The first thing that came to my mind when I was working with this machete is how awesome and solid the blade is! Functional, sharp and fit for delivering heavy damage. But let’s go through a more in-depth inspection, in this Kabar Parangatang review.
I tried it out for a little while, had some fun with it. But now it’s time to get serious! In this review post, I want to point every detail and minutia, every pro and con. I am going to give you my opinion, then I will run through features and specs. As with every product, it is good to get as much input as possible, so I will share what the blade community thinks about the Kabar Parangatang. That will be our user reviews section.
I won’t spare negative criticism, even though I like Kabar products and have a positive bias. They make awesome survival knives, tools, outdoor gear, and tactical gadgets. If you ever bought any of their wares, then you know they are top quality. Let’s kick off our Kabar Parangatang review.
This list describes what our machete has to offer. If you are passionate about survival knives, then a short glance through will tell you everything you need to know. Being familiar with Kabar, I can tell you right away that Kabar doesn’t stray too far away from their standards. Generally speaking, they use the same type of steel, materials, sharpening technique:
- General: Fixed blade, sharp and battle-ready.
- Material Blade: 1095 Cro-Van steel
- Material Handle: Textured Brown Glass-Filled Nylon (GFN PA-66)
- Material Sheath: Cordura
- Color & Finish: Black Mat / Brown
- Blade & Edge: Flat-grind, 20-degree angle
- Steel Hardness: 56-58 (Rockwell HRC)
- Material Pommel: 12GA Commercial Grd Carbon Steel
- Length Overall: 19.6″ (49.8 cm)
- Length Blade: 14.1″ (35.9 cm)
- Length Handle: 5.5″ (13.9 cm)
- Thickness Blade: 0.188″ (47.7 mm)
- Weight: 1.3 lbs (590 gr)
Kabar Parangatang Review
The edge retention to this blade is amazing and I love the way that it instantly stands out with its unique look and feel.
We know how good the 1095 Cro-Van steel is – Kabar uses it for most of its products. This steel is just as hard as 1095 carbon-steel, but it is much tougher. It doesn’t easily chip or crack.
The Parangatang is one of the longer machetes out there, but that doesn’t make it a burden to carry. At the spine, the thickness is just under 5 mm (slightly less than a kukri). But the Kabar Parangatang is just as effective at chopping. The long, evenly shaped blade has a deep slicing belly – it carries enough moment to perform a good chop.
However, the sheath is where the trouble begins. We will get to that later! What I do like about the sheath is the simple, straight-forward design (kind like a rectangle). It allows for a fast, easy fast draw, no extra headache. I just wish the coloring was more in tune with the machete itself. My favorites are black leather / synthetic sheaths. Of course, personal preference is just a matter of taste.
Blade and Steel
At first, I thought the blade was carbon-steel. After reading the specs, I realized it was Cro-Van, a better, more expensive material. I can’t say I am not happy about that.
This alloy contains extra ingredients (chromium, vanadium, sulfur), compared to plain carbon-steel 1095. These impurities improve the molecular structure of normal carbon-steel. They heal the weak crack-lines within the material, along which the blade might chip and break.
Most people mistake Cro-Van with the alloy they used in the late eighties. Back then it was called “Carbon V”. You can still buy carbon-v knives; they are still going strong even after about 20 years.
Toughness, Resistance, Durability
Durability and shock resistance are the most important physical properties in a machete. If an item catches my eye, the next thing I do is material research. What kind of steel is it made of? How thick is the blade? It is tempered?
Cro-Van 1095 is decently strong and very hard. If you take good care of your machete, then it will last you years. And luckily, since it is high-carbon, you will not need to re-sharpen it often.
Kabar Parangatang has good edge-holding and it is tough! You can use it for gardening, path-clearing, cutting, chomping, and for most backyard chores. Most people did say this tool is very tough!
Keep in mind that despite how strong a steel blade is, there is always a possibility that it may chip. So, don’t take your machete over the edge – don’t chop wood on the pavement, don’t hit rocks, don’t try to break thick chains or cut copper pipes! Just be respectful to your tools.
Handling and Grip
The next thing I want to talk about is how comfortable the grip is. When you hold this machete, it feels amazing – as if you have full control over the movement of the knife. It feels secure and you can use it very effectively. I felt confident about the grip.
You can feel how relaxing the trigger is, and it is very comfy to hold. The handle is made of GFN (glass fiber nylon) – a very resilient polymer. They add glass fibers to plain nylon to increase its strength, stiffness, heat and temperature tolerance, abrasion resistance and dimensional stability.
This machete is a functional tool, well-suited for heavy backyard & household work. It is a blade you can take personal pride in. A great investment for not a lot of money. My friend has it, and he called me in for a surprise since he knew I am passionate about this stuff.
Most important things in buying machetes are being satisfied with your purchase months afterward. Then you know you made a good deal! I am writing my Kabar Parangatang review with my friend’s machete in mind. It suffered a good amount of weekly use, so I thought it would be a good time to review it.
Handling is amazing. It feels natural holding this parang. I also like the geometry and design.
Use and Application
The Kabar Parangatang is a powerful, high-end cleaver. Even though it is technically a machete for outdoors, you can use it for a wide range of activities: in agricultural work, in a butcher’s shop, in your garage or home. You can use it in the kitchen for chopping meat and bone. Practical for beginner chefs, but just as helpful to experienced cooks. This large knife can be used by stay-at-home parents, chefs, craftsmen, and outdoor survivalists.
I had a lasting good impression when I was testing it on plastics and wood. I tried to cut rope, copper cables, grape vines, and tree branches… I didn’t dare test it beyond that point, against harder and larger objects, otherwise, my friend would have tested it on me!
There was a satisfying sound, as I was diagonally slicing a hollow plastic tube: I can still hear it… flick, flick, flick. Plastic didn’t stand a chance, I could almost feather the tube into an arrow-head.
User Opinions and Reviews
Overwhelmingly positive reviews from users, taken from a large sample pool. Many people love this machete. The consensus is that it has a balanced weight, sharp & beefy blade, nice design.
Despite its long and thick blade, it doesn’t weight too much. Chopping tools need a bit of extra weight. Parangatang is just in the sweet spot – heavy enough to chop but not to wear you down.
Sharpness always seems to be a target for critique. But not this time, surprisingly enough. Steel hardness is most likely the reason why. Cro-Van 1095 is high-carbon, which means it preserves the edge against grinding and dulling.
Edge geometry is a 20-degree flat-grind, but a few took it a step further. They over-sharpened their blades to give them that razor-sharp edge.
The Kabar Parangatang has a very affordable price, and it provides a lot of value. These are the kinds of products that I like: cheap and of good quality! Because I am not the type of person that will go nuts on spending a lot of money. But also, at the same time, I want to get the best one that I can afford. Check out the latest price on Amazon, for this product.
I love browsing for katanas, machetes, and swords, believe me. I could go to the local mall or online and search for the best product. Now don’t get me wrong the Kabar Parangatang is definitely not the best on the market, however, if you want a good machete for the money, this one will do the job.
Here is a cool thing you can do: replace the handle scales with those from the Kabar ZK series (scales are compatible between these products). Zombie Killer Swabbie has that neon / toxic green handle, and you might want to put it on your new Parangatang – these handle scales should be compatible, but I did see users complain about this. Apparently, they don’t always match up – it seems there is no perfect product!
Check out these Amazon reviews to see which feature was best received by the customers in the machete market.
To end this Kabar Parangatang review with a firm conclusion: This machete will not disappoint. You will have a rewarding experience working with the blade. Kabar created an affordable and amazing tool. I love it and I was hard-pressed to find something I really disliked about it.
Remember to keep it clean, sharpen it if you need to, and it will serve you faithfully. I hope this article was helpful and that you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoy writing. Feel free to like, share or leave a comment below!