08-17-2012, 06:18 AM
#1
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This is an initial review of the H.I.S. Bullet Brush by FM Brush sold through Artist Brushstrokes. This is the same company that manufactures and sells the H.I.S. shaving brush. FM Brush has been in the brush manufacturing business since 1927. The company has two primary manufacturing facilities. One facility is in Thailand and the other is in Glendale, New York. The Glendale facility is the design and custom manufacturing facility as well as the company headquarters. This make FM Brush the only brush manufacturer with a operational manufacturing facility in the United States for any type of brush, shaving or otherwise. The H.I.S. brush was their first offering into the shaving brush arena and this is their second offering. The H.I.S. Bullet is manufactured in the FMT facility in Thailand. The initial price point is expected to be about $23.00.

With that being said, let's get to the photos and measurements.

[Image: yNH8D9m.jpg]

In addition here is how it compares to some other well known brushes for comparison.

[Image: A6HDR1l.jpg]

The brush handle is only slightly larger than the knot diameter, so do not expect to use this with a brush stand hanging down.

Now to the testing of the brush. This was accomplished over four days in which I alternated between bowl and face lathering and used different soaps and or creams to provide a greater variety of testing in a short amount of time.

First day testing - Bowl lathering with Dalan d'Men cream:

I soaked down the brush and when I removed it from the water, the brush showed the tell tale sign of a donut hole in the center. That is a bad sign for either a natural or a synthetic brush. Generally when that appears the brush will not have enough backbone and will flex at the void. The handle was slippery since it did not have a ridge or groove to get a better grip. It did caused some difficulty in holding the brush but a small piece of paper towel remedied that. I then dispensed some cream in the mug. Usually with a nickel sized dab of d'Men, I am able to easily generate lather in a mug. With the H.I.S. bullet it was difficult to generate lather but was able to produce enough in the bowl to perform 2 face passes and 1 head shave but this brush was excessively floppy. After completing my shave I stood the brush upward to dry.

[Image: 57WGUt0.jpg]

Second day testing - Face lathering with Wilkinson Sword Shave Stick:

I proceeded to wet down my face and apply the stick only across my face which usually provides me with enough lather for my face and head for a complete shave I soaked down the brush and when I removed it from the water, the brush showed the tell tale sign of a donut hole in the center just as it did the first time. I began to lather and basically it was flopping all over the place. I was finally able to generate enough lather on the brush and my face to cover the first shave and then apply the lather for the head pass and a second face pass. I was able to complete the shave without reloading but it was a very difficult process. Due to the splaying of the brush, most of the lather was generated by the sides of the fibers and not the tips. After completing my shave I stood the brush upward to dry.

Third day testing - Bowl Lathering with C.O. Bigelow:

I soaked down the brush and when I removed it from the water, the brush again showed the tell tale sign of a donut hole in the center. I then dispensed some cream in the mug. The H.I.S. bullet encountered the same difficulty as with the d'Men cream. I was able to generate lather enough to produce enough in the bowl to perform 2 face passes and 1 head shave. After completing my shave I stood the brush upward to dry.

Fourth day testing - Face lathering with Palmolive Shave Stick:

I proceeded to wet down my face and apply the stick only across my face and soaked the brush and began to lather. I was finally able to generate enough lather on the brush and my face to cover the first shave and then apply the lather for the head pass and a second face pass. It handled exactly the way that it had for the second day testing. After completing my shave I stood the brush upward to dry.

Conclusions:

When I test any product, my starting out position is a desire to like the product. With this in mind the product has clearly disappoint me in performance to change my viewpoint. This is contrary to some others who come in planning to dislike a product before using it. That method, for the majority of testing. leads to negative bias and personal position to prevent the tester from being able to overcome.

I cannot recommend this brush for everyday use or even as a travel brush. I wanted to like it, but it clearly disappointed me. The handle is slick. That could be corrected by adding a neoprene sleeve with some small ridges, or even cutting some small grooves in the handle itself. For bowl lathering it is not usable in my opinion. Face lathering is somewhat usable. The knot does not have enough density. There needs to be a greater density of fibers to prevent the donut hole from occurring and making this brush so floppy. There are better brushes available for less money. The Franks Shaving is a far better brush at a much lower price. There could be some more brushes in the works from FM Brush, but as for this one, it needs to be revamped with a modified handle and better knot in order to change its handling and lathering characteristics.


GD Carrington
8-17-2012

Images restored 10/21/2013 GDC

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 08-17-2012, 07:21 AM
#2
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I have received an email from Laurent Pierre, Jr. - Senior Managing Partner at Artist Brushstrokes on the H.I.S. Bullet. It reads as follows.

Quote:Hi Gary,

Thanks for your review of the Bullet Shaving brush. I have forwarded your note to the FM team and will be meeting w/ them to determine how they want to proceed. Based on your review, from an Artist Brushstrokes perspective, I will hold off distributing/selling this model until the product is at a point where its performance will fair well on the marketplace. Keeping our customer base happy and satisfied is our primary objective, and I definitely want to keep Artist Brushstrokes' reputation for delivering quality high performance products in tact.

Thanks again for taking the time to provide your insight, testing and feedback on this new product. I will keep you posted on next steps and/or new shaving brush models as the prototypes come out from FM Brush.

Best Regards,

Laurent

So the earlier release date of August will more than likely slip on this brush.

Thanks to Laurent for his response on this matter.

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 08-17-2012, 07:33 AM
#3
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
User Info
Great review Gary and much appreciated.

I love the original H.I.S brush and had high hopes for this one even though I do not like the look of it.

It's fantastic that Mr. Pierre responded to your review. That kind of customer service from a bigger corporation is just amazing these days IMO.

I hope that they come out with a more extensive line of brushes with performance similar to the original and nice handles that work well and work for different sized hands so more people can experience the joy of a good synthetic brush. Smile

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 08-17-2012, 07:35 AM
#4
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
User Info
Thank you for a full evaluation of this brush. At least the company responded to your testing and might consider changes.

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 08-17-2012, 11:31 AM
#5
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Great review Gary! Too bad as the first brush was really great. Just from the looks, it seemed like this brush would have some challenges accomplishing the task. It really reminds me of a modified make-up brush, not really suited for generating lather.

I've exchanged a couple emails with Laurent as well on the initial brush and he is a pretty good guy, and it's nice to see that he really appreciates and uses customer feedback.

My thoughts are that they stick with the original brush and modify its size to give customers a few different options in handles size, knot size, loft, etc.

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 08-17-2012, 11:33 AM
#6
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Very nice review,Gary!
Gosh,it seems that the brush is basically rubbish...

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 08-17-2012, 01:47 PM
#7
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Gary, thanks for the review.

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 10-21-2013, 01:55 PM
#8
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It appears that Artist Brushstrokes has decided to repeat this brush in a different form.

http://sharpologist.com/2013/10/syntheti...ment-48779

They still have the H.I.S. Bullet along with a Modified Version called the "3D Metro Shaving Brush."

It appears that FM Brush is dead level determined to make handles that are not appealing to Traditional Shavers.

http://www.beautystrokes.com/beautystrok...rushes.htm

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 10-21-2013, 02:10 PM
#9
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Interesting 3D design. I guess I never realized that all of my other brushes are just 2D. Winky

Thanks for the update Gary.

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 10-21-2013, 02:48 PM
#10
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(10-21-2013, 01:55 PM)GDCarrington Wrote: It appears that Artist Brushstrokes has decided to repeat this brush in a different form.

[*]John Waters says: October 21, 2013 at 9:28 am Here are two new H.I.S 3D shaving brushes that we have just added to the marketplace.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?u...%20shaving
[/list]

What the....A47

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 10-21-2013, 03:21 PM
#11
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Wow ... it appears they are trying to translate toothbrush head design into shaving brush knot design ... Huh

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 10-21-2013, 03:41 PM
#12
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AaaaaAaaaa
(10-21-2013, 03:21 PM)Agravic Wrote: Wow ... it appears they are trying to translate toothbrush head design into shaving brush knot design ... Huh

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 10-21-2013, 04:16 PM
#13
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(10-21-2013, 03:21 PM)Agravic Wrote: Wow ... it appears they are trying to translate toothbrush head design into shaving brush knot design ... Huh

I did not think of that, but yes the resemblance to a toothbrush is strong.

When I saw it I thought it was a cross between ...

[Image: wholesale-Barber-Shaving-Brush_598964760...p_file.jpg]

and ...

[Image: broomingdriveway.jpg]

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 10-22-2013, 02:36 AM
#14
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The Bullet Brush seems to be a bad idea. Thanks for the review. I have the HIS 1945, 23mm knot, loft 54mm and it is a comparable brush with the others in that price range except for the handle, which is heavier and larger than the other brushes. It is a few dollars more than the others, but that is probably because the handle probably costs a little more to manufacture. The larger/heavier handle could be a good or bad thing depending on your preferences for handles. After using the FS, HJM, Whipped Dog, and Kent the knots all perform well and the handles really are the biggest differeces.
The 3D knot looks like a marketing gimmick and probably is not necessary for performance, IMHO.

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 10-22-2013, 04:41 AM
#15
  • Codfish
  • Product Tester
  • Connecticut Shoreline
User Info
I've been trying to reach John Waters, but his account messaging leads me to a large corporate site that makes personal communications impossible. I wanted to offer an alternative.

There is an existing team of individuals who have been testing synthetic brushes for some time, and which is collectively responsible for much of what as been published about them during the past two years. I believe that I speak on behalf of Teiste Brito, Wim Bouman, Gary Carringto and Mark Herro when I offer the services of the New-Gen Synth Team to evaluate the FM Artist Brushstrokes 3D brushes. Team members were among the first to review the H.I.S. brush, and I believe would welcome the opportunity to review the latest FM offerings.

If Mr. Waters wants to educate shavers about these brushes, there is an effective way to do it. I invite his response to the team through this PM link.

UPDATE: Mr. Waters did respond and is sending brushes for evaluation. Thank you.

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