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A Couple o' Shavemacs (my first)

So, I'm now on the bandwagon with Shavemac. :biggrin:

Here's the specs...

Horn Imitation
Height: 4.1 inch
Finest Badger Hair
Knot Size 23 mm
Item No. 22558


Ivory Imitation
Height: 5.4 inch
Silver Tip Badger
Knot Size 28 mm
Item No. 436
 
Nice! I have the Savile Row version of the 436 (sort of...it's the 3226 which has a 26mm knot). I really enjoy using the long handled brush, but I've also been eyeing something with a smaller knot to dedicate to soaps (while very effective in building lather, the 3226 I find to be a bit too large for soaps). The 22558 or one of its brethren could be just the ticket!

Let us know how you like using them.

Mike
 
Okay, so it's time to report back on performance of my pair o' Shavemacs. :biggrin: First, there is no doubt why there is such a following of this company on this and other forums. They are quality products in materials, fit and finish.

Now, let's start with the smaller Shavemac brush, item #22558, in finest badger hair. This is an incredibly soft brush; it is softer feeling than the SR212T in super badger. I possibly have only one brush that would be softer than this one (Dovo handmade in silvertip), and not even my other Shavemac, item #436, in silvertip is softer than this one (when dry). Some will feel that this brush is floppy; I attribute this to the loft versus the knot size and density. I feel it works wonderfully, but the bristles do give under pressure. This brush had no problems whipping up lather on a soap or cream; the products tested with it were Taylor's sandalwod soap, QED's Special 218 glycerin soap (melted into a bowl), and Cyril Salter's almond cream.

Next is my other Shavemac brush, item #436, in silvertip badger hair. This brush has a dense knot, and it is also quite large at 28mm. Again the pictures do not demonstrate the whiter color of the hair. I noticed that the whiteness was more apparent when looking at the brush upside down; I assume this phenomenon is due to looking further down into the hair when upright, and observing shadow or the darker color of the hair lower in the brush. The dense, large knot does a great job of holding this brush firm while the tips conform to your face smooting the lather over your visage; it is surprising how smooth and soft the bristles feel when filled with lather -- you don't really feel the individual hairs or prickliness. This brush holds alot of water, and I had to adjust to shaking more water out, so that I didn't drown out the cream or have to lather up too much soap; the same products were tested on this brush as the previous one. Finally, the long handle really allows for alot of leverage -- whip on! :w00t:

The pictures of each brush with lather are as follows: Shavemac #22558 on QED's Special 218 glycerin soap lather for one minute, and Shavemac #436 on Cyril Salter's almond cream lathered for one minute. The other pictures give you size comparison shots with the addition of these brushes: Savile Row SR212T (30mm), Edwin Jagger for Crabtree & Evelyn (22mm), Saint Charles Shave (22mm).
 
xChris,

Very nice write-up! I must confess I'm disappointed by your description of the #22558 brush as being floppy. From your comments, it sounds like the knot isn't just smaller, proportionately it's less densely packed than the 436. Could that be the perception from comparing a finest to a silver tip brush? I had been eyeing the #22580 (same shape as the #22558 but with a tortoise imitation handle) in silver tip, but now I'm not so sure; I don't care for floppy brushes (well, not for regular use, anyway). :confused:

Mike
 
Mike,

I think the #22558's "floppiness" is a result of a high loft coupled with the smaller knot. The #436 in silvertip has that extra 5mm of knot diameter holding the bristles together at the same loft height. Also, as stated, these bristles are simply soft right from the start and give easily. This may indicate that there is a difference in the hair shafts as well as the tips affecting my perception of their relative densities.

Looking at the pictures I posted, you can see how much the #22558 has bloomed; this, I believe, is probably also affecting the overall perception of density. However, I also think that the picture of the #22558 lathering up the QED soap attests to its performance to lather up any soap or cream.

For me, the softness and give is not an issue; I like it just fine. I use a scrubbing (circular) and painting motion to apply the lather, and the #22558 lays down a smooth, opaque (thick) layer of lather.

Maybe you could get Mr. Blos to use a similar-sized silvertip knot in the tortoise shell handle to accomodate your requirements. The handle style is quite nice.


Chris
 
To keep things in perspective, "floppiness" is a relative term. I own Shavemacs in both silvertip and finest grades. Neither are anywhere near the floppiness of say, Vulfix or Kent. xChris is correct that different lofts and bundle thicknesses will produce varying perceptions of floppiness. I think Shavemac rates near the top in terms of hair stiffness and tip softness, if that makes any sense.
 
xChris, Thanks for the additional info. I did notice the post-bloom pics, and how the spread of the #22558 even appears to be larger than the #436, but I didn't want to jump to conclusions because it could have been a trick of the camera/lens.

And Scotto, I appreciate the additional perspective. I have a Vulfix-made T&H brush which is good on those mornings when you wake up and already your face feels raw (ahh, winter in New York), but generally I like a little scrubbing action from my brush.

It may be time to shoot Herr Blos an email....

Mike
 
Mike,

With the recent price drop in Simpsons, those brushes might be a good option for you as well. I just picked up a Duke #2 for <$100 shipped,which is a nice brush. Not quite as stiff as Shavemac, but denser and softer.

Just a thought.
 
I know this is a dumb question, but what exactly is "finest" grade badger hair? Is it the same thing as "super"? From the pictures, the bristles on the Shavemac Finest definately look lighter than the ones on my pure grade badger brush.
 
Scotto said:
Mike,

With the recent price drop in Simpsons, those brushes might be a good option for you as well. I just picked up a Duke #2 for <$100 shipped,which is a nice brush. Not quite as stiff as Shavemac, but denser and softer.

Just a thought.

Scotto,

Any floppy or moppy tendencies?

Randy
 
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