Pros: Inexpensive, Soft, Good Backbone, Attractive
Cons: Small handle, strong horse smell, dye in bristles
The Vie-Long 13800 "Sardinero" horse hair shaving brush is an excellent product. Price: $25 dollars for a quality brush with an attractive handle and excellent hair? Sold. Quality: The construction is solid, the resin handle is beautiful and even. The brush has not shed a single hair on me so far. Density: The bulb-shaped knot is nicely dense, which creates a soft, full surface. Stiffness: These horse-hair bristles have excellent firmness. They will eat soap off a puck without a pause for breath, and give a pleasant scrub when face lathering. Softness: The bulb in its entirety is soft, but due to their stiffness the bristles have a pronounced 'scritch' during face lathering. It's not painful, just very present. It would probably be too much for people with very sensitive skin. Ergonomic: I do wish the handle were a bit larger, so it would fill the palm of my hand more. The flare at the base could also be a little wider, making it easier to grip when going for maximum leverage. Latherability: The horse knot makes excellent lather. So far I have bowl lathered TOBS cream, RazoRock artisan soap, and VDH deluxe soap. I have face lathered Mama Bear soap and RazoRock artisan soap. In all cases, it produced an excellent, creamy lather. The brush's loft seems small (focused on face lathering) but the dense hairs easily hold enough for 4 or more shaving passes. I'm very glad I bought this brush and would definitely suggest it to others.