07-17-2013, 10:53 AM
#1
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I've have been using an inexpensive Omega boar brush for the first 6 months I have been wet shaving. I am considering a new Edwin Jagger best black badger (model 181 P23). What differences should I expect to experience and would this be considered a substantial upgrade? Thanks

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 07-17-2013, 11:05 AM
#2
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Black badger is characterized by a strong backbone and scratch.

Compared to good boar, which I'm sure your Omega has at least decent boar, it is generally considered a down grade. Good boar is characterized by strong backbone and split tips which makes the tips very soft. Very good boar is generally considered softer than most grades of badger.

However, black badger can be had for $25 or less, so it's a pretty low cost item if you don't like it.

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 07-17-2013, 11:06 AM
#3
  • Jeff
  • Stingraysrock
  • Lakeland, FL
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Your boar is likely broken in fairly well and probably has soft, split tips. In my experience black badger is going to probably feel scritchy to you and will maybe have a funky smell for awhile.

If you want to upgrade, consider a do it yourself approach with a vintage handle and a finest badger knot from one of the well known knot vendors. Heck, if you wanna get serious, I can probably scrounge up a free handle for you.

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 07-17-2013, 11:40 AM
#4
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Will the tips of the black badger soften over time as the boar has?

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 07-17-2013, 12:14 PM
#5
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(07-17-2013, 11:40 AM)Ramsay Wrote: Will the tips of the black badger soften over time as the boar has?

No my friend , they wont.
Follow what Asharperrazor have told you.I personally wouldnt bother to spend my money on a black badger brush.

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 07-17-2013, 02:55 PM
#6
  • Jeff
  • Stingraysrock
  • Lakeland, FL
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(07-17-2013, 12:14 PM)Teiste Wrote:
(07-17-2013, 11:40 AM)Ramsay Wrote: Will the tips of the black badger soften over time as the boar has?

No my friend , they wont.
Follow what Asharperrazor have told you.I personally wouldnt bother to spend my money on a black badger brush.

As a counter point - my woman prefers scritchy black badger for her legs, she likes the exfoliation. I do not like it on my face, which is why my woman inherited my Sabi badger soon after I received it.

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 07-17-2013, 03:34 PM
#7
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(07-17-2013, 02:55 PM)Jeff Wrote:
(07-17-2013, 12:14 PM)Teiste Wrote:
(07-17-2013, 11:40 AM)Ramsay Wrote: Will the tips of the black badger soften over time as the boar has?

No my friend , they wont.
Follow what Asharperrazor have told you.I personally wouldnt bother to spend my money on a black badger brush.

As a counter point - my woman prefers scritchy black badger for her legs, she likes the exfoliation. I do not like it on my face, which is why my woman inherited my Sabi badger soon after I received it.

Lots of people for some reason or another love the scritch/scratch. Probably the same people who like/love Rooney's Finest and Simpson's Manchurian.

Possibly, it feels exfoliating and a slight scrub to them. My face just feels prickle. Probably feels pretty exfoliating on less sensitive areas of the body.

Again, don't really know why, but it is what it is. Black badger is definitely a very affordable option for a much more exfoliating feel.

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 07-17-2013, 04:09 PM
#8
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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I agree with what's been said. I would stick with your boar and save for a better badger. Check out a Simpson's brush in Best Badger. Maybe a Commodore, colonel, or a Duke.

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 07-17-2013, 06:06 PM
#9
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Regarding the EJ brush, I think I was seduced by the striking combination of the tortoise shell handle and black badger

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 07-17-2013, 09:25 PM
#10
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You didn't write whether you face lather or bowl lather.

You might get away with a black badger if you bowl lather since the brush won't be on the face very long. But generally I won't suggest an inexpensive badger to anyone. The (IMO) required quality simply isn't there. For less $ an $8 Omega is superior.

If you face lather, Simpsons has smaller brushes that are suitable for not huge $. They would definitely be good badgers. A step up? Well, different. You'd need to decide if they're better for you. I use a number of different bristles and I like them all, boar, badger, and synthetic. But my badgers aren't black. I was PIFed one and wound up PIFing it back out. All of my badgers are Simpsons Best and the one odd ball is a TGN Finest and it's superb as well. I don't have mega expensive brushes.

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 07-18-2013, 06:51 AM
#11
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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(07-17-2013, 04:09 PM)tgutc Wrote: I agree with what's been said. I would stick with your boar and save for a better badger. Check out a Simpson's brush in Best Badger. Maybe a Commodore, colonel, or a Duke.

Agree entirely with the 3 Simpson brushes in best badger; any of them is worth saving for. But I do have an Omega B&B Essential boar brush which I really enjoy. It competes very well with my badger brushes, which cost me significantly more, i.e. 3 to 10 times more. Will it replace any of my badger brushes? No, but it has a permanent spot in my rotation.

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 07-23-2013, 12:22 PM
#12
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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As the good folks before me said, black badger is a step down from an Omega boar, no matter how inexpensive. Omega boar brushes are probably the best value in wet shaving. The less expensive ones have pretty simple handles, but the boar knots Omega makes are simply outstanding. There are so many excellent Omega boars you can have for about $20 or under that black badger simply does not even enter the competition. You would need a Simpson brush in best badger to rival an Omega boar. Also, as was mentioned above, the B&B Essentials boar brush (made by Omega) sold for $20 at WCS is top notch and really does rival some of the badgers. Remember, black badger is a variety of Pure Badger grade and will never loose its prickliness. I had a black badger brush and I liked it, but I could never use it every day. Too scritchy. Not a bad thing if you like, but just so you know it will always feel the way it feels on day one when you get it. Boars break in and become soft. In fact borken in split tips of a boar are usually finer than some best badger grades. Boars also feel and behave very differently. I like both, but go on boar kicks when I hardly use badgers. Something about the whole feel of a boar brush... Anyway, if you want a good badger, to rival your inexpensive Omega boar, you'll need to spend at least $50 on a good best badger brush. I recommend Simpson Case or Berkeley 46 or something like that. There are others. Most of my badgers are TGN two band finest knots set into either vintage handles or my own handles. I really like them a lot. TGN two band finest badger knots are an excellent value. You get a lot of badger for the money.

Good luck and keep us in the loop on what you decide.

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 07-23-2013, 12:50 PM
#13
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Here is some of the text from the website describing the brush. The hair is described as "Best Black Badger", so I don't know if it is in the "Pure" or "Best" category of badger.

"This brush features black badger hair which has a slightly longer loft than best badger but is equal in quality. This quality creates a lather far superior to that resulting from the use of a bristle shaving brush".

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 07-23-2013, 01:36 PM
#14
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Black badger is black badger. It does not fall under the pure or best category to the best of my knowledge.

If boar is working well for you then you won't find much better at the price point. Perhaps a Whipped Dog silvertip, or Frank Shaving Finest, or even a synthetic from Frank.

If you like scritch/scratch/prickle then definitely get the black badger. Otherwise I'd avoid it and save up for a softer grade of badger knot.

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 07-23-2013, 09:25 PM
#15
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Like Brian said, a stiff black badger brush would work well for lathering in a bowl. This and other forms of stiff pure badger used to be my mainstay for bowl-lathering.

They have good backbone, so they don't have to be too dense. They have good flow-through and they lather very efficiently.

- Murray

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 07-24-2013, 08:06 AM
#16
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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As far as I understand it (please correct me if I am wrong on this), the black badger is the pricklier part of the badger from which finest grade comes from. It is a slightly different species of badger than your normal grey badger. One is known as "Dog Badger" and the other is "Pig Badger" in China. I forget which one is which, but as in "Pure" badger grade, the black badger is prickly and will stay prickly. It is the least expensive grade of badger. Go to Whipped Dog and see his black badger knots. Heck, you can order a black badger brush from Larry ad WD and save some money. Larry is outstanding in doing business with.

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 07-24-2013, 04:35 PM
#17
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(07-24-2013, 08:06 AM)vferdman Wrote: As far as I understand it (please correct me if I am wrong on this), the black badger is the pricklier part of the badger from which finest grade comes from. It is a slightly different species of badger than your normal grey badger. One is known as "Dog Badger" and the other is "Pig Badger" in China. I forget which one is which, but as in "Pure" badger grade, the black badger is prickly and will stay prickly. It is the least expensive grade of badger. Go to Whipped Dog and see his black badger knots. Heck, you can order a black badger brush from Larry ad WD and save some money. Larry is outstanding in doing business with.

It's basically the same grade as pure, just from a different badger.

Badger Hair Grades

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 07-25-2013, 04:03 PM
#18
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
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I got a black badger and hated it at first. It was a scratchy scrubby little bugger...Much moreso than any boar I've ever tried...As time went on it got less scratchy, but as Lee said above I always considered it to be a downgrade from even my scratchiest Boar.

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