01-03-2015, 02:18 PM
#1
  • ajc347
  • Senior Member
  • Exeter, UK
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I received a new brush yesterday; a Paladin Chief and have undertaken a comparative review of it along side a number of other brushes.

The brushes I initially chose all share stylistic similarities to the Paladin Chief and some of them served as design cues for the original M&F Chief. They are the original M&F Chief, M&F L7 2-band, Simpson Emperor 3 2-band, and the Simpson M6 TSN LE Manchurian.

I also included a wildcard brush, a Semogue Barbear Classico Texugo LE, as I promised to review this some months ago but never got around to doing so.

[Image: PaladinBrush_zpsa98cd4e5.jpg]

From L to R: M6, E3, B&B Chief, Paladin Chief, L7, Barbear Classico

The knot sizes of each brush are as follows:

Paladin Chief 26.75 x 49.25mm
M&F Chief 26.5 x 51.25mm
L7 26 x 50mm
E3 21.5 x 48.5mm
M6 22 x 48mm
Barbear Classico 21 x 50mm

Each brush has a glue bump, some of which are more noticeable than others.

For those of you who are not aware, the Paladin Chief is, along with its stablemate the PK-47, made as a collaboration between the designer of the original M&F Chief, his son (between them they produce the handles) and Lee Sabini (who provides and fits the knots). Hence the Kansas City and London elements of the label.

I used the Paladin Chief for the first time last night. I noticed that it had dried with a number of its tips clumped together and they had the characteristic ‘crispy tip’ feel of previously produced M&F brushes. As I am sure you are already aware, this is not necessarily a bad thing in a brush.

I noticed last night that the Paladin Chief knot holds a lot of water. This was confirmed today with it holding significantly more water than any other brush on test.

I bowl lathered each of the brushes with some Tabac soap and here are the results:

[Image: PaladinBrush-2_zps64a35987.jpg]

[Image: PaladinBrush-3_zpsfdd7c25b.jpg]

[Image: PaladinBrush-4_zpsde4ad5fc.jpg]

[Image: PaladinBrush-5_zps0b0e99be.jpg]

[Image: PaladinBrush-6_zps53c4e8ee.jpg]

[Image: PaladinBrush-7_zps7293d0cc.jpg]

In terms of the softness of the tips, the Paladin and the Semogue were the clear winners here, with no hint of scritch being noticed at all. The Paladin tips had that gorgeous gel-like feeling which has been associated with Lee Sabini’s finest knots in days gone by.

The L7, E3 and the original M&F Chief had a very slight hint of scritchiness whilst the M6 had a noticeable (but by no means unpleasant) level of scritch present.

The Paladin, Semogue and M6 had the greatest amount of backbone of the 6 brushes tested, with the L7, E3 and the M&F Chief all having marginally less (but still very good) levels of backbone.

The Paladin Chief has had some slight changes made to the handle design over the original Chief. These are noticeable when holding the brush but I couldn’t notice any major differences between the Paladin, L7 and the original Chief when using them.

The Semogue and the E3 also very comfortable to use but felt (somewhat unsurprisingly given the differences in size) somewhat smaller in my hand.

The M6 has the least comfortable handle (due to sharpness of band around the centre of the handle) but was still very useable.

Here’s some post use comparison shots of the brushes in full bloom:

[Image: PaladinBrush-8_zpsba3f7e2a.jpg]

[Image: PaladinBrush-10_zpsb2bd7e20.jpg]

[Image: PaladinBrush-9_zps457f337e.jpg]

Conclusions:

All of these brushes are really nice brushes to use and give excellent results when bowl lathering.

The Paladin Chief stood out as being the brush that ticked every box for me and in a side-by-side comparison stood out as being a superlative brush. The ergonomic handle combination with the sublime knot makes it stand out amongst the 2-band brushes I own and it is one of the best brushes I have ever used.

As you can see from the side-by-side pictures below, the characteristics of the knot are quite different from the original M&F Chief (which is the knot on the left).

[Image: PaladinBrush-11_zpsaacfef47.jpg]

Another picture of the clumping characteristics of the Paladin knot:

[Image: PaladinBrush-12_zpsa539b38e.jpg]

The Semogue Barbear Classico is also a very interesting little brush. It performs very well and I am hard pushed to tell the difference between the hair used in this brush and the Manchurian hair used in the M6. It looks the same visually and feels very similar in use (although the Semogue knot has far less scritch than the M6).

If you can see any differences between the Semogue and the M6 knots in the pictures above or have experienced any when using them, then please feel free to let me know as, apart from the tips of the M6 appearing slightly whiter and thicker under magnification, I can neither see, nor have I experienced, any major differences between them in terms of both appearance and performance. Smile

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 01-03-2015, 02:44 PM
#2
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Wonderful thread, thank you for sharing!
I'm on the list for a Paladin Chief and can't wait to see it in person.

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 01-03-2015, 02:45 PM
#3
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Beautiful brushes, the whole lot!

The Paladin does stand out in terms of its lovely curves.

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 01-03-2015, 05:19 PM
#4
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Great thread and very nice pics too. I love both of my Paladin's, they've done a great job.

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 01-03-2015, 05:35 PM
#5
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(01-03-2015, 02:45 PM)Agravic Wrote: Beautiful brushes, the whole lot!

Indeed!

(01-03-2015, 02:45 PM)Agravic Wrote: The Paladin does stand out in terms of its lovely curves.

For anyone here who doesn't already know the story and might be interested, I drew the original design for the Chief in Adobe Illustrator and sent it to Lee Sabini in early 2013 to use in making a custom brush for me. An engineer he worked with generated the CNC program, which I've never possessed.

It was enormously exciting (probably evidence of a theretofore wasted life) when knotted prototypes arrived in the mail a couple weeks later. I was highly pleased with the result, but fairly soon came to appreciate that to design handles properly, the process needs to be iteratitve (i.e., one must be able to turn prototypes, take them in hand, and have that experience inform refinements).

One fair criticism of the original Chief (BTW, I didn't name it) focused on the sharpness of the ring (or "bead"). So when faced with the necessity of writing a CNC program from scratch in order to turn a Chief on a CNC lathe we acquired early last year, I took advantage of the opportunity to thicken the bead slightly; also subtly modified the profile above the bead to give it a smoother, more continuous curvature; and added a concave bottom. Those differences serve to distinguish Chief handles turned in our shop (Dark Holler Design Works) in Kansas City, as compared to ones turned in London based on the original code.

Full disclosure: Andy is a friend. But he doesn't owe me any favors. Rather, I owe him one. He bought what turned out to be my favorite razor on UK eBay a couple years back from a Seller who wouldn't ship to the US. One of these days I'm going to blueprint and replicate it.

Ackownlegements: Although the Chief reflects influences I was completely unaware of at the time (e.g, the Simpson AS3 and Rubberset handles pre-dating Simpson), its most proximate influences include the M&F L7, the Simpson M7, the Simpson Emperor, and the Simpson 57, examples of which stood on my desk for several days before I put them away and drew the original Chief. There is not a more appreciative fan of Simpson shaving brush designs than me.

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 01-03-2015, 07:27 PM
#6
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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The Paladin Chief looks absolutely stunning... Bravo Love!

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 01-03-2015, 07:30 PM
#7
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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(01-03-2015, 05:35 PM)Chiefbroom Wrote: One fair criticism of the original Chief (BTW, I didn't name it) focused on the sharpness of the ring (or "bead").

This is exactly my one and only complaint with the design of the Chief. Apart from that, it's one of the most ergonomic handles I've ever used, and definitely a favorite in my den.
If I'd have known you'd improved that particular spec of the handle, I'm not so sure I'd have been able to order just the PK-47. Blush

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 01-03-2015, 11:42 PM
#8
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Great thread Andy!

I really love mine. I'm glad to see you are enjoying yours Smile




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 01-04-2015, 12:02 AM
#9
  • MPH
  • Member
  • UK
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This brush looks beautiful!

Is there a website to look at more and potentially order one from? I did google it and found some references on other shaving sites but no specific website. Maybe i missed something.

Thanks.

Matt

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 01-04-2015, 04:44 AM
#10
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(01-04-2015, 12:02 AM)MPH Wrote: Is there a website to look at more and potentially order one from? I did google it and found some references on other shaving sites but no specific website. Maybe i missed something.

You didn't miss anything, but I believe this will make my 45th post. So as soon as it goes up, I'll see what I can do to put myself in a more comfortable position to respond to your question.

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 01-04-2015, 11:06 AM
#11
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Gorgeous brush! ! I would like to see a Fan Shape Biggrin

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 01-04-2015, 11:18 AM
#12
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(01-04-2015, 11:06 AM)lu20vt Wrote: Gorgeous brush! ! I would like to see a Fan Shape Biggrin

Hi Luis!

Thanks.

Me too. Biggrin

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 01-04-2015, 11:33 AM
#13
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(01-04-2015, 11:18 AM)Chiefbroom Wrote:
(01-04-2015, 11:06 AM)lu20vt Wrote: Gorgeous brush! ! I would like to see a Fan Shape Biggrin

Hi Luis!

Thanks.

Me too. Biggrin



Ken, PK-47 is superb Cool

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 01-04-2015, 11:53 AM
#14
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(01-03-2015, 02:18 PM)ajc347 Wrote: I received a new brush yesterday; a Paladin Chief and have undertaken a comparative review of it along side a number of other brushes...

Hi Andy

Six excellent brushes there, but that Paladin Chief stands out as something special (to my untrained eye) Sherlock

Where can one go to get their grubby paws on one? A search online didn't really turn up anything concrete...

Take care, Mike

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 01-04-2015, 12:43 PM
#15
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(01-04-2015, 11:53 AM)mikeperry Wrote:
(01-03-2015, 02:18 PM)ajc347 Wrote: I received a new brush yesterday; a Paladin Chief and have undertaken a comparative review of it along side a number of other brushes...

Hi Andy

Six excellent brushes there, but that Paladin Chief stands out as something special (to my untrained eye) Sherlock

Where can one go to get their grubby paws on one? A search online didn't really turn up anything concrete...

Take care, Mike

There is a 20+ page post on B&B in the Dark Holler Designs section, all info is in there Mike Smile


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 01-04-2015, 12:45 PM
#16
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Chiefbroom (Dark Holler Designs) is now a supporting Artisan here at TSN .. so I anticipate further information regarding these brushes to be made available on this forum as well .. soon.

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 01-04-2015, 12:59 PM
#17
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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To my eye , the Paladin has gel alike tips , is that right ?
EDIT : I just read it. Nice ! Those gel alike tips are simply superb.

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 01-04-2015, 01:28 PM
#18
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Where can this brush be purchased?

Never mind...just saw the info. Very cool looking brush

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 01-04-2015, 01:40 PM
#19
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(01-04-2015, 12:43 PM)Dipesh Wrote: There is a 20+ page post on B&B in the Dark Holler Designs section, all info is in there Mike Smile

Thank you Smile

Never been over there and have no interest (plus zero time) in doing so...

Now if Dark Holler Designs only had a web site, I could simply visit there and (possibly) place an order...



(01-04-2015, 12:45 PM)Agravic Wrote: Chiefbroom (Dark Holler Designs) is now a supporting Artisan here at TSN .. so I anticipate further information regarding these brushes to be made available on this forum as well .. soon.

Thank you Smile

I will see what develops over here...

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 01-04-2015, 01:45 PM
#20
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(01-04-2015, 12:45 PM)Agravic Wrote: Chiefbroom (Dark Holler Designs) is now a supporting Artisan here at TSN .. so I anticipate further information regarding these brushes to be made available on this forum as well .. soon.

Thats great news!

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