What's new
  • The Annual Sue Moore Auction is now running from 19 - 21 October. Every year proceeds from this auction and all monies raised go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Please take a look at the items that are available this year, as there is sure to be something of interest to everyone!

Simpson Major

Item Description

Disclaimer: As I have only a handful of brushes to compare the Major with, none of them travel brushes, I feel I am not quite qualified to give a real compare/contrast-type review. I'll do the best I can with the experience I do have.

Price: At $130 for Best and $150 for Super this is a relatively expensive travel brush. The Vulfix turnback is about half that price, but the equivalent Plisson travel brushes are more, if I'm not mistaken. It's not the most expensive travel brush out there by any means, but pennypinchers and valuehounds may want to look elsewhere.

Quality: Aside from my B&B Finest Horn (which makes everything else I have ever seen in person look and feel like cheap, plasticky toys) the quality and aesthetics of the Major appears to be easily above and beyond that of the few brushes I own, as well as any of those I have personally fondled and/or coveted at the local Mario's, Nordstrom's, knife shops, etc. The rounded shoulders of the Major are far more appealing to me than the sharp, squared-off angles of the T&H, AOS, or Vulfix turnbacks. The thick, sturdy walls of the Major are definitely built to stand up to just about any abuse you can imagine dishing out during your travels. Like others have noted, the little gold Simpson's label fell off my Major almost immediately upon taking the brush out of the box revealing a Simpson's stamp underneath. This was disappointing at first, but now I think the stamp alone gives the brush a handsome vintage appeal I have come to prefer anyway.

Density: The first thing that surprised me was how small the knot is (19mm = 0.75in) and how the bristles are are shorter than I expected (40mm = 1.5in). The bristles are very densely packed, however, especially for a smaller brush and the bloom is quite impressive (57mm = 2.25in).

Stiffness/Softness of Tips: Springy and firm and great feeling...often compared to the Chubby 2 by those with more brush experience than I. Though I travel quite a bit, the Major feels so good it has become one of my top two brushes for home use as well.

Ergonomics: Though the brush appears very small at first, when assembled for use the Major is actually about 115mm or 4.5 inches tall and the handle is over 38mm or 1.5in wide. That's taller and wider than the biggest brush I have, the B&B Finest. I have no problems using any of my brushes, large or small...but the relatively long, thick handle of the Major makes it more comfortable to use than any of my other brushes. It's extremely compact when assembled for storage (88mm = 3.5in) and doesn't take up much room at all in my already overstuffed travel bag.

Latherability: The Major builds great lather in the mug, in my hand, or directly on my face. I always have plenty of lather left over after 3-4 passes.

Summary: I did a lot of research on turnbacks before buying this brush, and the consistently excellent reviews by others pushed me over the edge. The Simpson's Major really is a fantastic little travel brush. Great looking, built to last, it's easy to use and even easier to store. The dense and springy bristles work up plenty of lather and feel wonderful. It has quickly become my favorite brush not just for travel but for home use and display as well, right along side my B&B Finest. Though expensive, sometimes these things are about more than just finding the best value for the dollar. Highly Recommended!!! :smile:

Latest reviews

I purchased my first Simpson Major shortly after the Vulfix took over Simpson and a few months later I managed to obtain a NOS Major from the original Somerset factory that had been made in around the year 2000. There is a comparison of both brushes here: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=71429

I have had a lot of brushes but more than any other brand I have had Simpson brushes and the reason is due to the amazing qualities of my Major brushes. There has been a lot of debate about 'Pre and post Vulfix' brushes but having used both, the differences in performance are there and the handles do look a little different but they are negligible and I can say that I think reading a review about one of the older brushes is still accurate enough to make an informed decision about a purchase of a brush from the new factory.

For the purposes of my ratings I am basing the numbers on my Somerset Simpson brush as I still have it, my Vulfix brush was PIFed some time ago.

Price: Not super cheap but not really over priced in my opinion either. I have the brush in Best which is cheaper but even in Super the price is reasonable for a high end shaving brush that has a segmented handle which is harder to manufacture than most other handles.

Quality: The quality is superb and I have no faults with it I did put some clear enamel over the Simpson label so it won't come off as they are prone to do, but the handle turning and shape and quality of the knot are fantastic.

You will read in some reviews about Simpson brushes being prone to shedding, this is in reference to a period shortly before the Vulfix purchase of the company when the glue holding the brush knots together was of a low quality. This was resolved prior to the buyout anyway and if you are buying a new brush today you need not worry about it but when it comes to NOS brushes from near the end of the manufacturing run at the old Somerset factory be aware that there can be shedding issues.

Density: Density is exactly right. Nice and firm, the knot is fully capable of supporting itself but it is not so dense as to be a lather hog. It blooms into an enormous size for such a small knotted brush.

Stiffness of Tips: Not scritchy at all, the brush is not rough on the face but the tips are quite stiff. It will quickly whip up a huge lather on a puck of soap and does a great job working the lather into your beard.

Softness of Tips: It really is amazingly soft, it isn't quite as soft as some of my high end silver tip brushes but it is very smooth on the face.

Ergonomics: I prefer a longer handle and when assembled the handle of this brush is about 73mm tall and fits well into my hand. It is extremely comfortable to use and gives great control.

Latherability: (My computer claims that this is not a real word :001_tongu ) I am a soap user and face latherer, this brush suits this perfectly. It can take a small amount of soap and build a mountain of lather very quickly, which is great when some of my soaps are now unobtainium (Tallow Blenheim Bouquet :crying: ) If I need a relaxing shave or a shave in a hurry it is well suited to either, making the lather quickly and in great gobs.

So I will conclude by stating: THIS IS THE BEST BRUSH EVER (for me) and as always YMMV
Price
2.00 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)
I was very lucky to receive a "Major" when I was fairly new to the B&B in the form of a PIF from one of our fantastic Aussie members.

What can I say about the Major? This is a fantastic brush. It has adequate backbone and feels great on the face. The small knot creates a fantastic lather very quickly and works well with either soaps or creams. This is not only my go to for travel but it gets regular use at home as well. If you have the opportunity to pick one up don't let it pass!
Price
1.00 star(s)
Density
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Ergonomic
4.00 star(s)
Latherability
4.00 star(s)
Softness of Tips
4.00 star(s)
Stiffness of Tips
5.00 star(s)
This is my primary travel brush. After trying various form factors available, the turnback is the only one for me. I like the fact that it continues to dry when packed away. The bristles are just right for face lathering. This brush performs extremely well with no noticeable shedding. Excellent product!
Price
3.00 star(s)
Density
4.00 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)

Item information

Added by
bordeaaj
Views
238
Reviews
7
Last update

More in Shaving Brushes (Reviews)

Top Bottom