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Shavemaster S100

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I've been using the Shavmaster S100 for about two months now. I wanted to spend time with it before writing a review but I've lost my patience. Bear in mind my only other brush to compare to is the C&E Best Badger brush.
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Availability: This brush is only available direct from Enchante in Austin, Texas. It's not on their website so you have to call 512-320-0010.

Price: I paid $95 plus tax (I live in Austin) I thinks this is a good value compared to a Rooney Style 3, Size 2 (Medium), "Genuine Silvertip" which sells for about $100 and is about equivalent in size.

Brush dimensions:
(My best measurements with a metric ruler)
Knot ~ 25 mm
Loft ~ 50 mm
Handle 65mm tall
Height 115 mm overall
Fan shaped - very flat on the top.

The handle is one of the best things about this brush. It's coke bottle shaped. 35mm at the knot, 30mm in the middle and 40 mm at the base. Kind of curvy like a good woman. The handle is Cherry wood. Someone posted elsewhere that other woods are available. When I was at the store they only had Cherry so I can't verify if other woods are available. I understand it is coated with three coats of marine varnish. Very nice finish. Not slick. It has a certain stickiness to it so it doesn't feel slippery when wet.

Th handle is weighted so it's a fairly heavy brush at approximately 125 grams. By comparison my C&E Best Badger brush weighs a mere 50 grams. I believe the handle is weighted for several reasons. The first so that the brush won't float when you soak it in a sink full of hot water. The second so that it will stand up on your counter top between passes. The weighting also provides a nice balance to the brush when it's loaded with cream. You gotta be pretty clumsy to knock this one over. In my opinion, If you want something that feels more like a hand tool and less like a dainty cosmetics brush this might be the one for you.

The base of the handle is indented and has a groove carved in it. What in the world for? So it won't stick to a wet counter top like a flat bottom brush handle does! What a nice feature.
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I suppose some would call this brush a little "moppy". All I have to compare it to is the C&E Best Badger brush which is comparatively very stiff. I've also been told the hair is silvertip but I'll let you be the judge.

I've found this brush works really well with traditional creams and soaps in addition to Hydrolast and the Method Shaving techniques. It really whips up nice lather much quicker than my C&E brush. Overall, I actually get better lather and therefore a better shave with the Shavemaster. I really like this brush but again, I have little to compare it to. It's small enough to lather on your face yet large enough to really lay down the lather quickly.

With respect to shedding the Shavemaster has been very tight so far. Just a few strands. This is about what my C&E did initially and that was it. I'll keep you posted on this but so far it is not a Shedmaster. This brush bears no resemblance to the one Joel reviewed here some time ago:
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?ltr=C&t=1607
Obviously there were problems with the design and manufacture of that brush. Charles is now hand knotting his brushes himself. The handles are turned by someone else but he personally does the rest. This may not make a difference but so far I'm impressed with the quality and workmanship of my brush.

S100 on left C&E Best Badger on right for comparison.
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Ok, maybe that claim I made was maybe too much now. I have yet to try method shaving as I'm waiting for wet paste and finishing balm in the mail. I did try the brush with dry pastes. This brush is closest thing to perfection making lather. I made regular lather with TH cream, and holy crap! This makes lather explode. Literally. The description of this brush as: purpose built brush. It kind feels like the brush is covering your whole face)its hugs and dense), but it has a luxurious feel. I didn't feel bristles poking my skin, I felt lather only. Almost numbing, it quickly puts on thick, very well mixed lather. The bristles seen very moppy, but have strong back bone. No prickly feel. I can't say enough, this are F-22 of shaving brushes. Also, the water retention is the best of any brush I used or seen since the breech is very very dense.
Price
3.00 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
5.00 star(s)
Stiffness of Tips
5.00 star(s)
I liked it for a while, but it started to fall apart. After using it for about 6 months all the bristles fell out of the handle. I had to glue it back together myself. I think you can get a cheaper brush with more lasting power somewhere else.
Ok this brush is a strange one.

I'll start off by asserting that the brush works fabulously.

BUT

I was a little disappointed by a few things.

Shedding: The brush shed a little bit the first 2, maybe 3 times I used it. It hasn't shed since one bit. Therefore, this was not an issue at all and I was not displeased with it.

Design: There is a strange design flaw in the brush. At the knot, right where the brush goes into the handle, there is a patch of glue about the size of a pencil eraser. It doesn't affect the brush's performance, but it sort of knocks a dent in the brush's circumference, preventing it from being a perfect circle. Once again, I don't think it really affects the performance but it's just kind of lame not having a symmetrical brush.

One more complaint. After a few uses from the brush, there was a spot on the canopy where a group of bristles had pushed out a little bit. This was also about the size of a pencil eraser. The bristles only pushed out a little bit, just enough to be noticed, but very noticable next to all the aligned bristles. I simply got some scissors and evened it out. Once again, just a cosmetic flaw and not a detriment of performance.

The tips aren't very stiff, but they aren't very soft either. They scrub just enough, and are comfortable.

As for ergonomics, I LOVE the handle! It's the PERFECT size for my hand. It's shape is wonderful for applying the lather and whipping it up. I agree with Gafer 100% that it's the best part of the brush. It does have a nice stickiness to it.

Also as mentioned by Gafer, it stays underwater and stands up nicely.

It lathers up fast, holds a lot of lather.

I've used it for method shaving and 4 different shaving creams (trumpers coconut, taylors avocado, musgo real, and proraso) and it works great with all of them.

Fairly moppy brush but performs amazingly.

So I love this brush, best I have. However, I only have one other brush besides the S100--an Omega 6215.

Overall it's a great brush, but I was bummed out about the design flaws.
Price
4.00 star(s)
Density
3.00 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
4.00 star(s)

Item information

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Gafer
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