04-30-2012, 02:16 PM
#1
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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[Image: P1240052.JPG?m=1334216513]

Muhle have came out with two brilliant synthetic fibres : one called "silvertip fibres" and another called "black fibre".Both of them are light years away in quality to other synthetic fibres used by other brands.However,there are differences between those new two synthetic fibres and I would like to share with you what differences I have found out about them so far.

First,lets check out what Muhle says about both types of synthetic fibres :

Black Fibre:

Quote:Black Fibres - we have developed this purely vegan quality specially for wet shaving. In their dark colouring and softness the synthetic fibres resemble natural hair material and possess equally good performance characteristics. At the same time, the fibres prove somewhat sturdier and possibly even more durable. Some users prefer this material not only due to its vegan properties, but also because it produces particularly creamy shaving foam.


Silvertip Fibres :

Quote:High-quality synthetic fibres, a world first: a premium quality developed in-house analogously to natural silvertip badger. Silvertip Fibres are tangibly soft, extremely long-lasting and somewhat less sensitive in everyday use as water drips of them and they dry faster than natural hair. The completely vegan fibre quickly creates a particularly creamy lather from shaving soaps and creams.

So,as we can read,Muhle divides both kind of fibres,one bein a premium almost "look and feel alike" badger hair (silvertip fibres) and the other a step behind in quality and "look and feel alike" bagder (black fibres).But is there any differences between them?Well,yes they are.

I would compare the 21mm knot black fibre brush with the 21mm silvertip fibres brush that I own and have been testing for the last two weeks.

Fibres (bristle) density


[Image: P1240037.JPG?m=1334004879]

The Black Fibre brush is clearly less dense than the Silvertip Fibres one.Is it because of the thickness of its hair?It could be,but the Black synthetic fibres arent much thicker than the Silvertip fibres ones.What I did noticed is that the Black Fibres are less "curly" than the Silvertip Fibres ones.

You can see how the Black Fibre one is more curly than the Silvertip Fibres ones in this pic:

[Image: P1240041.JPG?m=1334005070]

The Silvertip Fibres brush is more densely packed than the Black Fibre one.Dont get me wrong,is not as densely packed as the mayority of badger hair brushes,but close enough.Also its fibres are thicker than natural badger hair.

[Image: P1230907.JPG?m=1333341373]

Softness of the tips


Both synthetic fibres types has super soft tips.However,the Black Fibre are softer than the Silvertip Fibres.

Codfish have explained that the Black Fibre are "forked" or "splitted",like a break in boar brush.Thant could explain why they are that soft :

Here is the pic that member Codifh took of the Black Fibres tips.You can clearly see the forking on some of the bristles :

[Image: displayimage.php?imageid=32927]

And here is mine of the Black Fibre tips :

[Image: P1240034.JPG?m=1334004974]

The Silvertip Fibre bristle tips are soft too but has a more of a "rugous" feeling,almost like real badger hair,but keeping is softness.

I find that I do like prefer the feeling of the Silvertip Fibres over the Black Fibre one,but if you have a super sensitive skin,the Black Fibre would be the bristles for you.

Backbone


In this case,the Silvertip Fibres brush wins really clearly.Dont get me wrong,the Black Fibre bristles has some backbone,but not close to the firmess than the Silvertip Fibres bristles provides.If you are a 100% die hard face latheres,the Silvertip Fibres would suit your requirements of decent backbone better than the Black Fibre one.

I have tested both fibres brushes with both circular and lateral (painting) movements while building up lather on my face and while the Silvertip Fibres requires that I have to "push it" against my skin a little bit harder than a regular silvertip brush,the Black Fibre was pretty easy to use with circular movements, allowing me to almost not apply any pressure over it.
Both brushes performed really well with painting movements.

I would say that the Black Fibre has a more "natural" flow than the Silvertip Fibres one,but not by much.

Water retention capacity

Both brushes holds a lot of water,but I would say that the Silvertip Fibres holds more water than the Black Fibre one.To be honest,I have put not much attention into this until a couple days ago that I tested them and discovered that hold water like a boar brush ( a Semogue 1550) and less than a badger hair brush (Vie Long two band).

Performance


Both brushes perform excellent,however I found that :

1.The Black Fibre performs better with shaving creams and palm/bowl lathering.

2.The Silvertip Fibres performs better with hard soaps and its excellent with face lathering,but as well with palm or bowl lathering.

Can I use the Black Fibres with hard,tripple milled soaps?Yes you can,and actually you will find out that loads really quick,more like a boar hair,however,when its use with creams,makes them to literally "explote" and create a super creamy lather in less time than with hard soaps.

The Silvertip Fibres is another soap destroyer,making easy lather from any kind of soap,even the most "difficult" ones,like Mitchells Wool Fat (using this brush is so easy to build lather up from MWF!)

If I would have to choose one brush for facelathering with sticks and soaps,would be the Silvertip Fibres one.If I would have to choose one brush for bowl lathering with creams,that would be the Black Fibre one.No hesitation or doubts about this on my mind.

[Image: P1240040.JPG?m=1334005063]

Both brushes requires a little bit of product (soap or cream) to rewards us with tons of lather made in no time, basically.


Do they feel like real badger hair?

Thats another frequent asked question.Well,the Black Fibre feel so soft that could be easily noticed that its not real badger hair.The Silvertip Fibres on the other hand,feels more "rough" and,honestly,If Im blindfolded would have a difficult time to recognize it,but now that I have been using it for a while,I think l,ll do it easily too.

They both behave like badger hair brushes when its time to build up lather,but with some differences with badger hair,that I have explained before :

1.Little quantity of product (less than with badger or boar hair) is required to make a lot of lather.

2.They dry out really quickly.Both synthetic fibres are totally dry out in 10 minutes,but the Black Fibre,due to its less density bristles,its ready in around 5 or 6 minutes..


So,are they differences between those Muhle synthetic bristles?Yes,they are and,for me,due to my testing and experience with these brushes,I would say that :

1.If you like to bowl lathering with shaving creams,the Black Fibre brushes is the one for you.

2.If you like to face lathering with soaps and sticks,but also once in a while,bowl or palm lathering with soaps or creams,the Silvertip Fibres is the one for you.

Hope this would help you to choose your next Muhle synthetic shaving brush and I must say thanks to Muhle for coming out with these fantastic shaving brushes!

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 04-30-2012, 02:30 PM
#2
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
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I've been waiting for this review! Thank you for putting in so much detail between the two fibres. It looks like the Silvertip fibre will be on my future wishlist as I love face lathering. Too bad they dont have a Silvertip in the handle of the black, then it would be perfect.

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 04-30-2012, 03:38 PM
#3
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Teiste, another excellent review.

I think that Muhle is clearly tuning these brushes for the different applications. The less dense black fiber brush seems to resemble more of a best badger in terms of capability of face lathering based on the lower density which would provide more spring when face lathering. That would allow for an easier time in pushing the brush to the face and making swirling motions. One added bonus is the surprising softness when compared to similar colored badger brushes.

The Silvertip is clearly meant to resemble a Silvertip Badger in terms of softness and as you pointed out a "carpet" of fibers. I have compared mine to my new real Silvertip badger in this thread:

http://shavenook.com/thread-let-s-go-wit...-continued

It is just as soft as the real thing, and is designed to look like it as well. In fact it is softer than the Simpson Best Colonel X2L that is picture with my true Silvertip badger.

I will be interested in testing my Muhle Silvertip over the next few days to see how it compares to your notes.

Thanks again for your review.

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 04-30-2012, 05:05 PM
#4
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I too have been waiting for this review! Thank you!!
I ordered the Black Fiber (still waiting for it to arrive), wondering if I made the right choice between the black or silvertip fibers. I was very happy to see that based on your review, I had. I primarily bowl lather with creams. Although I do want to branch out and experiment with other products and techniques. So maybe one day, when I'm feeling a little more rich, I will go for the silvertips.
Again, thank you!!

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 04-30-2012, 05:28 PM
#5
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Thank you Teiste for another great review & comparison. While I don't have the Silvertip fibre to compare to I will agree with most of what you said about the black fibre. It's not very dense, but is super soft & whips up a lather using any method very easily. I can easily load the black fibres on a hard puck and face lather with it wonderfully too. I will certainly being looking to get a silvertip fibre eventually. I'm not of fan of the handle in your review but I do like the Kosmo version so I may be saving up for it, or as Dave as done I might consider moving some of my other brushes to get it.

Thanks again for the time you put into this and for putting up with my persistent questions regarding this comparison. It was well worth the wait. Biggrin

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 04-30-2012, 05:34 PM
#6
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(04-30-2012, 05:05 PM)ronniesoup Wrote: I too have been waiting for this review! Thank you!!
I ordered the Black Fiber (still waiting for it to arrive), wondering if I made the right choice between the black or silvertip fibers. I was very happy to see that based on your review, I had. I primarily bowl lather with creams. Although I do want to branch out and experiment with other products and techniques. So maybe one day, when I'm feeling a little more rich, I will go for the silvertips.
Again, thank you!!

I have a feeling you will enjoy your new brush very much.

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 04-30-2012, 06:22 PM
#7
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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Great Review...You have got me seriously considering one of these brushes.

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 04-30-2012, 06:40 PM
#8
  • Codfish
  • Product Tester
  • Connecticut Shoreline
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When I was looking for my first "serious" brush as a DE shaver, I was frankly unimpressed with what I was reading about them. Most reviews back then were done in 2009, and pointed out issues with:

1. Water retention
2. Loading
3. Lather
4. Application/Backbone
5. Quality feel
6. Appearance

Last year, I had an opportunity to test a 21mm MÜHLE Black Fibre brush. I felt that something dramatic was happening in the field of synthetic brushes. I then had a chance to test MÜHLE Silvertip Fibres brushes with 19, 21 and 23mm knots, and started to ask myself:

• Have synthetic brushes come of age?
• Do they have qualities that are as good or better than natural brushes?

Teiste, thank you for another excellent review, and for providing such well-reasoned and illustrated answers to my questions, and for your contributions to the shaving community through all you do.

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 04-30-2012, 06:50 PM
#9
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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Teiste, do you consider the Muhle fibers to be on par with our superior to a quality badger brush like a Simpson in Best for example?

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 04-30-2012, 08:00 PM
#10
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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(04-30-2012, 03:38 PM)GDCarrington Wrote: I think that Muhle is clearly tuning these brushes for the different applications. The less dense black fiber brush seems to resemble more of a best badger in terms of capability of face lathering based on the lower density which would provide more spring when face lathering. That would allow for an easier time in pushing the brush to the face and making swirling motions.

This is the very reason the Black Fibers doesn't fit my particular style very well. Sad I'm looking forward to trying out the Silver tip soon.

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 04-30-2012, 09:20 PM
#11
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Thank you for the nice and informative comparison Teiste. I have the silvertip one and it is a superb brush indeed.

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 05-01-2012, 03:16 AM
#12
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Great overview of the two brushes. I have been waiting for someone to do this. Now the next question - Which Silvertip to get. The 21 or the 23!!!

Thanks Again!

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 05-01-2012, 04:57 AM
#13
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Just received my Black Fibers as well.

It resembles pure badger, so I was prepared for a scritchy experience. The opposite was true, it was really soft. This brush, I got the 31 P 8 S/GR, is indeed more like a medium dense Best knot, also in terms of backbone. It gave me a luxurious shave, with good lather (I thought it was a bit bubbly, but then again it was only my first attempt).

We have already mentioned that these Black Fibers and the Silvertip fibers are excellent performers.

Muhle is really on the right track with these innovative developments!

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 05-01-2012, 09:04 AM
#14
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Tieste - thank you for the excellent review.

Does anyone here have a Baxter of California Black Fiber brush? I got it a few months back and I love that. It works better than the Muhle Best Badger (which is excellent and great looking) brush, if by a small margin. I am presuming the bristles for BoC are same as the Muhle since they are produced at the same place.

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 05-01-2012, 09:33 AM
#15
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Great comparison Tieste. I was going to get a black fibre one but after your post, I don't think it will suit my style of lathering.

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 05-01-2012, 11:23 AM
#16
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Teiste, very nice review as usual. My silvertip fibre is fantastically good and almost disgusts me how man-made fiber can work better than a lot of natural hair brushes, dry faster and use less product.

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 05-01-2012, 12:45 PM
#17
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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Thank you very much for the comparison!!! Much appreciated. Biggrin

Add the H.I.S.synthetic brush and the FS synthetic and it's a great brush collection.
The start of a new AD....

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 05-01-2012, 02:21 PM
#18
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I have a feeling you will enjoy your new brush very much.
[/quote]

Awaiting anxiously until I get it! Biggrin

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 05-02-2012, 06:01 AM
#19
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A couple days ago I contacted Muhle through their website and asked them what they would say are the differences between the Black Fibre and the Silvertip Fibre brushes. This morning I got a reply from Christian Muller and while it isn't earth shattering new info it does give some extra information that I've not seen reported before on these brushes so I thought I should share it with the Nook.

"Dear Mr. Sharp,

thank you for the email.

The difference is that the black fibre knots are made by machine, the Silvertip fibres are tied by hand. The other difference is the color and diameter of the single fibres.

mit freundlichen Grüßen / best regards,

Christian Müller"

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 05-02-2012, 06:26 AM
#20
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(05-02-2012, 06:01 AM)SharpSpine Wrote: A couple days ago I contacted Muhle through their website and asked them what they would say are the differences between the Black Fibre and the Silvertip Fibre brushes. This morning I got a reply from Christian Muller and while it isn't earth shattering new info it does give some extra information that I've not seen reported before on these brushes so I thought I should share it with the Nook.

"Dear Mr. Sharp,

thank you for the email.

The difference is that the black fibre knots are made by machine, the Silvertip fibres are tied by hand. The other difference is the color and diameter of the single fibres.

mit freundlichen Grüßen / best regards,

Christian Müller"

Thanks for the info!

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