06-05-2012, 05:30 AM
#1
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Lately we have seen some exciting new synthetic brushes. The new Muhle silver tip fibers and the black fibers have been discussed in detail, and so was the H.I.S. brush. In my den I also have the Omega artificial badger, and I had some time to do a quick review:

A Review of the Omega 343312 Artificial Badger

The brush under review is the Omega 343312 Artificial Badger. The PENNELLIFICIO OMEGA SPA is a well known Italian brush maker since 1946. To my knowledge, this artificial badger is the successor to their earlier Syntex models, which are still available.

This brush does definitely feel high quality to me. The brush is built with good materials, better than was expected considering the price point of 17 GBP or 26 USD (though I have seen it on sale for as much as 45 USD). In boar country, that is Semogue Owners Club territory, and I think the Omega does match the Semogue quality standards. It is also the same league as the new Muhle black fibers. The Omega did shed a couple of fibers though, but nothing dramatic. The handle has some heft to it, is well made without any scratches, dents or production errors. Omega has made this brush in a barber style design, which I find very attractive.

[Image: wp3df04c0a_05.jpg]

It also works well to me. A simple plastic stand is included, which is a nice touch but in my den does not see much use. The material of this brush, called Ovangkol, is not without debate as the tree that provides it is threatened with habitat loss. Had I known that before I bought the brush, I think I would have chosen another handle indeed.

I would say this brush is a medium dense brush. The knot does not bloom, so the shape allows for precise application. The hairs are made to resemble real badger hair and that is done quite tastefully. It surely looks more attractive to me than the old Syntex version with its white plastic look. The knot behaves more or less like natural hair, though when touching it it might feel a bit different than natural badger or the Muhle silvertip fibers. It tends to be soft, not floppy but flexible and as has been observed before, it needs a bit of pressure to breach and be fully effective. Specifications are: height 115 mm, loft 54 mm, base 61 mm and knot 23 mm. I think this is an other example of synthetics having usually relatively high lofts for their diameter to work well. I face lather exclusively, but can imagine the loft being equally suitable for bowl latherers. The best comparison I think is the Muhle HJM black fibers brush, another example of a nice, soft but firm and effective brush at this price level.

This brush picks up soaps and creams fast and without much drama. I find it easy to make a good lather with these artificial badger fibers, though they may be a tad less effective than the Muhles. It has been noted that these new synthetics are also very frugal in their loading; it really takes a little product to go a long way and this brush is no exception to that rule. It is not a lather hog at all; at the end of the shave there is usually not much left that I have to rinse out. It holds water sufficiently enough to make lather easily and consistently. I used this brush with tallow and glycerin soaps and some creams as well. For a harder soap, I seem to prefer a harder brush though. Like all new synthetic fibers, these artificial badger fibers are easy to maintain and dry very fast.

All in all, these artificial badger knots are an improvement compared with the previous Syntex editions. The Omega 343312 model is a nice addition to any den, and a great entry in the world of synthetics. It certainly is value for money.

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 06-05-2012, 09:25 AM
#2
  • Codfish
  • Product Tester
  • Connecticut Shoreline
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Thanks for the excellent review, Wim. I've been eyeing this Omega brush for the last month, based on my experience with their boars, which I think are excellent.

I think I'll put in an order. I have come to like the new generation of synthetic brushes by Muhle, and am interested in giving the Omega a try.

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 06-05-2012, 10:18 AM
#3
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Once the Mandatory Brush Purchase Waiting Period has passed after my current purchase, I think I'll pick up a synthetic. Your review makes me feel like the Omegas are a viable option.

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 06-05-2012, 11:52 AM
#4
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Wim : thanks for the review.
So,to your standards,this brush behaves most likely the Muhle Black Fibre brush.If that's the case (and I dont doubt it),its a good brush indeed.

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 06-05-2012, 06:42 PM
#5
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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Great review. I'm getting more interested in synthetics as I see more and more positive reviews.

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 06-05-2012, 07:02 PM
#6
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Wim, very nice review.

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 03-22-2016, 03:24 PM
#7
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Great review, exactly what I was looking for.

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 04-05-2016, 05:04 AM
#8
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An enlightening review.
The 11126 uses the same handle and is one of my favourite boar brushes. Now I want an Omega 343312.... Tongue

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