01-07-2017, 01:18 PM
#1
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It is fair to say that I have too many brushes (ask – no - don’t ask my wife). I hold a rotation of around 50 brushes (give or take a few) and have sold around one hundred, meaning I went through about 150 brushes in the last few years across all makes and kinds. So, I believe I know a bit about brushes…
 
I have become pretty picky when it comes to new acquisitions. They must be 2 Band (95% of the time) with decent backbone (not too stiff, not too floppy), very soft tips (there is a reason why I have chosen Simpson 2 Bands as my avatar – also I have quite a few) and good flow through (ruling out most of the time the Chubbies/ XLs and other lather hogs). Further, they must be aesthetically pleasing (YMMV but that rules out psychedelic colors for me), have an ergonomic handle that is easy to hold and has some substance when holding it. Something like this:

[Image: 59g5OFZ.jpg]

 
I have settled on a knot size of around 26mm with a loft around 50mm (fan) and 54 mm (bulb), some smaller, rarely larger. I like both bulbs and fans but as of late have been leaning more towards fan shaped brushes. I prefer handles sizes between 55-60mm. I only face lather. I prefer resin over wood or horn brushes (you never know how they hold up). If I choose wood, I go with an artisan who I trust treating the wood as needed for durability.
 
Needless to say, I am very skeptic when it comes to "hyped" brushes that seem to pop up every day by some artisan of any kind.
 
A few years back I have conducted a 2 Band brush comparison (thread here 2 Band Brush Comparison (my latest take) and here2 Band Comparison (Thäter, Rooney, TGN, WSP, VB, Simpson) with some popular brushes at the time. I am thinking of doing another one considering so many new brush makers have appeared as of late. When I get to it, I will post it.
 
For now, I want to talk about two brushes that impressed me the most lately:
 
1.     Elite Razor’s (aka Bob Quinn / Eskimo) 2 Band Manchurian with a custom handle out of Rosewood
2.     Saponificio Varesino 2.0 “Manchurian” 2 Band brushes (kind of awkward naming convention) with a faux ivory handle and a metal crown top
 
Elite Razor Brush:
I have been working with Bob Quinn on about half a dozen brushes over the years and really appreciate his great workmanship and outstanding customer service. I got intrigued when he started offering his own knots (I used to provide mine that I had acquired elsewhere, shavemac, WSP, TGN etc.). My expectations were mixed as I had been burnt with “no name” Chinese knots before. I was truly blown away by his 2 Band knot that is EXCELLENT and worthy competing with names like shavemac and Simpson knots. The brush pictured below features a 26/52mm 2 Band “Manchurian” knot. The handle is made of Rosewood and about 60mm tall.

[Image: M3HJ4Ap.jpg]

[Image: k3XyK4r.jpg]
 
The brush is excellent in every aspect: good backbone (not too stiff), super soft tips, great flow through at an affordable price.
 
Saponificio Varesino 2.0:
I read about them on the forum and originally did not appreciate the handle at all. A very ordinary awkward handle design with a somewhat weird metal crown on top. The knot looked good though and feedback on the forum was positive (by folks who I know have some experience with brushes – you know who you are). So, I decided to lean forward and get one. Given my hesitation regarding wood I went with a faus ivory version and a silver colored metal crown. The knot is advertised at 26/50mm. It really is more like 28mm. See pictures below.


[Image: 21oSXrD.jpg]



[Image: tpvzrgu.jpg]

 
Again, I was really positively surprised, the knot is EXCELLENT, equally convincing as the above with great tips and face feel. The handle looks better in person than on the pictures and provides good theft and balance. I was so convinced that I ordered another one (faux tortoise).
 
It is really time to update my 2 Band comparison of a few years ago.
 
Shave on, gentlemen.

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 01-07-2017, 02:19 PM
#2
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I am very impressed. I, too, like the straightforward colour of the Simpson 'creams' (and 'real' butterscotches).

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 01-07-2017, 02:57 PM
#3
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Always good to see a post from you, Georg.

You have an excellent 2-band collection.

I have altered my taste many times, and will continue to do that, as I'm a fickle type of person - but I have found a sweet spot for me in my Thäter 4125 mini collection, consisting of 8 brushes, 3 3-band and 5 2-band.
They have the solid backbone I look for, yet still feel very soft, without being floppy at all.

I sold the rest of my Thäters, as they were a bit too soft and borderlinde floppy for my taste.

Simpson makes fantastic 2-band brushes, I just wish they had a handle, that suited my preferences better.
I might buy a Polo 8 2-band and a Polo 10 2-band in 2017, as they seem to be the only handles from Simpson that have the knot and handle size I look for (25-27 mm knot and a large solid handle)

Here in my mid 40's, my skin seems to not enjoy the stiffer 2-bands anymore (Manchurian, D01-2-band and the likes), but still enjoy the softer 2-bands thoroughly.

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 01-08-2017, 09:07 AM
#4
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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I thoroughly agree with you on the Elite knots. To me they are up there but with their own personality with Thater, Paladin and with one of my M&F finest (the knots are not always consistent) most of my brushes are fans. I have 4 of Bobs knots 2 in his handles and one in a Doug Korn and one to put into another brush handle that I like for later on.

I have not used my Simpsons much lately for their tips are a little to stiff for me. Below are 2 Elite knots, the green brush is from Elite with a 24 knot that came out to be a 26 loft 54. The 2nd (translucent) from DK again is a 24 that came out as  26 loft 52. Handle hieghts are 58 and 60. The only thing I feel is missing is the artisans names on the brushes. 

The DK translucent is picking up the lettering from the book, it is absolutely transparently clear and clean.


[Image: ImGvKwP.jpg]

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 01-08-2017, 05:08 PM
#5
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I agree that Bob's 2-band Manchurian White knots are excellent, and on the same level as any of the other top tier brush brands.

I've had my eye on that ivory SV brush since it first came out.  The only thing that has kept me from getting it is my preference for bulb knots.  The only fan knots in my collection are Simpson Manchurians, but I can't rule out making an exception for the SV

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 01-08-2017, 05:54 PM
#6
  • rsp1202
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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I preferred Simpson 2-band a touch more than Thater and Shavemac, but the latter were more reliable. I like current Paladins and Wiborg Whites even more.

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 01-08-2017, 08:54 PM
#7
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I can say with full confidence that anything made or offered by Bob Quinn will be an outstanding product. He is always a pleasure to work with and your brush here is simply stunning Georg.

Enjoy in good health!

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 01-10-2017, 01:15 PM
#8
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(01-08-2017, 09:07 AM)bijou Wrote: I thoroughly agree with you on the Elite knots. To me they are up there but with their own personality with Thater, Paladin and with one of my M&F finest (the knots are not always consistent) most of my brushes are fans. I have 4 of Bobs knots 2 in his handles and one in a Doug Korn and one to put into another brush handle that I like for later on.

I have not used my Simpsons much lately for their tips are a little to stiff for me. Below are 2 Elite knots, the green brush is from Elite with a 24 knot that came out to be a 26 loft 54. The 2nd (translucent) from DK again is a 24 that came out as  26 loft 52. Handle hieghts are 58 and 60. The only thing I feel is missing is the artisans names on the brushes. 

The DK translucent is picking up the lettering from the book, it is absolutely transparently clear and clean.


[Image: ImGvKwP.jpg]

Hi Steven, those are a couple of great looking brushes!  So if one were going to order the same knot from Bob, it would be the 24mm Manchurian White Fan, correct?

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 01-10-2017, 02:02 PM
#9
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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(01-10-2017, 01:15 PM)surfshaver Wrote:
(01-08-2017, 09:07 AM)bijou Wrote: I thoroughly agree with you on the Elite knots. To me they are up there but with their own personality with Thater, Paladin and with one of my M&F finest (the knots are not always consistent) most of my brushes are fans. I have 4 of Bobs knots 2 in his handles and one in a Doug Korn and one to put into another brush handle that I like for later on.

I have not used my Simpsons much lately for their tips are a little to stiff for me. Below are 2 Elite knots, the green brush is from Elite with a 24 knot that came out to be a 26 loft 54. The 2nd (translucent) from DK again is a 24 that came out as  26 loft 52. Handle hieghts are 58 and 60. The only thing I feel is missing is the artisans names on the brushes. 

The DK translucent is picking up the lettering from the book, it is absolutely transparently clear and clean.


[Image: ImGvKwP.jpg]

Hi Steven, those are a couple of great looking brushes!  So if one were going to order the same knot from Bob, it would be the 24mm Manchurian White Fan, correct?

Yes, as I stated the 24 comes out to be a 26, the knot has very good density and the softness and spread of the fan for me gives a wonderful lathering (I do not like the tightness of bulbs). So far the quality consistency of Bob's knot quality have been great.  The other good thing is he always has knots on hand and has a good variety of handles for your choosing, so you can get a superb brush in a short time

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 01-13-2017, 02:29 PM
#10
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(01-10-2017, 02:02 PM)bijou Wrote:
(01-10-2017, 01:15 PM)surfshaver Wrote:
(01-08-2017, 09:07 AM)bijou Wrote: I thoroughly agree with you on the Elite knots. To me they are up there but with their own personality with Thater, Paladin and with one of my M&F finest (the knots are not always consistent) most of my brushes are fans. I have 4 of Bobs knots 2 in his handles and one in a Doug Korn and one to put into another brush handle that I like for later on.

I have not used my Simpsons much lately for their tips are a little to stiff for me. Below are 2 Elite knots, the green brush is from Elite with a 24 knot that came out to be a 26 loft 54. The 2nd (translucent) from DK again is a 24 that came out as  26 loft 52. Handle hieghts are 58 and 60. The only thing I feel is missing is the artisans names on the brushes. 

The DK translucent is picking up the lettering from the book, it is absolutely transparently clear and clean.


[Image: ImGvKwP.jpg]

Hi Steven, those are a couple of great looking brushes!  So if one were going to order the same knot from Bob, it would be the 24mm Manchurian White Fan, correct?

Yes, as I stated the 24 comes out to be a 26, the knot has very good density and the softness and spread of the fan for me gives a wonderful lathering (I do not like the tightness of bulbs). So far the quality consistency of Bob's knot quality have been great.  The other good thing is he always has knots on hand and has a good variety of handles for your choosing, so you can get a superb brush in a short time

Thanks!

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 01-13-2017, 04:41 PM
#11
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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The 24 (26) with a 54 loft gives a long soft tip lathering with good moderate backbone, the 52 loft gives a little tighter soft full headed lathering with excellent backbone (there is no scrub) and there is not a hair of scritch in the knots that I have from Bob.

Al the best to you

Sent from my SM-T357T using Tapatalk

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 01-13-2017, 06:11 PM
#12
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(01-13-2017, 04:41 PM)bijou Wrote: The 24 (26) with a 54 loft gives a long soft tip lathering with good moderate backbone, the 52 loft gives a little tighter soft full headed lathering with excellent backbone (there is no scrub) and there is not a hair of scritch in the knots that I have from Bob.

Al the best to you

Sent from my SM-T357T using Tapatalk

I have a few of the 24 mm set at 52 mm, and I'd agree with this assessment. Wonderful knots.

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 01-13-2017, 06:33 PM
#13
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I have been putting a knot in the shopping cart and backing out for months.

I just can't decide what handle and what size knot.

I usually don't have any problems pulling the trigger, but I feel like I will love the Elite Razors Manchurian and wind up with a little collection before I know what happened.

Rolleyes

This is probably going to be the weekend that I just embrace it.

Wink

I have a great vintage Rubberset 200-4 that I am going to put one in. The old knot needs to come out first...

In the meantime Bob's new stock of stone is calling me. Decisions decisions decisions decisions...

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 01-13-2017, 07:06 PM
#14
  • rsp1202
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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(01-13-2017, 06:33 PM)bakerbarber Wrote: I have been putting a knot in the shopping cart and backing out for months.

I just can't decide what handle and what size knot.

. . .

The Elite Manchurian is tempting, for sure. A bulb at 52mm loft looks good to me, but 54mm has to make its density more workable. We be guessing and stuck on "undecided" as well.

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