08-01-2015, 05:28 AM
#1
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I'm sure this is addressed in the M&F thread but I got lost looking:

What is the difference between the grades of badger labeled "Finest" vs "Blonde?" I own 2 Blondes that I hold in high esteem. Are there so many variables in different batches and knot dimensions that the nomenclature is insignificant?

Thank for the info. to come...

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 08-01-2015, 05:51 AM
#2
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In my experience as of late I would say very little.  Both seems currently to be soft, and gel-tip in character.  Finest likely boasts less dark hairs in the tips.  They were very different in the past but seem to have evolved recently.  Although, I must be honest, my recent experience with Lee's knots has been through Paladin brushes both in Finest and Blonde, they are virtually indistinguishable.  I am not sure if this is the case with actual M&F brushes today.

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 08-01-2015, 06:32 AM
#3
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couple of vowels and a few consonants. Smile


Bit of a crap shoot each time you buy an M&F.  The Finest knot that I currently have is nicer than the last Blonde I had - ymmv.

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 08-01-2015, 07:21 AM
#4
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(08-01-2015, 05:28 AM)Grande Wrote: I'm sure this is addressed in the M&F thread but I got lost looking:

What is the difference between the grades of badger labeled "Finest" vs "Blonde?" I own 2 Blondes that I hold in high esteem. Are there so many variables in different batches and knot dimensions that the nomenclature is insignificant?

Thank for the info. to come...

What follows is an excerpt from this post. It reflects my opinion. I'm not speaking for Lee.

My problem with the Blonde Badger and Finest labels, which I've posted about many times, is that although I own a good number of M&Fs for personal use, which include a variety of brushes bearing both labels, in many cases I can't discern the criteria that Lee used to distinguish them. This isn't to say Lee didn't/doesn't have his reasons, and good ones at that. I'm just saying I often don't even have a good guess about what those reasons might have been. Some of my brushes labeled Finest have knots that look just about exactly like the knots in some of my brushes labeled Blonde Badger, and vice versa. That is to say, I have brushes labeled Blonde Badger that I would have thought merited designation as Finest, and others labeled Finest that I would have typed as Blonde Badger.


The fact is there really aren't two, or three, or six types of hair. What there is, is a continuum. [Reflective pause] That's not even true! What there is, is a countless variety of individual knots, each comprising a complex set of characteristics, which present recognizable patterns related to loft, density, dry-appearance, dry-feel, wet-appearance, wet-feel, performance, etc. That complexity is compounded by the fact that perception of its many aspects is for the most part highly subjective. Types are abstractions. Sometimes they serve convenience in discussion. Sometimes they serve marketing objectives. Sometimes they can serve both. Other times they give rise to great confusion.

I've had an opportunity to closely inspect over 400 brushes made with knots Lee installed. In my view an M&F knot is either Finest or Blonde Badger based on the fact Lee, in the exercise of his sole judgment, has decided to designate it as such. Then at some point, sooner or later, he chooses whether to put that knot in a handle labeled as Finest or Blonde Badger (or whatever).

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 08-01-2015, 07:30 AM
#5
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I guess I'll continue to consider the difference nebulous. No matter what, a brush from Lee is a lovely thing. My 2 Blondes are from around 4 years ago and I'm sure possibly quite different from today's production by any name.

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 08-01-2015, 08:22 AM
#6
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Goes without saying: mine is just one opinion.

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 08-01-2015, 09:46 AM
#7
  • DLP
  • Senior Member
  • Missouri
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I enjoy my M&F brushes regardless of the hair designation.  all are quality knots and perform on par with or exceed every other badger brush I have or have had.

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 08-01-2015, 10:41 AM
#8
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I would have to agree with what Ken (Chiefbroom) has stated. There isn't a true consistency with the M&F brushes, in my opinion, as they can and do vary in what you are expecting. 
I had originally thought that the Blonde Badgers, in general, were dense with a lovely scrubby as opposed to the Finest which weren't necessarily as dense with softer tips and a tiny hint of scritch, but after trying quite a few of both types, I have no idea how to describe the knots, any longer.
Of course, this is all subjective.  Shy

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 08-01-2015, 01:16 PM
#9
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I have owned 12 M&F brushes, a couple never got any usage before I sold them again (typical me)

But I do have some personal knowledge/opinions about Blonde Badger versus Finest.

I also think Lee sometimes just puts a name on a brush, and as long as it's a 2 band it can be called either Blonde Badger or Finest.
With that said I have only owned Blonde Badgers that all were bulb shaped knots, and Finest that all were fan shaped og hybrid shaped knots.

Because of this I can't really tell if there is an actual difference, but my Finest 2-bands looks and feel slightly denser and darker than my Blonde Badgers.
Both my remaining two Blonde Badgers are bulb shaped, one dense and one not so dense - but both have a very nice soft gel like feel with lots of backbone.

My Finest 2-bands both have a more solid face feel, and not the same gel like tips as my Blonde Badgers have.

I would compare my Blonde Badgers to the new Shavemac 2-Band Silvertip and Simpson 2-band Silvertip.
My Finest 2-bands I would compare more towards my Simpson Manchurian and Shavemac 2-Band D01, though not quite as rough in feel.

I once oredered a custom made Finest 2-band from Lee and asked for it to be bulb shaped, he made it more like a hybrid shape, but his Blonde Badgers are all very symmetrical bulb shaped - I find this odd.
Could be a coincidence though........

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 08-01-2015, 02:34 PM
#10
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Claus, out of all of the Blonde Badger brushes I have tried (7), most in 2XL styles, I would never have described the hair as 'gel-like'. They all had very good, soft, but noticeable scrub and nothing close to 'gel-like', for me. Good example of YMMV.  Biggrin

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 08-07-2015, 01:24 AM
#11
  • Crag
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  • Menifee, Ca 92586
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I have an Alibaba in Blonde and a PJ in Finest and to be quite honest, they both feel exactly the same on my face. Don't get me wrong, they are exquisite, but I can't tell them apart unless I look at the handles. I did notice that the finest was a bit stiffer to the touch before first lather, but that ended when I lathered it. I love my M and F brushes...I only wish that Lee was easier to reach...

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 08-07-2015, 04:38 AM
#12
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Having owned both the finest and a blonde badger (labelled) I much prefer the finest YMMV, fewer rogue black hairs and less scritch. One issue, is the you won't know wether finest or blonde is your preference as each knot is quite different (at the given price I would prefer higher certainty). With others you order a knot and you know it will be very very similar or the same 3 months down the line.

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