04-06-2016, 09:17 AM
#1
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So I ordered a few things from West Coast Shaving and since I ordered over a certain amount they gave me a Omega Boar Brush.  Now I have never used a boar brush before and it is a lot stiffer than my synthetic obviously, but is there anything I need to do before using it?  Do I need to soak it to soften it up and a way to break it in?

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 04-06-2016, 09:39 AM
#2
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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I let mine soak in a cup of dish suds for 15 minutes, rinsed it out with water, and hand lathered with soap.  Once it was nice and coated I let it sit overnight, and then just started using it.  It's broken in nicely.  Boar brushes get better over time as the ends split and soften up, but you still get that great backbone.

Eric

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 04-06-2016, 10:21 AM
#3
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Boar brushes need break-in time, as opposed to badger brushes (which is really about loosening up the knot).  Boar brushes reach their peak after many uses when the ends of the bristles have split.  There is really no substitute other than use to get to that point.  However, most boar brushes also tend to be really funky-smelling (I believe it is the chemicals used to sterilize the knot, if I'm not mistaken), so for the owner's sake it benefits from some way to ameliorate that effect.  I've tried a number of methods and they all tend to work out, whether it be "lathering" with shampoo, dish soap, or creams/soaps and leaving it overnight or so.  I've also never done anything and after 2-3 days the funk is pretty much gone.

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 04-06-2016, 10:25 AM
#4
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I like to give boars at least 5 wet/dry cycles (palm or bowl lathering, and 48 hours in between cycles) before I put it on my face. The reasons for that are: cleaning and defunking, bristle softening, get the break-in process started. For the first cycle I like to use hot water (170 degrees). Painter strokes on a towel while drying your brush will also help with the splitting process. 
Boar, like synth and badger, has its own particularities. That is to say: if you expect a synth-like experience you will be disappointed. But if you are open to a new/different experience, it can be lots of fun. Kind of like trying SE while mostly using DE, IMO. 
Have fun!

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 04-06-2016, 10:33 AM
#5
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Boar, badger, horse, synthetic, boar/badger, boar/horse, boar/badger...did I forget any combos?
Everyone has their favorites, not to mention face/bowl lathering.
The myriad types of replies you may receive are potentially endless.
lloydrm says it well with "if you are open to a new/different experience, it can be lots of fun."
Best of luck in your new experience.

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 04-06-2016, 12:04 PM
#6
  • jjfar
  • Young priest in a big parish
  • North Carolina
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Just let it soak in hot water while you shower.
Then lather and shave,rinse hot,then cold, let dry.
I love my semogues,610 and 820.

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 04-06-2016, 01:54 PM
#7
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You just need to do a quick soak to soften the bristles if you want, then go to your soap/puck.
You'll need quite a few weeks before it starts to fully 'break in'.
Have fun.

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 04-06-2016, 07:59 PM
#8
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Boar brushes are hard work.

I have bought 12 boars, 6 Omegas and 6 Semogues, in the last months time, and I expect it to take a year or more for them to break in just partially.

But I did gave my Semogue 1305 a try, after just washing it two times and hand lathering it once, I used it for face lather, and NO it did not deliver perfect lather first time out, but it was already performing quie well, just a little prickly.

Just soak your boars for 10-15 minutes, depending how soft you would like it to be. If it's a floppy boar like the Semogue 2000, soak it less time for instance 5-8 minutes, if it's a hard little devil like the Semogue 620, soak it for 20 minutes or longer.

Now I have used it 4 times since that, and it's already getting better and better.
Will it ever compare to one of my high end badgers - NO !

But it will perform great, is my strong belief, and I will use it for the occasional face lather and when my face needs a rest, for a bowl lather once in a while (yes, I have realized my face needs a break once in a while, sp I have started bowl lathering once every 5 or 10 shaves now)

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 04-07-2016, 01:31 AM
#9
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Here's a video about how to speed up the break-in process of any boar brush:






Just do some palm lathering with any soap a couple of times a day, during a week or so, and soon it will be more than ready - and it will coninue to improve over the time.

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 04-07-2016, 02:27 AM
#10
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I just use a new boar brush for 2-3 weeks daily to get it to break in, the ends to flag/split. I really enjoy using a well broke in boar brush, the favourite being the inexpensive Omega 10066. Just a different experience from my badger and synthetic brushes which I also enjoy using.

Bob

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 04-07-2016, 02:35 AM
#11
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Yeah I soaked it and lathered it and let it set for a few hours and then I did end up using it last night it was a different experience I will keep working on it to break it in

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

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 04-07-2016, 12:59 PM
#12
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I remember somebody recommending that video when I first got a boar, Emanuel.
I think it's just right. I've used it for all my boars since.

Interesting to note, I've never had a really funky one. One was mildly, but that's all.

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 04-08-2016, 02:54 AM
#13
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Boar brushes are fantastic, and I certainly don't believe they are hard work as mentioned above.  However, boar brushes need use in order to get to their best.  I've also found that many folks say you should let them dry for a day or two while breaking in.  I have found that is not necessary.  They dry just fine and split using then everyday.   

As for soaking.  Yes a good soak for a couple of minutes will help soften the bristless, but also help ensure that it doesn't eat your lather.  A couple of minutes is fine.  I usually throw mine in some water before getting in the shower bUT you don't need to soak that long.  
Boar is great.  I have and have had a lot of high end badger brushes.  Save for mystic waters soaps, I choose my boar daily.  They handle hard soaps, croaps and creams with ease.  Plus they do it with a great face feel for me.  
YMMV of course but if you stick with your boar, it will give you years of great service aND for not a lot of cash I might add.

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 04-08-2016, 03:02 AM
#14
  • leonidas
  • Senior Member
  • Jerez de la Frontera
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..............boar brushes..........the bad boys of wet shaving.........

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 04-08-2016, 03:28 AM
#15
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(04-08-2016, 02:54 AM)chromedometone Wrote: Boar brushes are fantastic, and I certainly don't believe they are hard work as mentioned above.  However, boar brushes need use in order to get to their best.  I've also found that many folks say you should let them dry for a day or two while breaking in.  I have found that is not necessary.  They dry just fine and split using then everyday.   

As for soaking.  Yes a good soak for a couple of minutes will help soften the bristless, but also help ensure that it doesn't eat your lather.  A couple of minutes is fine.  I usually throw mine in some water before getting in the shower bUT you don't need to soak that long.  
Boar is great.  I have and have had a lot of high end badger brushes.  Save for mystic waters soaps, I choose my boar daily.  They handle hard soaps, croaps and creams with ease.  Plus they do it with a great face feel for me.  
YMMV of course but if you stick with your boar, it will give you years of great service aND for not a lot of cash I might add.

You seem to really like the boar brushes, what is it about them that you like?  Do you find that it gives you a better shave? Make your face feel better, lathers better?  I have a Perfecto Badger Brush and hate that thing it sheds more than my dog, I have two synthetic brushes RazoRock Plissoft Disruptor and Satin Tip.  I like both of the synthetics a lot.

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 04-08-2016, 04:58 AM
#16
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(04-08-2016, 03:28 AM)rkrmr Wrote:
(04-08-2016, 02:54 AM)chromedometone Wrote: Boar brushes are fantastic, and I certainly don't believe they are hard work as mentioned above.  However, boar brushes need use in order to get to their best.  I've also found that many folks say you should let them dry for a day or two while breaking in.  I have found that is not necessary.  They dry just fine and split using then everyday.   

As for soaking.  Yes a good soak for a couple of minutes will help soften the bristless, but also help ensure that it doesn't eat your lather.  A couple of minutes is fine.  I usually throw mine in some water before getting in the shower bUT you don't need to soak that long.  
Boar is great.  I have and have had a lot of high end badger brushes.  Save for mystic waters soaps, I choose my boar daily.  They handle hard soaps, croaps and creams with ease.  Plus they do it with a great face feel for me.  
YMMV of course but if you stick with your boar, it will give you years of great service aND for not a lot of cash I might add.

You seem to really like the boar brushes, what is it about them that you like?  Do you find that it gives you a better shave? Make your face feel better, lathers better?  I have a Perfecto Badger Brush and hate that thing it sheds more than my dog, I have two synthetic brushes RazoRock Plissoft Disruptor and Satin Tip.  I like both of the synthetics a lot.
First don't judge badger brushes by that perfecto.  Badger is great. I like badger.  The new synthetics are great. I have two, my favorite being the Razorock Plissoft with the black stubbier handle.  I am by no means saying I dislike other brushes or that they are not suited for their purpose.  


As to why I typcially choose boar, part of it is that I have learned I like higher loft brushes, but need backbone.  There are just not that many options in badger of that nature.  However, I think what it really comes down to for me is  the simplicity and utilitarian nature of the brushes.  They are what they are.   Use them, abuse them, drop them,  grind them, smash them, it does not matter.   All the boar brush does is continue to reward with better and better lathering ability and softer face feel.  They can bust through even the hardest triple milled soaps, but turn around and have a soft touch to lather even the most delicate cream.  I liken them to the "single mother" of shaving brushes.  They do everything asked of them and everything for everybody, usually without fanfare, but always well.

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 04-08-2016, 05:09 AM
#17
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You make a great case for the boar brush. I wasn't hating on all Badger brushes just my perfecto. I will continue to rotate between the the boar and the synthetics

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 04-08-2016, 05:13 AM
#18
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(04-08-2016, 05:09 AM)rkrmr Wrote: You make a great case for the boar brush. I wasn't hating on all Badger brushes just my perfecto. I will continue to rotate between the the boar and the synthetics

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

Many happy shaves!  P.S. I love Omega brushes.  Wish the handles on them were a little nicer, like on many of the Semogues, but in my opinion the Omega knots are best (though I have been using my S.O.C. 2 weeks straight)

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