05-31-2017, 01:53 PM
#1
  • bijou
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What I would like to do here is discuss Paladin knots/hairs because (for example) you can purchase a Paladin Chief with with different knots that give totally different feels. But before I do I want to give a little info on what I look for in the brushes and individual knots that I purchase


I have and use different brushes in my rotation for different feels, soft-tips, slightly stiff tips, pillow soft, densities, backbone and handle styles. If I truly like a knot I will have it in different configurations high loft and low loft, in 24,s and 26,s in a few different handle styles and head shapes, Fans, Bulbs, Hybrids (though I mostly like Fans). The knots that I like are Elite, Ramero, M&F, Simpson, Thater, Shavemac, El Druida, Envy (I've only liked 2 Envy's knots that I purchase a few years back, since then I purchased others that I didn't like), Declaration, MS/LS, Stirling (I'm going to take a Stirling brush and transplant the knot to another handle) and of cause Paladin.

I need to state that I read and re-read the Paladin knot/hair chart as well as take notes when a new release comes out for I always refer back to chart to see if a handle with the color and head I like is paired with the desired knot. (There are a few knots that I have not tried based on the the information that is posted on the Paladin chart)

I will start with my first Paladin Select brush, the Lotus (26) in Jade 52/48 fan 2CLNL2 knot that I purchased last year. This brush became my favorite for quite awhile good density, med backbone, soft tips. A few months later I was able to pick up another Sumo (24) brush on the BTS board with the 2CLNL2 bulb knot. The knot in the Lotus has more density then the Sumo and for myself I prefer the Lotus handle.

I again picked up a Chief 26 in Butterscotch Bulb with the 2CLNL2 knot, I do love the Chief handle and with this knot, the density and backbone which is the same as the Lotus knots softness of the tips just reinforced the greatness of this knot to me. 

Later on I purchased a Chief (26) in Tortoise (from the all Tortoise sale) 53/52 fan 2CLNA4. Now this knot is very different from the Lotus because of the greater free loft, the hair in this brush is Springier, again there's good density and backbone but the tips are sightly stiff, you can feel a few when you swirl in certain ways similar to a Simpson Manchurian though there is more of the stiff tip feel with the Simpson.

When I look for a Paladin that I desire I always inquire on the note code which has lead me to pick up 4 others with the 2CLNL2 knot. Recently I picked up a PK47 (26) in Summerset, 51/48 bulb 2CLND3. Very similar to the Lotus yet does not feel quite as dense.

In the May 25 offering I pick up a Ebony El Dorado (26) 53/48 bulb 2CSLD4 and have now used it 3 times. With the little knowledge that I possess in my humble opinion all I can say about this knot is WOW, double WOW. The density is excellent, the backbone is strong (for me outstanding) the tips soft I do not feel any stiffness and I'm sure over the next few weeks the tips will continue to soften. Now what I want is a Chief 26 fan with the same knot and a Chief fan with the 2CSLE4 knot. Even though you have to understand the differences in knots being offered the Paladin finished handle are superb, the engraving that finishes off Paladin brushes is next to none, it is the leader that all other brush-makers and that includes Simpson should aspire to.  

P.S. I have just picked up a Strawberry Lotus (26) bulb with the 2CLNL2 knot which I want to compare the differences (if there is any) between the Fan and Bulb (though I am becoming a big fan of the Hybrid head), and will add it to this Thread.

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 06-01-2017, 09:20 AM
#2
  • bijou
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This morning I again used the El Dorado with the new knot 2CSLD4 lathering, listening to music and day dreaming. I then started to pay attention to the feel and fullness of the knot (this knot gives a full badger lathering) without sacrificing agility, softness and flow through is lovely, yet delivering strong backbone is quite unique 

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 06-01-2017, 10:31 AM
#3
  • doc47
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I too shaved with the same brush for the second time and want to reinforce your observations. This brush grabs soap from the puck like a thief and whips up an amazing lather very quickly. The brush has medium body (backbone) and very soft tips that distribute lather to the face very easily. It is a brush that works equally well for face or bowl lathering.
[Image: h3xsMZf.jpg]

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 06-01-2017, 11:01 AM
#4
  • bijou
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Dan that is a beautiful brush

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 06-01-2017, 05:22 PM
#5
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Paladins are pretty awesome brushes, I hope to add a 24mm later, I can't see myself buying another badger brush that's not a Paladin.

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 06-10-2017, 03:48 PM
#6
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(05-31-2017, 01:53 PM)bijou Wrote: ...Even though you have to understand the differences in knots being offered the Paladin finished handle are superb, the engraving that finishes off Paladin brushes is next to none, it is the leader that all other brush-makers and that includes Simpson should aspire to...  


This is a lovely thread I've been hoping was still active.  I don't know that I can agree with this idea quoted.  Superior Shave has an interesting write up about the odd, rabid appeal of Simpson's brushes I find interesting.  In part, despite being a high volume handmade brush, it's hand tied and hand turned and hand-built in house and as such questions should they all be perfect or identical?  That is the appeal of Simpson's.  Which sticker will your brush come with, as silly as it is?!

It reminded me of a social phenomena it seems peculiar to the US that I personally don't find interesting or attractive.  If you pay attention to the smile of anyone under 30 in this country there is a sameness to them.  The smile is perfect, the teeth are all straight from years and thousands of dollars of braces and routine whitening treatments.  There's a robotic Stepford Wives quality to it that betrays individuality.  I find the wholesome look with an over bite or a crowded bottom row much more interesting appearance wise and as an individual.  And I don't mind knowing if a person drinks coffee from their smile either.  It's called reality.

So the point I guess is the market says there's obviously space for both products.  I think artisans are wise to turn out perfection if they expect top dollar on limited runs.  Simpson already owns the 'handmade space'.  Just take a look at the brush specs on Superior's website if you want to see individuality, no two are the same!  If one is looking for perfect, or as close as it comes then fortunately we have options.   

Another way to look at it is what would happen to Paladin if Simpson did turned out perfect artisan shaving tools in high volume?   Would the market stand for looser QC from Paladin to capture 'handmade' space?  I don't think it would.

Don't get me wrong. I pay attention to Paladin, they too are Beaver State folk and I will have to have one some day.  But I'm waiting for a 24mm or smaller 2 band fan in a Moe handle, and I am pretty sure I'll be waiting a long time.  Markets...

Thanks for the thread, it's interesting.

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 06-10-2017, 05:13 PM
#7
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(06-10-2017, 03:48 PM)old school Wrote: Superior Shave has an interesting write up about the odd, rabid appeal of Simpson's brushes I find interesting.  In part, despite being a high volume handmade brush, it's hand tied and hand turned and hand-built in house and as such questions should they all be perfect or identical?  That is the appeal of Simpson's.  Which sticker will your brush come with, as silly as it is?!

It reminded me of a social phenomena it seems peculiar to the US that I personally don't find interesting or attractive.  If you pay attention to the smile of anyone under 30 in this country there is a sameness to them. The smile is perfect, the teeth are all straight from years and thousands of dollars of braces and routine whitening treatments.  There's a robotic Stepford Wives quality to it that betrays individuality.  I find the wholesome look with an over bite or a crowded bottom row much more interesting appearance wise and as an individual.  And I don't mind knowing if a person drinks coffee from their smile either.  It's called reality.

Simpson already owns the 'handmade space'.  Just take a look at the brush specs on Superior's website if you want to see individuality, no two are the same!  If one is looking for perfect, or as close as it comes then fortunately we have options.   

Another way to look at it is what would happen to Paladin if Simpson did turned out perfect artisan shaving tools in high volume?   Would the market stand for looser QC from Paladin to capture 'handmade' space?  I don't think it would.

First, I'm not under 30. I've had several teeth knocked out and replaced one way or another, but no expensive orthodontics for the sake of a nice smile. And if you ever walk the streets where I grew up in north-central Kansas, you won't likely see much of the Stepford sameness you describe. 

I've never visited the factory where Simpson handles are produced, but I'd be very surprised to find them being turned by hand at manual lathes as they were in Somerset during the family-era. I'd bet with high confidence they're turned on one or more CNC lathes that are substantially larger and more automated than ours (which are 30-year-old, early CNC bench-top lathes that require manual tool-changes and a significant amount of coding by hand on the fly). 

I do recall the Superior Shave write-up and photos -- used to study them avidly. But I haven't seen anything like that kind of variance among Simpson handles of a given shape and size in examples produced over the past several years. Certainly none of mine display it.

Don't get me wrong. I have great reverence and respect for Simpson. And as you say, it is far and away the dominant player in the space. Given that, I don't think Simpson needs the benefit of false narratives that somehow elevate the hand-madeness of its brushes as compared to those produced by smaller makers. 

For what it's worth, none of the three of us ever has or ever will claim to have made a perfect brush. We do, however, put everything we have into every brush we make. That effort isn't motivated by a purpose to make brushes that are devoid of individuality. Otherwise we'd use mass-finishing in barrels as I understand Simpson does rather than polish each handle by hand as we do. We could certainly produce more handles that way. 

Now I'm going to go put on my flak jacket.

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 06-10-2017, 05:43 PM
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(06-10-2017, 05:13 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(06-10-2017, 03:48 PM)old school Wrote: Superior Shave has an interesting write up about the odd, rabid appeal of Simpson's brushes I find interesting.  In part, despite being a high volume handmade brush, it's hand tied and hand turned and hand-built in house and as such questions should they all be perfect or identical?  That is the appeal of Simpson's.  Which sticker will your brush come with, as silly as it is?!

It reminded me of a social phenomena it seems peculiar to the US that I personally don't find interesting or attractive.  If you pay attention to the smile of anyone under 30 in this country there is a sameness to them. The smile is perfect, the teeth are all straight from years and thousands of dollars of braces and routine whitening treatments.  There's a robotic Stepford Wives quality to it that betrays individuality.  I find the wholesome look with an over bite or a crowded bottom row much more interesting appearance wise and as an individual.  And I don't mind knowing if a person drinks coffee from their smile either.  It's called reality.

Simpson already owns the 'handmade space'.  Just take a look at the brush specs on Superior's website if you want to see individuality, no two are the same!  If one is looking for perfect, or as close as it comes then fortunately we have options.   

Another way to look at it is what would happen to Paladin if Simpson did turned out perfect artisan shaving tools in high volume?   Would the market stand for looser QC from Paladin to capture 'handmade' space?  I don't think it would.

First, I'm not under 30. I've had several teeth knocked out and replaced one way or another, but no expensive orthodontics for the sake of a nice smile. And if you ever walk the streets where I grew up in north-central Kansas, you won't likely see much of the Stepford sameness you describe. 

I've never visited the factory where Simpson handles are produced, but I'd very surprised to find them being turned by hand at lathes as they were in Somerset during the family-era. I'd bet with high confidence they're turned on one or more CNC lathes that are substantially larger and more automated than ours (which are 30-year-old, early CNC bench-top lathes that require manual tool-changes and a significant amount of coding by hand on the fly). 

I do recall the Superior Shave write-up and photos - used to study them avidly. But I haven't seen anything like that kind of variance among handles of a shape and size in examples produced over the past several years. Certainly none of mine display it.

Don't get me wrong. I have great reverence and respect for Simpson. And as you say, it is far and way the dominant player in the space. Given that, I don't think Simpson needs the benefit of false narratives that somehow elevate the hand-madeness of its brushes as compared to those produced by smaller makers. 

For what it's worth, none of the three of us ever has or ever will claim to have made a perfect brush. We do, however, put everything we have into every brush we make. That effort isn't motivated by a purpose to make brushes that are devoid of individuality. Otherwise we'd use mass-finishing in barrels as I understand Simpson does rather than polish each handle by hand as we do. We could certainly produce more handles that way. 

Now I'm going to go put on my flak jacket.

Pancarta Icon_popcorn

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 06-10-2017, 07:50 PM
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god bless flouride.  had no choice and only regular cleanings and a couple cavities. love both brushes in fact most all brushes. used my thader beehive with a new charcoal razor and marvel at all

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 06-11-2017, 03:07 PM
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(06-10-2017, 07:50 PM)daveinsweethome Wrote: god bless flouride.  had no choice and only regular cleanings and a couple cavities. love both brushes in fact most all brushes. 

The prevailing belief in my hometown in the 60s was that fluoridation was the product of a subversive Communist plot.

BTW, how many brush-makers have stopped by to visit you in Sweet Home?

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 06-11-2017, 10:21 PM
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(06-11-2017, 03:07 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(06-10-2017, 07:50 PM)daveinsweethome Wrote: god bless flouride.  had no choice and only regular cleanings and a couple cavities. love both brushes in fact most all brushes. 

The prevailing belief in my hometown in the 60s was that fluoridation was the product of a subversive Communist plot.

BTW, how many brush-makers have stopped by to visit you in Sweet Home?

I was in indiana as a kid hunting Russkies. I did drive by charcoal goods once.  Need to meet Cody one day soon. We visit corvallis frequently.  Best college baseball team in country.

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 06-12-2017, 12:46 PM
#12
  • bijou
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I started this thread because I like Paladin brushes and I felt a discussion was needed for the knots that Paladin offers in it's handles. I did not expect that shaving brushes would lead to a discussion in a false critique/stereotyping of American society using the imagery of the advertising world that's only purpose is to sell more goods and services, or the fantasies that are created for T.V. by Hollywood that sells entertainment and products. I will expand on this off topic for a moment. Reality is very much different then fantasy. Nationally, nearly 38 percent of adults are obese. Nearly 8 percent are extremely obese. Obesity rates exceeded 35 percent in four states and 30 percent in 25 states, and most people have issues with their teeth like most people in the world.

Over the last 5-8 years there has emerged a number of elite brush makers/Artisans (as well as those that make soap, razors, splashes and balms) that have created in one way or another brushes of distinct quality which includes the established brush makers that have made their living for serving the shaving world for decades. 

What I have found is the new Artisans have raised the bar for quality and shaving pleasure. I chose to discuss Paladin as I have chosen in other threads to write about other brush-makers and knots that i am enamored with, because I believe that Paladin has risen the bar on quality with their handles and now with the introduction of these new knots (including the knots that has established their brand). These new knots has taken Paladin again to another level that can not be ignored (not that anyone has ignored Paladin), but should be discussed.

There are a number of brush-makers that truly offer magnificent brushes with their own personalities through their craftsmanship and knot selection or the customers supplying the knots. But where Rooney and Simpson were once the standard bearers of evolving excellence (Rooney has some what faded) I feel Paladin has taken it's place in that stratosphere. Just my opinion, so please people voice yours.

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 06-12-2017, 01:27 PM
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Shavemac D01, for the win....

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 06-12-2017, 01:38 PM
#14
  • pc4406
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Bijou, well said and I agree completely. In both handles produced and knots sourced, Paladin exhibits an attention to detail and product quality to which other brush makers need aspire. I also appreciate the insight and information that Paladin has shared with us about the entire brush making process. Free loft and knot codes and descriptions help me understand what brushes I like and why I like them.

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 06-13-2017, 11:55 AM
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(06-10-2017, 05:13 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Now I'm going to go put on my flak jacket.

None needed, appreciate the comments.  I'm not a hater, check the release pics, read the tips on how to get in the scramble and pick one up, studied the website, etc.  Love to have one when it's built, if I can get to it in time!

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 06-13-2017, 12:19 PM
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(06-13-2017, 11:55 AM)old school Wrote:
(06-10-2017, 05:13 PM)Paladin Shaving Wrote: Now I'm going to go put on my flak jacket.

None needed, appreciate the comments.  I'm not a hater, check the release pics, read the tips on how to get in the scramble and pick one up, studied the website, etc.  Love to have one when it's built, if I can get to it in time!

Appreciate the gracious reply. 

FWIW, I really wasn't expecting flak from you. 

Many of these conversations would much better be had in bars, face-to-face, with all of the added context and nuance, along with beer ... or whiskey. But preferably a bar where side-arms aren't allowed. Which probably rules out KS.

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 06-18-2017, 06:35 AM
#17
  • bijou
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To continue on about Paladin's knots, I began this thread discussing 3 knots/brushes that I had been using starting back to last summer. As I stated in the beginning of this thread I was blown away by the new knot 2CSLD4 which I received, in an Ebony El Dorado handle (26). Because of it's strong backbone, wonderful density and very soft tips which gives it a very full badger lathering, this knot is truly impressive.

Last week I purchased another El Dorado 26 in Cobalt with the 2CSLE4 knot and have now used it a few times side by side with the LD4. These are my thoughts on the LE4, strong backbone the same as the LD4, the density is the same as the LD4, the tip feel though is different you can gently feel a few hair tips when swirling, I will say a gentler tip feel then the NA4 which I like and is in my brush rotation. As with most brushes the tip feel of this knot may soften when used a dozen or so times. So my opinion on these 2 wonderful additions to Paladin are both knots have strong backbone and good density, one knot has soft tips while the other offers a gentle feel of the tips. This is only my opinion.

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 06-18-2017, 09:55 AM
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I wouldn't expect there to be any significant difference on the whole between SLD4s and SLD5s. They were made from the same batch of hair. We just got 40 of the 26mm SLD4s in April as an emergency order in advance of the Es because we'd run out of 26s. There will always be some variance within batches (and orders) as well as between them. One knot never really speaks for all, no matter what the batch, or grade, or brand. That said, I think the consistency among SLD4s and SLD4s is about as high as we've seen in terms of both hair characteristics and conformation. Just the same, mileage will inevitably vary.

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 06-19-2017, 08:44 PM
#19
  • doc47
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Tribbles? No, Paladins! Wink 
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 06-29-2017, 01:36 PM
#20
  • bijou
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This is an update to my original post,

I  have now used the LE4 knot a half dozen times and that slight tip feel that I initially was experiencing (which did not bother me, I happened to have liked it) is now gone as the tips have softened up. So my conclusion is that I am delighted with these new knots being offered by Paladin that have strong backbone and soft tips because they offer variety not only to Paladins brush line but to my brush rotation. 

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