What's new

Let's just keep this among ourselves but I might, might mind you, have been wrong about synthetic brushes

I think the Trafalgar T2 was all of $22. I imagine the knot is Chinese but the handle and brush is made in England. I prefer to buy American and European products whenever I can. I believe, but am not sure, brushes like the Plissoft and all the Yaqi products are pure Chinese (PRC) and, if so, that gives me pause. If I'm wrong, please correct me.
I try to avoid "Made in China" as much as I can with anything I try to buy. Razorock is a Canadian company! So at least the money is going to them. They make a lot of their stuff in Canada and some stuff comes from Europe. I'm not certain about the brushes but I would probably think that they make the handles and the knots are Chinese. I could be wrong though!
But if that's the case, it would be a similar deal as Simpsons has with the manufacturing of the Trafalgar's!
 
Last edited:
I try to avoid "Made in China" as much as I can with anything I try to buy. Razorock is a Canadian company! So at least the money is going to them. They make a lot of their stuff in Canada and some stuff comes from Europe. I'm not certain about the brushes but I would probably think that they make the handles and the knots are Chinese. I could be wrong though!
But if that's the case, it would be a similar deal as Simpsons has with the manufacturing of the Trafalgar's!
If the handles are indeed made in Canada, that would change my mind. Much badger is also Chinese. It's hard to buy many things in the west that aren't made in the PRC for some years now.
 
If the handles are indeed made in Canada, that would change my mind. Much badger is also Chinese. It's hard to buy many things in the west that aren't made in the PRC for some years now.
Yep, it's hard!
I usually search before I buy something to see if something I need is made here. Priority for where it's made: USA!
Next, the rest of North America and then Europe. My Shoes, boots, belts, car tires, etc.. are all USA made!
Some things unfortunately are impossible to find and sometimes price can be an issue as well.
I guess it all depends for some things!
 
I've seen you posts for a while and in that time I've definitely noticed a trend. You've been pretty anti-synthetic up until now. I have to say that I'm very glad this time has come. You're at least opening your mind up to the idea that a synthetic fiber brush might actually do the job of whipping up lather, well.

The truth is that just like badger brushes, synthetic fibers are not all the same. Synthetic fibers have really come a long way in recent years but there are differences to look for. You can find some with more or less backbone and more or less ability to splay.

No offense to anyone that owns or likes the Trafalgar brushes but from all the reading I've done, it's just not a good representative for synthetic fiber brushes. I'm sorry. It's just not.

The "best" synthetic knots currently are the Muhle STF (the knot @Rudy Vey most recommends and uses), the G5C (being the newest) and G5A knots from AP Shave Co. Their other knots also have some pretty dedicated fans like the 2BED, SynBad, SilkSmoke and Cashmere.

Some brands also seen to stand up pretty well like the Omega Evo brushes (v2 is rolling out so inventory can be random and mixed with v1), Plissoft and some specific artisan soap makers eg. P.A.A. and Stirling. Even the Chinese brands Yaqi and Boti make some brushes with nice handles and really soft fiber knots. Don't rule them out.

I have brushes of all types including horse hair (which is sustainably harvested unlink all other natural fibers) (Vie-Long being the recommended brand) and enjoy them all for their own unique qualities.

In my opinion, the biggest advantage to synthetic brushes is that they cost so much less that badger ones do. They also don't need to soak as a prep step like natural fibers do. They don't smell when new and are fast drying. That last feature makes them great for use when traveling. Oh, and most importantly, they work well at whipping up leather.

Badger will always be badger. It's been the main hair used for shaving brushes for so long, for a reason. But, as I said, synthetics have come a long way (and don't cost an animal's life). Just keep that open-mindedness and explore a bit more and I'm sure you'll find a great synthetic brush worthy of a place in your shaving den. 😉
I may buy one more synthetic brush but more likely will not. I already have a collection of good brushes including two synthetics as I said in my initial post. I was mostly giving a nod to the cult of the synthetic brush which seems to have mostly taken over the current generation of B&B users. What I was trying to say in my post is I am beginning to understand why so many like them for the reasons I stated and then you repeated. I certainly have no intention of replacing the boar and badger brushes I have with synthetics. For me, that's pointless. Some of the features I pointed out (fast drying, no break in, etc.) are not needed by me. All I was saying is that I understand why some of you think they're wonderful and if I didn't already have my own wonderful brushes or was a new shaver, I see where they have a place.

You come along saying the Trafalgar is no good but many others think it's fabulous which is why I gave it a flyer. It's so-so but I don't hate it like the day I got it. I'm loathe to take one persons opinion on any issue, especially when they inject what you did into the conversation. As to the "cost an animal's life", sorry, that doesn't sway me whatsoever, I eat animals all the time, wear leather shoes, carry leather products, etc., etc. So let's not put words or emotions into what I wrote which was to say, I may have been wrong about synthetic brushes sucking as much as I thought they might. MmmmmK? And I will NOT intentionally buy PRC products which are far more cruel than anything else in this conversation IMO.
 
Last edited:
That's the one I keep reading about here.
Yeah I have the plissoft Bruce from razorock. Splays wonderfully, soft feeling on the skin with just enough backbone, tons of lather. Not sure what else I need.
 

Attachments

  • 1F86C89B-8FB6-4F42-BCED-AD682B03D8A8.jpeg
    1F86C89B-8FB6-4F42-BCED-AD682B03D8A8.jpeg
    578.1 KB · Views: 4
Because I truly enjoy the tradition of wet shaving, I get great enjoyment using the traditional tools and accoutrements of say, the last 80-90 years. I don't shave with straights, but I own and shave with a multitude of razors ranging from the Great Depression well into the 1960s. My brushes are all badger or boar, my software mostly made by firms that have been doing it for centuries. In other words, I shave how I want and I let others shave how they want without any snark. I'm well past middle age and I know the world is spinning too fast for me to keep up with it on all fronts.

That said, I am amazed at the popularity of the synthetic brushes. I have never tried one, and probably never will. Not because I don't think they work--actually some of the attributes you guys talk about sound downright practical. It's just that it's not who I am. Hell, I still haven't even accepted the designated hitter. I'm pretty sure that all the badgers killed in China get eaten. I know hogs get eaten. My morals and my relationship with Mother Earth are solid. We are tearing our world up pretty well these days, but I don't think it's because we're using badger and boar bristles in our shaving brushes. But I am glad that the people who use the synthetics, for whatever reasons, are finding that the manufacturers have recognized the need and desires and are working hard to give the people what they want.
 
I prefer synthetics. Some of them are superior to my badger and boar brushes. ( I don't have a quality silvertip badger to compare, but have had others ) I like the way they feel, how they hold soap and water, how they splay, face lather, bowl lather, just about everything about them. The better the synthetic the better I like them.
 
It took some time for the knot in my T2 to open up but it’s an easy splayer now (for me). This isn’t the case with my Duke 3 synth which is a lot more expensive (you would hate that brush haha)
I have a T2 waiting at home for me. I'm curious if I can "train" it to become a splayer and good face latherer. Most posts I've read point to "no" (you clearly being an exception, though) I may just sell it new, but curiosity is getting the better of me to see how it feels. I tried a Vikings Blade dark stallion, and that thing is stiff as a board. Can't imagine that ever splaying comfortably. Very soft bristles, so that one is good for painters, but it was very stiff. T2 has to be more pliable than that one, me thinks.
 

OkieStubble

The Men Who Sniff at Goats
While I do have a favorite boar brush I like to keep and use for when I get the itch for an Italian shave, I do prefer synthetic over hair brushes. I would like to explain the single main reason why; in a way that many might not have noticed or realized.

I am a face latherer. When one face lather’s, they load their wet brush and then create lather solely on their face.

Once this lather is made, the brush they used, regardless of the type of hair, now has and is loaded with the lather they produced in the brush knot from their face.

They must now, set that brush full of lather, down beside the sink, in order to shave their first pass? Correct? This is where my single main issue is with hair brushes and why I prefer synthetic.

Before the act of face lathering, badger and boar have to be soaked. Once the knots of those brushes have soaked up water they are loaded with soap. Then, when the initial first face lather is complete and you set a badger or boar brush down to shave your first pass?

While you are shaving, those water logged and water soaked badger and boar hairs, are affecting and watering down that luscious lather sitting on your brush.

Then when you pick it up for your second lather after the first pass? Your lather is now, thin, flat, cold and useless. It is nowhere the quality of lather that you just used, before you sat that brush down to shave your first pass.

Synthetic brushes once wet, will hold water also to load and make that first lather. But since synthetic hairs do not actually absorb water, the original, luscious thick lather that sits on your brush waiting to be picked back up after your first pass?

It’s still there waiting, ready for you to use. The quality of that lather, hasn’t changed because there isn’t water logged hairs thinning it out and making it’s lather weak and watery and flat.

IMO, anyone can get great first lathers from any type of brush knot. But the quality of second pass lather’s from synthetic brushes, are far more superior to natural hair brushes.

Ymmv. :)
 
I loved my Plissoft noir until I scored a Rudy Vey STF. I have a drawer of mid level synths I won’t touch now, in fact being it’s so great and priced well I don’t reach for my fancy badgers as much. My dry feet and clean walls appreciate the lack of floppiness lol.
 
While I do have a favorite boar brush I like to keep and use for when I get the itch for an Italian shave, I do prefer synthetic over hair brushes. I would like to explain the single main reason why; in a way that many might not have noticed or realized.

I am a face latherer. When one face lather’s, they load their wet brush and then create lather solely on their face.

Once this lather is made, the brush they used, regardless of the type of hair, now has and is loaded with the lather they produced in the brush knot from their face.

They must now, set that brush full of lather, down beside the sink, in order to shave their first pass? Correct? This is where my single main issue is with hair brushes and why I prefer synthetic.

Before the act of face lathering, badger and boar have to be soaked. Once the knots of those brushes have soaked up water they are loaded with soap. Then, when the initial first face lather is complete and you set a badger or boar brush down to shave your first pass?

While you are shaving, those water logged and water soaked badger and boar hairs, are affecting and watering down that luscious lather sitting on your brush.

Then when you pick it up for your second lather after the first pass? Your lather is now, thin, flat, cold and useless. It is nowhere the quality of lather that you just used, before you sat that brush down to shave your first pass.

Synthetic brushes once wet, will hold water also to load and make that first lather. But since synthetic hairs do not actually absorb water, the original, luscious thick lather that sits on your brush waiting to be picked back up after your first pass?

It’s still there waiting, ready for you to use. The quality of that lather, hasn’t changed because there isn’t water logged hairs thinning it out and making it’s lather weak and watery and flat.

IMO, anyone can get great first lathers from any type of brush knot. But the quality of second pass lather’s from synthetic brushes, are far more superior to natural hair brushes.

Ymmv. :)
This is a great explanation and analysis. I think this applies to bowl lathering as well. As much of the lather stays in the brush between passes.
 
As a mostly bowl latherer who does occasional face lathering as well, I rest my brush in the bowl tips down rather than standing on the vanity. I haven't noticed what OS is talking about but I'm usually on autopilot when shaving and focusing, mostly on the razor. But I do note when lather isn't right and fix the issue. One can bowl lather and still scrub the lather into the beard rather than simply painting it on. That's how I do it. That's one of my gripes with the Trafalgar T2, it doesn't really scrub. Helluva a lather maker though.
 
One question. I think I've been hearing that Muhle synthetic is the best on the market almost for 10 years.

Has Muhle synthetic gradually improved and kept the best brush status or Muhle stayed the same and the synthetic hair not improved much?
 
My $20 Plissoft synthetic from RazoRock is an outstanding brush! It lathers so well!! Anything from a croap, to a hard as rock triple milled soap. Splay??, you ask. No weakling in this area. Used it in this evening's shave.View attachment 1517301
I too have the Razorock Plissoft synthetic. And as I said in another thread, it is the softest brush I've ever used. And it seems to have a surprising amount of backbone for such a soft brush.
 
One question. I think I've been hearing that Muhle synthetic is the best on the market almost for 10 years.

Has Muhle synthetic gradually improved and kept the best brush status or Muhle stayed the same and the synthetic hair not improved much?
There was a version 1 and 2. I think they are on version 3, the timeline of them all I couldn't tell you.
 
I can whip up a good bowl lather in a few seconds with any of my three synthetic brushes or my single badger. I don't see any reason to pay more for a non-synthetic brush. I must confess that I couldn't resist the Yaqi Evil Zebra. I'd like it even more if it was made in England!
 
I've used those two synths I have more and more in recent days. I think, honestly, if I were new to this and didn't already have a nice stash of good badger and boar brushes, I might find two good synths, one good boar, and one good silvertip. I could BST my badger brushes but their like old friends. I just talk to them less than I used to. For me, I'm willing to sacrifice a little face feel or get used to the change for the extremely high performance and zero prep time of synths. And like I've said about mine, one is an unlabeled chinese brush that was probably a freebie with something else I'd bought and I don't recall owning it much less using it but my wife grabbed it from the other place. The other is the Trafalgar T2. It's not that I like it any more as I've had it for a little while now, it's that I'm getting used to it. I don't really have a lot of shaving challenges as I shave to BBS daily and doing so makes shaving, generally, pretty easy for me.

I find that if I don't shave right after my shower where I can prep a boar or badger brush with a short soak, I'm spending more time using one of the two synths.
 
Top Bottom