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How did you do your shaving brush research?

Buying your first shaving brush can be a daunting task. As with everything in wet shaving there a ton of options and terms/definitions across product lines are not consistent. To make matters worse, the decent badger hair shaving brush can be a bit of an investment, so you don't want to screw it up.

So, how did you research for the purchase of your first shaving brush? Did you scour the wiki, read all the reviews, dig up old posts, check out the brush wars forum, PM someone "in the know", seek out vendor advice, or post a thread entitled "Help! I need a brush"?

EDIT: I'm sure a number of you purchased your first shaving brush before the internet existed. I am curious about what information was helpful or perhaps not so helpful when researching for the purchase of a shaving brush (doesn't necessarily have to be information found on the internet).
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I don't remember buying my first (or even my second) brush but after reading plenty here on B+B I ordered my third (a T+H Rooney) over the internet, bought my fourth on a trip to London and have since ordered the B+B Eagle and a Wee Scot.
Can you please stop encouraging me?! :biggrin1:
So, how did you research for the purchase of your first shaving brush? Did you scour the wiki, read all the reviews, dig up old posts, check out the brush wars forum, PM someone "in the know", seek out vendor advice, or post a thread entitled "Help! I need a brush"?

I did it all!! And all of it provided valuable information and insights!!
My first brush was purchased off Amazon simply because it was cheap and looked decent. Turned out to be total crap.

So for my second and third brushes, I did just about everything you listed above. I probably spent a good couple weeks reading posts, reviews, etc. For my second brush I ended up with a Simpson Special, and for the my third with a Rudy Vey custom. I have not been disappointed, and look forward to the day when I have more disposable income so I can buy a Shavemac and another Simpson!
The first brush I purchased was a NIB Peerless 500 that I found in an antique store. Pure badger, with what I'd guess is about a 24mm knot and about 40mm loft. I bought it because it was available, but I didn't really know anything about brushes at the time. It worked well for about 4 months, then I got into lathering Proraso by hand for the next 2 or 3 months.

My next brush, after careful research, was the C&E BBB ... I chose this because it came up a lot in discussions in various threads, and seem to get great reviews from everyone. I got lucky and picked it up for $28 during one of C&E's frequent sales. I also got lucky in that I got it just before they phased it out.

Since then, I've found that I prefer smaller brushes, about a 20mm knot ... the ones that are designed as travel brushes, with a screw-top tube, are the ideal size for me. Even though they are made for travel, this is what I like to use at home. When I travel, I leave the brushes at home, and just revert to lathering by hand.
I read the Wiki info on brushes and then the soaps I wanted to try by the reviews of others. I searched and tried to compare by what I read. I bought a Simpson Chubby 1 in Best Badger. Is that "the one"? Heck no 'cause now I want to try another even though the Simpsons is great. I'm thinking about the Kent BK4 in Silver Badger or the Shavemac DO1 with a similar sized knot. I thought I could hold out for a while but I NEED to know if there is another that I like as much or better. Maybe I'll change from soaps for a while and use creams and try that.
Anyway, there is tons of information to be found here but I guess nothing will tell better than ones own experience.
My first brush is back in the dark ages (1970s). My recent return to brushes was initiated by a trip to the local CVS drugstore. I bought the only shaving brush on the shelf, a boar.

My most recent brush is a badger from Target, an inexpensive brush. There is a theme here, and it's cheap.
So, how did you research for the purchase of your first shaving brush?

Threads just like this one help to weed out the ones I'm certain I don't want. Unfortunately, they also seem to encourage me to keep buying, because the perfect brush is always around the next corner.
JKH, alot of brushes have past by these parts. But I before I bought an Emillion from Vintage Blades, I recall many, many back and forth posts with YoMuppet who was incredibly informative and helpful. Where is YO these days anyway?
i spent a ton of time on the shaving brush websites and bought a good value brush: the Vulfix 2234

When it arrived, i was flabbergasted... "this is what luxury brushes are like??" until of course i got the B&B and did my homework. i realized i wanted more backbone and traded my Vulfix for a Rooney 1/1. Still today i have a penchant for the Pure badger brushes with their scrubbing capabilities.
I read the reviews and posts on this site along with those on the straight razor place. When I started, the overwhelming advice given to newbies seemed to be the C&E best badger which turned out to be my first purchase. This brush has served me well for a good number of years and now has several others to keep it company.
My first brush, purchased from Mensbiz because..........it was the cheapest one they had at the time. That being said it was the Men-U Pure Bristle. A really nice brush and I'd still have it if the ring around the knot hadn't started splitting.

I wanted to try a badger and bought one of those cheapo Chinese Silvertip badgers of Ebay because..... it was cheap ( see a pattern here ? ) Worked but was scritchy and floppy.

My major enabler was finding a Kent KS7 butterscotch handle at a shop. After much consulting with the B&B restorers settled on knotting with a TGN Finest. This fueled my love of vintage brushes ( especially butterscotch ), let me find the perfect loft and put me on a search to try each of the "top end" knots from TGN.

The rest as they say is History :lol:

So most of my research done via B&B ( of course ) !!! :thumbup1:
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The first brush I bought was a synthetic at TBS when I bought my first pot of cream. When I read Corey's article from his Saturday Today piece on wet shaving, I picked up the Vulfix 2234. After finding B&B, I scoured Brush Wars and picked up the Heritage Victorian. Now, I look for cool handles, and if the knot is small, it qualifies, hence the Beehive, 57, Keyhole and Milk Churn.
My first brush was a cheap pure badger off of e-bay.

Then I went through a research phase. Once you determine whether you want to use soaps or creams, face lather or bowl lather, you will narrow them down.

That was proceeded by the buy and try phase.

I now seam to be at the end or nearing the end of my vintage brush restoring phase.

I seam to be narrowing down to the loft and hair I like in badger.

OH oh wait, there is something in me that is whispering, (you need to try more boars, pssst you need a quality boar) :sneaky2::devil:

OK, OK, I am going to try a few boar brushes, then I guess my brush collection will be well rounded.:blush:
Cheap pure badger and cheap boar off eBay.
VDH from Walmart because sellers didn't ship fast enough.
Inherited another boar.
Bought two customs with TGN knots.
Tried almost every TGN knot in restores
Searched forum for boar reviews to find ones I might like and got a Semo 2k.
More TGN Restores
Bought a Gros LE based on reviews and specs
Bought a Shea Moisture black
Another TGN Restore

In the end I've settled into one boar, one synth and way too many badgers. I have a chemically softened black, a large black, a small black, a small finest, a floppy silvertip, a nonfloppy silvertip, a superfirm Xtra Finest, A Simpson 2 band...

I still need to get another TGN Finest at a medium loft... I sold the last few I made because I didn't like the handles.

Research? Well I did try. But mostly I just confirmed that the opinion of TGN knots was generally good, and then I experimented to find what I liked. Right now if I had to keep three brushes, it'd be the Superfirm Finest Bullseye made me, the Restore I did with the TGN UK silvertip knot, and my Semo 2k. Between those 3, I'd get by. Luckily I don't have to shrink my collection.
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My first brush was an uninformed purchase - I just saw it and I liked it. It was a Muhle Pure, and it was great for a few months. When I became a B&B member, I read every single brush review and formulated a plan from there! I started with two brushes, and then my collection started to grow... :lol:
My first "good" brush was an AOS finest for about $100. Not a bad brush, at alll. I now use it as my travel brush. I just liked the way it felt and it turned out to be a solid performer.

The rest of the brushes were more or less impulse buys. I'll probably buy a frw more impulsively, as it's not easy to try before buying.
1) Jumped in with an el cheapo Herban Cowboy bristle brush
2) Several months later, I broke down in a fit of research and bought a Rooney 1/1 Super Silvertip for what I thought I was looking for - density for backbone and soft tips for face lathering
3) Started with an Omega Pr0 49 on the highly recommended boar experience, which was accidentally knocked into the toilet after little over a month
4) Bought a replacement boar in the Koh-I-Noor SC68, along with a Boreal 976
5) Then bought the fabulous Semogue LE 2009
6) Liked Semogues so much, I bought a 1305 and 620, then eventually the 830 when it came out. 1305 is happily in my younger brother's possession, with several of my soaps, DE blades, Merkur 23c, red/blue tips, and TV superspeed
7) Bought a once-used Vie-Long 13800 horse hair from a fellow here. Still undecided how I feel about it, though I think it retains too much water at the base of the knot.

Bought a B&B 2010 brush as well, in black. Contemplating if I regret not buying in butterscotch. Also contemplating on how many more boar brushes that could have bought me.
My first brush I bought at a local drug store in 1974...actually my father bought it for me as I was heading off to college. It was an EverReady 150. I used it for over 3 decades until it was just about hairless.

After finding this place last summer I read many many posts here and bought the Boreal 976 boar brush....and then made my own badger brush from a handle I turned....that was the beginning of serious brush acquisition.

I quickly added the Wee Scot then renovated my old old EverReady with a Golden Nib knot...that started the slipperly slope of restorations...again fueled by posts here.

Where one old cheap boar brush used to suffice, I now have a growing shelf of brushes with no end in sight.

Posts in this forum, pictures in this forum plus a few of the reviews of brushes in the review section got me going and keep me going.
My first badger brush was purchased in about 1965. I don't recall the details, but I think I just bought it in the drug store. It was a pure badger with a two-tone plastic handle. I think it was 20th Century brand, but not sure.

My most recent purchase was an Edwin Jagger Best Badger. I decided on it after doing a lot of reading on B&B. I only own one brush at a time. This is the best one I have owned. A great value.
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