11-11-2016, 09:32 PM
#1
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So as we all know, there is no across the board rules for all suppliers in how to grade badger hair. So as a community, we our best to compare brands and grades with our own experiences along with (sometimes) our own conclusions or guesses on what may happen behind the scenes.

I have now become more and more confused as to which is really what, and if one were to consider one "better" than the other.

My understanding is that silvertip is the pure or purer form of badger hair from the back of the neck (or wherever really). This is simply pulled from the badger and then used in the knot. Super badger is what I thought was silvertip then treated further to improve the visual aspect of the hair, making it more white (maybe this is what they call bleaching) and/or to also increase the softness (not necessarily to make curly or hooked tips).

Which one in your experience is more soft and which one is more true (no treated tips or closer to natural state of the hair itself)?

Now on the the serious part of this thread, I give you the 10hrs straight of badger with a bit of mushroom, mushroom.


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 11-12-2016, 06:16 AM
#2
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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IMO, if unadulterated is superior, then Silvertip is "better" and it is certainly rarer. It is never treated and from only the neck of the badger. It is generally softer at the tips than Super.

Super is from the back area and most often treated. Treatments are employed to improve the feel and ensure consistency. Treatments can cause anomalies (not unlike natural batch variations) that result in hooked tips etc providing differences in tip softness.

I didn't need 10 hours to contemplate my response...  Tongue

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 11-12-2016, 07:06 AM
#3
  • Gabe
  • Senior Member
  • Arizona
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(11-12-2016, 06:16 AM)ben74 Wrote: IMO, if unadulterated is superior, then Silvertip is "better" and it is certainly rarer. It is never treated and from only the neck of the badger. It is generally softer at the tips than Super.

Super is from the back area and most often treated. Treatments are employed to improve the feel and ensure consistency. Treatments can cause anomalies (not unlike natural batch variations) that result in hooked tips etc providing differences in tip softness.

I didn't need 10 hours to contemplate my response...  Tongue

So the hooked "gel tips" come from treatments?

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 11-12-2016, 07:07 AM
#4
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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From my understanding, the terms Super and Silvertip (among others) vary from each manufacturer and mean something different to each. I am quite sure there is no standard across the board and different manufacturers use the terms for their own definitions. Tough to answer this unless you are referring to a specific manufacturer...

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 11-12-2016, 08:18 AM
#5
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(11-12-2016, 07:07 AM)Giorgio Wrote: From my understanding, the terms Super and Silvertip (among others) vary from each manufacturer and mean something different to each. I am quite sure there is no standard across the board and different manufacturers use the terms for their own definitions. Tough to answer this unless you are referring to a specific manufacturer...

Yes I understand. I was asking for the absolute definition across the board but if you had your own conclusion about which is which, then I would be happy to hear your thoughts.

(11-12-2016, 07:06 AM)Gabe Wrote:
(11-12-2016, 06:16 AM)ben74 Wrote: IMO, if unadulterated is superior, then Silvertip is "better" and it is certainly rarer. It is never treated and from only the neck of the badger. It is generally softer at the tips than Super.

Super is from the back area and most often treated. Treatments are employed to improve the feel and ensure consistency. Treatments can cause anomalies (not unlike natural batch variations) that result in hooked tips etc providing differences in tip softness.

I didn't need 10 hours to contemplate my response...  Tongue

So the hooked "gel tips" come from treatments?

Ben, I would agree that the treatments do help ensure some level of consistency. For example, we had that thread on Plisson and I made some comments on how the range in brushes I have tried from Simpsons in Manchurian seem to always have the same feel in the hair at least with all of the brushes I have tried. Part of what prompted me to make this thread was the question of color and is treated 3 band is whiter or blonder and less tan than silvertip.

Gabe, it is believed by many that "treatment" or possibly "bleaching" is what can be the cause of severe hooked tips thus you get the gel tip face feel.

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 11-12-2016, 08:39 AM
#6
  • Gabe
  • Senior Member
  • Arizona
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(11-12-2016, 08:18 AM) pid=\751761' Wrote:Gabe, it is believed by many that "treatment" or possibly "bleaching" is what can be the cause of severe hooked tips thus you get the gel tip face feel.

Interesting. No matter what is the cause, I like it!!! Biggrin

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 11-12-2016, 08:45 AM
#7
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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(11-12-2016, 08:18 AM)zaclikestoshave Wrote:
(11-12-2016, 07:07 AM)Giorgio Wrote: From my understanding, the terms Super and Silvertip (among others) vary from each manufacturer and mean something different to each. I am quite sure there is no standard across the board and different manufacturers use the terms for their own definitions. Tough to answer this unless you are referring to a specific manufacturer...

Yes I understand. I was asking for the absolute definition across the board but if you had your own conclusion about which is which, then I would be happy to hear your thoughts.


Hmmm...my apologies as I'm pretty drugged up as I have been quite ill these past few days, so I am not sure I understand.  

Silvertip has typically been used to label the most premium type of hair found on the badger.  I don't think treated vs untreated hair fits into any definitions.  Super, for example, is used by Simpson to label their premium 3 band silvertip hair, and I believe it is untreated.  For the same exact hair, Vulfix (same company) uses the Silvertip label--and coincidentally uses "Super" for what Simpon labels as "Best,"  which is a mixture of silvertip and non-silvertip hair.  All of these are untreated.  There is a Silvertip label some Simpson brushes use, most commonly in the case of the famed 2-band Silvertip, which in my speculation is definitely treated, but I believe that label is meant for any "special" edition/non-factory standard brushes, and not directly related to he specific hair type used.  That's all just for Simpson/Vulfix.  That's why I think it will be so hard to answer this in general terms, because the definitions are all over the place, sometimes within the same factory.  

The only generalization I can think of is the good old badger hair grade rankings:  Silvertip>Best>Pure .  Regarding hair treatment, I do think 3 band knots are less likely to be treated vs 2 band knots, since that hair is typically much stiffer, and I imagine requires treatment to be useable in most cases.  Untreated Silvertip badger is quite luxurious, however I believe our current definitions of "better" have shifted to treated two band hair = strong backbone, soft face feel. 

Sorry if my medicated ramblings are completely off point...I was just trying to contribute--perhaps best done when my head is clearer  Blush

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 11-12-2016, 11:28 AM
#8
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These definitiona are all over the place.

There are NO rules.

Simpson use Super as their brand of top Silvertip hair. I would in fact argue, that Simpson best 3-band hair in some batches are softer and better than most other manufacturers 3-Band Silvertip hairs, I know it, because I own one of their best ever made 3-band Best brushes, and this brush is softer than no other dense 3-band 27 mm knot I have owned, and I have tried 100+ different Silvertip 3-band badger brushes since 2011.

Fun thing is that they in fact use the term Silvertip to describe their limited edition 2-band hair, which by many other manufacturers are called Super 2-band. Simpson calls their Silvertip 2-band.

Thäter call both their top hairs Silvertip, Silvertip 3-band and Silvertip 2-band.
Shavemac have 4 top badger hair types, 2 2-bands (one soft and one rougher), and 2 3-bands(one soft and one rougher), and all are named Silvertip.

Confused ?
You'd better be - because no official rules applies  Biggrin

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 11-12-2016, 12:03 PM
#9
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I like how Rooney had silvertip and then the super silvertip that I believe was hand sorted. If there were a hair grading system based on what section the hair is harvested and further distinguished what species local etc across the manufacturing spectrum , it would be easier to understand what you were getting , but most of us find a brand and a hair type we like fairly quick.

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 11-12-2016, 12:07 PM
#10
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(11-12-2016, 11:28 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: These definitiona are all over the place.

There are NO rules.

This!

As far as I know, no two manufacturers can agree on what the different terms really means. Artisans whom don't make their own knots seems to refer to their knots by the grades their suppliers gives. Artisans whom do bind their own knots call them what they feel is right. Those who uses badger pretty much have to learn what each and every brush maker mean by any given grade.

Boar and horse on the other hand are easier to remember - at least for me Tongue

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 11-12-2016, 02:42 PM
#11
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Thank you for those who have commented and shared their thoughts.

See I have had a few of the current batch Rooneys that were from the Vintage Blades site and those were labeled Silvertip and in my experience of lesser grade 3 band hair. Not terrible hair but just not up to par with what I tolerate on my skin. The older 3 bands were much denser as well as softer than current batch Rooneys and labeled Super. I would say according to them, super is of high grade than their silver tip.

Not that many of us have chased after EJ brushes but they grade it the opposite. The Super badger grade according to them is less appealing color wise and lower graded. The silver tip is of higher grade and more along the lines of being the color of 3 band, tannish on bottom, the middle band is browner, and the top is off white yellow.

In regards to Simpsons,although I never tried the SiLVERTiP 2 band, I assumed that they would classify that as being one of the more premium hair grades but wasn't under the impression that it was highly treated hair as most seem to have natural tapering ends and no gel tips (from what I have seen in pics).

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 11-12-2016, 03:53 PM
#12
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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I have two Simpson brushes labelled "SiLVERTiP" that are in 2 band and both are definitely gel-tipped (and quite amazing). I also have another Duke 3 with the same label and that one is their 3 band super hair...which is why I am fairly certain that the "SiLVERTiP" label currently goes to anything that is outside of their normal production brushes, and NOT Manchurian or synthetic. Most of those brushes happen to be that 2 band hair, which is why the label is most commonly associated with it.

I am definitely not an expert in Rooney grading, but I think it may have changed throughout the years -- and also Rooney has manufactured brushes for other companies (such as T&H in the past) and their labeling may have been different there as well.

Finally, just because a brush is labelled something, does NOT mean that is the hair it has -- my PJ1 two band is labelled Super and I believe my D3 two band is labelled Best (still packed away so it had been a while since I last saw it). This is what they did prior to the "SiLVERTiP" label. Also, I have heard of several examples of M&F brushes labelled Blonde badger when they were in fact Finest, and also some Rooney Finests labelled Super.

Bottom line, there really is no standard and labelling is pretty much all over the place (particularly with brushes from Great Britain), not only across all the different manufacturers, but even within manufacturers themselves. Unfortunately, this is the way it is and you just either have to know them yourself from experience or rely on others. To throw yet another wrench into the discussion, different batches/generations of the same badger grade with the same manufacturer can have very different qualities throughout the years. If you ever happen to be considering a specific brush and don't feel like rolling the dice on it, I'm sure posting a thread on it will help you with the odds

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 11-24-2016, 09:38 AM
#13
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(11-12-2016, 02:42 PM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: Thank you for those who have commented and shared their thoughts.

See I have had a few of the current batch Rooneys that were from the Vintage Blades site and those were labeled Silvertip and in my experience of lesser grade 3 band hair. Not terrible hair but just not up to par with what I tolerate on my skin. The older 3 bands were much denser as well as softer than current batch Rooneys and labeled Super. I would say according to them, super is of high grade than their silver tip.

Not that many of us have chased after EJ brushes but they grade it the opposite. The Super badger grade according to them is less appealing color wise and lower graded. The silver tip is of higher grade and more along the lines of being the color of 3 band, tannish on bottom, the middle band is browner, and the top is off white yellow.

In regards to Simpsons,although I never tried the SiLVERTiP 2 band, I assumed that they would classify that as being one of the more premium hair grades but wasn't under the impression that it was highly treated hair as most seem to have natural tapering ends and no gel tips (from what I have seen in pics).

Zack, I have one of the Vintage Blade (script logo) Rooneys, and I agree with you 100% that the knot, while very well formed and uniform, was of lesser grade 3 band hair.  I found it to have enough scritch/prickle to be uncomfortable for face lathering, especially after the first pass.  I love the handle so I'm getting it re-knotted with a high grade 2-band knot.  Btw there is a sticker on the box the brush came in that says "Super" for what its worth, even though the logo reads "Silvertip."  So it seems like these words don't really mean much.  While I've never seen a true Rooney Finest in person, the "Block Logo" Rooneys which are still for sale in some stores have denser and softer hair.

I don't have extensive experience with 3-band Silvertip brushes in general, but among the ones I've tried or owned, the highest quality hair has been the Vie Long Epsilon Silvertip 3-band.  Just my 2 cents.

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