06-11-2020, 09:18 AM
#1
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Hello gents,
My latest effort to dispense of unwanted cash has taken me into even more shaving brushes, that I don’t have room for.  I’ve pretty much become a face lathering guy. I have a multitude of great bowl lathering brushes, but I’m learning that the higher loft badgers and to a certain extent the longer handles are not ideal for face lathering.
 
Since I don’t have overly sensitive skin, I’ve gravitated to broken-in boar brushes.  I really enjoy the Zenith boar brushes with a shorter loft.  One of my favs is a mixed boar and badger that I put together with a barber pole handle, the added backbone is great.  For $20 the Semogue 1305 once it is broken in, is an outstanding face latherer.  The new Simpsons T3 synth is damned good as well.  I’m thinking about a Simpsons Chubby 3, but I’m not convinced that a 30mm knot, especially a badger 30mm is the answer.  

If you’re a face latherer...what’s your BFF brush?  How many is enough?
Pete

[Image: thi3vRL.jpg]

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 06-11-2020, 10:31 AM
#2
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How many is enough? If you ask the question - you may already have your answer.
My BFF brush is Omega 40033, ymmv. However ask me in a few months, I may have another answer.

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 06-11-2020, 10:44 AM
#3
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(06-11-2020, 10:31 AM)jackgoldman123 Wrote: How many is enough? If you ask the question - you may already have your answer.
My BFF brush is Omega 40033, ymmv. However ask me in a few months, I may have another answer.
Jack!
That’s a travel brush?  Are you without housing?  In between homes?
Pete

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 06-11-2020, 10:57 AM
#4
  • BSWoodturning
  • Co-Owner, Brad Sears ShaveWorks
  • Maryland Eastern Shore
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Speaking only about Badger brushes, most of our patrons who face lather prefer the shorter-handled brushes simply because, as I think you've discovered, shorter handles (of say ~48-50mm) are a little easier to use for face lathering than longer handles of (say) 60mm and longer.  


Similarly, many prefer lower (48-50mm) lofts because they tend to offer more "scrub."  (I need to be a little careful when when speaking about loft because a number of other factors come into play in determining performance/face feel (things like socket size, knot profile (i.e. Bulb, Fan, etc.)thickness and taper of the hair, and density with which its packed, among others) that can make taller (or even shorter) loft more attractive.)  


As to size, the 28mm size is far and away our most popular among those who face lather.  (If looking at a Simpson, both the Chubby 3 and 2 seem very popular based on forum comments, but I would defer to Mark to weigh-in on his brushes.)


Hope some of his helps.

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 06-11-2020, 11:48 AM
#5
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(06-11-2020, 10:57 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote: Speaking only about Badger brushes, most of our patrons who face lather prefer the shorter-handled brushes simply because, as I think you've discovered, shorter handles (of say ~48-50mm) are a little easier to use for face lathering than longer handles of (say) 60mm and longer.  


Similarly, many prefer lower (48-50mm) lofts because they tend to offer more "scrub."  (I need to be a little careful when when speaking about loft because a number of other factors come into play in determining performance/face feel (things like socket size, knot profile (i.e. Bulb, Fan, etc.)thickness and taper of the hair, and density with which its packed, among others) that can make taller (or even shorter) loft more attractive.)  


As to size, the 28mm size is far and away our most popular among those who face lather.  (If looking at a Simpson, both the Chubby 3 and 2 seem very popular based on forum comments, but I would defer to Mark to weigh-in on his brushes.)


Hope some of his helps.
Excellent insight.  Much appreciated.  YOU could make me the perfect face lathering brush!  Now that’s a good way to dispense cash!
Question...Is it better to have a “shorter” knot, (I’m not sure there is such a thing.) than imbed more of the knot into the handle, assuming less loft is better.  Both would create a stiffer backbone?

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 06-11-2020, 03:21 PM
#6
  • BSWoodturning
  • Co-Owner, Brad Sears ShaveWorks
  • Maryland Eastern Shore
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(06-11-2020, 11:48 AM)PATRIOT Wrote:
(06-11-2020, 10:57 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote: Speaking only about Badger brushes, most of our patrons who face lather prefer the shorter-handled brushes simply because, as I think you've discovered, shorter handles (of say ~48-50mm) are a little easier to use for face lathering than longer handles of (say) 60mm and longer.  


Similarly, many prefer lower (48-50mm) lofts because they tend to offer more "scrub."  (I need to be a little careful when when speaking about loft because a number of other factors come into play in determining performance/face feel (things like socket size, knot profile (i.e. Bulb, Fan, etc.)thickness and taper of the hair, and density with which its packed, among others) that can make taller (or even shorter) loft more attractive.)  


As to size, the 28mm size is far and away our most popular among those who face lather.  (If looking at a Simpson, both the Chubby 3 and 2 seem very popular based on forum comments, but I would defer to Mark to weigh-in on his brushes.)


Hope some of his helps.
Excellent insight.  Much appreciated.  YOU could make me the perfect face lathering brush!  Now that’s a good way to dispense cash!
Question...Is it better to have a “shorter” knot, (I’m not sure there is such a thing.) than imbed more of the knot into the handle, assuming less loft is better.  Both would create a stiffer backbone?

You're quite welcome.  And yes, we'd be happy to create a brush for you.  May we discuss details off-line?  

So to answer your question:  generally speaking setting a knot more deeply increases the backbone/scrub.

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 06-11-2020, 06:46 PM
#7
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An omega 48-49 or similar relofted. What a pleasure to use.

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 06-11-2020, 07:25 PM
#8
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Gents,
I got a chromed Zenith B21 delivered today.  28 X 50...according to Dr Michael, the loft is effectively 41-44.  It’s a big handle, not too big...kind of a chubby scrubby and it’s chromed copper, not plastic.  
Haven’t lathered with it, but I did clean it and whipped up some soap today.  Prematurely, it seems like a great face lathering brush.  I’ll update once I give it a go.
I love the Zenith boar knots although they don’t seem to develop hooked tips like a Semogue 1305.  Not sure if that’s good or bad.
Pete

[Image: oG5z7S2.jpg]

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 06-11-2020, 07:28 PM
#9
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(06-11-2020, 06:46 PM)lloydrm Wrote: An omega 48-49 or similar relofted. What a pleasure to use.

What do you mean by relofted?  Did you reinstall the knot?

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 06-11-2020, 07:52 PM
#10
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(06-11-2020, 07:28 PM)PATRIOT Wrote:
(06-11-2020, 06:46 PM)lloydrm Wrote: An omega 48-49 or similar relofted. What a pleasure to use.

What do you mean by relofted?  Did you reinstall the knot?

Exactly. An artisan installed them (4 of them) in different handles with various lofts and opening sizes. Will post a picture later.

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 06-12-2020, 08:02 AM
#11
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All of my brushes are great face lathering brushes.  This is what I have:

Badger:
Paladin WXCL 30 mm
GFT equivalent of Chubby 3 Super
Stirling 26mm Finest black handle
Varlet 28 mm(I think) Beehive
Shavemac 30mm Silvertip(a shedder so not much use)
Rooney Victorian
Rooney Style 3 Pure

Synthetic:
Stirling Kong(had Chubby 2 synth and sold it off)

Boar:
Zenith 26mm plastic handle
Omega 10083
Semogue 1305
Street vendor boar brush from India 17 mm knot(lots of back bone and slowly breaking in)

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 06-12-2020, 08:06 AM
#12
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Personally, I can face-lather with all of my brushes, irrespective, of handle or knot size.
Actually, I prefer longer brush handles as they just feel so much better in hand. 

Here are two examples of my favourite handle shapes, both being 74mm. 

[Image: oiNLfI.jpg]


[Image: YDupb6.jpg]

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 06-12-2020, 08:24 AM
#13
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(06-12-2020, 08:06 AM)celestino Wrote: Personally, I can face-lather with all of my brushes, irrespective, of handle or knot size.
Actually, I prefer longer brush handles as they just feel so much better in hand. 

Here are two examples of my favourite handle shapes, both being 74mm. 

[Image: oiNLfI.jpg]


[Image: YDupb6.jpg]

I can face lather with any good brush.  I do enjoy shorter loft, a shorter handle and a stiffer backbone though.  The longer loft brushes are almost too floppy to make lather on my face.  

[Image: rV4IDUS.jpg]

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 06-12-2020, 08:53 AM
#14
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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(06-12-2020, 08:06 AM)celestino Wrote: Personally, I can face-lather with all of my brushes, irrespective, of handle or knot size.

+1

I've face-lathered almost exclusively for over eight years, and I have never subscribed to the conventional wisdom regarding shorter handles serving best for face lathering and taller ones for bowl lathering. I think I probably figured out what works me before encountering any short vs. tall discussion. And I wasn't born to follow anyhow.

As to loft, the skin on my face is highly sensitive, so I would definitely not go very short. A bit of scrub is OK as long as I can easily control it. But defoliation is not my objective in face-lathering. I face-lather simply because I enjoy it

I don't care for floppy brushes at all. Never have. I don't like the sensation. I also don't like knots that feel like powder puffs with no presence.

Fans generally don't provide the degree of control I prefer, and I've never liked the way pointy bulbs feel. So, I almost always use hybrid or semi-bulb (ice-cream scoop) knots.

Knot size, like just about everything else, is a matter of personal preference. My sweet spot is 25-26 mm (hole diameter) lofted in the range of 50-53 mm, depending on the knot. And I prefer moderate over super-high density. For me, moderately dense knots yield more efficient lather production and release.

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 06-12-2020, 09:45 AM
#15
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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For all my shaving life (+50 years) I’ve face-lathered only; I think bowl lathering is redundant.  Currently, I own 34 shaving brushes: 27 badgers, 3 boars and 4 synthetics.  In terms of badger knot size, 22 mm with a >2 X loft is ideal.  Regardless of the type of knot hair, I prefer the fan-shape although I do have a few bulb-shape badgers.  As concerns the handle length, I don’ like short handles; the shortest handle I have measures 37 mm and the longest measures 71 mm and I much prefer the latter over the former.  Most of the handles on my brushes measure in the 45 mm to 55 mm range.  My quintessential brush is the Simpson Colonel X2L with a best badger knot.  The handle measures 52 mm and the knot measures 22 mm X 50 mm.  As I’ve said, I much prefer longer handled brushes over shorter handles brushes because they are more comfortable and give me better control.  I would find a brush such as the Simpson Chubbies (1,2 or 3) unsuitable for face or bowl lathering: the handle is too short and fat, and the knot is too dense and doesn’t splay easily.  Finally, although I own 4 synthetics I am not a fan reserving them for when I travel because they dry very quickly and are relatively inexpensive.   The knots of all 4 synthetics I find springy, difficult to splay and difficult  to lather with a circular motion.

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 06-13-2020, 12:46 PM
#16
  • SCOV
  • Senior Member
  • Minnesota
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For me, most any ergonomic handle with a nice grip area works for me.  My preferences would be 49-60mm handle height and 50-53mm loft.  Most of my brushes are 26mm.  I do have a 30mm brush with the handle just short of being too big a diameter.  

My previously owned tall handles seemed to have higher lofts and thus floppy feel.  While really popular, I never purchased the 45-46mm handles based on my current method to grip handles.  Elite Razor has stone handles which are heavier and feel cooler - nice for variety.

TSN has 3 excellent artisan brush makers - take their advice and recommendations.  Every brush and knot is different.

(FYI - my favorite and also my first brush is a tall Mervyn Cadman C4 handle with a nice loft and a pigment used was Purple Rain in my Prince tribute brush)

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 06-14-2020, 02:06 PM
#17
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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I’ve been thinking about this since the OP. Really for me, the handle must be comfortable. Regardless of the handle’s length or girth it has to feel good in my hand. I have many brushes but these are among my most comfortable. Edit; most of these Elite Razor brushes, the butt end of the brush fits my palm just right, just like baby bear‘s chair. The SOC is damn near perfect for my hand. The BSSW Arley is more than the sum of its ergonomic parts, and the D3.1 is like an old friend. The only Simpson brush that’s better for me ergonomically is my 58. Will try to post a pic of it tomorrow.

[Image: arsFw4P.jpg][Image: y7ck6Op.jpg][Image: 5aTJz6A.jpg][Image: 1CrlOmx.jpg][Image: evAghNn.jpg][Image: 1iFA7d0.jpg][Image: 8aqq5JE.jpg][Image: YmUYCL9.jpg]

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 06-15-2020, 08:18 AM
#18
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Gents,
It seems that I think too much...
Now I’m wondering if I’m just wrong about face lathering with a 29-30mm knot.  I’m convinced that a shorter loft and stiffer backbone is better.  I think my issue is that a bigger 29-30mm knot while lathering on my face, just pushes the lather further into the hairs.  At some point, I might have enough soap loaded in the brush for 3 passes, but I need to squeeze it out of the knot to “paint” my face.  

Should I take a 22-24mm knot more seriously than I do?
Why can’t I find a Simpson Chubby 1, 2 or 3 in manchurian badger anywhere??  Who has them all?  

Pete

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 06-15-2020, 10:01 AM
#19
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I only face lather, so take that for what it’s worth. The only mistake I’ve made when is going too low on loft (poor lather flow)
I generally prefer taller handles to shorter, so Paladin’s PK-47 & Lotus work very well. Similarly, Saponificio Varesino has a tall handle that I enjoy.
In terms of knot size - 26mm is all I really need, though most of my brushes are 28mm (mostly for a larger handle).
I have a couple of chubby 2’s that get a lot of use, especially if I haven’t shaved in a few days and I want scrub.

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 06-16-2020, 06:45 AM
#20
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(06-15-2020, 08:18 AM)PATRIOT Wrote: Gents,
It seems that I think too much...
Now I’m wondering if I’m just wrong about face lathering with a 29-30mm knot.  I’m convinced that a shorter loft and stiffer backbone is better.  I think my issue is that a bigger 29-30mm knot while lathering on my face, just pushes the lather further into the hairs.  At some point, I might have enough soap loaded in the brush for 3 passes, but I need to squeeze it out of the knot to “paint” my face.  

Should I take a 22-24mm knot more seriously than I do?
Why can’t I find a Simpson Chubby 1, 2 or 3 in manchurian badger anywhere??  Who has them all?  

Pete

I face-lather, exclusively, and the majority of my brush knots are dense 32mm + and I have no problem with getting lather out of the knot. Using circular motions and finishing off with paint-brush strokes while applying enough pressure with the latter, you should have no issues using 29-30mm knots. It just takes a bit of practice. 
Good luck. Smile

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