"Poor Man's" Brushes: A Guide to 5 Good Cheap Brushes

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by Krona Kruiser, May 19, 2012.

  1. So far, I've been content with my small den of brushes. However, I've been getting tickled by SBAD and have my eyes on some Simpsons, Shavemacs, and Rooney's. Before I jump the boat on some fancy brushes I want to make a few recommendations on some good brushes that are under $20.
    Here's the lineup:


    Omega 11047 Mixed Boar/Badger. A/K/A "Mighty Midget"
    This is my favorite of the batch. A bit bigger than the Wee Scot but still small. Great scrubby and light scritchy feel. Good backbone and versatile with creams.
    Pros: Versatile
    Cons: Getting the boar/badger funk out isn't pretty, small
    http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Omega-11047-Banded-Boar-Shaving-Brush_p_797.html

    Omega Boar 10777
    A little smaller than it's brothers (48,49). It's what you expect from an Omega boar. Breaks-in nicely and gives way to a nice scrubby comfortable brush.
    Pros: Great backbone, steady break-in, great with soaps.
    Cons: This particular model has a very light plastic handle.
    http://connaughtshaving.com/10777.html

    Turkish #6 Horse
    The famous (or infamous?) brush is great in any stable. Quality has gotten a little better over the years and it's the best brush for under $5.
    Pros: Good backbone, big bulb shape for spreading the meanest of lathers. Great for shave sticks.
    Cons: Construction can be shoddy, not consistent enough. If you want to sample horse, this feels more like boar.
    http://shop.bestshave.net/wooden-handled-shaving-brushes-no6-p-67.html

    Van Der Hagen Badger
    These are popping up in a lot of Targets. Good size, not too scritchy, whips up a big lather with whatever cream you throw at it.
    Pros: If you have to choose between a Tweezerman or this, choose the VDH. Nice handle.
    Cons: Can be too floppy and suffers from "hair loss" from time to time. Badger funk took a while to remove.

    Vie-Long Cachurro (04312)
    Nice, big soft brush. When I'm in the mood for huge messy lather, this is my choice. If you're curious about a quality horse brush, this is a good way to sample one.
    Pros: Soft. Creates tons of lather, great for soft creams and soap sticks.
    Cons: A bit floppy for some's taste. The metal on the handle can break mugs/scuttles if you don't cautiously hold it.
    http://www.bullgooseshaving.net/vica0prhohab.html
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2012
  2. Thanks for the info.
     
  3. Excellent review of the lower priced performers!
    To people who are on a tight budget, this is a good place to take notes and compare.
    You can get more than what you think you can at this price range.

    Thanks!
     
  4. I really enjoyed your reviews, look forward to more reviews on the BRUSHES to come.
     
  5. Thanks for the Vie-Long and thanks for enabling my soon to manifest SBAD! :lol:
     
  6. I'm a massive fan of good quality, lower prices brushes and use both the Turkish pony and the Mighty Midget almost exlusively now. Love the MM!
     
  7. Frankly, I've been on the fence about ordering a Vie Long. I revisited this post to enable myself to buy one or two. Stupid SBAD.
     
  8. I just got a Mighty Midget yesterday. For $13 from WCS, I was expecting it to feel more like my Omega 10049 Pro boar, but it feels closer to my Rooney 3/1 in Pure Badger.
    I haven't used it to shave with yet. Out of the box, unlike Krona, I detected no objectionable odor. Even wetting it down didn't show any odor.
     
  9. My vote for the top value Vie-Long is the little 13061, the smaller lower loft knot feels better to me than the taller (and hence floppier) loft of the bigger basic Vie-Long I have. At $18 from several sources it is well worth the extra $5 over an MMM, at least IMO. My biggest complaint with the cheaper Vie-Long brushes is that the injection molded handles have sharp-edged mold marks on them, which need to be removed if you want the brush to be comfortable in the hand and look like finished goods :p
     
  10. The Omega 10777, I dropped it once and its handle separated in the middle, didn't break, right below the label. It just clicked back in place and stays secure though. What you can do is use some epoxy or some filling material in the base, add some coins and close it back up. Instant heft.
     
  11. How does the MM act? I never tried a boar/badger mix, is it supposed to lather really well yet be scitchier because of the badger? I'm kind of confused on the hybrids...
     
  12. You're welcome, glad I could help, start with a Duke 2 or just go all the way to the top and get a Morris and Forndran Blonde Badger (IMHO - limited)
     
  13. mdevine

    mdevine Moderator Contributor

    My favorite inexpensive brush is a Semogue 610. It takes a couple of weeks to break in, but once it does, it is the perfect tool for face lathering soaps. It isn't just a great, cheap brush; it is a world class brush that compares, quality wise, with any out there. I have half a dozen much more costly brushes, but I reach for the little Semogue more often than any of them.

    Mike
     
  14. The mighty midget has the solid backbone of a boar along with some of the softness. The badger adds some scritch of pure without being uncomfortable. I've had success with lathering thick creams, soft creams, soap sticks and soaps. Probably the best buy.
     
  15. I am a fan of smaller brushes. I favour those with shorter bristle/hair length as they provide you with a far better superior backbone when loading. I am a hard soap guy as you probably can tell. That Mighty midget sure looks interesting..
     
  16. StuMcB

    StuMcB Contributor

    I can vouch for the 10777. My first decent brush and still in my rotation after a few years. Now very soft tips. I paid a mere £6.59 inc delivery.
     
  17. Do you face lather? I find the small ones difficult for my bowl lathering...
     
  18. I should have made that clear. Sorry. I face lather most of the time. In my opinion that softens the stubble more efficiently and ALAS makes way for a much closer shave. For bowl lathering I would choose something else. (Longer handle).
     
  19. Semogue in my opinion are some of the very best values in all of shavedom
     
  20. +1

    Semogue boars are hard to beat, along with some of the others previously mentioned. One of the things I appreciate about the forums is all the cost effective options that are suggested that still provide a great shaving experience.
     

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