05-14-2012, 07:36 PM
#1
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As far as I can tell these two brushes have a pretty similar knot and handles much the same, so I'll treat them as one for the purpose of this short review. As I'll touch upon later, the differences in behaviour between two of the same model is likely to be as big as the differences between the two models.
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Brushes can be expensive, especially if you gotten into badger territory. On the other hand, brushes can be cheap without being bad - if you're willing to take a change on something different. Bestshave.net in offers two horse hair brushes hovering around 2.50 USD which have gathered quite a following around the world - the imaginatively named No6 and No7. The former has a wooden handle and is the slightly cheaper of the two, the later comes with a plastic handle that will set you back another dime.

As mentioned briefly, the two brushes shares a pretty similar knot as far as I can tell. Both brushes have a loft that is 50 mm above the handle, and they are about equally thick at the base. Bestshave.net lists that the knot measures about 25 mm on the No6 and about 20 mm on the No7 at the base - however, the No6 have undergone a redesign since I bought mine which probably explains the difference.
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The knots are fairly densely packed, but not overly so - giving them a bit of spring and flex. Be warned though; a quick look online indicates that both brushes suffers from some QA issues - in short the quality varies wildly - even if comments seems to point to this issue slowly getting resolved; the No6 is now offered along with the reassurance that "Now, more quality, and aesthetics". There also seems to be some discussion around the web as to the nature of the hair used for the No7; some say it's boar but most seems to agree that it is indeed horse. Could be a case of using what hair you got laying around I guess - these are cheap and cheerful brushes.

Getting down to the basics; are they any good? Can a brush costing about one cup of coffee work well?

In short, yes. They both work great - good backbone, good flow, little to no scratching... in short, everything a brush should be in my opinion. They both smelled a bit of horse the first few times I used them, but frankly that isn't a bad smell. To top it off the balance is good too, with the centre of gravity on a loaded brush about where the handle and knot meet, and both No6 and No7 offers a reasonable comfortable grip. So far both have been able to whip any soap I tried into a smooth, creamy lather - both in a bowl and on my face. The slightly larger No6 holds more lather but the slimmer No7 can hold plenty enough for two and even three passes - even with my spotty technique.

Are there better brushes out there? Certainly.
Are there cheaper brushes out there? Possible.
Are there brushes out there that gives so much performance for so little cash? I seriously doubt it.

The Turkish No6 and No7 would be an excellent first brush for a newbie not wanting to spend much money on a new hobby. They would also be a good "first horse" for more experienced shavers who wants to try something new. No7, with the plastic handle, could be a great brush for travel - one you won't be heartbroken over if you forget in a hotel. Or you could simply get one just for the fun of it - letting you get one more brush in your rotation without laying out more money than you would for a cup of coffee. Overall I would rate the No6 with it's wooden handle higher - not only do you save a whooping ten cents, but the handle looks better and fits my hand better than the slimmer plastic of the No7.

I must however temper my recommendation with a warning: These are brushes costing about 2.50 USD, manufactured in a place where quality control is spotty as best. Your Mileage May Vary... as always. But can you afford not to try one of these brushes?

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 05-14-2012, 08:31 PM
#2
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Very nice review. Thanks for putting all of this together. I'm sure it will be of help here in the Nook. Many of us got into this to save money, well here is a brush that can certainly help you do that.

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 05-14-2012, 08:42 PM
#3
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Very nice review, Hans! Man, those look tempting to try for the price!

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 05-14-2012, 09:12 PM
#4
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Good review and no risk to try at that price!

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 05-14-2012, 09:23 PM
#5
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(05-14-2012, 07:36 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: They both smelled a bit of horse the first few times I used them, but frankly that isn't a bad smell.

Great review!

My No. 6 smelled like the south end of a north bound horse. No exaggeration. I had to whip up some Bigelow lather several times with it, and let it sit over night, as well as wash it with Dawn a couple of times, before mine got to the point I would put it close to my nose. NASTY!!

I've heard the quality of these brushes is spotty. Some love 'em, some done. I don't particularly care for mine, but for the price, I knew i was taking a chance and I have no regrets. I'll probably order another one with my next order from Bestshave.net just to see if I get luckier.

The problem I have with mine is that in use, the bristles all tend to splay out so there's a hollow cavity in the center. Consequently, it's hard for the brush to hold much lather. I don't think I've ever been able to get it to hold 3 full passes of lather, where my other brushes have not problem in that regard.

I wouldn't try to talk anyone out of getting one, but realize it's a $2.50 brush. If you want to buy it on a lark, go for it! I do think, however, that my $18 Semogue 1305 was a better value for me.

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 05-14-2012, 09:32 PM
#6
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Don't hold much lather and smell like a stable in need of mucking out...

I think my badgers are safe.

Even with the modest investment, I've lost interest in the equestrian brushes on the above comments alone...

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 05-14-2012, 09:46 PM
#7
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Excellent review!
WOW,2,50 bucks for a shaving brush?Hard to beat that (I dint want to imagine a 1 dollar shaving brush).They look quiet decent brushes for its cheap price.Im not a big fan of horse hair,for that price,Im sure that Im gonna give them a go.

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 05-15-2012, 09:22 AM
#8
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A friend of mine from Turkey mentioned that these brushes may not actually be horsehair, but boar. Not that that's a bad thing, but are we sure that the hairs are horsehair?

Looking at the pics, the hairs are split at the tip....like a boar. My Vie-Long horsehair brushes don't have split ends.

EDIT- I see that Bestshave now notes that the #6 has horsehair, but they don't mention the hair grade on the others.

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 05-15-2012, 09:45 AM
#9
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@Yohann: No6 has always (well, as long as I know) been listed as horse. The knots looks, feels and smells the same; logical conclusion is that they are the same.

There is off course the possibility that Vie Long uses higher quality horse hair - unsurprising considering the price difference - or it might be a case of mane versus tail. What I do know is that most turks are Muslims, and a Muslim man would rather shave dry than use a pig product... so I think it's unlikely that the No6 and No7 is boar.

@Ben and Pat: Smell might be an issue, even if I lucked out and got two less smelly ones. It would be a shame if the fear of a bit of horse scent put anyone off trying a horse hair brush though.

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 05-15-2012, 09:48 AM
#10
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Hans =

I also thought about the fact that most Turkish men would not like to use boar bristles. I was just passing on a comment that a friend of mine (a Turkish man) mentioned.

Anyway, they are really well-priced brushes....and I've seen several good reviews of them. The shipping cost is minimal too.

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 05-15-2012, 10:29 AM
#11
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(05-15-2012, 09:45 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: @Ben and Pat: Smell might be an issue, even if I lucked out and got two less smelly ones. It would be a shame if the fear of a bit of horse scent put anyone off trying a horse hair brush though.

Agreed. The stink is temporary. I gave my brush a good sniff last night and there was no lingering odor. I certainly would not the prospect of short term bad smell stop me from buying one.

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 05-15-2012, 01:03 PM
#12
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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I recently purchased a #6. Personally I think it might closer to being a pig rather then horse. Yes I agree it does lather okay with good flow through maybe too much. For the low cost it does work.
It won't my go to brush or an everyday brush, nice to have for a change-up.

Great review thanks for sharing.

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 05-15-2012, 04:42 PM
#13
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Thanks for reviewing these brushes.

I've been thinking about adding one or two No. 6 brushes to my cart next time I order something from BestShave (which is a great vendor, by the way).

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 05-18-2012, 08:28 AM
#14
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(05-14-2012, 09:23 PM)5Savages Wrote: The problem I have with mine is that in use, the bristles all tend to splay out so there's a hollow cavity in the center. Consequently, it's hard for the brush to hold much lather. I don't think I've ever been able to get it to hold 3 full passes of lather, where my other brushes have not problem in that regard.

I used my Turk #6 the other night so I could show you folks what I'm talking about. This was after getting the soap to prime lather, and using painting strokes prior to the picture, rather than swirling. Painting strokes would tend to close the bristles, right? Well not on this brush. After painting on the lather, I pulled the brush away from my face and watched as the bristles pulled themselves apart, creating the cavity.

I think I actually did get enough lather for 3 passes this time, but I only used it for one pass so that's a guess.

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 05-18-2012, 08:39 AM
#15
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That is very strange Pat - all I can say is that mine don't do that. Luck of the draw I guess.

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 05-18-2012, 08:49 AM
#16
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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Hans, nice work. Your review at minimum should remind us that good brush performance can be had for a little money. Of course, breaking us from our quests for aesthetics and name recognition is the challenge. Undecided

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 05-18-2012, 08:59 AM
#17
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(05-14-2012, 09:32 PM)ben74 Wrote: Don't hold much lather and smell like a stable in need of mucking out...

I think my badgers are safe.

Even with the modest investment, I've lost interest in the equestrian brushes on the above comments alone...

Neither of those descriptions match my experience with my Vie-Long brush. I suspect this is one of those "you get what you pay for" aspects of the cheaper brush.

My 13800 holds plenty of lather for 3 passes unless *I* make the lather wrong and it's too dry. Then I use it up too fast, naturally.

When new, there was an animal smell to it, but it just smelled like a horse, not horse manure. It lasted a couple of days and wasn't that strong anyway. It was actually less intense than my Omega boar brush.

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 05-18-2012, 09:07 AM
#18
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(05-18-2012, 08:39 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: That is very strange Pat - all I can say is that mine don't do that. Luck of the draw I guess.

Yeah, it reinforces what I've heard with this brush, there are good ones and bad ones. But heck, it's only $2.45, so no big deal. I'll definitely be ordering 1 or 2 more with my next order from Bestshave.net. Had I paid $15 or $20, I probably wouldn't, but for $2.45, I'll take the chance.

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 05-18-2012, 10:37 AM
#19
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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Nice review. I'll have to check these out. I think once I figure out the best badger position of my brush stable, I'll move on to getting a horse hair and completing my desired collection. I may try one of these out. For $2.50 it's an inexpensive experiment.

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