07-30-2012, 08:47 AM
#1
User Info
Ok, so I have been wet shaving several months now, experimenting with blades, creams, soaps and so forth, and in the last couple of months, I started checking out brushes.

Now I had started with a VdH pure badger, and it was a good trooper, especially considering that I didn't really know any better. Now economy has been one of the main motivations behind my foray into wet shaving, so even though I have been somewhat curious about some of the pricier badger brushes, I always stopped short of ordering anything like that. I am a bowl latherer, and equally use soaps and creams.

After a considerable amount of time researching, reading posts, askign opinions and just generally obsessing over this, I bought a badger/boar mixed Vulfix Grosvenor. I waited with baited breath for its arrival, and about a week after putting in the order, there it was.

It had a slight animal funk, not bad, and nothing that wasn't gone in a few days of use. but OMG what backbone! I had heard that term, but really, until I shaved with the 404, I had no idea what it meant. I love the 404, and for a month or two, that was my rotation, 404 / VdH. Then I decided that I needed a third brush to round out my collection and give each plenty of time to dry between shaves.

Again more research, and I made the leap to a Semogue 830. Now this brush had almost no funk, as much or more initial backbone than my 404, and was a beauty. After a month or two of rotation with the 404, the 830 is soft. It has started to splay somewhat when I get a good lather on, but still retains a good backbone as it is breaking in. Great purchase!

I am very happy with both of these brushes and their behavior. They both have the tiniest of "scritch" but not in any way to an unpleasant degree. And they are such a joy to use, much more than my VdH pure which now reminds me of a big paint brush, all soft and floppy. The VdH has even (for the most part) dropped out of the rotation -- so much so that I am considering a new third brush. Now, I would like to hear some opinions on this. I am thinking that I want something very dense, with a pretty big knot, backbone is a must. I have read that the 1305 is pretty soft when broken in, and splays easily therefore I am not including that in the list of possibilities. It seems like Semogue might be the way to go, but I am open to other possibilities as well.

1 69
Reply
 07-30-2012, 08:59 AM
#2
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
User Info
620! It is very similar to 830 but shorter loft makes all the difference.

88 4,233
Reply
 07-30-2012, 09:05 AM
#3
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
User Info
Welcome to shavemania. The brushes you started out with are very good in particular the Semogue boars(badgers) I will highly recommend you try a horsehair brush. All are very inexpensive and will meet your needs regarding backbone and soft tips which make them ideal for soaps and creams. They also dry very rapidly. An excellent horsehair is the Vie-Long Peleon which I personally love. Some of our vendors carry them.
One word of caution a new horsehair brush smells bad but if you shampoo them several times as well as use them for several days the smell will vanish.

100 12,444
Reply
 07-30-2012, 09:05 AM
#4
User Info
Semogue Owners Club - both of them, boar and badger. My 2 favorite natural bristle brushes by far.

31 7,914
Reply
 07-30-2012, 09:32 AM
#5
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
I'm starting a new club for us boar lovers, "The Pig Pit" Biggrin

Semogue SOC Boar is the brush you just described.

But, since they are inexpensive, you should also get a 1438 and a 1460.

Great brushes.

173 23,536
Reply
 07-30-2012, 09:40 AM
#6
  • wlmcad
  • Senior Member
  • Memphis, TN
User Info
I love my 830! Biggrin

0 539
Reply
 07-30-2012, 01:18 PM
#7
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
User Info
My recommendation?Semogue 1800 or 1305,and between those 2,the 1800.Perfect backbone and soft tips,if you are looking for a face lathering brush.

86 7,123
Reply
 07-30-2012, 08:35 PM
#8
User Info
Too many to suggest.
Semogues = SOC (boar and badger), LEs 2010/2011, 620, 830, 820
Vie-Long BGS 2012
Good luck.

75 20,883
Reply
 07-30-2012, 09:56 PM
#9
User Info
I only grade pass/fail on brushes, but my top boar is a semogue 1438, then a 610, after that I just like boars. But I'm just as unfaithful about badgers also.

32 6,309
Reply
 07-31-2012, 06:56 AM
#10
User Info
Aren't they all soft when broken in?

2 65
Reply
 07-31-2012, 06:58 AM
#11
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
More badgers for me !!! Tongue

91 17,850
Reply
 07-31-2012, 08:44 AM
#12
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
I love boar brushes and Semogue makes some of the best out there. Check out Omega boars also, they are excellent and inexpensive. I have an Omega 10275 for face lathering (a smaller boar) and Semogue 1470 (short loft also since I mostly face lather). I tend to use Omega more. I had a Semogue 1305 and it was wonderful, but I sold it because it was too big for my face lathering. Great brush, though and your 830 is the more dense version of the 1305 from what I understand. I actually thing that a bit more density would have been better for the 1305, so the 830 may be one of perfect boar brushes. I understand SOC (Semogue Owners Club) is superb, but since it's larger than the 1305 I gave it a pass. If you bowl lather Omega 49 may be a thing to try. It's large and is pretty much designed for barbers. Has been around for a long time and perfected. Inexpensive, plastic handle, great large knot.

If your only experience with a badger brush is VDH, then you haven't really tried badgers. Of course it will cost you about the price of two or three good boars to try a badger that's worth keeping. I think $50 is the low end of a boar budget, whereas a SOC, which is pretty much top of the line boar is around $30. However, a good badger brush is an absolute joy to use. There are lots more differences in badger brushes than boars. You can have scritchy, you can have soft, you can have backbone, you can have floppy in all combinations. I face lather, so I can't give a you a good bowl lathering recommendation on a badger, but I think all of my badgers have been bowl lathered at least once and they do fine. Even Simpson Wee Scot, which looks like a toy (but is really a seriously amazing badger brush). I think Something like a Simpson Berkeley 46B (in best badger) would suit you (around $50), something in $100 price range like Simpson Duke 2 ($85) or Duke 3 ($110) will most certainly satisfy. Best badger is softer than the pure, but still retains a bit scritch in a pleasant way. Brushes I listed have backbone. The only downside with badgers is cost. They dry much faster. You can have one brush and be fine the next day. They do not need to soak very much before use since they don't absorb water like boars. Just get the brush wet, maybe soak for a minute and it's ready to go. They last much longer from what understand and they feel great, but different from boars. Once you try a good badger it's kind of hard to stop using them.

25 1,705
Reply
 07-31-2012, 12:02 PM
#13
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
User Info
I found that boars have become my favorite brush. Any of the Semogues are great, the classiest one is an Owners Club. Definitely the Cadillac of boars.

1 3,507
Reply
 07-31-2012, 06:46 PM
#14
User Info
My VdH has no backbone. It is totally floppy, not dense, and as I said, feels like a big floppy paint brush...that is the main reason it no longer gets no love....it feels like I am painting my face with lather, not pleasant...

1 69
Reply
 08-01-2012, 08:54 AM
#15
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
(07-31-2012, 06:46 PM)Russianrat Wrote: My VdH has no backbone. It is totally floppy, not dense, and as I said, feels like a big floppy paint brush...that is the main reason it no longer gets no love....it feels like I am painting my face with lather, not pleasant...

VDH Badger is a $10 badger brush. Enough said. Density and hair grade are main price variants. For $10 you get little density of pure badger in a very inexpensive plastic handle. Tweezerman badger brush is similar, but a little more expensive with wooden handle and I imagine slightly more density. But until you have tried a good best badger brush, you can not say you tried badger brushes. Of course, for the price of a good boar brush ($15) you will not even come close to a good badger. You will need to spend in the neighborhood of $40 on a good best badger brush. If you keep an eye out on the BST here or on B&B you can pick one up for about $30-$35 shipped. I just scored a Simpson Commodore X1 for $35 shipped. Can't wait for it to get here.

If you are not into spending more than $20 on a shaving brush, look no further than Omega or Semogue boars. Between the two companies there is just about every style and price offered for whatever your preferences are. You will need to spend time breaking them in and you will need to soak them well before use (or they'll eat your lather up) and dry them thoroughly afterwards (which can take up to 48 hours). Boars are a pleasure to use and are so affordable you can have 5 or 6 of them in rotation for the price of one high end badger.

Good luck!

25 1,705
Reply
 08-01-2012, 05:45 PM
#16
User Info
I also have both the VdH Badger and Boar brushes. I like the softness of the badger and the amount of lather it holds, and I like the stiffness of the boar, feeling my whiskers actually move as I lather. I'm looking for the best of both worlds, holding a good amount of lather while still providing stiffness. What would you recommend?

1 168
Reply
 08-01-2012, 07:28 PM
#17
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
User Info
(08-01-2012, 05:45 PM)Grant_Atwood Wrote: I also have both the VdH Badger and Boar brushes. I like the softness of the badger and the amount of lather it holds, and I like the stiffness of the boar, feeling my whiskers actually move as I lather. I'm looking for the best of both worlds, holding a good amount of lather while still providing stiffness. What would you recommend?

The closest badger to a boar in stiffness is Finest or two band badger. It's black hair shaft with white or cream tips. The hair shaft is a little thicker than best badger, but the tips are way softer than best badger. It's a very cool badger to try. Very stiff and very soft. Almost too soft for me (almost - I love my TGN finest restore). However even finest or two band is not as stiff as some boars. I had a Semogue 1305 and that was a softer boar than the finest when both are wet (boar is softer when wet, badger stays about the same).

25 1,705
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)