07-22-2014, 07:33 AM
#1
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Newer synthetic brushes : my observations so far …

I will start by paying tribute to early adopters who have paved the way for people like me, in terms of improving my understanding of these newer types of brushes … Gary (GDCarrington), Jim (Codfish), Teiste, and others. I’ve used the various informative threads and posts created by these gentlemen, as reference sources, while deciding on how to proceed in terms of my various acquisitions.

Although I’m relatively late entrant to this emerging world of brushes … better late then never!

Muhle STF V2.0 25
Price/value : ****
Quality : *****
Size : large
Knot : thicker hairs, most dense, soft feel, stiffer backbone, mild ‘springiness’
Performance characteristics : very good water retention (relative to the other synthetics), moderately firm, somewhat scrubby
Suited for : hard soaps, soft soaps, creams … bowl lathering = face lathering


Muhle STF V2.0 23
Price/value : ****
Quality : *****
Size : medium
Knot : thicker hairs, shorter loft, medium density, soft feel, stiffest backbone, moderate ‘springiness’
Performance characteristics : fair water retention (relative to the other synthetics), firm, scrubby
Suited for : hard soaps, soft soaps … face lathering >> bowl lathering

Plisson 22
Price/value : ***
Quality : *****
Size : small
Knot : fine hairs, less dense, softer feel, more compliant backbone, not ‘springy’
Performance characteristics : very good water retention (relative to the other synthetics), soft, not scrubby
Suited for : soft soaps, creams … face lathering = bowl lathering

The Grooming Co. 24
Price/value : *****
Quality : ****
Size : small handle
Knot : fine hairs, very dense, soft tips, firm but compliant backbone, mild 'springiness'
Performance characteristics : fairly good water retention (relative to the other synthetics), soft, very scrubby
Suited for : all soaps, creams ... face lathering >>> bowl lathering

Plisson 24 - Romera
coming soon ...

Based on preliminary experiences so far, my personal rankings … YMMV of course ...

In terms of performance …
1. Muhle 25
2. Plisson 22
3. TGCo
4. Muhle 23

In terms of beauty …
1. Plisson horn
2. The rest of them

Stay tuned …


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 07-22-2014, 07:35 AM
#2
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Good observations so far, Ravi. Thank you for sharing.

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 07-22-2014, 07:42 AM
#3
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Thanks Ravi, I look forward to trying the 24mm size Grooming Co brush or a Plisson offering in that size.

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 07-22-2014, 08:04 AM
#4
  • jfmii
  • Active Member
  • Pittsburgh PA
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Thank you for the reviews. The Plisson Horn handle is beautiful!
I have the L'Occitane Plisson brush and was wondering if the knot is the same as the Plisson Horn knot. Thanks

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 07-22-2014, 08:12 AM
#5
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An excellent, to-the-point review. Thanks, Ravi.

I also didn't know that the 24mm Plisson had a name to it yet. Good to know that project's in motion.

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 07-22-2014, 08:14 AM
#6
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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Very nice observations, Ravi, thanks for sharing! Wink


(07-22-2014, 08:12 AM)rsp1202 Wrote: An excellent, to-the-point review. Thanks, Ravi.

I also didn't know that the 24mm Plisson had a name to it yet. Good to know that project's in motion.

AFAIK all the Plisson synthetic brushes share the exact same knot.

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 07-22-2014, 08:16 AM
#7
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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To clarify : Plisson 24 - Romera refers to the Gustavo's proposal for a custom brush utilizing a slightly larger knot - I think?

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 07-22-2014, 08:22 AM
#8
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Ravi, beautiful brushes and a most excellent write-up.

I am thinking about getting the Plisson since I have a 19 mm STF already. I heard the Plisson splays better so that's exactly what I'm looking for.

I wonder if The Grooming Company is going to sell to other countries now? I emailed them in Portuguese the other day asking and got no reply yet.

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 07-22-2014, 09:15 AM
#9
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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Thanks for the writeup. Beautiful brushes there Ravi!

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 07-22-2014, 02:25 PM
#10
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Nice Ravi. Glad to hear the Muhle is still no 1

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 07-22-2014, 02:29 PM
#11
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That is indeed a beautiful handle on the Plisson Ravi. I'm looking forward to what Gustavo does with the Plisson knot, which I believe can benefit from a slightly lower loft.

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 07-22-2014, 02:37 PM
#12
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Grooming Company brushes will now be carried by our own BullGoose! W00t

http://www.bullgooseshaving.com/the-groo...low-swirl/

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 07-22-2014, 02:48 PM
#13
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I still think the world has stopped and started revolving the opposite direction! Goodness! Just think of all those beautiful badger brushes just sitting idle in your sliding cupboard! Biggrin

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 07-22-2014, 03:20 PM
#14
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(07-22-2014, 02:37 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Grooming Company brushes will now be carried by our own BullGoose! W00t

http://www.bullgooseshaving.com/the-groo...low-swirl/

The brush you link to has a 25mm knot set at a loft of 50mm. I definitely want to read Ravi's comments about this brush. I've always felt all the synthetic brushes on the market have lofts that are too high. The one exception is the first release of the Chubby 2, which many feel has a loft that's too low. I know synthetics require more loft, but not as much as the manufacturers are giving them.

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 07-22-2014, 03:32 PM
#15
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(07-22-2014, 07:33 AM)Agravic Wrote: Newer synthetic brushes : my observations so far …

Although I’m relatively late entrant to this emerging world of brushes … better late then never!

Based on preliminary experiences so far, my personal rankings … YMMV of course ...

Stay tuned …

Interesting: MMDV!

I upgraded from a series of boar brushes to a Vulfix 2234S ("Super Badger" = ~"finest") sometime late in the 20th century and used that exclusively for 15-20 years. My first synthetic, three or four months ago, was the same 22 mm Mühle 33K252 that you have, with the v2 Silvertip Fibre bristles. It was different from my trusty badger, and immediately I liked, and still like, it better than my badger, but the difference was not that great (except in drying time). Finally yielding to you-know-who's raves about the L'Occitaine Plisson, and learning that it was to be discontinued, I bought one of those a couple of weeks ago, and I have been using it heavily since then to get used to it.

Surprise: The L'Occitaine Plisson synthetic is more different from the Mühle synthetic than the Mühle is different from the Vulfix badger; and the L'Occitaine Plisson is much more different from the Vulfix badger than the Mühle synthetic is.

Specifically, the L'Occitaine Plisson is much more sensitive to differences in soaps and creams than either of the other two brushes is. If I were a professional reviewer of shaving soaps and creams, I would love the Plisson synthetic for its ability to discriminate so sharply among soaps and creams. On the other hand, then people who did not use the Plisson would think that I was making things up.

For instance, both my Vulfix badger brush and my Mühle synthetic brush can get Kiss My Face Lavender Shea cream to sing a lovely lather aria, but KMF cream and the Plisson brush cannot get on the same page and they seem not to like each other at all. On the other hand, I have been using and have liked Provence Santé Green Tea hard milled soap (love that fragrance!) for a long while with the Vulfix and the Mühle; but the Provence Santé soap soars with the L'Occitaine Plisson brush; they get along so well, they seem to be made for each other. (I really am going to have to get them a private room.)

Have you fund similar affinities/incompatibilities with your stable of brushes?

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 07-22-2014, 03:42 PM
#16
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Interesting observations.
Admittedly the Plisson synthetics are the newest members of my stable, so a little more time is needed with them, in order to establish more nuanced observations regarding their behavior with specific types of soaps and creams.
As someone whose traditionally preferred stiffer badger brushes, ie 2-band to 3-band, it's no surprise to me that the Muhle STF 25 was a more natural transition for me, given its characteristics. This particular brush remains most adept at tackling a wide variety of soaps and creams, it seems.
With a little more time and experience, perhaps the true skills of the Plisson knot will become more apparent to me.
Thank you for sharing your insights, Mel.

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 07-22-2014, 06:29 PM
#17
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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Thanks for your observations. I've only tried the Plisson and 25mm STF, and my observations agree with yours. I also like large brushes in general, and the 25mm STF just fits my hand better, and I really enjoy the 25mm knot. After recently receiving the Mühle in horn, I was thinking that it was the best looking brush, until I saw the Plisson in horn. Very tempting. I do like the softness of the Plisson knot a little better, and am looking forward to trying it in a 25mm size. I haven't had any trouble lathering hard soaps or face lathering with the Plisson, although I was somewhat surprised about that. As I'm twirling the brush on the soap it doesn't feel like it's picking up much product, although it's picking up an abundance of soap, enough for three passes. Right now, I'm using my two Mühle brushes more frequently than the Plisson, and am hardly touching my badger brushes.

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 07-22-2014, 07:56 PM
#18
  • ischiapp
  • Senior Member
  • Ischia, Naples, Italy
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Very interesting!!
Thank You All.

I'll check for news. Wink

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 07-22-2014, 08:04 PM
#19
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Great summary of your impressions Ravi.

I see the faux horn Plisson in my future! (And perhaps the faux tortoise too!)

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 07-22-2014, 10:14 PM
#20
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(07-22-2014, 02:48 PM)celestino Wrote: I still think the world has stopped and started revolving the opposite direction! Goodness! Just think of all those beautiful badger brushes just sitting idle in your sliding cupboard! Biggrin

Maybe all this synth love will drive badger prices down!!Cheers

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