04-21-2012, 08:07 PM
#1
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
User Info
Quote: Since when is Simpson's 2 band softer than their Best, I'm calling shenanigans on your sense of touch lol.
This quote is from a thread about Simpson brushes, and is a perfect example of why I'm terrified of buying a high end badger brush.

Best is softer? Why is it cheaper? Is this universal or just Simpson?

Can someone give me a rundown? Use small words. Pretend I'm a brain damaged chinchilla.

10 1,858
Reply
 04-21-2012, 08:18 PM
#2
User Info
I am so glad you started this thread. I find myself confused about the different grades at times as well, especially when people start praising the latest FOTM.

1 223
Reply
 04-21-2012, 08:20 PM
#3
User Info
best is soft, super is softer.

2 band has more backbone or less floppy if that makes sense.

some think a lower grade hair, say "BEST BADGER" is softer then a higher grade hair, say "SILVERTIP BADGER", as the higher grade hair brush will usually (not always) more dense (aka more hair) and will haev way more backbone, thus making if feel not as soft, when in fact it is softer, but it is more dense.

not sure if that helps or makes it more confusing.

8 2,718
Reply
 04-21-2012, 08:20 PM
#4
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
User Info
Eric,

Brushes are very personal. Since there is no standard industry descriptions/gradings and badger is a natural product, there is enormous variation.

The reality is some guys would be upset if they spent $200 on a brush and found that it was not pillowy soft. Others, like myself, would be extremely upset if they spent $200 on a brush and found that it WAS pillowy soft.

If you are looking for a brush with a certain feel, it is best to ask for recommendations and read reviews from those that have tried it. And not just those that have 1 or 2 brushes, but those that have owned a number of brushes. Also, you must keep in mind that one guys scrubby is another guys uncomfortable.

Some brushes are very consistent in feel. Others will have a range of opinions. Regardless of your taste there is a brush out there that is perfect for you. It may not be what is perfect for me, but don't give up. It will take some time to find the right one, and to me, thats half the fun

9 541
Reply
 04-21-2012, 09:17 PM
#5
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
User Info
(04-21-2012, 08:20 PM)brucered Wrote: best is soft, super is softer.

2 band has more backbone or less floppy if that makes sense.
Okay, this is pretty much what I thought I knew, so it's good to know I'm not completely oblivious.

Is 2-band considered a type of silvertip, or is it more like a synonym for finest?

(04-21-2012, 08:20 PM)GreekGuy Wrote: Brushes are very personal. Since there is no standard industry descriptions/gradings and badger is a natural product, there is enormous variation.
I do understand that, but I thought there was a general trend in the conventions even if there was no set standard for exactly where the lines were. I thought it was sort of like this:

Softness: Pure->Best->Finest/2-Band->Silvertip
Backbone: Pure->Best->Silvertip->Finest

Is it not even that consistent?

Quote:If you are looking for a brush with a certain feel, it is best to ask for recommendations and read reviews from those that have tried it. And not just those that have 1 or 2 brushes, but those that have owned a number of brushes.
I'm not even sure if I even really want a badger brush. The lack of consistency makes it difficult to even know if I should be trying to pick one.

Currently I have a TGN super silvertip, a Vie-Long horsehair brush, an Omega Pro 49 and a Semogue 1305. I also used to have a Shea Moisture brush which my wife and daughter have swiped. I think it's clear that Pure Badger is not the way I want to go. Smile

The boars have quickly become my favorite, which the 1305 poised to take the lead. The boars are nice because the tips feel soft against the face but the firm bristles make them stimulating to the skin. Sometime they feel a tiny bit *too* rigid, if that makes sense. I might like a bit more movement out of them.

The horse brush is similar but has some random prickliness. It's also not as soft as either the silvertip or the boar. However, the hairs have great movement against the skin and each other, and it lathers like mad.

The TGN super silvertip is a very soft brush. It's also set fairly low (49mm) so it's fairly dense and has good backbone. Sometimes it feels like it has too much backbone, like a rubber ball covered in a really decadently soft covering. It doesn't seem to whip the lather quite as nicely or want to give it up as well as the horse or boars.

10 1,858
Reply
 04-21-2012, 09:27 PM
#6
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
User Info
(04-21-2012, 09:17 PM)Songwind Wrote: Softness: Pure->Best->Finest/2-Band->Silvertip
Backbone: Pure->Best->Silvertip->Finest

Is it not even that consistent?

Finest is generally a nick-name for 2 band hair.

However, there is a difference between scrub and scritch. Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably when they are actually slightly different feels.

Instead of rambling on, I think I can see what types of brushes you enjoy. It seems to me that you would prefer the 3 band super style of badger, rather than the 2 band. Also, it seems like you would prefer a brush with a higher loft. This has a tendency to make the brush feel softer and less dense/scrubby.

There are a number of simpson's and Vulfix brushes that would be ideal for your preferences. Also, you may want to look into the Kent BK series. I have never heard anyone describe the Kent brushes as anything other than pillowy soft

9 541
Reply
 04-21-2012, 09:49 PM
#7
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
User Info
It's one of the most difficult things to give advice about. Even if one could among the same quality of hair from the same maker the feel from a small versus big knot, long versus short loft can change the experience entirely.

And then there is personal preference. I don't like boar, tried many, no love. I like small brushes that are very dense, many hate them.

What I did find useful was that I could try brushes out from people who live near me (and we have meetings every few months). That must have saved me a lot of money and disappointment. I really hope you find what you're looking for.

27 1,294
Reply
 04-21-2012, 09:58 PM
#8
User Info
(04-21-2012, 08:20 PM)brucered Wrote: best is soft, super is softer.

2 band has more backbone or less floppy if that makes sense.

some think a lower grade hair, say "BEST BADGER" is softer then a higher grade hair, say "SILVERTIP BADGER", as the higher grade hair brush will usually (not always) more dense (aka more hair) and will haev way more backbone, thus making if feel not as soft, when in fact it is softer, but it is more dense.

not sure if that helps or makes it more confusing.

2 band super and 3 band super are two entirely different things, for the most part 2 band has a thicker gauge hair resulting in the spring it is known for.

And I was the one that made the original claim about best and 2 band super lol. I wasn't comparing an Omega Silvertip to Simpson Best etc.

Also, if you're going to use that assumption, then why is it, a 2 band chubby isn't as soft as a 3 band Super? Seriously, which one has more hair there? I need a scale! Mark?!

0 652
Reply
 04-22-2012, 05:25 AM
#9
User Info
Brushes don’t have to be expensive to be efficient. For example I have spent a fortune on brushes, including Simpsons, Rooney Kent etc., however the best brush I have is a New Forest Tubby 1 in 2 band super, made in England. I have a Simpson Cubby 1 in 2 band super, and a Rooney large style 3 in Best and IMP the latter is much softer, reason being it has a 55mm loft. Again this is very much subjective.
Jim

0 475
Reply
 04-22-2012, 09:52 AM
#10
User Info
Some of my definitions:

Scrub, scrubbiness: A property of the density and loft of the knot (and, to some extent, the backbone). This is the resistance the whole knot provides against the skin when the brush is rubbed against the skin.

A knot that's not dense, or has a long loft will be floppy, and not provide much scrub, regardless of the grade of hair.

2-Band hair has more backbone, and can afford to be less dense than a 3-band knot while still retaining scrub.

Scritch, scritchiness: A property of the tips of the hair used in the knot. This is essentially a property of the thickness of the hair at the very tip, and it affects the feel of the hair on the face. Thick tips (or cut tips) will give rise to increased scritchiness. Untrimmed hair will have varying amounts of scritch, depending on the length of the taper at the tips.

I have a feeling that some of the hair available now has artificially long tapering tips, leading to a very soft feel on the face (and also curling of the tips).

Note: Some makers will have a mix of cut and natural sketch hair in their lower grade knots, yielding different feels, depending on the proportions of the various hairs used. Higher grade knots from reputable makers tend to be homogenously of one grade.

Backbone: A property of the thickness of the shaft of the hair. Hairs with thicker shafts tend to have more backbone. Some grades of hair (2-band or 'Finest') have long thick shafts that taper only at the very tips. 3-band hair tends to be thinner.

Finest Grade:
Not a really useful grade description. Usually used to denote 2-band hair. So, Simpson 2-band would be a 'Finest', so would Rooney 'Finest' and 'Heritage 2-band'.

I've had one Rooney Finest (marked) that clearly had a mix of hairs, some clipped, some not. Most Rooney Finest brushes had a 2-band knot. They seemed to use the designation based on the feel of the knot, not the composition......thus muddying the waters.

Pure Badger: Generally the lowest grade of hair used in knots by any maker. These knots have a high proportion of trimmed hair. They tend to be less dense and scritchy. The hairs can come from anywhere on the Badger.

Best Badger: Generally a higher grade of hair than Pure. The knots tend to have a lower proportion of trimmed hair (if any), and minor scritch, reasonable density and a nice feel. Sometimes, Best Badger knots can feel pretty much like Super. They're generally not as dense as the higher-grade knots.

Super Badger (or 3-band Super): High quality knot from any maker. Usually made up entirely of untrimmed hair, and also a very consistent make-up of hair (all from the same part of the badger). Shows a nice '3-band' look, and has soft tips and can have very dense (and scrubby) knots (depending on the maker and model of brush).

2-Band Badger:
A specific sub-type of Super Badger hair, with the hairs having long, dark shafts and white tips. This hair generally has nice backbone but the knots cannot be made as dense as 3-band Super knots, because of the thickness of the 2-band hairs.

Silvertip Badger: See 3-band Super Badger (though this is never used to describe 2-band Super).

---------------

As I said above, I'm pretty sure Rooney (and now several Chinese knot manufacturers) use a physical or chemical treatment on some hair grades. This claim is based on inference, and not fact. It's either this, or Rooney has got its hands on a new species of badger. Wink

37 1,731
Reply
 04-22-2012, 12:55 PM
#11
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
User Info
(04-22-2012, 09:52 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: As I said above, I'm pretty sure Rooney (and now several Chinese knot manufacturers) use a physical or chemical treatment on some hair grades. This claim is based on inference, and not fact. It's either this, or Rooney has got its hands on a new species of badger. Wink

Yoahnn,

This post was very helpful for those looking to know more about the different grades. Well done!

When you say Rooney is using a treatment, are you referring to their Heritage series or other brushes with super soft tips? My understand is some of the heritage hair can actually have some scritch to it

9 541
Reply
 04-22-2012, 01:00 PM
#12
User Info
(04-21-2012, 08:07 PM)Songwind Wrote:
Quote: Since when is Simpson's 2 band softer than their Best, I'm calling shenanigans on your sense of touch lol.
This quote is from a thread about Simpson brushes, and is a perfect example of why I'm terrified of buying a high end badger brush.

Best is softer? Why is it cheaper? Is this universal or just Simpson?

Can someone give me a rundown? Use small words. Pretend I'm a brain damaged chinchilla.

I had the same questions before buying my first brush. To find out first hand, I went to a brick-and-mortar store and checked out the brushes they carried. By handling the brushes, it could be readily seen that there were marked differences in stiffness, softness, the grip afforded by the shape of the handle, etc. This can vary by brand and badger hair grade, in addition to badger vs. boar. The brush I eventually bought was a Dovo pure badger. It was a lot less stiff, a lot less scritchy and more expensive than the other pure badger brushes, but much less expensive than the silvertip brushes. I never would have known that from the online descriptions. In fact, Dovo brushes are hardly ever mentioned in the forums. While online observations and opinions are helpful, IMHO first hand observations are even more so.

Understanding Hair Grades of Badger Brushes is a useful reference, and well worth reading if you are considering a badger brush.

0 303
Reply
 04-22-2012, 01:25 PM
#13
User Info
I know from speaking with Jaun at Gifts & Care that Vie-Long uses some kind of treatment to soften the tips of their horsehair brushes so I'm sure it's possible that other manufacturers may do this too. I'll leave the speculation as to who is & who isn't up to others.

31 7,912
Reply
 04-22-2012, 01:42 PM
#14
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
User Info
Excellent information, Guys. With brushes, perhaps more than any other wetshaving "tool", research helps a lot but so does experience. A big part of why so many of us own/have owned dozens of brushes is our continuous quest to find what we like the best. That and we think they're pretty. Blush

For badgers, I'm pretty much a high density/2-band/medium loft kinda guy. Then again, I've recently leaned a bit to bigger brushes. So the quest continues!

And then there's boar and horsehair. I'm only beginning there...

35 2,703
Reply
 04-22-2012, 01:54 PM
#15
User Info
(04-22-2012, 12:55 PM)GreekGuy Wrote: Yoahnn,

This post was very helpful for those looking to know more about the different grades. Well done!

When you say Rooney is using a treatment, are you referring to their Heritage series or other brushes with super soft tips? My understand is some of the heritage hair can actually have some scritch to it

Well, Nick - Those are definitions I use, but I can't claim that they're universally accurate. Smile

As to Rooney and the hair treatment, I'm referring to the hair used in their XL series.

Also, I must stress that this is a suspicion on my part.....not Gospel Truth! Also, it's not anything that I regard as being underhand or anything like that. I just think that they're treating the hair somehow to make the tips so soft (and different from any other badger grade).

37 1,731
Reply
 04-22-2012, 02:17 PM
#16
User Info
The 2-band hair in my Heritage 2XL definitely feels "weird" so I would not be surprised if it was treated. It is clearly different in feel than my other 2-bands.

Also, all the different grades can be confusing, but it's really not that hard to find a brush you will probably like. I started out with badger brushes and they continue to be my preference. I also tried a couple brushes before settling on what I prefer, and at the time didn't know all the intricacies of badger hair grading.

A simple rule of thumb to follow for most brands is that the higher grades of hair will be softer at the tip, unless you're talking about some very expensive brushes and/or specialized high grades of hair (2-band, D01, High Mountain White, etc.)

0 189
Reply
 04-22-2012, 02:44 PM
#17
User Info
When it comes to badger hair and the various names and grades...only the Shadow knows. Seems more hype then reality.

Next we hill have 4- Band High Manchurian White Hooked Badger with a side of fries.

2 697
Reply
 04-22-2012, 03:16 PM
#18
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
User Info
(04-22-2012, 01:54 PM)yohannrjm Wrote:
(04-22-2012, 12:55 PM)GreekGuy Wrote: Yohann,

This post was very helpful for those looking to know more about the different grades. Well done!

When you say Rooney is using a treatment, are you referring to their Heritage series or other brushes with super soft tips? My understand is some of the heritage hair can actually have some scritch to it

Well, Nick - Those are definitions I use, but I can't claim that they're universally accurate. Smile

As to Rooney and the hair treatment, I'm referring to the hair used in their XL series.

Also, I must stress that this is a suspicion on my part.....not Gospel Truth! Also, it's not anything that I regard as being underhand or anything like that. I just think that they're treating the hair somehow to make the tips so soft (and different from any other badger grade).

Thanks Yohann. I understand this was just your impression and not proof from your secret visit to the Rooney factory Wink

(04-22-2012, 02:17 PM)cvac Wrote: A simple rule of thumb to follow for most brands is that the higher grades of hair will be softer at the tip, unless you're talking about some very expensive brushes and/or specialized high grades of hair (2-band, D01, High Mountain White, etc.)

I've heard that the Plisson HWM can actually have some scritch. Go figure!

Strangely, entry level brushes tend to have more scratch than scritch. Then you get into the soft brushes. Then, sadly, the very expensive brushes tend to have scritch but not scratch.

Of course, this is all personal preference and there are certainly examples of every category in each end of the price spectrum

9 541
Reply
 04-22-2012, 03:26 PM
#19
User Info
Nick -

I don't know about newer Plisson HMW's (I've heard non-flattering reviews of the new Plissons), but my old 80's HMW is easily the best brush I've ever owned.

The hair on the 80's HMW has really nice backbone, especially considering the loft on the one I have, but the tips are soft (not Rooney XL soft, but perfect for me), and the other characteristics (flowthrough, face-feel, ease of loading, etc.) are really amazing.

Again, this is a personal opinion, but no other brush I've tried (and that includes some pretty expensive ones) has matched up to my preferences like this one has.

I still try new brushes, but I keep wondering why.

37 1,731
Reply
 04-22-2012, 03:30 PM
#20
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
User Info
(04-22-2012, 03:26 PM)yohannrjm Wrote: I still try new brushes, but I keep wondering why.

I know why, you're looking for that elusive perfect brush. I think the next brush I buy will be the one. Although I have been known to say that in the past Blush

9 541
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)