09-24-2020, 03:20 PM
#1
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
What follows is a draft notice we intend to post our website site, probably sometime tomorrow or Saturday morning, in advance of a release of 26 mm PK-47s with synthetic knots:

The Home Page on our website and ID card we send along with every Paladin shaving brush we sell includes the following statement: 

WE ARE PASSION-DRIVEN DESIGNER-MAKERS OF FINE SHAVING BRUSHES. OUR PURPOSE IS TO CREATE AND OFFER TO THE WET-SHAVING COMMUNITY PRODUCTS OF THE KIND AND QUALITY WE WANT FOR OURSELVES. OUR MISSION IS TO ELEVATE THE EXPERIENCE OUR CUSTOMERS DERIVE FROM SHAVING.

Since we started out in 2014 until now, offering products of the kind and quality we want for ourselves has meant setting badger-hair knots in the handles we make. But we maintained open minds with regard to potential alternatives, including knots made with synthetic fibers. About six months ago we finally decided it was time to venture a trial offering of Paladin shaving brushes made with synthetic knots. Two main reasons factored in the timing of that decision: 1) continued availability of badger-hair knots became (and has remained) highly uncertain due to developments in consequence of COVID-19, and 2) we sampled a synthetic knot that I used exclusively for several weeks and actually like. The truth is I have continued to use it based solely on its merits (most importantly including the fact I enjoy using it). That is not to say I’ll continue to use it exclusively (I already haven’t), or that I think it’s superior in every respect to all badger hair knots (I don’t). I was sufficiently satisfied, however, to place a small order for identical knots (all semi-bulbs). I also asked the producer to make a sample with a hybrid shape, which in turn led to a small order for knots identical to it. 
 
So, now we’re finally set to release the first-ever Paladin shaving brushes made with synthetic knots. These are all 26 mm PK-47s, including a dozen or so representing each of the two shapes (semi-bulbs and hybrids). Again, this is a trial offering. Its dual purpose is 1) to gather others’ impressions of these knots and 2) to gauge whether we can sell Paladin shaving brushes made with synthetic knots at price sufficient to support making more of them. We’ll see how it goes and take it from there.

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 09-24-2020, 04:34 PM
#2
  • garyg
  • Senior Member
  • Great Lakes
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Aw, geez, I'm in if they can at least parallel the other's ..

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 09-24-2020, 04:59 PM
#3
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 09-24-2020, 05:17 PM
#4
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Synthetic knots in the exceptional Paladin handles is big news.

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 09-24-2020, 06:08 PM
#5
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I’m in!  
I actually enjoy synthetics when the loft is correct.  I mostly face lather and with synths...a tiny bit shorter loft is very nice.  
This Simpson Chubby synth is just an excellent brush for face lathering!   

Pete
Now quit messing around with silly projects, and get my SN SE Pirate brush done! ?

[Image: fCQVF10.jpg]

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 09-24-2020, 08:11 PM
#6
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I know/enjoy Paladin handle quality, so I am (mostly) curious of what knot you are talking about.

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 09-25-2020, 10:07 AM
#7
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
User Info
(09-24-2020, 08:11 PM)lloydrm Wrote: I know/enjoy Paladin handle quality, so I am (mostly) curious of what knot you are talking about.

Sorry for the slow reply. I've been focused on turning TSN LE handles. 

Yours is the right question. The truth is I really don't know how these knots compare with any other knots. I asked whether the fiber used to make them is the same as that contained in any other identifiable knots, but didn't get a straight answer, which wasn't surprising. 

I do know (or at least believe with reasonably high confidence) 1) that these knots were sourced from the same producer that has made all of the badger-hair knots we've set in our handles over the past two years, and 2) that the same worker who has hand-tied our knots throughout that period also hand-tied these. There's always the possibility of being bullshitted or lied to, but we've dealt with this supplier for over five years, one of the principals has visited out home on two occasions, and I trust him. 

We've had conversations about offering brushes with synthetic knots since we started out in 2014. But I haven't tried many. Those I did try before these left me pretty cold. When I stuck a preliminary sample of one of these knots in a handle and set up to use it early this year, my expectations were low. But I ended up actually enjoying it. A little while later on I used another one with a slightly modified shape (in the direction of hybrid) for every shave spanning over a month. What was telling to me was that I chose to continue using it after I'd accomplished the objective of evaluation.

For several reasons, it's time for us to take this step, which I regard as a first step and don't expect to be the last one. I used the phrase "venture a trial offering" above very purposely. This is a trial, and we're taking some risk. I've enjoyed using these knots, but I don't have a broad experiential frame-of-reference with synthetic knots, and even if I did, the real test would still be to make some brushes and put them out for others to try and judge for themselves. That's where we are now.

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 09-25-2020, 06:56 PM
#8
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This chart may be outdated, as there are much more synthetic knots since 2017 when this was published.  
Oumo has a couple of “badger look alike” knots that are nice and actually have a backbone.  I’d be happy to send you some synth brushes to mess with.  


[Image: wyreOBA.jpg]

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 09-26-2020, 07:26 AM
#9
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Good chart. Thanks for sharing.

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 09-26-2020, 08:07 AM
#10
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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(09-25-2020, 06:56 PM)PATRIOT Wrote: This chart may be outdated, as there are much more synthetic knots since 2017 when this was published.  
Oumo has a couple of “badger look alike” knots that are nice and actually have a backbone.  I’d be happy to send you some synth brushes to mess with.  

Thanks!! And I may take you up on the offer.

These knots have plenty of backbone for me. A bit more than most of our badger-hair knots. The tips are soft, and I haven't experienced any discomfort in use no matter how much pressure I apply. I'm very, very to scritch, and haven't noticed any. I have, depending on pressure, experienced some nice scrub.

I prefer semi-bulb and hybrid shaped badger knots that don't have a pronounced focal center with mild pressure. (I do NOT like pointy bulbs.). These knots seem to maintain their shape more with the pressure I usually apply (without thinking about it much) when using badger knots, consequently my sense of that pressure on my face is a little more concentrated around the center. That's hasn't produced what I would call discomfort; it just isn't what I'm used to (or have generally preferred). I tend to compensate for that with these knots, particularly the semi-bulbs, by applying more pressure until they yield more around the center. I requested the hybrid because I thought I might like them a little better, given the face-feel. We'll probably also try some fans, although my concern with regard to fan shaped synthetic is sacrifice of control and excessive water shedding.

We set these knots a little higher than we probably would have comparably sized and dense badger knots due to this fiber's resilience.

This is going to be a learning process for us. And we expect evolution of synthetic fibers to continue. But again, we like these knots, and this is a place to start.

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 09-26-2020, 10:43 AM
#11
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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They're up. I only posted notices here and in our Facebook Group.

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 09-26-2020, 11:19 AM
#12
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Thanks, Ken.
Order placed.
Looking forward to trying and comparing to my other favored synthetic brushes (Simpson, EJ/Muhle, Thater).

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 09-26-2020, 11:27 AM
#13
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I’m in!

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 09-26-2020, 11:28 AM
#14
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Order placed. Looking forward to trying out a Paladin synthetic brush.

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 09-26-2020, 12:21 PM
#15
  • Garb
  • Senior Member
  • Oregon
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I was out of pocket for several hours but made it back in time to order one of these beauties. I'll be sure to let you know my perspective on the knots. The handles speak for themselves as usual.

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 09-26-2020, 12:57 PM
#16
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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Thanks for the support, everyone. Please post impression/comparisons here. That would be very helpful.

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 09-26-2020, 02:05 PM
#17
  • Garb
  • Senior Member
  • Oregon
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I can tell you right now 'I love it".  But, once in hand and lathered a few times I can give you a better real life assessment. LOL

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 09-26-2020, 02:20 PM
#18
  • Niro884
  • Senior Member
  • Stoney Creek, Ontario CANADA
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Order placed. Looking forward. Very cool looking grey handle. Had to get one  Smile. The name storm comes to mind.

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 09-26-2020, 02:58 PM
#19
  • ChiefBroom
  • Chief of Dark Holler
  • Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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(09-26-2020, 02:20 PM)Niro884 Wrote: Order placed. Looking forward. Very cool looking grey handle. Had to get one  Smile. The name storm comes to mind.

I like that!

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 09-26-2020, 04:19 PM
#20
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It looks like they're all gone in less than five hours.  Well done Paladin!  A synthetic Chief would be a great offering.

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