The Fox Parang XL was designed by Alfredo Doricchi, who is also the designer of the Fox Parang Jungle Bushcraft knife and the Compso.
Dorrichi, a biologist by occupation, and country boy in spirit, has had a life-long interest in the outdoors that culminated in the research and practical application of bushcraft techniques. Due to the necessity of a good knife, it was only natural for him to begin buying, selling and trading edged tools to find one that fit his specific needs.
As with many people who readily put their knives to work, Dorrichi began to find faults and limitations in the ones that he used. Around 2000, this led him to begin studying the necessary techniques to start designing and drafting his own tools, ultimately resulting in Fox Cutlery’s acceptance of the Parang Bushcraft and Parang XL designs.
The Parang XL is inspired by the Parang of Southeast Asia. Parangs are comparable to the machetes of South America and share similar function, primarily for clearing dense woody vegetation, general utility and occasional use as a weapon.
The Parang XL fits this function well. The 26 cm (9.06″) blade is 6 cm (2.36″) at its widest, providing a good yet manageable amount of weight while chopping. This is amplified by a 3.5mm thickness that limits flex and gives the blade a solid feel. A wide, high flat grind terminates near to the spine, leaving full thickness and added rigidity along the total length of the blade (a revision from the first version of the Parang XL). The secondary grind is even along the entire edge and very sharp. Made from 440c and with a hardness of 56HRc, the blade will be durable, easy to maintain and corrosion resistant.
The scales on the XL are ABS. This isn’t a very popular handle scale material and will not appeal to everyone. It should be noted however, that ABS is lightweight, stable and durable through a wide temperature range (-20 to 80º C, -4 to 176ºF). It is also impervious to water. More importantly, ABS is a very impact resistant, tough plastic making it a suitable material for a tool that will receive repeated shocks. Since ABS is a thermal plastic, it can be easily injection moulded. The Parang takes advantage of this, providing fully contoured and heavily textured scales.
To be critical, I personally find the scales on the slippery side, despite the heavy dimpling. This is more or less overcome by the handle shape which has a good belly, out-swept pommel and front guard. The holes in the front guard (front quillon) combined with the lanyard hole can accommodate a D lanyard for extra security. It should also be noted that ABS is flammable at high temperatures so you won’t want to leave the Parang XL close to your camp fire. Lastly, the mating of the scales to the tang could also use some work.
The XL comes with a two part carry system. The top component has a velcro belt loop that can also be attached to MOLLE webbing. On the opposite side, there are two straps with snaps that hold the handle in place. The bottom component serves as the Parang’s sheath. Because of the blade’s shape, there is a slit down the spine side to resolve the undercut that would make a full sheath impossible. A snap on the top, spine side of the sheath holds the blade firm. There is also a strip of webbing down the back to allow for various carry options.
The two halves are connected with a releasable clip. The clip serves two functions. Firstly, it articulates the two halves if the system is fastened to your belt and tied to your leg, via the small loop at the end of the sheath. Secondly, it allows for for the Parang to be removed from your belt sheath included; a convenient addition.
All in, the Parang XL finds its target well. Alfredo Doricchi intended the Parang to be a large but lightweight chopper that can handle a variety of tasks in real-world situations. The ample blade and large handle will definitely meet this function. The material choices may not appeal to the collector crowd, even though the shape is certainly distinct, however, this isn’t the Parang XL’s market. The designer intended this tool to be used not collected. In my opinion the price to material/fit and finish ratio makes sense.
Doricchi and Fox make a great team. Alfredo tests his products against his bushcraft skills frequently, readily posting his findings and experiences to several online forums. Bushcraft fans, users and critics are welcomed to interact with Dorrichi who meets the challenge of criticism and questioning with the approach of a true designer; in the interest of making an accessible, functional tool.
Fox Cutlery, is an excellent manufacturer. They have done a great job putting out their own products as well as providing their above average production to companies such as Combative Edge. It is without a doubt that Dorrichi’s methodical, open minded approach coupled with Fox’s manufacturing will bring more great products to market.
At the time of this review, Fox will be releasing another AD design, the COMPSO, a small utility fixed blade knife that pulls Doricchi’s line into EDC and backup knife territory. Although the knife was designed for outdoor activities, its small form factor and kydex sheath will surely appeal to a wide audience.
Nice, usable blade shape
Effective ergonomics overall
2nd revision and well tested
ABS feels a bit slippery
Total Dimensions and weight :
Length 16.92″ (43 cm)
weight 1.025 lbs (465 g) 1.29 lbs ( 585 g) with sheath
Blade Length 10.24″″ (26 cm)
blade steel : 440c 56HRc blade thickness .138″ (3.5 mm)
2 Part Nylon
Made in Italy