11-28-2016, 01:08 PM
#1
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I thought I would start a new thread as this thread is specific to silvertip vs my precious post asking about brushes in general. I hope this is OK

As a new wet shaver, my intent is to use my existing brush as I research, and read over the next few months and decide which additional brush to buy. Thank you to the members who have responded to my post already.

I asked if I could get a decent silvertip for $60-70 and someone responded that I probably could not. There is no reason for me to get a silvertip just to say I have one. I want to spend the  appropriate amount of money to get the "real deal" when I am ready to purchase and if I decide its the way to go.

It sounds like the description "silvertip" is thrown around loosely.  Kind of like a "suit made in Italy". I am sure there are ton of crappy Italian Suits where other countries would produce better suits in their higher end lines, than a lower end Italian Suit.

How do you identify a poor quality silvertip?

Are there cases were a better made pure badger has a better feel and outperforms a poor quality silvertip?

It sounds like there are bad grades of Silvertip and good grades. But I am trying to get info on where spending the extra money has diminishing returns (e.g. paying more for a rare and exotic handle material when a regular material feels the same in the hand). Or when the density gets to a certain point where it doesn't feel any different.

It further gets confusing when there are companies like Whipped Dog that have Silvertips that you can have deep set for $36.00 and people post all these positive reviews on it. And then there are things like when forums or artisan release  limited production runs and there is no reference point.

Am I correct that a quality Silvertip is usually around $110 new? I feel that you either go with the real thing or don't do it at all. I am not in a hurry, but I am trying to narrow down the reviews and information I am reading and trying get a little more focused.

I also like the idea of buying a used brush from a reputable member.

There are some brick and Mortar stores I can go to. Can you really determine anything by playing around with the display brush at the store only? If so what should I be doing with the display brush to test its quality?

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 11-28-2016, 02:00 PM
#2
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Do a quick websearch for Mantic's shaveologist blog and his many fine instruction videos. Seeing teaches more than words. Various parts of  badger's pelt  ( he/she being deceased at this point) produce the individual hairs for brushes. Brush companies  create in house names that often conflict, mean nothing or just promote their brush and there is no agreed common nomenclature. A university TA was a brandy collector and loved to throw out all these Xs and names around impressing freshman girls tempting ruin with delivered pizza and keggers. He asked me in seminar what my preference was? ARMANAC. ARwhat? It's better than brandy or cognac in my opinion. He changed the subject back to anthopology and pedalled away on his technologicaly appropriate Nishiki bicycle to his Berkeley spirtis dealer.

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 11-28-2016, 02:00 PM
#3
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These are all good questions.  Like many on this forum, I have spent time and money trying to figure out badger shaving brushes.

Unlike synthetics, or boar for that matter, badger brushes have a variability among them that is significant and varies not just in terms of labels like "Silvertip" and not just among Manufacturers but sometimes among batches from the same brushmaker.  

So your confusion is understandable.

Like wines, badger brushes often seem to have no apparent relation between price and quality at the extremes, but in general you get what you pay for.

Also, in general you can tell about the brush quality by feeling the knot when dry, but not always.  Some high end badger knots feel scratchy and crunchy when dry but are very soft when wet.

I bought "bargain" brushes labeled Silvertip in the $60 range early in my journey and both were disappointing.

Since then I have found a few examples of makers where you can get something decent, whether called silvertip or not, in this range.  PM me if you'd like some more info.

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 11-28-2016, 02:22 PM
#4
  • Bony
  • Active Member
  • New York , USA
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I had the same questions some times ago . For me the best Silvertip Badger brush is the TWO Band ! 
And YES you can buy brand new  QUALITY two band  Silvertip badger brush for under 100$ .
Highly recommend  Semogue  Owners Club Two band brush  in cherrywood  handle new for 70 - 80 $
The hair is comparable with much more expensive and not reliable   Plissons. 
In my wet shaving journey , I  had few Silvertip brush who shed hair and turned my shaves to nightmare , so for you own safety buy only from well respected  vendors who offer warranty or members here .
Like Kav recommend  check the Mantic videos , they are very educational . Good luck .

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 11-28-2016, 02:40 PM
#5
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(11-28-2016, 02:00 PM)kav Wrote: A university TA was a brandy collector and loved to throw out all these Xs and names around impressing freshman girls tempting ruin with delivered pizza and keggers.

(Straying off topic, but we’re all friends here.)
Yr obdnt srvnt has found a use for all those Xs.   A nightly (but in moderation) wine drinker who believes firmly that the first duty of any wine is to be red, still one finds it necessary to stock the occasional bottle of white wine (e.g., when one has invited guests for a supper where the main dish will be fish or poultry, and wants not to divert the evening’s conversation mansplaining why there is no reason whatsoever that one should not accompany a filet of sole with a selected red wine).   After years of trying to follow others’ well-meaning but ultimately off-the-mark recommendations for suitable white wines, I found the mother lode of excellent white wines (recognizing that “excellent” has a different meaning in respect of whites than it does in respect of reds) to be located in the northernmost reaches of Portugal and the Spanish province of Galicia.  

But among the generally excellent (despite being white) wines with unfamiliar labels from that region, how is one to select a bottle to remove from the shelf or bin?  The selection criterion that has worked for me — so far, without fail — is to count the total number of Xs on the label, including in the region city of origin, the type of the wine, and the maker’s name, and to select the wine that has the greatest number of Xs on the label.  One has found some wines with up to six or seven label Xs, and they were quite acceptable, despite failing to live up to the obligation of redness.

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 11-28-2016, 02:55 PM
#6
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Haha, there is some good and humorous advice here. Because of the vagaries of the nomenclature and variability of natural bristle, the one thing I'd recommend is buying from a reputable brand.

Chances are that if it doesn't suit your tastes, you'll still be able to sell it through the forum. I believe for around $110-$120, you can get a nice Thäter or Shavemac 3-band silvertip brush. There are many other options, but I think these two makers have solid reputations.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 11-28-2016, 03:57 PM
#7
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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Staying with reputable brands will reduce the risk of getting a "bad" silvertip along with the need to get familiar with all the different grades out there. You might cross the $100 mark, but you won't be disappointed. Sure you can get a good silvertip for maybe half that...but luck will also have to come into play in this scenario.

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 11-28-2016, 04:35 PM
#8
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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What consitutes a 'bad' Silvertip? I hardly think a chinese farmer is going to make much on a critter with mange. If you mean a shedder, or defective handle reputable is a term best left at used car dealerships.

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 11-28-2016, 06:02 PM
#9
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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A "bad" silvertip can possess any or all of the following qualities:  Shedding, misshapen knot, low quality hair (prickly/uncomfortable feeling), low density...and I'm sure I am missing a few other characteristics.  

You can buy from no-name "dealers," but you never know what you are getting...yes you could get a decent brush, but you can also end up with (more likely) a low quality "bad" silvertip...An auction car, if you will, that looked decent in the auto trader ad, but when you walk up to the actual car at Billy's Used Cars and Shotguns to see it first hand, you can smell the Vanillarama tree from twenty feet away and need sunglasses from all that Armor All.  

Buying a Shavemac, Thater, or from several other manufacturers that have been around and have a good reputation will limit the likelihood that you will receive anything other than an excellent Silvertip brush.

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 11-29-2016, 05:51 AM
#10
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(11-28-2016, 02:40 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(11-28-2016, 02:00 PM)kav Wrote: A university TA was a brandy collector and loved to throw out all these Xs and names around impressing freshman girls tempting ruin with delivered pizza and keggers.

(Straying off topic, but we’re all friends here.)
Yr obdnt srvnt has found a use for all those Xs.   A nightly (but in moderation) wine drinker who believes firmly that the first duty of any wine is to be red, still one finds it necessary to stock the occasional bottle of white wine (e.g., when one has invited guests for a supper where the main dish will be fish or poultry, and wants not to divert the evening’s conversation mansplaining why there is no reason whatsoever that one should not accompany a filet of sole with a selected red wine).   After years of trying to follow others’ well-meaning but ultimately off-the-mark recommendations for suitable white wines, I found the mother lode of excellent white wines (recognizing that “excellent” has a different meaning in respect of whites than it does in respect of reds) to be located in the northernmost reaches of Portugal and the Spanish province of Galicia.  

[...]
Gotta love some Alvarinho/Albariño white wine Smile

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 11-29-2016, 06:59 AM
#11
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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(11-28-2016, 01:08 PM)Diamond Dog Wrote: I thought I would start a new thread as this thread is specific to silvertip vs my precious post asking about brushes in general. I hope this is OK

As a new wet shaver, my intent is to use my existing brush as I research, and read over the next few months and decide which additional brush to buy. Thank you to the members who have responded to my post already.

I asked if I could get a decent silvertip for $60-70 and someone responded that I probably could not. There is no reason for me to get a silvertip just to say I have one. I want to spend the  appropriate amount of money to get the "real deal" when I am ready to purchase and if I decide its the way to go.

It sounds like the description "silvertip" is thrown around loosely.  Kind of like a "suit made in Italy". I am sure there are ton of crappy Italian Suits where other countries would produce better suits in their higher end lines, than a lower end Italian Suit.

How do you identify a poor quality silvertip?

Are there cases were a better made pure badger has a better feel and outperforms a poor quality silvertip?

It sounds like there are bad grades of Silvertip and good grades. But I am trying to get info on where spending the extra money has diminishing returns (e.g. paying more for a rare and exotic handle material when a regular material feels the same in the hand). Or when the density gets to a certain point where it doesn't feel any different.

It further gets confusing when there are companies like Whipped Dog that have Silvertips that you can have deep set for $36.00 and people post all these positive reviews on it. And then there are things like when forums or artisan release  limited production runs and there is no reference point.

Am I correct that a quality Silvertip is usually around $110 new? I feel that you either go with the real thing or don't do it at all. I am not in a hurry, but I am trying to narrow down the reviews and information I am reading and trying get a little more focused.

I also like the idea of buying a used brush from a reputable member.

There are some brick and Mortar stores I can go to. Can you really determine anything by playing around with the display brush at the store only? If so what should I be doing with the display brush to test its quality?
You can buy a Semogue 3-band Silvertip for around $60 and a Muhle Classic Silvertip for about the same.  They are both excellent brushes, but the Semogue is a real dark horse.  In my opinion shavemac and Thater make about the best 3-band silvertips available, but they'll be well over your price point.  To me, however, the shavemac finest badger is one of the best knots on the market in terms of price, quality and performance; I believe it is a mix of 3-band Silvertip and pure badger, but it feels and performs very much as 3-band Silvertip does.  The other advantage of purchasing from shavemac is that you can customise your brush in terms of knot hair (they offer 6 grades of badger), knot size (both diameter and loft), handle style and handle colour.

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 11-29-2016, 08:50 AM
#12
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BTW you skip the following rambling post of a hayseed.

I know next to nothing regarding grades of badger brushes. I know they usually go in the order of pure badger, best badger, super badger, silver tip badger, and two band badger. Where Manchurian badger and high mountain fit in the list is probably personal preference, but I'll leave it to the experts. I've looked over reviews of brushes that don't cause me to question whether it's love or a heart attack. After an exhausting search I decided to try an Omega 599 Silvertip badger brush after Christmas unless Mrs. Santa's really nice to me. It received great reviews and is around $40 plus I like small brushes.

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 11-29-2016, 06:18 PM
#13
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thader and shavemac.  reliable as an old studebaker.

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 11-30-2016, 08:55 AM
#14
  • dajmacd
  • Member
  • Tennessee River Valley
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Silvertip traditionally means the fine, soft hair harvested from the neck area of the mature badger.  It exhibits a light-dark-light banding pattern and longer hair is preferred as it allows for deeper setting of the knot. Any other type of hair sold as "silvertip" is modern marketing.  Some makers treat lower grade 3-band hairs to soften and lighten the tips. The 2-band hair is marketed by different makers as "finest", "super" or "silvertip" but doesn't meet the criteria above for the traditional definition.  It tends to be less flexible with thicker shafts and tips which are initially not as soft as the "silvertip" hair but tend to soften and form the desirable hooked ends with use.  You can buy well-made traditional silvertip brushes for <$70 (TSS house brand, Vulfix, Omega) and well-regarded 2-band brushes for <$40 (Vintage Blades brand).

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