08-12-2017, 03:35 PM
#1
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Objective is to expand a noobies horizons into 2 band knots.  Having a few handles for donors I'm interested in knots only.

Reading and study yielded Elite Manchurian White , Envy White Finest or Romera Manchurian Finest as a range of well regarded knots.  

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My only concern with this selection is Romera's inconstant availability and fractions of a year long delivery with little if any communication.  Currently none are available.  The other two have stock on hand and are highly praised for service and generally consistence quality.  

I would appreciate any tips, pointers or opinions on the above knots OR any knot source that I should consider.  

Appreciate your time and thoughts.

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 08-12-2017, 04:10 PM
#2
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Romera knots are pretty inconsistent, from the purchases I've made.  Some are excellent, some are poorly sorted and scritchy, and mine have been roughly 50% former, 50% latter.  I've only had one Envy White and I love that particular knot, but most people seem to prefer the Elite Razors knots these days.  ShaveMac is also an excellent source if the budget affords it!

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 08-12-2017, 04:11 PM
#3
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Elite Razor Manchurian White.

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 08-12-2017, 05:33 PM
#4
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There's more options then there were a couple of years ago.

If you are interested in getting something quickly that will be consistent, Elite Manchurian or Envy White. I would even say TGN Finest and Maggard two band. Shipping will be fast from the US. 

If budget is a concern, or even if you're not in a big hurry, Frank Shaving on eBay or Virginia Sheng. Maseto is a good knot as well. Maseto is a little expensive relative to the other direct from China options. I've really been impressed with the Frank Shaving knots I got this year in Finest. In my experience it's anywhere from 10 to 30 days in transit though whenever I have ordered a knot from anyone in China.

At the end of the day each brand or option will differ in appearance and performance. These are kind of subjective whether or not you prefer a certain characteristic over another. 

I think Envy White is the firmest and most different feeling and looking compared to Silvertip.

Maggard seems to be bulb shaped only and is pretty firm as well. Not as starkly white tipped or black banded as the Envy White. Surprisngly dense. 

I would put TGN, Maseto, and Frank Shaving into a similar tier with Maseto as probably the highest quality and most likely to be consistent. Its cost and long shipping time is something that, well isn't a positive to me. They're all likely to be a good balance of firmness and density with a two band appearance. They'll look and feel different than Silvertip or other three banded badger brushes. Softer than Pure badger on your face, but more backbone.

I'd say Elite Manchurian is an excellent combination of medium to moderate backbone with very soft face feel at the tips. The density is great. Stuffed full without being so dense that they hinder flow through of water and lather. Very natural appearance with bright tops and dark burnt brown banding. They seem very meticulously formed and well sorted. 

Shavemac is nice in two band Silvertip. If you've had a Thater two band, it's similar. I prefer more backbone than this though. I really don't want to sound negative, but I wish someone would have stressed to me exactly how soft this kind of knot really is. If you want soft and a little more backbone than Silvertip with practically no scrubby feeling and zero pokiness ever, this is a great knot. Most other two bands or finests feel different. The appearance is absolutely head and shoulders above a lot of other brands. White tipped hairs that have very long and very dark black sections. Well formed shapes. I think their bulbs are very striking in the right handle. Overall these seem to me to be less treated than anything you'd likely get directly from China or from TGN. 

I haven't tried a Shavemac D01 two band. There's plenty of very good descriptions out there. I've never had a Romera either.

Virginia Sheng is hit or miss. Not very consistent. Sizes and density vary from batch to batch. Knots seem to be shaped nicely from very good quality hair that looks good and not heavily treated. When they're good they're very good. I've gotten more than one shedder though. Also have had and read other's experience receiving a knot much larger than ordered that is strangely shaped at the plug forcing the hairs out like an opened umbrella. This leads to a big brush that has terrible density and floppiness. The price is tempting though. It's a roll of the dice that I have had much more good luck than bad with. 

WSP sells knots but I haven't seen any recent chatter about them. A few years back they were highly praised.

I've bought many knots in the past two years and the one thing I believe is consistent is that each and every knot is unique. That's been my experience whether buying the same brand and type of loose knot or finished brush too.

A lot of the feel comes down to loft too. A couple millimeters makes a very big difference in performance.

Good luck!

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 08-12-2017, 05:48 PM
#5
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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(08-12-2017, 05:33 PM)bakerbarber Wrote: Maggard seems to be bulb shaped only and is pretty firm as well. Not as starkly white tipped or black banded as the Envy White. Surprisngly dense. 
I just bought and mounted a Maggards knot.  I echo this.  Surprisingly dense for sure

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 08-12-2017, 07:10 PM
#6
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Todd, that was a well thought out and written post. Nicely done.

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 08-12-2017, 08:59 PM
#7
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(08-12-2017, 07:10 PM)chazt Wrote: Todd, that was a well thought out and written post. Nicely done.

+1

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 08-13-2017, 01:52 AM
#8
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"I haven't tried a Shavemac D01 two band"

Not yet Biggrin

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 08-13-2017, 07:11 AM
#9
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Haha.

"Yet"- is correct Rudy.   Sisi1



I do have one in the works gents.

Rudy agreed to create a new custom brush for me with a D01 2-Band ordered straight from Shavemac at my specifications. The star though will be this knot is being set in his newest alternative Ivory material. I just couldn't resist after seeing pictures of it here. It's captivating and warm and conservatively extravagant. Understated decadence for the eyes I think.

I'm going with a Grosvenor shaped handle and a 23mm knot. 

A Grosvenor is a great brush as far as size and shape. I've seen it before called a Duke 4 even. The Simfix Grosvenor I have is one of my favorite brushes, but it's not always as scrubby or exfoliating as I enjoy. 

Rudy Vey to save the day! Thank you sir.

Still a couple of weeks out. 
I'll be around with pictures in hand not long after receiving it. Very excited.

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 08-13-2017, 09:08 AM
#10
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Appreciate the thorough replies.  I hadn't considered FS or Maggards.  

Looking forward to your impressions of your D01 2-Band when it arrives.

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 08-14-2017, 06:39 PM
#11
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May I ask another question regarding these 2-Band knots?  What loft do you think works well for these?  2x knot diameter minus a couple mm or since they have more backbone a 2x or 2x plus a mm or 2?  My favorite brushes to date are Pure hair set at 2x minus a couple.  From my reading 2-Band hair is stiffer than Pure...


I realize each face is different, but I too like some scrub in a brush.  Floppy is unacceptable.  Since I have handles I'll bore and set it where I want, but a starting point would be interesting.  

Appreciate your time and thoughts.

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 08-14-2017, 06:41 PM
#12
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(08-14-2017, 06:39 PM)old school Wrote: May I ask another question regarding these 2-Band knots?  What loft do you think works well for these?  2x knot diameter minus a couple mm or since they have more backbone a 2x or 2x plus a mm or 2?  


I realize each face is different, but I too like some scrub in a brush.  Floppy is unacceptable.  Since I have handles I'll bore and set it where I want but a starting point would be interesting.  

Appreciate your time and thoughts.

What size knot are you considering, and will it be a bulb or a fan?

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 08-14-2017, 06:52 PM
#13
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I like smaller brushes, face lathering only.  Elite Razor has a fan in 24mm which I ordered, yay!  Envy Shave has 24mm fan but not in stock at the moment.  

So, 24mm fan it will be.

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 08-14-2017, 07:19 PM
#14
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(08-14-2017, 06:52 PM)old school Wrote: I like smaller brushes, face lathering only.  Elite Razor has a fan in 24mm which I ordered, yay!  Envy Shave has 24mm fan but not in stock at the moment.  

So, 24mm fan it will be.

Excellent choice.  I think you'll be very pleased.  I would set that knot to a loft of 46mm.

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 08-15-2017, 09:45 AM
#15
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(08-14-2017, 07:19 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Excellent choice.  I think you'll be very pleased.  I would set that knot to a loft of 46mm.

Thank you, I'll probably sneak up on 46mm to learn something along the way.

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 08-18-2017, 08:13 AM
#16
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If you want to try another 24mm Fan, see if Rod at Stirling will sell you one of his knots.  I have this brush and it's very nice for the price.  Also, don't be afraid to set the knot a little higher.  2 band hair is stronger/more resilient and will tolerate a higher loft.  I'd go 48-50 which will still face lather just fine and have better lather flow through/release.  Just my 2 cents.

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