Ray Mears Parang

Ray Mears Parang

ray mears parang

So we’ve read and heard so much of the Ray Mears parang , which is actually a parang he used in one of his shows . A clear picture of ” The Ray Mears Parang  ” in Mr Mears hand is in the video grab below. Actualy,  Mr Mears did not create any parang or sells any parang with his name on it. So why did the name ” the Ray Mears Parang ” come about? RayMearsparang 2When Mr Mears was making the episode in Borneo, he , as expected of anyone who knows what he is doing, would choose the tools of the local people. Say, if you go to the South America, you would use a machete , if you were to go to Nepal, you would use a Khukri , if you came to Malaysia, you would use a Parang. It is as simple as that.

So how did the name “Ray Mears Parang ” came about? Sometimes we see things we don’t know what they are, or what it is called and we give it  a name which is easy to connect and understand. Say maybe some people have no idea what a Khukri is, but when you mention – the knife the Gurkhas use , then Aha! It means something now.

Besides that, some people also also have generic names for certain items , like in Malaysia, Milo is the common name for chocolate drinks. Any chocolate drink will be called Milo. Just like baby diapers, it’s called Pampers, which is actually a brand. Some people call all big knives and choppers a Machete. This is actually wrong as a Bolo , enep , khukri or parang is not  a machete by far. I hope you get what I mean.

Anyway, back to the Ray Mears Parang, well, if that is what some people like to call it, then so be it. For those who prefer to use the correct terminology, the Ray Mears parang is actually a Duku Chandong . Duku actually means parang in the Iban language, so it basically means Chandong parang. There is no specific shape for the Duku Chandong, as it is a very common knife in Borneo ( also known as Sabah and Sarawak ) , but there are a few distinct points as I will try and explain.

One is the blade angle. As you can see , the Duku Chandong has an up swept blade. If you are holding the handle of the parang horizontally, you will see that the tip of the parang points upwards. Again in some duku chandongs, the sweep may vary . Some have a slight and unnoticeable sweep, while for some, it is more prominent.

Another distinct difference with other parangs is that the Duku Chandong has a sheep’s foot blade tip. It is not pointed as some other traditional parangs and goloks, but has a very strong and robust sheep’s foot. The tip needs to be strong and hardy as it is used quite often to split and flatten bamboo, for prying and digging into wood ( looking for nibong grubs ) .

As you can see from the photos below, all these parangs are variations of the duku chandong or also known as the Ray Mears Parang. Enjoy they photos and we’re glad that you now know the actual name of the Ray Mears Parang. Actually, because of Mr Mears, the Duku Chandong now has gotten worldwide recognition . The blade shape now gets copied by many big knife manufacturers like Condor , and even the local parang sellers have hopped on the bandwagon , using the “ray mears” parang name as a leverage to market their parangs. Whatever it is called, or made, a duku chandong will always be a duku chandong!


My personal parang collection #6 – Kota Belud Parang

Kota Belud Parang

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere are two parangs that I bough from Kota Belud, Sabah. Kota Belud is a township very famous for it’s Tamu or weekend market. Kota Belud also is well known for their Bajau or sea Gypsies. Traditionally they are very skillful parang and knife makers, and the kota belud parangs are well known throughout Malaysia as being great parangs .

As you can see form the above photo, the parang they make have a very distinct shape, with a sheep’s foot tip. They make various sizes and weights, from those suitable for general work around the house to more dedicated choppers ( for trees and bones )  . Material used is the good ol recycled leaf spring or also known as 5160 steel . OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother signature mark is their carves sheaths, just like above . Some are simple , like the close up below, but some kota belud parangs have very intricate sheath carvings. There is also an annual Kota Belud parang competition, where you can see dazzling displays of very very well made kota belud parangs. Most of the parangs use exotic wood like Serian, Kemuning Hitam, Kayu Malam and others. The carvings on the sheath and finishing are top notch.


The Below pictures shows the kota belud parangs without their sheath, as you can cee the one on the right  has much more weight to it and is suitable for chopping bones and trees. The one on the right is a much slimmer version with less weight and is suitable for clearing small shrubs. I have used both, but I prefer the smaller kota belud parang on my outdoor trips. It packs down much smaller and is lighter to carry around. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABesides the Chandong parang shape as the ones in this post, the other typical blade shapes in Kota Belud is the Barong . Unfortunately, I do not have any with me at the moment, and will look at getting some in the future.