08-06-2016, 10:56 AM
#1
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I'm slowly but steadily expanding my synthetic brush collection, and as I use them more and more and try to get better and better at learning the ups and downs of synthetics, I thought I would ask you, what you think is the most annoying things about synthetic brushes ?

I sold all my Mühle and Edwin Jagger STF v2 and v1 brushes, because they all seem to have a springy effect, when pressed in on my face during face lathering, and if I didn't press them in a bit, they would not create the lather properly on my face.

The Plisson like fibres are softer and more floppy, if not packed densely enough, but they don't have the same springy effect on my face, so I far prefer them over the other synthetic knots.
The Plisson is too floppy for my taste, but I do own one of them, but I far prefer the other more densely packed Plisson fibre brushes (Stirling, RazoRock, CrownKing and Maggard)

The Simpson Chubby 2 is a unique brush, because it has fibres, that reminds me of the EJ/Mühle STF v2 fibres, but it behaves very unique, not as springy.

The one thing, that I so far dislike most about my synthetics is their water retention.
I don't soak them, and I do make sure to shake them out a bit before swirling the brush in the soap/cream.
But somehow I still need drops of water added to the brush during the face lathering, and once I start to go a bit deeper with the brush on my face to really start create the lather, I always seem to have drops of water being pushed out of the brush, and dripping on to the floor/sink.

This annoys me, and I still can't quite figure out how to avoid it (other than using an almost dry brush, which just does not work well with the lather creation and my hard water)
If I could find a way out of this water dripping problem, I honestly would get rid of all my badgers and go 110% synthetics !!

What annoys you most about your synthetic brushes ?

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 08-06-2016, 11:05 AM
#2
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Having gotten back into badgers with the Stirling finest, after a good 2-3 months of basically only synthetics, the first thing that struck me was how springy they are in comparison to a good badger. The Stirling is just as soft, but has backbone without that recoil aspect. Lot less messy!

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 08-06-2016, 11:10 AM
#3
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I'm not sure that synthetics are a good match for your OCD tendencies, Hans. I just lean over the sink when I'm splaying the brush and let it drip away. I usually splay the brush once on purpose with the intent of releasing most of the water, and then it rarely occurs during the rest of the shave. I generally have preferred the STF V2, but recently have been using a 28mm Ubersoft 2. It has more backbone and is great for face lathering, isn't springy, and there is less dripping than with the brushes you mentioned, although it still exists. I think the Ubersoft 2 performs more similar to a badger knot than other synthetics.

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 08-06-2016, 11:34 AM
#4
  • MarkW
  • Senior Member
  • Isle of Man
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Heat & water retention.

However, as a travel solution or 'rest day' brush the synthetics are a superb option.

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 08-06-2016, 11:47 AM
#5
  • VTMAX
  • Banned
  • Woodstock, Vermont
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It's Claus not Hans.

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 08-06-2016, 12:08 PM
#6
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I dislike loading synthetics. It takes a bit more time and patiences as I prefer not to wet the brush before it hits the soap. I seem to have better luck wetting the puck. When I used to use them in the beginning, I would rest the brush in between passes on the handle. The lather would dry out and run down the breach. I now either lay the knot downwards in a bowl or horizontally on a cup.

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 08-06-2016, 12:20 PM
#7
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Hi Claus,

That does annoy me about synthetics too, I find it harder to gauge my lather if there is water hiding in the brush, so what I do is I dip the brush in the water for a few seconds just to get it wet, squeeze the water our and flick it, and dip it again but only less than halfway just to get the tips wet so it's easy to catch the soap and start swirling on the puck.

I face lather mostly, so I apply the soap to my face, paint it on while it's pasty just like when I am using a stick of Arko or La Toja and then once I am happy with the amount of soap on my face, I dip the tips of the synthetic again to get some water and then start making the lather on my face. Making the brush splay with no issues of too much water hiding inside the brush. It became second nature to me and very easy for me to lather almost everything. 

I only change my method with the likes of Williams or Mitchells wool fat where my first step is I squeeze the water out of the brush directly onto the puck of MWF, flick the water out of the brush that's stuck in the middle and start making proto lather there.

I have two least favorite synthetic brushes, one is the Muhle black fiber. I find them too springy, too small and has too much back bone that it feels like it's fighting me.

And the second one is the Omega s-brush s10108. I find the whole brush too big and lenghty. It's too springy too which I found difficult to splay when face lathering. Perhaps this brush was geared more towards bowl lathering.

I really like synthetics these days and use my badgers sparingly. I like most plisson types as long as they are not too small. I find RR plisson types have better backbone, and Maggards have better splay. I really liked them both.

One synthetic knot I am begininng to appreciate is the Ubersoft 2 synthetic. At first I didn't like it so much cause I find that it had too much backbone, however I find that in time and with use, the knot gives a little and becomes easier to splay. I am even beginning to think this is my favorite synthetic knot now, and by synchronocity I actually got it out today so I can use it later to further test it out cause I have a custom brush in mind and I am deciding which synthetic fiber should I go for.

Hope this helps bro

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 08-06-2016, 12:43 PM
#8
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For me it's the combination of springy AND floppy at the same time. Who'd have thought this was even possible?

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 08-06-2016, 12:57 PM
#9
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I only face lather and I feel as though I have to fight the knot to make decent lather with all 3 of my synthetics.  The knots all lack give and are very springy.

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 08-06-2016, 01:35 PM
#10
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(08-06-2016, 12:43 PM)vigilantesd Wrote: For me it's the combination of springy AND floppy at the same time. Who'd have thought this was even possible?

(08-06-2016, 12:57 PM)Rufus Wrote: I only face lather and I feel as though I have to fight the knot to make decent lather with all 3 of my synthetics.  The knots all lack give and are very springy.

Have any of you tried the Plisson style fibres with the more densely packed knots ?

They don't seem springy to me at all, not like the Mühle and Edwin Jagger STF v1 and v2.

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 08-06-2016, 01:48 PM
#11
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Sorry, no real complaints about synthetics from me. I have favoured ones but then I have favoured ones in my badger brushes too. There is a knack to using them like any other knot type.

Bob

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 08-06-2016, 01:51 PM
#12
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(08-06-2016, 10:56 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: The one thing, that I so far dislike most about my synthetics is their water retention.
I don't soak them, and I do make sure to shake them out a bit before swirling the brush in the soap/cream.
But somehow I still need drops of water added to the brush during the face lathering, and once I start to go a bit deeper with the brush on my face to really start create the lather, I always seem to have drops of water being pushed out of the brush, and dripping on to the floor/sink.


What annoys you most about your synthetic brushes ?

I too am annoyed by this, I only have one synthetic and don't use it anymore for this reason.  I face lather exclusively and for now I enjoy using all my badger brushes.

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 08-06-2016, 02:03 PM
#13
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(08-06-2016, 12:20 PM)1Geralt Wrote: . . . One synthetic knot I am beginning to appreciate is the Ubersoft 2 synthetic. . .

I had the original Ubersoft in a Whipped Dog handle that was a very good brush. At first the reviews of the U2 put me off, but I'm rethinking that. Nathan Clark's Etsy store is currently out of 24mm knots so that's on hold for the time being. IB has a new "silvertip" Plissoft that also sounds interesting but only comes in a handle I don't care for, so that's also on hold. Beyond the marketing hype, it looks nicer than the standard brown/orange Plissoft fibre.

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 08-06-2016, 02:43 PM
#14
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I'd gotten on a synthetic kick as of late. After reading this thread I broke out my Kent that I hadn't used in a while.  I had forgotten just how good a quality badger brush can feel.  Darn you thread- now I want another good badger for a pretty penny.

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 08-06-2016, 02:44 PM
#15
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(08-06-2016, 02:03 PM)rsp1202 Wrote:
(08-06-2016, 12:20 PM)1Geralt Wrote: . . . One synthetic knot I am beginning to appreciate is the Ubersoft 2 synthetic. . .

I had the original Ubersoft in a Whipped Dog handle that was a very good brush. At first the reviews of the U2 put me off, but I'm rethinking that. Nathan Clark's Etsy store is currently out of 24mm knots so that's on hold for the time being. IB has a new "silvertip" Plissoft that also sounds interesting but only comes in a handle I don't care for, so that's also on hold. Beyond the marketing hype, it looks nicer than the standard brown/orange Plissoft fibre.

Agreed, I'm also not a fan of that handle hence I hesitated. There's also the new black wolf knot from wolf whiskers, but it's very new, I couldn't find any reviews for it right now but I went for it with my custom so I could try.

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 08-06-2016, 02:58 PM
#16
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(08-06-2016, 01:35 PM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(08-06-2016, 12:43 PM)vigilantesd Wrote: For me it's the combination of springy AND floppy at the same time. Who'd have thought this was even possible?

(08-06-2016, 12:57 PM)Rufus Wrote: I only face lather and I feel as though I have to fight the knot to make decent lather with all 3 of my synthetics.  The knots all lack give and are very springy.

Have any of you tried the Plisson style fibres with the more densely packed knots ?

They don't seem springy to me at all, not like the Mühle and Edwin Jagger STF v1 and v2.

I have a Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic now, and never looked back. My comment is more in reference to every other synthetic I have used, which include Plisson, Fine, Envy Übersoft II, Italian Barber, AMACK Game Changer, and a 28mm "Fauxmere", which had a strange different characteristic of almost too much backbone and density.

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 08-06-2016, 03:58 PM
#17
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(08-06-2016, 02:58 PM)vigilantesd Wrote:
(08-06-2016, 01:35 PM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(08-06-2016, 12:43 PM)vigilantesd Wrote: For me it's the combination of springy AND floppy at the same time. Who'd have thought this was even possible?

(08-06-2016, 12:57 PM)Rufus Wrote: I only face lather and I feel as though I have to fight the knot to make decent lather with all 3 of my synthetics.  The knots all lack give and are very springy.

Have any of you tried the Plisson style fibres with the more densely packed knots ?

They don't seem springy to me at all, not like the Mühle and Edwin Jagger STF v1 and v2.

I have a Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic now, and never looked back. My comment is more in reference to every other synthetic I have used, which include Plisson, Fine, Envy Übersoft II, Italian Barber, AMACK Game Changer, and a 28mm "Fauxmere", which had a strange different characteristic of almost too much backbone and density.

So you still prefer the prime badgers over this Chubby 2 Synthetic or ?

I appreciate a lot of things in my prime badgers, mostly their water and heat retention.

What I prefer more in the synthetics is their ability to feel softer for face lathering, especially important for me on 2.nd and 3.rd pass, where my skin tend to be more sensitive.

Here I can feel for instance a Chubby 3 Manchurian, but also my softer badgers, can be a little bit too much for my skin, even though I almost only paint the lather on here.

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 08-06-2016, 04:43 PM
#18
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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I'm sympatico with Bob. Synthetics are different just like horsehair, boar and badger. I would rather experience scritch,scratch,springy,stink and slop than the PFFFFFTTTTTT of canned goo anyday.
On the POSITIVE side they provide a viable alternative to people with ethical concerns over animal products, are a longlived product in a throwaway world and relatively inexpensive. Their forte'
is probably travel; no issues of drying and less pang of loss to theft or accident. They also make splendid gifts to 20 year old cats insistent on sharing the fun and waking up to same somehow cache'd under one's shoulder.
I love my badgers, but sometimes possessions become so valuable their utility is compromised to curation over a more cavalier consumer regard.

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 08-06-2016, 05:03 PM
#19
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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For me the lack of variety is the most annoying. Not too many hair type choices that I've seen--primarily two main types (Plisson and STF v2) that are just put in different handles and different lofts. Only so many combinations can be achieved, and characteristics are very close. Whereas with badger there are plenty of very different types available allowing for as much diversity as I could want.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 08-06-2016, 05:10 PM
#20
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(08-06-2016, 03:58 PM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(08-06-2016, 02:58 PM)vigilantesd Wrote:
(08-06-2016, 01:35 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: Have any of you tried the Plisson style fibres with the more densely packed knots ?

They don't seem springy to me at all, not like the Mühle and Edwin Jagger STF v1 and v2.

I have a Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic now, and never looked back. My comment is more in reference to every other synthetic I have used, which include Plisson, Fine, Envy Übersoft II, Italian Barber, AMACK Game Changer, and a 28mm "Fauxmere", which had a strange different characteristic of almost too much backbone and density.

So you still prefer the prime badgers over this Chubby 2 Synthetic or ?

I appreciate a lot of things in my prime badgers, mostly their water and heat retention.

What I prefer more in the synthetics is their ability to feel softer for face lathering, especially important for me on 2.nd and 3.rd pass, where my skin tend to be more sensitive.

Here I can feel for instance a Chubby 3 Manchurian, but also my softer badgers, can be a little bit too much for my skin, even though I almost only paint the lather on here.

While I personally think the Chubby 2 Synthetic is the best of the synthetics I've used, it's still no replacement for any of my badger brushes. It's a great substitute when the situation just doesn't lend itself realistically to a badger (or any natural hair for that matter), such as travel. It's good, but it's also still just standing in temporarily. 

I can understand how you could want to use a synthetic when your skin has had it, and you seek the softest brush you can find. I, personally, just don't think even the best synthetics offer what a well chosen badger does. Badger can offer a soft feel, yet still offer enough resilience to lift facial hair and really get the lather under hairs that lay parallel to the skin. I have thick, resilient facial hair that grows quickly. Many of the hairs that grow on my lower neck (my most sensitive area) are very thick and grow parallel to my skin, and if I'm not cautious, will grow right back into my skin. While synthetics feel soft, and have many other benefits, they stand no chance against my facial hair, leaving me to choose badger over synthetic. 


I will continue to try the new and different synthetic offerings, but for now, it's badger all the way.

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