I recently received my shipment of a couple of badger brushes and synthetic brushes from Frank Shaving (FS). They do have an official distributor at ishaving.com but I ordered via aliexpress. The two brushes I got are a 23mm Silvertip in faux horn handle and a 24mm Manchurian Pure badger in ivory handle. The brush stands were included in the package by FS. They are sturdy and hold the brushes nicely. Here's a few pics of the brushes: Shedding and Smell: The silvertip had no smell when taken out of the box. The Manchurian had a fairly strong smell which took a few lathers to dissipate. I personally don’t mind the smell as it smells like wet earth to me so I enjoy it while it lasts. Neither of the brushes have shed. The knots are extremely well made and installed. The silvertip would have lost under 5 hairs in total and the Manchurian barely a couple. Pre-bloom & Break-in period: Out of the box, the silvertip was already fairly soft. A quick soak and the tips already felt luxurious. The bloom on it is amazing!! I love the wide bloom of the hybrid shape. The Manchurian was a lot stiffer and required many test lathers to get it to loosen up. The bloom on it is smaller due to the thicker hairs, as expected from a pure badger. Softness: The silvertip is PLUSH! PLUSH! PLUSH! I absolutely loved it from the first use. Even though badgers take at least 8-10 uses to open up and for the tips to get to their softened state (and perhaps a bit of tip splitting)…this silvertip felt like it was already there from the first use. After about 6 shaves, it was even more luxurious, perhaps my most luxurious badger brush! The Manchurian being a pure badger can’t be classified as soft. The tips are NOT clipped and are very high quality. Being a thicker hair, the tips do definitely provide exfoliation. This level of exfoliation will lift even the toughest stubble. It was a tad too much for my skin but the hairs are definitely tapered and not blunt or clipped. I do wonder how bleaching/treating this knot would impact the face feel of the tips. This brush is definitely for those who like a good exfoliation and/or have a tough beard. Splay: The silvertip has an amazing splay. The 23mm/53mm measurements are perfect for this brush. It contours the face and it’s just so luxurious! This splay is conducive to a great lather being generated inside the knot and being released on the face. I have found it to be a great mix between luxury and practicality. The Manchurian, having much thicker hairs, doesn’t splay as much as the silvertip but this isn’t to say it doesn’t splay because the loft of 55mm with knot of 24mm suits this brush very well. If you push down on it, it’ll splay out very nicely. But due to the exfoliation level, I couldn’t push down on it too much. Backbone & Density: Both the brushes are about a 7/10 on my (subjective) density scale. The silvertip may be a 7.5 though as it’s very nicely packed and due to the loft, it blooms and envelopes the face very nicely. The silvertip splay is awesome and by default, the backbone can’t be expected to be high. It’s NOT floppy at all due to being fairly densely packed and does splay nicely whilst retaining the density. The Manchurian is full of backbone. It’s less dense than the silvertip, which I feel to be a good thing because the thicker hairs provide a significant backbone in any case. Drying time: The silvertip takes 24-36 hours to dry out completely. This is about average for a silvertip. The Manchurian, very surprisingly, dries out within just a few hours. I mean, it’s nearly like a synthetic! I guess the pure badger hairs don’t absorb as much water as the finer silvertip hair. Handle: I find the handles to be quite perfect in size and weight. They look great and are substantial in the hand. Easy to grip and look great on the shelf. The silvertip handle in particular is lovely! I am very pleased with FS brushes and in this competitive market, they are providing great brushes at very good value for money!