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Knot size - large or small?

Ridpath

FIGHTER!
Contributor
In my time as a wet shaver, I’ve pretty much only used the one brush I had, a small boar brush, maybe 19mm knot. Only recently I obtained my first badger brush and that was a 21/22mm knot.

In terms of building lather, I couldn’t see any advantage to having a larger knot - when loading the brush, the smaller brush was actually more comfortable for me, the soap didn’t get all over the bowl and my hands.

I’ve never felt the urge to experiment with a large brush, since I feel I’d just make a mess of lathering if I did.

My question is: what do you prefer, a small or large brush, and why?

I get the impression that people here mostly gravitate toward large-ish brushes, just wondering why that is.
 
I have both large and small. I really do like a small knot and wish there was a better selection to be had. But I feel there is a time and purpose for both.

A few factors I consider.
- am I looking for a relaxing shave that feels luxurious and I want copious quantities or warm lather, I choose a medium to large knot 25mm+
- am I in a rush, fully or partially dressed and need to lather and apply with the least amount of mess and with precision application, I choose 22mm or less
- I have a lot of soaps, soaps an cheap and I want to use them up while enjoying them, I choose a 24mm+ and load heavy
- I have a soap that I really like, it’s unavailable, expensive, or I wish to conserve it for any other reason, then I select a smaller brush.
 
My personal rule is as follows

22 mm and less - Face lathering
24 mm and more - Bowl lathering

Sometimes I break my rule and face lather with a Omega 48 or a Semogue SOC and bowl lather with a Semogue 1305 or a Omega Pure badger, but normally that's the rule...

Cheers
 
I have had brushes as large as a Chubby 3 in super and ended up moving them on. I now have an upper limit for a two band brush of 25mm. My ideal size is 22mm to 24mm as I face lather with swirling strokes and that size leaves room for me to actually move the brush and fully enjoy the lather making process. When I used the Chubby 3 I could almost lather both ears at the same time. Many people love them but for me it was absurd, almost a novelty brush, bordering on unusable. YMMV.
 
I’m fairly new in the DE scene, but I started out with a cheap 25mm Badger(unknown type) brush and then started moving to bigger and bigger brushes.(up to 30m). now I am settling down and enjoy the relaxation of bowl lathering. Now I’ve found I’m gravitating toward smaller and smaller brushes. I want a bowlful of nice lather. I don’t want the brush to sop it all up as it’s being produced. A smaller brush using just the tip and going real slow Til my lather builds in volume an quality.
I just got these three in to test out. Wee Scot 14mm, Vulfix super badger 19mm and Vulfix boar/badger 21mm.
E32634BD-E991-483D-84F4-09D45E5A1951.jpeg
 

Cal

Contributor
Small to Tiny for me. Here's my three current faves (all Shavemac Silvertips):
3-faves_2020-05-01.jpg
Left to right: 16/47 D01 fan — 20/47 2-Band fan — 18/44 2-Band D01 bulb
I use 26mm to 30mm knots. It’s real-estate. Full face and head shave. In my case larger is more comfortable than smaller. My newly knotted 28mm feels bigger than a couple of my 30mm. These are not your granddaddy's brushes.
^ I can understand using big brushes for the full Monty as per JoWolf.

I'm a detail freak. I love precision. The thought of lather on my ears and up my nose is a total turn off.

So bearing in mind that I have mid-ear sideburns and a mustache and only shave my face and neck, the little ones (which can all hold huge amounts of lather) are best for me. :cornut:
 

Ridpath

FIGHTER!
Contributor
I’m fairly new in the DE scene, but I started out with a cheap 25mm Badger(unknown type) brush and then started moving to bigger and bigger brushes.(up to 30m). now I am settling down and enjoy the relaxation of bowl lathering. Now I’ve found I’m gravitating toward smaller and smaller brushes. I want a bowlful of nice lather. I don’t want the brush to sop it all up as it’s being produced. A smaller brush using just the tip and going real slow Til my lather builds in volume an quality.
I just got these three in to test out. Wee Scot 14mm, Vulfix super badger 19mm and Vulfix boar/badger 21mm.
View attachment 1094537
A bit beside the point, but love the kitty!

Looks like the main advantage of a larger brush is comfort and easier lathering, whereas with a smaller brush it’s better control.

I wonder whether I should get a big brush to experiment with, just to see whether I like it, since a lot of it seems to be subjective and down to personal preference. Gonna have to wait until the month end to get one though...
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Small to Tiny for me. Here's my three current faves (all Shavemac Silvertips):

Left to right: 16/47 D01 fan — 20/47 2-Band fan — 18/44 2-Band D01 bulb

^ I can understand using big brushes for the full Monty as per JoWolf.

I'm a detail freak. I love precision. The thought of lather on my ears and up my nose is a total turn off.

So bearing in mind that I have mid-ear sideburns and a mustache and only shave my face and neck, the little ones (which can all hold huge amounts of lather) are best for me. :cornut:
1588358129566.png

Cal, I think you meant to say - tiny, more tiny, and most tiny - something else.

Nothing wrong with very small brushes.

Just yanking your chain, my friend.

Jim
 
I have knots ranging from 22mm to 26mm. Knot size is more about the face feel for me. 26mm feels nice and dense on the face while 22mm makes a easy load and lathering process. 24mm is the balance for feel/performance for me.

It's like preference of soft or dense pillow.
 
I prefer a more medium sized brush. IMO, 24mm is perfect. Some people like bigger brushes because they know that they will have plenty of later for 3 passes. Some people that like the 30mm knots like them because they shave their head and when you are shaving that much area, you need a bigger brush just to hold all that lather.
Personally, I just shave my neck, so I dont really need anything bigger than 22mm. For a while I was using a Simpson Special S1, which 19mm knot and I found that did the job just fine, although most would consider that to be a travel brush.
 
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