04-03-2013, 07:46 AM
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I have searched many threads on this forum but have not come across a complete answer. What are the advantages and disadvatages of a new wet shaver choosingone over the other? Also, some reccomendations consolidated on a stickied thread could be helpful for others. The knowledge base on this forum is amazing.

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 04-03-2013, 07:58 AM
  • Johnny
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I just like the feel of my boar brushes, both for bowl and face lathering. They all have great backbone and are soft on my face.

Another reason I prefer boar is price. I have around 20 really nice boar brushes by both Omega and Semogue and I would venture to say I have less money tied up in all of them than some have in two or three of their premium badger brushes.

Just my humble opinion but there are more badger lovers on here than pig lovers.

173 23,297
 04-03-2013, 08:02 AM
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With a badger brush, the way it feels the first shave is pretty much how it will feel down the road. If it is prickly now, it will be later as well. Boar brushes take a little to break in, but once there are fantastic. Badger brushes hold a little more water. Both take time to learn and will serve you well.

My preference is the Semogue 2000 boar. It is a great, but large boar..

18 562
 04-03-2013, 08:15 AM
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You can buy 2 very good quality boars for £20 plus postage. Once broken in you'll get years of good shaves with them both. Try a semogue 1800, or a 1438, you can't go wrong. There are also synthetics to consider, with the muhle silvertip fibre being better than most boars, or badgers IMHO.

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 04-03-2013, 08:39 AM
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Whatever answers you may get will all be subjective and you will, eventually, have to try a few brushes to find what works best for you.
i started with the boars and inexpensive badgers and they worked very well, but i soon progressed to the more expensive brushes and in particular the 2-bands which i find are my preferred brushes for face-lathering.
Best of luck to you.

74 20,808
 04-03-2013, 08:45 AM
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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The ONLY reason that I would say badger is because the break in period of a boar could prove frustrating for a new shaver. Otherwise, you have all of the terrific reasons above.

Actually, if I were specifically asked to provide the type of brush for a new shaver, I'd say synthetic because it requires no break in, it is very easy to care for and it is the easiest brush to build loads of great lather with IMO plus the cost of a decent one is pretty low. Smile


6 905
 04-03-2013, 08:46 AM
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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For me you can get a great boar brush that can do it all for very cheap. I really like the above suggestion for a Semogue 1800 or Semogue 1438 they are both fantastic boar brushes. I guess it all depends on how much money your willing to invest. I always worry when someone starts with just a cheap badger brush. In my opinion a quality boar will beat a cheap pure badger any day. If a new wet shaver could afford the initial investment it would be nice to get a quality boar like a Semogue 1800 and a quality Badger like a Simpsons Commodore X2 Best Badger. That way you could decide what is best for you. Two quality brushes like that would last a long time too.

45 3,955
 04-03-2013, 09:05 AM
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As Eric said above the best brush IMHO to recommend for a new shaver would be a synthetic.

No break in period like a boar.
Very easy to create lather.
Quite affordable.

If comparing badger to boar for a new traditional shaver, then I'd recommend badger over boar. The break in period for a new shaver is not ideal even though it is a coveted process by those who love using boar and I think everyone should break in their own boar brush at some point. Badger also seemes to be less concerned with water quality for me. Boar absorbs water so it also absorbs whatever is in the water. My very hard water and boar brushes didn't get along great all of the time and it lead to some frustrating posts from me trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Synthetic options:
Frank Shaving - most affordable, potential QC issues
Muhle - most expensive but best quality IMHO
HIS - I personally dislike it but it has its followers and should definitely be considered. I find it too large and their smaller versions are quite lacking in refinement.

Boar options:
Omega or Semogue - just pick one you like the looks of

Badger options: all have quality options < $75
Frank Shaving Finest
Vintage Blades house brand 2-band
Wet Shaving Products

This is only a starting point for reference and is by no means all inclusive; just what was on the top of my head. Godspeed and welcome to the Nook!

31 7,892
 04-03-2013, 09:24 AM
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For what it is worth, my own view is +1 Celistino, but keep a look out on BST.

Charles U.K

0 2,327
 04-03-2013, 10:55 AM
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I'd say a new shaver can get more bang for his buck with boar. And if you get an Omega brush, the tips come already partly split, so the break-in period really isn't a problem.

$10 shipped gets you a really nice brush that turns into an amazing brush as it breaks in. (Well, where performance and face-feel are concerned. The handle is plastic, which is not a sensual delight.)

That way if you don't turn out to like wet shaving, you aren't out a lot of cash. And if you do, you have a nice brush to keep using even if you decide to explore more options.

10 1,858
 04-03-2013, 11:17 AM
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What Eric said.

Boar is a lot cheaper than badger and you can buy very good quality boar for pennies on the dollar compared to the same grade of badger.

That said, badger flexes more and a lot of people equate that with more a luxurious feel.

In terms of softness, boar can be very soft, but unless you try them side to side, you really can't know which you prefer.

9 2,987
 04-03-2013, 12:51 PM
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Semogue 1470. Cheap, soft, easy to break in, good to learn with. Looks nice, does a good job.

Simpson Commodore 2 in Best. Soft, good price, good all-rounder.

Badger holds water well.
Boar needs to be soaked first.

Adding water to a boar as you need it can sometimes make face lathering a little more awkward/messier potentially but not overly so. Water can drip a little.

Boar tips when broken in have a luxurious feel.

Badger nearly always does. Go for Best Badger.

You could also try a boar/badger combo, but usually the badger used in a combo is more scratchy; lower quality badger hair tends to be used in a combo.

0 1,595
 04-03-2013, 02:49 PM
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(04-03-2013, 08:46 AM)tgutc Wrote: I always worry when someone starts with just a cheap badger brush. In my opinion a quality boar will beat a cheap pure badger any day.

I wish I had read that wisdom when I started in November 2012. I got a cheap badger brush and I don't like it. It sheds worse than a dog.

I have a Omega boar brush that I purchased for around $15 that is great. I also decided to get a quality badger brush that is really nice.

6 122
 04-03-2013, 08:57 PM
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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If you are after inexpensive and prepared to "break in" a brush, boar is perhaps the best way to go. For example an Omega Boar.

If you are prepared to invest more in a brush and want the convenience of a brush requiring no break in, then a quality badger is my recommendation. For example, Simpsons Duke 3 in Best.

The middle ground may have you looking at other manufacturers (eg WSP), a synthetic (eg FS) or even a badger/boar mix such as the Semogue SE 2012.

The main issue with brushes is you won't know what you will enjoy until you've tested the waters and tried a few. The reassuring thing is that the BST offers you the ability to recoup funds on anything you end up not liking...

91 17,620
 04-03-2013, 09:34 PM
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I broke in 2 new Semogue boars as a newbie. Just soak no more than half way up the length of the hair, lather, shave, learn and let completely dry. Repeat again. It's not as intimidating as you may think before you know it the hair has split and you have learned how much water to leave in the brush for whatever soap you are using. The first boar brushes I bought were the Semogue 1305 and 830. Both have great knots, soft for a boar right out of the box and get better with use. Now if you want a experienced opinion, one that was not available when I started I would say why not try both at the same time. The Semogue Special Edition 2012 mixed knot badger/boar. Yes it's more money than a bunch of boar brushes ($75.00) but it's fantastic. And may not be around much longer as it's a Special Edition.

Either way you'll be fine with any of the above that everyone has mentioned.

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 04-04-2013, 05:39 AM
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Count me in with the synthetic supporters. One good reason - besides the increasing quality - is that the brush dries thoroughly relatively quickly. Boar is still wet the next day, and I generally have to rotate brushes which is kind of a hassle.

I whole-heartedly recommend the Muhle Silvertip Fibres. I have not tried others but from reading reviews this is the best in class, and for a relatively small investment you'll have a brush that you will still be using years from now.

12 1,242
 04-04-2013, 09:02 AM
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Well, how long does it take to dry a boar? It all depends on climate. In the winter in Maine I can hand lather the same boar 3 times in a day and have a dry brush each time. Most days in the summer it's the same.

But having written that, 2 years ago I wouldn't have suggested synthetic, but for all the reasons already given it would be difficult to beat synthetic fibers in a brush.

But if you want natural fibers for the environmental responsibiity aspect or some such (the boars are killed to be eaten, the bristles are a by product) Boar is a really nice brush. It'll feel terrible when dry, but after break in and after wetting the brush and allowing it to sit for a minute they really come alive. Break in of a present day Omega, at least the ones that I've tried to break in recently... well, there is no break in period. Just hand lather it once to get the sizing or whatever it is on the bristles out and it's ready to go. You need to lather a new brush anyway to clean it before using it on your face.

You can read of recent Omega boar break in >>>> here <<<<.

32 6,304
 04-04-2013, 09:34 AM
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I'm not sure that it's actually necessary to let a boar completely dry. And even if it lessens the lifespan, the boar was on its way out anyway and is exceedingly cheap to replace.

What I don't know is whether it allows anything to grow on the bristles, but again, I'd be inclined to say no due to the daily cleaning. Unless it's stored somewhere really gross.

9 2,987
 04-05-2013, 07:05 AM
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imo brush discussions focus primarily on the fibers (boar vs badger, loft, tips, soft, scrubby, etc.) which is understandable as that is the "business end" of the brush.

to me, the handle is very important as that is how i connect to this tool. height, diameter, shape, weight, color -- what do you like best? pretty hard to tell without actually using the instrument for a while.

so, my point is that boar brushes are an inexpensive way to audition different kinds of handles (and knot sizes) and see where your preferences lie. then if you want to invest more $$ in a badger (and you may decide not to, as boar brushes are great) you know more about what you are going to prefer.

3 69
 04-05-2013, 07:23 AM
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I've always been of the opinion that even a cheap badger is better than a boar for a new wetshaver. A new shaver would do well to eliminate as many variables as possible when they're starting out. As others have mentioned, boars have a break-in period, but on top of that they also perform differently depending on whether you soak them, how long you soak them, and whether you soak the tips or the entire knot. That's fun stuff to experiment with down the road, but you don't need to add more variables that affect your shave when you're just trying to figure out the basics as a new wet shaver.

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