What's new

How Important is the Brush Handle?

Sal Glesser, owner of Spyderco knives, once said the handle of the knife is more important than the blade. Is the handle of the brush more important than the knot? I recently switched from a Semogue 830 to a Semogue 1800; and the difference in the brush handle for me at least was striking (bristles on both very similar). I never previously paid as much attention to the handle; wish I had years ago.
 

Acmemfg

Contributor
Ambassador
The handle is everything. Shape, size, material, and aesthetic appeal are the most important thing to me. Knots can have very similar characteristics..not so much handles.
 
For me, the handle is very important indeed! For example, just look at Simpsons line-up: often very similar knots in dramatically different handles at a huge variation in price points. Some handles just feel better!!
 

Rudy Vey

Contributor
Vendor
It is very important!! I used to have severe carpal tunnel syndrome, and prior to my operations, I was not able to hold certain designs safely -most all that were short, stout, like Chubby, Stubby etc. I then started top really like brushes with a bit longer handles and with deeper indentations, grooves or such. These models were most classic forms like PJ, beehive, AS3M, Keyhole, Polo etc.
Showing here a few examples of these shapes.
 

Attachments

Another vote for the handle being very important. It should fit your hands well and, ideally, be enjoyable to look at.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

naughtilus

Contributor
My favorite handles
Boar: Omega 10098 and 20106
Badger: Simpson Polo 8 and Vulfix 404

I find knots and handles of equal importance.
 
Important. You’re going to use this thing every day or every couple days, for a few minutes each time, with a vigorous action. Can fatigue your wrist.
 
Important? Sure, but it's a short scale.

When I first got into wet shaving and tried to DIY a silvertip brush with minimal tools, I mounted a knot in a very large steel nut I had access to at work. (Back then, supplies for making brushes were very rare.)
It was a terrible brush.
I've since turned a new stubby handle for it, and it's a great brush.

But I'm not going to say a handle is more important, once you get over the hump of "can I even hold this?"

The Fendrihan "Tuxedo" is a brush with an unusual handle, and it may be easier for some to hold or annoying to others, but I don't think it's any better or worse of a brush because of it. Compared to the dozens of Yaqi brushes since and the APShaveco tuxedo that I owned before it, it's a minimal difference.

Sal Glesser is a great designer, and he knows ergonomics as well as anyone, but the difference in intended use between his slim folders and his beefy fixed blades is miles wider than between a chubby brush and a potato-masher-handle Eveready-style.
 
Handle, for sure. I had my 48-year-old Floris brush rebadgered a few years ago. I love the handle; after all these years, it feels like part of my hand. And it is the deepest brown (butterscotch) imaginable. Photo is too red.
 

Attachments

lancre

Contributor
Important? Sure, but it's a short scale.

But I'm not going to say a handle is more important, once you get over the hump of "can I even hold this?"
This is close to my opinion as well. Some applications favor different handle styles. With a deep mug, I like a barber style handle so I'm not constantly rapping my knuckles against the side. For traveling, to save space, I like a compact handle. And so on.

Also, some handles are just flat out works of art.
brush.jpg

Most of the time, though, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about the handle.
 
I always want my brush to have a handle, so in that respect it's important.

Aside from that, all I want is no sharp corners, stable when standing upright, and not bare wood or anything else that needs looking after. Colour, shape, size, pattern, are all largely irrelevant to me. If it does its job, and isn't uncomfortable doing it, that's all I need
 
I have found that the handle does matter. Here is one I really like. Yaqi Cola. The longer handle makes bowl lathering easy.
1571711194662.png
 
Yes.

I’m a big fan of Persian Jar shapes. They just fee the best when making lather and when applying it.

For all the hype that the Simpson Chubby gets I’m just not a fan. I like the brush, but the handle shape is just wrong for me and so it sits on the shelf almost never getting used.
 
Knot is more important that handle IMO. Yes ergonomic plays a part along with balance.

In the end a good knot in a crappy handle will generally be better than a crap knot in a high end handle.

For sure, magic happens when a great knot is on a great handle.
 

naughtilus

Contributor
Handle, for sure. I had my 48-year-old Floris brush rebadgered a few years ago. I love the handle; after all these years, it feels like part of my hand. And it is the deepest brown (butterscotch) imaginable. Photo is too red.
Looks like a Simpson Duke.
 
My opinion is the the handle shape and grip are both very important but they mean nothing unless the knot is the quality of the knot that works best for you and you really like its feel on your face. I hope that makes sense. I do not like short squat cubby handle shapes. Seems to defeat the purpose of good grip? And I like the Persian Jar handles along with the Keyhole handles the best. But ohhhh those barbershop handles. MHO of course but I think I have a pretty good "handle" on this shaving brush thing? The handle provides ex. grip for the best knot you can find and there's the "key"!
 
Top