10-22-2018, 03:26 AM
#1
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Hey everyone, I'm wanting a new brush and considering a badger. All I've ever used are synthetics. I'm wondering if you can help me with understanding why some brushes are $200 and some $30. Obviously grade of hair is a factor but that only covers so much of the cost. For example maggards has a 2 band for $30 so why are there some 2 band brushes close to the $200 mark? I can't see a turned resin handle being that valuable. I want ti get a silvertip and know they get up there. I'm not worried about the cost more that I want to understand why out costs what it does. So, what makes an expensive brush expensive? Thank you

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 10-22-2018, 03:43 AM
#2
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Following....


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 10-22-2018, 05:28 AM
#3
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Hair grade and density, hand tied knot vs machine tied knot, moulded vs machine-turned (CNC, copy lathe or other) vs hand-turned handle, handle material (not all resins are equal), and so on and so forth... and to some extend you will be paying for the brand in some cases.

Can a cheap brush lather as well as an expensive one? Most likely, yes.

Is an expensive brush worth the extra cost? YMMV, but a lot of wetshavers seems to think so.

I own two (2) badger brushes; a Wilkinson sword I bought in Spain for 6.25€, and a Artisania Romera Manchurian Badger that I don't want to think about how much costs... the expensive brush is head and shoulders above the cheap one when it comes to face feel.

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 10-22-2018, 05:47 AM
#4
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With no offence to either of the brush makers ( cheap or expensive), I personally feel that with little bit of exposure and improvement in their skills, cheap brush makers can compete with premium brands by marginally raising the cost.

I own a few Badger brushes from Shavemac, Thater, Simpsons, Maseto, Kent etc.

Maseto is way cheap and on a stand alone point it's a good brush. But if you compare it side by side to any of the other brands, you can immediately feel the difference. Hair treatment, handle quality is missing, but not by a huge margin. It does the job just fine.

If the maker only gets more exposure in treating of the hair and doesn't overdo it, knot will behave almost as good as any other brand imo.Same goes with the handle quality too.

It might not remain a 50$ brush anymore and it may become an 80$ or a 90$ brush in the new scheme of things.

In present scenario, price difference between a 50$ brush and a 350$ brush is not justified since the quality difference is not 7x.


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 10-22-2018, 06:24 AM
#5
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Craftsmanship, sourcing and brand name reputation.

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 10-22-2018, 06:56 AM
#6
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(10-22-2018, 05:47 AM)Jags009 Wrote: With no offence to either of the brush makers ( cheap or expensive), I personally feel that with little bit of exposure and improvement in their skills, cheap brush makers can compete with premium brands by marginally raising the cost.

I own a few Badger brushes from Shavemac,  Thater, Simpsons, Maseto, Kent etc.

Maseto is way cheap and on a stand alone point it's a good brush. But if you compare it side by side to any of the other brands, you can immediately feel the difference. Hair treatment, handle quality is missing, but not by a huge margin. It does the job just fine.

If the maker only gets more exposure in treating of the hair and doesn't overdo it, knot will behave almost as good as any other brand imo.Same goes with the handle quality too.

It might not remain a 50$ brush anymore and it may become an 80$ or a 90$ brush in the new scheme of things.

In present scenario,  price difference between a 50$ brush and a 350$ brush is not justified since the quality difference is not 7x.


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What do you mean by treatment of hair? Aren't they left natural?

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 10-22-2018, 08:54 AM
#7
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They seem over -treated to me. They are not as soft as other brands I referred to. You can tell the difference while the knot is still dry.


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 10-22-2018, 10:22 AM
#8
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Boar brushes are a great example of value vs expensive brushes. In many cases branding becomes pride of ownership. That's not to say of course, that what goes into that brand is far more extensive than what may go into a boar brush.

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 10-22-2018, 11:56 AM
#9
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I have a Stirling finest in a black handle that I like as much as any of my over $200 brushes including Paladin, M&F, GFTrumper, Declaration, Romera, and Varlet.  Is the handle pretty? No.  Does it matter?  Not to me.
Is the hair as good? Yes. 
Do I regret buying expensive brushes?  No, not really.  Now I know how good the Stirling is, will I sell some of my expensive brushes?  Yes, eventually.

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 10-22-2018, 12:03 PM
#10
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(10-22-2018, 11:56 AM)bkatbamna Wrote: I have a Stirling finest in a black handle that I like as much as any of my over $200 brushes including Paladin, M&F, GFTrumper, Declaration, Romera, and Varlet.  Is the handle pretty? No.  Does it matter?  Not to me.
Is the hair as good? Yes. 
Do I regret buying expensive brushes?  No, not really.  Now I know how good the Stirling is, will I sell some of my expensive brushes?  Yes, eventually.

Good to hear, was always curious aboutabout the Stirling ones. Thanks

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 10-22-2018, 12:12 PM
#11
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(10-22-2018, 12:03 PM)Gravity Wrote:
(10-22-2018, 11:56 AM)bkatbamna Wrote: I have a Stirling finest in a black handle that I like as much as any of my over $200 brushes including Paladin, M&F, GFTrumper, Declaration, Romera, and Varlet.  Is the handle pretty? No.  Does it matter?  Not to me.
Is the hair as good? Yes. 
Do I regret buying expensive brushes?  No, not really.  Now I know how good the Stirling is, will I sell some of my expensive brushes?  Yes, eventually.

Good to hear, was always curious aboutabout the Stirling ones. Thanks


Just realize that others have had variable results with the Stirlings but then again, you can order 2 or 3 from there and pick the best one.

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 10-22-2018, 12:29 PM
#12
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The market will ultimately decide the worth of a shaving brush but what is more is the value to the individual.

I own a very expensive golf putter. Does it enable me to two putt or drain gobblers on every green? - Sadly not, but by golly it feels great in the hand & looks amazing!

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 10-22-2018, 01:02 PM
#13
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Short answer...

Hair quality, density, craftsmanship, and brand reputation.

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 10-22-2018, 01:28 PM
#14
  • SCOV
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Guessing in terms of cost
- labor rate
- mass produced vs low volume vs hand made
- government regulations
- environmental concerns / regulations
- employee safety
- quality of raw material
- quality of finish

Simpson's answer above was spot on for pricing

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 10-22-2018, 05:00 PM
#15
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The question of worth it always reminds me of this story (it takes a few forms, but is essentially the same):

Quote:“There is an old story of a boilermaker who was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was not working well.

After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room. He looked at the maze of twisting pipes, listened to the thump of the boiler and the hiss of the escaping steam for a few minutes, and felt some pipes with his hands. Then he hummed softly to himself, reached into his overalls and took out a small hammer, and tapped a bright red valve one time. Immediately, the entire system began working perfectly, and the boilermaker went home.

When the steamship owner received a bill for one thousand dollars, he became outraged and complained that the boilermaker had only been in the engine room for fifteen minutes and requested an itemized bill. So the boilermaker sent him a bill that reads as follows:

For tapping the valve: $.50
For knowing where to tap: $999.50
TOTAL: $1,000.00”

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 10-22-2018, 05:24 PM
#16
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(10-22-2018, 05:00 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: The question of worth it always reminds me of this story (it takes a few forms, but is essentially the same):


Quote:“There is an old story of a boilermaker who was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was not working well.

After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room. He looked at the maze of twisting pipes, listened to the thump of the boiler and the hiss of the escaping steam for a few minutes, and felt some pipes with his hands. Then he hummed softly to himself, reached into his overalls and took out a small hammer, and tapped a bright red valve one time. Immediately, the entire system began working perfectly, and the boilermaker went home.

When the steamship owner received a bill for one thousand dollars, he became outraged and complained that the boilermaker had only been in the engine room for fifteen minutes and requested an itemized bill. So the boilermaker sent him a bill that reads as follows:

For tapping the valve: $.50
For knowing where to tap: $999.50
TOTAL: $1,000.00”


+1 - superb!

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 10-22-2018, 06:36 PM
#17
  • Nero
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I've had 30-40 badger brushes and my favorite knot is Maseto two-band, a ~$40 brush. The handle shape is great, too. I bought some Maseto backups, and since then I've stopped looking for badger brushes, altogether.

The Maseto handle material is not what's considered a premium material (by today's standards... it's just your average plastic resin handle)... But the shave is no different.

Do I wish the handle was made from Brad Sears or Paladin ebonite, yes. Would that be more expensive, yes.
It's about what you like, and how much it costs, and if it's worth it to you. Unfortunately you won't know until you try.

To answer the actual question the best I can: there is no exact science why they cost what they do (vs. another in the same market). It's just the perception of individuals. Purely subjective.

Individuals price their products. And other individuals decide if those prices might be worth it to them. That's all it boils down to.

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 10-23-2018, 09:04 AM
#18
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(10-22-2018, 05:00 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: The question of worth it always reminds me of this story (it takes a few forms, but is essentially the same):



Quote:“There is an old story of a boilermaker who was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was not working well.

After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room. He looked at the maze of twisting pipes, listened to the thump of the boiler and the hiss of the escaping steam for a few minutes, and felt some pipes with his hands. Then he hummed softly to himself, reached into his overalls and took out a small hammer, and tapped a bright red valve one time. Immediately, the entire system began working perfectly, and the boilermaker went home.

When the steamship owner received a bill for one thousand dollars, he became outraged and complained that the boilermaker had only been in the engine room for fifteen minutes and requested an itemized bill. So the boilermaker sent him a bill that reads as follows:

For tapping the valve: $.50
For knowing where to tap: $999.50
TOTAL: $1,000.00”
Experience continues to be the key! Terrific story.

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 10-23-2018, 01:20 PM
#19
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The question of worth is strictly up to the individual. The good thing about this hobby is that if you want to try an expensive brush to see how it is, you can.  If you don't like it, you can always sell it for almost what you paid for it.  That was my mindset when buying my Chubby 2.  I knew that if I didn't like it, I could resell it.  Fortunately, it's a keeper.  I'm also aware that some of what I paid was for the Simpson reputation and pride of ownership (not the first time these 2 factors have come into play when buying something).

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 10-23-2018, 01:44 PM
#20
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You generally hit a point of steeply diminishing returns in terms of practical function with badger-hair brushes somewhere between $50 and $150, depending significantly on your technique and sensibilities. Beyond that it largely comes down to aesthetic considerations and what a particular brush might signify for you (or any individual), with factors in that regard variously including e.g., where it was made, when it was made, how it was made, who made it, what went into making it, etc.

And then there's also just the way you feel -- the satisfaction you take -- when you use a particular brush, the one your hand reaches for. Sometimes you can analyze what accounts for the difference; other times it remains a mystery.

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