03-07-2012, 06:22 PM
#1
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The purpose of this post is to review a pair of brushes, but first let me tall you a parable (a true one).

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I like bicycles. I ride everywhere. I chose my house to make sure that my commute is long enough, and I try to do most things on my bike. In fact, I don't have a driving license anymore. Smile

When I got my first real job, I treated myself - I bought a Waterford RSE-22 - this is a custom bike made by Waterford Precision Cycles (in Wisconsin). The frame is lugged steel, handcrafted in the US. I lovingly assembled the rest of the bike, and I love riding it. In the few years since I've had it, I've put about 7000 miles on it.

This isn't the only bike I have (I have 7), but it is by far the most expensive - think several thousand $$. Most of my other bikes cost less than $200. Several of them are 80's 'Bike Boom' Schwinn's - made in Japan. They're worn now, but they're also lugged steel, and the parts are pretty good.

The thing is, if I had to choose only one bike to keep it would be one of those Schwinns. I've had that bike for 6-7 years, and I bought it used. I've put more than 30,000 miles on it, and I absolutely love it! The Waterford is great, but this Schwinn matches it in every way. Maybe the parts and the paint-job are not quite as good, but you'd have to know a lot about bikes to tell that. When I use them, the performance of the two bikes is indistinguishable.

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So what does this have to do with my brush review? Read on.

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I had heard about New Forest brushes one several of the forums, but I had never felt the need to try them. My impression was that they would be typical 'third-tier' badger brushes, and since I was on the 'First Tier' of badger brushes (Simpson, Rooney Finest, Plisson, you name it), I didn't want to go cheap and lose performance.

However, lately I've paid less attention to cost, and more to performance, and have figured out that Vie-Long horsehair brushes are great, the Semogue SOC badger is excellent, and that other cheap brushes perform way better than their pricepoint. Still, while they may give better bang for your buck, they didn't quite match the big brands (Simpson, Shavemac, Rooney, and Plisson).

Anyway, I read another review on New Forest brushes in another forum, and thought I'd give them a go. I bought two of them - the 2222 (HMW) and the 1901.

Here they are:

[Image: 100_2444.jpg]

Left is the 2222, and right is the 1901. The 2222 has a 22 mm knot, while the 1901 has a 19 mm knot. That's good, as I've been gravitating towards smaller knots lately. Both the lofts are in the 48 mm range.

When I got the brushes, you could tell that the handles were nice, but not as polished (in all senses of the word) as a Simpson handle, for example. However, they are both pretty nice and substantial - lathe turned. They are easy to grip and are modeled on classic brush handles.

The knots are very well-shaped, and homogenous - they are dense and feel great. The knots don't have the crazy density of the Rooney Finest, but they are still very dense. Here's a knot pic:

[Image: 100_2448.jpg]

The hair used in both has nice backbone, and soft tips. Here's a close of the 1901:

[Image: 100_2446.jpg]

...and the 2222:

[Image: 100_2447.jpg]

When I test-lathered them, the 1901 lost 2 hairs, and the 2222 lost none. I did notice that the tips of the hairs held onto water in a similar fashion to the Rooney Stubby 2XL I had.

[Image: 100_2453.jpg]

This worried me, as I found the Rooney 2XL to be too soft on the face, and to lack scrub.

However, in use they were both excellent. The knots don't deform much, reflecting the backbone of these hairs. They both feel firm on the face, and the tips are soft, but don't feel as soft as the Rooney 2XL (which is good).

They both had no problems raising a thick lather from soaps or creams, and the flow-through was just about spot-on.

Basically, I only have good things to say about these brushes. They are not only great value for money, but they are actually as good as the Simpson, Rooney, etc. brushes I've had. And I don't mean that they're as good as the cheaper models and hair grades from those makers --- No! They're as good as the BEST those makers have to offer.

The only thing I cannot say much about is how long they will last (I haven't had them for very long). The build quality seems excellent, but I don't know if they will last 10+ years (though I have no reason to believe they won't).

The quality on these is so good, and the prices are so low that I don't hesitate to recommend them. They blew me away with their performance; maybe they'll do the same to you. Biggrin

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So, as the parable at the beginning of the thread pointed out - sometimes a cheaper item is only cheaper in price --- nothing else.


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 03-07-2012, 07:08 PM
#2
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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What an excellent way to review these brushes. Thanks Yohann. Smile

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 03-07-2012, 11:40 PM
#3
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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And where does one get such a high value per $ brush?

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 03-08-2012, 03:25 AM
#4
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(03-07-2012, 11:40 PM)Songwind Wrote: And where does one get such a high value per $ brush?

They're sold by a guy called Fido (on the forums) through his blog - New Forest Brushes.

The 2222 seems to be out of stock, but there are other models available there.

The 1901 is £25 shipped - that's a pretty good price.


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 03-08-2012, 03:27 AM
#5
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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The Tubby 2 is a great brush as well.

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 03-08-2012, 05:54 AM
#6
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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yohannrjm, very good write-up. I always enjoy talking with Fido. I must say though, I'm very impressed with you 37,000+ miles of bicycle riding, especially considering where you are located.

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 03-08-2012, 06:47 AM
#7
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Great review Yohann! I have never tried a New Forest brush but may now consider one in the future.

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 03-08-2012, 07:31 AM
#8
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(03-08-2012, 05:54 AM)Johnny Wrote: yohannrjm, very good write-up. I always enjoy talking with Fido. I must say though, I'm very impressed with you 37,000+ miles of bicycle riding, especially considering where you are located.

Yep, I like to ride my bike. Smile

My commute itself takes care of most of those 5000 miles - 130 miles a week. I commute through the rain/snow/heat - you name it. It's fun, but very expensive. I eat tremendous amounts of food.

----

Back to the brushes - I was also interested in the Tubby, Dave. I'll have to hold off for a while, as I just got a GYLE.

Review on the GYLE will be up in a week or so. So far, I can say it is beautiful. The question will be: is it worth the price? I think I know the answer to that question, but I'll give it a go before deciding.

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 03-08-2012, 10:59 AM
#9
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(03-08-2012, 03:25 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: They're sold by a guy called Fido (on the forums) through his blog - New Forest Brushes.

The 2222 seems to b out of stock, but there are other models available there.

The 1901 is £25 shipped - that's a pretty good price.

Thanks! I love finding new small/artisan businesses for my linkstash.

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 03-08-2012, 11:57 AM
#10
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(03-08-2012, 10:59 AM)Songwind Wrote:
(03-08-2012, 03:25 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: They're sold by a guy called Fido (on the forums) through his blog - New Forest Brushes.

The 2222 seems to be out of stock, but there are other models available there.

The 1901 is £25 shipped - that's a pretty good price.

Thanks! I love finding new small/artisan businesses for my linkstash.

I've been reading up on these brushes on other forums - some of the posts about them are not very flattering. It seems the first few lots of these were not well-regarded.

Either they got better, or I got lucky. Given what I've read recently, I think they got better, but I don't know the first thing about where they were made and how.

Keep that in mind, if you are interested in them.

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 03-08-2012, 12:35 PM
#11
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(03-08-2012, 11:57 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: Either they got better, or I got lucky. Given what I've read recently, I think they got better, but I don't know the first thing about where they were made and how.

Keep that in mind, if you are interested in them.

I apparently had one of the first ones. It was terrible. And when I complained, the answer was , "Well, sorry, but other people like them." The handle wasn't even worth reknotting and went into the trash. I won't buy another one, even one of the newer ones.


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 03-08-2012, 02:03 PM
#12
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(03-08-2012, 12:35 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: I apparently had one of the first ones. It was terrible. And when I complained, the answer was , "Well, sorry, but other people like them." The handle wasn't even worth reknotting and went into the trash. I won't buy another one, even one of the newer ones.

If I'd had an experience like that, I'd probably never buy one again too. That sounds like crap customer service to me.

Luckily, I have no intention of returning these brushes. Still, it's good to hear people's experiences with unknown vendors. Hopefully, he's learned since then, but there's no way to know until we get positive CS feedback about him.

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 03-09-2012, 12:39 PM
#13
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(03-08-2012, 12:35 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: I apparently had one of the first ones. It was terrible. And when I complained, the answer was , "Well, sorry, but other people like them." The handle wasn't even worth reknotting and went into the trash. I won't buy another one, even one of the newer ones.

I was a 100% faithful AMD computer chip customer for about a decade because of this sort of experience with Intel's customer support.


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 03-09-2012, 01:39 PM
#14
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Yohann,

A well written review, Thank You.

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 03-09-2012, 01:57 PM
#15
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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I have the 1901,and even when its not the best brush I have tried,its a decent performer for 25 pounds.However I think that the 2201 its one of the best shaving brushes that I own or have tried.Sad that its not longer produce.
I was interested on the 2222,but I think Im gonna let it go this time.

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 03-09-2012, 03:43 PM
#16
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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I have the New Forest 2201 and find it a superb brush. I purchased it from someone who had two of them and sold me one so I cannot comment on New Forest's direct customer relations.

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 03-09-2012, 11:35 PM
#17
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Didn't buy mine direct, but I have a 2201 I believe was the model number, and it's actually not a bad performer, but not to my liking. The hair is too soft and it is like the Rooney 2-band Heritage in that it hangs onto water quite heavily, but the Rooney does a better job of still being likeable. I've been finding it hard to beat the brushes you get from an established manufacturer for the hair.

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 03-10-2012, 10:36 AM
#18
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Joe -

Your comparison to the Rooney Heritage hair is spot on as far as the 2222 goes too. The tips hold onto the water just like my 2XL used to.

However, in a classic example of YMMV, I actually prefer this brush to the Rooney. Something about the feel of the 2222 matches my preferences better than that 2XL did. Of course, YMMV. Biggrin

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As an aside - I've postulated this before: I think that Rooney and now New Forest must be getting treated hair from somewhere. It's strange that this hair behaves so differently from anything that we've seen before. I am of the opinion that they must treat the hair physically or chemically to make it behave like it does.

I have no proof of this, of course. It's pure speculation. Unless they found a new badger species somewhere in China, they must have figured out a way to treat the hair to make it behave like it does.

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 03-10-2012, 01:54 PM
#19
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Yeah I find if you even have a remote interest it's something you'll want to try as you do have those variances. But anytime someone compares a brush to Rooney 2-band Heritage it kills it for me. Saves me a brush on the "I have to have it list"! Aaaaa

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 03-14-2012, 07:11 AM
#20
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Great Review Yohann and great thread overall. I look forward to testing these out in the pass-around.
http://shavenook.com/thread-the-new-fore...ass-around

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