10-23-2012, 10:35 AM
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Hey guys,

I wanted to try face lathering all I have done is bowl and I wanted to try something different. I wanted to know the best size for face lathering and what's a good brand o get but I'm sure it's all personal preference but figured I would ask

12 568
 10-23-2012, 10:46 AM
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Personal preference.

If you ask me , I will tell you , brushes beetween 20 to 22 mm , silvertip hair and fan shaped knot.The same for boars.Of course , I can use 23/24 and 25 mm knot brushes for facelathering , but I prefer from 20 to 22 mm.

89 7,215
 10-23-2012, 10:47 AM
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I don't face lather, but it's been my impression that those who do prefer a brush with a ratio of loft to knot diameter of around 2 or so.

214 12,639
 10-23-2012, 10:50 AM
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Next suggestions would be brand I know it's personal preference but I keep hearing about Thayters

12 568
 10-23-2012, 11:20 AM
  • DoubleB
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  • Zeeland, The Netherlands
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Very YMMV indeed. I haven't tried Thaters, but I prefer flat/fan knots. Thater has mostly bulb knots. Thats why I think Thather won't do the job for me, but ofcourse I would need to try one out first. I have two simpson brushes with flat knots. They are face lather monsters! Knot for me is between 22 and 24 with a 48mm loft. But my Special is around 18mm x 44mm and its a joy to use.

5 447
 10-23-2012, 11:23 AM
  • J_fro
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  • From the 716!
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I have been face lathering every day this month. So far the Duke 2, Berkeley, and 620 would be my suggestions. Colonel works well enough, SOC boar as well, but those can eat up the soap on yer face a bit too.

My 24 / 47 TGN finest Bob Farvour brush is a beast too.

It's been a journey from not liking the idea of face lathering and wanting to get rid of the smaller knot brushes to LOVING it.

12 648
 10-23-2012, 11:29 AM
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Thanks guys for the advice

12 568
 10-23-2012, 11:53 AM
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I face lather with four different brushes of four different sizes. Honestly, you can face lather with anything you have. Each has a slightly different quality, but they all get the job done.

3 543
 10-23-2012, 12:01 PM
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My favorite is Simpson Duke 3 Best.

0 156
 10-23-2012, 01:52 PM
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IMO, you can't go too small when face lathering, but you can go too big.

I began face lathering with a VDH boar and it was quite large and my nostrils got the message, then I tried a Semogue 1438 boar and it's a perfect size IMO. Then I tried 2 Simpson Specials in both Best and Pure... again perfect sizes. OK, then the history and memory begins to get murky. I also use a Semogue 610, a Vulfix 2234 boar, an Omega 10019, a Simpson Commodore 1, and a Wee Scot. My largest brushes are all badgers, a Simpson Chubby1, a Rooney 3/1, and a reknot with a TGN Finest fan, 20 mm knot with a 45-48mm loft. Those are as large as I want to go at this time. FWIW, the larger brushes while crowding the too large limit would do double duty for bowl lathering IMO.

There are probably a few brushes I'm forgetting. But I face lather exclusively, so if you ever see in SOTD a certain brush that I didn't name here, it was face lathered.

IMO, John hit the nail on the head when he stated about a 2:1 ratio of loft to knot diameter. If you check the brush specs that everyone has mentioned I'd be willing to bet they are close to that. With boars you can get a little more loft for the diameter and that matches the specs of my larger badger brushes. But the boars act differently and are IMO perfectly sized face lather brushes, as are my smaller badgers (Specials, Commodore 1).

32 6,490
 10-23-2012, 02:03 PM
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I've used just about every brush maker for face lathering and the only brand I'd be hesitant to recommend is Vulfix. Any model above 2234 gets kind of dicey.

The bigger issue I think is what are you are going to face lather: soaps or creams. If you're a cream guy then Vulfix isn't so bad, but I wouldn't recommend them for soaps, especially hard soaps.

84 1,506
 10-23-2012, 02:04 PM
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Its a very subjective question.

I face lather exclusively now, and only use my scuttle as a brush scuttle now (keeping the brush warm between passes)

It depends on your face size and your hand size.
And then it also depends on your personal preferences.

I prefer a bulb shaped softer brush for face lathering and a fan/flat shaped harder brush for face lathering.

If I use a 3-Band Silvertip brush, which is softer - I have found out that I like a 23-26 mm knot size, since the softer 3-band hair will splay and bloom more, so a 26 mm 3-Band Silvertip will feel as big as a 28-30 mm 2-Band Silvetip brush will.

If I use a 2-Band Silvertip brush, which has more backbone - I have found that I like a 24-30 mm knot size, since the 2-Band hair will bloom and splay far less than the softer 3-Band hair will tend to do.

I'm pretty felxible with what brushes I prefer - I enjoy a bulb because it gives me better precision when I lather under my nose and around me ear area.
However a fan/flat shaped knot will feel more luxurious and massage a larger area than the bulb shaped knot will - but it will often splay and bloom more, thus making it a bit more difficult to lather under the nose and ear area unless you queeze the brush hair together with your fingers - in fact making the fan/flat shaped brush perform like a bulb shaped brush - for the added precision.

If you can afford it - I would buy one brush in bulb shape 24 mm knot size and 48-50 mm loft in 3-Band Silvertip and one brush in fan/flat shape in 25 mm knot size and 48-50 mm loft in 2-Band Silvertip - then resell the one you dislike the most of the two.

Most likely you will end up keeping both and adding to your collection Tongue Tongue

25 6,209
 10-23-2012, 02:05 PM
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before I used to only bowl lather, but then I realized that if I'm going to bowl lather then essentially face lather after making the lather in the bowl, I should just cut out a step and just go right for face lathering.

anyhow, with my brushes and face lathering, I prefer knots with a loft size of 48-50mm.

if you haven't already, check out Lee's (asharperazor) WSP brushes. they're cheap, packed well and are extremely soft.

40 5,829
 10-23-2012, 02:19 PM
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I have a pretty decent sized face with XL large hands

12 568
 10-23-2012, 02:40 PM
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I face lather exclusively. Brush selection is really subjective and most choices are personal. I have used everything from a short loft to long loft. Wee Scot to BK8. I prefer longer lofts because I like the face feel better. When it comes to hard soaps and moppy or long lofted brushes, I just build the lather in the knot as I am swirling it on the soap with a wet brush and very little pressure. Never had an issue with any soap doing it this way even supposed hard to lather soaps like Williams.

3 812
 10-23-2012, 02:50 PM
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So subjective. But you really can't face lather with extra long lofts such as Kent brushes or Parker brushes.

Well, you can, but I think most people would agree that they aren't ideal.

The magic loft ratio is closer to 2.5:1 That would be 51mm loft for a 22mm knot. 2:1 would be 40mm loft for a 20mm knot. I don't think anyone actually makes such a brush, but I haven't checked.

For a 22mm knot, you can go up to 52mm and then I'd say you're reaching the end. But you can certainly go longer.

If you can, try out a bunch of brushes. Also check out that poll about what shape people like for face/bowl lathering. Might have some insight.

9 3,046
 10-23-2012, 04:04 PM
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I face lather primarily and only use creams. My brushes are all over the place in terms of knot diameter and loft. While they each give me a different experience, I can't say that one set of dimensions is "better." The exceptions are my Chubby 2 and 3 in Super, which are so dense that they have never seemed optimal to me for creating lather.

51 7,554
 10-23-2012, 04:25 PM
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Tyler, I agree with TheLegalRazor, in that I've used all size brushes of badger and synthetic and find no problem face lathering with any of them. My best lather is made by lathering a bit on soap and adding that to a dollop or two of shaving cream on my face and lathering away.

21 1,768
 10-23-2012, 06:14 PM
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Too many to list!
For me, 23-25mm with 50mm or less lofts.

87 21,185
 10-23-2012, 06:57 PM
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(10-23-2012, 02:50 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: The magic loft ratio is closer to 2.5:1 That would be 51mm loft for a 22mm knot. 2:1 would be 40mm loft for a 20mm knot. I don't think anyone actually makes such a brush, but I haven't checked.

Lee I think it can only be gotten close.

the Simpson Special in Best is close, 19mm x 40mm.

The Commodore X1 is 20mm x 44mm

Berkley Best 20x45

Case 19x42

Those are the ones I know of.

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