KA-BAR and Johnson Adventure Parangatang Made for Endurance Chopping

Coincident with a new wave of demand for chopper knives, KA-BAR’s Parangatang is finding its way back into production after a brief hiatus. The design is the brainchild of Steve Johnson of Johnson Adventure Blades, who set out to make a sturdy, powerful, and balanced tool capable of a wide variety of cutting tasks.

This unusual blade may look like it comes from some far-flung corner of the world, and as the name implies it does draw on the Malaysian Parang knife. But Nebraska native Johnson’s primary inspiration for the design came from the hardworking farm tools of his youth, called corn knives. “They were the right tool for cutting down green cornstalks and weeds, and the front third of the blade spent a lot of time hitting the dirt,” Johnson explains. On the other hand, Johnson found these knives were less useful away from the farm and struggled with tougher jobs. “My goal with the Parangatang was to deliver a highly useful tool, but make it from the type of material that would chop hardwood just as well as the old corn knives cut soft corn stalks,” he says.

KA-BAR Parangatang

According to Johnson the secret to drawn-out cutting endurance is the return. This is the part of the cutting motion where the user brings the knife back towards himself to ready another swing. “If too much weight is forward, it makes a lot more work for the wrist, forearm, and shoulder,” Johnson points out. “A lot of chopping can wear a guy out in no time and if the return is laborious – that just makes life suck.”

Johnson worked with KA-BAR to make a knife designed for the long haul, balanced to remain ergonomic for drawn-out cutting projects. Although it has a durable 14-inch 1095 carbon steel blade, the 1.3 lb tool is meant to feel light and lively in hand.

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SHOT Show 2014 marked the debut of the Parangatang, although in recent months availability dried up. However, KA-BAR’s Joseph Bradley tells us the knife has not been discontinued. “Sometimes items go out of stock due to availability and this was something that impacted the Parangatang for a brief period.” New stock is showing up with dealers and Bradley says the Parangatang will likely remain in the KA-BAR catalog for the foreseeable future.

Knife featured in image: KA-BAR Parangatang