11-11-2012, 09:25 PM
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Most of us are very curious about a new brush and how it compares to some other brushes whose characteristics are, as a rule, more well known. When it comes to 2-band brushes my measuring stick is the SOC 2-band. This is a very popular brush and offers a great value for it's price tag. I decided to pick up the Monarch 2-band as soon as I possibly could after having talked with Lee (asharperrazor) for the last couple months about it and what it was going to be like. Now I'd like to offer more information to my fellow Nookizens.

Disclaimer: I purchased this brush myself & I'm no way affiliated with Wet Shaving Products (WSP). I do, however, seek out brands that offer high quality at reasonable prices. I feel that WSP meets this criteria along with the likes of RazoRock, Semogue, etc.

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Here is what I did. Using Mike's Natural Soap (Orange/Cedarwood/Black Pepper) I loaded both brushes with equal vigor for 30s.

After 30s Load
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I then face lathered the left side of my face with the Monarch while the SOC was responsible for the right. I performed 2 1/3 passes with my Rhodium Gem OCMM for an amazing BBS finish. This was actually a lot of fun to do & really highlighted the differences between these two brushes.

After 1st Pass
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After 2nd Pass
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After Jawline Touch-Up
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Lather Left In Each Brush
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As you can see in the pictures, the Monarch did not produce as much lather as the SOC. This was expected due to the 1mm smaller knot diameter and the softer tips. The scritch which the SOC possesses allows it to pick up more soap in the alotted 30s. The Monarch is scritchless.

Scritch, or even slight prickliness, is where these two are like night & day. Don't get me wrong as I love the SOC, but it wasn't a brush that I could comfortably use daily. The scritch with slight prick is very enjoyable to me on multiple days of growth, but I can get irritated a bit if I'm not careful on a single day of growth. The Monarch is the softest 2-band I've ever used while not sacrificing backbone. I've seen people refer to some brushes as being a wall of badger. I'd say the Monarch is more like a "Padded Wall of Badger". There is a gentle give to it initially and then it firms up offering an extremely pleasurable massage which helps prep the hair for the forthcoming dewhiskerification.

Flow is the final characteristic that I'd like to mention which could also account for the smaller amount of lather left in the Monarch post-shave. The SOC wants to hold on to the lather a bit which is why I sometimes press harder & cause some irritation; I'm trying too hard to get the knot to release the good stuff. The Monarch releases lather with ease providing a cushiony layer of lather for each pass. Subsequent passes with the Monarch produced a thicker lather on my face than the SOC did.

My conclusion is that both of these brushes are amazing in their own rights. If you want a scrubby brush with tons of backbone & slight scritch, then the SOC is for you. However, if you can live with a touch less backbone in order to get luxuriously soft tips & amazing flow, then you should seriously consider the Monarch.

If I have left anything out, or you have a specific question just let me know & I'll do my best to answer & accomodate you.

31 7,892
 11-11-2012, 09:37 PM
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Excellent update on the Monarch, Brian!

74 20,775
 11-11-2012, 09:50 PM
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Brian, what a great review and pictures. Thank you for your continued thoughts regarding the two band monarch.

63 2,125
 11-12-2012, 05:25 AM
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Kudos for a great review and pictures, Brian.

47 1,270
 11-12-2012, 05:46 AM
  • chabbs
  • Member
  • Sydney, Australia
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Great review! My monarch 3 band and 2 band are currently in transit. Can't wait to give them a twirl Smile

3 53
 11-12-2012, 06:53 AM
  • Leon
  • Active Member
  • Porto, Portugal
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Interesting review, Brian. Thanks.

4 313
 11-12-2012, 08:12 AM
  • jss
  • Active Member
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Well done Brian....


0 264
 11-12-2012, 08:39 AM
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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Thank you so much for this review!

I have a SOC and while I like it and use it once in a while, you have addressed the same issues that I have with the brush as well as why I have shied away buying any more two band brushes.

I'm glad to learn that there are alternatives for 2 bands that don't have as much scritch and that give up the lather easier.

Thanks again!


6 905
 11-12-2012, 11:48 AM
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Hi Brian

Nice, helpful review, with some good photos Thumbsup

Take care, Mike

23 1,872
 11-12-2012, 01:10 PM
  • oscar11
  • Senior Member
  • North Dakota
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Thanks, nice review.

12 743
 11-12-2012, 01:14 PM
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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Well it looks like I'll have to try one. I do like scritchy two bands though and I call my Semogues the "itty bitty scritch committee".

116 3,804
 11-12-2012, 02:53 PM
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Dave, you might prefer the lower loft of the Prince 2-band then. It should offer much more in regards to a solid wall of badger feel.

31 7,892
 11-12-2012, 03:02 PM
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Thank you for the great review, Brian. That is a good comparison, and it is a great insight of what to expect of the Monarch brush. Cool

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