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Help me pick a brush. Only from the lists given. Boar or badger, or, recommend one of each.

I selected synthetic brushes on Top of the Chain... then sorted them low to high in price. There are quite a few (18, if I can count... the jury is still out on that one) that are just under $30 from which to choose.... People seem to like the Simpsons T1... that's there in price...the T2 is $9 more.

Too many of the boar brushes are sold out at the moment... so the selection is sparse, as you already know.
Yeah, I tried to narrow the list down, partly from what I read about them, partly how they fit into size/shape that I was veering towards, and... aesthetics. Actually, the T1 had been on the earlier list, and the main reason I took it off was that the bottom appeared to be rounded, and solid white wasn't my most preferred look.

Yeah, the sold out section is kind of wild. At first I talked myself out of a brush. Then, I thought the little yellow/white Omega that was $14.99 wouldn't hurt... but then, I figured I should actually put the money out on a bit better, and was totally happy to toss in the 1305 Semogue, without a peep to anyone on the boards about it... and it was sold out. I liked it because it was a bit more expensive then the others, and I figured that would hopefully translate into quality, and... I like the color/shape.

So, then when I couldn't decide, I narrowed the lists and posted here. The Semogues have so many that seem smiliar, with about the same price, I kept thinking, what can it be that there are so many differences... and well, I just knew nothing about synths.

I was trying to keep in the $30-$35 range overall. You probably noticed that it then does a pretty quick leap into the $40 plus. I don't mind spending more when the time comes, but I didn't want to be a $150 synth and find out I hate them. So, 'dip my toes in' prices.
 
Out of curiousity, are there any synths out of the ones I listed that you've had personal experience with?
I've seen the Yaqi Sagrada Familia mentioned in quite a few SOTD threads. I haven't used it myself but I have read about it. I think it was mentioned here, wasn't it? Just checked... no one commented on it in this thread. I think I'd use the search feature and put in the ones you're leaning on buying. Sort of a B&B "Reviews" list. I've done that a few times.
 
I have a Yaqi brush (24mm) and really like it. I did have a Stirling synth and didn't care for it - too flingy.
I must admit, shaving brushes are an area of DE shaving that I'm not as knowledgeable about. I'm starting to pick up some of the jargon and what it means. I have no idea what 'flingy' is, I haven't heard it before, but I love it. My kind of jargon...flingy. :)
 
Any of those will do fine. Draw straws and pick one. Any one.
Always good to get a bit of info, especially because I don't really know about synths, but yeah, at the end of the day, it will come down to a handful and literally will be 'which do I think look the nicest' most likely. :)
 
Desrgrl..... Were you able to come to any conclusions and make your purchase? I don't think I was helpful but a lot of the people who responded have experience with brushes on your short list.....

Just wondering............
I was out most of the day, have just been going through the thread. I've actually put little check marks based on what people have said, its not a vote, just a way to narrow things more. Being a true B&B person, I'm now thinking 'maybe I should get a boar AND a synth'... I'm pretty sure I'll just be sticking with one. Maybe. :)

I'll post to say what the final decision is, I imagine one or two more people might weigh in. I started with 12 brushes, and its narrowing to about 6 at the moment. As someone mentioned, they are all good brushes. I just thought some input would be helpful before I make a final decision.
 
Out of curiousity, are there any synths out of the ones I listed that you've had personal experience with?
No. I have three synthetic brushes; a cheap no-name one from Amazon, an Executive Shaving Medium Jock 23mm, and a Yaqi Evil Zebra 26mm. They all work really well for me for bowl lathering and they don't shed bristles at all. I retired my Simpson Colonel Best Badger brush because it was forever shedding.
 
Hard for me to decide as use can determine one's choice. For example, I love the small 1438 Semogue knot with croaps for face-lathering, but it would be a terrible brush for the large surface area involved in shaving one's legs. Similarly, the large Omega '48 boar knot (not on your list) is way too large for my face and builds too much lather for a two-pass shave, so I gave it to my wife for her to use when she shaves her legs. She loves it.

Of the Semogue options listed, the 1800 may be the best all-around bet for shaving legs, armpits, and localized facial areas. Can't speak to the synthetic options from personal experience, but that Yaqi brush with the starry handle looks interesting, and at 26mm for the knot, I imagine it would cover a lot of surface area.
 
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Out of curiousity, are there any synths out of the ones I listed that you've had personal experience with?
Well, the very best synthetics are made with Muehle STF knots. They might be a little more money, but well worth it.
These are very much behaving like a good badger brush. So far I have not heard any negative comment about the STF's.
 
The Semogues have so many that seem smiliar, with about the same price, I kept thinking, what can it be that there are so many differences...
For the Semogue boar brushes, beyond the handle differences, the lofts are different and the bristles are of different kinds. Those last two affect the amount of water retained in the brush for making the lather and as well as how much splay to make it easier to cover larger (or smaller) areas with lather. Some bristle tips are softer than others. Probably my very first shaving brush was a cheap boar from the local grocery store. Had I stopped there, I would have said boar brushes were not good. Thankfully I found the Semogues and have been very pleased.

Here is a post I referenced a long time ago when buying my Semogues that describes the differences in Semogue bristles and pointing to specific models that use those bristles.

I have tried synthetic brushes from Kent, Stirling Soap Company, Razorock, Maggard Razors, Taconic and PAA. I liked the grey timber wolf knot from Maggard Razors (I bought a nice handle from them with a few different knots and glued them myself and liked that one the best). I recently purchased the Taconic synthetic and PAA Amber Aerolite. The Taconic is a stiff synthetic brush (especially if you don't soak it but just dip the tips in water) that feels like a 'pure' grade badger brush when you soak it. The Amber Aerolite is very nice but I think it may splay too easily for me (not enough backbone) but makes great lather. I am still getting used to it.

I just put in an order with @Rudy Vey to make me a brush with the 25 mm Muehle STF knot as it has many good reviews on this site.
 
use can determine one's choice... For example, I love the small 1438 Semogue knot with croaps for face-lathering, but it would be a terrible brush for the large surface area involved in shaving one's legs.
I hadn't really addressed that, so good point to bring up. I had a general thought as to use the new one for face, but also backup for all around shaving. The badger I have is pretty full, so was thinking of keeping that more for legs/undearms. I wanted to get a feel for the boar/synth I get, so it would get all round use in shower/bath, but thought the new one would be nice by the sink as a 'chin' only thing.
but that Yaqi brush with the starry handle looks interesting,
Yeah, I dropped the Starcraft and Atomic Rocket... I had to make decisions along the way to pare it down to a reasonably sized list. It, the Familia, and Fine, are the ones getting the most notice so far out of the synth list.
 
Well, the very best synthetics are made with Muehle STF knots. They might be a little more money, but well worth it.
These are very much behaving like a good badger brush. So far I have not heard any negative comment about the STF's.
Good to know for future reference (I'm only looking at brushes sold at Top of the Chain for now). I'm only just learning about knots and the kinds of differences they make. As far as my DE journey, my knowledge of razors and blades was at the forefront, started picking up more information on soaps, and poor brushes are coming up last to be given the attention they deserve. I knew a bit about badger, but not really much about boar, and none at all about synths... and knew knots existed and that was about it. Don't know much about loft, spine, etc etc, but picking up more as I go along.
 
Has a decision been made and a brush ordered? I guess I want to know about the end of this part of your journey. I've been experimenting with brushes.... So I'm very interested in your findings.
 
"I don't usually lather with a boar. But when I do, I prefer a Semogue 610."

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Still narrowing down options. The people here really are an amazing lot... a kind person has decided to PIF me an Atomic Rocket, it wasn't on my posted list, but had been on my initial list before narrowing down. Originally I was just going to pick one, boar or synth, then I got thinking I'd get one of each. Now that I have a wonderful synth coming but one that is larger than I had been planning (but great to replace the slowly fading silvertip I have), I've decided that I'm going to get a small boar.

I'm being indecisive as whether to go with the Semogue's 1800 Superior Boar or their Torga-C3 Premium. I only just found out about the Rocket, which is larger (26MM I think), so I'm keeping the boar small, those two are both 22MM. I'm not sure there is that much difference in quality, and both have been recommended.

I'll definitely post about final decisions, and probably post with pics here when I get them, or start a new thread.
 
26mm is about average for a synth, some here would say bare minimum. They behave smaller than their number, possibly because they don't expand when wet. Or because the hairs(fibres) only hold water on the surface or something. My 23mm Muhle only spreads out as much as my 20mm badger for example.
 
26mm is about average for a synth, some here would say bare minimum. They behave smaller than their number, possibly because they don't expand when wet. Or because the hairs(fibres) only hold water on the surface or something. My 23mm Muhle only spreads out as much as my 20mm badger for example.
That might be accurate for a larger selection of brushes, I'm only looking at the Top of the Chain site, and in particular I was more interested in mid-lower price range, and was veering a bit towards looking at smaller brushes.

Almost all the 26MM start at the mid range going higher, but even that doesn't hold completely true. One of the ones I was looking at, at @$40, was the Fine Stout, and it had a 20MM. By and large 24MM seems to be the 'standard' so to speak, until you get up to the @$40 range, and then most of the 28MM and higher seem to be closer to the @$80 and up. Even then, for example, the Simpson's Chubby 3 is over $100 and is 23MM. Half of the PAA are 24MM, with the other half being 26MM (at a glance, I didn't read the list super carefully).

So, I agree that on the upper end, that 26 seems a bit more common, and there are even 28MM and I saw one 30MM. But as an average for a synth, on this site, given that 20MM to 25MM is not uncommon (22MM showing up frequently), I'd say the 24MM is closer to an average for a synth (again for this site, though it seems to have a fairly rounded list of brands). Since most of what I had listed that I was looking at was in the smaller range, mostly 22-24, I considered 26MM a bit on the larger size. It's all relative to what works for one (the typical ymmv), but its always helpful to get everyone's opinions. The idea was to have a smaller brush, for when I'm at the sink just doing my chin, but a larger one (as an up and coming replacement for my bader that is slowly dying) for bath/shower, where more coverage for underarms/legs would be helpful. Mostly I'm just coming up with a mild excuse for ordering a second brush before my first one is gone, because of course everyone always no one ever waits to only buy when they need to.
 
That might be accurate for a larger selection of brushes, I'm only looking at the Top of the Chain site, and in particular I was more interested in mid-lower price range, and was veering a bit towards looking at smaller brushes.

Almost all the 26MM start at the mid range going higher, but even that doesn't hold completely true. One of the ones I was looking at, at @$40, was the Fine Stout, and it had a 20MM. By and large 24MM seems to be the 'standard' so to speak, until you get up to the @$40 range, and then most of the 28MM and higher seem to be closer to the @$80 and up. Even then, for example, the Simpson's Chubby 3 is over $100 and is 23MM. Half of the PAA are 24MM, with the other half being 26MM (at a glance, I didn't read the list super carefully).

So, I agree that on the upper end, that 26 seems a bit more common, and there are even 28MM and I saw one 30MM. But as an average for a synth, on this site, given that 20MM to 25MM is not uncommon (22MM showing up frequently), I'd say the 24MM is closer to an average for a synth (again for this site, though it seems to have a fairly rounded list of brands). Since most of what I had listed that I was looking at was in the smaller range, mostly 22-24, I considered 26MM a bit on the larger size. It's all relative to what works for one (the typical ymmv), but its always helpful to get everyone's opinions. The idea was to have a smaller brush, for when I'm at the sink just doing my chin, but a larger one (as an up and coming replacement for my bader that is slowly dying) for bath/shower, where more coverage for underarms/legs would be helpful. Mostly I'm just coming up with a mild excuse for ordering a second brush before my first one is gone, because of course everyone always no one ever waits to only buy when they need to.
I had forgot that that was what you were looking for a smaller brush for, just trying to re-assure you that 26mm synth won't be as huge as it sounds. However, yeah, even a 24 would be too big for what you want and my 23 would be borderline. The smaller boar brushes should do the trick, but they require a lot more prep work that a synth. I know you have settled on your retailer, but something like a Timberwolf 18mm from Maggards or any of the 19mm ones from Muhle would be ideal for your use case. I hate to suggest it, but since all the moderate priced syths come from China anyway, you might as well just order direct from there and wait. An 18-20mm would run you $15C including shipping probably. A Muhle is unfortunately almost $50C.
 
Still narrowing down options. The people here really are an amazing lot... a kind person has decided to PIF me an Atomic Rocket, it wasn't on my posted list, but had been on my initial list before narrowing down. Originally I was just going to pick one, boar or synth, then I got thinking I'd get one of each. Now that I have a wonderful synth coming but one that is larger than I had been planning (but great to replace the slowly fading silvertip I have), I've decided that I'm going to get a small boar.

I'm being indecisive as whether to go with the Semogue's 1800 Superior Boar or their Torga-C3 Premium. I only just found out about the Rocket, which is larger (26MM I think), so I'm keeping the boar small, those two are both 22MM. I'm not sure there is that much difference in quality, and both have been recommended.

I'll definitely post about final decisions, and probably post with pics here when I get them, or start a new thread.
For your boar brush, I'd suggest either the 1800 or the C5 Torga premium. The C5 is like the 610 on steroids, with a dense and sturdy 24mm knot. The C3 is a bit small in hand, IMO.
 
I had forgot that that was what you were looking for a smaller brush for, just trying to re-assure you that 26mm synth won't be as huge as it sounds. However, yeah, even a 24 would be too big for what you want and my 23 would be borderline. The smaller boar brushes should do the trick, but they require a lot more prep work that a synth. I know you have settled on your retailer, but something like a Timberwolf 18mm from Maggards or any of the 19mm ones from Muhle would be ideal for your use case. I hate to suggest it, but since all the moderate priced syths come from China anyway, you might as well just order direct from there and wait. An 18-20mm would run you $15C including shipping probably. A Muhle is unfortunately almost $50C.
I wasn't thinking exactly huge, though 24MM seemed common. Since I sort of talked myself into the possibility of one of each, I was just trying to make a final decision. Since someone has been incredibly kind enough to PIF me an Atomic Rocket, I'm allowing myself to get a second brush, so that I can have a boar as well. Both the Semogue 1800 Superior, and the C3 Torga Premium are 22MM. I'm sure either would be perfectly fine, I've always been bad for making final decisions. I might just toss a coin.

It sounds great ordering from different places, but I moved recently, and the townhouse set up, and the parking for it, are about as badly designed as you can get, and there have been occasional thefts when things are left by doors. As it is, if I'm lucky, and home, I might get it... I've had stuff left out on the back step, and not heard the knock, probably because I was upstairs. The back is safer, because there is a privacy fence around everyone back patio area, but it is out in the elements. However, the parking lot that accesses the back doesn't actually have our building number on the sign. Meantime, if they go to the parking lot that has our building number, it takes them to the end of the building with no call box. The end with the call box can only be accessed by footpath, and there is no parking on the main road. *sighs with resignation*. All this depends if they use GPS, because most GPS, for reasons we can't fathom, places us across the street in a high-rise apartment.

I am home almost all the time, and have had major mishaps with parcels. I wish people would just send stuff by mail, I would get a slip and pick it up at the post office, but everyone is big on FedEx and UPS and stuff. I hardly order online anymore. I looked around at every beauty/shave shop in the city, to see if I could just pick up what I need, but the selection is insanely small. So, Top of the Chain is a Canadian company, I won't get dinged for any kind of duties, and they send by Canada Post. Yay! The prices are all Canadian so no need to convert, and they have a nice selection of stuff at nice prices. I actually stumbled on them when I was looking at soaps, I wasn't even looking for specifically Canadian companies. Since I'm already getting soap and blades, it didn't make much sense to get a brush from elsewhere, especially since they have a big enough variety that I actually was asking for help to narrow it down.

Sorry, I"m sure you didn't need my long tale of woe, but I am serious when I say I am only ordering from that spot. In the future, who knows, maybe I'll be looking for something specific that only some other place carries, but for now, with this order, I"ll be set for quite some time. PIF razor and brush, and Top of the Chain 3 soaps and a variety pck of blades, plus a pack of Silver Blues...and a second brush. Since I'm not collecting, I'll be good to go for quite awhile. I might peek in at the Saint Sue charity auction in the fall, if I promise myself a spending limit. :)
 
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