What is This Tool

Kevin M Hartman

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Feb 3, 2019
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Hello Everyone, I mostly lurk around here and pick up new knives from the makers in the forum, but I've come out of hiding to ask if you can help me solve a mystery.

I came across this youtube video where these guys in the jungle essentially dig an entire underground house and do some other bushcrafty stuff using these tools that almost look like very long handled machetes.

Considering the abuse these things take they've got to be using some tough steel, and I'd like to own one of them myself just because they look pretty versatile.

Any idea what these things are called?

 
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
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some form of asian agricultural tool.

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seeing a curved sickle type as well as a stright edge chisel tip blade of some sort.
dunno if this helps any...
https://teakdoor.com/farming-and-ga...752-thai-tools-dragon-fruit-tree-removal.html
 
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Jody744

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Jan 8, 2009
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Cold steel has a two handed panga machete that looks much closer
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CWL

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Sep 15, 2002
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10,157
It is a parang or golok in common western-speak, although they have many other names as well. They are common tools throughout all of SE Asia and are not limited to only one country.

Goloks are considered hardwood cutters, unlike the machetes of Africa and the Americas, which are better suited for greenwoods and vine plants.

Condor offers a good selection of goloks.
 
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Aug 23, 2020
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It is not really a Golok or a Parang, because it is a bit bigger and the edge is on the other (concave) side of the blade and the handle is not the same either. It is longer - two handed.
 
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USMCPOP

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Jan 6, 2016
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784
Thailand has the diggers in various sizes. Siem - shovel - เสียม They come in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses.

Also the incurved farmer knife popular in Cambodia and northeast Thailand.

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The diggers are also used in central/south America. I have a couple made by Imacasa that I bought years back from Harbor Freight. Incolma and others also make them. Called a Barretón. Very handy.

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USMCPOP

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Knowing what country this is would be the first step in tracking down this too. OP?

I think the survival video was made in Cambodia. In the credits, there's a link to another one and it says "I'm from Cambodia". They make these knives square-ended or rounded. Some have a forged socket and some are stick tang. I've accumulated dozens since I was in Thailand 1977-1980.
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USMCPOP

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The knife on the right is one of 2 gifted to me by an old Thai blacksmith back in 1979. It's sitting right by my desk, in case zombies come calling. Thin convex edge and almost shaving sharp. The man had no power tools and not even a hand-cranked grinder. He's hot-chisel a slug from a leaf spring, then forge to shape in a charcoal forge. He cleaned and shaped the blade with a draw knife. A quick touch-up with a file, quench and temper and a final sharpening on a natural water stone. Well, a big hunk of rock that was worn in over the years.

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Joined
May 1, 2008
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The long handled Parang in the video is also close to what was called a hedge knife here in the States late 19th, early 20th century. They seemed to disappear from American catalogues before WWII.
 

USMCPOP

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I visited Burma (Myanmar) once in 1980. Unfortunately I never ran across a big knife market or I would have bought a boatload. All kinds of shapes ... straight, curved, in-curved, pointy and hooked. Even now they are probably $3 - $5.

One vacation trip back to Thailand, I came back with a suitcase containing over 50 pounds of knives, diggers, hoes and the like. Many were older ones that my sis-in-law/scrap dealer saved for me. The baggage screener kid at the airport wondered what I had in there, "scrap metal?". Yep, ha, ha, ha. I got a bunch of hand-forged stuff in Guadalajara, Mexico one trip.

Knives at Inle Lake, Myanmar:
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