06-28-2016, 11:40 AM
#1
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After 2, almost 3 years of daily wet shaving I still feel like an unexposed newbie, especially when it comes to brushes. I have only had one brush and it is a boar brush which I'm guessing is poor quality because of the price and the quality of the safety razor that it came with (which I threw away long ago). It is all I know but I think it works very well but I would like to pick up a new badger brush.

I don't really know where to start or what I need to spend in order to get something with some quality. I was planning to spend less than $50 but realize that rules out a lot of options and I could go higher if it's necessary. If I can make it nearly 3 years with a cheap boar brush, I will most likely keep just this one badger brush until it is completely wore out so I want to get it right the first time.

There are so many options including inexpensive, yet highly rated, brushes on places like Amazon but it's hard to compare a $15 brush's 5-star rating to a $60 brush only getting 4-stars there. Likewise for other sites with ratings all over the place. Will I be disappointed with one of those or do you really get what you pay for? Any general steering towards (or away) from something would be appreciated. 

I should also add that I'm pretty much soap and face lather only kind of guy and don't use creams and rarely use a bowl in case that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance!

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 06-28-2016, 11:58 AM
#2
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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On your budget I would consider trying a quality horsehair brush. The best maker without question is the Spanish company Vie Long. You can find a nice selection at Bullgoose.

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 06-28-2016, 12:09 PM
#3
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Thanks. Those look nice. You're saying I'd be better served spending 20-50 on a Vie Long brush over a less expensive badger brush from amazon? What would you personally recommend if my budget were as high as $100 instead? I'm leaning towards a badger brush from what I've read but am open minded. I just don't want to throw away money at something that is just too cheap. My fear is that because I only have only used one brush, I could upgrade but still be missing out on a lot of quality.

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 06-28-2016, 12:16 PM
#4
  • Coyote
  • Senior Member
  • Hondo, TX USA
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I would recommend a Whipped Dog Silvertip. They are under $40 shipped and set to your loft. I have two.

You might also look at the new Stirling 2-Band brush for $29. I don't have one of these, but the feedback has been excellent.

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 06-28-2016, 12:26 PM
#5
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Badgers in your price range will be 'BEST' badger, easily identified by the all black knot. I started out with one and lots of folks are happy with them. Stepping up you also step into conflicting names and grades. You will see silvertips and banded at this range. We are talking hair from different parts of the pelt. Think cuts of beef. You can make hamburger out of anything, but only one cut yields filet mignon. if you want to invest a little more cash look at Bullgoose's Edwin Jaggers.  email Phil with further questions.

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 06-28-2016, 12:30 PM
#6
  • garyg
  • Active Member
  • Great Lakes
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There's many options, in Badger I'd recommend the Simpson's Colonel 2XL.  Just a bit above your budget, with the Simpson's name & quality.  A good all around medium sized brush, it can be used for both bowl and face, though I think of it as a face-latherer due to the lower loft.   I'd take the Amazon ratings with a healthy grain of salt, and look more at some of our dedicated wetshaving vendors.

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 06-28-2016, 12:36 PM
#7
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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Honestly, on a tight budget, get a synthetic. There are shops where you can find a good synthetic for less than $15, and it's going to play right up there with a $100+ badger. In my opinion, look for either a "Plisson style" of knot, (for a softer feel) or a Mühle STF 2.0 (for a stiffer feel.) Both are excellent, and while I love my high-end badger knots, I find myself using a $12 synthetic brush 2-3 days out of most weeks.

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 06-28-2016, 12:42 PM
#8
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If you want to try a luxury badger brush nothing I've found comes even remotely close to the Shave Revolution Manchurian Badger. A steal at $60.

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 06-28-2016, 12:51 PM
#9
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(06-28-2016, 12:36 PM)chamm Wrote: Honestly, on a tight budget, get a synthetic. There are shops where you can find a good synthetic for less than $15, and it's going to play right up there with a $100+ badger. In my opinion, look for  either a "Plisson style" of knot, (for a softer feel) or a Mühle STF 2.0 (for a stiffer feel.) Both are excellent, and while I love my high-end badger knots, I find myself using a $12 synthetic brush 2-3 days out of most weeks.
Chamm knows what he talks about. And for $12, it is a cheap trial.

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 06-28-2016, 01:01 PM
#10
  • ddk13
  • Senior Member
  • Nebraska
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You might want to check out shaverevolution.  I have one of their hmw silvertips that I enjoy.  When I took my "collection" down to 30 (mostly high end) I still kept that one.  I believe their 2-band brushes get really good reviews also.  For the price you can't go wrong.

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 06-28-2016, 01:05 PM
#11
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Whatever you choose do patronise a dedicated shaving vendor. These folks helped make the renaissance in wetshaving happen with product availability. Handing money over to Amazon is rewarding  opportunists who do not maintain shaving forums, seek out new products or offer product support beyond five star ratings.

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 06-28-2016, 01:07 PM
#12
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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^^^ Definitely, what he said. :-D You want the hobby to thrive? Patronize those who are dedicated to it. I intentionally avoided mentioning a specific vendor, because there are many great ones out there, but it's worth looking at the ones on the forums first.

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 06-28-2016, 01:24 PM
#13
  • Coyote
  • Senior Member
  • Hondo, TX USA
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FYI-Neither the Whipped Dog or Stirling are "Best". One is Silvertip, the other is a 2-Band Finest, both in your budget as I said.

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 06-28-2016, 01:28 PM
#14
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Picking out brushes always reminds me of the magic wand scene in HARRY POTTER. Sometimes the box shakes on the shelf . I always point my brush and say Iwanta latheralso

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 06-28-2016, 01:34 PM
#15
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Agree 100% with Chamm.  If you're looking to save money, a good synth is the way to go.  

If youre dead set on badger, check out the Stirling Finest Badger brush.  Right now they're 30 bucks.  I recently got one and it fits the bill for face lathering and soaps.  You won't be disappointed.

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 06-28-2016, 04:31 PM
#16
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Excellent advice all around. I'll do a bit more research on these options. As suggested above, I am also a fan of the small shop owners and websites dedicated to the hobby. I tend to use Amazon as a reference point for what things tend to cost, a general indication of quality and then go do a reputable distributor if I find something there. 

I hadn't really considered a synthetic but might have to read up on those more too. As my username suggests, I'm a Minnesota Gopher fan so the idea of a dead badger sort of gets me excited. Not necessarily the real ones used to make a brush but you get what I'm saying. On the other hand, it might buy synthetic to prove that badgers are inferior.

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 06-28-2016, 05:33 PM
#17
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If you are going to keep this one badger brush for a long time then i would go with something thats a known quality brush. There are many by the way. 

I would very super duper  highly suggest looking at shavemac 2-band silvertip. In a shavemac handle or a handle from the many fine artisan brush handle makers. Just ask or search for who they are.

If that doesnt pique your interest then i would suggest looking into a Simpson Best badger brush. Some high quality Simpson Best badger brushes can be had at or below the $100 mark.

I will say this though, that if this is going to be your one and inly badger brush, then if you have to spend a little more and you can afford to do it, then i would because it will be worth it. DO NOT SETTLE FOR A BRUSH.

If you absolutly want or have to spend less then these guys have given great suggestions.

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 06-29-2016, 05:07 AM
#18
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Thanks Thundert. That's answering the question I sort of asked. Does it pay to spend the extra money to get into a ~$100 brush compared to a lesser expensive brush. I do plan to make this my daily go-to brush for as long as it lasts so I'm thinking I'll up my budget for something a little higher end than I had originally planned. Bathroom cabinet space is much more of a limiting factor than budget so I might as well have a good brush if I'm only going to be having one, or two.

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 06-29-2016, 07:10 AM
#19
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If you have any more questions about handles or types of badger hair just ask.

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 06-29-2016, 10:35 AM
#20
  • gp569900
  • Senior Member
  • Franklin, TN USA
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Shot you a PM offering a free brush.

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