Brush Chronicle #13: Vulfix

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by Foyle, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Hello all, and welcome to the 13th installment of the Brush Chronicles! Thanks to djh and beginish, the Brush Forum moderators, for allowing us this opportunity. dpmtherrien and I will be taking it in turns to feature our respective Vulfix brush. We hope to show how this venerable brush can handle soaps and creams alike. Their knots aren't as densely packed as Simpson, Shavemac, or Thater, but they are powerhouse brushes and worthy of note. Vulfix makes a great, very affordable brush perfect for the beginner or the veteran wet shaver.

    We'll be featuring the 2233S and the 2234S; but this is a conversation, so join in everyone, and share your thoughts and post pics of your favorite Vulfix brush.

    First up is my 2233 in Super Badger. It's a wee little powerhouse of a brush. It's the Bruce Lee of brushes; small, efficient, flexible, elegant, powerful. I'll take it through the range of software in my den and hopefully we'll get a chance to see how it handles a puck of Mitchell's Wool Fat before the end of the chronicle. I've got one coming in from Canada thanks to my friend Rockviper. If it comes in time we'll put the 2233S to the ultimate test and lather the Fat with it.

    Let's have a look at the brush itself. This brush has a 20mm knot and a 49mm loft. The handle is small but comfortable. It's not a cheap molded handle either, no sir! This brush has a nice, solid, lathe turned handle giving the brush a nice quality feel. By way of comparison, here's the 2233S pictured next to my 1305 and my Duke 2 so you can get a sense of the size of this brush.

    1305 left/2233S center/Duke2 right


    The knot is not nearly as densely packed as the Simpson Duke 2 but it's by no means sparse. It's probably one of the least densely packed Super Badger brushes out there, but that doesn't keep it from being a lathering beast. This brush lathers like crazy; bowl lathering, face lathering, it does it all and it does it well.

    2233S left/Duke 2 right

    Today we'll test this brush with Proraso soft soap. After about 20 seconds of loading this is the result. I find this brush picks up soap and makes a great proto-lather on triple milled and soft soaps alike with tremendous ease. Now, wouldn't you like to start building lather with this?


    After a little face lathering this is the result. This brush is brimming with lather. I had plenty for my three pass shave and some to spare. Many call this brush floppy but I don't think that's a fair assessment. We need a different adjective for this brush but I have yet to come up with one that does it justice. To me a floppy brush is a brush that's an uncontrollable mop on your face. This brush is nothing of the sort. While it is soft and splays very easily, it's also very easy to control and has excellent flow through. The brush releases lather really easily but without dropping it all over the place. I think a good brush should both hold lather and give it up, depositing it on your face when you need it. This brush does just that.


    The Super Badger hair of the 2233S is probably not as plush as other brand's version of Super Badger. In fact, I'd say without a doubt that the Best hair in my Duke 2 has much softer tips, but this brush is by no means scritchy. It's just not as luxurious as a more expensive brush. But hey, for about $50.00 this is a fantastic brush.

    New wet shavers should consider this brush over an inexpensive pure badger brush. It lathers better than a pure badger brush, as well any higher end brush, and is much easier on the face without being hard on the wallet. If I had known about this brush when I began wet shaving I never would have gotten that scritchy, stabby, pure badger brush that I started out with.

    Finally, here's the brush rinsed and ready to dry for the next shave.


    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  2. Would you consider this a very good Tier 2 brush or a poor Tier 1 brush? How often would you use this brush if it were a regular part of your rotation?
  3. Nice review! Personally, my own experience with the Vulfix line was that of two impressions. I simply bought the wrong brush for me, 2236 in Super. It was huge. I have large hands, and that handle was still way too big to enjoy the brush. The hair was soft and luxurious, but I found it to be too floppy to be good at any one thing. I do, however, think that Vulfix makes a high quality brush that is at a very reasonable price point. In my mind, and with my experience with the 2236, I would think either the 2233 or the 2234 would be very good brushes for what they are.

    I absolutely agree with your statement about new wet-shavers opting for this line over a similarly/less priced Pure Badger.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  4. I guess that depends on what you mean by "tier 1" and "tier 2". I mean, would you consider a Berkley a tier 1 or a tier 2 brush?

    As far as how often I use it: that depends on my mood. Sometimes I'll use it for several days in a row and some times I'll use another brush. It gets used with fair regularity.
  5. djh

    djh Moderator

    Nice work Chad. I will be following this one eagerly even though I don't own a Vulfix brush. Please keep the great reporting coming!
  6. Looking forward to this. I've been thinking about trying a 404 Grosvenor mixed. I just get the feeling that it's one of those brushes everyone should have in their den.
  7. Ummm.... I'm tempted to get one now after reading this thread.

    Also, +1 for the Grosvenor (mixed boar/badger) to anyone thinking about picking one up.
  8. Stay tuned. Tomorrow's posting will feature the 2233 on a triple milled soap. In the mean time, my partner should be posting something for us later today featuring his 2234.
  9. Folks, I have some bad news. Due to unforeseen circumstances it turns out that dpmtherrien will be unable to participate in the Vulfix Chronicle with me as we had originally planned. He will be missed. We'll keep the Chronicle running though and make a fresh post in the morning. It will be the 2233S versus AOS Lemon. There will be lather!
  10. The 2234S was actually my first brush. I really love the shape of the handle, but I found the knot was a bit floppy as I developed a liking for hard soaps and face lathering. If I used more creams I would have probably kept it but it ended up on the BST. Seeing pictures of it makes me want another one, but with a different knot......:confused1
  11. Great review of the 2233 Foyle, it was my first real shaving brush and still holds high regard in my den. Here is a link to a lather video I made a while back. I use my Vulfix 2233 to whip up a little Arko on the face. Keep the reviews coming gentlemen!

    You will notice I refer to the brush as being "floppy" several times in this video. Mainly to make the point that a soft, less dense brush will get the job done, but also because I do consider it to be floppy, at least what I consider floppy.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  12. Thanks cessnabird. You know, it was your video that helped prompt me to get the 2233S. Once I saw the brush in action I couldn't wait to try it.

    You're right, floppy probably is the best way to describe it.
  13. It's often said that one needs a brush with good backbone to load triple milled soaps. Today we'll see that isn't the case. This floppy little brush will load a triple milled soap just fine. Today it's Art of Shaving Lemon soap. I put my puck in a Fiesta ramekin. Next time I may just spring for the wood bowl.


    Twenty seconds of loading and we're ready to start building lather. I do have soft water. If you have harder water you'll need to load longer. Not bad for a floppy brush, eh?


    I don't think loading soap is about having a brush stiff enough to scrape soap off the puck, I think it's more about the damp hairs dissolving soap and that dissolved soap getting lifted into the brush. This will happen wether your brush is floppy or has lots of backbone.

    After adding water and building the lather this is the result.


    Gentlemen, and ladies, I present to you The Soap Eater.

  14. Very nice review!

    I like that brush.
  15. The Mitchell's arrived today courtesy of Rockviper all the way from Canada. I just test lathered it with the 2233 and got great results. I'll feature it in a future post.
  16. The AOS lemon really came to life with the little beast from the Isle of man, fantastic pictures!
  17. Gentlemen, I am pleased to partner with Foyle in this issue of the brush chronicles. My first offering will be my Vulfix 2233 whipping up some Haslinger soap.

    Vulfix 2233 Super Badger "20mm knot/ 50mm loft"
    Georgetown G-5 Scuttle
    Vintage Old Spice soap mug

    Haslinger Sandalwood cake soap

    Although I find the little Vulfix in it's true realm with creams, it does lather hard soaps with the best of them.
    I started by heating my scuttle with warm water and soaked the brush for several minutes. Once I gently dispatched excess water from the brush, I began loading on the puck. Total loading time was appx 1 minute. Total lather time in the scuttle was appx 2 minutes. The pictures that follow document the steps as the lather process developed. I hope you enjoy! Jeremy-

    First, comparison pictures of the 2233S with it's big brother (40S) and the Chubby ll. Density is not king with this brush but it does offer plenty of backbone to load pretty much any soap or cream on the market. The tips are uber soft yet effective both on the face and in the bowl. Haslinger, for me at least, does load slower and thicker than Trumpers and some of the other wonderful hard soaps out there, the same goes for the lather making. I find I have to add more water over time to really make this soap lather well regardless of which brush I am using. Hence the 2 minute lather time.

    The line up!
    $photo 1 (2).JPG

    From the top.
    $photo 2 (3).JPG

    The dry brush prior to soaking in water.
    $photo 3 (3).JPG
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  18. The brush soaking in the scuttle, the lathe turned faux ivory handle gloating...

    $photo 5 (2).JPG

    After appx 15 seconds of loading on the cake.
    $photo 2 (4).JPG

    Another 45 seconds on the puck, slowly adding tiny amounts of water as I go.
    $photo 3 (4).JPG

    Appx 20 seconds in the scuttle.
    $photo 4 (3).JPG

    After the full 2 minutes of Super Badger bristle agitation. Just look at those creamy peaks of Sandalwood heaven!
    $photo 5 (3).JPG
  19. Finally the brush ready to luxuriously dispense warm lather on the beard.
    $photo 2 (5).JPG

    $photo 4 (4).JPG

    The Super bristles blooming... All in all, this wonderful brush is one that never lets me down. I am proud to own it and look forward to many more decades of service from this fabulous badger!
  20. Wow! Really nice lather cessnabird. Welcome to the Chronicle.

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