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I'm Thinking of Buying One and Only One Synthetic | Which One Should I Buy?

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
The very few synthetics I own or used to own haven't suited me. They were too springy. They flung lather around the shave den. They didn't feel as good as my broken in boars or my better badgers.


1582911766422.png


In spite of what you might have heard I'm not totally closed minded when it comes to synthetic brushes. At least not yet.

Having read all the glorious reports on synthetics and how they've improved and all that, and knowing how inexpensive they tend to be, I'm considering buying ONE and giving it a spin. One and only one, so it has to be right or never again.

I'm not interested in spending a lot on the brush so no Simpsons and such (unless you're a master enabler).

I tend to like larger brushes which means 24 mm knots and up unless there's something peculiar about synthetics such that only smaller brushes are acceptable. I like backbone and scrub and am 100% a face latherer. I use soaps and not creams.

So...

What one synthetic brush should I buy?

Why?

Thanks and happy shaves,

Jim
 
I have 50+ synthetics with just about every synthetic knot you can think of.

Whilst I love turnnshaves knots and yaqi synthetic brushes, my #1 synthetic knot of all time remains the muhle/EJ silvertip fibre.

It behaves a lot like a badger, closest out of all the other synthetics out there.

It's a very unique knot that has very natural splay and backbone characteristics.

For a one and only synthetic, this would be my top recommendation.

For lesser expense, I'd say the turnnshave "full moon" knot. For around $10 for the 25mm knot, it's a steal!

(I have yet to use the omega evo but that looks great too, and generally had gotten all round positive reviews)
 
Go cheap & get one of these. Ignore the description, since it's no more badger than I'm a Mensa Scholar. It's about a 19-20mm knot but lathers like a demon. I've got a couple and use them weekdays when I'm in a hurry. They lather up quicker & rinse out faster afterward than my badgers. After you decide you like a synthetic, then you can go spend more & get one with the huge floor-mop-sized knot & make buckets of lather to rinse the copious leftovers down the drain ...
 
I have many synthetic brushes and most of the newer knots have something to offer. However if you are thinking of just one, I would highly recommend the latest version of the Muhle synthetic or the new Omega Evo. Both cost almost as much as a good quality badger, however I heard from many that they are worth the price. Going cheap with a synth is going nowhere. I know this from experience.
 
The very few synthetics I own or used to own haven't suited me. They were too springy. They flung lather around the shave den. They didn't feel as good as my broken in boars or my better badgers.


View attachment 1068114


In spite of what you might have heard I'm not totally closed minded when it comes to synthetic brushes. At least not yet.

Having read all the glorious reports on synthetics and how they've improved and all that, and knowing how inexpensive they tend to be, I'm considering buying ONE and giving it a spin. One and only one, so it has to be right or never again.

I'm not interested in spending a lot on the brush so no Simpsons and such (unless you're a master enabler).

I tend to like larger brushes which means 24 mm knots and up unless there's something peculiar about synthetics such that only smaller brushes are acceptable. I like backbone and scrub and am 100% a face latherer. I use soaps and not creams.

So...

What one synthetic brush should I buy?

Why?

Thanks and happy shaves,

Jim
Jim your description and likes pretty much checked off all the boxes in my column. My second and probably last synthetic is Yaqui 💈 Big Knot - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/reviews/yaqui-big-knot.211713/ l always like your brush postings, pictures and descriptions. I hope my review doesn’t come up too short.
 

Esox

I didnt know
So...

What one synthetic brush should I buy?

Why?
Where did I wake up today? Is this Earth?

Jim, wants a synthetic?

All kidding aside Jim, you like big brushes so I'd suggest a Big Bruce. Its a Plissoft type knot which I like but its a 26mm. My 22mm is a tiny bit too big for me, a 26mm would be huge.

Another alternative might be an APShaveCo.

One thing that thats really stood out to me with synthetic knots is the knot itself, the fibers of it. They act differently than natural hair does. I've used three different kinds: A RR Tuxedo with the barrel handle, an Omega S Brush in a custom handle and my little Maggard. All of the knots feel the same as far as texture and softness, but the defining difference is the loft. The RR Tuxedo has a loft that is too short so its stiff and doesnt splay well. The S Brush I have has a bit too much loft and splays to easily for me and feels limp while being springy or weak or...something. The Maggard is just right. The loft defines the personality of the brush in use, as I'm sure you're aware, but its even more important when dealing with synthetic fibers.

Notice the different knot profiles between the 26mm Big Bruce and the 30mm APShaveCo.

Screenshot_2020-02-28 (BIG BRUCE) RazoRock Plissoft BIG BRUCE Synthetic Shaving Brush – Italia...png Screenshot_2020-02-28 30MM SynBad w Winter Handle - Extra Dense Shaving Brush - Cream Brown - ...png

The APShaveCo is going to be the stiffer more difficult to splay and springier knot between the two. Thats dictated by the loft moreso than the fibers of any particular type of synthetic knot. If that 30mm APShaveCo had a taller loft, it would become easier to splay and softer to use while not being as springy.
 
The very few synthetics I own or used to own haven't suited me. They were too springy. They flung lather around the shave den. They didn't feel as good as my broken in boars or my better badgers.


View attachment 1068114


In spite of what you might have heard I'm not totally closed minded when it comes to synthetic brushes. At least not yet.

Having read all the glorious reports on synthetics and how they've improved and all that, and knowing how inexpensive they tend to be, I'm considering buying ONE and giving it a spin. One and only one, so it has to be right or never again.

I'm not interested in spending a lot on the brush so no Simpsons and such (unless you're a master enabler).

I tend to like larger brushes which means 24 mm knots and up unless there's something peculiar about synthetics such that only smaller brushes are acceptable. I like backbone and scrub and am 100% a face latherer. I use soaps and not creams.

So...

What one synthetic brush should I buy?

Why?

Thanks and happy shaves,

Jim
Brilliant thread. Just what I need.
 
The very few synthetics I own or used to own haven't suited me. They were too springy. They flung lather around the shave den. They didn't feel as good as my broken in boars or my better badgers.


View attachment 1068114


In spite of what you might have heard I'm not totally closed minded when it comes to synthetic brushes. At least not yet.

Having read all the glorious reports on synthetics and how they've improved and all that, and knowing how inexpensive they tend to be, I'm considering buying ONE and giving it a spin. One and only one, so it has to be right or never again.

I'm not interested in spending a lot on the brush so no Simpsons and such (unless you're a master enabler).

I tend to like larger brushes which means 24 mm knots and up unless there's something peculiar about synthetics such that only smaller brushes are acceptable. I like backbone and scrub and am 100% a face latherer. I use soaps and not creams.

So...

What one synthetic brush should I buy?

Why?

Thanks and happy shaves,

Jim
Jim - please forgive the question as I'm sure you've answered it somewhere before.....

Do you face lather, bowl lather or both?
 
Muhle STF - well worth the extra coin imo. Beautifully soft with reasonable backbone for a synthetic. Far less of a lather chucker than others I've tried.
 
Steve @Graydog does an incredible job with the 26mm Full Moon knot:

20200205_105716~2.jpg

20191215_122646~2.jpg

The Mühle 25mm Silver Tip Synthetic (also used, under a different name, by Edwin Jaeger and Frank Shaving) is an excellent all around brush:

20200101_144718~2.jpg

The 26mm Shavemac Fan has also become one of my 'go to' brushes:

20200207_061939~2.jpg

All of these brushes will, in my opinion, hold their own for face or bowl lathering and against a big chunk of the brushes on the market, knot type notwithstanding.

Just my opinion and YMMV :)
 
I would wait until Simpsons Trafalgar become more widely available and see a little more reviews.
First impressions from the Italian forum (goodle translated) are highly praised and they seem to have an adequate backbone due to density (I believe density is the key factor for synths to have backbone).
Honestly I am eyeballing one but wait until they become locally available.
 
Where did I wake up today? Is this Earth?

Jim, wants a synthetic?

All kidding aside Jim, you like big brushes so I'd suggest a Big Bruce. Its a Plissoft type knot which I like but its a 26mm. My 22mm is a tiny bit too big for me, a 26mm would be huge.

Another alternative might be an APShaveCo.

One thing that thats really stood out to me with synthetic knots is the knot itself, the fibers of it. They act differently than natural hair does. I've used three different kinds: A RR Tuxedo with the barrel handle, an Omega S Brush in a custom handle and my little Maggard. All of the knots feel the same as far as texture and softness, but the defining difference is the loft. The RR Tuxedo has a loft that is too short so its stiff and doesnt splay well. The S Brush I have has a bit too much loft and splays to easily for me and feels limp while being springy or weak or...something. The Maggard is just right. The loft defines the personality of the brush in use, as I'm sure you're aware, but its even more important when dealing with synthetic fibers.

Notice the different knot profiles between the 26mm Big Bruce and the 30mm APShaveCo.

View attachment 1068137 View attachment 1068138

The APShaveCo is going to be the stiffer more difficult to splay and springier knot between the two. Thats dictated by the loft moreso than the fibers of any particular type of synthetic knot. If that 30mm APShaveCo had a taller loft, it would become easier to splay and softer to use while not being as springy.
That APShaveco Cashmere is the bomb. I have tried the RR Bruce and Maggards. The Cashmere is not stiffer or harder to splay. Btw where's Jim? Invasion of the body snatchers? Be afraid be very afraid.
 
I would wait until Simpsons Trafalgar become more widely available and see a little more reviews.
First impressions from the Italian forum (goodle translated) are highly praised and they seem to have an adequate backbone due to density (I believe density is the key factor for synths to have backbone).
Honestly I am eyeballing one but wait until they become locally available.
I just got a Simpson Trafalgar T2 and used it for the first time today. I'm really impressed with this brush and I'm guessing it's going to jump to the number 2 slot in my synthetic lineup, just below the Chubby 2. For a synthetic, it's probably the closest I've experienced to my Shavemac 22x48 Silvertip knot. I like it enough that I plan on getting the T1 & T3 versions to have the complete set.

The Superior Shave is now carrying the T2, which is where I got mine.
 
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