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A year into wet shaving - time for a new brush

I’ve been shaving with brush and soap for a year now and I’m ready to invest in a better brush. I started out with the Tweezerman and I think there are better options.

So, following Doc’s outline in the stickies, here is some information to help you make a recommendation.

  1. Current Brushes -- The Tweezerman is my only brush. Handle-- I like the size of the handle. I set the handle against my palm and my fingers can reach the bristles to “pinch” them. It just seems to fit my hand. I like the indentation just above the base because I hold it there when I flick it dry after rinsing. A similar sized handle in a new brush would be fine. Bristles-- The Tweezerman is too big and floppy. The bristles are all over the place.
  2. My lathery leanings: I face lather. So far, I only use soaps, no creams. I started with Tabac and currently use MWF. When I travel, I use a Tabac stick. When the new Proraso Sandalwood (for tough beards) hits the shores of the US, I plan to try it. I do have a puck of EJ Sandalwood that I really can’t get much lather from. I’m hoping the new brush does better.
  3. My wants-- I’m looking for a brush with more backbone than the Tweezerman. I would prefer that it not be too scritchy or scrubby, although a small to moderate amount is fine. Doesn’t have to be Super Silvertip. I do want badger, though, no boars. I’m looking for a good everyday brush that will last for a very long time, build a good lather, release it on demand, and make my face happy. I want to buy this brush as though it will be the only brush I’ll ever use. OK, you skeptics can get up off the floor and stop laughing, now. As evidence that I don’t have AD, I only use one soap at a time, I only own one razor, and only have one brush.
  4. Brush aesthetics: In general, overall aesthetics are overridden by the performance of the brush. Kind of like buying a car. I like certain car colors, but I’ll take performance over color. Having said that, here are my preferences. I talked about the handle size above -similar to the Tweezerman. I would like to have the indentation just above the base like the Tweezerman does. Material? Something durable. If the model I choose is offered in a few colors, I may go for horn, or something other than ivory. I don’t want a metal or ceramic handle. I’d like a brush that feels solid in my hand. Doesn’t have to be “hefty,” though. The handle shouldn’t be any slipperier than average.
  5. Budget.I would like to keep it below $70.
  6. Size -- As I said above, I think I want a smaller brush than the Tweezerman is. Something that I can use to face lather with more precision than I can now. I don’t want a Wee Scott or a Chubby, that’s overkill.
  7. General -- I’m more focused on quality and value for money, than prestige. If there is a brush that is of a similar caliber to, say, a Simpson, and it will last as long, I’m open to suggestions. At the same time, I don’t want false economy-- a brush that is cheap, performs well, then disintegrates in a few years.
  8. Brushes I like-- Unfortunately, I haven’t been hanging out in the shaving section of B&B as much as I used to, so I’m out of touch with the multitude of brush choices. Note: The reason I haven’t been in the shaving section as much is that I’ve been spending more time in the Nib (now that’s where I’m at risk of AD!!).
  9. Please don't forget to tell us that this will be your last or only brush, and that "SBAD hasn't really gotten ahold of me." We need a good laugh. I already have that one covered, above.

Thanks for your help. I look forward to your recommendations.
The Simpsons colonel in best is a great value and a great brush. It's bigger than a Tweezerman but I still get a very precise application of soap when I face lather.
It sounds like a Rooney 3/1 in super is just right for you!
Check them out at vintagebladesllc.com

As a side note, this handle is offered in ivory resin, black resin, and imitation horn, so you could get that great performing "car" in any color you'd like.
My two current favorite badger face latherers fit your criteria, with a couple of exceptions. One, the handles are probably shorter than the tweezerman;and two, one is a bit more expensive than your limit. You want a simpsons Duke 2. The ultimate face latherer. There is probably a similar simpson with a slightly longer handle, maybe the tulip. I have a Thater 22mm knot with 44 mm loft roughly (think it is the 96125/0) and it is another great one, but closer to $100, I think. I like the two equally, atm.

If you can live with a shorter handle-- but still very easy to grip and pleasantly tactile-- I would highly recommend the Duke 2 in best badger. Great backbone, loads up soap with ease, feels very soft on the face.
¢orey;4226815 said:
The Simpsons colonel in best is a great value and a great brush. It's bigger than a Tweezerman but I still get a very precise application of soap when I face lather.
+1. A great all around brush.
I'll be sure to keep following this thread as I have been searching for a similar brush. Unlike you though, I've gone off the deep end and have picked up several budget brushes. It probably would have been more economical to just buy one of the Simpson brushes that everyone is recommending. But I'm enjoying the ride. Good luck with your search!
I think it would be helpful to hear what brushes catch your eye as well. Otherwise I feel like these threads always disintegrate into what brushes we own and like. You gave some good input so this should help people help you narrow things down.
I think it would be helpful to hear what brushes catch your eye as well. Otherwise I feel like these threads always disintegrate into what brushes we own and like. You gave some good input so this should help people help you narrow things down.

Reading your post, I see that my preferences for brushes and soaps are basically identical to yours. Having said that, I can entirely recommend the Semogue Owners Club Brush in 2-band badger. Comes in either ash or cherry handle, and is $67 US at shaving.ie (I got mine there; great vendor- no issues with the shipping from Ireland).

Based on what you're writing here, I would be very surprised if you didn't love this brush. I also use MWF and Tabac, exclusively. After about 5 "break-in" uses, this brush created the most amazing lathers I've ever encountered with both of these soaps (my previous badger was also a tweezerman). I actually started face lathering BECAUSE of this brush. It is a perfect size for it, and has enough backbone to lather up a triple-milled hard soap while still feeling very velvety on the face. I love mine so much that I just bought the matching boar version. The SOC line has stopped me from considering any kind of "brush acquisition disorder" because I love it so dearly that it's almost unhealthy. I practically caress the damn thing when I do my post-shave towel dry!

Of course, this is just my personal opinion, but I strongly believe this is the best brush you'll find in your price range. They perform well above their price-point. If you search these forums a bit more you will also see what a great rep they have.

Either way- good luck. (And if you do end up buying this, PM me after you've broken it in to tell me what you think!)
Everyone - Thanks for all of your input. This helps tremendously.

I'm drawn to either the Duke 2, or the Commodore X2. I like the size of the Commodore and several of our vendor sites say it is the best-selling Simpsons in the U.S. On the other hand, the Duke 2 seems to be legendary for face-lathering. I think the Commodore is more like what I am used to, at the same time, I don't want that to limit me, now that I think about it. A year from now, how much trouble it was to adapt to a new brush will be irrelevant.

I probably can't go wrong with either brush. Do you have any thoughts about what I would gain if I choose one over the other? Or, conversely, what I would give up?

Ballistic Burrito-- Yep. Being fully aware that there is always a better option just above what a person would like to spend, I set my upper dollar limit just a little bit low. :001_smile

VirtualAsylum--Your post went up I was composing mine. I'll check out the SOC, also.

Thanks again for all your help.
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