Pros: Blade Material, Materials, Handle Material, Sheath/Scabbard
A diamond in the rough
I have used this to cut climbing vines (poison ivy, wild grape, bittersweet) and wild rose shrubs, to clear or widen paths, and do a little chopping. Fit and finish of the handle is excellent. The handle scales are approximately circular in cross section. I don't know what the wood is, but it is simply beautiful after three coats of boiled linseed oil, and needs no sanding. It's not stained, either; it's the same dark color through and through. If you want to rasp off a flat spot for your thumb, or make a plam swell, there's plenty of wood to work with and it won't require staining afterwards. The full tang means you never have to worry about the blade flying off the handle after a bad swing or glancing blow. That's important to me. The sheath is built better, and made of better leather, than some boots I've owned. The point of balance, if you rest the parang on its side on your finger, is two or two and a half inches in front of the handle. The edge is shipped somewhat sharp but you will need a bench stone or Lansky puck anyway, to get the profile you want and then to maintain it. There's plenty of knife here for you to hone and shape and get it exactly the way you want it. Some reviewers of Condor machetes complain about irregular grinding, etc. I own several Condors and I would remind them that there's a difference between an imperfection and a flaw. The Village Parang is not perfect--and the price tag reflects that. I don't want to pay for perfection! But it has no real flaws. It's built solidly, I like the way it looks, and it takes a seriously sharp edge. That and the low price makes it a gem in my opinion. I think of my Village Parang as sort of a work in progress. I've had fun putting my own mark on it, and it is serving me well. I expect to use it for a long time. If you can appreciate this knife for what it is, and put a little work into it, you will find it to be a fine tool and an outstanding value. If I had known about Condor machetes a year ago, I might not have bought that brush blade for my gas-powered string trimmer.