09-18-2013, 01:49 AM
#1
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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Can anyone explain what the difference is in effectiveness and/or feel between the fan and bulb configurations? I have and use both, quite happily. However I do not understand why one would choose one over the other.

Thanks for listening.

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 09-18-2013, 07:18 AM
#2
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I find that a fan blooms much more than a bulb; for this reason I use a smaller diameter knot (20 - 23) for a fan than for a bulb (24 - 26). As for difference in feel and efficacy, I can't really say as there are other factors at work, eg, quality of badger, loft. I like them both, although my fans out number my bulbs 10 to 5. Aesthetically, I like the looks of a bulb more than a fan, provided the bulb isn't pointy. In this latter regard I've read that some bulbs can be quite pointy make them less efficacious, but I haven't experienced this with any of my bulbs.

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 09-18-2013, 07:32 AM
#3
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I agree with Rufus that the bulb blooms less. It has less total hair volume for the same knot diameter and loft because the outer hairs in the knot are shorter. Because these outer hairs are shorter, they are stiffer and support the core of the knot more giving it increased backbone.

Simpsons presently chooses the bulb almost exclusively for its 2 band hair and the hybrid fan/bulb shape for its Manchurian. The Best and Pure grades can be found in shapes that approximate either.

There seems to be a pretty even division of those who prefer fan vs. bulb for face lathering, although as Rufus says, this probably depends on their overall brush size preference. I believe the fan is preferred overall for bowl latherers, where backbone is less important.

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 09-18-2013, 07:34 AM
#4
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(09-18-2013, 07:18 AM)Rufus Wrote: I find that a fan blooms much more than a bulb; for this reason I use a smaller diameter knot (20 - 23) for a fan than for a bulb (24 - 26). As for difference in feel and efficacy, I can't really say as there are other factors at work, eg, quality of badger, loft. I like them both, although my fans out number my bulbs 10 to 5. Aesthetically, I like the looks of a bulb more than a fan, provided the bulb isn't pointy. In this latter regard I've read that some bulbs can be quite pointy make them less efficacious, but I haven't experienced this with any of my bulbs.

+1 Excellent explanation! Smile

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 09-18-2013, 10:04 AM
#5
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A bulb will add backbone to a brush which especially makes sense with very fine hair, e.g. silvertip 3 band.

(09-18-2013, 01:49 AM)Teddyboy Wrote: Can anyone explain what the difference is in effectiveness and/or feel between the fan and bulb configurations? I have and use both, quite happily. However I do not understand why one would choose one over the other.

Thanks for listening.

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 09-18-2013, 12:20 PM
#6
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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Love them both but prefer by a good amount a fan shaped knot. I know one is supposed to be better for face lathering and the other, bulbs, better for bowl but I find fans the best for both, it's just a matter of loft. Low-lofted fans are best for face and high lofted fans out perform bulbs for bowl lathering. IMHO. There's just more "there" there at the end of the brush on fans therefore more brush whipping up the lather.

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 09-18-2013, 03:02 PM
#7
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Well, I cannot add anything to this discussion other than going the extreme fan (flat top) really magnifies what makes a fan a fan. Acts more like a larger brush since there is much more hair surface area. More or less, that's the biggest difference. Hair surface area to face.

Both lather equally well in a bowl. Haven't tried a flat top in a bowl though.

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 09-18-2013, 05:18 PM
#8
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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Interesting perspectives...thanks to all!

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 09-18-2013, 05:32 PM
#9
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Fan feels bigger on the face, while the bulb is more concentrated. This CAN add to the feeling of more backbone with a bulb as the integrity of the knot is supported by the shape. This is true when comparing the same hair in both knots, but obviously not always so if comparing different hair in the opposing shapes. It has been my experience that lather can be more easily trapped in a bulb compared to a fan. So flow through can be a factor as well as feel on the face. When comparing the same hair and size knot, the Fan will feel bigger, exhibit less backbone and display greater flow through.

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 09-18-2013, 05:54 PM
#10
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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For all of the reasons Ben listed above, I prefer a bulb shaped brush.

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 09-19-2013, 12:31 AM
#11
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A bulb knot in a short handle i think looks better
Gives in handle a "supplement" ,an "add" to make it chubby and pretty.

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 09-19-2013, 09:46 PM
#12
  • steve g
  • Member
  • Northern California
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I notice a fan gives more surface contact, giving me a softer wall of badger feel.

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 09-20-2013, 12:13 AM
#13
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A pointy bulb, if you get one of these, the worst thing ever!

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 09-21-2013, 05:52 AM
#14
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(09-20-2013, 12:13 AM)Dipesh Wrote: A pointy bulb, if you get one of these, the worst thing ever!

Definitely true.

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 09-21-2013, 10:11 AM
#15
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My preference:

The fans I own are all bought in a smaller diameter, because it will bloom more than a bulb.
Also my rougher 2-Bands are mostly custom ordered in fan shape, because the fan shape will dimish the harshness feel from the tougher 2-Band feel.

The bulbs I own are all bought in larger diameter, because it blooms less than a fan - thus I prefer my larger brushes in bulb shape or the Simpson hybrid fan-bulb shape.
Also I prefer the softer feeling 3-Band silvertip in bulb shape to avoid they bloom too much.

The harder the hair is, the less it will bloom.
The softer the hair is, the more it will bloom.

A Simpson Manchurian in 28-30 mm in bulb shape would most likely feel too rough for most shavers. (maybe except Ben, who loves all Manchurians Cool )

A Thater 3-Band Silvertip in 28-30 mm in fan shape would most likely feel almost too soft and bloom far too much for most shavers (maybe except 'German' who loves these cloud soft Thaters Smile )

(09-21-2013, 05:52 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote:
(09-20-2013, 12:13 AM)Dipesh Wrote: A pointy bulb, if you get one of these, the worst thing ever!

Definitely true.

Not if it's a Thater pointy bulb - even in 2-Band this will feel cloud like soft and gentle on your skin.

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 09-21-2013, 11:07 PM
#16
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i've yet to try a bulb shaped brush, i love the look of the. might have to try one out.

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 09-24-2013, 03:07 PM
#17
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I like a 22-24 mm fan for face latering....never went larger than 26mm

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