10-05-2014, 10:00 AM
#1
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What are the ideal brush dimensions for face lathering? I've read that loft is more important then the diameter of the knot in this case. A knot below 50 mm? Would a brush with 22 mm knot and 50 mm loft be good for both face and bowl lathering?

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 10-05-2014, 10:42 AM
#2
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I actually think that I can face lather and bowl lather with almost any brush, and the issue is more how a brush feels while lathering, and personal preference. I'm currently enjoying an Edwin Jagger XL Synthetic 25mm knot x 60mm loft, and it has plenty of backbone for face lathering, yet would also make a great brush for bowl lathering. Backbone can be achieved with either a lower loft, such 48 - 50mm, or with a denser knot, as found with the Simpson Manchurian knots. It's generally easier to whip up a bowl of lather with lofts that are in the 54mm or above range. You really need to try brushes of different lofts, densities, and materials (different grades of badger, boar, synthetic, or even horsehair), and handle size to find your own preference. I like to face lather, but don't like scritch, and like very soft brushes, which is why I'm enjoying this particular synthetic. However, I could achieve the same with a dense, badger brush with very soft tips. To answer your question, a 22x50mm brush would be good for both, but I'd probably look for 24x52-54 for both, but that's my personal preference. Once you get the hang of face lathering, I think that is what you'll stick with if you primarily use soaps. Many people who face lather prefer to bowl lather when using creams, although I tend to face lather with both.

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 10-05-2014, 10:53 AM
#3
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(10-05-2014, 10:42 AM)evnpar Wrote: I actually think that I can face lather and bowl lather with almost any brush, and the issue is more how a brush feels while lathering, and personal preference. I'm currently enjoying an Edwin Jagger XL Synthetic 25mm knot x 60mm loft, and it has plenty of backbone for face lathering, yet would also make a great brush for bowl lathering. Backbone can be achieved with either a lower loft, such 48 - 50mm, or with a denser knot, as found with the Simpson Manchurian knots. It's generally easier to whip up a bowl of lather with lofts that are in the 54mm or above range. You really need to try brushes of different lofts, densities, and materials (different grades of badger, boar, synthetic, or even horsehair), and handle size to find your own preference. I like to face lather, but don't like scritch, and like very soft brushes, which is why I'm enjoying this particular synthetic. However, I could achieve the same with a dense, badger brush with very soft tips. To answer your question, a 22x50mm brush would be good for both, but I'd probably look for 24x52-54 for both, but that's my personal preference. Once you get the hang of face lathering, I think that is what you'll stick with if you primarily use soaps. Many people who face lather prefer to bowl lather when using creams, although I tend to face lather with both.

That's a great answer, Richard. Certainly, one can face and bowl lather with the same brush. I might add that for face lathering, I prefer brushes with shorter handles ~45mm; while for bowl lathering, I like a longer handle (say ~70-75mm) for the greater leverage it affords.

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 10-05-2014, 11:34 AM
#4
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(10-05-2014, 10:53 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote:
(10-05-2014, 10:42 AM)evnpar Wrote: I actually think that I can face lather and bowl lather with almost any brush, and the issue is more how a brush feels while lathering, and personal preference. I'm currently enjoying an Edwin Jagger XL Synthetic 25mm knot x 60mm loft, and it has plenty of backbone for face lathering, yet would also make a great brush for bowl lathering. Backbone can be achieved with either a lower loft, such 48 - 50mm, or with a denser knot, as found with the Simpson Manchurian knots. It's generally easier to whip up a bowl of lather with lofts that are in the 54mm or above range. You really need to try brushes of different lofts, densities, and materials (different grades of badger, boar, synthetic, or even horsehair), and handle size to find your own preference. I like to face lather, but don't like scritch, and like very soft brushes, which is why I'm enjoying this particular synthetic. However, I could achieve the same with a dense, badger brush with very soft tips. To answer your question, a 22x50mm brush would be good for both, but I'd probably look for 24x52-54 for both, but that's my personal preference. Once you get the hang of face lathering, I think that is what you'll stick with if you primarily use soaps. Many people who face lather prefer to bowl lather when using creams, although I tend to face lather with both.

That's a great answer, Richard. Certainly, one can face and bowl lather with the same brush. I might add that for face lathering, I prefer brushes with shorter handles ~45mm; while for bowl lathering, I like a longer handle (say ~70-75mm) for the greater leverage it affords.

Does the handle height count in a shaving brush?

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 10-05-2014, 04:31 PM
#5
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Alex, everything that Richard stated is very good advice. The length of the handle depends on what you like. You won't ever find out until you try a few to determine which feels best in your hand, unfortunately. You may just have to try a few to see which you like and then, you may change you mind after a few years. Biggrin
Best luck.

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 10-06-2014, 08:34 AM
#6
  • Karlo
  • Active Member
  • Manila, PHL
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(10-05-2014, 04:31 PM)celestino Wrote: Alex, everything that Richard stated is very good advice. The length of the handle depends on what you like. You won't ever find out until you try a few to determine which feels best in your hand, unfortunately. You may just have to try a few to see which you like and then, you may change you mind after a few years.
Best luck.
This is very true. Richard gives a lot of excellent advice but ultimately, you'll have to do some trial and error yourself. In this hobby, it wasn't the razors, blades, creams and soaps that killed my credit card. It was the brushes, and I regret not a single moment of that learning curve. Smile

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