Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete Review

Bear Grylls Parang Featured Image

What is the Bear Grylls Parang?

It’s a stout beast of a machete that makes relatively easy work of most of your wilderness hacking tasks as the Malaysian design is intended to. I’ve had the Bear Grylls Parang Machete for quite a while and use it frequently. It is generally the first tool I reach for if I have a machete or hatchet-type task to knock out. Its comfortable grip makes it ergonomically friendly for swinging through the brush, and the heft of the tool provides assistance in chopping through branches without being overly heavy and cumbersome.

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The Parang comes with a solid sturdy nylon sheath that attaches to your belt and has snaps that you can utilize to allow easier removal and insertion of the machete. There’s also a little hidden extra on the backside of it. What’s the extra? The back of the sheath has a small pocket with a folded Survival Guide Sheet. The material it is printed on seems to be a plastic-based tear-resistant one (similar to Tyvek…it may even by Tyvek) and holds up well. I haven’t pulled mine in and out of the pouch much over the years, but I have been surprised to see that the pouch (which is also a plastic-type stitched pocket) and the guide have held up well without any ripping.

There seem to be a lot of people who do not care for the Bear Grylls branding (in fact you’ll likely catch some s*** for it in the survival community) or the orange accents of the tool. As for me I personally don’t get too wrapped up in such things unless I have a reason to and in this case, I don’t. As for the orange, I find it useful to easily spot against a natural backdrop. I personally prefer my machete to not be well camouflaged when I’m looking for where I last set it down at the campsite. NOTE: I’m describing my version of the Gerber Parang. There have been some variations for the item over the years which I’ll discuss further below.

Bear Grylls Parang Pros
Bear Grylls Parang Cons

What is the Bear Grylls Parang Made Of?

The Gerber Bear Grylls Parang Machete has apparently gone through a multitude of revisions over the years before it was discontinued from the company. As such it is possible some of the specifications below are accurate for some but not all of them on the market. Keep that in mind when making any consumer decisions on it.

Item Specifications

Total Length19.5 in
Blade Length13.5 in
Weight1.15 LB
Total Weight w/ Sheath1.40 lb
Blade Thickness.113 in
Country of OriginChina
Manufacturer WarrantyLifetime

My Video Review

Would I Recommend The Item

No! Early on and if you could buy my exact model I would. It has been great to me, however with the various changes and issues associated with it over the years I would not recommend buying it (reasoning is explained in the video). To do so you’ll have to pay well above market price for a comparable item and may end up with a substandard tool, and at the price tag, I just can’t in good conscience recommend the risk of doing so despite my love for my version.

Bear Grylls Parang Models

As for general models of this Gerber Parang, there were apparently 2 initially. The one I’m reviewing and a smaller version. Though I can not easily find info on the smaller version. Beyond the two styles, this machete has gone through a number of different model (numbers and obviously manufacturer) variations over the years of its production. From what I can tell most will be transparent to visual inspection other than the sheath which has undergone visual changes. The unseen variations appear to have been made in the quality and manufacturing process as can be seen from drastic review swings (best machete ever to worst machete ever) and manufacturer recalls. You can check out two of the recalls here and here. One is for the blade breaking on a particular model and the other is for the parang cutting through its sheath.

Comparable Cost

2 Money Symbols is average in the market for the item types.

Value for the Money

Originally the Gerber Parang was a good value for the cost, however, with the poor quality introductions, the product you received was not worth the money even though cheaper than the market equivalent. Now if you can purchase one the sellers have inflated the price due to the scarcity of those available and once again the cost does not warrant the product. In the end, you would be better off getting a good quality market equivalent such as some I’m sharing below.

Alternatives

There are a plenty of parangs and parang style machetes on the market to choose from. It’s unfortunate this one is no longer available in the original quality, but it’s not a huge gamestopper either. Below I’m listing some seemingly popular alternatives to consider for purchase.

In Closing

While I love my Gerber Parang it is unfortunately no longer a likely option for those in the market. That said if you haven’t tried a parang style machete you should give one a try as you may find you really like the heft and style of the tool for your outdoor use. Do you have a preferred machete that you love? Share it with us in the comments below!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

what’s up friends shane here with the modern warrior project and today i’m going to do a review on the bear grylls gerber parang machete a tool that i absolutely love and i’m also going to recommend that you do not get it but before i get into that hit the like button on this video and if you would subscribe to our channel so you never miss any of ours and let’s go ahead and get into it [Music] all right so as i said starting off uh it’s the bear grylls gerber parang machete it’s uh an amazing tool i absolutely love it i bought this thing i’ve had it for years i bought it a long time ago i want to say for around 50 at px which is a post-exchange military store and as you can see i can i’ve put it through uh quite a bit of use i used this heavily when we were clearing out our training property just for typical brush clearing we were building up shelter demos and all kinds of stuff and i use this for every task that i would typically use a

a machete for or a small hatchet you know whacking limbs and everything else i had i had chainsaws out there axes and everything else available to me and this was my most often grabbed tool and it did not let me down it’s heavy duty it holds well it feels well and i beat the ever loving hell out of this thing and the blade held up i bought it for abuse i abused it quite well as i said you know if uh it it came with a very sharp edge it held the edge well and when it would uh when it started to go bad i’d hit on my grinder and my polishing wheel and that’s how i’d uh i just i’d kind of work it back out and put it back to use now as i said i’m not going to recommend this and i’ll get right to that here in a second but let’s go ahead and talk about this itself i want to say it’s 13.5 there will this uh this video will be accompanied by a actual review article on it i want to say it’s a 13.5 inch blade it’s heavy duty it’s probably close to two pounds in weight came with a uh a pretty solid nylon

sheath on the back it’s kind of an interesting thing that they did with the bear grylls model it’s got a little like survival general survival kind of like a tyvek guide and like i said i’ve had this thing for years and this is stan stood up well i haven’t looked at this a lot so you know i don’t know how i would stand up with a lot of heavy use but all in all it did the one thing that surprised me is this is kind of a tyvek slash plastic material and it surprised me that that thing has never come free and the stitching is held well over the years on on my particular model that i bought which i believe is probably one of the first ones the the sheath actually snaps open on the side so it’s a little easier to get it in and out you can actually pop open via snaps on the sheath it’s a uh solid handle it’s full tang i believe i’m almost certain it is looks like they have probably two lock-in bolts here top and bottom for the uh for the machete it’s heavy duty it’s got the orange handle so let’s talk

a little bit about it so first off it’s bear grylls um if you’re in the survival community got a lot of friends in the survival community you may catch uh some smack over that i certainly did and i really didn’t care i didn’t buy it because it’s got bear gryll’s name on it i don’t have anything against bear grylls he did well entertaining show as far as i’m concerned but i just bought it because it was a gerber product uh the price was right and i thought let me try that out and uh and i didn’t regret it a lot of people seem to complain about the orange i personally don’t mind the orange i’m not trying to use this in a covert fashion and what’s nice about a color such as this is if i’m if i lay it down in the grass or somewhere else i’ll be able to see it pretty easily uh without having to look too hard to find it so why do i not recommend this well the reason i don’t recommend this is ultimately um this product has went through a number of modifications over the years and i i’m not even sure they’re actually still producing it i’ve seen some some places that say that they are and some places say they are i am inclined to say that they are not

but when i bought this i believe was one of the earlier models after that at some point gerber i don’t know if they got a better deal on manufacturing cost or supplies but they changed variations in models the only visible thing that i’ve been able to tell by looking at the pictures of the other models out there is on the uh newer some of the other models the sheath they changed it doesn’t seem to have those snaps it’s a little different style of a sheath but one of the big things is in that process they apparently started cutting or making some poor quality choices with it and the way i came across this is always anytime i’m getting ready to do a review i always like to go to like amazon and check out some of the customer reviews to see some of the highlights that people are saying to see you know maybe there’s an issue that i haven’t had or maybe there’s something good that i haven’t thought of just to get a general consensus and then i can relay it i don’t relate this firsthand but i like to share you know if there’s a lot of complaints about something even if i haven’t had it i like to at least mention it but when i went on there i saw a number of one star reviews terrible quality cheap and it just kind of shocked me because i’m like man this thing has

stood up well for me blade chip and they show pictures like the blades chipped one uh one review said blade broke and it broke right here with the uh insertion to the handle and i thought that’s crazy so i started looking into it further and they’ve actually had a few recalls on these not this specific one but different model numbers as far as you looks it looks the same two of the recalls i know and i’ll list in the review is one on the uh a different style sheath the blade would cut through the sheath and posed a potential hazard obviously to the user and an even more significant recall they had on one of the models was specifically that it was actually shearing it was weak here and it was breaking at the handle so due to that i would not i would not recommend buying this uh this particular tool now if you knew for a fact that you were getting this particular model and you could get it at a reasonable cost i absolutely would i love it it’s held up well it really is one of my favorite just kind of whacking through brush tools at this point on that a few things so at the time of making this video you

can still buy this on amazon and it’s running upwards of around a hundred plus dollars which is high in the market for a parang um gerber does have a different paradigm that they offer at a cheaper level and i would uh i would recommend maybe trying that out i haven’t tried it but um it’s not the bear grylls and hopefully maybe they made some corrections and did well on that uh however when they started kind of mass producing these they even had them for as low as 27 at walmart you know i think that’s where they really started running the problems they shaved off a lot of their uh cost obviously and and was able to produce them more but as a result they produced a sub quality tool and uh and because of that it’s unfortunate it really was a good good item good design so with that 110 is or 100 or 100 plus dollars or whatever it is going for is a bit high or it’s actually a lot high i would if i knew for a fact that this was the one i was getting and i happen to need it because i’ve already

experienced this uh had experience with this and i really do like it i would pay that even recognizing that’s high in the market for this particular type of tool um that said this is not the one you’ll get i looked at the model number and i’m almost certain the model number they list on there is the one that has a recall on the sheath so maybe the blade’s similar maybe it’s not chances are it’s probably not same quality and i think they’re just kind of a particular seller’s probably just elevating the price because it’s it’s a hard item to find if you do a google search you’ll see most places show discontinued out of stock etc so anyway i just kind of want to share my thoughts and my review on this uh thing and uh if you happen to come across one at a yard sale flea market maybe on ebay at a good deal it might be worth checking into uh the one thing i can tell you as far as if it’s mine and i can’t guarantee it will be but if it has the um button popping sheath then it’s a chance that it may be this one and um and it is a really good one if you can come across one of those at a fair deal however there’s some other good ones out there on the market now um with fairly decent price points i’ll
share some of those alternatives in the review uh i haven’t had a chance to try those but i am actually going to probably buy one or two here in the near future to try them out and see how they hold up to this one that’s it for this uh this review thank you make sure and like and subscribe and i will see you next time

Shane Blevins

Modern Warrior Project Co-Founder

As a 20-year Army Special Operations veteran with numerous deployments and extensive S.E.R.E. and Personnel Recovery expertise, he is a respected leader and trainer with extensive experience in planning and executing high risk, low visibility evolutions in volatile and austere areas across the globe. He is married to Jennifer Blevins of Beaumont, Texas and is the father of five.

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