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My experience with Semogue

I notice here that sometimes things are slow to change. Products get an established reputation from years ago and people who are quite respected here will praise their, oh say Semogue brush, they got 5 years ago. Loyalty is great but at some point things need to be seen for what they are, at this time, in the present. The fact is I see more complaints, more quality issues, more problems with Semogue brushes than any other brush. I have said from the start my experience is that they are very inconsistent, esp the knot quality on their boar knots. Now it even appears overall build quality and quality control are lacking as well. Its important to remember, and obvious to me, that the Semogue you got a few years ago, is a far cry from the ones being sold today. People buy them based off of this mythic image largely derived from the past and often end up disappointed. If something with Semogue doesn't change I would never buy one of their brushes again and with all the issues I see people having with new ones I could never in good conscience recommend them to anyone/ Justm y thoughts and opinion, maybe even rant for the day.
I've had two Semogues so far -- one boar, one badger. The boar was like any other boar, nothing special (I don't care much for boar bristles). The badger is fine but they put the wrong sticker on the handle ("cerda pura" instead of "texugo"). This might hint at quality control problems, or they just ran out of "texugo" stickers. Who knows, as long as brush performance isn't affected. One should also note that Semogue is substantially cheaper than some other makers. For the price, they are some of the best quality badgers, certainly beating the rubbish quality of the low-end Mühles.
I have two Semogues - cherry and ash SOC's - that were both purchased in the last 6 months or so (memory is not my strong suit). They are both wonderful and I alternate between the two virtually every day (I sneak the BK8 in there every so often).

Two is a very small sample, but my experience was two excellent products for very little money. I would have been happy to pay considerably more for these brushes.
I haven't had any personal negative experience with any new Semogue's I've had, except that it takes forever to break them in. Someone had PIF'd me an SOC that the knot had fallen out of though.

There are a lot of threads here on B&B about the knots falling out of the handles. I'd say there is a fairly regular frequency of these posts going up. Once in a great while you'll hear about a knot falling out of someone's brush, but with Semogues, it seems to be something of an issue. I love the handles on Semogues, and when they break in, I think they are nice. I like the knots better than Omegas, but I've never heard of the knot falling out of an Omega.
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i recently acquired an SOC boar and i love it and have had no issues. as a rule, i try not to play into the "things were wayyy better in the past" mentality. it's a philosophical slippery slope.
Semogue has quite a fan base on the "wet shaving" sites. So you are likely swimming upstream in criticizing them for any reason, since they have been basically deified. Myself, I own one Semogue. It's alright but not as special as you might think, if you just reading "wet shaving" boards. I haven't had any QC issues but also don't think it is head & shoulders above any other manufacture in terms of quality or usability.
Couldn't be happier with mine, but my SE is just my second brush.

In general, it seems complaining is all too popular - often for very minor/insignificant perceived defects. If it's an obvious issue, take it up with the vendor. From what I've seen, they've been willing to exchange, refund, whatever.

If you just don't like something, fine. Don't use it, sell it, whatever. Move on.
I don't have any particular brand loyalty in the brush world (beyond the B&B Essential from Omega/WCS). However, I have a Semogue 1305 that is maybe 6 months old and have not run into any issues with it. Same with my 2 Omega brushes (Essential & 10066). JMO, FWIW.
I have two boar Semogues. I like their handles but won't purchase another. Both knots are packed with lumpy knots, as if they had a cow lick. I can use them but prefer Omega knots. The Omega knots I prefer have more consistent packing and more backbone. Most Omega brushes have cheap plastic handles, so I re-handle them.
The statement about The fact is I see more complaints, more quality issues, more problems with Semogue brushes than any other brush could be that there are more Semogues out there and/or more talk about Semmogues than other brushes. Just perhaps.

I can't compare with the Semogues from years ago but I have four and I haven't had any quality issues in design, workmanship or performance. I have one with a painted handle that I left wet in a mug and forgot about and the paint peeled. I don't think I will buy any painted handle brushes from any manufacturer in the future.

Overall, I am very pleased with Semogue brushes and as far as boar brushes go they are a standard for quality comparisons for me.
I bought one of the first LE brushes they made back in 2009.

It has a great handle design and the bristles were nice (it's a boar brush). However, after not too much use, the entire knot came out.

I contacted Semogue and they asked me to send them the brush. It came back to me with the knot back in and the brush re-stained. Worked great for a while and then the knot came out again.

I then sent it to Rudy Vey for repair, because I trusted his work. He re-epoxied the knot and sent it back to me. Within a few months, the knot came out again.

This time, I epoxied it myself, with marine epoxy. It immediately began to shed. It shed like crazy for the few times I actually used it after that. Couldn't stand to use it because of all the shedding.

As of now, it sits on my dresser, unused. It has the best handle of any brush I've ever owned, in terms of comfort in the hand for lathering. I dont' know what to do with it. I've contemplated sending it back to Rudy for a Golden Nib best badger knot so I don't waste a handle with such an awesome shape.

So, yeah. From my perspective, this one Semogue has been more trouble than all my other brushes combined.
My Semogues (I have two..1305 and SOC Boar w/cherry handle) are both fine I guess but not any legendary sort of brush. I have no complaints but I have brushes I like much better both in the same price range (Omega 11126) and more spendy (Rooney 2/1, Simpson Colonel X2L).

The whole "best brush" issue is so ridiculously subjective, I really can never see the point of discussing it.

Must iterate though that I have no problems with the QC or performance of either of my Semogues.
Personally, I own an Owners Club, 1305, 1460, they're well used in my rotation. I have never had any issues with quality, shedding, cracks or paint chipping. All three are 2+ years old with no issues.
I purchased a new 1305 in November 2013. So with regular use for the past 3 months I have had no issues with it. It lathers well, and feels nice on my face.
I purchased four 1470's and a 620 and all of them were just fine. My 620 had a bit of a glue bump but I understand that this is normal.
It's also good to keep in mind that Semogue is a small family business and was never more than that and will likely never be.
So I can't see how were they better before than now.
QC issues happen in huge companies as well, such as Merkur/Dovo.
I have seen people complaining about Omega, in fact in another thread yesterday a fellow B&Ber posted 3 links to threads about Omega issues.
A couple weeks ago Simpsons were the hot subject.
I guess this week is Semogue. :lol:
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