01-26-2013, 07:18 PM
#1
  • ajc347
  • Senior Member
  • Exeter, UK
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I've recently re-visited a couple of brushes I've owned, sold on and regretted selling.

One of these is a Kent H8.

The brush I sold had a bulb-shaped knot, had a noticeable prickliness to it and whilst it bowl lathered well, didn't feel particularly special when compared against other brushes I own.

The second brush arrived this week, has more of a fan-shaped knot (similar to my BK8) and a very different faux horn handle pattern than either the first H8 or other faux horn brushes I've owned in that it appears to be bereft of any dark brown colour.

The performance of the brush is markedly different from the first H8. It is noticeably softer at the tips (although not as soft as the Kent Silvertip), bowl lathers well and is much less prickly on my face than the first H8.

In many ways the second brush reminds me of my EJ Super Badger brushes in terms if both feel and performance. All-in-all there is a marked improvement over the first H8 I owned (although I'm still undecided about the handle pattern).

My BK2 feels softer than the first H8 ever did and is far less prickly in use, whilst the second H8, in comparison, feels similar to the BK2.

The BK2 has a fan shaped knot and I'm wondering if the knot shape could be the main reason which can account for the clear differences in performance and feel between the two H8's?

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts guys.

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 01-26-2013, 07:48 PM
#2
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The short answer is no. Knot shape is not going to make the changes you describe.

The long answer is that the changes you are describing has to do with the processing and grading of the hair used in the knot. When dealing with lower quality hair, there is a lot of "inclusions" which impact negatively on face feel. Some batches of hair have less inclusions, and some have more.

Each badger will produce about 1.5 knots of lower grade hair, so you can surmise that how that badger lived it's life is going to play a large role in how that particular knot is going to feel.

Much less variance the higher the grade you go.

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 01-26-2013, 07:52 PM
#3
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Performance differences based on the shape of the loft would depend on personal lathering technique. Many, if not most, seem to experience no significant difference.

There are, of course, variations from brush to brush, especially when made by hand, depending upon the batch of badger hair and minor variations in the density and shape of the loft.

In my own case and my personal lathering technique (in a bowl), a fan-shaped brush works way more efficiently and with less strain on the center of the loft. I work the lather against the bottom of the bowl with the end of the brush. I keep the lather in the bottom of the bowl, I swirl it (more for conditioning and less for building), and I use light compression (more for building and less for conditioning). With a bulb-shaped brush, it is harder to keep the lather in the bottom of the bowl and I have to compress it much harder, mashing the center of the loft while getting little use out of the sides. If you work the lather around the bottom of the bowl and the sides, this would be less of an issue.

- Murray

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 01-26-2013, 10:52 PM
#4
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This question is addressed, with some helpful information, at shaving101.com.
http://www.shaving101.com/index.php/educ...hapes.html

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 01-26-2013, 11:29 PM
#5
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great question and answers ....

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 01-27-2013, 12:35 AM
#6
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Thanks for posting that John. Quite interesting. That has me thinking. (almost never an easy thing)

edit: For some reason that I never consciously knew most of my brushes have been fans. There are (I think) 2 bulb shapes, but the rest are either fans or a sort of fan/bulb hybrid. I also face lather exclusively. Very interesting indeed. My favorite brushes are the fans. The link makes a lot of sense put into the perspective of what I instinctively gravitated to.

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 01-27-2013, 02:14 AM
#7
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I own Shavemacs with the same hair quality in different knot shapes - and I feel the knot shape makes a huge difference !

A huge difference !

YMMV

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 01-27-2013, 10:09 AM
#8
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That's all well and good, but do any of you attribute less or more prickliness to knot shape?

Because that's the OP's question.

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 01-27-2013, 04:07 PM
#9
  • ajc347
  • Senior Member
  • Exeter, UK
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Thanks for all of the replies guys.

I used the H8 again tonight and was again impressed as to how good the knot feels.

Thanks for the Shaving101 link John - I do tend to find that bulbs tend to bowl lather less well for me than fan-shaped knots though, which is slightly at odds with what Shaving101 suggests (there are exceptions of course such as the Kent BK4 for example).

Thanks for pointing out the potential for differing consistency amongst lower grades of hair Lee. I'd never realised that this was the case. I presumed that each manufacturer's grade of hair would work around certain tolerances so that a best knot from one batch of hair would be roughly similar to that from another batch.

I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on what the differences the knot shapes are between the Shavemacs you own Claus, and whether any of them feel more prickly or scritchier than the others.

Thanks again guys. Smile

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 01-27-2013, 04:24 PM
#10
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Well, there's not much sorting at the low end. It's more or less the result of taking the best of the batch for each of the high end hairs (HMW & silvertip) and then whatever is left becomes best or pure. Sometimes grey if they want to sort through it even more.

Sometimes HMW & silvertip are just clumped together if the person depilating the pelt doesn't know to keep them apart.

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 01-27-2013, 04:37 PM
#11
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(01-27-2013, 02:14 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: I own Shavemacs with the same hair quality in different knot shapes - and I feel the knot shape makes a huge difference !

A huge difference !

YMMV

Claus, could you please elaborate on the differences you find betweeen the shapes? Considering a Shavemac, and would appreciate your advice.

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 01-27-2013, 04:39 PM
#12
  • ajc347
  • Senior Member
  • Exeter, UK
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(01-27-2013, 04:24 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: Well, there's not much sorting at the low end. It's more or less the result of taking the best of the batch for each of the high end hairs (HMW & silvertip) and then whatever is left becomes best or pure. Sometimes grey if they want to sort through it even more.

Sometimes HMW & silvertip are just clumped together if the person depilating the pelt doesn't know to keep them apart.

That makes sense - I presume that the sorting process is quite labour-intensive, hence why there's little sorting at the low-end?

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 01-27-2013, 04:54 PM
#13
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(01-27-2013, 04:39 PM)ajc347 Wrote:
(01-27-2013, 04:24 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: Well, there's not much sorting at the low end. It's more or less the result of taking the best of the batch for each of the high end hairs (HMW & silvertip) and then whatever is left becomes best or pure. Sometimes grey if they want to sort through it even more.

Sometimes HMW & silvertip are just clumped together if the person depilating the pelt doesn't know to keep them apart.

That makes sense - I presume that the sorting process is quite labour-intensive, hence why there's little sorting at the low-end?

I'm sure that's a factor, but it's mostly about how the hair is sorted and what criteria they rely upon when sorting it.

To get rid of the pokiness they can either remove it in later processing, or pluck out all the black broken ends. Obviously easier and cheaper to use chemicals. I suppose you can remove them as the end consumer too, but at that point, why not just buy a higher grade of silvertip hair.

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