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Semogue Owners Club Brush

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This is my second quality boar. The first was a Semogue 620. Some preamble may help boar neophytes here, although I'm no expert by any means.

Boars didn't start off well for me. I got a cheap Omega many years ago, recently identified as the 10005. A terrible brush IMO, but I only used it for canned goo, it became misshapen quickly, and it was always overly stiff and flicky. It's entirely possible I had no idea how to use it. The knot shed in clumps when I dug it out a while back, and it went in the bin.

So when I started DE shaving last year, it was Pure Badger, soon upgraded to Silvertip. I didn't think brushes could get any better; hey, I couldn't afford any others in that range to find out. Boars have changed my mind. I don't see quality Badgers as an upgrade from boar, they just work a little differently. Boars can be just as soft, produce excellent lather, but with backbone not found in badgers far more expensive. Think of boar as a shaving brush, and Silvertips as luxury mops, they are different means to the same end. Boars just cost a lot less to get there.

An important variable I needed to get used to coming from a badger, is water retention. Badgers retain a lot pretty much from out of the box. I squeeze mine to load up, or I create suds and don't get enough soap. Boar will release a lot more of their water in the early days, and so with this approach, they can be too dry and a puck will dry them further. This will vary from brush to brush, and user situation, but some allowance will still need to be made.

Some guys have shown quite clearly here Boar Lather Challenge, that a very wet boar can load soap with just a few swirls, but I couldn't replicate this. So I just leave my boars a bit wet with a gentle squeeze – works for me.

On to the brush in question. My T&H Silvertip was used daily and the knot base remained damp in winter, so a back up was required. I don't baby brushes, but should damp ever cause a problem, a silvertip is expensive to replace. Enter the Semogue 620. An impressive face lathering brush, already reviewed elsewhere. #620 Review

So I didn't need another brush, but I went for the SOC anyway. This is a different beast to the 620. It's a dense, fat brush and needs more patience to get to optimum use. Embrace it; it is the way of the Pig. The tips soften very quickly, but getting mounds of lather - as you would with a Silvertip - is longer in coming. The quality of lather has not been an issue though. I don't know how long this will take to fully break in, so this will have to be an impression at the 'workable' stage.

I need to load this brush copiously with soap – far more than a badger. I estimate about 20-30 secs max. That said, the resulting lather is very good. Perhaps I've been stinging out from the beginning?

I've used this daily for three weeks. The first two weeks, I added an extra practice lathering to hasten break in. At first, whilst the tips were soft, its backbone was rigid, and the brush didn't 'give' all the way to the knot, probably only about 2/3rds the way down. This made the handle a little unwieldy, as the brush wasn't as manoeuvrable. After a week or so, it relaxed. Two weeks in and outer bristles are splitting, as boars are supposed to.

Now in its third week, this brush is coming good. I'm limiting lather product to Tabac and TOBS, because harder soaps were just too inconsistent at first. I'll revisit these later when I'm more familiar with the brush. It's holding more water now, but I'm still overloading, because it provides a great shave.

As it has softened, this becomes a larger brush than I thought, perhaps not ideal for face lathering, but plenty of people can and do, and I'll continue to do so - it's still very useable this way.

In summary. Expect a break in period, but don't overthink the process; leave it wetter if you're used to Badgers, and use more product til you feel its characteristics change. That would be my suggestion.


PRICE:
$34 AUD ($30 USD) with delivery of only $3.
Considering the bristle grade and density, the SOC is great value. Yes, pricey for Boar, but you are getting a quality brush.

QUALITY:
Not a single hair has shed, the wooden handle is dense and feels robust. I soak mine in the sink and the coating on the handle repels water noticeably. It has a feeling of decent quality, simply presented.

DENSITY:
Density is not so critical with boars compared to badgers, given the stiffer nature of the hair. But even for a boar, this is one Fat Pig. That's why break in is needed.

STIFFNESS/SOFTNESS OF TIPS:
Pretty soft when wet, and only gets softer with use. Plenty of backbone. Hard soaps should be very afraid. Faces need not be.

LATHERABILITY:
Can hog for a while, so use more soap / cream. I can't say whether it's the brush, or that I've using more soap (because with this brush, you can), but I've had some truly standout lathers from this brush, where I've got even closer and more comfortable shaves using Tabac, which has always been excellent to begin with. Even throwing in a second shave in the evening on a couple of occasions. Even though I didn't need to I could, without a problem.




View attachment 120132View attachment 120133

Latest reviews

Pros: My favorite brush.
Cons: None.
After I received the SOC brush and did several practice lathers, I put my other brushes in the closet. If I could roll back the hands of time, this would be my first and last brush.
Price
5.00 star(s)
Density
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Ergonomic
5.00 star(s)
Latherability
5.00 star(s)
Softness of Tips
4.00 star(s)
Stiffness of Tips
5.00 star(s)
This is my second quality boar. The first was a Semogue 620. Some preamble may help boar neophytes here, although I'm no expert by any means.

Boars didn't start off well for me. I got a cheap Omega many years ago, recently identified as the 10005. A terrible brush IMO, but I only used it for canned goo, it became misshapen quickly, and it was always overly stiff and flicky. It's entirely possible I had no idea how to use it. The knot shed in clumps when I dug it out a while back, and it went in the bin.

So when I started DE shaving last year, it was Pure Badger, soon upgraded to Silvertip. I didn't think brushes could get any better; hey, I couldn't afford any others in that range to find out. Boars have changed my mind. I don't see quality Badgers as an upgrade from boar, they just work a little differently. Boars can be just as soft, produce excellent lather, but with backbone not found in badgers far more expensive. Think of boar as a shaving brush, and Silvertips as luxury mops, they are different means to the same end. Boars just cost a lot less to get there.

An important variable I needed to get used to coming from a badger, is water retention. Badgers retain a lot pretty much from out of the box. I squeeze mine to load up, or I create suds and don't get enough soap. Boar will release a lot more of their water in the early days, and so with this approach, they can be too dry and a puck will dry them further. This will vary from brush to brush, and user situation, but some allowance will still need to be made.

Some guys have shown quite clearly here Boar Lather Challenge, that a very wet boar can load soap with just a few swirls, but I couldn't replicate this. So I just leave my boars a bit wet with a gentle squeeze – works for me.

On to the brush in question. My T&H Silvertip was used daily and the knot base remained damp in winter, so a back up was required. I don't baby brushes, but should damp ever cause a problem, a silvertip is expensive to replace. Enter the Semogue 620. An impressive face lathering brush, already reviewed elsewhere. #620 Review

So I didn't need another brush, but I went for the SOC anyway. This is a different beast to the 620. It's a dense, fat brush and needs more patience to get to optimum use. Embrace it; it is the way of the Pig. The tips soften very quickly, but getting mounds of lather - as you would with a Silvertip - is longer in coming. The quality of lather has not been an issue though. I don't know how long this will take to fully break in, so this will have to be an impression at the 'workable' stage.

I need to load this brush copiously with soap – far more than a badger. I estimate about 20-30 secs max. That said, the resulting lather is very good. Perhaps I've been stinging out from the beginning?

I've used this daily for three weeks. The first two weeks, I added an extra practice lathering to hasten break in. At first, whilst the tips were soft, its backbone was rigid, and the brush didn't 'give' all the way to the knot, probably only about 2/3rds the way down. This made the handle a little unwieldy, as the brush wasn't as manoeuvrable. After a week or so, it relaxed. Two weeks in and outer bristles are splitting, as boars are supposed to.

Now in its third week, this brush is coming good. I'm limiting lather product to Tabac and TOBS, because harder soaps were just too inconsistent at first. I'll revisit these later when I'm more familiar with the brush. It's holding more water now, but I'm still overloading, because it provides a great shave.

As it has softened, this becomes a larger brush than I thought, perhaps not ideal for face lathering, but plenty of people can and do, and I'll continue to do so - it's still very useable this way.

In summary. Expect a break in period, but don't overthink the process; leave it wetter if you're used to Badgers, and use more product til you feel its characteristics change. That would be my suggestion.


PRICE:
$34 AUD ($30 USD) with delivery of only $3.
Considering the bristle grade and density, the SOC is great value. Yes, pricey for Boar, but you are getting a quality brush.

QUALITY:
Not a single hair has shed, the wooden handle is dense and feels robust. I soak mine in the sink and the coating on the handle repels water noticeably. It has a feeling of decent quality, simply presented.

DENSITY:
Density is not so critical with boars compared to badgers, given the stiffer nature of the hair. But even for a boar, this is one Fat Pig. That's why break in is needed.

STIFFNESS/SOFTNESS OF TIPS:
Pretty soft when wet, and only gets softer with use. Plenty of backbone. Hard soaps should be very afraid. Faces need not be.

LATHERABILITY:
Can hog for a while, so use more soap / cream. I can't say whether it's the brush, or that I've using more soap (because with this brush, you can), but I've had some truly standout lathers from this brush, where I've got even closer and more comfortable shaves using Tabac, which has always been excellent to begin with. Even throwing in a second shave in the evening on a couple of occasions. Even though I didn't need to I could, without a problem.




View attachment 120132View attachment 120133
Price
4.00 star(s)
Density
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Ergonomic
4.00 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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