02-13-2014, 11:14 AM
#1
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Okay, so I finally got to try my first synthetic brush. It is a Muhle HJM Black Fiber. My first run with this brush was a mixed bag.

I was using Panna Crema which for me is really easy to lather. When I was loading, no soap was transfering from the tub to the brush. I realized that I was not using enough water, something I don't have a problem with my boars.

Finally started face lathering and I did get a good lather, just not the feel I was expecting. I have read that the black fiber is soft and floppy. This was anything but and almost had too much backbone and scritch for me. I am used to using semogue boars. I had to use an inordinate amount of pressure for the bristles to splay. I ended up getting a fine lather and shave, just was not expecting this feel.

Would the higher end synth brushes (L'Occitane, Muhle silvertip, etc.) have a softer feel on the face and splay easier or is it the opposite?

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 02-13-2014, 12:04 PM
#2
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I just saw reference to the newer HJM's being firmer and not as soft and gentle on the face or as easy to open up as the earlier version. It sounds as if Muhle has redesigned them to approximate their STF. If that's the case, they've left the softer/gentler playing field to the Plisson.

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 02-13-2014, 12:18 PM
#3
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Thanks for the info. Sounds like the Plisson might be more up my alley.

It was really how difficult it was to get the brush to splay that bothered me.

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 02-13-2014, 12:32 PM
#4
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If your preference is paint-stroking, then the Muhles are excellent at it. I gave mine up because I didn't want to be locked into just that, or trying to find just the right angle on-face or increasing pressure to get it to open. From the videos I've seen, and reading the posts here, the Plisson seems to be easier to work with.

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 02-13-2014, 02:42 PM
#5
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I don't know about the black fibre Muhles but my silvertip fibre Muhles are wonderful in every way, plenty of backbone, water retention, lathering ability.

I have a Muhle 35 K 257 V1 and Muhle 33 H13 V2, both excellent, the best of the synthetics in my mind.

Frank Shaving and H.I.S. are good, as well, but still prefer the Muhle. The Omega Syntex is awful.

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 02-13-2014, 03:22 PM
#6
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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No experience with the black fibre Muhle but I do use a Muhle XL V2 silver tip fibre brush. I normally face lather both hard soaps and creams. It lathers anything I have used easily and I am not restricted to painting strokes. It has enough backbone yet is soft on the face. Been a very good brush for me.

Bob

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 02-13-2014, 03:37 PM
#7
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Wow, that is a bit of a surprise for me because unless they changed them, the ones I used almost 18 months ago were extremely soft and too easy to splay.

Frank Shaving and Muhle Fibres splay very easily, in my opinion, with a good loft!

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 02-13-2014, 03:57 PM
#8
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I chose an STF v2 23m knot after watching TSN lathering videos, and listening to feedback from owners. The black fibre wasn't an option because of looks and softness. Both STFs I had came with very tight knots, and I could never get them to open up easily as I had seen on the videos. (My luck of the draw? A 23mm curse?) Couldn't complain about the lather, just the application. Current synthetics like the Plisson and upcoming Simpsons look to remedy that complaint, and I'm taking the strategic gamble of bypassing the former for the latter.

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 02-13-2014, 06:12 PM
#9
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(02-13-2014, 03:37 PM)celestino Wrote: Wow, that is a bit of a surprise for me because unless they changed them, the ones I used almost 18 months ago were extremely soft and too easy to splay.

That's my experience as well. My wife gave me an HJM for Christmas and bought it from Connaughts, probably in October. I love the soft tips, but it needs more backbone. I have trouble getting even two passes worth of lather built up on it.

It's really a disappointment as I was expecting so much more based on a thread on this forum singing its praises. I do need to go back and try it some more with soaps, but it does risk being relegated to cream duty.

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 02-13-2014, 06:40 PM
#10
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I am flummoxed. All of my stock BFs are soft & splay easily. My RV custom BFs at lower lofts have amazing backbone. The springiness of the fibers does feel different but I can't imagine that yours felt so tough. As I said, flummoxed.

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