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Elite Razor Manchurian

Excellent 24mm fan knot

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This is a brief review of an Elite Razor 24mm Manchurian White fan knot which has been set with a 50mm loft in a handle made for me by a craftsman based in Cumbria, England. The handle is made out of wood from a yew tree which formerly grew beside a small chapel in South Cumbria. I asked this skilled wood turner to make the handle because I liked some of his other work, and he agreed to do so despite having never made anything of the same type. In fact, he is heavily bearded and claimed not to have had a shave for several decades.

I had read some good reviews of the Elite Razor knot, and also thought it would look good with my new yew handle. I set the knot in place using Devcon 10-minute epoxy. The resulting brush is pictured beside a Simpson Duke 2 in Best (centre), because that is a brush many will know, and a Morris and Forndran Blonde Badger, which I think has very similar characteristics to the Manchurian. In the shot taken from above, the Manchurian knot is at the front, with the M&F behind it on the left and the Duke 2 on the right.

Out of the box, the Elite Razor knot had very little animal smell, and what there was faded after a couple of test lathers. In appearance, the tips of the bristles are very light, much more so than with the Blonde knot or my Shavemac two-band silvertip. The knot is also quite dense, although not on the level of, say, a Simpson Chubby with its wall of badger.

As far as whipping up lather goes, the Manchurian knot has ample backbone to easily pick up hard soaps. It holds plenty of water to quickly build lather on the face or in a scuttle, and does not hog what has been created. As for face feel, it is truly luxurious — as comfortable as the M&F or my Kent BK8, but with a touch more backbone than the former and far more than the latter. It has no scratch I can detect. It also seems to retain heat well.

Its fan shape is actually quite moderate, so there are plenty of bristles in contact with my face at any time and yet I have a good degree of control when applying the lather. I have already mentioned that it is not the very densest brush, but should add that for me this is ideal; neither too dense and overwhelming nor too sparse and miserly.

In short, this is a really excellent knot at a very good price. It is at least as good as top quality badger knots I have from M&F, Shavemac, Simpson, Semogue and Da Vinci, and I would certainly consider buying another.

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