09-02-2012, 04:12 PM
#1
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
First hat-tip to Teiste for sending me this brush to try, I greatly appreciate his generosity in doing so.

Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger - Cherry wood handle:
  • Height 110mm
  • Base 57mm
  • Loft 53mm
  • Knot 24mm
I would therefore classify this as a "large medium" or "small large" shaving brush.

[Image: B2QJi.jpg]

Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger - Cherry wood handle



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Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger - Cherry wood handle, as you can see the knot is very well packed, definitely no shortage of hair in this brush.



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(L to R) Morris & Forndran Style 1 Size 1 - Blonde Badger, Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger, Omega 11047 handle - Finest Badger (from The Golden Nib)



[Image: 5tAsP.jpg]

(L to R) Morris & Forndran Style 1 Size 1 - Blonde Badger, Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger, Omega 11047 handle - Finest Badger (from The Golden Nib).

The Semogue Owners Club is definitely more packed than the other two brushes and I wouldn't say those other brushes are light of hair,
far from it, they are well packed, it's just the Semogue Owners Club has more hair.



While I generally love the look of wooden handles I'm yet to buy one, (rightly or wrongly) there's a little part of me that thinks wooden shaving brush handles aren't the best idea in the world.

That said, the wooden handle is extremely comfortable to use, it sits so nicely in the hand, reminds me somewhat of the Vie-Long Zurito - 13061 handle and the two Dumpy Vase handles I own, all are a real joy to use.

So how soft are the tips of the Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger?

I asked the wife to rate the above 3 shave brushes in order of softness:
  1. Morris & Forndran - Blonde Badger
  2. Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger
  3. Omega 11047 handle - Finest Badger (from The Golden Nib)
Which varies from the order I put them in:
  1. Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger
  2. Morris & Forndran - Blonde Badger
  3. Omega 11047 handle - Finest Badger (from The Golden Nib)
There's definitely not a lot in it, especially between the Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger and the Morris & Forndran - Blonde Badger.

Going from "long-term" memory here, I'd say the softness of the Super Badger Two Band hair used in the New Forest 1901 is more like the Finest Badger hair from The Golden Nib, which isn't a bad thing (IMHO).

Quite simply the 2 band badger hair grades used in the Semogue Owners Club and the Morris & Forndran are of a very! high quality. Whereas the 2 band badger hair grades used in the New Forest and in The Golden Nib knots fall slightly below (not much below, but below nevertheless), that's not to say those knots aren't good, they are, in fact I think they are very! good knots, and would be somewhat surprised if anyone really found them lacking too much in any department...

Ignoring the fabled two band badger hairs that are available in the very! top of the range shaving brushes, I'm inclined to say Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger and Morris & Forndran - Blonde Badger offer top quality knots at the higher end of the price scale ($100 plus, though I believe you can get the Semogue Owners Club for a little less than $100), whereas the New Forest and The Golden Nib 2 bands offer the best options in the $75 and lower price range (IMHO).

For my first use with the Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger I decided to throw Mitchell's Wool Fat shaving soap at it, needless to say the Semogue had no trouble whatsoever in picking up enough soap easily and quickly, then proceeded to build up a thick, slick lather (ample for 3 passes).

I purely face lather, therefore having such a comfortable handle only adds to the overall experience.

The brush has a lot of backbone, therefore isn't best used in circular scrubbing motions (unless of course you like the feel of having to force the brush hairs open on your skin), instead it performs a lot better when painting strokes are adopted (which happens to be my preferred method, as I'm looking to build a slick lather, rather than a lather with great volume). The soft tips make it a joy to use when applying the lather via painting strokes, plus the hair density and backbone ensures the lather stays toward the tips of the brush, which in turns means the brush releases the lather without any problem.

I plan to use the Semogue another five times before returning it to Teiste, this will allow me half a dozen uses to further confirm my opinions, thoughts on this shaving brush. After each use I will briefly update this thread accordingly.

Finally! customary post-bloom photos...

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Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger - Cherry wood handle (post bloom)



[Image: Qm1pC.jpg]

Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger - Cherry wood handle (post bloom)

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 09-02-2012, 04:20 PM
#2
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
Wonderful review of a truly wonderful brush, on deck tomorrow for me in fact. Definitely no regrets in purchasing this brush, quite a steal at it's price! I found it took a few lathers to break in the hairs though, in fact my first shave with it resulted in brush burn, but it has only gotten much much softer since.

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 09-02-2012, 05:20 PM
#3
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Thank you Mike for your time and effort in this review. It will definitely be helping me to save some money! Biggrin

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 09-02-2012, 05:45 PM
#4
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Excellent comparison and contrast between the brushes!

Good review!

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 09-02-2012, 06:42 PM
#5
  • MickToley
  • Hi, I'm Mike and I'm a shave soap addict
  • Brooklyn, NY
User Info
Nice review. I have a question, is it me or does my SOC 2-band look like a three band? It's not a good pic, it was taken from my phone, sorry.

[attachment=5766]

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 09-02-2012, 08:33 PM
#6
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Mike, great and thorough review. Enjoy the brush.

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 09-02-2012, 08:52 PM
#7
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(09-02-2012, 06:42 PM)MickToley Wrote: Nice review. I have a question, is it me or does my SOC 2-band look like a three band? It's not a good pic, it was taken from my phone, sorry.

2 band hair comes from the hog badger. The hairs are longer than the meles meles hair. Thus, the black band is longer. It's called 2 band because if you set the loft short enough, you get 2 bands instead of three.

Nothing wrong with your brush. It just means the hairs used in that particular brush aren't as long. It also means it's technically lower quality hair.

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 09-02-2012, 09:16 PM
#8
  • MickToley
  • Hi, I'm Mike and I'm a shave soap addict
  • Brooklyn, NY
User Info
(09-02-2012, 08:52 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: 2 band hair comes from the hog badger. The hairs are longer than the meles meles hair. Thus, the black band is longer. It's called 2 band because if you set the loft short enough, you get 2 bands instead of three.

Nothing wrong with your brush. It just means the hairs used in that particular brush aren't as long. It also means it's technically lower quality hair.

I have two more 2-bands and the tips seem to be a lot softer. The SOC that I have just looked like it was silvertip to me.

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 09-02-2012, 10:53 PM
#9
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
User Info
Nice review,Mike!
Looking forward to read more of your impressions about the brush.
Thanks a lot for taking the time and effort,my friend : hope this could be a guide for other wet shavers looking for a quality 2 band badger hair brush.

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 09-03-2012, 01:31 AM
#10
  • steve g
  • Member
  • Northern California
User Info
(09-02-2012, 06:42 PM)MickToley Wrote: Nice review. I have a question, is it me or does my SOC 2-band look like a three band? It's not a good pic, it was taken from my phone, sorry.

Looks like Three band knot to me. How does it feel?

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 09-03-2012, 01:54 AM
#11
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(09-03-2012, 01:31 AM)steve g Wrote:
(09-02-2012, 06:42 PM)MickToley Wrote: Nice review. I have a question, is it me or does my SOC 2-band look like a three band? It's not a good pic, it was taken from my phone, sorry.

Looks like Three band knot to me. How does it feel?

Don't know how it feels. But it sure looks lovely! Cool

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 09-03-2012, 03:27 AM
#12
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
I've owned a lot of brushes and this is the best brush I've ever used. Thanks Teiste for enabling me and Mike on this brush!!

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 09-03-2012, 04:16 AM
#13
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Nice review Mike.

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 09-03-2012, 04:58 AM
#14
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(09-03-2012, 03:27 AM)Dave Wrote: I've owned a lot of brushes and this is the best brush I've ever used. Thanks Teiste for enabling me and Mike on this brush!!

Wow, Dave. This is a huge statement considering how much I know you like your Colonel X2L. Maybe that's why it broke your rotation today. :biggin:

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 09-03-2012, 05:20 AM
#15
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
User Info
I'm a big fan of the Semogue SOC 2 Band brush - I have the same one in Cherry - and for a Badger under $100, it's very hard to beat.

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 09-03-2012, 08:40 AM
#16
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
(09-02-2012, 04:12 PM)mikeperry Wrote: For my first use with the Semogue Owners Club - 2 Band Badger I decided to throw Mitchell's Wool Fat shaving soap at it, needless to say the Semogue had no trouble whatsoever in picking up enough soap easily and quickly, then proceeded to build up a thick, slick lather (ample for 3 passes).

I purely face lather, therefore having such a comfortable handle only adds to the overall experience.

The brush has a lot of backbone, therefore isn't best used in circular scrubbing motions (unless of course you like the feel of having to force the brush hairs open on your skin), instead it performs a lot better when painting strokes are adopted (which happens to be my preferred method, as I'm looking to build a slick lather, rather than a lather with great volume). The soft tips make it a joy to use when applying the lather via painting strokes, plus the hair density and backbone ensures the lather stays toward the tips of the brush, which in turns means the brush releases the lather without any problem.

This morning for the Semogue's second use I went with Mike’s Natural Soaps - Rose & Cedarwood, as with its first use the Semogue had no problem whatsoever in easily and quickly picking up enough soap, then effortless built up a slick lather via painting strokes.

The tips of the hairs are lovely and soft on the skin, but you're also aware there's plenty of backbone and hair density behind those soft tips, what do I mean by that? As hinted at previously the Semogue keeps nearly all the lather (soap) in the top half of the loft, which is what I prefer for the method (painting strokes) I use to apply lather. I'm sure if you use circular scrubbing motions instead you could force the lather (soap) further down into the loft, I just think it would take a fair amount of work to do so with this brush...

I had a stupid realisation this morning, I'd never really thought of Semogue as a badger hair shaving brush maker, in my mind I had always automatically associated Semogue with (top quality) boar hair shaving brushes, and because I can't use boar hair (due to a mild allergic reaction) I tend to pretty much ignore anything to do with them. I've been reminded of an important lesson here, I need to keep my eyes and ears more open to stuff that doesn't necessarily appeal to me, as I might end up actually learning something important and valuable...

Edit: Added link.

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 09-05-2012, 08:25 AM
#17
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
(09-03-2012, 08:40 AM)mikeperry Wrote: This morning for the Semogue's second use I went with Mike’s Natural Soaps - Rose & Cedarwood, as with its first use the Semogue had no problem whatsoever in easily and quickly picking up enough soap, then effortless built up a slick lather via painting strokes...

For yesterday evening's third use of the Semogue I decide to give Portman Square - Gin & Tonic English Style Cream a try for the first time, which might not have been the best idea (one further use of that cream will determine that one way or the other)... no surprise the Semogue had zero problem whatsoever picking up enough shaving cream easily and quickly.

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 09-05-2012, 08:32 AM
#18
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
User Info
Mike,it seems you are enjoying the brush a lot.Im glad that youre liking it.

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 09-05-2012, 08:55 AM
#19
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
Mike fantastic review. I'm enjoying reading and learning right along with you.

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 09-07-2012, 11:37 AM
#20
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
(09-05-2012, 08:25 AM)mikeperry Wrote: For yesterday evening's third use of the Semogue I decide to give Portman Square - Gin & Tonic English Style Cream a try for the first time, which might not have been the best idea (one further use of that cream will determine that one way or the other)... no surprise the Semogue had zero problem whatsoever picking up enough shaving cream easily and quickly.

Yesterday morning I decided to throw another new (to me) shaving soap, Prairie Creations Tallow & Lanolin Shaving Soap - Green Irish Tweed, at the Semogue. Yet again this brush had no problem whatsoever at easily and quickly picking up enough soap, then marching on effortless to whip up a very! nice slick lather (from this quality shaving soap).

As I was enjoying this shave so much, unlike the previous one with the Portman Square - Gin & Tonic English Style Cream, I decided on experimenting a little on the second and third passes and went with using the Semogue via circular scrubbing motions. While this worked to an extent, I did find myself on those couple of lather passes reverting back to painting strokes to achieve the lather (slickness and buildup) I prefer.

When using the circular scrubbing motions I can't say I found the Semogue to be "scritchy" or "scratchy" in the slightest, what I experienced instead was a firm, but soft feeling on my skin.

I'll be going back purely to using painting strokes for the final couple of uses of the Semogue (before returning to Teiste), for me that is the lather buildup and application method where this shaving brush excels..

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