03-11-2017, 01:04 AM
#21
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(03-10-2017, 07:57 PM)kooshman7 Wrote: Gotta be the Rooney Finest for me. I've only seen one M&F brush that was clearly Finest. Not to knock what is available now as it is nice, but it just doesn't have what I am looking for, unfortunately.

Rooney Finest > M&F Finest, easily, IMO. M&F Finest is very high quality, but I like a knot with more 'texture'. M&F Finest is so soft and smooth, you almost can't feel it. Rooney finest was a nice combo of soft and scrubbiness. That's what I like.

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 03-11-2017, 04:57 AM
#22
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Hard to find such a dense brush with the loft that these offer, I find the Rooney brushes from 10 years ago to be very unique. Both Finest and the original 3 band heritage are special brushes without anything offered being similar. The density , softness , loft and splay of the original three band heritage is just incredible. And the finest is also unique among bands as the gents described very well above. I hope to see the Rooney shaving brush return to its position in the market offering high end badger brushes in both two and three bands , 10 years ago they were the brushes to have , and to this day they still are.

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 03-11-2017, 07:15 AM
#23
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
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(03-11-2017, 04:57 AM)ultra~nova Wrote: Hard to find such a dense brush with the loft that these offer, I find the Rooney brushes from 10 years ago to be very unique. Both Finest and the original 3 band heritage are special brushes without anything offered being similar. The density , softness , loft and splay of the original three band heritage is just incredible. And the finest is also unique among bands as the gents described very well above. I hope to see the Rooney shaving brush return to its position in the market offering high end badger brushes in both two and three bands , 10 years ago they were the brushes to have , and to this day they still are.

I totally agree.

[Image: 1Ix7WPJ.jpg]

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 03-11-2017, 09:45 AM
#24
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(03-10-2017, 06:19 PM)ultra~nova Wrote: Thought I would bring this thread back with a new addition to the den. Is everyone still using these as they have not gotten much talk lately. This 1/1 is surprisingly soft and very dense. The loft on this is absolutely perfect imo.

[Image: l0lo3IA.jpg]


I'm down to almost only Rooney Finest brushes. I've got 9 of them at the moment. For my preferences they are the best shaving brush ever made followed by 2011-2013 Simpsons two band Super Badger. They don't get much press because it's been about 7 years since you could actually buy one from a vendor and there are so few in circulation that most people have never tried one of them. Too bad, as there is nothing that is even remotely close in my opinion.


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 03-11-2017, 09:57 AM
#25
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
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I never got to try one, but presume only the higher lofted ones well broken in would be tolerated by my skin.

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 03-11-2017, 03:58 PM
#26
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Mine came from Vintage Blades batch(es), late 2008-early 2009. Both kings of scritch. (No third chance.) I lament missing the good stuff.

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 03-11-2017, 04:36 PM
#27
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I regret passing along a urn size 3 three band heritage, as well as a size 1/1 3 band heritage. At the time I was so set on two band brushes and now looking back I wish I had the opeertunity to place those into my den.

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 03-11-2017, 05:16 PM
#28
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(03-11-2017, 04:36 PM)ultra~nova Wrote: I regret passing along a urn size 3 three band heritage, as well as a size 1/1 3 band heritage. At the time I was so set on two band brushes and now looking back I wish I had the opeertunity to place those into my den.
All of the Rooney brushes were special really. Had a faux horn Emillion 3-band that was the densest brush I experienced, Rooney Finest was something else, and though I wasn't a fan of the 2-band heritage as much, I miss that little Stubby one I had. Even Ben's M&F set I bought couldn't totally recapture that one brush.

It's funny as the Rooney brushes I have now with the less density work better for me. I guess I'm just pining for the unique attributes those brushes I used to have had.

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 03-11-2017, 07:25 PM
#29
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Maybe we are just trying to hang on to the glory days haha... when I first got involved with the hobby all these new and exciting items were starting to come out. Two band brushes were not at all popular and these Rooney's and the Simpson brushes really got things going. Now they are still highly sought after as they are IMO the best brushes ever made, that small time period was just epic.

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 03-11-2017, 10:20 PM
#30
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It was indeed an epic period, but we're not living in the dark ages. It's amazing looking at all the custom beauties that get made my new artisans, and several new brands that are very good and have their own distinct qualities (Declaration Works, The Varlet, Brad, Doug Korn, Elite Razors, Romera, Wiborg, and so many more.)

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 03-12-2017, 11:34 AM
#31
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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I agree with the original post, Teiste 2012 review. In my opinion (it was and still is) after using 2 Rooney Finest's (5-6 years back) the myth about the Rooney Finest is just that a myth. Myths have their place warranted of not, myths establishes a topic or subject. In the long history of shaving and its equipment the Rooney Finest has it has its place in shaving folk-law, which is a specific time in the evolution of the shaving brush.

To set the record straight I never owned one but a gentlemen who I do business with in London loaned me 2 RF in 2011-2012. I had the use of them for about 6 month and found them to scritchy and not as soft as I would like, I don't like scritch, but I will tolerate a hint of it if I truly like the handle and other attributes of the knot. Now I did fined the Rooney Heritage 3 band silvertip to be a dream, but it is not a 2 band. 

The Rooney 2 band that I feel was an excellent knot though again the tips on this knot is slightly stiff was their 2 band Super Badger which had a very short availability/purchasing window. I have the 2 band Super Badger Beehive 2 and Highlander 2, which I purchased from VB then gave the Highlander away and later purchased another from a gentlemen here on TSN.

Even though I never owned a Rooney Finest and my opinion is of such, because of it's pedigree, scarcity and place in shaving history this brush does warrant its high price when available, and without question is worth owning. These are only my thoughts and opinions.

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 03-18-2017, 07:17 PM
#32
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In my opinion many of the reports of scritchiness in Rooney Finest brushes come from those of our number who like to splay a brush on their face and those who prefer circular strokes when building and applying lather to their faces.   I would agree with them, there is a bit of scritch when they are used this way.  I have migrated to using paintbrush strokes almost exclusively when applying lather to my face and there is no scritch whatsoever. I have no idea if those reporting scritch in this thread with Rooney Finest knots use circular or paintbrush strokes or not, it's just my observation that there is no scritch if you use paintbrush strokes.

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 03-18-2017, 08:55 PM
#33
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Wow ! Love that this thread is still alive and bringing new opinions and info.Thank you gentlemen !

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 03-19-2017, 04:06 AM
#34
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I bought a Rooney2/1 Finest from Vintage Blades nearly 10 years ago.  It was my first foray into high-end brushes, but since then my cete of badgers has grown to 32.  Aesthetically and perfromance-wise I love this brush, but it has disappointed me greatly as well: the centre of the knot has started to hollow out.  It's not losing hairs in the centre, instead the hairs are breaking about halfway down the shafts.  This has not happened with any other brush I have owned.  I don't think I'm particularly hard on a brush as evidenced by my other brushes not having this problem.  Fortunately the brush is still serviceable, but I use it sparingly.

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 03-19-2017, 07:54 AM
#35
  • bijou
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  • Chicago Illinois
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(03-19-2017, 04:06 AM)Rufus Wrote: I bought a Rooney2/1 Finest from Vintage Blades nearly 10 years ago.  It was my first foray into high-end brushes, but since then my cete of badgers has grown to 32.  Aesthetically and perfromance-wise I love this brush, but it has disappointed me greatly as well: the centre of the knot has started to hollow out.  It's not losing hairs in the centre, instead the hairs are breaking about halfway down the shafts.  This has not happened with any other brush I have owned.  I don't think I'm particularly hard on a brush as evidenced by my other brushes not having this problem.  Fortunately the brush is still serviceable, but I use it sparingly.

I,m really sorry to hear that about the knot.

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 03-19-2017, 08:41 AM
#36
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I will admit to lusting after the brushes I've seen in pictures posted here by Nathan and by others elsewhere.  I've also read by others who own Paladin brushes from the first and second batches knotted by Lee Sabini that the hair on these knots is similar to Rooney "Heritage," whatever that means.  I'm not sure, but I can say that the hair on my second batch Paladin is the most unique feeling I've tried -- crunchy/scratchy when dry and gooey/gel-like when wet.  If the older Rooneys are like that, they are very special indeed.

That said, I bought a Rooney 2/1 super silvertip (script logo) 3-band from Vintage blades as part of their clearout sale, and I found the knot to be a bit scritchy.  I read other evaluations of this brush from people who felt the same and so I came to the conclusion that this Rooney was not like the older ones.  I decided to re-knot it with a Declaration brushworks 2-band knot which is my poor-man's "reproduction" of a Rooney Finest!  Hopefully someday I'll have the opportunity to experience the real thing.

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 03-19-2017, 08:47 AM
#37
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(03-18-2017, 07:17 PM)merkur man Wrote: In my opinion many of the reports of scritchiness in Rooney Finest brushes come from those of our number who like to splay a brush on their face and those who prefer circular strokes when building and applying lather to their faces.   I would agree with them, there is a bit of scritch when they are used this way.  I have migrated to using paintbrush strokes almost exclusively when applying lather to my face and there is no scritch whatsoever. I have no idea if those reporting scritch in this thread with Rooney Finest knots use circular or paintbrush strokes or not, it's just my observation that there is no scritch if you use paintbrush strokes.

Interesting observation, Nathan.  As I progressed in wetshaving I became a face-latherer and do a modified version of your technique (I dont spend as much time building lather on the puck). More often than not I take a fully loaded brush and commence with a few circular/splayed strokes, followed by paintbrush strokes.  It is interesting that paintbrush strokes do seem to thicken the lather more, and I read somewhere that Simpson recommends using only paintbrush strokes.  

My feeling is that doing the splayed/circular strokes seems to give one the feeling of "working in" the lather to the whiskers and the skin -- somehow improving the shave by making sure the lather is really worked in.  Your experience would seem to suggest that this concept of getting better/close coverage by splaying/working the lather into the skin is not really necessary.

Food for thought!

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 03-19-2017, 11:00 AM
#38
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Rooney Finest was a different grade than the 2-band 'Heritage' brushes that had the gel tip characteristic. Rooney actually had a few grades and batches within the history of those grades, with differing characteristics. I believe the Paladins you are referring to had similar characteristics to the 2-band Heritage hair.

When Lee Sabini resurrected Rooney in 2005, he released a range of grades of increasing quality (pure, best, silvertip, super & finest). Finest was the top of the line, and was apparently very difficult hair to source. Heritage came a little bit later, I believe, and started off with 3-band hair (extra stuffed, soft, awesome IMO). The Finest hair in my limited experience, was very soft when dry, unlike the course feel of the gel tip batch. When lathering, the gel tip batch is softer, but the finest hair has more texture and feeling. I like gel tips, but typically prefer hair with some scrub. The two Finest brushes I currently own have a very pleasing mix of scrub and softness. A very slight hint of scritch if I do circular motions as Nathan described. But I also primarily use paint strokes. I switch to circular strokes to speed up the lather thickening process, then switch back. The scritch in my brushes is so slight that I am convinced that there must have been variability between batches of Finest brushes. It would not surprise me if some of the brushes had a bit more scritch than others. Certainly, we have seen this with many of the top grades from other vendors as well (D01 2-band, Simpsons Manchurian, etc).

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 03-19-2017, 11:01 AM
#39
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(03-19-2017, 04:06 AM)Rufus Wrote: I bought a Rooney2/1 Finest from Vintage Blades nearly 10 years ago.  It was my first foray into high-end brushes, but since then my cete of badgers has grown to 32.  Aesthetically and perfromance-wise I love this brush, but it has disappointed me greatly as well: the centre of the knot has started to hollow out.  It's not losing hairs in the centre, instead the hairs are breaking about halfway down the shafts.  This has not happened with any other brush I have owned.  I don't think I'm particularly hard on a brush as evidenced by my other brushes not having this problem.  Fortunately the brush is still serviceable, but I use it sparingly.

I've experienced a hollowing out of the center of a knot once as well.  It was with my first brush (an AoS Silvertip) however in my case it occurred because I was really hard on it.  I do not doubt that you've looked after your brush properly though. I have had other brushes that demonstrated a lot of mid-shaft hair breakage, the hair just seemed brittle.  I wonder if that is the case with your brush as well Bryan?  I have been using Tappan's method of cleaning my brushes over the last 3-4 months and I have to admit it works really well.  It is basically a good shampooing, followed by conditioner and a bit of Argon oil. The treatment seems to make the hairs more flexible and resilient.   Sorry to hear about your Finest though Bryan, that really stinks!

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 03-19-2017, 11:06 AM
#40
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(03-19-2017, 08:47 AM)surfshaver Wrote:
(03-18-2017, 07:17 PM)merkur man Wrote: In my opinion many of the reports of scritchiness in Rooney Finest brushes come from those of our number who like to splay a brush on their face and those who prefer circular strokes when building and applying lather to their faces.   I would agree with them, there is a bit of scritch when they are used this way.  I have migrated to using paintbrush strokes almost exclusively when applying lather to my face and there is no scritch whatsoever. I have no idea if those reporting scritch in this thread with Rooney Finest knots use circular or paintbrush strokes or not, it's just my observation that there is no scritch if you use paintbrush strokes.

Interesting observation, Nathan.  As I progressed in wetshaving I became a face-latherer and do a modified version of your technique (I dont spend as much time building lather on the puck). More often than not I take a fully loaded brush and commence with a few circular/splayed strokes, followed by paintbrush strokes.  It is interesting that paintbrush strokes do seem to thicken the lather more, and I read somewhere that Simpson recommends using only paintbrush strokes.  

My feeling is that doing the splayed/circular strokes seems to give one the feeling of "working in" the lather to the whiskers and the skin -- somehow improving the shave by making sure the lather is really worked in.  Your experience would seem to suggest that this concept of getting better/close coverage by splaying/working the lather into the skin is not really necessary.

Food for thought!
I used to do/think the same thing. I honestly haven't noticed a difference in performance of my soaps when applied with paintbrush strokes or circular motions.  My primary reason for switching was my desire to make my brushes last as long as possible.  Whether or not you prefer paintbrush or circular strokes, if you think about it, it makes sense that paintbrush strokes should lead to improved knot longevity.

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