06-04-2018, 08:59 PM
#1
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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I have been in communication with a new shaving brush maker from South Africa. Bradley Rautenbach is a very committed artist He strives to make the finest possible brushes. Brad will not sell a brush which does not meet his high standards of excellence. I purchased two brushes from him and they were delivered today. I intend to shave with each brush three times and then review my findings on this thread. The first brush is a model Rhino Handle with a 0318A2 Badger Knot. The knot size is 24 mm with a 48.7 mm bulb knot. The color of the handle is not the white one (I can't remember the color Brad called it).
The second brush is the model Lion. The color of this handle is a pearlized white. This brush has a prototype hand tied Badger Fan knot tied by Brad. The knot carries the designation HTO318A2. This brush has a knot size of 25 mm and a loft of 51 mm. In addition, the knot seems denser than the smaller brush. Here are pictures of the two brushes front and back.
[Image: Q2O81Au.jpg]
[Image: pRxb3GH.jpg]
I will prepare both brushes tonight in the following manner.
1. A half hour soak in Borax and hot water. This soak is designed to remove any natural animal smells from the knot
2. A half hour soak in hot water with a bit of Bigalow Bay Rum Body wash
3 Finally, a five-minute soak in hot water with a bit of my wife's shampoo conditioner.
I will shave three times with the colored smaller brush (Rhino Handle) I will use the same razor and shave cream for all three shaves and then report my findings on this thread. Finally, I will shave three times with the Lion model. Again, I will use the same razor and shave cream for all three shaves. Again I will report my findings, comparisons and conclusions.
Initial Impression.
Machining and finish of both brushes are perfect. Each brush is polished to perfection. It is obvious that Brad is a master craftsman and perfectionist. When he says no brush that is less than perfect will leave his shop based on these 2 brushes he is not making an idle boast.
I have yet to shave with either brush but right out of the box each brush is well balanced and ergonomically well designed. I am really looking forward to my next six shaves. Stay tuned.
I wanted to use the same protocol for the Lion as I did for the Rhino. However, I ran into trouble attempting to do just that. The Lion is a much denser brush and as a result, it needed more soap to load the brush. In addition, the Blackland V2 was a bit too aggressive on the first shave and I wound up with three weepers. I decided to throw out the first shave with the Lion, add a drop of Proroso to the XPEC and use a Blackland VI for the test.
This brush is considerably larger than the Rhino and has a hand-tied Knot by Brad. The knot is still in the developmental stage. More information concerning this particular knot can be obtained from Brad. Construction and craftsmanship, as with the Rhino is excellent. The handle is a bit larger than the Rhino but fits the user's hand well. The brush is well balanced and creates no strain on the user’s hand. The tips of the brush are soft yet there is good backbone although not quite as much as the Rhino had.
Shave one was the bowl lathering technique. I used a small amount of Proroso and a larger amount of XPEC. A nice head of lather appeared in about 15 to 20 seconds. The brush loaded with most of the lather. Brush tips were soft, back bone was a bit stiff, the brush gave up its lather a bit begrudgingly. The shave was excellent, smooth, and clean, with no irritation or cuts or weepers.
Shave Two used the Hybrid Technique. Now the brush began to shine. Flow through was better. The brush held enough lather to do three passes. Tips much softer and just the right backbone. The resulting shave was excellent.
Shave three—Face lathering. The brush continues to improve. The brush did an excellent job of softening my beard exfoliating my face yet the tips were the softest yet of the three shaves.
I believe both brushes after three shaves (four for the Lion) that both brushes are still breaking in. They will probably continue to get better than I am about to rate them.
Rhino Lion
Craftmanship Superb Superb
Ergonomic Superb Superb
Bowl Lather Very Good Good
Hybrid Very Good Very Good
Face Excellent Superb
I am sure both brushes will continue to improve in both categories. Remember the knot in the Lion only MIGHT be available by special request. These knots are still in development and are prototypes only. Talk to Bradley he communicates well and obviously takes pride in his brushes.

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 06-04-2018, 09:04 PM
#2
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Thx for starting the thread.  Been looking for some reviews of his fan knot.  He's been very helpful in the couple of conversations we've had.
Look forward to the reviews!
Jer

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 06-05-2018, 02:02 AM
#3
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Looking forward to your reviews Barry.

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 06-09-2018, 01:37 PM
#4
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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I have completed the first three shaves with The Black Eagle Rhino shaving brush. This brush is a 24 mm brush with a 48.7 mm loft with two band badger hair terminating in a bulb shape. I will report my preliminary findings on this brush now and report my findings on the Lion model after shaving with it three times. I have shaved with the Rhino every other day for 6 days using the same equipment.  I will use the same equipment with the Lion and then compare the two brushes.
Equipment: 
Black Eagle Rhino Brush
Blackland Sabre V2 Razor head mounted on a UFO Kaiser Bronze handle
A new Gem blade for each of the three shaves
Saponificio Varesino Olive wood shaving bowl
Xpec shaving cream
Thayers Witch Hazel
Black Olive aftershave
Toja after Shave cream.
See Photo 1
[Image: fvlLScs.jpg] 
  Procedure:
 Shave One I used a Bowl lathering technique.
Shave 2 I used a hybrid bowel face lathering technique. That is, I worked the lather up half way in the bowl and then finished lathering on my face.
Shave three I face lathered.
Each shave was a three pass shave WTG, XTG, and ATG. 
Observation: The brush handle is a bit small but fits perfectly in my hand. The workmanship on this brush is superb. In addition, the brush is a bit hefty but so well balanced and ergonomically designed so as to create no strain on my hand or fingers throughout all three passes. The brush whipped up a nice lather in the bowl within 15 seconds. After 30 seconds the brush was completely saturated with the soap. See Pics 2 and 3
[Image: mBWY9WJ.jpg][Image: 3Fk0W7B.jpg][Image: BtRSchD.jpg]
The brush has superior flow through and gave up its lather readily. The brush had a bit too much backbone for me as a bowl lather shave. However, the tips were very soft and pleasing. By the end of the shave, I was pleased and looking forward to my next shave.
Shave 2 was as close to a perfect shave as you can get. The backbone of the brush afforded perfect exfoliation and thorough soaking and softening of my beard. The third shave was a perfect 10. I have many expensive brushes and this little brush from S.Africa will give them all a run for the money.
Conclusion: This brush really shines as a face latherer. The brush tips kept becoming softer with each shave as the brush broke in. I am sure when I go back for a fourth shave as a bowl shave I will be very pleased. For me, this brush is probably a keeper (depending on how it does as a bowl latherer. I can recommend this brush unequivocally if you like a smaller brush with a bulb shape and either face or hybrid lather. I am looking forward to shaving with the Lion model and shaving with this brush as it breaks in further.

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 06-09-2018, 01:49 PM
#5
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Barry, that is a thorough and informative review.

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 06-12-2018, 04:41 PM
#6
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thanks mister northern oregonian

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 8 hours ago
#7
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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The review is now complete for both brushes

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 8 hours ago
#8
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Just received my two! They are beauts!!

[Image: 3v4xoGH.jpg]

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