Poll: Fan or bulb?
 05-11-2012, 07:51 PM
#1
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
What is your knot preference...?

[attachment=1886] OR
[attachment=1890]

***

Here is my tale of two Thaters...

It's a review I've previously shared elsewhere,
but it provides a comparison of

Fan vs Bulb...


(and will hopeful encourage debate on knot shape)

[attachment=1891]
Both Thaters have the same handle...

[attachment=1892]
Both Thaters are 2 band...

[attachment=1893]
Both have super soft tips...

[attachment=1894]
Both have approximately 26 x 55mm knots...

BUT... you guessed it...

[attachment=1895]
one is FAN

[attachment=1896]
the other BULB shaped!

***

The FAN...

I am a HUGE FAN of the FAN!

The FAN feels HUGE on the face. It is extremely soft, as is the BULB, but the BULB feels more structured and more concentrated on the face.
The FAN reminds my of my Rooney Heritage XL series (not the current hair, but the one considered to feel "gel-like" on the face).
Neither the FAN or BULB are as dense as the XL, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Less density (IMO) = greater flow through.

I used the FAN with Vulfix Persian Musk Shaving Cream.
I usually shower shave when going to work in the morning. Hence, I usually also face lather.
So, I did both.
Held the FAN under the shower for a few moments and it sucked up the water, but retained a compact shape.
Loaded the FAN by dipping it in the pot of cream and commenced face lathering.
Well, the brush exploded on my face!
I love the feel of a big, luxuriously soft brush and this rated highly in that department.
The FAN allowed me to experience the "full" knot on my face rather than the focused centre section as with the BULB.
The FAN certainly splayed, but not in a way that would have made it "mop-like" as there is definitely some backbone to these brushes.
When first examining both brushes I was concerned that they may be akin to some Kent brushes I have used in the "lack of" backbone department.
But, that wasn't the case!
The focused nature of the BULB provides a little more backbone and subsequent "sensation" as opposed to the FAN.

In summary...

The FAN has good flow through.
And feels much bigger on the face.

Both Thaters are SOFT, among the softest tips I've experienced (but still a second to my XL).
Both Thaters have backbone and density, but in measured doses.
That is, not excessive in either department.
The FAN displays less of both compared to the BULB, but...
The FAN is definitely my favourite!

(Please note: If you enjoy a little "scritch" you are most likely going to be a Thater hater!)

***

The Bulb...

I employed much of the same prep with theBULB as I did with the FAN.
Shower shave and face lather.
Vulfix Persain Musk shaving cream again.
Held under the shower and
the brush quickly drank it's fill and retained it's shape.
A dip in the pot of cream and in moments lather a plenty!
The knot refused to splay anywhere near as much as the FAN.
In holding it's shape, the brush felt more concentrated and focused on the face.
The BULB felt every bit as soft as the FAN.
But definitely more backbone (providing some sensation, but absolutely no scritch).
The BULB felt significantly smaller on the face compared to the FAN.
Again this brush is reminiscent of my "gel-like" XL.
Almost no bloom when compared to the FAN.
The BULB also reminded me of a fantastic pre 2005 Shavemac from my collection.

This was a more "refined" brush than the FAN and very easy to control on the face.
Perhaps a little more lather retention than the FAN (which exhibited much better than average flow through).
I enjoyed the BULB, but being a lover of big brushes the FAN comes in as my favourite (even if just by a hair)!


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 05-11-2012, 08:31 PM
#2
User Info
I am attracted to look of "fan" knots when they are new. But after use they seem to splay out. I have come to appreciate the bulb shape, the more precise placement of lather on my face, and how it looks after use.

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 05-11-2012, 09:03 PM
#3
User Info
i would have to vote for the bulb!

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 05-11-2012, 09:06 PM
#4
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I had a Simpson Duke 3 Best badger that was pretty much Bulb. I now have two Rooney brushes, 1/1 Best and 1/2 Super badger, that are Fan;
Three Omega boar brushes that are midway between a Bulb and Fan; and three Semogue boar brushes that are definitely Fan.

My preference is for the Fan shape over the Bulb.

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 05-11-2012, 09:29 PM
#5
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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(05-11-2012, 09:03 PM)celestino Wrote: i would have to vote for the bulb!

Good idea, POLL ADDED!

Please vote!

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 05-11-2012, 10:18 PM
#6
User Info
I like the idea of the fan but I voted shape. I don't need a bigger face lather brush.

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 05-11-2012, 10:29 PM
#7
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
As a face latherer, I would vote for the fan as well!

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 05-11-2012, 11:22 PM
#8
User Info
Bulb here. It's actually for the reasons you say in the way it acts. Stays compact, has the extra back bone to give you that scrub.

And the main thing, they also look better too Smile

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 05-12-2012, 01:00 AM
#9
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Seems like the bulb is looking to be the more popular choice - no real surprise there!

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 05-12-2012, 02:29 AM
#10
  • GreekGuy
  • Not saving money yet....
  • La Jolla, CA
User Info
(05-12-2012, 01:00 AM)ben74 Wrote: Seems like the bulb is looking to be the more popular choice - no real surprise there!

I'm a bit surprised. I find a fan to be superior in nearly every way. The largest being it is the most efficient use of the hair. In a bulb, approximately 40% of the hair is not available for contact with the face or soap when loading. This leads to mashing and/or longer loading times. If you're paying for hair, why not use it?

I suppose the bulb could theoretically be better for bowl lathering. And I'm not a fan of the extreme flat top, but overall I think the fan just makes the most sense from a functional standpoint

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 05-12-2012, 05:13 AM
#11
  • Sully
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Cedar Park, Texas
User Info
Hands down I prefer fan shaped knots.

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 05-12-2012, 06:15 AM
#12
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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For the fan fans...

[attachment=1915]
A Rudy Vey!

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 05-12-2012, 06:25 AM
#13
User Info
Aesthetically speaking, I prefer the bulb shape. But I can't decide between the two...
Variety is the spice of life, right? So, it's good to have both! Biggrin

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 05-12-2012, 06:42 AM
#14
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
Another fan...

[attachment=1916]
M&F Imitation Horn Emillion

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 05-12-2012, 12:11 PM
#15
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
User Info
I'm a fan guy. I like smaller knots (~21mm) and I think fans really bring the best out of a smaller knot. I find the fan also aesthetically more pleasing.

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 05-12-2012, 12:20 PM
#16
User Info
I really like both, for different reasons, and I can't come down on either side of the question.

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 05-12-2012, 01:06 PM
#17
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
User Info
For me its kind of odd : Im a die hard face latherer with circular movements,but in badger hair brushes I like bulb shapes better.Weird,but its what I like,even when the bulb shapes are more suitable to use them with painting strokes,but myself I like to use them with circular movements.
I also like the "hybrids" shapes made by Simpson in some of their brushes,which aren't 100% bulb but either fan shaped.

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 05-12-2012, 04:55 PM
#18
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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(05-12-2012, 01:06 PM)Teiste Wrote: For me its kind of odd : Im a die hard face latherer with circular movements,but in badger hair brushes I like bulb shapes better.Weird,but its what I like,even when the bulb shapes are more suitable to use them with painting strokes,but myself I like to use them with circular movements.
I also like the "hybrids" shapes made by Simpson in some of their brushes,which aren't 100% bulb but either fan shaped.

Yes, the Simpson hybrid - the best of both worlds!

Here's an example from my collection... It's the pre-Vulfix PL10, left of centre...
[attachment=1954]

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 05-12-2012, 08:02 PM
#19
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(05-12-2012, 02:29 AM)GreekGuy Wrote:
(05-12-2012, 01:00 AM)ben74 Wrote: Seems like the bulb is looking to be the more popular choice - no real surprise there!

I'm a bit surprised. I find a fan to be superior in nearly every way. The largest being it is the most efficient use of the hair. In a bulb, approximately 40% of the hair is not available for contact with the face or soap when loading. This leads to mashing and/or longer loading times. If you're paying for hair, why not use it?

I suppose the bulb could theoretically be better for bowl lathering. And I'm not a fan of the extreme flat top, but overall I think the fan just makes the most sense from a functional standpoint

Well, you convinced me. Thanks a bunch, just when I thought my brush buying days were behind me. LOL

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 05-12-2012, 08:26 PM
#20
User Info
i like fans. the heritage line is one of my favorites as well as knots from shavemac. i finally got an M&F when Lee decided to make brushes in fans and I enjoy them. The bulbs seem to "pierce" my face a little.

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