05-11-2012, 10:46 AM
#1
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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You enablers have convinced me it is worth it to dip my toes in the premium badger brush pond. So, I want to ask the family for one for father's day next month.

I feel pulled in a few different directions. Part of me wants to try something really crazy soft. However, I keep gravitating to my firmer brushes with soft tips, so maybe that's a recipe for disaster.

The Setup
I currently have a TGN silvertip 22mm set at 49mm loft. It's a nice brush but currently my least favorite. I also have a Vie-Long 13800 which I like a lot, but which could be a bit less prickly. My two latest acquisitions are a pair of boar brushes, an Omega Pro 49 and a Semogue 1305. I love them, and have been using one or the other most days, unless I'm in a huge hurry and can't afford the time to soak it.

The Parameters
Under $100 is an absolute hard limit.
Under $75 would be better.
I have no particular brand loyalty or aversion.

So, Shave Nook: pick me the best brush in my range to really show me what a badger brush can do.

Update 5/21
Since starting this thread, I have tried a Muehle Silvertip Fibers synthetic (23mm). I liked the softness quite a lot, and the way it gave up lather. I also liked the medium density of the thing.

I also tried a Frank Shaving finest. 24mm X 54mm. I really liked the softness of those tips, and it was also a pretty nice density. It gave up lather well and made a luxurious batch of it in no time with RazoRock XXX. It splayed out perhaps a bit much, and could have stood to be a tad shorter, maybe 52mm.

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 05-11-2012, 10:58 AM
#2
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
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I'm thinking maybe the Vulfix Grosvenor? You seem to be enjoying the boar brushes, so maybe this boar/badger hybrid would be different enough to be new and exciting. I personally don't have experience with it, but as I enjoy my SOC boar more and more it's becoming more appealing.

edit. I'm also extremely satisfied with my Frank Shaving Finest 2-band. It has only lost a couple of hairs and feels fantastic. Works great with hard soaps and creams.

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 05-11-2012, 11:03 AM
#3
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Being a hardcore Simpson fan, I would have to recommend either a Colonel X2L Best (21mm/46mm) ($40-65 forums, $60-85 retail), a Commodore X2 Best (22mm/49mm) ($42-60 forums, $60-72 retail) or Commodore X3 Best (25mm/53mm) ($40-65 forums, $56-94 eBay, $70-85 retail), or a Duke 2 Best (22mm/49mm) ($55-74 forums, $70 eBay, $80-104 retail). All have good backbone, fairly soft tips, and great flowthrough. I don't think you'd be disappointed with any of them.

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 05-11-2012, 11:12 AM
#4
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I'm going to take the road less traveled and suggest a 'New Forest' brush.

I've only had two of them, but they were both excellent brushes. They also seem to match your requirements (super soft tips and some backbone).

You'll have to look up Fido's blog to buy them, but they're pretty cheap, and match up with some of the pretty expensive 'premium' brushes. It is my contention that you won't be losing feel and functionality by buying a NF brush over a sub-$100 Simpsons........in fact, the knots match up very well with pretty expensive Simpsons brushes.

There's a thread here in the brush forum about them. They don't get much press because you have to buy them through Fido, and also apparently because when he first started off there were quality issues. I'm basing my recommendation on the brushes I've had.

EDIT: If it has to be a 'big name' brush - I'll put my vote in for the Simpsons Colonel X2L --- excellent brush! The Semogue SOC badger is also a really nice choice, but it is more expensive and less consistent. I had two - one is excellent, the other was too scritchy.

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 05-11-2012, 11:16 AM
#5
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For what you're after I too will primarily recommend a Simpson in Best. I really enjoy my Commodore X2. If you want something even a bit softer then also take a look at the Vulfix 2234. Finally I'm another happy owner of a Frank Shaving Finest. You could get one of the others to stay under $75 & then add the Frank to get a second brush & stay around the $100 mark.

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 05-11-2012, 12:13 PM
#6
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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(05-11-2012, 11:03 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Being a hardcore Simpson fan, I would have to recommend either a Colonel X2L Best (21mm/46mm) ($40-65 forums, $60-85 retail), a Commodore X2 Best (22mm/49mm) ($42-60 forums, $60-72 retail) or Commodore X3 Best (25mm/53mm) ($40-65 forums, $56-94 eBay, $70-85 retail), or a Duke 2 Best (22mm/49mm) ($55-74 forums, $70 eBay, $80-104 retail). All have good backbone, fairly soft tips, and great flowthrough. I don't think you'd be disappointed with any of them.

I was going to make some of these suggestions, good items. Also, I'm a huge fan of my beloved Rooney 3/1 Super from Vintageblades. Not sure of typical BST prices, but it's just at $75 (though I don't know if prices changed from when I bought it last year).

(05-11-2012, 11:03 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Being a hardcore Simpson fan, I would have to recommend either a Colonel X2L Best (21mm/46mm) ($40-65 forums, $60-85 retail), a Commodore X2 Best (22mm/49mm) ($42-60 forums, $60-72 retail) or Commodore X3 Best (25mm/53mm) ($40-65 forums, $56-94 eBay, $70-85 retail), or a Duke 2 Best (22mm/49mm) ($55-74 forums, $70 eBay, $80-104 retail). All have good backbone, fairly soft tips, and great flowthrough. I don't think you'd be disappointed with any of them.

I was going to make some of these suggestions, good items. Also, I'm a huge fan of my beloved Rooney 3/1 Super from Vintageblades. Not sure of typical BST prices, but it's just at $75 (though I don't know if prices changed from when I bought it last year).

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 05-11-2012, 12:36 PM
#7
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Best or Finest badger was definitely on my radar for this purpose. Recent discussions here about the Simpson Best brushes made me realize I had sort of the wrong idea about them.

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 05-11-2012, 12:42 PM
#8
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Do you bowl lather, face lather, hand lather? That makes a difference IMO.

OK, so I can only help with face lathering. I do that exclusively.

Giving in to my inner nature I'd choose boars more often than not. I'm telling you this to put into perspective what I'm about to write. (my boars are a $.50 chinese boar, a Semogue 1438, a S' 610, an Omega 10019, all being excellent face lather brushes, and all quite different)

I have a Simpson Special in Pure that I like a lot. My other badger that I like even more is a Rooney 3/1 SuperSilvertip and that's a really special brush. None are even remotely similar to the qualities of my boars, except that they produce great lather.

All are great face lather brushes. I can't claim any badger brush that I use as having backbone after using boar brushes.

I have a used Commodore X1 Best coming in but that doesn't help you now. If I get it and it's timely and meaningful I'll post again.

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 05-11-2012, 01:01 PM
#9
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(05-11-2012, 12:42 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Do you bowl lather, face lather, hand lather? That makes a difference IMO.
I bowl and face lather. Bowl slightly more often than face, but mostly as the mood strikes me. However, I find it hard to imagine a face-lathering brush I couldn't bowl-lather with.

Quote:I have a Simpson Special in Pure that I like a lot. My other badger that I like even more is a Rooney 3/1 SuperSilvertip and that's a really special brush. None are even remotely similar to the qualities of my boars, except that they produce great lather.

All are great face lather brushes. I can't claim any badger brush that I use as having backbone after using boar brushes.

This is precisely why I have also considered getting a silvertip or a higher-loft brush. Part of me is thinking "It's not going to be like my boar brushes. Maybe if it's going to be different I should embrace that." Go big or go home, as they say.

Heck, maybe that's why my other brushes have supplanted by TGN brush.

Quote:I have a used Commodore X1 Best coming in but that doesn't help you now. If I get it and it's timely and meaningful I'll post again.

Eh, I tend to research and consider things for a while before I move, so I bet I won't have reached a final decision before you get yours. Don't hesitate to share!

(Plus, I'm part of a Silvertip Fiber pass-around, and it arrives at my house today. I may decide to go synthetic before all is said and done. Tongue)

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 05-11-2012, 05:18 PM
#10
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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(05-11-2012, 11:12 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: I'm going to take the road less traveled and suggest a 'New Forest' brush.

I've only had two of them, but they were both excellent brushes. They also seem to match your requirements (super soft tips and some backbone).

You'll have to look up Fido's blog to buy them, but they're pretty cheap, and match up with some of the pretty expensive 'premium' brushes. It is my contention that you won't be losing feel and functionality by buying a NF brush over a sub-$100 Simpsons........in fact, the knots match up very well with pretty expensive Simpsons brushes.

There's a thread here in the brush forum about them. They don't get much press because you have to buy them through Fido, and also apparently because when he first started off there were quality issues. I'm basing my recommendation on the brushes I've had.

EDIT: If it has to be a 'big name' brush - I'll put my vote in for the Simpsons Colonel X2L --- excellent brush! The Semogue SOC badger is also a really nice choice, but it is more expensive and less consistent. I had two - one is excellent, the other was too scritchy.

I agree with Yohann. The New Forrest I had was super soft, probably not the best bowl latherer given the shorter handle, but it certainly represented good value for money and the grade of hair was comparable to much more expensive offerings from other manufacturers. I haven't looked at Fido's current offerings, but I'm sure he'd have a handle more suited to bowl lathering.

Given you like to make an informed decision, perhaps you can jump on board the New Forrest pass around (if it's still running)...

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 05-11-2012, 05:40 PM
#11
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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Simpsons Colonel and don't look back. Of all the badgers I owned, it was the one that didn't leave my den till the very end.

-Workhorse with creams and soap
- equally good at bowl and face lathering
-still the best handle of any shaving brush I have ever used

I would love to have a Muhle Synthetic Knot set in a Simpsons Colonel handle.

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 05-11-2012, 05:44 PM
#12
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(05-11-2012, 05:40 PM)Dave Wrote: Simpsons Colonel and don't look back. Of all the badgers I owned, it was the one that didn't leave my den till the very end.

-Workhorse with creams and soap
- equally good at bowl and face lathering
-still the best handle of any shaving brush I have ever used

I would love to have a Muhle Synthetic Knot set in a Simpsons Colonel handle.

I will second Dave on this. I have the Colonel X2L and even though it is not the absolute best performer in my stable, it is so good all around that if you have to have one badger that one should be the one. The handle is excellent.

I wish that I could get a slightly larger version of that handle design with a H.I.S. synthetic knot.

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 05-12-2012, 08:31 AM
#13
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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The Colonel is a fantastic brush. I've got these two..
[attachment=1933]
But my NF was much softer...
[attachment=1934]

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 05-12-2012, 08:43 AM
#14
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(05-11-2012, 05:18 PM)ben74 Wrote:
(05-11-2012, 11:12 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: I'm going to take the road less traveled and suggest a 'New Forest' brush.

I've only had two of them, but they were both excellent brushes. They also seem to match your requirements (super soft tips and some backbone).

You'll have to look up Fido's blog to buy them, but they're pretty cheap, and match up with some of the pretty expensive 'premium' brushes. It is my contention that you won't be losing feel and functionality by buying a NF brush over a sub-$100 Simpsons........in fact, the knots match up very well with pretty expensive Simpsons brushes.

There's a thread here in the brush forum about them. They don't get much press because you have to buy them through Fido, and also apparently because when he first started off there were quality issues. I'm basing my recommendation on the brushes I've had.

EDIT: If it has to be a 'big name' brush - I'll put my vote in for the Simpsons Colonel X2L --- excellent brush! The Semogue SOC badger is also a really nice choice, but it is more expensive and less consistent. I had two - one is excellent, the other was too scritchy.

I agree with Yohann. The New Forrest I had was super soft, probably not the best bowl latherer given the shorter handle, but it certainly represented good value for money and the grade of hair was comparable to much more expensive offerings from other manufacturers. I haven't looked at Fido's current offerings, but I'm sure he'd have a handle more suited to bowl lathering.

Given you like to make an informed decision, perhaps you can jump on board the New Forrest pass around (if it's still running)...

Ditto on the New Forest. I have a 2-band 24mm that is fantastic and a second NF on order, a New Forest Tubby 1 Finest Silvertip Alpolina.

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 05-12-2012, 07:36 PM
#15
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I received a 23mm silvertip fiber brush to borrow for the week. If anyone who is participating in this thread would care to compare their suggestion to the Muhle brushes so I have a concrete data point, that would be awesome.

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 05-16-2012, 06:47 AM
#16
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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After spending this week with the Muehle, I have to say that the softness is definitely something I could get used to.

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 05-16-2012, 04:06 PM
#17
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(05-16-2012, 06:47 AM)Songwind Wrote: After spending this week with the Muehle, I have to say that the softness is definitely something I could get used to.

We have enabled well on this issue I see!
The new synthetics especially the Muhle brushes and the H.I.S. brushes are true game changers.

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 05-21-2012, 10:30 AM
#18
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Today I borrowed the daughter's Frank Shaving Finest badger, 24mm X 54mm.

I really liked the softness of those tips, and it was also a pretty nice density. It gave up lather well and made a luxurious batch of it in no time with RazoRock XXX. It splayed out perhaps a bit much, and could have stood to be a tad shorter, maybe 52mm.

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 05-27-2012, 05:43 AM
#19
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(05-21-2012, 10:30 AM)Songwind Wrote: Today I borrowed the daughter's Frank Shaving Finest badger, 24mm X 54mm.

I really liked the softness of those tips, and it was also a pretty nice density. It gave up lather well and made a luxurious batch of it in no time with RazoRock XXX. It splayed out perhaps a bit much, and could have stood to be a tad shorter, maybe 52mm.

Funny you suggest the 52mm loft. My Frank Finest is 24/52.

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 05-27-2012, 02:26 PM
#20
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Great suggestions, here, Eric! Good luck.

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