02-02-2013, 07:53 AM
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
I wanted to provide a comparison of the soon coming WSP Stubby 2 band vs. my Chubby 2 2 Band and my Rooney 1XL from the early "gel" batch. I am also including the VintageBlades Finest 24mm brush as a "base line"... The Stubby used is a “beta” prototype that was offered for sale ahead of the production run that is expected to sell March/April. I paid $90 for this brush. I ran into this by coincident and really liked the handle – and impulse bought it (I am on a 2 band exploration trip…). I have no relation to Lee (A Sharper Razor) who is behind the WSP brush offering nor to any of the other brush makers.

Some stats:
Rooney 1XL: 25/46mm; price: $155
Simpson Chubby 2: 27/52mm; $260
WSP Stubby Beta: 25/53mm (slightly off vs. spec); $90 (assume production brush will be around $150 as the HMW is offered at $170)
VB Finest: 24/55mm; $35

Softness of tips: There is no significant difference how the tips of the Chubby, Rooney and WSP feel... all of them have very soft tips... the "gel" like feeling of the XL is a combination of soft tips, density and loft, i.e. for me not only related to the tips. The VB has also very soft tips. All of them develop some hooked/barbed tips: the most the VB (after only one or two uses), the least the WSP and the Chubby. I am not using hot water or use lots of pressure when face lathering. My experience is that all my "finer" (very soft) brushes (typically silvertip more than 2 Band) develop the hooked tips.

Density: Chubby, WSP and XL are dense brushes. I mean VERY DENSE brushes. I do not think there is a noticeable difference between the three in density. Knot and loft size as well as knot shape play significantly into the face feel though. The XL is a fan, the WSP a hybrid bulb, the Chubby a pronounced bulb.

The XL has a very short loft creating a wall of hair feeling when on the face. Given the "gel" tips this does not feel uncomfortable though. However, it is a lather hog. Does not want to give the lather up easy. Sometimes it feels like I am just moving the lather across my face back and forth. It takes more work with the XL to get enough lather onto the face ... and a lot of product (though this is true for all of these dense brushes).

The WSP has a great face feel. Soft tips and a loft that, I believe, is just in the sweet spot for this knot and density. The loft is shorter than spec (53 vs. 55mm) and closer to the expected production run (web page states 52mm). I like the additional flex I am getting from the Stubby vs. the XL. Lathering is more fun with the Stubby. It releases the lather easier than the XL. And I feel I have not a “gel brick” in my hand. Does the WSP have “gel like tips”? This is really a very subjective impression. For me only the early XLs have this type of face feel and that is because of the mix of density, knot shape and short loft. I have a Rooney Stubby 1 that I bought at the same time as the XL and it has the same hair (so I believe) but not the gel tip feeling as it is much less dense.

The Chubby --- Ahhh, the Chubby. At 27mm the biggest knot, the only bulb, the most expensive brush by far in this comparison … And an icon of density. Very dense, but in 2 Band this density is very manageable. Lathers easy and is not such a hog as I think the XL is (at least mine for me). Face feel is wonderful both with circular and paint motion. Flow through is the best of the three. In all fairness though I am sure the WSP will improve here with more use.

VB 24mm: much less dense than the others. Excellent flow through though. Great face feel. Not floppy despite the high loft (it is a 2 band after all). For those of you that like medium dense brushes, this one is more for you.

Handle: This is very subjective of course. WSP, Chubby and XL all have high quality handles (the VB’s handle is very simple in comparison). Ergonomics are fine on all three. The rest is taste: I love imitation horn… especially tortoise color. So the WSP Stubby for me is a beautiful brush and the handle style really works well for me. The Chubby is classic. The Rooney handle is “chubbyesque”.

So all together, how would I rate/rank them?
Appearance, lather release, softness, face feel: I believe the Chubby comes in first, at least for me. Close 2nd the WSP Stubby: simply stunning handle, soft hair, great feel when face lathering. The XL – for me - is third in this comparison – and that is because of the short loft, fan shape, “gel brick” face feel. I reach for the Rooney Stubby 1 more often than the XL. I could not get myself to sell it yet because it is from the first gel batch…can never be recovered… but one day it may hit BST…

The VB is the value choice in this group. A fine face lathering brush with very soft tips and great flow through. Probably the most affordable 2 band brush that offers super soft tips. But it is a different class, no comparison to the other three.

Price: At $90 the Stubby beta was a steal! Worth every penny. At $150+ (whatever the final sales price might be), I would have been less convinced to buy it. It is a fine brush, one of my favorite non-Simpson 2 bands actually. But if I pay this type of money I tend to also take a look at origin, heritage etc. As far as I know the WSP is a Chinese made knot, in a Chinese made handle “assembled “ in the U.S. (so it says for the HMW right now). Lee, may correct me, if I am wrong.

When I buy a Simpson, I buy a brush completely made in Great Britain: the handles are turned there, the hair is sorted and the knot formed – and it comes with the occasional British hand made flaw Wink And it has all the tradition of this brush maker. Is that worth $100 upcharge – you need to decide that!

The famous Rooney XL series – has a huge fan base out there. For many THE best brush there is. Is not my first pick – the combination of short loft, super dense and fan does not work as well for me as the others do. Is it a fine brush, of course.

If you are new to this, you anyhow will laugh about spending $150 or more on a brush and you stay with the VB or other, more economic brushes.

What is my favorite 2 band brush at the moment? Simpson M7 and Eagle G3… medium dense, soft hair, very original handle style… just the way I like it Biggrin

Enjoy your shaves, Gents!


43 2,016
 02-02-2013, 09:18 AM
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Great comparison, German. Thanks for your thoughts on these brushes.

6 315
 02-02-2013, 09:36 AM
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Wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to compare these German. Makes me really look forward to the production run of 2-band Stubbys (though I have a couple surprises in store!). From talking with Lee I think I can say that the price for the 2-band Stubby will be less than $150. I'll let him announce the actual price when he's ready but I'm sure many will be quite pleased with it. In the next couple months I look forward to sharing my 2 different Stubby 2-bands with everyone.

Thanks again German. Your 2-band exploration trip is a benefit to many!

31 8,059
 02-02-2013, 09:43 AM
  • vpayne
  • Active Member
  • Missouri
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Good review. Helpful to me as I am looking to buy a brush soon.


34 391
 02-02-2013, 09:51 AM
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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These are the kind of threads I love to read , with great info and good pics.

I had the chance to try a Rooney XL2 super badger two band with the gel alike tips , and boy , it was superb brush , one of the best ones I have tried so far.I wrote about it here : http://shavenook.com/thread-rooney-herit...band-brush
So I totally understand why , for so many , this is the brush to own.I enjoyed so much.

The WSP proto in two band was another super brush , great handle , excellent badger hair quality , soft tips and even better price.For 90 bucks , impossible to go wrong.Looking forward to try the new ones , but both the 2 band and the HMW protos were another example of great shaving brush.For 170 bucks (current price) I will say its worth to get one , if you are into brushes with more than 25 mm knot.

The Chubby is a classic , in any of the badger hair offered : best , super , super two band , but , of course , is more expensive , something that its not a bummer , since , as you have pointed , with Simpson you are also "buying" heritage , tradition , and a brush 100% made in the Isle of Man.

Great comparison , German , thanks a lot !

89 7,215
 02-02-2013, 05:09 PM
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Very good review and pics. Wow, your 1XL seems to be a big one. Mine doesn't even compare to the WSP Stubby the way yours does, or may be it is my ageing eyes. Hee hee.
Enjoy your brushes.

87 21,181
 02-02-2013, 06:15 PM
  • VT_Hokie
  • 2-Band Bandito
  • Charleston, SC
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Awesome review, German.

Thank you very much for taking the time to do this for us. Much appreciated.

13 599
 02-02-2013, 08:35 PM
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Great review, very easy to follow along.

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