01-21-2013, 02:07 PM
#1
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Because i have no intent to duplicate questions or waste any ones time, let me start by saying i've been through how-to's and wiki's on this site and on B&B, as well as used the search functions on both forums to find what i'm looking for, to no avail.

I started back around Christmas with a VDH kit, including the brush, soap and bulldog bowl (apothecary bowl) and a Mekur 33C. I used to dread shaving, but even with these cheap supplies I find my self looking forward to it. But because these are cheap i know i can get a more comfortable shave. I've already got proraso sandlewood in cream and soap on order so i can try higher quality, i plan on trying TOBS later as well. I've also found a good condition 1971 Gillette adjustable razor to try.

That leaves upgrading my brush. I'm hardly a connoisseur and I doubt i'll ever be able to get a $200 brush, no matter how much i might want to. I am not up for spending 100+, that being said i'm looking at around the $50 mark. I was looking at the men-u premier but after reading its pretty much the omega synthetic with a higher price tag-its out. I'm looking at the WSP Prince in silvertip, Parker Pure, Parker silvertip all for $60 or less and even had the GSB Pure badger recommended for the $20 range.

Any recommendations or tips on narrowing down what i'm looking for?

Thanks in advance.

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 01-21-2013, 02:18 PM
#2
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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If you are looking for a bit more backbone to your brush, I would suggest the WSP Prince in Two band finest as a very luxurious yet well priced solution. I would also take a hard look at the Muhle Silvertip Synthetic brushes. Connaught Shaving has very good deals. The synthetics that Muhle makes are second to no other synthetic, in my oppinion. The 21mm brush is a good mix of softness and backbone. Also, getting a brush from Larry at his Whipped Dog site is a good bet to get a great brush at a good deal, if you are set on getting a silvertip.

Be careful with buying a Pure Badger brush from anywhere though, some of them can be pretty rough and scratchy.

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 01-21-2013, 02:37 PM
#3
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How do you lather? Face, palm, bowl, some other way (if the last one then please start a thread about it)? Do you want soft & luxurious or would you rather there to be a nice amount of scrub or massaging effect? Do you like some prickle on the tips (not good for sensitive skin)?

The WSP Prince has 2 options that can fit either bill. You should also look at Muhle synthetics as mentioned above along with boar brushes from Semogue. While I haven't tried it Vintage Blades has a house brand 2-band that is well reviewed and around $30 I think. They recently had a slight price increase so I'm not sure if I remembered correctly.

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 01-21-2013, 03:01 PM
#4
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Thanks for the replies.

I do a bowl lather, but then spend a little bit of time applying it to my face. Although i have a coarse beard, i say i have sensitive skin. Thats mostly because of irritation on my neck and jaw line....which has improved since dropping canned shaving gels/creams and cartridge razors. Since i'm still new to this, I'm still working on what techniques and products work best for me.

I think the VB or Whipping-dog will fit my bill well and at their prices I can potentially get one of each and learn more of what i like.

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 01-21-2013, 03:03 PM
#5
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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If you want pillowy softness on your face then go with the Whipped Dog. If you want a tiny bit of scrub then go with the Vintage Blades.

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 01-21-2013, 03:05 PM
#6
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Just be aware that more expensive doesn't always mean better.

With wet shaving, it often just means more expensive.

There are plenty of good inexpensive boar brushes that have a wonderful face feel after broken in. IMO, Pure badger is pretty miserable. The examples I have tried have been overly scritchy. My recommendation is to re-knot a handle or buy one with a TGN finest. Nice knot at a value price. This is all just my opinion and as always ymmv.

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 01-21-2013, 03:07 PM
#7
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For a lot of bang for the buck in creams, try Kiss My Face. Since it's on this side of the pond you get really top notch performance for not much $. There are so many inexpensive good soaps, creams, and sticks from across the pond that it staggers the mind. You don't need to spend a lot to get great performance. Of course there are the domestic artisans as well, and their soaps can be great.

Yes, I need to know more about the way you lather as well. There are really good face lathering badgers in your price range. Boars are very good also, but IMO it makes a difference if you face lather or bowl lather. (Yes, I know you have a bowl, you didn't say you used it.)

You can get a high quality boar for much less money than a crappy badger. (I'm not calling all badgers crappy) The boars won't feel high quality when dry, but when wet, and after break in, they are superb.

If you can mix epoxy you can make a high quality brush. The Golden Nib (TGN) sells both handles and knots. The quality is high and you save $ by putting knot and handle together and mixing the glue yourself. It's no big deal to do.

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 01-21-2013, 03:10 PM
#8
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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I would go with 2 brushes and you can probably get there for for $60.

I would buy another boar, the Omega 5010710. Omega boar is easily 10 times better than the VDH and once you break this brush in , you'll love it. I've used many Omega boars and one thing I am sure is that once broken in they will work and rival badger brushes in softness. Its cost is $10 .

I would buy a badger from Wet Shaving Products. I have used the Monarch HMW and its getting to be my favorite. If that brush is any example of the WPS line than you probably could not go wrong with any of their brushes that fit your need, preference , budget.

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 01-21-2013, 03:12 PM
#9
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Wow, in the time it took me to write that reply, lots happened.

You could do a lot worse than a 24mm TGN synthetic and a relatively long handle. It's a lather monster, has gel-like tips, and the long handle will make it work in a bowl. Their Finest knot, as PanChango mentioned, is superb and inexpensive for the quality. Get a Finest Fan if you want it to feel bigger.

A longer boar would also work, but dsince I face lather exclusively others will need to tell you about those brushes.

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 01-21-2013, 03:24 PM
#10
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Thank you for the advice and recommendations of lesser known brands. It is nice to know that i can get a good brush with out paying for an AoS or the prices i've seen on straightrazordesigns.com.

I think between TGN, VB, and whipped dog (and even a cheap boar as mentioned by Hanzo), I can probably get 2 or 3 brushes on my budget and get a lot more experience with different sizes, weights, and grades of brush.

Reading review after review of $200 brushes gets intimidating.

ShadowsDad: I do use the bowl to lather, then spend a bit of time applying it. The lather does continue to build a little bit but mostly massages in. I'm still playing with techniques and products but trying not to break the bank doing it.

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 01-21-2013, 03:36 PM
#11
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I would highly suggest the WSP Prince in two band, I love this brush it has soft tips with plenty of backbone. Another suggestion would be the Semogue 830, it's a boar brush but tons better than the VdH boar you got with the kit.
Cheers!

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 01-21-2013, 04:46 PM
#12
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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Muhle Silvertip Fiber. Great brush. I use it for face and bowl lathering. The 23mm is a good size to start with and well within your budget. I can also +1 on the Golden Nib construct your own brush route. I am test driving a 22mm synthetic knot in a butterscotch handle tonight.

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 01-21-2013, 05:16 PM
#13
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(01-21-2013, 03:07 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: You can get a high quality boar for much less money than a crappy badger. (I'm not calling all badgers crappy) The boars won't feel high quality when dry, but when wet, and after break in, they are superb.

Yes, don't overlook the boars as being cheap or inferior to badger brushes. You can get a high quality boar for under $20. It took me over a year into wet shaving to finally try a boar and once I did I regreted not trying one out sooner.

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 01-21-2013, 05:26 PM
#14
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Yeah, the beginners guide to boar brushes here on the nook recommends just about anything by omega. I want to try out the proraso pre shave so im thinking about ordering that from amazon and tacking on the Omega Professional 10049. I'll likely have that before any VB, WD, or TGN i choose so i'll give it a try for a while.

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 01-21-2013, 05:33 PM
#15
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(01-21-2013, 05:26 PM)willfull04 Wrote: Yeah, the beginners guide to boar brushes here on the nook recommends just about anything by omega. I want to try out the proraso pre shave so im thinking about ordering that from amazon and tacking on the Omega Professional 10049. I'll likely have that before any VB, WD, or TGN i choose so i'll give it a try for a while.

So far I've never tried and Omega boar that I didn't like. The Pro49 is on the larger side of their spectrum (not the largest though), but it gets great reviews by both bowl and face latherers a like. Be patient as boar take a little bit to break in and become really nice...you can speed that process up by doing test lathers with it.

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 01-21-2013, 05:46 PM
#16
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Considering your preferences and to give you some variety, I would recommend:

Semogue 1800 (incredibly versatile...really you could also get the 1250 and the 1305 if you happen to like their looks better). Best price is vintagescent.com

Vintage Blades 22mm two-band badger or a Whipped Dog silvertip. Some of the best values in badger right now, IMO.

Frank Shaving synthetic from Star Shaving. It's the only one they offer and is the best value in synthetic brushes, IMO.

Total including shipping will be about $60. Functionally, I don't think you can outgrow these (or the other brushes mentioned here...you may just develop different preferences). If you know what you are looking for, you can also find great deals in the Selling and Trading forum here.

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