04-16-2015, 04:39 PM
#1
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I am new to this forum, but I have been wet shaving (with "Old Spice" soap mug, inexpensive boar bristle brush and the old Schick injector razors) since high school.  I abandoned this form of shaving when replacement razors became hard to find.  I recently -- within the past six months -- returned to this type of shaving and purchased for myself a Merkur 38HD DE and the Shavemac Opus Summum.  I love both; but I understand that the brush ought be rotated in use.  I am thinking of purchasing the Simpson Eagle because I enjoy stiff brush hairs.  How does the Simpson Eagle compare to the Shavemac Opus Summum?  Look forward to your advise!

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 04-17-2015, 08:05 AM
#2
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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There is no need to rotate shaving brushes.  Our predecessors (the original wet shavers) most likely owned one brush and continued to use that same brush daily for years or decades.  I believe that a rotation can be more enjoyable and have a ridiculous collection of brushes in rotation. 

As to your request for comparison, I have never used either of those specific brushes, but here is some general knowledge that I can contribute.  The Opus looks to have a D01 2-band knot (I have owned several and have kept one which has very soft tips) which has a very firm resiliency/backbone combined with tips that can range from mostly soft to moderately scratchy.  The Eagle on the other hand has a Pure Badger knot (I have owned a few Simpson Pures and have kept none) which will have lower density, less resiliency/backbone and tips which will range from moderately to heavily scratchy.  I do own an Eagle 3 in Best Badger, which was a Limited Edition, and the handle is wonderfully ergonomic and it is paired with one of the "good" Best Badger knots which has zero scratch and moderate backbone.

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 04-17-2015, 12:03 PM
#3
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(04-17-2015, 08:05 AM)blzrfn Wrote: There is no need to rotate shaving brushes.  Our predecessors (the original wet shavers) most likely owned one brush and continued to use that same brush daily for years or decades.  I believe that a rotation can be more enjoyable and have a ridiculous collection of brushes in rotation. 

As to your request for comparison, I have never used either of those specific brushes, but here is some general knowledge that I can contribute.  The Opus looks to have a D01 2-band knot (I have owned several and have kept one which has very soft tips) which has a very firm resiliency/backbone combined with tips that can range from mostly soft to moderately scratchy.  The Eagle on the other hand has a Pure Badger knot (I have owned a few Simpson Pures and have kept none) which will have lower density, less resiliency/backbone and tips which will range from moderately to heavily scratchy.  I do own an Eagle 3 in Best Badger, which was a Limited Edition, and the handle is wonderfully ergonomic and it is paired with one of the "good" Best Badger knots which has zero scratch and moderate backbone.

Thank you for your feedback.  I don't understand, however, when you say that the Pure Badger knot has "lower density" with "less resiliency/backbone."  I thought that Simpson's brushes were generally well packed; and I thought that "silvertip" hairs were more "flexible" -- i.e., would bend easier or be less stiff (as you would experience with boar bristles) -- than the "inferior" hair selections (such as Pure Badger).  I have a silvertip brush which hairs seem very limp thereby making it more difficult to load from hard soap; but the silvertip brush is very soft on the skin.  My Shavemac seems tightly packed -- i.e., the hairs do not bend easily thereby making it so easy to load from hard soap -- but very soft in touch upon the skin when lathering.  Am I misunderstanding something otherwise basic?

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 04-17-2015, 12:28 PM
#4
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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(04-17-2015, 12:03 PM)JayBird-NJ Wrote: Thank you for your feedback.  I don't understand, however, when you say that the Pure Badger knot has "lower density" with "less resiliency/backbone."  I thought that Simpson's brushes were generally well packed; and I thought that "silvertip" hairs were more "flexible" -- i.e., would bend easier or be less stiff (as you would experience with boar bristles) -- than the "inferior" hair selections (such as Pure Badger).  I have a silvertip brush which hairs seem very limp thereby making it more difficult to load from hard soap; but the silvertip brush is very soft on the skin.  My Shavemac seems tightly packed -- i.e., the hairs do not bend easily thereby making it so easy to load from hard soap -- but very soft in touch upon the skin when lathering.  Am I misunderstanding something otherwise basic?

You are indeed.  The Eagle brush that you mentioned in the original post only comes in Pure Badger form.  Simpson uses three classes of hair: Pure, Best and Super.  The Pure Badger brushes are their least expensive and tend to be less dense than the Best, which again tend to be less dense than the Super (within the same model range at least).  The same holds true for the softness of the tips (although this tends to be the least consistent aspect). 

It sounds like you got one of the good batches of D01 2-band hair with soft tips, any of the Simpson Pure brushes would most likely be a disappointment in comparison.

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 04-20-2015, 05:59 PM
#5
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I have been studying advertisements, posts and tutorials; and I now discern that "backbone" means brush hair flexibily. To say that a brush has a strong (or rigid) backbone means that the hairs do not bend easily (usually because the hairs of one grade -- e.g., boar bristle or pure badger -- are thicker than other grades -- e.g. silverhair badger.) Similiarly a brush which is dense means that the knot is more highly packed with hair; and I suppose the more "packed" a brush is made, the less "floppy" it is especially when wet. If my understanding of wet shaving vocabulary is correct, than I seem to have a preference for brushes which are densely constructed and/or have strong backbone. I did recently purchase a Simpsons Eagle, but have not yet introduced it to soap and water. I must say, I am very impressed with my initial inspection. Running it dry across my face, in comparison with my Shavemac Opus Summum, evidences similarities and dissimilarities between the two. The Shavemac has a softer "touch" upon the skin with the Simpsons undeniably more "scratchy." Yet, the Simpsons tips are not at all anoying to my facial skin. Both brushes appear very well constructed; and my hypothesis is that both brushes will not be "floppy" making lather generation within my bowl -- and I like to use a lather bowl instead of my hand or face -- easy and enjoyable. I suppose the ultimate test is when I use it for shaving. Will report further as to my comparison after I use the Simpsons for the next several days. It has been said that variety is the spice of life. I think -- perhaps, better stated, hope -- that the Simpsons will prove a most acceptable counterpart to my beloved Shavemac for rotation use.

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 04-21-2015, 07:35 AM
#6
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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It sounds like you may be a good candidate for that Simpson Eagle, I look forward to reading your further opinions.

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 04-21-2015, 08:26 AM
#7
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I have a D02 knot from Shavmac, and find that it has way too much backbone.  It's super stiff, and not very pleasant to me.  I've not used the Simpson Eagle, but I do prefer the simpson brush I have over my shavemac. 

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 04-22-2015, 06:09 AM
#8
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I have a Simpson Duke2 with a pure badger knot, which I quite like.  The tips indeed are a bit prickly, but not unpleasantly so.  Overall it lathers very well and has good flow through.  I've not tried the shavemac D01 2-band knot, because of its reputation for being dense and having a lot of backbone, which is not for me.  I have, however, tried shavemac's regular Silvertip and finest knots, which are very much to my liking.  I particularly like the finest knot, which has the right combination of softness and backbone for me and excellent flow through.  Moreover, it is very well priced.

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 04-22-2015, 11:18 AM
#9
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There is an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.  The man who made such observation was undoubtedly a wet shaver familiar with the different types of brushes, not premised upon the description of others, but rather by his own experiences.  I just received my Simpsons Eagle with "pure" Badger hair and have taken my first shave with it.  My observations are as follows:  (1) the hair is stiff -- or, more appropriately stated, has greater backbone -- than the Shavemac Opus Summum;  (2) the Shavemac is much more dense whereupon the brush hairs, while more flexible, neverthess provides the brush with a different backbone feel; and (3) the hair tips on the Shavemac is noticeably more soft than the Simpsons.   While I like the Shavemac much more than the Simpsons, I am very happy that I purchased the Simpsons and intend to maintain same in my rotation.  This reminds me of another old saying that variety is the spice of life.  I like brushes with strong backbone.  The tips of the Simpson is not at all annoying to me.  I have the joy now in using two very different, yet similar, brushes with different "feel" yet common character.  Will report further after I have had opportunity to use the Simpsons on future shaves.

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 04-30-2015, 02:31 AM
#10
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I have used the Simpsons Eagle G3 for well over a week. The brush feels good upon my face, but it seems more difficult to lather than my Shavemac Opus Summum. I think I now understand the meaning of the phrase "lather hog" because, while I am loading plenty of soap onto the brush from the soap mug and the lather is worked nicely to a rich cream in my lather bowl, the brush does not "give it up" easily during application to my face. The Simpsons seems to want to retain the lather and not convey it to my face. I have no similar problem with my Shavemac. I will not give up, however, and it may be my technique which needs improvement or refinement. I have not shedded any hair, except one strand, from the Simpsons; but that is one more than the Shavemac which has not shed any hair whatsoever. Will continue to report after more use.

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