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How Many Brushes Should I Own?

Please, no flippant "as many as you can afford" replies.

Here is my situation:

I currently own two brushes.

One is a 1997 C&E Pure Badger (although it really feels like at least a Best Badger). This brush feels really luscious when applying lather.

My other brush is a VDH boar-bristle, and to be honest, I can't stand the thing! It is too stiff and constantly sheds.

Although I have owned the C&E for about thirteen years I have really used it in earnest for the last two years on an almost daily basis since returning to wetshaving. However, it is starting to lose at least 5-6 hairs with every shave.

So, I have been thinking that I should have at least one more brush in order to establish some sort of rotation.

I with to thank you in advance for your suggestions.

Regards,

David
 
My bare bones would be a 3 band (silvertip or best/pure) and a nice two band for variety. Possibly a replacement for your pure brush assuming the shedding is terminal at some point. When is up to you, but if your happy with your one brush, then keep giving it love until the point where it close to un-usable.

Personally I'm a face lathering soap guy and love my two bands to death, but I still love to pamper my face with a soft three and from time to time. If you tell us your potential budget and what your gear/prep is like I'm sure we could give you some good advise on what to get.
 
It's really up to you but I would toss that VDH and get a Semogue or Omega Boar brush so you can fall in love with them.
 
My bare bones would be a 3 band (silvertip or best/pure) and a nice two band for variety. Possibly a replacement for your pure brush assuming the shedding is terminal at some point. When is up to you, but if your happy with your one brush, then keep giving it love until the point where it close to un-usable.

Personally I'm a face lathering soap guy and love my two bands to death, but I still love to pamper my face with a soft three and from time to time. If you tell us your potential budget and what your gear/prep is like I'm sure we could give you some good advise on what to get.

Loric:

Thank you for your quick reply and suggestions.

No, the shedding is not terminal at this point. Looking to add to my rotation in order to prevent the shedding from becoming terminal. I really would like to continue using this 1997 C&E brush for quite some time, hopefully by giving it a break in a rotation with at least one other brush.

Perhaps there is something of a FAQ on this forum, but I just have to ask: What the heck is the difference between a two-band and a three-band brush? Please pardon my ignorance, but destpite the fact that I have been on B&B for around two years I am a relative noob when it comes to discussion about brushes.

As to my gear and prep I will try to sum it up as follows:

I primarily use a SE razor. Mostly a GEM 1912 Damaskeene or a Schick injector. For the most part, I mostly use Italian croaps such as Cella or P.160. Also use RazoRock cream.

I have also become a convert to a cool/cold water shave and I often superlather the above-mentioned Italian goods, using KMF unscented cream . I have a beard and always will.

Typically, I shave late at night and shower the next morning. I will either wash my face with soap and water, or simply do thorough rinse with cool or cold water and leave my face wet while preparing the lather.

As per another thread I started, I prefer a brush with a long enough reach that will allow me to lather in my G5 scuttle without banging around the rim of the bowl.

Again, thank you for you your help.

Regards,

David
 
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It's really up to you but I would toss that VDH and get a Semogue or Omega Boar brush so you can fall in love with them.

I am in agreement with tossing my piece of #@*% VDH brush!

Please convince me as to why I should go with a Semogue or Omega Boar, instead of acquiring another Badger.

Really, no axe to grind here, nor am I a partisan either way.

All I have known is my old C&E Pure Badger.

Are premium boar brushes really something to consider compared to my buying another badger?

Regards,

David
 
Please convince me as to why I should go with a Semogue or Omega Boar, instead of acquiring another Badger.

Because they're inexpensive - as opposed to cheap.
Because they're top quality brushes.
Because you could buy 6 and still have change versus buying a one good badger.
Because they're great soap brushes.
Because they're great cream brushes.
Because they're soft, but have backbone, so you can actually feel them giving you a massage.
Because they don't look like every other badger out there.
Because they make great lather.
Because they're not inferior in any way, they just cost less.
Because I have 4 and not a single one has shed a single hair.

Long reach? I'd suggest a Semogue 1305 or 830. If you like big brushes, the Owners Club.
 
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My two cents only:

One. until last month I've been using the same boar brush since 1977. I wanted something new, just to have something new and got a Vulfix Grosvenor boar/badger mix. I like it better and will use it until it dies. The old brush will be used to brush the dust from around the tuner and bridge pegs on the guitar.

or

One. My father (aged 78) is using my great-grandfather's (died in 1936) boar brush. I think this represents pretty good value, and is right up there on the reduce/reuse/recycle scale.
 
Generations of men have survived shaving with one brush their whole lives.
Any number higher than "One" falls into the "wants not needs" category, so don't feel you have to have a rotation.

But you know you do :thumbup1:
 
Please convince me as to why I should go with a Semogue or Omega Boar, instead of acquiring another Badger.

Because they're inexpensive - as opposed to cheap.
Because they're top quality brushes.
Because you could buy 6 and still have change versus buying a one good badger.
Because they're great soap brushes.
Because they're great cream brushes.
Because they're soft, but have backbone, so you can actually feel them giving you a massage.
Because they don't look like every other badger out there.
Because they make great lather.
Because they're not inferior in any way, they just cost less.
Because I have 4 and not a single one has shed a single hair.

Long reach? I'd suggest a Semogue 1305 or 830. If you like big brushes, the Owners Club.

Well that was easy. :001_tongu Also if you don't like it for some reason you can easily sell it.
 

OldSaw

The wife's investment
Please, no flippant "as many as you can afford" replies.

Here is my situation:

I currently own two brushes.

One is a 1997 C&E Pure Badger (although it really feels like at least a Best Badger). This brush feels really luscious when applying lather.

My other brush is a VDH boar-bristle, and to be honest, I can't stand the thing! It is too stiff and constantly sheds.

Although I have owned the C&E for about thirteen years I have really used it in earnest for the last two years on an almost daily basis since returning to wetshaving. However, it is starting to lose at least 5-6 hairs with every shave.

So, I have been thinking that I should have at least one more brush in order to establish some sort of rotation.

I with to thank you in advance for your suggestions.

Regards,

David

I got by for about 15 years of daily use with one badger brush. What did you change that may have lead to this shedding? I have found that when I started making lather with very little water that I lost more hairs. If I make lather on the soap with lots of water I rarely lose any.
 
David --

If wet shaving becomes a 'Hobby', you'll probably buy a couple of brushes per year. It won't take long, and with some added trades and purchases from eBay and B&B B/S/T, you'll be up to 14~16 brushes in no time.

I didn't start there, but I really enjoy having a selection of brushes, and came to discover I like really large brushes which I'd have not imagined before.

Good Luck. Resistance really is futile...


-- John Gehman
 
Hello David,

Two is a good number. That way you will always have a backup. Besides, why have (only) one when you can have two for (more than) twice the price.

Get rid of the vdH brush and replace it with a Savile Row 31xx silvertip brush in the size you prefer.

Hope this helps.

Thanks,
Mike
 
Loric:

Thank you for your quick reply and suggestions.

What the heck is the difference between a two-band and a three-band brush? Please pardon my ignorance, but destpite the fact that I have been on B&B for around two years I am a relative noob when it comes to discussion about brushes.

You are very welcome. As for 2 vs. 3 band differences here is something I posted a while back.

For the most part 2 band is more expensive. Rooney and Shavemac both feature 2 band hair in their top of the line brushes. Simpson only sells 2 band sparaticly as the hair is hard to source, and Rooney no longer makes them for the same reason. Simpson 2 band is a little cheaper than their Super 3 band hair, but as it is in limited supply its a crap shoot to find the exact brush you are looking for, or the price a given vendor might charge. Some expect a premium for having the last of a particular brush, while another vendor might have them on close out for their cost (Vintage Blades).

There are several structural difference between 2 and 3 band hair. The first and in my opinion the most important is diameter. 3 band hair is topically uniform in diameter from base to tip. Where 2 band hair has a very wide base (the dark part of the hair), and a slender tip (the white). This provides for much more backbone per hair than your standard 3 band. The small floppy tips are still soft to the face, but not quite as soft as most 3 bands of similar quality. If you face lather this is a very adventitious combination. Where you get a nice massaging feeling, soft tips, but skip out on the prickliness that a brush of that backbone might have. Thus a 2 band brush can achieve the same backbone as a 3 band brush, but with less hair needed. Also with the large diameter hair, 2 band needs to be soaked almost like a boar brush to become soft. They are not exactly harsh when dry, but they do soften up substantially after a couple minuets in warm water. Three band for the most part feels the same after just a couple seconds submerged water.

In simple terms a 2 band could be said to be a better face lathering brush, where 3 band would be a better bowl brush. Though many other factors play into this. Knot size, loft, handle, hair quality, etc, etc, play at least as much of a factor as hair type though. Just to prove this point, I have a great all around 2 band, and some good 3 band face latherers.

I almost strictly face lather with soaps, so for me two band is my personal favorite, but if you use mainly cream or bowl lather 3 band would most likely be better. Why pay the premium price for a tool that is not suited to your chosen task??!!?

If you were curious about a specific brush or even a couple brushes post them and we might be of more specific help for you. Also if you could tell us a little bit more your shaving style/gear preferences we might be able to sort out what might be a better fit for you.

Some of my 2 bands next to some of my 3 bands.
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I got by for about 15 years of daily use with one badger brush. What did you change that may have lead to this shedding? I have found that when I started making lather with very little water that I lost more hairs. If I make lather on the soap with lots of water I rarely lose any.

Shedding should not be viewed as user error. If a brush continues to shed from new, it's a dud.

If it's old, and requires care to stop it shedding, it's knot is on the way out, and it's time to go shopping, or re-knot it, if it's got sentimental value.
 
You need 2 or 3 brushes. One for home, one for travel, and one in case something happens to another, and for variaty. Variaty is the spice of life.

Get the quality boar, but remember it is a 30 shave commitment to go from "This is a nice brush" to "WOW! Why use anything other than a BOAR?!" as the ends split and the brush breaks in.

YMMV of course.

Popping a BIG FAT TGN knot into the VDH handle is also a good idea to make brush #3.

Phil
 
I could live with just my:

Chubby 1 Best (My favorite 3 band badger)

Rooney Finest 1/2 (My favorite 2 band badger)


I'd miss the rest, but not too bad.

I'm not a huge fan of boar, but if I was, I'd add my newly arrived "Semogue Custom Boar Brush" to that list, as it's my current favorite boar.
 
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