10-13-2018, 01:46 PM
#1
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Lots of terrific brushes on the market; from established and newcomer manufacturers alike. Now, we all have our favorites, boar, badger, synthetic and the purpose of this thread is not to pick a winner, but really examine what you, the readers of this thread want in your brush? I am looking for details. Is it just aesthetics? Face feel? Ease of loading? Handle ergonomics? Tell us. 
I'll begin.

The look of the hair is less important to me than the feel. I want a brush that can pick up a lot of soap and deliver it onto my skin without "wimping out", i.e. decent resilience of the bristles. They can be Boar or Badger.

Handle: It has to comfortably fit my hand. Not too big, not too small. Aesthetics are important to me in this category. I am not a fan of gauche. I love the traditional materials and colors.

Labels are also important to me. There are some over-the-top labeling that turns me off. No names mentioned, you know who they are.

The manufacturer is also important to me as well as their business practice. Do they stand behind their products? Do they offer a few brushes that one must jump on or else lose out? All important to me.

This thread could be very useful to our vendors as well as our new members. I hope you will participate.  After all, there are NO right or wrong answers.

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 10-13-2018, 02:53 PM
#2
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I'm a Badger Man. Love a soft as an Angels kiss brush, with good backbone. Handle shape IS very important along with material.
I only have one wooden handle, I feel wood might not hold up over time, I'm really digging the "Artisan" makers. So far, every brush from 
these makers have been great. All my "Artisan" brushes have been great latherers/performers.

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 10-13-2018, 03:20 PM
#3
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I have brushes with long handles that I use when I lather-up using my shaving mugs (which are tall); Simpson pj3 silvertip, Kent bk8, RazorRock synthetics. These brushes average around 110mm in total height.

When I use soft soaps out of their own containers, I lather-up with the likes of; Simpson Chubby2 (best), ShaveMac #177, Semogue 830....you get the point. These brushes have their own unique feel, but their function as a tool for the soap I'm using is what serves their purpose. Pretty brushes like Paladin in 2 band, I use because they make me feel good, not because they do anything special apart from my other brushes.

Like most shavers, I love my brushes, and I take my time adding to my humble but functional collection.

I realize this is not quite the direction of discussion you were looking for, but it does add another spin on brushes.

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 10-13-2018, 03:31 PM
#4
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I get joy from both my synthetics and my badger.  I also like a brush that can make a ton of lather.  Looks are also very important to me as well as the company that makes the brush.  What I don't like (and the same goes for razors) is brushes that are so hard to get you have to get up at 2am and hope you get one.  I'm just not into that.  I like manufacturers that make enough to provide easy access to customers who want one.  I like a short thick handle (love the handle on the Simpson Chubby 2).  I'm also good with traditional colors.  Labels are cool, but like the OP, I don't want them to be "over-the-top".  I bowl lather, but face feel is important.  I want soft bristles (my Chubby 2 is not there yet, but it is also not broken in).

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 10-13-2018, 03:52 PM
#5
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I started wet shaving in 1962 and for nearly 50 years used whichever brush was available in my local pharmacy, which was often a synthetic. In the past 5+ years, I've enjoyed a wide variety of brushes. Much of the time I've preferred a large knot, at least 28mm, with a modest amount of backbone, and have often ordered a Shavemac 2-Band Silvertip which I fitted into a custom handle from different brush makers. I have very large hands and usually prefer large handles. I never cared for boar knots until I decided to try TSN's Thäter Premium Boar, which I enjoyed using more than I could have guessed, and I now own a half dozen different boar brushes and am exploring the differences between them. I'm now using a boar brush about 2/3 of the time. I also have a half dozen synthetic knots in custom handles. Each type of brush has certain characteristics that I like, and I have a variety of handles that I enjoy in terms of appearance and comfort in my hand. I enjoy putting together the different characteristics of a particular type of knot (synthetic, badger, boar) of a particular loft and size, with different characteristics of a variety of handles. I guess I like variety, in my brushes as well as in my razors and soaps, strops, and stones.

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 10-13-2018, 04:40 PM
#6
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I really like all three types.   Sorry but I don't put horse in there.  I've heard how floppy it is so I haven't bothered to try it.  But I have 12 brushes that I sort of rotate through, 4 each of badger, boar and synthetic.  But of each type I definitely have my favorite.  

Badger:  Envy Shave Luxury Silvertip with Alpha T-400 handle.  This knot is just pillowy soft.  It is super dense so it has tons of backbone.  And it holds tons of lather.  No scritch at all.  I use it when I really want a luxurious shave, sort of like a real treat.  And that handle is absolutely perfect.  It's the perfect size and gives me some distance from the bowl.  I bowl lather exclusively.  And the weight is spot on.  Nice and heavy it gives the brush a truly luxurious feeling.  I know, I used that word like 3 or 4 times now.  But it's true.  I feel like a went to the spa when I use that brush.  I have a Parker King Size pure badger that is pretty scritchy but it's big and when I want to use a large badger, that's the one I use.  I also have a Golden Nib silver tip.  It's too floppy and scritchy for my tastes for a silver tip.  My fourth one is also an Envy Shave Luxury Silvertip but the handle wasn't properly sealed so at some point it's going to fall apart.  But for now it's not bad and one of my favorites as well.

Boar:  My Connaught Omega with the faux jade handle is exquisite.  Within just a few shaves the tips were already super soft.  There is still a little bit of scritch but not a lot.  And while I also like some big brushes, the smaller size of this one really is pretty amazing.  I like dense brushes with backbone and this fits that description perfectly.  And the handle is heavier than my Pro 49 or 10066.  I like that feeling in my hand.  It exudes quality.  

Synthetic:  I'm a little hard pressed to pick a favorite.  I cycle between 4 Razorock brushes.  Plissoft, Bruce, Beehive and 400 in butterscotch with noir knot.  I also have a Monster but it's size fits between the Beehive and the Plissoft/Bruce.  And I'm not crazy about how the shape of the handle fits in my hand.  The Plissoft and Bruce are nice in slightly different ways.  They have the same size knot but I like the shape of the original Plissoft and take that when I'm traveling.  The Beehive is just massive.  It's my biggest brush.  It's a beast.  And sometimes i just love slathering lather all over the place.  No....not that way.  And I'm just a big fan of the 400 shape handle.  The knot is typical Plissoft.  All of them are super soft yet have some backbone to them.  

So, there ya go.  More boring verbal diarrhea fueled by a couple healthy glasses of Clyde May's Bourbon.

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 10-13-2018, 04:45 PM
#7
  • Garb
  • Active Member
  • Oregon
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I was told to try a badger brush back about 12 years past. It ws good and felt amazing to load up and pamper my beard with. But then got tipped off to a company in Portugal, Semogue, and have never gone back to any badgers, unless it was to rebuild vintage brushes and then I just ordered  a dozen knots and went to town on them. 
But I really enjoy the process of taming the boar knots and seeing where that journey takes the brush and I. 
The feel of the boar is something distinct and the knot has to be 24-26mm at the most. Nothing smaller and the larger knots just don't work for me.
I like a distinct handle but nothing over the top but can appreciate how they look and the work that goes into them. I'm also not going to stand in line to buy one mainly because I just don't have the time.
I like the vintage Rubberset handles made for what seems the task of shaving daily. Butterscotch works nicely in my collection of about 40 brushes thus far.

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 10-13-2018, 05:19 PM
#8
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You know, I think a few pictures wouldn't hurt this thread.  Wink What I really appreciate is everyone's personalization of their gear. 
A Rubberset was just mentioned, and I, too, think that the design of this "old-timer" is terrific.
[Image: AQsdMOO.jpg]

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 10-13-2018, 05:37 PM
#9
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My various badger brushes have unique characters, determined by the color, size, and shape, and hand feel of the handle; and the density, diameter, loft, backbone, tip softness, and hair coloring of the knot.  The character of a brush is like the overall impression and quality of a movie, which is determined by screenwriting, acting, directing, cinematography, editing, music, and other contributing factors.  And just like a great movie may not have the greatest individual acting performance or script or directing or filming - but has the ideal combination of all those parts - a great brush has a unique and wonderful and "exactly right" combination of all the handle and knot qualities together.  Each of my brushes is different, but each is great and is a joy and a daily surprise.

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 10-13-2018, 05:54 PM
#10
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Wow, great commentary here. I could not do any of this any justice. All I can say is; A good brush fits your hand, builds and releases lather, and fells good on your face. And the most important thing, buying it doesn’t result in death or divorce.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 10-14-2018, 03:50 AM
#11
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(10-13-2018, 05:37 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: My various badger brushes have unique characters, determined by the color, size, and shape, and hand feel of the handle; and the density, diameter, loft, backbone, tip softness, and hair coloring of the knot.  The character of a brush is like the overall impression and quality of a movie, which is determined by screenwriting, acting, directing, cinematography, editing, music, and other contributing factors.  And just like a great movie may not have the greatest individual acting performance or script or directing or filming - but has the ideal combination of all those parts - a great brush has a unique and wonderful and "exactly right" combination of all the handle and knot qualities together.  Each of my brushes is different, but each is great and is a joy and a daily surprise.
Well said John.

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