10-16-2017, 07:14 AM
#1
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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Gentlemen,

Matt posted a thread on the soap forum about things slowing down and another post mentioned most brush and razor posts concern high end products. One way to see more posts is to make more posts, so let's stir the pot a little.

Like most of you I suspect, I have a lot of brushes, Simpsons, M&F, Rooney, customs (but no Paladin yet) in many grades of hair. I won't mention names, but I've found that many of the beauty queens just don't make lather as well as a regular old Simpson's Best Badger or Super Badger. Here's the background for this statement.

I test Japanese razor hones. Quite a few of them, and on many types of straight razors, heavy grind, full hollow, all types of steel French, Japanese, Spanish, German and so on. I have concluded that a proper test of the edges requires that I keep the soap and brush fairly constant, the lather makes a difference in how the edge feels and performs as far a closeness and residual stubble is concerned. Over time, without actually thinking about it, I've gravitated to just a few soaps and brushes. ABC soap and cream and Valobra tallow are three that are usually at the plate for an edge test. The brushes I use with them are usually a Simpsons 57, a Duke 3, and a Tulip 2 or a PJ3 Super Badger I got from a member here (thanks @Obie).

When I read reviews of brushes, often the appearance, uniformity, whiteness of tips, and the beauty of the handle is mentioned but how many comments do you see about the quality of the lather it makes? A rare example is the super dense Simpsons Chubby and people do mention that it hogs lather, but that's about the only example you'll find.

So this is my observation, what do you think?

Cheers, Steve

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 10-16-2017, 07:24 AM
#2
  • jar
  • Active Member
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I too like the old dependables and how they are lather making machines but the ones I use as my standard are Peerless, EverReady, Made Rite and Rubberset.

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 10-16-2017, 10:09 AM
#3
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The brush is to me a sensorial factor. I can adjust the lathering process and quantity of ingredientes (water and soap/cream) to get a lather that I like. 
If I am looking for consistency I choose one soap and one particular brush. Sometimes synthetic, but mostly an artisan made badger brush.

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 10-16-2017, 10:43 AM
#4
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(10-16-2017, 07:14 AM)Steve56 Wrote: Like most of you I suspect, I have a lot of brushes, Simpsons, M&F, Rooney, customs (but no Paladin yet) in many grades of hair.

If that is the state of “most of us,” yr obdnt srvnt defines the “rare few.”   Wink

(10-16-2017, 07:14 AM)Steve56 Wrote: When I read reviews of brushes, often the appearance, uniformity, whiteness of tips, and the beauty of the handle is mentioned but how many comments do you see about the quality of the lather it makes? A rare example is the super dense Simpsons Chubby and people do mention that it hogs lather, but that's about the only example you'll find.

Although I have used a brush daily for shaving, my history of five or six brushes over the past half-century suggest that I purchase a new one about once a decade.  As you may appreciate, that means that I consider my purchases very deliberately, and proceed with caution.  So, although I am useless as a comparer of my brushes to a Paladin or a Chubby, for the brushes that I do own and (heavily) use, I have a very large sample size for my audition of each. 

On the basis, then, of my not-extensive exposure to different brushes, combined with my very intensive experience with a few brushes, I can say that my most recent purchase, a modest and decidedly mid-level (on the price scale) Semogue two-band badger, with a nominally 24 mm knot and a cherry wood handle, is everything that I want it to be, and is the best brush that I ever have owned:  it does everything that I expect and hope a shaving brush to do better than any other brush that I ever have used.  I find that I have no desire at all to “upgrade” from the Semogue, and, frankly, from a performance standpoint, I am not certain that any other brush, at any price, would, in fact, be an upgrade.  That the aesthetics of the handle of the Semogue make it the 1984-85 Paulina Porizkova of brush handles is just a bonus.   Tongue

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 10-16-2017, 11:52 AM
#5
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I have not found a relationship between the cost of a brush and it's ability to generate lather.  I enjoy two band brushes in nice handles for subjective reasons unrelated to performance.  A good, inexpensive synthetic or boar brush can generate lather as well as the most expensive badger brush.  There is a place in this hobby for brushes at all price ranges.

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 10-16-2017, 12:47 PM
#6
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This lather was produced by a entry level $30 brush. I can’t say I make any better lather with my more expensive brushes. I honestly feel like some of the hype stuff is collected rather than appreciated and used. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone has a drawer full of unused Simpson LE or Morris brushes as you see folks with rare Nike collections etc. When it comes down to performance a good boar , two band , synthetic will all get the job done because we are really performing a simple task. Knot construction that allows the lather to flow through the brush and apply the lather , proper loft for the brush not to behave undesireably during this process and last a comfortable bristle so the process isn’t irritable.

[Image: gcFLxhH.jpg]

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 10-16-2017, 03:07 PM
#7
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(10-16-2017, 11:52 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: I have not found a relationship between the cost of a brush and it's ability to generate lather.  I enjoy two band brushes in nice handles for subjective reasons unrelated to performance.  A good, inexpensive synthetic or boar brush can generate lather as well as the most expensive badger brush.  There is a place in this hobby for brushes at all price ranges.

Signs011

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 10-16-2017, 05:07 PM
#8
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I’d look towards grade of badger hair, density, and the setting of the knot vs. price in terms of overall lather-making ability. Since I face-lather exclusively, face-feel is an obligatory part of the equation - as are the handle ergonomics.

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 10-16-2017, 08:16 PM
#9
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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(10-16-2017, 05:07 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: Since I face-lather exclusively, face-feel is an obligatory part of the equation - as are the handle ergonomics.

Exactly.

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 10-17-2017, 01:08 AM
#10
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(10-16-2017, 05:07 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: I’d look towards grade of badger hair, density, and the setting of the knot vs. price in terms of overall lather-making ability. Since I face-lather exclusively, face-feel is an obligatory part of the equation - as are the handle ergonomics.

(10-16-2017, 08:16 PM)chazt Wrote:
(10-16-2017, 05:07 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: Since I face-lather exclusively, face-feel is an obligatory part of the equation - as are the handle ergonomics.

Exactly.

Why pain the hand or wrist with a handle that doesn't suit your own hand? I agree, great when I can move the brush's handle without ache. Ergonomics of what is below the diameter/opening is unique to the way each person holds or may hold a brush while lathering. I have ones that slip out of my hand occasionally but that is so infrequent. 

ultra nova's comment on the actual lather generated from a knot is important. The face should be applied to a coat in properly aerated/hydrated lather before cutting your beard. You need not worry about the type of hair was used in the knot if you still can improve the texture of the lather to further protect the skin. 

Earlier today I shaved with my old Plisson synthetic fiber (2 or 3yrs ago it was a version 1 and $60) and enjoyed it because every time it's used, it consistently lathers. There is not one shave that the lather failed me and led to an unfavorable post because the lather sucked from this knot. Later tonight, I unboxed an expensive custom brush that was my second most expensive purchase on a brush. I bring it up because at the end of the day, the shave just needs to be as consistent as possible, but not necessarily the most "luxurious" as possible (at all times).

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 10-17-2017, 05:11 PM
#11
  • pbrmhl
  • Senior Member
  • Seattle
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I find my $8 Omega S-Brush can generate lather as well as, or better than, my Simpson Chubby 2 in Best. (Full disclosure: I lather in a scuttle, not on my face.)

P.S. I have no problem spending $200 or more on a razor, but find it hard these days to spend more than $50 on a brush. Of course, with my trusty scuttle, I find synthetics to work best—and it’s hard to spend much more than $50 on a synthetic brush...

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 10-17-2017, 07:31 PM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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I believe I can make a good lather with any kind of brush. What bothers me about the less expensive brushes is face feel. Pure badger and some best knots are frequently too scritchy for my liking. Boar brushes feel as though I'm using a string mop on my face. Just on face feel alone, my preference is for soft and plush. Those brushes tend to be more, rather than less costly.

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 10-18-2017, 12:14 AM
#13
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It all comes down to the 'experience'. Lather will be lather, it's not solely attributed to brushes. Better soap, longer loading time, right amount of water etc, will provide better or worse lather.

Going back to my opening statement, sitting down at KFC will fill you up, or you could sit down at a michelin star, it will still fill you up. The latter may bring a better experience and you pay for it. It all comes down to that. Unfortunately if you pick a high end brush/restaurant that is not as described, you pay for a bad experience.

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