Common Malaysian Parangs

Common  Malaysian Parangs

other bidor parangs 1Parangs and Goloks have been in our culture for ages, so it’s not surprising to have many skilled parang and golok makers in Malaysia. It is a thriving cottage industry and I must say there are some really good craftsmen out there. Each of the different states in Malaysia will have at least a dozen makers, from part time hobbyist to full time craftsmen.

Some makers only concentrate on making the blades, while some specialize in making wooden sheaths and handles only. Most do both, as it is a convenience to their customers. Some people do buy and create in stages, ie they may commission a parang or keris blade this year, and when they have some excess funds, they will then make the sheath and handle. The price of custom parangs vary widely, from rm 50.00 for a rough and bare one to rm 500.00 and above for more exotic ones using special steel and fancier wood.

While these craftsmen are many , so are blacksmiths who make agricultural tools. A lot if not all the tools used in palm and rubber plantations are sourced locally . They are much cheaper and easier to access. These blacksmiths who make agricultural tools vary in size, some are smaller backyard ones, while some are factories on their own , and can churn out hundreds of pieces every week.

Common Malaysian parangs which you can find are of different brands like A1, Cap Mata ( eye brand ) , 201  and Sam Lee. There are more, and I will add them in once I have found them. Most of them are similar to the Bidor made ones, but one stands out quite a bit.

If you look closely at the one made by Sam Lee, it looks like it has been made in a factory. Like super mass produced. The blade is stamped off a large sheet of metal , as you can see the sheer marks on the side of the blade.

sam lee parang spineYou can also see the edge grinding is probably made by a machine as the grinding marks are very evenly spaced and even. They even have a micro bevel at the edge.

sam lee parang 2It would be nice to check their factory out one day, but I will need to do some research as the parangs they make do not come with any address or contact no.

More parangs to come, so stay tuned!

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2 thoughts on “Common Malaysian Parangs”

  1. I have a golok style parang I bought many years ago. It is 11.5″ long and has a plastic handle and a rat tail tang with a screw at the end to screw in the handle! The blade has “ELFF” stamped on it and no other symbols. It feels so-so when using, I think the balance is a bit off when chopping.

  2. Hi E, Thank you for the info. I’ve not seen the brand you mentioned before , but will keep looking. I was in Melaka recently and picked up some new brands . Will keep them for another article soon. I am also looking for those bolted at the Pommel types that you mentioned, as they are not that common . Keen to dissect one and see how it looks on the inside.

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