03-17-2017, 06:01 PM
#1
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By many the Simpson Chubby 2 synthetic is considered one of the best synthetic brushes out there, if you like density in your knots.

I have now used my CH2 synthetics with Xpec Unscented cream, Caties Bubbles La Terre Verte, Nuavia Verde & Tabac.


I have owned 30-40 top synthetic brushes, now down to 15.

I prefer a dense brush with some backbone, but also a soft tipped brush and I always face lather.

I Dislike floppy brushes, so the Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic should be the perfect synthetic brush for me, or ?? READ ON !!

Had my 4.th shave with the Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic brush this evening.

This synthetic, by many considered the ultimate best if you like density in your synthetics, just did not impress me that much to be honest.

Now to be fair, it's a VERY nice brush, but I operate with the best of the best for me, so I'm quite hard to please.

Firstly the handle, now I have XL hands, but this Chubby 2 handle is just neither large enough, nor is it designed with enough grip, so I could continue using it, even though the handle is small in itself.
Some brush handles, though they are on the smaller side, with the right design and grip will still be able to give you a secure grip, not a comfortable grip, but a secure grip. This Chubby 2 handle is NOT that kind of handle in my experience.

I lived in denial for years, because everyone raved about this handle to me, so I honestly didn't dare to admit, that I hate this handle shape and too small size. Add to that a slippery handle, and you have a brush handle, that just is not for me at all.

What I do like is the density of the knot - if only Mark Watterson would make a Chubby 3 synthetic, I can only dream of that.
But it still has the same problem of all the 30-40 synthetics I have owned and used.

At first they are wonderful fantastic soft and gentle in feel on your face - like a cloud, but when you need to dig deep into the hard soap, you need to either wet the soap or the brush tips, thus water will get into the brush knot.

This is where you are confronted with the limitartions of synthetics - a serious lack of water retention. 


Yes, this Simpson Chubby 2 actually can handle and hold some water inside the knot, but what does it help, when it releases it at random, as soon as you presse it in on your skin just a little bit ?

Then you load it in the soap/cream, and yes it does attract some soap and lather onto the hairs, but I'm left with the feeling, that I don't want to trap too much water in the knot, because I simply hate that water release feel dribbling down my neck, whether I wear cloths or no cloths while shaving, I hate that feeling, and it almost always happens, when I have just build the PERFECT face lather, then I give it that last press to perfect the lather, like I do with my badgers, and then it releases that crazy annoying water, that drips down through the 99% perfect lather, I just build on my face.

I'm at a point now, where I'm almost afraid of adding water to the brush, to avoid the build up of water inside the knot, so I face lather with a too dry brush, which results in a too dry lather.

I have tried and tried, but still after 100's of tries, I can't seem to get my synthetics to work as I want to and as my badgers do.

It doen's really matter that the synthetics create the lather faster than badgers, if you can't finalize the perfect lather with them in the end out of respect from filling them with even just drops of water, because you hate the dribbling of water down your lather, neck, arms and chest/stomach.

All in all this Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic is a very nice brush, if you look at the knot, but unfortunately the handle lets it down, and it still can't release the water controlled, at least I, my water and my technique after 100's of shaves with TOP synthetics, can't find the proper water retention ratio in synyhetic in general and this brush is no exception to this unfortunately.

My overall rating of the Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic: 5/10

It's very nice synthetic brush, but the small unergonomic slippery handle lets it down and even though it can hold some water inside the knot, it still lacks the water retention I search for in synthetics, but still have yet to find, because of the structure of the synthetic hair fibres, which are smooth.

Update to this review.



I will split it up in two - the knot and the handle.

Handle Rating: 4/10 - I just do not feel safe with this handle in my hands, and it's too short and lack proper ridges to avoid lather coming down the handle. Very cramped feeling when holding this CH2 in my hand, not painfull but uncomfortable in feel. 

Knot rating: 7/10 - I have to admit, that this knot is, as many others have said, a very nice synthetic knot. As long as I go with the unnaturel nature of synthetic knots, I have to admit, that Simpson actual did a great job with this knot. I don't know whether mine has Mühle STF v2 fibes in it, or if Simpson has sourced some synthetic hair knots and used these. All I know is that the knot is a very nice synthetic knot. I still dislike the unnaturel feel of it, and that I have to be cautious with my water ratio during the shave, isn't this called WET SHAVING after all ?, but with that said Simpson has done a great job with this knot.

I still wish Mark Watterson would release a Chubby 3 Synthetic knot. This COULD be the best ever synthetic knot and synthetic brush ever made for people, that prefer handles a bit larger and a large knot.

So Please Mr. Watterson, release the Chubby 3 Synthetic shaving brush.

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 03-17-2017, 06:28 PM
#2
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My brief entry into Synthetic brushes was years ago and certainly they've improved dramatically over the last 5 years.  But your feedback, Claus, is consistent with my problem with these brushes.  In the end, if they don't give me at least the basic characteristics of a basic badger (like water retention), I'll lose interest, not to mention a lack of overall shave enjoyment.  Perhaps someday the technology will further improve to blur the lines.

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 03-17-2017, 06:41 PM
#3
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I noticed mine loosened up and worked better for me after a good amount of usage. A sort of break in if you will, believe it it not. And it was a LOT more than 4 uses. That said, if you don't dig that handle then it really doesn't matter at all how nice the fibers are.

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 03-17-2017, 07:31 PM
#4
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I have one synth for travel, almost purchased the Simpsons chubby 2 synth. However, the lack of ability to control water also left me feeling soggy. I guess I'm just better suited for natural hair brushes.

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 03-18-2017, 08:49 AM
#5
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(03-17-2017, 06:41 PM)vigilantesd Wrote: I noticed mine loosened up and worked better for me after a good amount of usage. A sort of break in if you will, believe it it not. And it was a LOT more than 4 uses. That said, if you don't dig that handle then it really doesn't matter at all how nice the fibers are.

I had the same experience.  It surprised me because I assumed a synthetic would not need to break in.  However, the fibers do seem to loosen up a bit after some use.

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 03-18-2017, 09:53 AM
#6
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Well done Claus. .


That knot needs 6 mm more Loft minimum IMO

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 03-18-2017, 10:15 AM
#7
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
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Another brush I do not need to try.....  Biggrin

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 03-18-2017, 11:00 AM
#8
  • NJDJ
  • Member
  • New Jersey
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Thanks for the review.

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 03-18-2017, 12:58 PM
#9
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Thanks for your review Claus.

Handle size is, of course, strictly a matter of subjective personal preference.  I can definitely understand the annoyance of a handle one finds too small.  My hands are medium to large, and I find the Chubby 2 size quite comfortable.  What makes the Chubby 2 size work for me, despite it being short, is the girth.  The M&F 2XL, for example, is about the same height as the Chubby 2 but I find it less comfortable because it lacks the girth of the Chubby 2.  I would definitely like to see a Chubby 3 synthetic.  I think there would be a demand for it as a limited release.  However, now that Simpson has small (Classic 1), medium (Duke 3) and large (Chubby 2) synthetics, I don't know if they would have an interest in a Chubby 3 version.

I have a long history with the Chubby 2 synthetic.  I purchased one when it was first released.  By looking at my prior threads, I was able to determine that my first Chubby 2 synthetic arrived on March 20, 2014.  I immediately integrated it into my rotation and have used it at least twice a week for three years.  I shave every day, so I've had over 300 shaves with a Chubby 2 synthetic.  There was a modest learning curve with it, but it was just a matter of making minor adjustments in my lathering technique. 

I don't do anything special when lathering with my Chubby 2 synthetic, and don't give any particular thought to the amount of water I use when wetting the knot.  I wet the knot thoroughly under running hot water, gently shake out the excess water, and take the brush to the soap.  I face lather exclusively.  I do not have any of the issues with water retention, control of water release, or water dribbling down from the brush which have been mentioned above.  I can't explain why you gentlemen are having those issues.  What I can categorically say is that, after over 300 shaves, my experience has been different than yours and entirely positive.  However, I recognize that synthetics, regardless of their merits, are not for everyone.

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 03-18-2017, 02:40 PM
#10
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I liked the handle and the look of the CH2 synthetic.  However, I did have the same performance problems as Claus, so I sold it this week.

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 03-18-2017, 03:30 PM
#11
  • Nero
  • Saving Through Spending More
  • le montagne
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Claus, I agree with your assessment of the handle, the dimensions/shape just seem uncomfortable (to me and you, though I think we are in the minority on this topic).
It also has issues when wet, it becomes very slippery (the same reason I sold my Saponificio Varesino faux horn and faux tortoise brushes).
I imagine these are issues with any CH2, not just the synthetic.

While I agree the synthetic fibers and knot have unpredictable water retention, I have slightly adjusted my approach and found it works for me to just do one more shake out (after I think I've shaken out enough water, I just do one more FIRM shake), then as I'm building the lather or even just loading I can dip the tips in water to add water if/when needed (which I definitely do several times, as I spend about 5 minutes making lather), just as I would with a badger brush that needed more water.
I basically do this on auto-pilot now and don't even think about it. Just part of the routine.
Now I barely ever have the issue of water dripping down my neck.

(I have most experience with Edwin Jagger STF2 fibers.
Thinking about it now, I probably have (had) more of an issue with the "dripping water" of the EJ 23mm than I do with the EJ 19mm, so maybe smaller synthetic knots have less problems than larger ones (since they initially won't keep the same amount of water).)

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 03-18-2017, 04:01 PM
#12
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I've never used the wet method described above, except on a Tuxedo synthetic, which seems to need more water up front. No problems with CH2's, STF XL's, Ubersofts, or Plissofts. I load 'em dry and add water as I build lather. No runs, no drips, no errors. (It must be Spring training season.) I also agree on the CH2 handle, and sold it. The STF knot was at least as good as the Simpson, in my experience, so I kept that instead.

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 03-18-2017, 04:10 PM
#13
  • Nero
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  • le montagne
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(03-18-2017, 04:01 PM)rsp1202 Wrote: I've never used the wet method described above, except on a Tuxedo synthetic, which seems to need more water up front. No problems with CH2's, STF XL's, Ubersofts, or Plissofts. I load 'em dry and add water as I build lather. No runs, no drips, no errors. (It must be Spring training season.) I also agree on the CH2 handle, and sold it. The STF knot was at least as good as the Simpson, in my experience, so I kept that instead.


I never knew you can load a soap with no water. How do you know when you are done loading?

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 03-18-2017, 04:49 PM
#14
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(03-18-2017, 04:10 PM)Nero Wrote:
(03-18-2017, 04:01 PM)rsp1202 Wrote: I've never used the wet method described above, except on a Tuxedo synthetic, which seems to need more water up front. No problems with CH2's, STF XL's, Ubersofts, or Plissofts. I load 'em dry and add water as I build lather. No runs, no drips, no errors. (It must be Spring training season.) I also agree on the CH2 handle, and sold it. The STF knot was at least as good as the Simpson, in my experience, so I kept that instead.


I never knew you can load a soap with no water. How do you know when you are done loading?

Ha ha. I should have said drier than a badger, in effect what you were talking about: a quick run under the tap and then shaken and wrung out. The soap puck I run under the tap for a second, as well. Both are left minimally damp.

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 03-18-2017, 07:10 PM
#15
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I've never met a synthetic brush that in my opinion could hold a candle to a great badger brush.  Although, my CH2 synthetic is the only one I still keep around and only use it for extended travel.  But I am always looking forward to using a great badger brush when I return home after traveling.

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 03-18-2017, 08:17 PM
#16
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Yeah, the CH2 can indeed be slippery.  (Thanks for the reminder  Confused Biggrin) Size wise, it does fit my hands better than the CH3, which feels too chunky. I still like the CH2 handle, but I wouldn't call it my favorite. 

I have never felt the desire to try a synthetic knot, being so completely satisfied with my badger brushes. Your thoughts on the characteristics of the synthetic knot only solidify this view further.

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 03-19-2017, 09:45 AM
#17
  • Nero
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  • le montagne
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(03-18-2017, 08:17 PM)shevek Wrote: Yeah, the CH2 can indeed be slippery.  (Thanks for the reminder  Confused Biggrin)

Yikes! Sorry to hear!! (Old news, tough, apparently!!)

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 03-19-2017, 10:19 AM
#18
  • glaze3
  • Junior Member
  • Las Vegas
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This is my least favorite Synthetic and the only brush I've ever dropped. I much prefer a fan knot in Synth as they just seem to lather better (EJ XL) I thought about selling the Chubby2, but for some reason just keep it in the box under the sink gathering dust.

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 03-19-2017, 11:40 AM
#19
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To the guys, who use synthetics, and have no issues with water retention or have found a way around that problem, koudos to you.

If synthetics didn't constantly give me the water retention/water dripple problem at the end of my lather creation, I would be a huge fan.

If I bowl lathered, I would not have the problem as lather is created in the bowl, and when you make the final press with the knot to get the final lather creation process done with, the water drip will end up in the bowl and not on you.

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 03-19-2017, 01:30 PM
#20
  • garyg
  • Active Member
  • Great Lakes
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I'm another that has had the same performance issues with the synths (dribbling), including the Chubby 2 which I sold off, as I did some of the other plastic knotted brushes.  I am an admitted troglodyte, and have too many nice natural brushes to make myself learn the others at this stage anyway.  I have kept a couple artificial brushes still, for occasional travel use.  But as yet am not won over, even though the ersatz brushes don't come with any funk, and do dry instantly.  Maybe when all my badgers wear out I'll put in the time to learn to make lather the modern way ..

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