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Hatchet, machete or parang?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Sale, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Sale

    Sale Member

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    I was searching for a good hatchet that would fit my needs (chopping and carving) when I started thinking that maybe a hatchet is not the best choice for me. There are other tools, like a machete or a parang, that may be a better option.

    So, here is my question: when would you choose a hatchet over a parang or a machete? When a machete over a parang or a hatchet? When a parang over a hatchet or a machete?
     
  2. ged

    ged Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I have several examples of all three types of tool, and they're all different. Some of the machetes are more different from each other than they are from some of the parangs.

    I wouldn't try to carve with a machete. I wouldn't try to clear brush with a hatchet. I've seen parangs which would open the post reasonably well, but I wouldn't try to do it with one of mine.
     
  3. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    Id choose a hatchet for the uk for general use. Machete when you need to clear brush/brambles etc, and i'd leave the parang alone, its not a tool that has ever been developed in this country, with good reason, its not very suitable for what we do or have ever done. We developed the billhook.

    So Axe and billhook for me in the UK.

    Depends where you go and what you do, if you have fires and carve, axe all the way. If you find yourself in a rainforest then machete or parang.
     
  4. Johnnyboy1971

    Johnnyboy1971 Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    As stated above. Three totally different tools and each one has its own application.
    I would think about where, when and what you want the tool to do then make your decision from there.

    I have axes and a machette and vary rarely do i use the machette for anything other than clearing the brambles at the rear of my garden. The axes on the other hand get used often.
     
  5. Perrari

    Perrari Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Machettes & parangs are for jungles or clearing brambles & shrubs etc. Hatchet is better for chopping & splitting wood. So for your needs of chopping and carving then a hatchet would be your best bet.
     
  6. Buckshot

    Buckshot Mod
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    Billhook all the way for the UK
    Far less theatening too for Joe public when they come walking through the woods where they shouldn't be!
     
  7. Sale

    Sale Member

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    Is "Joe public" a cockney thing, like "trouble and strife"? What does it mean?

    Never saw a billhook, in Italy we use axes or something that looks like a machete (and other tools, but I ignore their English name - if they have one).

    So, it seems like in the UK axes are the way to go, and I guess the same goes for Denmark and the scandinavian countries...
     
  8. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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  9. Sale

    Sale Member

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    Ahah, no, never tried. Frozen wood is something very rare in Tuscany!
    But I'm looking forward to my first real winter here in Denmark.
     
  10. HillBill

    HillBill Bushcrafter through and through

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    Well good luck with it then mate. Enjoy it for what it is. :)

    Oh, and be careful out there. :)



     
  11. gliderrider

    gliderrider Forager

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    I use a Bill hook for work, and found it to be a lot more versatile to a machete, and as has been said, it looks more "Agricultural" than a machete, so less threatening to some body wandering where they shouldnt be.

    I was copicing & Hedge laying with the BTCV earlyer in the year, and a large number of the volunteers were using loppers instead of billhooks & Hand Axes because they thought they were too dangerus & Threatening. Strange.
     
  12. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Full Member

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    Everyone should have a machete. Good ones are cheap as chips so most people an afford them. I'd recommend getting a Marbles. Most bang for the buck and comes with the best edge on any machete I've seen. Good axe heads can be bought cheaply at garage sales, flea markets, and ebay. I guess my point is, buy one of each and try them out for yourself. Best way to know what is right for you.

    I hesitate lumping parangs in with machetes. I have a parang that is machete-like thin and several that are massive and will take down a 4" tree without a lot of effort. Some machetes can be pretty robust too, so, as ged pointed out earlier, there is a lot of variation in these tools. Axes are no exception to this. You can go from large double-bits to small pocket axes. Ultimately it comes down to the job at hand. For carving, I generally recommend a hatchet that is big enough to get the job done but not so big that it wears you out. For chopping, well, what are you chopping?
     
  13. mohd

    mohd Member

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    I used parang and golok since my kid days but a parang or a golok is not meant to replace a hatchet.
    IMVHO a parang and a golok is in the same class as a machete.
    While a hatchet is in a difference class at all.
    So in your case you might need either a parang or a golok or a machete and a hatchet.
    While in my case I'll stick to a parang or a golok (i.e. purely because I'm more familiar with parang and golok) and a hatchet :D

    mohd
     
  14. Laurentius

    Laurentius Native

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    I think it all comes down to physics in the end, and after that ergonomics (that is to say the most effective way you can bring the force down without hurting yourself. Whether it is sharp or not, if it is harder than what it hits and comes down with sufficient force it is going to chop, which is why a machete is a good bet for brambles. I daresay (and I am straying out of my depth here) that what makes axe and hatchet blades effective is the way they concentrate the momentum on the small area they are chopping, same way as a hammer is better for driving nails in than the flat of a shovel. As the late Mr Hendrix so aptly stated "I stand up next to a mountain, chop it down with the edge of my hand, Yeah Well"
     
  15. Expat

    Expat Forager

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    Parang, Golok, Machete are regional names for what is basically the same tool - ie - a flippin'
    big agricultural blade used in the fields or for clearing brush...
    On one of the Nat. Geo. programmes set in S. America somewhere, the guides were using
    what we would class as the iconic machete, but they called it a cutlass....:rolleyes:
    What's in a name, eh..?
     
  16. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Full Member

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    All I can say is I know which ones I use for chopping down tall grasses, brambles, and light brush and which I use to cut large saplings and chop up heavy limbs of hardwoods. There is a LOT of variation among these tools, imo, to call them the "same tool."

    The machetes are 0.09" thick along their entire length and are "whippy." The rest are much more stout and far heavier.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Buckshot

    Buckshot Mod
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    Am I wrong to refer to the 2 on the left as brush cutters Hoodoo?
    Personally I wouldn't call them a machete as such as they're so thin as you say. The different varieties is astounding
     
  18. mountainm

    mountainm Full Member

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    Afaik Cutlasses were derived from the blades used on plantations by the maroons who went on to become pirates. I.e. machetes.
     
  19. ged

    ged Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    http://www.machetespecialists.com/bolo.html
     
  20. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Full Member

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    Well, one is a Tramotina and one is an Imcasa and if they are not machetes, then I have no idea what they are because I've been calling knives like this machetes for as long as I can remember. In my experience, a "brush cutter" is a sickle or scythe.

    I got a pretty good little pile of them, all of similar thickness. I do have thicker machetes. The standard Ontario military machete is 1/8" thick (still thinner than the goloks and parangs in the pics). But if you go south of the border around here, what they call machetes down there are pretty much like the two that I have posted (as far as I know :) ). Good traditional machetes make a musical sound "tink, tink" when you use them. The heavier knives in the pics above make a "thunk, thunk" sound.

    Traditional machetes I'm familiar with are light and quick in the hand. They fit nicely in my field pack. :)

    [​IMG]

    They work well in my little northwoods jungle. :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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