04-16-2016, 03:42 PM
#1
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I'm fortunate to have Paladin Chiefs with Blonde Badger and Select Badger knots.  Both knots are 26mm in diameter set to a 50mm loft.  Here are the two brushes next to each other, with the Blonde being the ivory one on the left:

[Image: oDrghOz.jpg]

Notwithstanding the title of this post, this is not a contest.  Both brushes are winners and it's great to have the pair in my rotation.  However, I thought it would be interesting to do some comparisons.

The initial run of Paladins, all with M&F knots, was a huge success for a variety of reasons.  Undoubtedly, one of those reasons was the M&F knots, which are highly sought after. Using M&F knots gave the first run of Paladins immediate prestige and desirability.  However, the arrangement between Paladin and Lee Sabini may not have been optimal going forward for a variety of reasons.  One of those reasons may have been that manufacturing handles here, shipping them to England to have the knots installed, then shipping the complete brushes back to the U.S. was not practical.  There may have been other reasons as well, all of which led Paladin to obtain its own knots.

As necessary as this step may have been, coming up with its own knots was not without risk for Paladin.  The resulting brushes would no longer carry the prestigious affiliation with M&F, and would have to travel on their own merits.  Moreover, comparisons to the M&F knots would be inevitable.  However, now that I have tried both knots, I can conclude that Paladin has found a knot comparable to M&F.

The following are my casual thoughts regarding both knots.  Everything I'm writing is only a personal observation and not a judgment.  As I indicated above, they're both great brushes and anyone's preference for one over the other would be entirely subjective.

Knot Dimensions.  Both knots are listed at 26/50mm.  I measured the knots and they do indeed both reflect their listed measurements.  

Glue Bumps.  The  Blonde has a noticeably larger glue bump than the Select.  However, this does not tell the whole story, and there is another aspect to the glue bumps worth mentioning.  The glue bump on the Blonde is not only higher, but it also extends all the way across the width of the knot.  If you squeeze the sides of the Blonde knot at the top of the handle, you will immediately feel the glue bump at the outside edge of the knot.  With the Select, the glue bump is lower, but also limited to the middle of the knot.  If you squeeze the sides of the Select knot at the top of the handle, you will not feel the glue bump at the outside edge of the knot.  In fact, you have to squeeze the knot somewhat firmly to feel the glue bump in the middle.  I always thought of glue bumps in terms of their height.  However, perhaps the the effect of a glue bump may depend on both its height and width across the top of the handle.

Shedding.  Neither brush has shed any hair.

Density.  Both brushes have what I would call medium density.   

Backbone and scrub.  Both brushes have what I would call medium backbone and scrub.  I like backbone and scrub, and these brushes are both fine in these categories.  The Blonde may have slightly more backbone and scrub, but the difference is barely perceptible.  The larger glue bump on the Blonde may be a factor here.

Softness.   Both brushes are soft.  The Select seems just slightly softer, but the difference is barely perceptible.

Flow.  Both brushes exhibit comparably good flow, creating and releasing lather well. 

I'm glad I have both brushes.  If I was forced to pick one one based on performance, as opposed to the M&F "name" on the knot, it would be difficult because the brushes are so comparable. Fortunately, that's a choice I don't have to make.  Perhaps Paladin and M&F can collaborate on future brushes.  However, if that's not possible, it's good to know that the Select knots are top quality.

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 04-16-2016, 04:52 PM
#2
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(04-16-2016, 03:42 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: I'm fortunate to have Paladin Chiefs with Blonde Badger and Select Badger knots.  Both knots are 26mm in diameter set to a 50mm loft.  Here are the two brushes next to each other, with the Blonde being the ivory one on the left:

[Image: oDrghOz.jpg]

Notwithstanding the title of this post, this is not a contest.  Both brushes are winners and it's great to have the pair in my rotation.  However, I thought it would be interesting to do some comparisons.

The initial run of Paladins, all with M&F knots, was a huge success for a variety of reasons.  Undoubtedly, one of those reasons was the M&F knots, which are highly sought after. Using M&F knots gave the first run of Paladins immediate prestige and desirability.  However, the arrangement between Paladin and Lee Sabini may not have been optimal going forward for a variety of reasons.  One of those reasons may have been that manufacturing handles here, shipping them to England to have the knots installed, then shipping the complete brushes back to the U.S. was not practical.  There may have been other reasons as well, all of which led Paladin to obtain its own knots.

As necessary as this step may have been, coming up with its own knots was not without risk for Paladin.  The resulting brushes would no longer carry the prestigious affiliation with M&F, and would have to travel on their own merits.  Moreover, comparisons to the M&F knots would be inevitable.  However, now that I have tried both knots, I can conclude that Paladin has found a knot comparable to M&F.

The following are my casual thoughts regarding both knots.  Everything I'm writing is only a personal observation and not a judgment.  As I indicated above, they're both great brushes and anyone's preference for one over the other would be entirely subjective.

Knot Dimensions.  Both knots are listed at 26/50mm.  I measured the knots and they do indeed both reflect their listed measurements.  

Glue Bumps.  The  Blonde has a noticeably larger glue bump than the Select.  However, this does not tell the whole story, and there is another aspect to the glue bumps worth mentioning.  The glue bump on the Blonde is not only higher, but it also extends all the way across the width of the knot.  If you squeeze the sides of the Blonde knot at the top of the handle, you will immediately feel the glue bump at the outside edge of the knot.  With the Select, the glue bump is lower, but also limited to the middle of the knot.  If you squeeze the sides of the Select knot at the top of the handle, you will not feel the glue bump at the outside edge of the knot.  In fact, you have to squeeze the knot somewhat firmly to feel the glue bump in the middle.  I always thought of glue bumps in terms of their height.  However, perhaps the the effect of a glue bump may depend on both its height and width across the top of the handle.

Shedding.  Neither brush has shed any hair.

Density.  Both brushes have what I would call medium density.   

Backbone and scrub.  Both brushes have what I would call medium backbone and scrub.  I like backbone and scrub, and these brushes are both fine in these categories.  The Blonde may have slightly more backbone and scrub, but the difference is barely perceptible.  The larger glue bump on the Blonde may be a factor here.

Softness.   Both brushes are soft.  The Select seems just slightly softer, but the difference is barely perceptible.

Flow.  Both brushes exhibit comparably good flow, creating and releasing lather well. 

I'm glad I have both brushes.  If I was forced to pick one one based on performance, as opposed to the M&F "name" on the knot, it would be difficult because the brushes are so comparable. Fortunately, that's a choice I don't have to make.  Perhaps Paladin and M&F can collaborate on future brushes.  However, if that's not possible, it's good to know that the Select knots are top quality.
Well done, great analysis. It's wonderful to hear, to have an extraordinary brush maker (handle and knot) here in the States. It's also wonderful to know I will be able to purchase one of these brushes without any hassle.

Thank you for your review

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 04-16-2016, 05:03 PM
#3
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Very thoughtful review. I had similar thoughts comparing the new Select knot with my Paladin w/ M&F Finest hair. The quality is right up there, and the glue bump is much less prominent. Thanks for the write up.

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 04-16-2016, 05:19 PM
#4
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Thanks for the input.

I've never had or seen a brush with a M&F knot in person.

Very interesting comparison.

Beautiful brushes you have there!

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 04-16-2016, 05:23 PM
#5
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Good review . I had blonde and select . I liked select . I am glad that Ken is selected good source of badger.


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 04-16-2016, 05:35 PM
#6
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Thank you for this information and review. I hope to purchase a Paladin this year.  I've been viewing the new site daily but as far as I know, all brushes are currently OOS.

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 04-16-2016, 07:41 PM
#7
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I have a lot of M&F and I like the new Paladin knots not only for their quality but also for variety. I'm pretty discerning as far as what comes into my den and stays and I don't keep a lot of brushes around, probably not nearly as many as you'd might think. I like the Paladin because it's different from most of what I have and provides me with a nice variety. I would get more. Thanks for your review!

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 04-16-2016, 09:20 PM
#8
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Thanks for the great review!

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 04-17-2016, 08:14 AM
#9
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I have a Paladin from the second batch, a M&F Blonde knot and it seems to have the characteristics that everyone associates with M&F/Rooney: crunchy tips when dry, and clumpy/gooey when wet.  I guess this is what people mean by gel-tips.  It's certainly the most unique feeling brush in my modest quiver.

That said, from everything I've read, I'm looking forward to getting the chance to get one with the new select knots because it is different but still great.  I like the idea of having variety among brushes.

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 04-17-2016, 08:15 AM
#10
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(04-16-2016, 07:41 PM)NSmalls Wrote: I have a lot of M&F and I like the new Paladin knots not only for their quality but also for variety. I'm pretty discerning as far as what comes into my den and stays and I don't keep a lot of brushes around, probably not nearly as many as you'd might think. I like the Paladin because it's different from most of what I have and provides me with a nice variety. I would get more. Thanks for your review!

After posting I realized I pretty much just said what you did.  Great minds think alike, or something like that... Blush

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 04-17-2016, 02:47 PM
#11
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Thanks for the write up on the 2. I was fortunate to grab a brush in his first batch of sales on the website and got the blonde badger brush. After using it, I could not imagine a better knot. It was perfect, in my eyes. I then heard someone that liked his new knot a bit better. Now I need to be on the lookout for the next batch.

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 04-17-2016, 04:24 PM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Ricardo, thanks for the assessment and opinions. I'd like to buy a Paladin brush down the road, and it's good to know their knots are to this point reliably consistent. I dig the butterscotch. Enjoy your shaves Smile

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 04-17-2016, 08:36 PM
#13
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Ricardo, you have some lovely brushes, there. Thumbsup

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 04-17-2016, 09:06 PM
#14
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Nice review. Great info. I really like that the Paladin family is not only already making great job, but they seem to continuously work on making it better and better. Enjoy.

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 04-17-2016, 09:08 PM
#15
  • grantmm
  • Friend of the Badgers
  • Draper, Utah
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(04-16-2016, 04:52 PM)bijou Wrote: Well done, great analysis. It's wonderful to hear, to have an extraordinary brush maker (handle and knot) here in the States. It's also wonderful to know I will be able to purchase one of these brushes without any hassle.

Thank you for your review

Just an aside, but the knot is still made overseas. Ken has acted as the director/curator of the hair type, density, loft and other characteristics. He went through a lot of back and forth discussions (language barrier can be painful in these very detail oriented situations) and loaning specific brushes to the knot source supplier in order to settle on exactly what he was looking for.

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 04-17-2016, 11:18 PM
#16
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Hi guys,

I'd like to buy a Paladin Chief but do not know where! You tell me who should I contact to buy! Thank you!!

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 04-18-2016, 07:15 AM
#17
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Paladin Shaving website - when they are available.

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 04-19-2016, 05:00 AM
#18
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I can't wait to try one of the new ones. I currently have 2, one M&F and one Paladin. The M&F has the heritage knot and the Paladin has the blonde. Both are very different but perfect for me in every way possible.

[Image: c153ba2173c89ddb15e18709276dd2fa.jpg]


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 04-19-2016, 05:47 AM
#19
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Thanks for the review and comparisons.  These are very helpful.

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 04-19-2016, 06:15 AM
#20
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(04-19-2016, 05:00 AM)Mastermason151 Wrote: I can't wait to try one of the new ones. I currently have 2, one M&F and one Paladin. The M&F has the heritage knot and the Paladin has the blonde. Both are very different but perfect for me in every way possible. 

Your tortoise Chief looks like an M&F Group Buy brush. To the best of my knowledge, none of those had heritage knots, but they were very, very good just the same. Those knots remain a benchmark for me personally.

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