08-05-2012, 04:31 AM
#1
  • Dave
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I'm doing some testing on synthetics versus Animal Hair Brushes. I have used Synthetics exclusively and decided to go back for a few weeks to test versus real brushes. I will test on a variety of animal brushes (price range, etc). As for the synthetics, I will be using two of them. A Frank Shaving Synthetic and a TGN Synthetic Knot in a Burma Shave Brush Handle. The BurmaShave Brush has a slightly bigger knot than the FS Brush.

I will not be using any Muhle brushes for testing due to the fact that in my own previous testing, I have discovered that the FS Brush holds its own against any of the Muhles I've tried. The Muhles are better brushes, but when factoring in the cost of the Muhle Brushes ($20 for the HJM Model up to almost $100 for the 25mm) the bump in performance versus cost is minimal. The Frank Shaving Brush is the best value in Synthetics due to performance and price. ($12 plus shipping at Star Shaving). It's easy to face lather and bowl lather and has a nice handle as well. Here are the brushes that the FS and TGN will be facing.


Whipped Dog Silvertip 24mm
Semogue 1305


Here's the process for testing.

I have figured out the cream to use
CO Bigelow-it seems to do well regardless of the brush I use.

As for soaps, I don't have a great amount. I have MWF, C&E Sienna, a large variety of RazoRock Products, ground up Palmolive Shave stick. I'd love suggestions for which to use.

I'm open to suggestions for any of the testing honestly. I was thinking of the following.

Taking pics of the Brushes
load for :30 take a picture
load for :30 more, take a picture
Bowl Shot for the finale

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 08-05-2012, 04:58 AM
#2
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(08-05-2012, 04:31 AM)Dave Wrote: I'm doing some testing on synthetics versus Animal Hair Brushes. I have used Synthetics exclusively and decided to go back for a few weeks to test versus real brushes. I will test on a variety of animal brushes (price range, etc). As for the synthetics, I will be using two of them. A Frank Shaving Synthetic and a TGN Synthetic Knot in a Burma Shave Brush Handle. The BurmaShave Brush has a slightly bigger knot than the FS Brush.

I will not be using any Muhle brushes for testing due to the fact that in my own previous testing, I have discovered that the FS Brush holds its own against any of the Muhles I've tried. The Muhles are better brushes, but when factoring in the cost of the Muhle Brushes ($20 for the HJM Model up to almost $100 for the 25mm) the bump in performance versus cost is minimal. The Frank Shaving Brush is the best value in Synthetics due to performance and price. ($12 plus shipping at Star Shaving). It's easy to face lather and bowl lather and has a nice handle as well. Here are the brushes that the FS and TGN will be facing.


Whipped Dog Silvertip 24mm
Semogue 1305
Semogue Owners Club 2 Band Badger
Semogue 830
Duke 3 in Best (if I can find one to purchase)

Here's the process for testing.

I have figured out the cream to use
CO Bigelow-it seems to do well regardless of the brush I use.

As for soaps, I don't have a great amount. I have MWF, C&E Sienna, a large variety of RazoRock Products, ground up Palmolive Shave stick. I'd love suggestions for which to use.

I'm open to suggestions for any of the testing honestly. I was thinking of the following.

Taking pics of the Brushes
load for :30 take a picture
load for :30 more, take a picture
Bowl Shot for the finale

Ground up Palmolive would be my soap suggestion.

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 08-05-2012, 07:04 AM
#3
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I would have to go with the Palmolive as well. MWF can be a bit of a problem on the best of days and Razorock wouldn't be a good croap for this test since, IMO, the true ability of the brushes could only properly be judged with a triple milled hard soap.

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 08-05-2012, 07:18 AM
#4
  • Dave
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How about Palmolive cream and Palmolive soap?

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 08-05-2012, 07:32 AM
#5
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Dave, are you going to test face-lathering, also?
i would have to vote for the MWF as it can be a bit challenging to lather from what i have heard and this could be a good test for the brushes. Whatever you choose, would be fine. Good luck.

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 08-05-2012, 08:21 AM
#6
  • Dave
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Round One Frank Shaving Synthetic versus 24mm Whipped Dog Finest Silvertip

First the participants and their specs
Frank Shaving Synthetic Fibers Brush 21mm
Whipped Dog Silvertip with Resin Handle 24mm
Tube of Palmolive
Palmolive Shave Stick Grated in a bowl
Both brushes were soaked for 1 minute before beginning to lather.
[Image: 7717966510_8064d90055.jpg]
[Image: 7717968976_2ef4cdfa80.jpg]
[Image: 7717967896_b3090371d4.jpg]

First up the Frank Shaving with Palmolive Cream
After :30 of lathering. Starting to form nicely.
[Image: 7717974172_e772370ea6.jpg]

After 1 Minute of Lathering
Plenty of lather to go around. Nice thick creamy lather.
[Image: 7717975926_9344792a34.jpg]

Lather on the brush
[Image: 7717977618_80cc3e1336.jpg]

As you can see. This brush really shines with Creams. It whipped up enough lather for 2 shaves in 1 minute of lathering. I normally will only lather for :30 with the brush. I will normally bowl lather this brush and get loads of lather.

As for feel on the face when lathering, this brush is a bit springy and of course it is, it's a synthetic. I have noticed that some of the springiness goes away with these brushes after a few weeks, thus proving to me at least, that synthetics do have a bit of a break in period. It is nowhere near as soft as a natural brush, but after months of use, the tips are as soft as they're going to be.

Frank Shaving 24mm Finest
After :30 of Lathering
As you can see, there is more lather, but the lather is thinner.
[Image: 7717978800_3cfbb029fe.jpg]

After 1 Minute of Lathering
[Image: 7717980590_f6693c3837.jpg]

The Lather Shot
[Image: 7717982572_1cdb1a0204.jpg]

Taking the lather to the face
The Natural hair brushes do feel better on the face than any synthetic. This brush is pillow soft, but I felt that I needed to work the lather more. I worked it in the bowl and added additional water for another minute and got it closer to the Synthetic Brush. The lather even after a full 2 minutes was still thinner than that of the Synthetic.

Conclusion as far as the creams.
These two brushes are very close in price. $!6 for the FS Brush from an online vendor and $24 shipped from Whipped Dog for the Silvertip. The Synthetic outperformed the WD Brush in what I'll term 'time to great lather' but it's not as soft feeling as the WD Brush.


Tomorrow, I'll post the results of the soap test for both of these brushes. Then at some point next week , I'll test the Semogue 1305 versus the FS Brush with others to follow.

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 08-05-2012, 02:34 PM
#7
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Thanks for the first test, Dave.

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 08-05-2012, 03:06 PM
#8
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Excellent work.

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 08-05-2012, 03:46 PM
#9
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Great article Dave. It looks like round one went to the synthetic in terms of performance, but it will take a lot more convincing to drag me away from the feel and aesthetics of natural fibres!

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 08-05-2012, 04:26 PM
#10
  • Dave
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I'll give you a hint. The Badger destroyed the FS in the soap test honestly. I'll post results for that later on.

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 08-05-2012, 04:39 PM
#11
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Dave :

thanks a lot for taking the time to do this comparison.I know it takes time to make the pics and write your thoughts about it,so thank you.

But let me tell you something : the FS is NOT the best synthetic brush on the market by any means.Its a decent synthetic brush,and good performer,but the Muhle silvertip fibre are much better contenders and a couple steps up of the FS.Yes,theyre more expensive (way up to much,yes) but their quality is far superior also (IMHO)

If you want a Muhle Silvertip Fibre to do this test and comparison,send me a pm.Wink In this way,the test would be more "equal".

This is a thread Ill be checking every day until you finish your test.Thanks a lot for doing it!

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 08-05-2012, 04:51 PM
#12
  • Dave
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I do think the Muhles are better, but for what they cost versus the FS Brush, they aren't worth the extra money. I sold off all my Muhle Brushes and will be sticking with the FS Brush. After a couple of issues with Muhle and having to deal with their awful customer service (on a razor and a brush), I'll pass on having any more Muhle Products in my home. Truly a dreadful company.

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 08-05-2012, 04:58 PM
#13
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Dave, that is very unfortunate that you had to go through that experience. Can't wait for more results from the testing.

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 08-05-2012, 05:15 PM
#14
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I think Dave is doing a service by showing how a quality lower level knot performs against the big boys. It can give some users who do not have the available resources to purchase the more expensive brushes, that they can get a great lather with one of these little pocket champs.

I know, I cheer for the underdog!

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 08-05-2012, 05:23 PM
#15
  • Teiste
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  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(08-05-2012, 04:51 PM)Dave Wrote: I do think the Muhles are better, but for what they cost versus the FS Brush, they aren't worth the extra money. I sold off all my Muhle Brushes and will be sticking with the FS Brush. After a couple of issues with Muhle and having to deal with their awful customer service (on a razor and a brush), I'll pass on having any more Muhle Products in my home. Truly a dreadful company.

My goodnes,we have a very,very different perception about Muhle and their customer service.
Im sorry for your experience and looking forward to read more of your impressions.

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 08-05-2012, 07:02 PM
#16
  • brian
  • I wear sandalwood sandles
  • THE SWAMP (Florida)
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Dave, thanks for putting your time and effort into this incredible test and thread.
My den is your den if you're looking for any more lathering products or brushes to round out your results... unfortunately I don't have a duke3 best to offer you.
In the meantime, I'll be popping some popcorn in anticipation of your next update!

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 08-06-2012, 03:03 AM
#17
  • Dave
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Here's the lather tests with the Semogue 1305 and the Palmolive Cream

After :30
P8050010

After 1 minute
P8050011

Lather shot of brush
P8050012

So I think as you can see, the clear winner of the 3 is the 1305 when it comes to lathering the cream. The lather quality was better than the synthetic and thicker and fuller.

Here's the test of the 3 with a grated Palmolive Shave Stick. Again, each brush was loaded for :30 then bowl lathered for 1 minute. I'll just post the final lather shots

The FS Brush
Camera Roll-33

As you can see, the FS brush didn't do as well with the Soap as I'd hoped. After working it for a couple more minutes, the lather quality goes up immensely. This is what I've learned with Synthetics and soaps. It takes a bit longer and a bit more water to get them up to good standards. I did get great lather on the face, but as I said, this was after 3 minutes or so of working it up.

The 24mm Whipped Dog Silvertip
As you can see (and as I'm sure you had no doubts) the Silvertip has an amazing amount of dense copious lather that lathered on well. I washed at least 2 more passes out of the brush
Camera Roll-31

The Semogue 1305
When I used animal brushes consistently, I always used a 1305 of SOC Boar for soaps and I think this picture shows why. Dense Pillowy lather that goes on great. I think the lather is a bit better than with the Silvertip. There was enough lather in this brush after loading to shave 3 people 3 passes.
P8050015


So here's how I would rate these 3 brushes after testing with Soap and Creams

Creams
1. 1305
2. Frank Shaving
3. WD Silvertip

Soaps
1. 1305
2. WD Silvertip
3. FS Brush

The 1305 is the clear winner out of the 3 brushes on both tests. All 3 Brushes are close in price and I think any of the 3 would make a great brush. The place where the FS Brush is the true winner is in price and drying time. The Brush dries in an average of about 2 hours versus quite a bit longer for the others.

In conclusion, I hope that this test has made a few people realize that Synthetics can make great lather. The FS Synthetic easily lathers creams, and with a littler more work than it's natural hair counterparts, soaps as well. The Frank Shaving Synthetic at it's price range is a great value and would make for a great travel brush or for the mildly experienced wet shaver out there.

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 08-06-2012, 04:40 AM
#18
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Interesting conclusions Dave. This is not what I expected either based off my own experience with these 3 grades of hair. I may have to pay closer attention to see if what I thought was happening is actually happening.

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 08-06-2012, 05:03 AM
#19
  • brian
  • I wear sandalwood sandles
  • THE SWAMP (Florida)
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(08-06-2012, 04:40 AM)SharpSpine Wrote: Interesting conclusions Dave. This is not what I expected either based off my own experience with these 3 grades of hair. I may have to pay closer attention to see if what I thought was happening is actually happening.

Agreed - with synthetic pushers (myself included Biggrin) touting "needs lest product", I really thought the synthetic would have mounds and mounds of lather here.
It's very cool to see such a subjective test, THANKS DAVE!

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 08-06-2012, 05:53 AM
#20
  • Dave
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It does use less product. I just had to work the lather a bit longer to make it usable.

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