Dear Face Lathering Badger Brush Users, which KNOT SHAPE do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by Cal, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    Dear Face Lathering Badger Brush Users,

    Which KNOT SHAPE (bulb, fan, flat, other) do you prefer, and why? :001_unsur

    Thank you in advance for any replies (and the more detailed they are the better). :001_smile
  2. I prefer fan & mixed, haven´t tried a flat but i think it´s adequate...

    this month I am using Muhle synths (a Silvertip & a Black Fiber) the STF have a mixed shape and I find the face lathering more comfortable than the BF one, it has a bulb shape and find it more adequate for bowl lathering.

  3. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    I'm one of those guys who thinks they all work fine face lathering. I prefer bulb because of their looks; they look like a real shaving brush to me.
  4. I very much prefer a brush with a fan knot. The simple reason is that the glue bump is much smaller (if any), and that is what I like most about them. I like the way a fan knot splays on the face.
    I also like the hybrid shape, made by Simpsons, which I consider a good compromise.

    I never tried flat.
  5. Tommy Tutone

    Tommy Tutone Contributor

    I prefer a bulb/fan hybrid like most Simpson brushes and a lot of the current brushmakers seem to be using. Not sure that I've got a true fan in the stable, so maybe a little biased. Never tried a 'flattop' - I know that for sure - just couldn't get past the looks of one. A few ShaveMac silvertip bulbs I have w/roughly 2:1 loft:knot ratios are phenomenal for face lathering, however... Hope that helps:001_huh:
  6. I don't have a preference. My favorite brush is a fan, but tied for second are another fan and a bulb.
  7. Fan and hybrid fan with the caveat that I prefer medium size knots.
  8. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor



    Whatever Zenith calls these two Manchurians is the shape I like best.

    Having said that, I think it's more about the knot and the actual brush than merely the shape. I have used them all - bulbs, hybrids, fans, flat fans - and like some brushes but not all.


    I think MS calls this a fan. It's a nice brush for face lathering. Very nice. Used it today.

    StirlingFan.Bloomed.Feb.2018.640.jpg StirlingIvory.Bloomed.Feb.2018.jpg Gentile.Yaqi2Band.640.7-26-18.JPG VigShaving.Silvertip.640.4-18.JPG

    Both of these Stirlings are good, too. One's a fan, the orange. The other, has an ivory handle, but what's the knot shape?

    The blue Yaqi fan is also a good brush for face lathering. The fourth brush is a silvertip by Vig Shaving; definitely not like the others, but still works right well for face lathering.

    So, what am I saying? All shapes can work. All badgers can work. Not all brushes work. Some are better than others. For me (and maybe not for you), the Zenith copper two band Manchurian is the best of the lot.

    Happy shaves,

  9. The shape of Omega Pro 10098, I would say bulb, but because of the length of the loft, might be considered hybrid fan.

    Edit: overlooked the badger qualifier

    err, nevermind :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  10. The bulb works best for me.
  11. I'm o.k. with any style but prefer fan and flat top. I set most of my knots so backbone isn't an issue. Here's my Shavemac flat top.
  12. Rudy Vey

    Rudy Vey Vendor Contributor

    For years I preferred fans and flattops, but lately, I really started to appreciate bulbs. Some of my favorite brushes right now - and only these have been used in the last months - is my latest group buy with a fan and my Black Eagle Christmas brush in bulb. So, count me in for all shapes....
  13. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    Many thanks for your replies everyone, appreciated. So far it's looking like the typical YMMV. :laugh:

    I guess what I'm really looking for is WHY you prefer one over the other(s) (rather than just WHICH shape you prefer). I do understand that that's a more difficult question to answer though.
  14. my favorite brush is somewhere in the middle between fan and bulb I guess, it is an old "Biber" brand badger from the 70s. I actually have doubts about the shape being a decisive factor - brushes are just so different...
  15. Chan Eil Whiskers

    Chan Eil Whiskers Contributor

    I have no idea why other than just because I like what I like, but that doesn't mean there is not a reason.

    Maybe it is buried in this discussion. Link. From a brush maker. Glue bumps and such.

    Happy shaves,

  16. Uncas

    Uncas Contributor

    I don't have any fans, so no opinion there. My Simpsons are all the same shape, so the differences lie more in the grade of badger. My Thater 2band is a bulb and I love it the most, but I would say the shape is only partly why. It's also the quality of the knot, although I really love that bulb. My Zeniths are their standard shape, similar to a Simpson and feel very much the same, the difference being more between Silver Tip or Manchurian.
    The brushes I'm eyeing next are all bulbs, Saville Row, Shavemac, or Thater, either Pure or Silver Tip. It's mostly a first world problem.
  17. Bulb or hybrid knots are my usual choices! :a14::a14:
  18. I like them all. I just prefer 3-band from certain makers. Given all things equal (density, size, loft etc) the backbone or resistance to splay will be bulb > hybrid > fan > flattop. Hope that helps.
  19. This is purely speculative, as I've never used a badger brush, but if I was going to get one, I'd be looking for one with a low crown (fan or flat).

    The reason for this, is that even though I prefer smaller brushes, I want maximum and even contact with minimal pressure. I don't see the point of having a brush which only makes partial contact when laying off (smoothing out the lather), or just starting to wake up soap applied via shave stick, where lighter contact seems to start things off better.

    Also, being partially bearded, a bulb would have the centre of the crown in contact, the periphery smearing lather all over the tash, goatee and sideburns, but not "working" the lather right up to the edges of where I'll be shaving.

    I just think a flatter brush suits my lathering style a lot better.
  20. Raven Koenes

    Raven Koenes Contributor

    Cal, This is a matter of science. Yes, we all have a lot of preferences, but look at the bulb on this little 22mm Whipped Dog High Mountain Badger. See how the tips run down the side of the bulb knot. This gives more than twice as much exfoliating capability as a fan or a flat top. No matter the splay the tips never leave your face. The cut also assures maximum flow through of product. Plus, I find a small knot ensures accuracy on any brush. I just went through a week of revisiting my badger brushes after a couple of months of synthetics. This cheap little Whipped Dog brush out performed any of my other badgers hands down with the exception of my Fatip Pure Badger (then I might have bias towards my Fatip). I'm totally into synthetic brushes now, but I will never sell, or gift, my little 22mm Whipped Dog Bulb knot. Think about it and you can see why this shape totally makes sense as a face lathering brush. This is not a ymmv thing at all but pure design science.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019

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