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Am I wrong or something?

OkieStubble

Dirty Donuts are so Good.
Nice to have options IMHO!! :popc::popc:

For me, the answer is ‘badger,’ just not any badger grade. I do not care for ’pure’ and find my sweet spot between ‘finest’ and 2-band.

I started with boars and still appreciate them. Just never developed a taste for the synthetics.

I have a single boar Omega #10029 ‘Baby Pro’ boar. I’m a bit of a traditionalist, so I gotta have a good boar with my Italian Proraso cream/soap shave.

I’m with you on my badger preference being between a Finest and two- band. I find these to be the best badger knots for their price point. I would never spend $200 on a high mountain popular name brand badger.

This is why synthetics have become my go to. I couldn’t say if my synthetic rivals an expensive badger, but I have found they rival and or exceed any of the finest two bands I have owned.
They’re just as soft, can be found with the same amount of backbone and heat retention for badger is a myth imo. I also believe the water retention of a badger is not necessarily a virtue when it comes to face lathering.

When face lathering, synthetic knots retain plenty of water between the bristles instead of absorption like badger. This water between the non absorbing synthetic hairs releases into the soap or cream and makes great lather. And who doesn’t use extra drops of water from their fingers during the lathering process with any type of knot?

For me, when badger absorbs water, it doesn’t interfere with the initial lathering process, but the lather that’s left over, sits on those water logged badger knots and turns the lather that will be used for the second pass, into a watered down flat lather.

The lather sitting on the wet badger tends to dissipate when I am busy shaving my first pass. When I pick that badger back up, there is no heat retention and the lather is flat.

And while there is no heat retention in synthetic either, the absorbed water in the badger seems colder to me then the synthetic. And to me at least, there isn’t anything more worse than a cold, very wet badger brush with flat lather on the second pass. :)

If one bowl lathers from a scuttle, there isn’t any difference between a synthetic or two band finest in my view and it’s just simply a matter of perception and preference.

But I face lather and there is definitely a difference. :)
 
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Much depends on the individual brush. Longer hair tends toward floppy depending on grade. Shorter tends to be stiffer, again depending on grade. But...density and knot size also impact the feel, as does the shape of the badger hair.

Best example, take 2 badgers that are different with your favorite cream or soap. You will not get the same result unless the water to product mix changes, as well as the timing of it all. Neither will feel the same on your individual face.
 
Your experience has me intrigued.

I have not used a brush in forever but when I did, I was always intrigued how I got better shaves (not necessary lather) from any badger I used, which was a lot. All the synths always made plenty of lather from nothing but the quality of my shave was always better with a badger.

Use whatever you love, don’t worry about it!
 
No, I don't think you are wrong, because a lot of changes have happened to synthetic brush making, since the original synthetics were made. And also as you noted, not all synthetic brushes are equal, just as not all badger brushes, or bore brushes are equal. Each are made with different characteristics, and since we are all different, we require different characteristics from a brush.

I started my brush journey off with a garbage pure badger. This is a brush that looks nicer then it actually is, and I absolutely "DO NOT" recommend it!
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Following the disaster of that brush purchase, I seeked guidance on B&B for a higher quality badger brush, that would actually do the job properly, and make feel better about he purchase expense. And thats when I got my Maseto Avatar 30mm knot 56 loft silver tipped badger brush!

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After this, I wanted to try out a smaller synthetic brush, my first one BTW, and I had APSHAVECO custom make a brush for me, in a 24mm G5C Japanese knot, in a Blue Lagoon handle. I ended up having a love/hate relationship with the brush, because it did not perform how I would have expected. Silver tipped badger just spoiled me.

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I have a Captains Choice scuttle with a little lather area, too small of an area for large brushes. Remembering how my first rodeo into synthetics didn't go well, I decided that I was going back to silver tipped badger, and I chose the Omega 636 21mm knot brush, which is perfect for scuttle use!

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After more time went by, I decided to get a Cayuen Workshop Dark Nebula lather bowl. Because the artisan had a matching brush, I decided that I would give synthetics another try, and I chose a B&W Tuxedo 26mm synthetic knot, and had the artisan set the knot at 2mm to secure solid backbone. The result of this, provided me the perfect synthetic brush, which redeemed my view on synthetics.

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My APSHAVECO brush has not been getting any use since I got the CW Dark Nebula brush. These days, I've reserved my Omega 636 silver tipped badger brush to scuttle lather use only, and I reserved my Maseto Avatar 30mm silver tipped badger brush, to facial lathering only. I find that large brushes like my Maseto Avatar, are perfect for facial lathering.

Getting a synthetic brush that does what you need it to do, is actually harder then one would think, this is because they are all different. I think this is why some folks get in the trap of buying 25 - 50 brushes, because they are searching to find the perfect synthetic. I am not so sure if a perfect synthetic exists. But I can assure you this at least, there will be a synthetic brush out there, that will do the job for you.

I was lucky to find it after my second attempt, but I had to drop some real money on synthetic to get it, its not a cheap brush by any means. But now that I have my Dark Nebula 26mm synthetic brush, its never leaving my shave den!

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In all things YMMV-
Glad I found this thread because I had the same question - as a noob shaver, am I doing something wrong because I like my synthetics but don’t like my silver tip badger at all? Is something wrong with me or my technique because I don’t like the premium priced and traditional product? I understand YMMV but personally I really don’t like the badgers for the following reasons-

Having to soak it pre shave
Much more time & effort to create lather
They suck up a ton of soap IN the brush that STAYS in the brush- that’s a waste of nice soaps
Not supposed to push down hard or splay it for fear of damaging bristles? Really?
Advice to not use “too hot” water to clean and sanitize.
It’s hard to transfer the lather OUT of the brush on to your face
Hard to brush on your face with a wet mop and hard to keep a wet mop concentrated in a shave mug if you are face lathering.
It gets messy!
Dries slowly
Smells like the southern end of a northbound mule when new
More worries to clean and maintain
Much, much more expensive

For me, (YMMV) the best brushes I’ve tried are cheap Razorock synthetics, on sale for $9.99 and $11.99.

Synthetic advantages for me-
Mash it down and twirl it all you want, in a bowl or on your face and it doesn’t deform, break bristles or lose shape- it’s a face lathering machine!
Nice feel
Cheap
Durable
Low maintenance
Functions better, is much quicker and easier to get a vastly superior lather on face or in bowl ready to go!
Uses a fraction of the amount of soap
3 hard shakes over the tub after rinsing and a quick back and forth on a towel and it’s practically dry- no bathroom mold or funk
Easier/zero maintenance all around

Yes, 3 band badgers LOOK amazing and I certainly don’t like the looks of a black knot, etc. What gets me is a good plissoft that looks like a badger. I haven’t tried a boar yet, but will as those are cheap for the most part too and a lot of people seem to like them. YMMV, but for me, I would rather save the coin for a couple of premium razors I want to try instead of expensive brushes. I’m still learning what works and doesn’t for ME, so if you are reading this and feeling like you SHOULD like badger brushes because they are the premium product, don’t worry about it. We are all different and will have different preferences for equipment.
 
Your experience has me intrigued.

I have not used a brush in forever but when I did, I was always intrigued how I got better shaves (not necessary lather) from any badger I used, which was a lot. All the synths always made plenty of lather from nothing but the quality of my shave was always better with a badger.

Use whatever you love, don’t worry about it!
You may be on to something- I just laid down my rant about how much I like my cheap synthetics and dislike badger but realized after cleaning that floppy mop that I just had an absolutely stellar shave. The rabbit hole gets deeper….wonder if anyone else experiences that or can quantify it?
 
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