11-28-2016, 10:12 AM
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I am new to wet shaving and bought my first "setup". In this setup I purchased a Parker CHPB Pure Badger brush. I picked this because the salesman said badger is the best and the pure badger will exfoliate more than the other grades of badger and I want exfoliation. Can you please comment on this brush? It is OK to me, but I have no reference. People say to try different brushes, but that could get expensive as I don't know any places you can return a used brush. Or can you? Wish I had some friends that had brushes I could try.

A user told me I would probably get more brushes. My first questions are: Do those of you that own multiple brushes use a different brush every day? Why? I would think if you found the right one you would just use that. Trying to understand the reasoning behind getting multiple brushes vs getting a brush that replaces an older brush that doesn't perform as well.

I read on a forum the results of a poll as to which bristle type most people preferred. I was so surprised that most people posted how they like modern synthetics.  another experienced user told me he actually prefers Boar (after about 60 uses to break it in) Yet when I read other individual topics on brush suggestions people seem to romanticize "silvertip" brushes. People tend to review their silvertips badgers they buy and not other brushes. Can you please comment on this?

If you like the idea of exfoliation, is silvertip out of the question as all the posts seem to suggest you get that brush for lather and the feel on your face (softness) and there is no exfoliation?

Or is the whole exfoliation thing not even an issue as shaving exfoliates anyway? Therefore get a silvertip?

If I got a "better" brush, what is the likelihood that I would switch back and forth in using that Parker? Seems like it would just go to waste (only have had it for 2 weeks)

Finally, is it possible to get a good silvertip for 60-70 dollars? If so, please recommend the brand. If not, please let me know the price point I need to start looking at?

Thank you in advance for answering these questions.

9 93
 11-28-2016, 10:45 AM
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Multiple brushes are not fancy or mere collecting. Do you own leather dress shoes? Cobblers recommend a minimum three pair to allow the leather to dry and rest, three needed for those days a pair goes in for reheeling and ultimately resoling. A natural hair brush needs to dry out. Some do so remarkably fast and others a few days. You COULD get by on just one if it dries quickly. It will also wear faster, although brushes are remarkably resilient and long lived.
Best grade is actually an inferior grade for overall performance. They are still fine entry level brushes and many keep theirs. I did. Exfolliating is a little overhyped. You're passing a steel blade over you face after lathering. I think steel beats badger for removing dead skin cells ( although this isn't the general idea). Boar and horsehair are actually more traditional by sheer numbers produced. Horsehair was dropped in WW1 during an anthrax outbreak ( not connected) and badger came into vogue.  Synthetic brushes have recently come into their own with bristles closely mimicking natural performance. they are attractive pricewise and for travelling when a treasured brush may grow five fingers and walk away. A quality silvertip badger is going to cost more than $60 but you can find nice used ones or save more for quality that still wont break your bank. None of ghis HAS to be done today. Enjoy your shaves,
practise and use the resources to learn more before parting with money.

2 3,167
 11-28-2016, 11:01 AM
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • North Central Colorado, USA
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First, I think the Parker you got is great for a first brush. I probably would have recommended an inexpensive Omega boar, just because that's what I started out with, and I think everyone should at least try a boar. (I believe it's probably more common to progress from boar to badger than vice versa, but I wouldn't say one is better than the other. They're just different.)

My bottom line is that I don't think you can really make a wrong choice for a first brush. The important thing is to start. After that the initial reason to try other brushes is to gain experience and learn. If you're happy with the least expensive brush you can find, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's great! But then you'll have to decide whether you want to be one of the guys who regards other wet-shavers who prefer more expensive brushes with vocal disdain, or simply adopt a live-and-let-live, it's-all-good attitude. (I recommend the latter.)

I now own more brushes than I can count (because the number is constantly changing); however, I'm currently using three brushes about 90% of the time, and I  might choose one of them two or even three days in a row. Unless I'm purposely testing a brush, selection is based on what I'm in in the mood for, and sometimes I don't know exactly what that it until I see the brush in my hand (and I don't put it back down). 

I personally don't buy into the exfoliation thing. I think I can probably achieve more exfoliation with a washcloth in the shower than a badger-hair shaving brush in prep for a shave. Moreover, I don't think most high-end (i.e., soft-tipped) shaving brushes are appropriately used for exfoliation. 

That said, if I were selecting a badger-hair brush to achieve exfoliation, it wouldn't be one with silver-tip hair in the strict sense. But keep in mind that the term "silvertip" is now being use so variously that it has largely become devoid of meaning, except with reference to the offerings of a particular maker or brand (e.g., Simpson). 

When I started to practice old-school wet-shaving, I got heavily into trying razors but thought the whole brush scene was a little weird -- like some kind of fetish. I eventually came around, though.

Good luck.

3 1,867
 11-28-2016, 11:40 AM
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The Parker you gotten looks to be a fine brush - good looking and not too hard on the wallet, which is good for starting out.

I use multiple brushes - a 'new' one every day if I'm not travelling - because it pleases me to do so, and because it gives the brushes time to dry out between uses. Personally I got eight brushes at home, one in my GoBag and one in my locker at work... which is about as many as I think I can keep in my rotation and still give them all justice. Two of them (very cheap Turkish brushes) are probably going to be replaced at some point, the rest should last for many more years. Another benefit of using several brushes is that you can compare and contrast various grades and types of hair; badger, boar, horse, synth and mixes (one of my most treasured brushes is a mixed badger-boar)

For exfolliating effect you might want to try a horse hair brush - some shavers complain that they are too scritchy, but I like a bit of scritch. But as Kav points out; you'll be running a razor sharp blade across the skin in a few minutes anyhow, so the effect might be over hyped. Another thing I like about a horse hair brush is that they are animal friendly; the harvesting of the hair is part of the regular grooming.

As for used brushes; I've yet to hear about a vendor or artisan that accept returns of used brushes, but there is a thriving trade in them on the 'Nook's BST. Just make sure to clean and dry it thoroughly before shipping it.

3 7,647
 11-28-2016, 07:05 PM
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If you want exfoliating, nab a clairsonic Mia 2 (I'm not kidding). No shaving brush will exfoliate as well as a tool designed precisely for that task. I have a super scrubby shavemac and frankly, even it doesn't exfoliate like the Mia ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

36 2,243
 11-28-2016, 07:13 PM
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Hey, look at it this way; you're a guy in 2016 using a SHAVING BRUSH. Quite an odd cool duck if you asked me (and 1000 random strangers.... likely less than 3 would have a shaving brush of their own!). There is a certain romanticism to having yet one brush, one razor, etc like your Great Great Granddad did.

21 781
 11-28-2016, 07:41 PM
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I've tried two Pure badger knots and while they got the job done, I can't say they were enjoyable. Note that neither was a Parker so your experience may ofcourse differ. The Pure knots I tried were painful, and my skin is not especially sensitive. If you are finding the brush is prickly in a painful way, and you are not enjoying the lathering experience, then experimenting with other hair types and grades makes sense. I started with a Semogue 1305 and it was a fantastic introduction to the world of brushes. Inexpensive, comfortable classic handle, soft tips and efficient.

46 1,284
 11-28-2016, 08:05 PM
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I think everyone who travels should have a synthetic - they perform great, and they dry really fast. But once I got my Maggard synthetic I found it making its way into regular use. In fact it seems that some soaps "prefer" a brush, either badger or synthetic.

6 1,163
 11-28-2016, 08:59 PM
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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The reason for having multiple brushes is easy to understand. When you get into wet shaving there will come a time that your wife will start to question all the boxes that mysteriously appear at your home. She will also notice you constantly monitoring the progress of said boxes on their way to your home. Finally, she will become aware of the hours you spend in non-porno shaving chat rooms.
Here is how you handle the situation. You simply tell her you need a minimum of 7 brushes. A brush needs to dry out for a week after use. Therefore, one needs 7 brushes to get through a week. Once she buys that premise you are on the way to buying 7 razors,7 soaps and 7 aftershaves. 
After reaching complete set of 7 of every item it may become a bit difficult to expand after that. However, it can be done. Tune in next week and I will explain how it is done.

110 1,296
 11-28-2016, 09:16 PM
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I have a Parker Pure Badger brush. It's pretty scrubby, I haven't used it in years, but it was a decent brush. It's hard to say if the salesman told you what he did about exfoliation because that particular brush was cheaper than other options he had available and thought he needed to sell you a bargain kit, or if he genuinely felt that it was the best option for your budget and needs. That said, it will work fine unless you have particularly sensitive skin and it is too scrubby for your skin type.  I don't use it any more now that I have brushes that I enjoy using more, but it worked fine. 

There is one major benefit to having multiple brushes, and that is giving them time to dry completely between usage. I seem to remember the Parker drying just fine daily, just make sure you leave it out in open air, don't put it in a cabinet or drawer unless it is completely dry. The other benefit is having variety, not necessarily a need-to-have option. 

If you have the extra scratch, I would suggest picking up a synthetic to learn with. Not only are they incredibly easy to make lather with, they're cheap-ish (between 8-100 bucks depending on what you choose), average being around 15-20 bucks. This will also give you experience with a softer brush. You might prefer the scrub from the pure badger, you never really know until you try one, and for less than 20 bucks it's a good reasonable investment in your experience. The other bonus is that they dry VERY fast, which makes them a good choice for someone not yet in the habit of caring for a dense badger brush, they also a good choice for travel. 

There are a lot of options for synthetic brushes...Stirling, RazoRock, Maggard, Etsy has a bunch of shops that sell them, Wolf Whiskers, I think Bullgoose has one, all the way up to a Simpson ($100+ for a synthetic). There are differences between the brands, but at this point, just getting your feet wet is a good thing, and more important than which of the synthetics you choose. This will give you a starting point to know what you like and don't like about whichever you choose. 

As for badgers, you pretty much get what you pay for. Expect to not pay less than $60-80 for something decent, the sky's the limit with high end Badger brushes. If you plan on spending the money on one, you should have some experience to help you decide which of the many many options there are, and which may be best for your wants and needs, including what your budget allows.

14 659
 11-29-2016, 12:35 AM
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I don't have anything new to add. It's already covered in the responses.

I have read each and every response and found them to very informative and some of them really funny.

I like this forum so much. Thanks.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

4 1,378
 11-29-2016, 12:52 AM
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My first brush was a Parker Pure as well, not sure if it's the same as yours but mine had majestic splay but was really scritchy once I tried softer badgers. As for why own several, I do find some of them beautiful to have, but most of those in my rotation are there so that the others can rest. 

My rotation is mainly consisted of inexpensive synthetics. I can afford several of them, no problem. Like with my shoes, I never use one, twice in a row. I always let it rest for a bit before I use it again. If this has any practical sense behind it, I am not sure, but it's what I'm used to and I personally feel this practice would help my brushes last longer.

11 1,170
 11-29-2016, 04:43 AM
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I you intedn to shav daily or 5 times a week, owning 2-3 brushes is in my opinion a good thing to do.

Can you go by shaving with the same brush each day for a year, most certainly.
Will the brush perform and look the same after that year, probably not.

My father is a minimalist, when it comes to many things in life.
He is NOT a collector, like I am.

When he started wet shaving last month, I'm sure he would be the kind of guy, that just want one brush and one razor.
But me being his son, I don't allow that to happen  Biggrin

So I gave him two Maggard Synthetic brushes (24 mm and 26 mm) to start out with, to test his preferences.
I will add two more synthetic brushes to his collection this week: The RazoRock Monster 26mm and the Stirling KONG 26 mm - both synthetics.

He will be able to do very fine with these 4 brushes now, and he shaves daily.

Could he manage to do with just his Maggard 26 mm synthetic for his daily shaves, most certainly. But my guess is the brush would look quite worn out after a year of 365 uses.

I use and own multiple brushes because I like to keep my brushes in my collection for a very long time.
I don't like to use the same brush day in and day out. 

Owning a lot of shaving soaps and shaving creams, some harder in texture, some softer in texture, it's also nice to have variety in your brushes.

I mostly face lather, and like variety for the face feel also. Some days I shave a one day beard, and I will not pick one of my 2-band Manchurians for that, it's too rough. I will pick a soft Thäter 3-band or a Thäter 2-band. When I have a couple of days of beard growth I will pick a tougher 2-band brush for that, or a not yet broaken in boar brush.

When I bowl lather, which is rare, but more often now than I used to, I will pick one of my 15 synthetic brushes, because they IMHO are made for bowl lathering more so than my badgers are. I have soft synthetics (The real Plisson is very soft for example), I have medium hard feeling synthetics (The RazoRock 24 mm Plissoft and the 24 mm Maggard for example) and I medium hard synthtics (Stirling KONG 26mm and RazoRock Monster 26 mm for example) and I have very hard feeling synthetics (Chubby 2 synthetic and Stirling 26 mm low loft for example)

Also some containers have less wide diameter than others. So a small knot brush is better for loading in the smaller containers.
Some soaps are just also better with a certain type brush.

MWF shaving soap is just better with a boar brush or a rougher badger in my opinion.
The softer soaps work better with a softer soaps, because a more stiff brush will load half of the soap in 3 swirls on to the brush (slight exaggeration used here for the purpose of understanding my point)

In short: Variety is the spice of life. 
You don't eat the same for supper each day, do you ?
You don't drink the same red wine each day, do you ?

25 7,054
 11-29-2016, 09:35 AM
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I just wanted to thank everyone for all the great information and responses. I wanted to let everyone know that I looked up every brush mentioned in this thread and via those that PMed me. I watched every video recommended on this thread as well as went to the blog.

I see a silvertip in my future as well as a synthetic Smile

I want to use the Parker Pure Badger for a while so I really have a good reference point

Again, thanks to all.

9 93
 11-29-2016, 05:27 PM
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Honestly getting caught up in the whole brush scene is quite confusing... All badger hair comes from china and some brush makers also purchase the handles from china (or turn them on a lathe.. wow nobody can buy a wood lathe and do that..) and set the hair in it. You are paying for the brand name. That's about it. Paying over $150 for a brush is just paying a huge markup.

You really only need one brush. I prefer my omega boar brush over my silvertips and best badger.. If you like your parker brush stick with it.

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