Fake Bidor parangs
Yes, they are out there , beware. Some say imitation is another form of flattery , but unless you know it is a fake, you can be easily be cheated when buying a parang. Fake Bidor parangs should be avoidedas they may be made of inferior quality steel, I’ve even heard of some using rebar ( construction steel ) and their heat treatment may be of suspect as well. If you buy a fake Bidor Parang, you may end up with a piece of useless metal.
When I first went to the Bidor Blacksmith many years back, Ah Pin mentioned to me that there are many fake Bidor parangs out there. Initially I thought not much out of it, until recently when I went around looking for various types of Parangs sold here in Malaysia. Whenever I had the time, I would drop by a hardware shop and get whatever parang brands I could find. And much to my surprise , many have the word or name “BIDOR” stamped or stuck on them , despite not being made in Bidor.
As far as I know, there are two parang blacksmiths in Bidor, and they are just about 100 meters from each other. One is Chop Kwong Yuan Loong and the other newer one is Mak Heng Seng . There may be a few other small traditional makers around, but I have not seen them. Chop Kwong Yuan Loong is the authentic Bidor parang maker and they have been featured in the Tactical Knifes Magazine ( July 2012 issue ) , as you can see in the picture above. Outdoor Dynamics Sdn Bhd gets their parangs from Chop Kwong Yuan Loong . Outdoor Dynamics also supplies parangs to Machetespecialist.com , so yes, they do sell authentic parangs from Bidor. As for the other Blacksmith in Bidor, we did attempt to meet them some time back, but they were cold and uncooperative. Authentic Bidor Parang Stamps – The Crossed swords and BIDOR are their trademark. The Crossed Swords and BIDOR MALAYSIA are these made specially for Outdoor Dynamics.
Bidor is a town in Perak, Malaysia , so if the parangs are not made there , it would be wrong to put the name “Bidor” on it. Imagine a knife with the word “Seki City” but made in Iwata Japan. That would be misleading and not right. Some red flags that these are fake Bidor Parangs are: Stamped BIDOR , but the factory address is in another state , has the Bidor Stamp, but use a different Logo , ie instead of the crossed swords, they have the picture of a Bear or 3 stars. One even copied the sticker but had a different address ( in another state of course ) and another just stamped “BIDOR” without the crossed swords.
Below are some pictures of the fake Bidor parangs. I am not sure of the quality , but if they need to copy someone else, then that from the start is not good.
So if you are looking for authentic Bidor Parangs, keep and eye for the red flags. In my opinion, a brandless parang is better then a fake Bidor parang. To be sure, buy your parangs from a reputable dealer.