|Parang - front side|
|Parang - back side|
I'm not someone in the financial position to torture test a tool to failure. Besides, it is not in my nature to abuse my tools. I thought, however, that a performance test was in order. I decided to compare the Parang to other chopping tools: a Gerber camp axe (essentially a hatchet), a Kukri, and Cold Steel's Kukri machete. (See below).
|Cold Steel's Kukri Machete|
|Kukri and Gerber camp axe|
|My test subject - a stand of poplar|
The Camp Axe/Hatchet
|Axe - the wood after being chopped down|
|Cutting the wood on a stump|
On the stump, it took 4 chops to cut through the wood. However, it measured as 1 inch in diameter at that point. I subsequently tried a different piece, which was about 1.5 inches in diameter, and it took 5 whacks to chop through it.
|Kukri -- after chopped down|
|Kukri--chopping through the wood on a stump|
Cold Steel Kukri Machete
|Cold Steel Kukri machete -- after chopping down the shoot|
|Cold Steel Kukri machete -- chopping on the block|
The Gerber Bear Grylls Parang
|Parang -- after chopping down shoot|
|Parang -- after cutting the wood to a shorter length|
I must confess that I was surprised by the results. I already knew from prior use that the traditional Kukri was not as good of a chopper as other tools. I thought that the machete would be less effective than the axe, but seemed to work better for chopping down the free-standing shoots. I expected that the axe would have difficulty with chopping down the flexible shoots, but thought it would perform better than it did. I expected the Parang to perform about the same as the machete, but it actually worked much better and, overall, was the best of the tools on this particular test.
|Traditional Hatchet and SOG Tomahawk|
In my initial test, I was actually surprised and disappointed with the performance of my Gerber camp ax--essentially a lightweight hatchet. One of the distinctive characteristics of the Gerber axe is that the cutting edge is straight. I wondered if a typical hatchet, with a slight curvature to the blade, would work any better. Putting it to the test, it did indeed work better. Cutting a branch, this time, it took some 11 strikes to chop through an approximately 2-inch thick branch. For the test of chopping wood on the block, I used a segment from my earlier tests that was about 1.5 inches in diameter. It took 3 chops to cut through.
I borrowed the Tomahawk, just to see how it might compare since it has a shorter blade than the Gerber ax, but a longer handle. It made short work of taking a 1.5 inch diameter branch off of a poplar stand: 8 whacks. However, it took 15 chops to cut through the wood segment (again using one from my earlier tests) when placed on the block. Thinking that there was something wrong, I tried another section of the wood, which this time took 11 chops to get through. So, still somewhat surprising of a result since none of the other tools took more chops to get through the wood on a block than when chopping it down in the first instance. I can only surmise that the branch cut off the stand of poplar was softer than the wood used in the block test.