12-12-2012, 03:21 PM
#1
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I have received and used now both the 22mm and 24mm Finest brushes from Vintageblades. Both to be had for below $30 at this point. I am also comparing it next to the WSP Monarch brush, another Chinese made brush that is marketed by a U.S. vendor at currently US$ 75, 2.5x the price of the VB brushes. A 2 band brush from the key equity brands ( Thäter, shavemac, Simpson, Rooney) will run at about 5x the VB brush price, i.e. around $150+.

The 22mm VB brush has a 52mm loft vs. the 24mm brush with a 55mm loft. Both brushes have a noticeable glue bump at the bottom. This is irrelevant for performance but makes the loft effectively a few mm shorter (the WSP has no glue bump).

The hair is consistently very, very soft on both brushes. Hooked tips, slightly yellowish hair (the WSP knot is whiter). The face feel is excellent. Almost too soft for a 2 band. Reminds me of a shavemac silvertip. The brushes have medium density (this is not a Rooney XL series), but comparable to the Thäter non-octo handle brushes or the Simpson PJ/Emperor series. The 22mm, naturally, is a bit easier to handle for face lathering but the knot size in the end is not that much different. If you prefer indeed a smaller knot, I suggest to go with the 20mm knot as I do not view the difference in the 22 vs. 24mm as significant in the way the brush feels when face lathering.

Both VB brushes have sufficient backbone to handle hard soaps, but less so than a Rooney/Simpson 2 band. They do splay less though than the WSP despite the higher nominal loft - I guess the glue bump does his work here.

The handle design is plain but functional - nothing more than that. The WSP brush showcases a bit nicer handle (BK4 type fleck ivory). Is this worth the up charge of 2.5x vs VB? You decide!

I can only repeat what I said in an earlier comparison thread: The VB brushes are an EXCELLENT value for money for those who want a soft 2 band brush and do not like to shed $150+ or do not like to deal with an anonymous eBay dealer who markets Chinese brushes directly.

In a direct comparison with the WSP Monarch brush I would give the VB brush the preference as it is the better value with same performance (probably even softer hair on the VB).

Now, if you like more sophisticated handles, the tradition of a European brush maker, more variety etc. and/or are not constraint by financial concerns you will be well taken care of by the Thäter, Simpson, Rooney etc brush makers…

In my case I like the VB brushes enough to have bought two and they stay in my rotation right next to my M7 2 Band from Simpson - that is probably my favorite 2 band brush… but then … you can almost buy 10 VBs for one M7…

Enjoy your shaves, gentlemen!

[attachment=9220][attachment=9222]

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 12-12-2012, 03:46 PM
#2
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Excellent as always , German ! I truly enjoy your post and I appreciate that you take time for pics and posting your thoughts / experiences with them.

It seems that those VB two band brushes are great brushes for their price : so many people praising them ! Man , now I need to get one asap to experience the goodness of those ultra soft tips.I do have some TGN first finest badger knots , which tips are also curled , and boy , those are soft tips for sure.

Thanks again!

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 12-12-2012, 03:55 PM
#3
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Thanks, Teiste. It will be interesting reading your thoughts.

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 12-12-2012, 03:56 PM
#4
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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An interesting and informative review. I have not used the VB brush but am happy so far with my WSP.
My thought is that it's generally more comforting to deal with a domestic vendor as opposed to an online vendor from overseas. The ease of ordering and relatively quicker shipping times are two advantages that come to mind. Also, there is the important issue of customer service and followup availability after a product has been purchased. We are fortunate that there seems to be an increasing number of well performing and reasonably priced brushes sold by reputable vendors here in the US.

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 12-12-2012, 04:33 PM
#5
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German, that is an excellent comparison. From your write up it seems that most users will be pleased with the performance of either brush. It is good to have another value brush seller in the market.

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 12-12-2012, 04:37 PM
#6
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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So, the handle is the same on all 3?

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 12-12-2012, 04:47 PM
#7
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Slightly different size depending on the knot size... And of course you can alternate between ebony and ivory... Biggrin
(12-12-2012, 04:37 PM)beartrap Wrote: So, the handle is the same on all 3?

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 12-12-2012, 04:50 PM
#8
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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Great, thanks!

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 12-12-2012, 08:43 PM
#9
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Thanks for the informative review. i would be very interested in trying the VB brushes if the seller would ship outside of the US. Sheesh, what is it with not shipping to Canada? Oh well.

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 12-12-2012, 08:52 PM
#10
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German, this is a great in depth comparison of two wonderful brushes. I agree with your observations 100%.

I own the 20mm version of the VB and was considering the 24mm, but after reading your review I think I will just stick with mine. There is no sense in buying a brush that performs the same with only a nominal difference in knot and handle size.

Now, a 28-30mm two band VB brush... Tongue One can dream can't he?

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 12-19-2012, 06:18 AM
#11
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German, I am curious how you would compare the Prince two-band with your 22mm VB two-band. Thanks in advance.

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 12-19-2012, 06:52 AM
#12
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The Prince is more like a Rooney Stubby 1. It is 23/46mm vs. 22/52mm of the VB which makes for a very different face feel. Both have soft tips. The VB has more flex on the face, which in my eyes makes it more comfortable. it is also roughly half the price.
My conclusion on the WSP vs. VB 2 bands is that I would go with the VB and its value for money unless you have a preference for the Kent type handle of the Monarch or like a brush like the Rooney Stubby 1 at less than half the price (Prince).
Hope this helps.
(12-19-2012, 06:18 AM)kentclark Wrote: German, I am curious how you would compare the Prince two-band with your 22mm VB two-band. Thanks in advance.

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 12-19-2012, 07:14 AM
#13
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Thanks, that is exactly what I was wondering.

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 12-20-2012, 10:36 AM
#14
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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(12-12-2012, 08:43 PM)celestino Wrote: Thanks for the informative review. i would be very interested in trying the VB brushes if the seller would ship outside of the US. Sheesh, what is it with not shipping to Canada? Oh well.

I am so very much with you on that my friend... Angry

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 01-19-2013, 06:39 AM
#15
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German, I'm very pleased with my 22mm VB and find it how you described. It is the highest value badger I've used.

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 01-19-2013, 06:51 AM
#16
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Glad you like it. It is a fine brush, especially at that price point. I just ordered a WSP Stubby 2 band beta with a 26/54mm knot. Will be interesting to see how that compares vs. a dense Simpson (Tulip 3 or Chubby 2) or a larger Thäter...
(01-19-2013, 06:39 AM)kentclark Wrote: German, I'm very pleased with my 22mm VB and find it how you described. It is the highest value badger I've used.

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