02-11-2015, 02:24 PM
#1
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I'm still a huge badger fan, but now am the owner of 4 boars from Semogue: 2 x 830 (one will permanently reside in the bathroom along with a Vie Long JL Petree 3-band dense Silvertip) and one 620 and one 1305.

Still breaking them in.

Have had 16 shaves with the 830 (only one is in use as of now), 14 shaves with the 620 and 8 shaves with the 1305.
Been using boar all January and February to break them in by March/April.

I don't yet understand why you boar fans prefer a boar over a high end badger. Outside of price of course.

I own 36 HIGH END badgers, none of them are floppy, all have backbone.
I'm a die hard facelatherer.

I don't think my boars are horrible, but I just don't think they perform as well as any of my 36 badgers.

At one point I owned 100+ badgers, and some of these badgers, now sold, I would say I prefer the performance of my boars.

My problem with boars is that they don't hold enough water, don't hold on to the heat as well and they don't splay as nicely controlled as my badgers do.

And they just don't look as nicely on the shelf with these uncontrollable hairs sticking out from the knot.

I'm not giving up on them yet, need patience and 20+ uses with each brush before they are fully broken in, but still would like to hear from you boar fans, what it is you like about them ?

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 02-11-2015, 02:34 PM
#2
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I also have the 1305 that is fully broken in. I predominantly face lather and it works wonders on a puck and feels fantastic on my face. Like a cloud! I think the biggest part of the love for them is the performance and feel of a high end badger at a fraction of the price.

I have a TGN 2 band that is a great performer but the 1305 just feels nicer. My Rubber set is on its way with a TGN HMW knot so that is what I will have to compare to for higher end brush/knot comparison. 

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 02-11-2015, 02:38 PM
#3
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Claus, I've tried most any badger hair out there, and enjoy my boars just as much for the following reasons:

-Medium-strong to very strong backbone depending on choice of knot
-Lather-making ability excellent (but certainly below good synthetics)
-Many can become about as soft as good-quality silvertip once broken in (it doesn't sound like you are close yet with yours...but making good progress!)
-The top value proposition in shave brushes, IMHO

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 02-11-2015, 02:52 PM
#4
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Guys, I forgot to mention that my complaint with boars certainly has not been that they feel harsh or scrubby on the face. Not even the 620.
I hand lathered each brush a total of 10 times (5 times cream - 5 times DR HARRIS triple milled soap) before starting using them.

I enjoy a level of scrub.

I'm still keen to hear what characteristics makes a high level boar better than a high level badger. Price not a worthy argument here. Pure performance is what I'm interested in.
My cheapest badger is $125, then it's all up from there and stops at $500 or so.

Is it the combination of super soft tips with great backbone ?
But I already have that in several of my badgers. Thäter 2-Band, Simpson 2-band, M&F Finest 2-band and Rooney Super 2-band + Shavenac D01 3-band.

Is it the ability for the boar to create lather fast ?
My synthetics did that. They are now sold.
If I'm in a hurry I use canned Proraso goo with Proraso Pre shave cream or shave with a shaving gel or Musgo Real cream without a brush.

Btw really enjoy the handles on the 830/620 and 1305 (even if it starts to chip)

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 02-11-2015, 03:04 PM
#5
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When it come to heat retention a brush scuttle would probably be beneficial with the boar. MybSemouge has a large bloom to it which the more its broken in the more even it will look. Omega boars tend have less splay in their bloom than the Semouges in my experience.

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 02-11-2015, 03:25 PM
#6
  • Gordy
  • Member
  • Wherever I am!
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I'm a bowl latherer and I like boar brushes better because of the backbone of the individual hairs', not just as a whole brush. I feel it pushes the lather on to my face and pulls each hair up.
The exfoliation feel is greater with boar and I believe I feel cleaner because of that. My Omegas have incredibly soft tips once they are broken in and there's no hint of scritch from them.
They are also of course, very easy to lather up with, much quicker than any badger I've used. I'm considering a synthetic boar and I'm hoping that may actually be quicker again. I've also never had an issue with water retention but that could be down to loving a larger knot and using the great and powerful Arko!
They are not as good as badger for heat retention but then I don't get on well with warmer lather anyway as I find it loses integrity the warmer it gets, and I prefer stiffer lather.
I would like to point out that I've not used high end creams and soaps, or badger brushes. I've only tried Best and Pure. I'd like to but I just don't have SBAD.......vintage Gillette RAD but not brushes.

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 02-11-2015, 05:27 PM
#7
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
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I am a badger through and through. I have one boar the semogue 830. Nice brush, soft with good backbone. I use it once a month at best and often skip it when it's up in favor of a Thater or simpson. Price on boar brushes make them affordable which is probably why I attempt it at all but for me luxury comes wrapped in a badger brush. 

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 02-11-2015, 09:26 PM
#8
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I also much prefer badger brushes for many of their attributes and just find them better overall brushes. Also, I still find well-broken in boars a tad unpleasant on the face throughout the shaves. They are soft, but I can always feel that hint of 'roughness' that the bristles have as it never does seem to disappear, something that I never experience from any of my badgers brushes. 
The best thing about them, though, is that they are so inexpensive and they work very well. 
There is a tiny bit of guilt within me as I am Portuguese and don't enjoy one of their best products!  Biggrin

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 02-12-2015, 06:06 AM
#9
  • cmh8890
  • Senior Member
  • Atlanta, GA
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I enjoy boar brushes simply for a change of pace, and for me, they generate just as good a lather as any high end badger I own, sometimes even better.  I've had 9 different Semogues (still have three: 1250, 1800, and 2000) and 3 Omegas.  One thing for sure, is that just a dozen or so lathers does not make a "broken-in" boar, generally speaking.  If you want to truly evaluate a boar, keep lathering them every other day, or at least every third day for 6 months, then you'll be able to make your final determination.  With all that being said, do I prefer boars to high end badgers?  I won't go that far, but I do enjoy using them, and they keep getting better and better the more they get used.  My 1250 and 1800, especially the 1800, are as soft tipped as  any Simpson "best" I've tried - not even kidding.  YMMV, of course.

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 02-12-2015, 07:08 AM
#10
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I'm not qualified to opine on high-end badgers, since I've never used one.
My two badgers are a Berkeley 46 in Best and a Victoria Bechthofen silvertip -- nice, but fairly modest.
I enjoy them but lean more toward my main boars, the Omega 48 and Semogue 620 -- the latter in particular.
There's just something "beefy" about their face feel that I like.

I do have a mixed loft too (the Omega Mixed Midget) and am interested in a horse at some point.

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 02-12-2015, 07:49 AM
#11
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I like my boars because of the feel when face lathering. You have to be an ardent face lather to understand this.  Semogue 620/830/1305 are on the shelf and are wonderful with my hard and soft soaps.


Also, being from Arkansas, I kinda consider the boars to being the "rednecks" of shave brushes.  Nothing fancy but gives you 100% all the time at a decent price.  “Woo Pig Sooie”..Go Razorbacks  


 



 Ed

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 02-12-2015, 08:30 AM
#12
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I don't know if I'd claim that I like my boars more than a high end badger, or the badger more than a boar (I only have one "high end" badger). I like them for their backbone, ratio of price to face feel and performance. They also readily rinse clean of lather. When it comes up in the rotation I have a $.50 Chinese boar that I got from a salvage store. I figure it would work for a time and quickly poop itself. That boar is still going strong years later and it works every bit as good as a $30 boar, it's just not as large.

But back to my initial sentence in this post... They're also different  than other brush fibers. That's another reason I like them so much. When the group of boars comes up in my rotation it's like seeing an old friend again after a long absence. But that's the way I feel about all my brushes.

As with most things shaving it's just YMMV. There's no explaining it IMO, it's just what one likes. Certain brushes have a set of characteristics that click with certain folks.

A little off topic, when breaking in your boars, don't look at it as a set number of uses. Instead look at the hair tips. When it's broken in you'll feel it (or more correctly won't feel it) and the hair tips will be split. When I was breaking in boars it would happen almost magically one day. I'd use it and suddenly realize that the brush had gotten really good, seemingly overnight.

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 02-12-2015, 01:49 PM
#13
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My first boar was a 1305 and I thought it was okay until i got my Omega 20102. The Omega is a lather beast, has soft tips and is not as densely packed. Being less dense in this case is a good thing as it holds a ton of water and has lots of pass through for building lather. Try an Omega before you give up on Boars.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 02-12-2015, 02:12 PM
#14
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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I second Virginia Gent - do try an Omega.

Second, read Zach's guide on boar brushes posted by Teiste on TSN. That explains boars and why we love them better than I can here (I would have linked but on phone rt now)

Third, a boar brush doesn't really come into its own till 90-100 uses (and gets even better after). This is a pain - but a broken in, well soaked boar brush is the most enjoyable brush for me regardless of price.

Finally, always soak boar brushes 15 mts or more before use.

Enjoy the journey. Don't pit one against the other. Use all these tools and see if you grow to love them for what they are.

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 02-12-2015, 05:05 PM
#15
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Interesting topic. I have two high end badgers that I like very much. And two boar brushes, one a Semogue that I also like very much. For the money, the boars are superior value, but I can't simply make an argument that one is better than the other.

Once, broken in, the boars have superb combination of backbone and softness. They do a better job of scrubbing my face a bit. I have a lot of odd scars from a lifetime of clumsiness and I like that feeling of scritch. I lather in a scuttle, so water and heat retention are not issues with me. I also notice a much bigger difference in the effect of soaking the boar brush prior to shaving.

My most premium badger has no scritch, and backbone and superior water retention come largely from the tremendous density of the knot. It lathers like a champ and flows like a charm.

The real difference I think comes to the idea that each brush works best with a different soap or cream. I generally pick the best brush for the lathering product that day. Everyone's face, water, soap or cream, and technique are a little different, to say nothing of your personal preference.

Of my own personal preference, I actually prefer my Vie Long horse hair and mixed horse/badger brushes the best. The break in period is longer than boar, but I think I get the best qualities of each.

I have also noticed that the other than my boar brushes, that generally a higher quality knot provides more lathering ability across a range of products. This also appears to be the case with my synthetic brushes as well (I wanted to like them, but they were terrible). Before I chucked them, my cheap badger brushes were very disappointing, no matter how many chances I gave them.

Cheers!

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 02-12-2015, 05:49 PM
#16
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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I don't own a high end badger. Yet. Someday though, I'd like to pick up a nice Simpson's brush. Presently I own two inexpensive badgers; a WD pure and a Col. Conk. I like them for the bit of scritch they provide, and prefer them with creams. Otoh, I prefer my two Semogues with soaps. I like the backbone and the face feel. The firmest and scritchiest brush in my rotation is the Vie-Long horse boar combo. I like that one too.

(On a minor hijack, my softest face feel brush is the Omego synth barberpole brush. It's used less frequently than the others. In my mind it's been relegated to travel status, simply because I don't want to pack a brush stand and / or worry about packing a damp brush for fear of developing mold.)

But back to the point, perhaps its just that different brushes were meant for different purposes, and different faces.

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 02-12-2015, 10:37 PM
#17
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 I like boars for value, I'm a bargain hunter through and through, while I do have some silvertips, I do like cheap products and to me a good boar kind of makes it feel exceptionally old school. Maybe it's because my grandfather used a Boar. I'm not sure. But I like them.

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 02-12-2015, 10:40 PM
#18
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(02-12-2015, 08:30 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I don't know if I'd claim that I like my boars more than a high end badger, or the badger more than a boar (I only have one "high end" badger). I like them for their backbone, ratio of price to face feel and performance. They also readily rinse clean of lather. When it comes up in the rotation I have a $.50 Chinese boar that I got from a salvage store. I figure it would work for a time and quickly poop itself. That boar is still going strong years later and it works every bit as good as a $30 boar, it's just not as large.

But back to my initial sentence in this post... They're also different  than other brush fibers. That's another reason I like them so much. When the group of boars comes up in my rotation it's like seeing an old friend again after a long absence. But that's the way I feel about all my brushes.

As with most things shaving it's just YMMV. There's no explaining it IMO, it's just what one likes. Certain brushes have a set of characteristics that click with certain folks.

A little off topic, when breaking in your boars, don't look at it as a set number of uses. Instead look at the hair tips. When it's broken in you'll feel it (or more correctly won't feel it) and the hair tips will be split. When I was breaking in boars it would happen almost magically one day. I'd use it and suddenly realize that the brush had gotten really good, seemingly overnight.



Its interesting you mention the salvage store boar. I have a couple from the antique shops around that were dirt cheap, and the van der hagen kit boar and they work just as well as my semogue etc. 

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 02-13-2015, 03:07 PM
#19
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Thanks for all your replies Gentlemen  Thumbup

Based on what I have read so far I can conclude the following:

1. Boars - for some - do have unique qualities, that makes them worthy of being in any wet shavers den.

2. Based on the number of shaves it takes to brean an average boar brush in, It will be hard for a real brush fanatic, with several dozen of brushe in his collection, to justify having a boar brush in the collection.
I typically shave 4-5 times a week, and I have shaved exclusively with 3 boars since late december until now, and I also handlathered my boars several times to make them break in faster, and I still have yet to see split ends in my Semogue 620. The 830 and 1305 is slowly showing some split ends, but ti's a slow process. Basically I would have to either spend the better part of a year using only my 4 boars and abandoning all my badgers to get a real broken in boar that will perform at its best OR hand lather my 4 boars 4-5 times a week for the better part of 3-4 months to get the real benefits from a broken in boar.

3. The reason behind using a boar brush is - no matter what - still based on the fact that it's cheaply priced compared to an averagely priced badger and ridiculously cheaply priced compared to a high end badger brush. I have tried to stress several times in my OP here, that the cost of a badger versus a boar brush was of no interest to me - what I focussed on was PURE PERFORMANCE, no matter the cost. Yet I still got responses that brought the cheap price of a boar into the equation.

Conclusion:
I'm still not a fan, and I'm not sure I have the patience to be so. Based on what I have learned and read, I still can not expect a high end boar to outperform a high end badger. What I hear is that a broken in boar has ultra soft tips with great backbone. I have that in my Thäter, Shavemac D01 3-bands, Simpson 2-Bands, M&F Finest and even in my Savile Row (Shavemac in disquise) already. And I'm in fact not lookig for a cloud like soft tips, this is what I dislike about Plisson synthetic brush - it's TOO soft for me. I want backbone, feel, a bit of scrub and massage in my shaving brushes. Not cloud like soft tips.

BUT with that said, I'm not letting my 4 boars go, firstly because I can not sell them, they are too cheap as it is Tongue  - secondly I'm still trying to understand and learn how they work - and It's a pleasure to still find things in this hobby of ours, that you know very little about. Only 3 ways to know if boars are for me - patience, patience & patience Piggy_214 SmiliePig   
  

 

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 02-13-2015, 03:33 PM
#20
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You may try breaking in by letting them sit lathered up over night. Even though this is not recommended in general...  interesting thread. Reminds me of the days when brushes were made from natural hairs  Biggrin

Just kidding!
Philipp

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