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Boars Don't Last?

Compared to badgers how well do boars last?

  • Boars don't last.

    Votes: 4 6.9%
  • Boars and badgers last an equally long time.

    Votes: 23 39.7%
  • Boars last just as long if allowed to dry between uses.

    Votes: 16 27.6%
  • Other (explained in the thread)

    Votes: 15 25.9%

  • Total voters
    58

Chan Eil Whiskers

Contributor
Ambassador
This thread is in response to a post I read today. A post which caused me to consider yet another thing I don't know anything about.

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Boars don't last so don't blow a lot of money on one.
Generally I don't spend a lot on brushes compared to guys who do, but I have a collection of boars I regard as premium boar brushes. The only one which failed was the Thater, the most expensive by far, but I don't think its failure was the fault of the bristles; a badger would have failed too.

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This is another of my premium brushes but it cost well under $40. That would be very cheap for a not as good badger.

I have no idea about how long boars last compared to badgers. I've only been using them consistently for a couple of years or so, but none of my other boars (or badgers) show any signs of not being with me for the duration.

What's your experience?

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
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Uncas

Contributor
I have no concerns and also own some "high end" boars, as well as some that cost 15.00. They all get the same treatment and appear unfazed.
I'll seek my drama elsewhere.
 
I too have only been using my brushes for something like two or three years. I have yet to have a brush fail on me. And none of them are shedding. I have the very brush pictured in your second picture and it is my favorite boar by far. I won't choose an answer to the poll because I'm just not in a position to provide any meaningful input. I'll be watching the thread through as this topic definitely interests me.
 
I’ve been using boar brushes for over five years now and none have failed on me. I do alternate my brushes every day. As I’ve only had a badger for maybe a year, I cannot comment on which lasts longer.
 

naughtilus

Contributor
If you look old used boar brushes on ebay and antique shops they are ubiquitous, worn half way through the knot from use, and packed tight with soap scum (never rinsed and babied). If you look up old badger brushes the few that still kick around are typically unused or very lightly used.

What's the barbers weapon of choice?
 
Because I rotate my boar brushes so much my input is not so valuable. The one I believe I have used the most is my Semogue LE. It has not shed any hairs so far in fact I don't recall any of my boar brushes shedding hairs more than 1 or 2 maybe.
The one I use the most, my favorite, is the Semogue LE.

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Uncas

Contributor
Because I rotate my boar brushes so much my input is not so valuable. The one I believe I have used the most is my Semogue LE. It has not shed any hairs so far in fact I don't recall any of my boar brushes shedding hairs more than 1 or 2 maybe.
The one I use the most, my favorite, is the Semogue LE.

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A Gentleman of refined taste.
 
I voted "Other" because I truly don't know and never thought about it before today.

Happy shaves,

Jim
I voted other as well, Jim. I think I'm about to find out because I have a 2nd boar brush on the way and shall be adding a synthetic and a badger by the end of the year. My Omega boar has 3 cracks in the handle and 1 in the ring, and I'm not going to stop using it, so I guess we'll see?

Wes
 
Some vintage badgers I have, have no doubt been thinned by use. But I have yet to see the kind of breakage I find in some boar brushes.

From what I have read, badger hairs are less prone to breaking than horsehair or boar. That seems consistent with my own experience as well.

I baby my Turkish boar brush (Shave Factory), and so far it's doing very well, despite the fact it's seen several years of exclusive use. I use conditioner or coconut oil on it once in a while to keep the hairs strong.

I had a VDH brush but I gave it to my dad. That thing never looked good and it shed hairs and broke hairs alot.
 
Six in one, half dozen in the other, IMO. Theres plenty of vintage boars that can be had on Ebay which are decades old and still going strong.
 
My last boar lasted around 5 years, though I did have full beard for around 18 months of that, and prior to that I shaved 2 to 5 times a week. Its decline was pretty rapid when its time was up.

The current boar was only bought this year. It does shed the odd hair occasionally. If I get a couple or three years use, I'll not be grumbling at the sub £10 cost. If it disintegrates quicker, I'll probably move to synthetics next. I've no interest in buying premium brushes, or accumulating more that the three I have (1 home, 1 travel, 1 spare).
 

naughtilus

Contributor
Some vintage badgers I have, have no doubt been thinned by use. But I have yet to see the kind of breakage I find in some boar brushes.

From what I have read, badger hairs are less prone to breaking than horsehair or boar. That seems consistent with my own experience as well.

I baby my Turkish boar brush (Shave Factory), and so far it's doing very well, despite the fact it's seen several years of exclusive use. I use conditioner or coconut oil on it once in a while to keep the hairs strong.

I had a VDH brush but I gave it to my dad. That thing never looked good and it shed hairs and broke hairs alot.
There's badly made brushes in both camp, it's not inherent to the hair type but manufacturing.

Boar bristles break if not soaked. Badgers completely disintegrate if you don't rinse the soap scum. The later is EOL for a brush. Broken boar bristles didn't stop men keep on using the brushes.
 
There's badly made brushes in both camp, it's not inherent to the hair type but manufacturing.

Boar bristles break if not soaked. Badgers completely disintegrate if you don't rinse the soap scum. The later is EOL for a brush. Broken boar bristles didn't stop men keep on using the brushes.
I've revived a few badger brushes by using Ship Shape and hair conditioner. Most I've got off eBay have had horrible stink (musty ashtrays and mildew). Lesson learned, I think I don't plan to buy more like that. But they are still usable and look decent. They shed a few hairs at first, however.

I think you are right though, that boars see alot of abuse. Perhaps people were more conscientious with their badger brushes.
 
So, besides the OP's original picture of a fractured knot, what actually happens to a brush as it "deteriorates"?
Mine rapidly started shedding more and more every day. Over a couple of weeks, or maybe less, it went from shedding one or two hairs every shave to ten or more, then even more fell out when I rinsed it. When I finally gave up on it and dumped it in the bin, it had visibly thinned out.
 
Mine rapidly started shedding more and more every day. Over a couple of weeks, or maybe less, it went from shedding one or two hairs every shave to ten or more, then even more fell out when I rinsed it. When I finally gave up on it and dumped it in the bin, it had visibly thinned out.
Ok. Every so often I'll notice a hair in my lather. With boar they are pretty easy to spot and I always pick them out. If I start seeing more I'll know the end is near and it will be time to start scouting for a replacement.
 
I don't know. Back in the 1970s, I bought a boar brush from NOS found in a drug store. The brush is likely older than I am. The brush is an EverReady, with a knot dyed to resemble badger. Best I recall, I used it for daily shaves until Gillette introduced the Brush Plus, then went back to it for occasional "luxury shaves" after I could no longer get Brush Plus refills. A few years ago I noticed shedding from the middle. I attributed this to the age of the knot.

I have never noticed any breakage in the EverReady bristles. That said, I suspect it might have been treated, again to resemble badger. While boar, the bristles aren't quite like my two VDH boar brushes. Those seem to have stiffer bristles until soaked. I haven't used either VDH long enough to judge whether they'll last or not. Haven't seen breakage in these bristles. They shedded a few bristles on the first few uses, but don't now.

We know that the ends of boar bristles will split. Makes them softer. The bigger question is if they ever stop splitting. If no, then they might could fail at a later date. If yes, then that's not a factor. If you look on a certain auction site, you can fine worn down brushes, but I don't know if they're boar or horse.

Here's a nasty question: Are there different quality boar knots? If they all come from the same sources, then we're paying for the name and the handle. If there's no difference in knots, then there's no point in paying extra. However, if there is a difference in boar knots, then maybe more expensive is better. All that is speculation, though.
 
Here's a nasty question: Are there different quality boar knots? If they all come from the same sources, then we're paying for the name and the handle. If there's no difference in knots, then there's no point in paying extra. However, if there is a difference in boar knots, then maybe more expensive is better. All that is speculation, though.
I would imagine they are graded to some extent. Maybe belly hair is more desirable than shoulder hair, or the age of the pig affects the end result.
 
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