06-14-2013, 04:20 PM
#1
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Frank Shaving has recently introduced a new synthetic shaving brush with the following claims from their advertisement.

"Frank Shaving affordable handmade shaving brush is made of high quality PUR-TECH synthetic-fiber hair, it feels and looks like real natural silvertip badger hair and it performs great, Extra hair to keep richer lather. Same quality as Muhle synthetic hair. The handle is made of high-grade resin requires expert craftsmanship, faux ebony handle. The material is turned from round rods and polished by handmade."

So that is quite a challenge to say it is the same quality as the Muhle. Now is that the same as the Muhle Version 1 or Version 2? Let's see some more on this brush and some information from the Frank advertisement and from measurements of the received brush.

[Image: 9044317915_50b5d7d9bf_z.jpg]

So we see that the handle is similar to a Chubby in size, the knot size is similar to the H.I.S. synthetic brush. The handle is faux ebony and is solid and very well made. It is easy to grip and hold. The brush comes in a simple elegant black cardboard box and included a stand but the stand was only 24 mm so it is not compatible with this brush.

Now we get to the fibers. I compared the feeling of the Frank Shaving brush to two Generation 4 brushes that I am very familiar with. The first one is the H.I.S. synthetic which was the first Generation 4 brush to enter wide scale discussion in April 2002. The Frank Shaving brush has just a large of a knot as the H.I.S. but a slightly lower loft and slightly (very slightly) more dense than the H.I.S. The tips felt the same when rubbed against my face dry. Next came the Mühle Version 2 STF brush which came to the market around the end of 2012. The Mühle's knot was slightly smaller at 25 mm but the fibers were as dense as the Frank Shaving brush and felt the same to my skin dry as well. Here is a photo of the Frank Shaving brush along with a comparison to the H.I.S. and Mühle.

[Image: 9046541386_116a8a6ff7_b.jpg]

Now for the final test. Does it lather like the other two Generation 4 brushes. I used two different testing methods. One was face lathering with Wilkinson Stick Soap. One pass of the stick across the face and a slight amount on the head allowed for a complete face pass and head pass and I could have gotten two more face passes easily. The second test was whipping up some VDH Deluxe soap to see how that would generate lather. The next set of photos shows the results.

[Image: 9044316315_e58a0a1645_b.jpg]

The lather was thick and rich. The soap was easily picked up by the brush and generated enough lather for a 3 face passes and a head pass. The brush felt like a larger version of the Mühle Version 2 STF or a much easier to use H.I.S. brush. The handle is perfect for face lathering because you could get a solid grip while using circular motions which is a strong suit for synthetic fibers. Don't let the longer loft than advertised put you off on this brush. It is an off the shelf item and not a custom made brush. There is enough density in the fibers that it did not matter. It would improve in performance only slightly with a reduction in loft back to 53 mm but it handled face lathering just as well as the Mühle so from experience I would expect the fibers to work well from 51 to 57 mm.

Now we will discuss the pricing. The Mühle Version 2 STF at Mühle's website currently is around 110 USD. The H.I.S. brush currently is around 35 USD. The Frank Shaving Pur-Tech is currently around 60 USD. The H.I.S. brush, even though it is the best in terms of price, has two limitations that the Mühle and the Frank Shaving brushes avoid. One is the long handle than many users do not like. It does not bother me, but most users find it off putting when face lathering. The second is that the H.I.S. lofts and knot sizes tend to either be too long or not sized right for the large handle. Mühle provides an excellent range of handles and knot sizes, however, their pricing is higher for the nearest equivalent brush. The Pur-Tech, however, is only advertised in 28 mm. When this will change is uncertain at this time.

In conclusion, the Frank Shaving Pur-Tech is now the third brush to have a Generation 4 fiber set. Overall it is a great value based on the overall performance. So yes, after testing it, I can say that this is the same quality fibers as the Mühle Version 2 STF.

Addendum: I was asked how high was the glue bump above the handle on this brush and I measured from the top of the bump to the end of the fibers and the difference was 47 mm (effective loft) so the glue bump is 10 mm above the handle. That would cause it to be more effective at face lathering than if it were truly 57 mm effective loft.

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 06-14-2013, 04:35 PM
#2
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Thanks for the detailed write-up. More options are always a good thing. I would like to see if they come out with models with smaller knots.

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 06-14-2013, 05:21 PM
#3
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It was a matter of time! Thanks for the excellent review as always, Gary.

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 06-14-2013, 06:08 PM
#4
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(06-14-2013, 04:35 PM)taborcarn Wrote: Thanks for the detailed write-up. More options are always a good thing. I would like to see if they come out with models with smaller knots.

Well, this is their first venture into this class of fiber so maybe if they receive enough interest, they will use this fiber in other knot sizes.

Thanks to all for the kind words on the review.

It will be interesting to see it in action again tomorrow.

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 06-15-2013, 06:30 AM
#5
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Here is today's shave.

[Image: 9045229525_8f543c6ecf_b.jpg]

The FS Pur-Tech simply behaved like a larger Muhle V2. It picked up lathered up the Füme quickly and easily. I had enough for two head passes, two face passes and still enough for maybe two more of each. It generates the lather.

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 06-16-2013, 10:55 AM
#6
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An addendum on the glue bump measurement was added to the original post for clarity.

One more photo. This was after the shave and here is how much product was left.

[Image: 9061151432_92731d5590_b.jpg]

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 06-21-2013, 02:07 PM
#7
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Well, it has been a few days of use and the FS Pur-Tech is performing as it should. I decided today to test using Wilkinson Sword Stick and swirling the stick over the wet brush and face lathering with only that amount of soap. I was able to make two face passes and a full head pass. The brush was very efficient and easy to use in the face lathering mode. Easy to hold and maneuver around the face and head.

[Image: 9102049007_ab5fc4852c_b.jpg]

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 06-21-2013, 02:18 PM
#8
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Nice review Gary.

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 06-21-2013, 02:23 PM
#9
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(06-21-2013, 02:18 PM)Johnny Wrote: Nice review Gary.

Thanks!

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 06-21-2013, 03:54 PM
#10
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It appears that FS is also making the same comparisons without using the Pur-Tech name but calling the fibers "high quality-fibre" and "Same quality as Muhle synthetic hair."

This one is in a 24 mm knot. So it seems that FS will tout that in many of their discussion points.

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 06-21-2013, 11:48 PM
#11
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Two FS with these new fibre are heading my way ( a 28 mm one and 24 mm one).
Thanks for the inputs about these brushes , Gary , I truly appreciate them.

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 06-22-2013, 07:40 AM
#12
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(06-21-2013, 11:48 PM)Teiste Wrote: Two FS with these new fibre are heading my way ( a 28 mm one and 24 mm one).
Thanks for the inputs about these brushes , Gary , I truly appreciate them.

You are welcome!

Here is today's shot. Probably one more day with this before I move to another brush in the rotation.

[Image: 9107149569_a7da6b9e1e_b.jpg]

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 06-22-2013, 10:15 PM
#13
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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Thank you for the as always thorough and excellent review Gary!

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 06-23-2013, 12:08 AM
#14
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(06-21-2013, 11:48 PM)Teiste Wrote: Two FS with these new fibre are heading my way ( a 28 mm one and 24 mm one).
Thanks for the inputs about these brushes , Gary , I truly appreciate them.

Which 24mm one did you order T? Could you send me a link?

These Pur Tec brushes look rather good.

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 06-23-2013, 03:13 AM
#15
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(06-22-2013, 10:15 PM)Attila Wrote: Thank you for the as always thorough and excellent review Gary!

Thanks!

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 06-23-2013, 05:58 AM
#16
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Excellent review!

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 06-23-2013, 06:05 AM
#17
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(06-23-2013, 05:58 AM)ben74 Wrote: Excellent review!

Thank you!

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 06-23-2013, 03:38 PM
#18
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Well here is one last shot for this week and some thoughts after a week of testing.

[Image: 9110557171_90da60e61a_b.jpg]

The Frank Shaving Pur-Tech is a well built example of a Generation 4 fiber brush. No fibers shed in the week of testing and the handle and knot are both solidly fitted. This is an "off the shelf" item that did not meet the written specifications as advertised. However, even though there is a glue bump and the loft was not to advertised specifications, it did not affect the quality of lathering whatsoever. This was very effective and efficient in both face lathering and bowl lathering. Product requirements were reduced while still producing more than sufficient amounts of lather in each shave.

Two major questions for this brush that were answered in testing are:

Did the brush perform as advertised overall, i.e., same quality fibers as a Muhle? The answer to that is from my experience with both brushes, yes.

Did the brush perform to the price point? Yes, but the price at 60 USD is still off putting to some. Perhaps if the price was 45 - 50 USD it would be much more appealing to some who do not believe that FS should charge over 50 USD for any brush.

All in all, it was a enjoyable brush which has earned a spot in my rotation.

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 08-09-2013, 10:40 PM
#19
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A quick question to the forum:
I just received this brush and it's backbone is much more than I had thought.
The knot is immovable about 1cm from the base and as far as I can see it's impossible to apply lather in circular motions.
It's impossible to splay the knot without applying quite some force. I am very surprised with its firmness.

For anyone that has this brush, is this your experience too? Or do I have a defective brush that may have too much glue?

I just shaved with it last night and it was hard enough to apply lather in circular motions. The backbone is simply too firm!

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 08-10-2013, 07:24 AM
#20
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My synthetics definitely take more pressure to splay. However you get used to it and it works well. They just have a lot more backbone than natural hairs.

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