Parang is the Malay equivalent of the machete. The different of Parang with its well known sibling =machete is its distinct curve and shape. The purpose of the curve is to reduce vibration produce from tranfer of energy from cutting process and to achieve optimun weight. The lenght of parang is between 20-22 inches, more than that it would be called as parang panjang (long parang). Other form of Malay weapon that identical with parang is Golok.
Typical tropical rainforest vegetation in Malaysia is more woody than in other part of te world and the parang is therefore optimized for a stronger chopping action with a heavier blade and a "sweet spot" further forward of the handle, the blade is also beveled more obtusely to prevent it from binding in the cut. This is the same rationale and (in practical terms) the same design as the Indonesian golok and very similar to the Filipino bolo.
A parang blade is usually 30 centimetres (12 in) long and has a mass of no more than 0.75 kilograms (1.7 lb). The curved blade enables maximum effort to be applied when cutting timber, and the blade arrives before the knuckles, so giving them protection.
A parang has three different edges,
I-The front is very sharp and used for skinning,
II-The middle is wider and used for chopping
III- and the back end (near the handle) is very fine and used for carving.
Like the machete, the parang is frequently used in the jungle as well as being a tool for making housing, furniture, and survival tools.
The Difference Between Parang & Golok
In my village the difference between Parang and Golok can be easily sum up in term of it usability, parang is commonly used for harder work of chopping while Golok is for more delicate work even put as decoration item.
The difference of Golok and Parang can be differentiated through 3 aspects or easier by mentioning the more disticnt aspect of golok :
Lenght- Golok should not have lenght more than 17 inches, more than that it would be called parang or what my village folk call it as golok panjang (long golok). However, even golok panjang should not longer than 24 inches.
Shape - Golok must have uniques shapes of peak on its blade's top before curved to pointing end
Use - Because of its length and shape golok normaly use for slaughtering animal or use of less demanding than parang, moreover for golok specifically use for slaughtering animal the blade should always in sharpest condition
Various type of Golok, the first, third and the fifth from above are my choice for outdoor use for its shape, wider and heavier sweet point and at suitable lenght. Of the three, the fifth golok is the best one and my choice.
Golok are type of weapon & ingineous tool use and crafted by people of east coast of Malaysia Peninsular. Shown here are various type of Golok from shortest length of 11 inches to 17 inches long . The blade could be slim but sharp and pointy for slaughtering and delicate use or wide, heavy and less poitny for heavy duty use as the slim point end could easily break in heavy use. Golok has distinct shape of little curvy at it sweetest spot " heavier section of it blade". Each shape and type would serve different purpose and for its special use. The shortest golok normally use to skinning animal, light and curvy for slaughtering animal, while the longest and heavier could be use for rough work and suitable utility tool for camping and jungle trekking.
golok with 3 different length
What is the best Parang for outdoor activity or survival tools? for me it should not have a sharp pointed end blade like golok.. why? it is for safety purpose. The main purpose of having pointed sharp end is for skinning animal, but for outdoor activity the main purpose is for chopping and cutting heavy trunk and light thorny palm leaves or rattan in making your way through abandoned trail. Even not having sharp pointed end as golok this Parang of Kota Belud Sabah is the most suitable outdoor parang for mountaineering and outdoor activity. Its blade feel stable and balance, its slight heavy sweet spot and sharp too, made cutting so easy. Just choose for a small size so it will not be too heavy to carry on your backpack or just hang it beside your waist