PJ2 Best or PL8 Best for use with Soap?

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by geoff, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. I can't find any direct comparisons of the PJ2/PL8 (particularly for use with soaps).

    I am just getting back into wet shaving and would prefer to use soap primarly but will be trying out some creams.

    Any comments on pro's/con's of these models (or suggestions for an alternate?)

  2. Geoff,
    Personally I would highly recommend the PJ2 in super. While Simpson's "best" badger hair is quite nice, it is not as stout as the "super" and has a tendency to flex more, which for hard soaps is not nearly as effective - so my suggestion would be to get a "super" grade simpson.

    Between the Polo 8 and PJ2, the PJ2 is the hands down winner. The polo handle looks superb, but it is incredibly uncomfortable, heavy, and isn't very easy to control, all of which are negative traits when used with hard soaps. The polo "head" is cut primarily for shaving creams and is floppy, even with "super" badger hair - so I would strongly recommend the PJ2 in super badger hair.... it is a few $ more, but it is WELL worth it to go with the super over the best in the PJ2 handle. I'd shoot Lee an email from lees razors and tell him you are a member here, and he'll set you up with a PJ2 super at a superb price.
  3. DoubleE

    DoubleE Moderator Emeritus


    Here's a shot of the Polo 8 best beside a PJ2 super. For me, the PJ is the clear winner. They are both densly packed and I find both work well with soaps. The handle of the PJ is much more comfortable however in my opinion. If I had to pare down to only two brushes (heaven forbid), the PJ2 would be one of them. I do prefer the super to the best but the best ain't bad by any stretch of the imagination! PJ2 super and don't look back!

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2017
  4. Thanks for the side by side photo.

    That does help (as does the opinion).

    I quite preferred the look of the PJ anyways so if it is nicer to operate that makes it easy.

    I thought I read elsewhere in the forums that the Simpsons super grade was pretty hit and miss. Several comments seemed to indicate the difference from best was negligible or that it was more prickly.

    I take it in your experience the difference is notable?
    I am not averse to paying more for it if I will receive a benefit; just didn't want to pay more for the same thing.

  5. DoubleE

    DoubleE Moderator Emeritus


    I too have read comments about the consistency of the Simpson's super. I don't know it to be true or false. Since the PJ2 is the only Simpson's I have in super, I really can't say one way or the other. Maybe drP will chime in with his findings.

    The best is very good in my opinion but if you can stand the premium, I would recommend the super. I don't find the best prickly but it's not quite as soft as the super and the difference is notable.
  6. Geoff,
    Most of those comments are generated from individuals who are making judgements based on the "look" of the badger hair. Some feel a simpsons super should have white tips, then be black to the root. Every once in awhile, somone is lucky enough to get a brush with those characteristics... but that is not Simpsons definition of what the "super" grade is. According to simpson the super grade is whiter at the tip, has a firmer shaft, and holds more water.

    Some may have posted there isn't a big difference between super and best in the simpson line - and it very well may be the case with 2 particular examples they have, however I have owned 11 simpsons and currently own 7 Simpsons and my examples in best are quite different than my examples in super, and I much prefer the super. I am told by Lee of Lee's Razors (who stocks Simpsons) that the larger the brush, the less it matters, as the best badger is able to hold sufficient water, however in smaller brushes, the super badger brushes vastly outperform those furnished in best badger.

    With all things - especially natural products whereby the uniformity from one product to the next is a real problem, everyones personal experiences can/may be different. I have only owned 11, some here own quite a few more, and others retail them, and see a very large number of these brushes - however speaking simply from my personal experience, I find there to be enough of a difference in grades - from best to super, to warrant the price increase.

    Your mileage may vary.
  7. rschul2

    rschul2 Moderator Emeritus

    I have a PJ3 and Polo 10 in Super. I realize that both of these are larger than the models you are considering. For me, the Polo 10 handle is fine and I really like this brush for my creams, the Chubby 1 in super I have is outstanding with soaps, and my PJ3 in super is the best all around brush. If the choice is between the PJ and Polo for soaps, I would have to agree with everyone else that the PJ is the clear winner.
  8. Joel,

    Thanks for the detailed response.

    Your brush inventory certainly makes you seem qualified to me (having 0 at the moment ;)

    Your explanation of the 'look' makes sense; I was certainly more concerned with the function/feel than the look so it would seem the cost increase is justified.


  9. Rik

    Rik Moderator Emeritus


    I wouldn't be concerned with the consistency of Simpson's Supers. I currently own three (with another four on the way) that are superb performers. The PJ2 is by far my favorite brush - in fact one of those on the way is another PJ2 Super, to be stored away, in case I ever wear out the one I'm currently using.
  10. rtaylor61

    rtaylor61 Moderator Emeritus


    I've always looked up to you as a father figure...:lol:

  11. Rik

    Rik Moderator Emeritus

    Ahhh Ha Ha Ha. Didn't see that one coming. LOL!!!
  12. rtaylor61

    rtaylor61 Moderator Emeritus

    I guess that means no brushes handed down to me, and no Bud Light?

  13. The brushes I can see but you would have to upset a good father before they would make you drink bud light ;)

  14. Scotto

    Scotto Moderator Emeritus

    Well, I don't ascribe to the "this brush is good for soaps, this one is good for creams" point of view. Find a brush with qualities you like and it will work fine for either. Simpsons are decent brushes, but there are lots of options out there, so look around. Personally, I can take or leave my PJ3, but I will never give up my cherished Savile Row silvertip. To each his own.
  15. Rik

    Rik Moderator Emeritus

    :biggrin: I'm a Guinness man myself.
  16. rtaylor61

    rtaylor61 Moderator Emeritus

    Dad! :cool:


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