Synthetic Brushes

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by TimmyBoston, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. TimmyBoston

    TimmyBoston Moderator Emeritus

    How do synthetic brushes compare to boar and badger ones?

    I wouldn't call myself an environmentalist, but it does make me sad that an animal has do die so my shave can be more comfortable. I don't mean to come off preachy, I own 3 badgers and 2 boars. But if the synthetics are any good, I'd like to try one. Any thoughts? Also who are major manufacturers of sythetics?
  2. Omega makes some.
  3. I recently got a Men-U synthetic brush ( Its an odd little brush: its very "springy" kind of like a boar brush, but holds water like a mofo--probably more water than an equivalent-sized badger brush. It takes a slightly different technique to lather up too. That said, it seems to work fine for its purpose. I don't think I'd use it over my good badger brushes, but its worthy of consideration due to your concerns.

  4. Cyril R Salter also make a nylon brush. I'm interested to try some too, for the same reasons. What makes me feel better though is knowing that the badger meat is probably eaten if it's from China and their are strict limits placed on how much badger hair is exported in order to preserve the badger population.

    I had a good look into it before taking the plunge to go badger, but decided my consience was just about ok with it.
  5. Are there no manufacturers that simply shear badgers?
  6. I've been told by my storekeeper that is what Plisson does. I Don't believe it.
    As for synthetic brushes: I had an Omega years ago. It wasn't any good. Nylon does not hold water.
  7. Perhaps it's true for the rarest badgers (read Euro High White). I'm sure a manufacturer that would guarantee no badgers are killed would have a nice niche market.
  8. I picked up a Men-U brush recently. Not exactly remarkable. I still prefer my simple pure badger brush.
  9. Could be. I doubt killing badgers is legal in Europe.
  10. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    Gee. This thread goes hand in hand with the "Boycott Trumper?" thread.
  11. I have no idea what you're talking about. Could you please post a link to the aforementioned thread?

    edit: nope, found it.
  12. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

  13. Would that be a niche niche market!? Since I figure shaving brushes kinda qualifies already as niche....:wink:
  14. I actually decided to try my Men-U again recently, and found that with the proper technique I can make a decent lather in about 4 strokes, vs. quite a few more with the badger. The badger does have the slightly softer tips though, so it's a trade-off. Also the Men-U won't get stained by Rose creams.

  15. boboakalfb

    boboakalfb Moderator Emeritus

    Uberniche if you will...
  16. Sigh... I've said this one too many times - but ALL badger hair.... and I mean like 99.9% of it is SHEARED off of them - much in the way it is done to sheep - with wool. This is done for 2 reasons, first of all - and most importantly - it is much - MUCH faster to grab one of the little b$st#rds and shear 'em - and/or tranqualize them and shear the hair off, then kill them and have to deal with cleaning the bloody hair, or skinning them. Second - if they shear them like sheep, they can use them for many, many years, thus the animals are of much greater value, and their costs go down.

    Don't think for one second the Chinese - or even the 2 companies that use European hair care about the animal one bit.... cause they do not, and I am certain they probably store them in small cages - like KFC does with chicken, however badgers are NOT killed for their hair. Just an FYI.

    On a side note - the Men-U brushes are outstanding!
  17. Joel,

    While I'm sure you are right, I believe that if you oppose their death on ethical grounds you will almost certainly oppose their captivity given that (as you say) their captivity is probably not a very palatable form of captivity. I'm sure they aren't 'free range' badgers. Animals raised in small cages (veal cafs, fur animals, etc) live terrible lives that are probably worse than if they were killed.

    I don't want to get into a debate about the moral status of non-human animals (well I don't mind but I'm not trying to), but raising the point about their not being killed probably won't releave the felt burden of those that oppose harming animals (not just not killing them).


  18. From my understanding 99.9% of the badger hair was from pelts of Badgers killed in the rural areas. In those regions of China, they are considered a pest animal, and it's necessary to kill them off for the sake of keeping their farms operating normally.

    It could be totally wrong, and be like Joel said, farmed and sheared....but is there really that big a market for badger hair that there can be entire farming operations for this? It seems this is still quite a niche market.

    And you can kill an animal and keep the pelt clean. Look at how many deer, bear, and other animals are stuffed....those were shot, then split open and gutted. Blood is everywhere...but it does clean off.

    It's like Wolves....their mouths aren't blood red unless they just recently fed...even a wolf with a snow white muzzle gets it dirty from time to time.
  19. You make a good point catatonic. Thanks, I'll feel better when lathering up for my next shave now :001_smile

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