02-28-2012, 10:46 AM
#1
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I presently own and use Frank Shaving silvertip brushes and a TGN reknot. Being almost three years into wet shaving and having an good selection of vintage Gillettes and a few modern razors, a good collection of blades (approaching Shavepocalyse preparation levels), I plan on allocating my saved pennies to start purchasing better quality brushes.

As I imagine which brushes I would like to buy, the question of knot size always comes up. All of my badgers are in the the 23-24 mm range and I enjoy them very much. I equally use creams and soaps (some soft like RazoRock and Cella and other hard like Tabac and Mitchell's Wool Fat) and mostly face lather both. When bloomed, the tips of the knot (wher eit comes into contact with my face) are about the same size as my Semogue 1305 and Omega Pro 49.

I'm suspecting that if I want to have a brush that covers the same area on my face, that I may need to buy a smaller knot.

So here are the questions:

If i were to buy a Rooney 1/1 or Shavemac 177 in 24mm would the knot bloom into a much larger brush?
If so is this larger bloom a function of the density of the knot?
Are there flow-through issues with denser silvertip brushes?

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 02-28-2012, 10:59 AM
#2
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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redrako Wrote:So here are the questions:

If i were to buy a Rooney 1/1 or Shavemac 177 in 24mm would the knot bloom into a much larger brush?
If so is this larger bloom a function of the density of the knot?
Are there flow-through issues with denser silvertip brushes?

The more dense the knot, the less it blooms and the less the flow through. I found the Rooney 1/1 to be too dense for me. While it had excellent backbone, the flow through really suffered. YMMV and all that.

I like a medium dense brush so it has backbone but still has good flow through.

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 02-28-2012, 11:39 AM
#3
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I think the flow through is a function of the density, the backbone, and not of the knot size. To me the knot size and softness of tips are just personal preferences how much hair you want in contact with your face and the feel of it. Besides, If the backbone is less then it'll splay more, it will cover a bigger area of your face, and will feel softer. To compensate the backbone, the knot needs more density and/or shorter loft in order to splay less and to apply more resistance on the skin which leads to more scrubby feel without necessity to smash the hair against your face. This is particularly important for people who don't use much pressure and prefer painting motion. Also, more splay will result in easier lather release but worse water retention. I call this a leaky brush. But again, the flow through, water retention, and lather release are based on the ratio density/backbone IMO.

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 02-28-2012, 10:08 PM
#4
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I look at them as similar to paint brushes. Very dense stiff paint brushes have a tendency to skip and/or dump the paint. More flexible brushes are easier to paint smooth continuous lines with. That is flow through to me.

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 02-28-2012, 11:26 PM
#5
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Good illustration, SteelTown.

As already mentioned, denser brushes tend to hog lather. At the same time, because they hold more lather, I have had problems with denser brushes blooming into amorphous blobs during lathering. I had given up of silvertip brushes for this reason and settled on stiff pure badger brushes by Omega and Rooney as my brushes of choice.

When I got my first Semogue silvertip brush - a 2015 - back in 2008, my first impression upon looking at it was, "Hm. Tall loft, small knot, and medium density. Doesn't look good!" I was blown away when I used it, however. I had finally found a silvertip brush with controlled bloom, that held its shape during lathering and application of the lather. A denser Semogue, the 2008 LE, blooms more during lathering, so I would never choose one of the Semogue HD versions.

As far as how much water a brush holds, I find this point to be moot, as I have always had to shake water out of all of my brushes before lathering, anyway, and I always get way more lather than I need.

- Murray

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 02-29-2012, 01:48 AM
#6
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Murray, if you ever get tired of that LE2008, please let me know. I would love to get my hands on one of those beauties! =9

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 02-29-2012, 06:12 PM
#7
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Thanks for your replies.

I don't imagine that I'm looking for a super dense brush then. I love the look of the traditional brushes hence my attraction to the Rooney 1/1 and similarly the Simpson 57 is very attractive, but I imagine also a pretty dense brush.

Thanks CMur for your pointing out the Semogue 2015. For you flow-through fans, what premium brushes do you like?

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 02-29-2012, 06:33 PM
#8
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redrako Wrote:Thanks for your replies.

I don't imagine that I'm looking for a super dense brush then. I love the look of the traditional brushes hence my attraction to the Rooney 1/1 and similarly the Simpson 57 is very attractive, but I imagine also a pretty dense brush.

Thanks CMur for your pointing out the Semogue 2015. For you flow-through fans, what premium brushes do you like?

I mean this..don't take this as a recommendation.

I am on the extreme end when it comes to flow-through and loft, so I like Kent, Vulfix and Muhle badgers. I face lather with them using hard soaps. I also use a very wet brush, some call it the Zach method or Marco method. It is kind of the antithesis of what is popular today, but that is how my father taught me many, many moons ago. If I want more backbone I just switch to a boar which gives me the stiffness but retains the flow through and loft I like.

When it comes to Simpsons, I have a longer lofted (52 mm) Colonel XL2 that is about as dense as I can go. Duke, Chubby etc just don't do it for me

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 03-01-2012, 06:04 AM
#9
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(02-29-2012, 06:33 PM)SteelTown Wrote:
redrako Wrote:Thanks for your replies.

I don't imagine that I'm looking for a super dense brush then. I love the look of the traditional brushes hence my attraction to the Rooney 1/1 and similarly the Simpson 57 is very attractive, but I imagine also a pretty dense brush.

Thanks CMur for your pointing out the Semogue 2015. For you flow-through fans, what premium brushes do you like?

I mean this..don't take this as a recommendation.

I am on the extreme end when it comes to flow-through and loft, so I like Kent, Vulfix and Muhle badgers. I face lather with them using hard soaps. I also use a very wet brush, some call it the Zach method or Marco method. It is kind of the antithesis of what is popular today, but that is how my father taught me many, many moons ago. If I want more backbone I just switch to a boar which gives me the stiffness but retains the flow through and loft I like.

When it comes to Simpsons, I have a longer lofted (52 mm) Colonel XL2 that is about as dense as I can go. Duke, Chubby etc just don't do it for me

Interesting after reading the feedback my thinking has shifted more to considering a Simpson's Colonel or Commodore, both in medium or a Vulflix 2234.


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 03-02-2012, 06:02 PM
#10
  • Rod_Neep
  • Junior Member
  • Gloucestershire,U.K.
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(02-28-2012, 10:46 AM)redrako Wrote: If so is this larger bloom a function of the density of the knot?
Are there flow-through issues with denser silvertip brushes?

As I make brushes I get to play with quite a lot of knots. I have found that the most dense knots bloom proportionately much less than the less dense ones.

In this photo are three extra silvertip (incredibly dense), 22mm, 26mm 26mm, set at around 57mm loft, and on the right a 26mm standard silvertip. Before use photos of the same brushes in the lower row.

The standard silvertip #4 (less dense) has bloomed out considerably more than the extra silvertip knots. And actually that one has had much less use than the other three.

[Image: xst1.jpg]

Flow-through Issues:
The dense knots produce much more lather, and more easily, enough for a three pass shave with lots left over at the end. They load much more easily too. BUT they hang on to the lather a LOT. Really, you have to squeeze the knot to get the lather out of them.

Photo below shows one of the extra silvertip (very dense) knots, and what was left after a three pass shave. (Brush #2 above).

[Image: 0820-dreadnought26-tortoise04-275.jpg]

So basically, knot density is a trade off. The dense knots produce more lather more easily, but they hold on to the lather a lot more than a knot which is less dense.

Rod

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 03-02-2012, 06:33 PM
#11
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Great photos and explanation Rod! Thanks for sharing.

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 03-02-2012, 09:10 PM
#12
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Learning more everyday. Keep up the good work gentlemen!


marty

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 03-03-2012, 04:51 AM
#13
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Rod,

Thanks for the photos, very cool.

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