This brush for me represents the meaning of value for money. It's not a cheap brush but it's far from the dearest. Hard to fault in terms of quality I imagine I will be using this brush for many years to come. Density of the bristles is just right, they are stiff enough to hold shape but soft enough to be luxurious on your face. The handle is very comfortable and easy to keep hold of even when covered in lather. This brush whips a lather up like no other bush I own. It will out lather my Simpsons in a third of the time every time! If this brush is in your price range - BUY IT!
I just received my brush and have used it for the first time and I have to say what a great investment in pleasure this is. I had been using a very old brush from the Vermont Country Store and I am really pleased with the purchase. This is a beautiful piece of gear. I would buy it again.
German craftsmanship and quality at it's best. There simply is no better way to describe it, this brush is a highly functual, elegantly designed and tough as nails product.
Shavemac brushes are not cheap, but you will have trouble finding better bang for your buck
Absolutely outstanding! The lathe turned handle is perfectly shaped and finished. The knot is even and has shed only around six hairs during three months of regular use
The densest brush I own
Stiffness of Tips:
Not as stiff as some of my best and pure badgers, but it is the least floppy silvertip in my collection - actually it is wrong to use the term floppy in conjunction with this brush at all
Softness of Tips:
Very soft and luxurious. This brush makes my Kent BK4 feel scritchy
The classic handle is not only good looking it is also very comfortable and nicely balanced, giving a natrual grip that is comfortable during prolonged use
This brush lathers everything from soft creams like the Proraso to hard soaps like the Mitchell's Wool Fat. I will not hesitate in naming this brush the best all-round performer in my collection. The 23 mm. knotsize makes it ideal for bowl lathering, but I have found it both comfortable and effective at face lathering aswell
I am highly impressed with the 23 mm. Shavemac 177 silvertip. I recieves my highest recommendations; no shave den is complete without one.
What I have used: Kent Bk4, Rooney 3, 1, and C&E Best
Price: I got this for 40% off so I think it's a 10 and Like others have said this is a steal, but I wouldn't have paid 115 two weeks ago.
Quality: Good stuff.
Density: Right in between the Rooney 3,1 and Kent Bk4. Perfect, IMO!
Stiffness/Softness of tips: The Shavemac 177 provides nice feedback and just enough scrubbing action to you know you're using a Silvertip badger shave brush and not a mop. It holds up while face lathering and provides enough scrubbing action to stand your whiskers up.
It is a very soft, luxurious brush. You'll read the same thing about the Kent Bk4, but there's always something like this along with it: "It's soft and, not exactly floppy, but luxurious". I'd say that statement is more true for the 177. The Bk4 is floppy.
Ergonomic: This is a very balanced brush. The Kent Bk4 is pretty light in the handle. The Rooney 3, 1 is hanldle heavy. The Shavema has a great feel. This is a small thing but I felt worth mentioning. Would it keep me from using the other two brushes? No, but it just makes the Shavemac that much better.
Latherability: This brush works great with soaps and cream. I like the feel of it better than the 3, 1 and Kent Bk4 and therefore I'd say it's better than both of those brushes for either task. It soaks up and holds water very well. Once I soak it and shake it out once, twice, or three times it's ready to go. Looking at the tips gives you a very good idea of how much water is going to be in the brush, and it's the same every time you use it. I think it's a cool thing that you can look at the tips and guage how wet it is and then adjust accordingly. With the Kent or Rooney it's either wet or dry. There isn't much in between like there is with the Shavemac. This little "feature" allows you to generate an excellent lather.
This brings me back to the price. I always balked at the $115 price tag for this brush. However, after using it I think that it is (IMO) a better brush than a Rooney Super and Kents Bk4 which most people compare it to. Is it almost twice the brush as those two? I don't know that I'm ready to say that, but I think it's debatable.
I picked up the faux ebony handled edition of this brush from Vintage Blades (during their unbelievable sale) and I'm very glad I did - also, kudos to Vintage Blades for insanely fast shipping (next day to New Jersey: I ordered in the afternoon and it was on my doorstep next morning).
I have a Shavemac Finest, also in the generous 23mm size, and a smaller D01 Silvertip, so you can see I'm a fan of this German brushmaker. I think the 177 beats both of my other Shavemacs.
There's a fair amount of discussion on the boards about Shavemac's finest versus silvertip quality. I'm sorry to say that the silvertip really is noticeably better, and probably worth the premium price. The finest is a great brush and a great value, but the silvertip is better at the job and way more luxurious. The finest or D01 might be a better choice if you exclusively use soaps.
Price/Quality/Ergonomics: For 44% off the list this brush was a total steal. For full price, around $115, it's reasonable. You're getting a handmade, beautiful brush. The quality of the knot is superb, and the handle is pleasingly heavy and flawless. "Faux ebony" is of course a nice way of saying "black plastic", but there's nothing plasticy or cheap about Bernd's handles - this looks expensive, and like it was made to last for years. The handle is well-balanced and easy to grip.
Density/Stiffness/Softness: Next to the infamous D01 nothing else looks particularly dense. If you want a super-firm, stiff, spongy brush definitely go for the D01. This is very much a luxury silvertip - extremely soft tips, springy but not really stiff. There's not a trace of scratchiness of course, and the brush feels amazingly luxurious on the face. It's not bonelessly floppy, but far from stiff. Sucks up an amazing amount of water.
Latherability: Stunning. The best cream brush I've ever used. I've done both bowl and face lathering with it and it seems to have an almost magical ability to generate perfect lather. With the finest badger (and even with the D01) I usually have to work a little bit, but with this brush the lather springs up perfectly with just a few swirls. This is what you buy a brush for, and it does it perfectly.
The only possible complaint I have is that the brush arrived with an unusually potent amount of badger musk, but of course that's part of the fun of our strange hobby. I used it with Cyril Salter's much-reviled Vetiver cream this morning and we'll see which scent wins as it dries.
This is my third brush. The first was a silver tip that I bought, for about $60+ in Marshall Field's in Chicago about four or five years ago. I don't know the make as it is not stamped on the handle. Not having any other reference, I always really liked this brush (and, indeed, still do). It was my introduction to wet shaving. My second was an Edwin Jagger best travel brush. After the softness of the silver tip, I found the best irritating and really didn't like it. I decided to replace it with a full size brush for travel because the weight difference is negligible and the larger brush is more comfortable to use even in my small hands. When the Shavemac arrived I immediately opened it and thought I wouldn't like it. It felt as stiff as my best brush. I decided not to wait until I was out of town to find it irritated my skin so I used it the next morning. WOW! What a revelation! It is not floppy, I now realize, like my other silver tip but it is truly a caress on the face. It was love at first use. There was a slight learning curve as to whipping up my soap lather (I don't use creams) but does it ever do a beautiful job on all of my favorites including Pre de Provence, Provence Sante, Tabac, and Roger & Gallet l'Homme. It is now my daily brush and the original silver tip is my travel choice. This was an expensive investment for me but that's exactly what it was, an investment. For this kind of quality I gave it a 10 for price because it is value for money.
I simply cannot find fault with this brush. I have used it on both creams and soaps, where before I'd use boar on soaps and my Vulfix badger with creams. This brush has enough spine to work well with both. The silvertip badger is more expensive, but hey - you are going to use this brush a lot, so it may as well be comfortable! The price is not out of this world. A good badger is not cheap, but this one is not stupidly expensive like some are. It lathers everything beautifully, exudes quality, and feels wonderful. You can't go wrong with this brush.
I got my Shavemac 177 for Christmas and have not used any of my other burshes since. This brush holds more water, lathers better (even with soap cake), and covers better than any other brush I have ever owned. I just can't say enough about the quality that is built into this product.
This is the first nice brush I purchased since I started wet shaving a year ago. I have been using it everyday for 4 months now and it is an excellent brush. It produces wonderful thick lather with any cream or soap I use (Taylors Lavender cream, Truefitt & Hill 1805, Speick cream, Tabac soap, Conk Almond soap). The brush is very soft and feels very nice on my face. It is a big step up from the previous plain badger brush I was using. The company is also very easy to order from and has a nice selection of products.
I received this brush as Father's Day gift from my wife (I begged her for it, gave her the site and model #). It is sinfully luxurious. I had been using a Tweezerman ($12 and a surprisingly excellent "scrubby" brush. Excellent entry level!). I wanted to see what all the fuss was about the high end brushes. (In Joel's epic brush review saga, he would liken a brush to a car). The Tweezerman is a solid Honda Civic, The ShaveMac 177, is like a Rolls Royce, with walnut panelling, and thick pillowy leather seats. Mornings are made just a little bit easier. You could stand there, face lathering, hypnotically, till you've missed your train, or the foreman's whistle's has already long blown. Like I said its sinful.
I bought the ShaveMac, because its tips are known to be very gentle on the face, not prickly at all. This is in fact the case. The tips are very soft, but are firm enough for incredible lathering with creams and glycering soaps (I haven't tried triple milled). If you like the scrubby quality of some brushes, this may not be for you. In fact, I would say, there is a moppy quality to the brush. I don't mind it. It sops up water like a sponge, and stays hot for the second pass.
O.K. Now the facts.
Razors: Most of the classic Gillettes, open and closed comb, from the 20's through each of the adjustables.
Pre- Shave - Trader Joe's Honey Mango
Soap: QED shave sticks (glycerin based) Grapefruit/Peppermint and BathTub Gin
Blades: Derby Extra, Dorco, Crystal
Brush: The ShaveMac #177, 23mm, 4.2 inches. Silver Tip. (Med/Large) The handle is faux ivory,hand lathed. The handle is a bit big for my med. sized hand. Ideally, I would like to hold it like a pencil or a paint brush (between my fingers), instead I have to palm it. Perhaps this is my only criticism of the #177, hence the 2 point deduction. The brush is incredibly dense. I may have lost 1 hair, but believe me, there's alot to spare. There is nothing skimpy about this beautifully crafted effort.
Cost: The brush costs about $106, before shipping. In my book, this is an extravagance. Silver Tip brushes are expensive, period. Some are significantly more expensive than this one. If you comb, this site, you will find some very highly recommended, less expensive brushes. But remember, this is a Rolls Royce, it is a luxurious splurge.
Customer Service: Impeccable!! The proprietor is Bernd Blos. He is a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. My brush came with some ink on it from the packing materials. I brought this to Mr. Blos' attention and he offered to replace the brush immediately. With a little elbow grease and some toothpaste, I cleaned the brush up to perfect condition. As a gracious gesture, Mr. Blos sent me a gift certificate which I used towards the purchase of a beautiful stand. He stands by his product 100% and they offer a service if you ever need your brush refurbished.
Technique: Wash face, smear on Trader Joe's, face lather with ShaveMac. Very decent lather from this cream, not overwhelming, though. Hot towel with cream on face, till towel cools. Schmear Porasao on face or rub shave stick all over. Face Lather. O.K. Here's where the fun begins. The lather starts to develop, and develop (very quickly), and thicken, and thicken. If you keep going, it could become a B horror movie from the 50's, the "Lather That Took Over Brooklyn". That's the miracle of the ShaveMac, its a lather machine.
The brush stays gobbed up for as many passes as you could want. While 2 is enough for me with touch up and a bit of polishing (I just stick my hand into the gob on the brush and schmear it on the spots I missed), there's enough soap in there for 4 passes.
So I love the brush, plain and simple. A sinful delight. If you like a softer style brush, but with ample density, I recommend the #177 without reservation.
I doubt any more that can be said about this brush. But I'll offer a few comments!
First about the service. I ordered the brush on Shavemac.com and easily navigated thru the menu. I found the 177 and ordered it promptly. I used PayPal and everything went smoothly. I ordered my brush on wednesday evening and at friday noon, the FedEx guy was at my door with my new brush. The shipping was awesome! And YES it did ship from Germany to the states in less than 48 hours.
Now about the brush.
I opened the box with anticipation and I was not disappointed. It felt perfect in my hand and it smelled just like a new brush should smell....."brushy-like"! The tips were uber soft and the proportions perfect.
I soaked it, gave it a gentle bath and made me some fresh lather! I started with TOBS Avocado and within seconds had wonderful, creamy lather. THen I tried T&H West Indian Limes. Now the brush really began to show it's potential. Terrific lather in no time flat. THe shave was excellent and the brush a pleasure to use.
I couldn't ask for anything else. Id buy another Shavemac 177 in a New York minute!
Buy one, you won't be disappointed.
For the last 10 years I have used a variety of brushes not wanting to spend to much on them. I have now invested in this shaving brush and it has blown me away. I just cant belive that I have wasted all this time The brush lathers perfectly with a moist and smooth cream. It also fits my hand and Edwin Jagger mug perfect. Normally the brushes feels rough on my face, this one is perfect.
Wow! I just got mine yesterday and used it for the first time this morning. Now I know what a good brush is all about and what a difference it makes in the quality and enjoyment of your shave. Bernd is a genius! For $100, you get a FANTASTIC brush.
I've been using the Shavemac 177 for a few weeks now and figured I'd throw up a review...
Price: While $100 isn't cheap- the quality/construction of this brush makes every shave a luxury and will likely do so for many years to come... so it is well worth the $100 initial investment.
Quality- I've lost 1 hair in three weeks... The great thing about the brush is, it exudes luxury and craftsmanship while maintaining a "built Ford tough" attitude... It's not delicate and I don't worry about having to baby the thing...
Density- Prior to the Shavemac I was using a Pure Mason Pearson... I could use it, give it a couple flicks, and it would be dry in a few hours... The Shavemac requires a little extra effort because it is packed so densely that it would take considerably longer to dry out if i simply gave the brush a few flicks. Those hairs are truly packed in their tightly...
Stiffness- The hairs don't bend very much when you touch them, and if you use a strong movement, will give the face a nice scrubbing. One thing I have noticed though, and I'm not sure whether this would be from a lack of stiffness- with some denser creams it takes a little extra time to convert all the cream to lather... trace amounts of cream remain in the bottom of my shaving cup and are not broken down quickly.
Softness of tips- Very soft- when I touched the tips the first time I was not impressed... But once you get them wet- very luxurious...
Ergonomics- Good balance, heft, ease of use...
Latherability- A lather making monster that makes enough for 5-6 passes everytime...
Overall: Very impressed- my go to razor until it falls apart.
Just received mine from Jim last night- first use and this made me rethink the other brushes I have- firm and felt perfect- It also fit in my Moss Scuttle just right allowing for a perfectly warmed brush to caress my face this morning- simply decadent.