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PJ2 super (best included for comparison as well)

Item Description

The last thing on my mind was acquiring another shaving brush. I logged onto B&B for a few minutes break from a writing project - there was a nicely-contoured PJ2 in super just up on B/S/T. With uncertainties about the future supply and quality of Simpsons, my reflexes took over and I bought it immediately (things move fast on B/S/T). I already have a PJ2 in best bought from Maitlands of Piccadilly in the 1980s. The best was my daily brush with Floris #89 soap for years. Post-shaving stuff AD, it became my travel brush during the days of frequent flights all over, now it’s in reserve. I will use the super for the less frenzied trips that I take these days. In view of Randy’s review of a best some time ago, this is mainly about the super with comments on the best thrown in for good measure. The ratings are for the super.

With a ~21/50 mm knot/loft, the mid-size PJ is about the optimum size for all purpose use IMO. It can hold plenty of water, generate and hold enough lather for 3 or 4 passes, and it is manageable and precise while having enough body to be luxurious. The fairly tall loft makes for a relatively flexible brush but this is offset by the fairly dense knot (it’s relative – PJs are not stuffed like a Chubby or Rooney Heritage) that tends to keep its shape quite well. I prefer the PJ2 to the considerably larger PJ3 which is just a tad too large for this type of knot IMO. Both the PJ2s reviewed here have the “classic,” voluptuous and curvy PJ handle that makes them elegant and easy to use. The handle on the super is significantly more nipped in at the waist and almost a ¼ inch taller, but they are essentially the same style made from hard, off-white acrylic. Neither brush has a history of shedding despite heavy use.

The best: The bristles are 3-band tan/black/white in a 4:2:1 height ratio typical of Simpson’s best which is usually quite consistent. The bristles are quite thin and flexible making for a soft brush and the knot can splay a bit under load. It’s not floppy because the density keeps it together when it’s loaded. The knot holds a plenty of water, it lathers hard soap in a bowl and most creams on the face. Since the bristles are quite flexible, it does not work well for face lathering harder creams like Castle Forbes - these need a bowl. This particular brush has a very tenacious label that has stayed more or less intact without any help. Over the years it has changed from gold to bright green as the brass has oxidized - it looks good, seasoned.

The super: Other than the lack of label and slightly different handle cut, this brush looks very similar to the best – 3-band tan/black/white with about the same banding pattern. It is quite different to use. The bristle is thicker and packed a bit denser, the tips are a bit whiter and softer, and it is a lot more resilient than the best. The knot stays together during lathering in a bowl or on your face. The brush is soft on the face and provides only a very mild scrubbing action. Because of the stiffer bristles, this brush works well for soaps, hard and soft creams and will face lather the harder creams as well.

If you are looking for a mid-size brush with character and quality the PJ2 would be a good choice. The PJ2s don’t probe extremes or excesses in the way that Chubby supers and big Plissons do. It is not the kind of brush that will polarize the wet shaving community. Unless it sheds, there’s really nothing to grumble about. An “all rounder” without the shortcomings that this moniker implies.
Between the best and super, I recommend the super – it’s worth the extra cost that amortizes out to pennies a week over the life of the brush. There is a caveat – it’s a “3-band” super so it has many qualities of the best with a little more stiffness, softness and overall finesse. The “best of the best” and the lower end of super grade blur a bit, this is where some luck comes into getting a really good Simpson. I have not used a PJ in 2-band super. The 2-band Simpsons are stiff and scrubby - not the way to go for a PJ2, a handle like that needs a soft and luxurious knot. 2-band is more suited to a short-lofted Chubby or Tulip where you really get the full effect IMO.

These brushes exemplify the variability that characterizes Simpson’s brushes in particular. The handles are differently shaped and the grade of bristle is at the region between best and super. You really have to pick the brush if you can. It will be interesting to see what kind of PJs, if any, come out of the emerging Simpson-Vulfix enterprise. As always, Simpson brushes will provide plenty of fodder for the forums. In the mean time, the old PJ2 super that has already crossed the Atlantic at least 3 times will continue its travels in my Dopp kit. I still travel enough that the brush will likely get more use than it would in my home rotation - a very good reason to put it to work on the road.
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Latest reviews

I jumped into the world of luxurious silver-tip shaving because of a deal on Leesrazors. This brush was $60 off for one day! :w00t: Snagged it and didn't look back. My rating on price is based on the full retail price, as it is unlikely anyone will be able to get the brush new for what I paid. (At least anytime soon.)

This is a GREAT performer and very luxurious. As mentioned previously, this isn't going to be extreme in any one direction--which is what I was looking for. I haven't ventured into buying expensive brushes with very specific qualities yet. This gets a lot of use in my rotation. I don't use it every day for 3 reasons:

1) I don't want to wear it out. It gives it time to dry.
2) If everyday was top-of-the-line luxury, it would stop being quite so special (IMO).
3) The much less expensive C&E BBB vies for attention. :biggrin:
Price
3.00 star(s)
Density
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Ergonomic
4.00 star(s)
Latherability
5.00 star(s)
Softness of Tips
4.00 star(s)
Stiffness of Tips
3.00 star(s)
I've been using my PJ2 for about a month now and really love it, particularly with soaps. Lathers great and give it up readily. A great brush.

Paul
Price
3.00 star(s)
Density
4.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Ergonomic
5.00 star(s)
Latherability
5.00 star(s)
Softness of Tips
5.00 star(s)
Stiffness of Tips
4.00 star(s)
The last thing on my mind was acquiring another shaving brush. I logged onto B&B for a few minutes break from a writing project - there was a nicely-contoured PJ2 in super just up on B/S/T. With uncertainties about the future supply and quality of Simpsons, my reflexes took over and I bought it immediately (things move fast on B/S/T). I already have a PJ2 in best bought from Maitlands of Piccadilly in the 1980s. The best was my daily brush with Floris #89 soap for years. Post-shaving stuff AD, it became my travel brush during the days of frequent flights all over, now it’s in reserve. I will use the super for the less frenzied trips that I take these days. In view of Randy’s review of a best some time ago, this is mainly about the super with comments on the best thrown in for good measure. The ratings are for the super.

With a ~21/50 mm knot/loft, the mid-size PJ is about the optimum size for all purpose use IMO. It can hold plenty of water, generate and hold enough lather for 3 or 4 passes, and it is manageable and precise while having enough body to be luxurious. The fairly tall loft makes for a relatively flexible brush but this is offset by the fairly dense knot (it’s relative – PJs are not stuffed like a Chubby or Rooney Heritage) that tends to keep its shape quite well. I prefer the PJ2 to the considerably larger PJ3 which is just a tad too large for this type of knot IMO. Both the PJ2s reviewed here have the “classic,” voluptuous and curvy PJ handle that makes them elegant and easy to use. The handle on the super is significantly more nipped in at the waist and almost a ¼ inch taller, but they are essentially the same style made from hard, off-white acrylic. Neither brush has a history of shedding despite heavy use.

The best: The bristles are 3-band tan/black/white in a 4:2:1 height ratio typical of Simpson’s best which is usually quite consistent. The bristles are quite thin and flexible making for a soft brush and the knot can splay a bit under load. It’s not floppy because the density keeps it together when it’s loaded. The knot holds a plenty of water, it lathers hard soap in a bowl and most creams on the face. Since the bristles are quite flexible, it does not work well for face lathering harder creams like Castle Forbes - these need a bowl. This particular brush has a very tenacious label that has stayed more or less intact without any help. Over the years it has changed from gold to bright green as the brass has oxidized - it looks good, seasoned.

The super: Other than the lack of label and slightly different handle cut, this brush looks very similar to the best – 3-band tan/black/white with about the same banding pattern. It is quite different to use. The bristle is thicker and packed a bit denser, the tips are a bit whiter and softer, and it is a lot more resilient than the best. The knot stays together during lathering in a bowl or on your face. The brush is soft on the face and provides only a very mild scrubbing action. Because of the stiffer bristles, this brush works well for soaps, hard and soft creams and will face lather the harder creams as well.

If you are looking for a mid-size brush with character and quality the PJ2 would be a good choice. The PJ2s don’t probe extremes or excesses in the way that Chubby supers and big Plissons do. It is not the kind of brush that will polarize the wet shaving community. Unless it sheds, there’s really nothing to grumble about. An “all rounder” without the shortcomings that this moniker implies.
Between the best and super, I recommend the super – it’s worth the extra cost that amortizes out to pennies a week over the life of the brush. There is a caveat – it’s a “3-band” super so it has many qualities of the best with a little more stiffness, softness and overall finesse. The “best of the best” and the lower end of super grade blur a bit, this is where some luck comes into getting a really good Simpson. I have not used a PJ in 2-band super. The 2-band Simpsons are stiff and scrubby - not the way to go for a PJ2, a handle like that needs a soft and luxurious knot. 2-band is more suited to a short-lofted Chubby or Tulip where you really get the full effect IMO.

These brushes exemplify the variability that characterizes Simpson’s brushes in particular. The handles are differently shaped and the grade of bristle is at the region between best and super. You really have to pick the brush if you can. It will be interesting to see what kind of PJs, if any, come out of the emerging Simpson-Vulfix enterprise. As always, Simpson brushes will provide plenty of fodder for the forums. In the mean time, the old PJ2 super that has already crossed the Atlantic at least 3 times will continue its travels in my Dopp kit. I still travel enough that the brush will likely get more use than it would in my home rotation - a very good reason to put it to work on the road.
attachment.php




http://badgerandblade.com/vb/attachment.php?attachmentid=26550&stc=1&d=1217357578
PJ2srev.jpg
Price
3.00 star(s)
Density
4.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Ergonomic
5.00 star(s)
Latherability
4.00 star(s)
Softness of Tips
4.00 star(s)
Stiffness of Tips
4.00 star(s)

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