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Brush Anomie

So I started off with a Merkur silvertip. Its softness is a treat, it feels luxurious and fine, and is obviously very high quality. But I wanted a bigger brush, and perhaps a firmer one, since I was having a bit of trouble making good lather on soap. Perhaps because it's small, it doesn't hold much water, although it shaves well. I like this brush, but I want(ed) something more.

Then I bought a Vulfix 377 in super badger, looking for some of that stiff English brush big-soaking big-lathering magic. It gets the job done, but I now see that the problem with this brush is a lack of density at the center. I have trouble lathering my moustache with this because there is no resilient peak in the center with which to paint on lather. I end up scrubbing up my lips and nose with the blooming edges. Plus, because this is super rather than silvertip, I find that it's not soft enough to feel really special, yet somehow not bristly enough to provide great exfoliation or stimulation. The other weird thing is that I can soak this brush with hot water, lather up, then set it down, and when I go back to re-lather in 2.5 minutes, the brush is cold all the way down to the base. I thought these were supposed to stay warm?

This weekend while on a trip, I used my tiny merkur silvertip travel brush for the first time, and got a better shave out of it than I do at home with the Vulfix. I realized something was wrong. I am thinking of selling this brush, because I don't think I'd be sad to see it go.

So in my AD wisdom, I was reading reviews today and thinking about buying a Shavemac brush. Love the German quality, love the appearance of these brushes (wood and nickel) more than their beige british counterparts. I like the softness of the silvertip I've used, and am wondering whether the Shavemac will be just like my dovo except more more more of the same good stuff. If so, I want one. Or am I just looking for something that I'll never find?

Obviously no correct answer here, but I bought the Vulfix hoping to improve on the Merkur, and instead I see it was a lateral move. I suppose I don't mind spending a bit of money (I cheaped out on the Vulfix...), but I want that money to result in an improved experience, even if it doesn't change the shave but results in a soft, wet, lathery brush.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance!
I'm well on my way, I'd just like to buy something rewarding up front to help feed the SBAD fires!

Scotto said:
Needless to say, you should buy one of everything. Why deny yourself? :ihih:
There's definitely an answer, in fact there are more answers possible:

-Savile Row 22.. series with a smaller knot
-Simpsons in best, fi Duke #3 in best, PJ 2 or 3 in best
-Shavemac supers with a smaller knot

These will all give a superbe lather, are small enough to apply the lather were you want it but not "too small", have firm lofts and are as soft as your Dovo/Merkur super.

All these brushes have wat the Vulfix 377 in super doesn't have...

The Shavemac is going to be very soft at the tips, but much firmer than any of the Vulfix brushes.
Cheers, DJ.
Okay, so a brisk cleaning did help a bit. This brush did very well with my Trumper violet soap, actually better than it has before.

But now, I'm wondering... The brush I have a Merkur brush . If the Dovo handmade version is bigger, but has the same high quality and excellent silvertip, it may solve my problems... Anyone have firsthand experience with this?

I continue to be thrilled with the quality of every Dovo/Merkur product I own (count'em: DE blades, 1 Merkur brush, 1 Merkur travel brush, 2 DE leather cases, 8 SR leather cases, 1 5/8 spanish point Bergischer Lowe SR), so maybe this will do for me what I want done?
Hello again Russell(?),
Assuming that you are in NYC, you need to broaden your horizons beyond Classic's e-catalog. There are several pharmacies in Manhattan that carry a reasonably good selection of high quality badger brushes. Pateurs and Cambridge come to mind.. I am not saying that you must buy there, but you can become informed about the quantity and quality of badger hair in different manufacturers/vendors brushes.
Beyond that, there are numerous reviews in the BRUSH Forum. I reviewed at least two in there myself, either of which would probably enhance your shaving experience.
Now, before you get everyone to start telling you what you need though, try to settle on a budget.. Don't feel like a stranger either. There is no sense in gents trying to describe the qualities of $200+ brushes if you are only willing/able to spend $75 or $100.
Yes, it's Russell, Hi. Ha ha ha, yes I am definitely guilty of cowering within the relative tranquility of the classicshaving.com harbor, thanks for calling me out! I know about Cambridge, but not Pateurs. I have so little time out of the office during regular hours, that the Internet seems to be where I get all my shopping done these days. I have also been meaning for a long time to visit C. O. Bigelow, although they have a wider selection of "product" than brushes it seems.

As for reading reviews, I have actually read every single brush review multiple times, and somehow all that does is make me want to buy/not buy the last brush I've read about. In particular, I love reading your posts and am thrilled to have your advice.

I'd feel okay spending up to $200 but would feel better spending $130-150. And speaking of reviews, from what I've read I find myself leaning towards Shavemac. I know I want a dense knot, because sparseness in the middle is what I dislike about my Vulfix. I know I want a big knot, because smallness is what I dislike about my Merkur. And I know that I prefer silvertip to super/pure (at least from my limited experience with these two manufacturers), because I find soft tips really pleasurable, and so find the Merkur softer and more pleasurable than the Vulfix, which is also soft, but a bit more prickly.

Please don't limit yourself to the "REVIEW" section. There are numerous reviews in the BRUSH Forum. The only thing they (may) lack is the subjective 1 to 10 found in the REVIEW tool..
I guarantee you won't be disappointed with this beauty!!!! Very nice looking brush, huge knot diameter; i think you will be more than satisfied with this oustanding lather builder!

That is a very purty brush!

PS: Peter, I'm glad to see the brush count is FINALLY moving up again... you've been stuck on 92 for about two weeks or so now! :thumbdown :001_tongu
Thanks for the words of encouragement! Only problem is, now I need a bigger shaving mug. I have a hard time getting the Vulfix 377 into the one I'm using now (admittedly, it's a coffee mug, not a shaving mug). I kind of like the apothecary style, but haven't gotten around to ordering one. Gotta find something that will hold this 30mm monster.
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