tracker

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    Yes![​IMG]
     
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  46. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock T's Custom Outdoor Gear Vendor Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Getcha a lawnmower blade and an angle grinder and do a DIY version to see what you like?

    Some things I thought I'd love I ended up hating and some things I thought I'd hate I ended up loving.
     
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  47. stewey1

    stewey1 Supporter Supporter

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    forums/index.php?threads/stewarts-bushcraft-and-outdoors-thread.6788/

    Have a look through this thread, I talk a bit about my parang, love the pattern but be warned my friend they are a slippery slope.
     
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  48. Gruntinhusaybah

    Gruntinhusaybah Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    Dude! That'd be killer!

    So don't get the golok version, get the OG version!
     
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  49. stillscout

    stillscout Supporter Supporter

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    I picked up Parang combo  Gladius 002.jpg a Condor Bushcraft Parang some years ago and it has become my go to for a big blade when i'm out overnight or longer. The tang is full scale and the handle (polypropylene) is indestructible, just don't throw it in the fire :45: Blade sharpens up razorly and holds it nicely! Sheath supplied by Condor is a piece of junk, in my opinion and a good many other's. Baton's like a champ and chops just as well. No short comings found in this blade for me. I recently piggy backed my first Esse to it. Sheaths are from Al Welke.
     
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  50. tobiism

    tobiism Supporter Supporter

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    best kydex sheaths on the market!
     
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