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All 'Rounder, face-latherer, not Rooney...help?


I've been trying to scope out my next brush (threads such as the "must have brush" thread were steps in that direction). I think I've finally articulated what I want; can you help me match my specs to a brush?

First off, here's what I have: Rooney 3/1, Kent BK4, Omega 6215, EJ BBB, No-name boutique Best. My favorite is the Rooney, with the others taking turns at being high on the list.

Now, here's what I'm looking for:
1. Not a Rooney. Because I've already got the Rooney 3/1, I'd like something other than a Rooney. More generally, I'd probably prefer a different make from any I have.
2. Face latherer: I prefer face lathering, even with the Omega (!), so I'd prefer a brush that can face lather effectively; if that brush can work with a bowl, too, that's fine.
3. All 'rounder: I probably prefer soaps a bit, perhaps only because of frugality; but--I know, it's shocking--I have enough creams to last at least a few years over and above my soaps. So, both pragmatically and philosophically, I prefer an "all 'rounder" brush. [I say "philosophically" because I don't think space will permit me to become a collector, so I want to keep my herd on the smaller size.]
4. $100ish. I say "ish" meaning "$110 is OK" but "$150 is not OK". I have a budget cap I need to stick with.
5. I don't really care too strongly about hair type, though I'm probably biased a bit toward higher grades.

What brushes I've been thinking about:
I was looking at a Shavemac or Saville Row (or even a QED Select), which seem to be candidates in the $110ish range; although, I'm among those confused as to whether there's a distinction worth a difference in them, based on reviews that seem confusing (e.g., I'm still not actually clear which one is stiffer?). If those makes sound reasonable, I'd specifically like your thoughts on whether the Shavemac 177 and SR 3824 are too big for face lathering?

Lastly, I'll end up with a BBE at some point--I have my name in that hat for the 2d go 'round--but let's set that option aside for now.

There's a lot here, I know; but, I wanted to get as much out there to help you help me. Any recommendations? Thanks as always!
Yes, if you want something different than what you have, QED Select is your best bet. There's a post in the shopping forum.

Shavemac will also be a good bet, but quite a bit more variety available there, and higher price. Maybe something with a long handle? In my opinion the 23mm shavemac and 24mm SR are too big for face-lathering, I would keep it 22mm and below, personally. But depends whether you want your whole face brush-covered at once :)

Best of luck.



Moderator Emeritus
I'd consider looking at the Simpson Duke 2 in best.

I have the pre-Vulfix takeover model and really like it - you might post a thread asking for feedback on the current production ones.

Mine has a short, densely-packed, knot somewhere between 20mm and 22mm. The hair on mine is soft, but with some backbone - definitely scrubbier than the Rooney silvertip, but in no way abrasive.

Lee at leesrazors.com sells this brush for $90, but if you give him a call or send him a note telling him you're a member here, he'll give you a better price or ship for free - he's very good to deal with.

If the feedback on the current production models is good, this would be my suggestion.

As for the Shavemac or SR, I'm not a huge fan of the lightbulb shaped knots for face lathering, as they're typically floppier than a comparable knot in a fan shape - I had a SR and sold it because it didn't do too much for me, but I do like my BBE - more so than any other lightbulb shaped brush I've owned - but again, that's a personal preference thing.

Hope this helps.
Simpson persian Jar 2 super.

I have one and use it precicley how you want to and think it is great. I am going to try a rooney 1/1 for soaps and see how that goes, but I am sure I will be keeping the PJ2.
my favorite brush:
Custom made ShaveMac 21mm, 60mm loft, super stuffed silvertip......FLATTOP

I have a Rooney Super 3/1 and a Simpsons 2 banded super CH1 for face lathering
A Superior 21 mm custom and a Shavemaster S100 for bowl lathering
But the ShaveMac is my great "all rounder"

My brush cost $125 all inclusive (including initials on handle)

Thanks for your thoughtful replies. This thread has done exactly what I wanted it to do. I've got my next couple of brushes lined up.

Seriously, thanks!

+1 on Chris' recommendation of the Simpson, albeit mine's a Duke 3. This brush is a true workhorse, and can do it all. It excels as a face latherer with both soaps (especially sticks) and creams.
im going to go against the flow here and recommend the shavemac, i have a bulb silvertip shavemac which i found to be great with face lathering creams,
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