01-21-2013, 03:50 PM
#1
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
User Info
Happy to have been able to participate in the Wet Shaving Products (wetshavingproducts.com/) brush pass around.. Awesome opportunity. For more.. go here...

Wet shaving for about two and a half years, I still consider myself a noob when it comes to brush nomenclature, but I know what I like and dislike in a brush and hopefully I will be successful in communicating this..

[Image: p1391427032-5.jpg]

This is a 26:52 Super Badger TWO-Band knot. Of late I have been loving short fat two bands, and this is what attracted me to the brush. The 52mm loft is little higher than I prefer. It is set in an acrylic butterscotch swirled handle.

Handle shape is functional though not my preferred profile. It has a traditional shape and lacks any real sex-appeal. That said its got a nice robust girth and is long enough for bowl lathering. It was very secure even wet and slippery and as my time with the brush progressed, I got over it's less than sexy looks. Plus One for the ergonomics and function.. Minus one for lack of creativity..but to be fair, this is totally personal.

The Butterscotch Pearl (aka orange burst) is an awesome color. Love it. Adds a nice splash to the bathroom. A cobalt blue would be cool too. Point for totally nontraditional color.

[Image: p1391427782-4.jpg]

Not sure if the handle is a production model or not, but I would love to see the bottom end of the handle have a hollow on it so the brush sits flat when put on end. While not a huge deal, it's these little things that add up to the overall experience. My eye kept telling me the knot is set crocked in the handle. This doesn't impact performance, but it did capture my attention each time I fluffed it after drying and long term, it would annoy/disappoint me. Point neither granted nor taken away for the lack of hollow on the handle.. but minus for the tilted setting of the knot.. Anyone else notice this?

Density:
Very well packed. Consistent with the TGN two band Super's I have. Thumbs up.

[Image: p1391427560-5.jpg]

Drying Time:
Post shave, a good flick and gentle towel buff cleared the water and when used in the a.m, it was dry before I went to bed same day. Meh..no points either way. Not all that important to me.

Water absorbency:
Not unlike other densely packed knots, it holds a ton of water. Even after vigorous flicks, there is ample water to get a great lather underway, for some, maybe too much. I didn't have water/lather dripping all-over, but an occasional dribble was unavoidable. I prefer to work with very little water to start (I can add more but can't take it away). Once I learned it's characteristics, it was easy to manage. Score one for absorption.

Loading:
Super easy. I used Tabac, Trumpers soap, Cella, P.160 Tipo Duro, Tabula Rasa, Mama Bears Glyc and a few others and the brush loaded easily regardless of what I threw at it. Even Cella lathered wonderfully, and Cella and I don't get along too well. Plus point. If there is software incompatible with this hardware, I don't have it.

Backbone:
I would consider this medium firm. By comparison, I have three TGN Super two bands set much lower, that I would classify as firm.. and I would rate the Rooney Stubby H-2XL as firm-plus.

When facing, and especially with sticks, my tendency to use very little water makes for a rather thick layer of under-hydrated lather on the face. As I add water, the brush needs to have enough backbone to be able to pick up this thick layer and mix it effectively. A floppy brush fails here.. evidenced by difficulty in rinsing the soap off the razor. The WSP is a winner in this regard.. Firm enough to lift the thick pre-lather and whip it soft and foamy. Again, for comparison, the Rooney Stubby H-2XL is almost TOO firm in this regard and tends to scrape lather cleanly away. In the bowl, the hairs don't get flattened out, keeping the lather in the bowl where it belongs. Point awarded.

Softness & Feel:
Though there is plenty of back bone and the hairs stay firm and upright without splaying out on my face, the tips stay super soft. No scritch or prickly feeling to be found here. In my rather limited experience, I have found that some two-bands, and knots with strong back bone, can tend to scrape the pre-lather as mentioned above, sort of like a spackling knife scrapes Spackle off the walls. It's pretty annoying. Not so with this brush. I find a nice balance between soft, pliable tips and firm back bone. If there is a glue bump down in there, I don't feel it. Plus one.

Controllability:
I have a few 26mm's, a 28mm and a 29mm. Don't fear the big knots when they are as firm as this brush. It is totally maneuverable and I didn't find lather in places it shouldn't be... I attribute this to the lack of splay in the hairs. No extra steps were needed (IE. fingers around the knot) to get under my nose effectively.. Basically treated it like any other smaller brush. A joy in this regard.

Release:
Holding back lather is one characteristics I really dislike. There is some awesome lather left in many badger knots that is only yielded by a squeeze (not a frequent characteristic in boar brushes). That said, this brush seems to release more of that residual than other badgers I have...It's no hog in this respect. Plus again!

Face lather -vs- Bowl:
I tried to give the brush equal time in both venues. I use a DB Bill Bowl. Again, the brush has an excellent balance and can do equal duty in the bowl or on the face. Plus again and a bonus point for versatility.

[Image: p1391428234-5.jpg]

Summary:
If you can have only one quality brush in your inventory, this could serve you quite well. Fine with bowl or face. Easily lathers creams, croaps and soaps. Rinses easily and dries fast. I would prefer a different handle shape, and the hollow in the handle to help it sit straight. Also would prefer a more fan shaped knot over the bulb, but it performed well just as is. Overall, a really great brush !

Click the pic for more images...
[Image: p1391429524-5.jpg]

Thanks for the opportunity to try it and share my thoughts. It's boxed and ready to go out to the next person in line!

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 01-21-2013, 03:55 PM
#2
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Mike, wow, great review and pictures!

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 01-21-2013, 04:01 PM
#3
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Nice thorough review ... and great photos!

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 01-21-2013, 04:13 PM
#4
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Thanks for sharing Mike. You've just made it harder for me to await my turn.

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 01-21-2013, 04:34 PM
#5
  • TonyN
  • Active Member
  • Lawrenceville, GA US
User Info
Really good review Mike. It's a really nice brush.

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 01-21-2013, 04:48 PM
#6
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
User Info
Yes, Mike, Great review...Glad I get a turn at it now!

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 01-21-2013, 09:59 PM
#7
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
User Info
Stunning pics , my friend.WOW , those are beautiful shots , sir.
Yes , as I said in another thread : WSP is truly providing great brushes/knots with affordable prices for the quality.Well done for WSP.

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 01-21-2013, 11:24 PM
#8
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This is a really good review, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with it. The pictures are top notch!

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 01-22-2013, 01:22 AM
#9
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Lookout, Mike, quite being so modest, you're far from a noob these days!

I'm kinda calling shenanigans on the design though, it is basically a Duke 3, and well it reminds me of my stubby chubby from 2009, lol....

   

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 01-22-2013, 02:56 AM
#10
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
Beautiful pictures and great review Mike.

I adore the handle material. I'm not as taken with the elongated design of the handle as it appears from an aesthetic viewpoint to be incongruent with the knot in terms of proportions. That said the knot looks good, but of course I can't comment on the hair as I haven't experienced it for myself...

Thanks for sharing.

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 01-22-2013, 02:49 PM
#11
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Mike a great review and pictures were great.

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 01-22-2013, 04:24 PM
#12
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
User Info
Glad it's on the mark as far as a review... And thanks all, for the compliments on the images.

Brian, you're on deck soon. Worth the wait!

Matt, it's in transit today and if the post man doesn't screw up you should have it for the weekend!! Plan ahead!

Teiste, thanks my friend!! Glad you like the images. I have no idea what WSP is charging for this brush. I avoiding any of the pricing details because I didn't want it to taint my review.

Aaron, thanks. I guess I have to stop playing the noob card soon. I agree the handle looks like an elongated Duke 3. I like the smoother veining in your brush handle. Same wicked orange burst color but a little less psychedelic.

Ben, it does seem more balanced in person. It's a hybrid. And the elongated handle does help reach the bottom of a bowl. I just would have liked a more sexy contour.

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