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Brush & Soap/Cream Combos

Since joining B&B, I have greatly expanded my collection of brushes, razors, creams, aftershaves, lotions and potions. When I initially read the threads on brushes where people talked about certain brushes working better with certain creams/soaps, I was sceptical to say the least. However, after some personal experimentation I now know that brushes by different manufacturers have different characteristics and that some brushes work better with certain soaps/creams than others. Here's my limited observations thus far.

In the course of expanding my shaving horizons, I purchases a Vulfix pure badger that is very similar to either the 2197 or 2198 (see picture: http://www.classicshaving.citymax.com/catalog/item/800550/422304.htm)and wanted to know if others out there had the same experiences I have had with the brush.

First off, I bought the brush locally for CAD$32 (US$28.50), so it was a great deal. The brush was initially a little scratcy/skritchy, which I like and has softened up nicely with use. It is miles better than the Omega boar brush I was previously using.

Having read some of the brush threads, it seems that most people find Vulfix brushes to be "floppy", which I think is why I don't get good results when I try to lather glycerine soaps in the bowl. I find it hard/labour intensive to get enough soap on the brush and then have to whip the crap out the soap in the bowl to produce decent lather. So I am now in the process of sourcing either a Shavemac or Muehle, which I understand are denser and work better with soaps generally.

However, the interesting thing is that my Vulfix works great with glycerine shave sticks and was wondering if others had experienced similar results.

Also, while the Omega brush doesn't later a lot of soaps worth a damn (glycerine soaps in particular) it does work great with the Proraso/Omega creams and soaps and I still use it on my Proraso days.

I have an unused Saville Row travel brush that I will be giving a workout next week while I'm on the road to see how it stacks up with various soaps/creams.

Anyhow, while I know this subject has been touched on in the context of other dicussions, I thought it might be interesting to collect other members' views about good or bad brush and soap/cream combos in a dedicated thread.
Good thread and comments, Suzuki!

I think you'll like the SR brush--it may be a little small for everyday use, but I'm guessing that it will do a nice job on your soaps.
The Vulfix 2197 is the first brush that I bought. I have a SR-208 that I use daily and the 2197 gets the call in my travel kit. I bring a QED sample shave stick and agree with you that it works really well.

When using a regular soap I usually put hot water on it for a couple of minutes to soften it up a bit. Helps get a bit more soap on the brush.

I have been contemplating getting a C & E Best Brush to use for travel and giving the 2197 to my brother so he can try it out.

If he doesn't want it I won't ged rid of it. I owe alot to that little brush...it helped me go from ingrown hairs and razor burn to looking forward to the morning shaving experience...something I know you all understand.
As a general rule one can state this:

Stiff, densely packed brushes as f.i. Simpsons, Shavemac Old style Plissons and Rooney finest are best for use with soap.

Soft, loosely packed brushes as f.i. Vulfix, Rooney super, Omega badger, Muehle Pinsel silvertip and Kent are best for use with cream.

Savile Rows/Shavemac new style are more or less in between: densely packed, yet very soft and flexible bristles with enough resiliency to scrub a soap in order to make a good lather.

But the difference is of course gradually.

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