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Paladin Select Badger Vs Simpsons Super

Hello B&B,

I am considering purchasing my first Paladin through their pre-order on their website. The Honey Noir is definitely my most favorite acrylic or whatever so that’ll be my choice. I was wondering for those of you who have both or have used both how does the Paladin Select Badger hair feel compared to the Simpsons Super grade?? I love the luxurious, soft face feel of Simpsons Super. I don’t like scritch at all. I have sensitive skin such that most brushes have caused irritation if there is prolonged exposure to my skin—the reason I much prefer bowl lather to face lather to reduce brush contact with the face.

Thank you for your help!
Kirk
 
The Paladin batches all seem to be a little different (in a way similar to how there’s been a lot of variation in Simpsons over the years). The thing that seems tough to me is that there haven’t been any updated knot notes on the Paladin site in over a year, and from some cursory searches I haven’t really been able to find much about how the newer batches compare to previous ones.
 
Let me offer some observations as someone who dislikes both brush options. Firstly, unless you opt for a larger Simpson Chubby or Polo then the Paladin will likely be much larger. In terms of the knot, I like backbone, face feel, tip presence, and a bit of scrub - as you know the Simpson Super lacks that, there is some variability but nothing like as much as with Simpson Best. I have owned a single Paladin, a 2XL with a 2CLNL6 knot, and it had been chemically treated to the extreme. It was undoubtedly a quality brush but the tips were gelled to the point that using it was like lathering with a 28mm marshmallow, to me it felt slimy, unnatural, and very unpleasant - but it was certainly soft, in fact I cannot imagine anything softer; I hated it, but you may love it. I have read from respected B&B members that their Paladin knots are not gelled, so there is clearly huge variety in Paladin knots, much more so than with any Simpson hair type, and certainly with Simpson Super. As pointed out above there are no recent knot note updates on the Paladin web and it seems to me that there is not as much interest or excitement in the brush drops, or in the brand, as there was a few years ago; others may disagree. I would choose Simpson every time, although I prefer Manchurian, Best, and Pure, over Super, but if I were to consider Paladin then I would pay very close attention to the knot code and ask for opinions from others with the exact same knot type. Good luck.
 
@EclipseRedRing Thank you very much for your detailed explanation. Paladin are expensive so you have given me a lot to consider and now unless there are a lot of members who offer glowing reviews, I will not be buying one. I do enjoy softness, but would not want the brush to feel slimy or like a marshmallow. In your opinion, how does Manchurian hair compare to the Super and Best hair grades from Simpsons??
 
@EclipseRedRing Thank you very much for your detailed explanation. Paladin are expensive so you have given me a lot to consider and now unless there are a lot of members who offer glowing reviews, I will not be buying one. I do enjoy softness, but would not want the brush to feel slimy or like a marshmallow. In your opinion, how does Manchurian hair compare to the Super and Best hair grades from Simpsons?
Please understand that Paladin are a top quality brush, but the highly gelled example I had did not suit my personal taste. Many members here who own plenty of quality brushes rate Paladin very highly indeed, and some state that their Paladin knots are not gelled, so do not let my opinion dissuade you, I am simply suggesting that you pay close attention to the knot codes. Regarding Simpson, I would not describe my Manchurian brushes as having tips as soft as Super, there is a definite scrub and firmness to the tips, but not a prickle like Pure, which I also enjoy. My Duke 3, Chubby 1, Chubby 2, are very dense which tends to increase the effective backbone, reduce the splay, and reduce the feeling of softness; my M6 is less dense. In my experience, aside from the Chubby brushes, the Super knots tend to be less densely packed which makes for a softer face feel. I guess there is variety in every grade but if tip softness is essential to you then I would recommend staying with Super as the Manchurian is quite a price increase. If you opt for Manchurian then they are only available directly from Simpson so you could take the opportunity to get a non ivory handle if you prefer. You could also contact Mark directly at Simpson and request that he select a knot personally for you to meet your requirements. Alternatively, why not take a look in the BST where you can ask the seller to describe the knots in detail? Good luck.

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I have two Paladin 26 mm brushes. One is very soft and luxurious. The other one has more scrub, but is still plenty soft. I don’t know anything about chemically treated gel knots, as I don’t know the science behind that. I just know what I feel on my face. I can state definitively that my small sampling of two Paladin brushes has yielded two very different knots. Two excellent knots. I don’t have a Simpson in super. Just a Duke 3 in Best. But I like the Paladin brushes infinitely better.
 
I've had a few Paladins and none have been noticeably gelled. They have had fantastic face feel on par with Simpson SiLVERTiP (gah!) but are on the larger side of what I most prefer. "Gelled" was sort of a hypothetical concept to me until my most recent brush, a M&F Heritage Blonde Badger. OK, now I understand gelled :(
 
I was close to pulling the trigger on a beehive. Ultimately I didn't want to spend 2+ bills to experiment with another brush. That's the one thing I hate about brushes. You either don't know what you really like and you spend a ton of money on different brushes and when you figure it out it's hard to find exactly what you like because there's so much variation in knots.
 
I have 3 Paladin brushes, all purchased recently. I would not describe the face feel, to me, as slimy or marshmallow-like. They are all fantastic brushes in 26 mm with a nice balance of backbone and softness. I also have sensitive skin and bowl lather, and these brushes do not give me any problems whatsoever. They are a joy to use. They are impeccably created, and I would not hesitate to buy one. Here is a picture of the Honey Noir one I have.

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Not directly related to Paladin, but my experience with gelled tips may shed some light on the subject. On a recent order from a long trusted vendor, a couple of the knots were gel tipped. One was a 22 mm Two Band Finest and the other was a 24 mm Two Band Finest.

The larger one has been a delight from the beginning. The smaller one was downright objectionable at the beginning but after a while settled down and was a delight to shave with this morning.

Sometimes in the processing of badger hair, the tips are bleached. I don't know why for sure, but I suspect it is mostly for appearance although at least one brush I have (perhaps my very favorite) it seems to have been done to promote softness.

If the bleach is left on too long, the tips distort and become curved, thus the so called gel tips, as the curved tips tend to be softer on the face and hold lather better.

At least one poster on B&B promotes gelling the tips on the knots he sells, including boar knots, even specifying just how much treatment they get.

I suspect that most of the time you get a gel tipped knot it was because it was accidentally treated too long.

I had an overtreated knot a few years ago that I ended up discarding because I found it too obnoxious. It felt slimy in use. It dried leaving a crunchy feel when fanning the brush.

The recent one started off with the slimy feeling in use and crunchy feeling when dry. The slimyness went away after a few shaves and test lathers at which time the legendary soft face feel became evident. The crunchiness when dried persisted so I started soaking the brush before shaving with nice results. Eventually the crunchyness went away. The curved tips are still visible, but seem less severe, as though they have become somewhat relaxed. At least that's my perception.

Originally I made this brush with the intention of giving it away. I hesitated when it seemed less than desirable and continued to evaluate it. At this point I intend to keep it.

The larger knot never was particularly objectionable and had a bit of scrubbyness beyond what is common with a two band finest. It is actually very enjoyable and I will eventually pass it on when I determine an appropriate receiver.

I don't know if any of my observations about gel tips is helpful but I hope so.
 
I don't know if any of my observations about gel tips is helpful but I hope so.
I'm not the OP but your observations were much appreciated by me. I think I will set aside my scowl and give my gelly M&F time and opportunity to settle in and see where it lands in a few months. I know I have some Simpson manchurians that felt scritchy to me when new that have settled into very nice brushes with some time and use.
 
Simpsons was really pushing the Manchurians over the holiday. Noticed the pricing on them was far better than Silvertip brushes but I'm still leery on trying one as I'm more into the softer 3 band silvertip badger. I like the two bands but they aren't my favorite so that is partly the reason I'm refraining from this paladin beehive purchase.
 
I'm totally in the tank for Simpson's SiLVERTiP (gah!) and would buy nothing else from them (moaning all the while about the egregious pricing of course) if they would only make some of the LE's in it. I didn't get a response the last time I asked for one off-menu.
 
I'm totally in the tank for Simpson's SiLVERTiP (gah!) and would buy nothing else from them (moaning all the while about the egregious pricing of course) if they would only make some of the LE's in it. I didn't get a response the last time I asked for one off-menu.
Agreed. Simpsons Super Silvertip in my very limited experience is hard to beat. I only have 2 Simpsons, both Super, but I enjoy them both.
 
Agreed. Simpsons Super Silvertip in my very limited experience is hard to beat. I only have 2 Simpsons, both Super, but I enjoy them both.
Be aware that Simpson Super is normally a three band brush, it usually has an ivory coloured handle, and is available from resellers. Simpson SiLVERTiP is a two band brush, often with non ivory coloured handles and I think is only available directly from Simpson. They are distinctly different products, at different price points, and are clearly marked as such in their engraving. I read the SiLVERTiP has backbone similar to Manchurian but with softer tips so it may suit you very well. I have never tried one as they are similar in price to Manchurian.

blaireau-de-rasage-chubby-2-bleu-silvertip-rasage-classique-simpsons.jpg
 
@Eclipse Red Ring Thank you so much for your helpful information, your posts on this topic have been among some of the best I have read here. I didn’t know Simpsons sold Silvertip that wasn’t Super, nor did I understand the difference between 2 band and 3 band (although I had read a lot on both). I have had two brushes with Simpsons super, that I love. When brush makers use 3 band and 2 band in various brushes, is 3 band generally softer with little to no scritch?

I believe Paladin Badger Select is 2 band, but someone with far more knowledge hopefully will correct me if I’m wrong. I was only considering a Paladin because their handles look elegant and the posts I had read seemed to have positive compliments, so members seem to enjoy them. I had not read much about gel tips nor did I understand what gel tips were. I understand some members have had different experiences with recent brushes, but I do not want slimy or crunchy tips. My new Rudy Vey Shavemac is my first brush that wasn’t Simpsons (I had a Simpsons Duke Best that I bought because best is highly regarded here, but compared to Super, I did not enjoy). Backbone isn’t nearly as important to me as softness, but I don’t want floppy brushes.
 
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@Eclipse Red Ring Thank you so much for your helpful information, your posts on this topic have been among some of the best I have read here. I didn’t know Simpsons sold Silvertip that wasn’t Super, nor did I understand the difference between 2 band and 3 band (although I had read a lot on both). I have had two brushes with Simpsons super, that I love. When brush makers use 3 band and 2 band in various brushes, is 3 band generally softer with little to no scritch?

I believe Paladin Badger Select is 2 band, but someone with far more knowledge hopefully will correct me if I’m wrong. I was only considering a Paladin because their handles look elegant and the posts I had read seemed to have positive compliments, so members seem to enjoy
Paladin are certainly a top quality brush, mine had a lovely handle, but the key with any brand is getting a knot that suits you. There are some beautiful Paladins in the BST right now, why not approach the seller and ask about the knot qualities? I think both two and three band brushes can have equally soft tips but with two band the hair shafts are thicker and the backbone is greater. If you use a light touch, perhaps with painting strokes, then a three band, maybe with a higher loft, may be better for you. A lightly gelled knot may suit you very well as they are super soft. Sadly the only way to find out is to try them and learn what you like. Experience has taught me that I prefer a small, dense, two band, scrubby knot, around 24mm with a loft about 48mm; I had to buy and sell quite a few brushes to determine that. I have variety in my brush rotation but I do not stray too far from those parameters. 👍
 
@Eclipse Red Ring your suggestion is good. I will ask members who are selling their Paladins about their knots. You and others have been and continue to be extremely helpful, so I’m happy I have asked this question to the greater community to obtain as many opinions as well. I hope to continue to have as many comments as possible, hopefully from several members who have bought recently from Paladin and/or Simpsons—although I’m more knowledgeable about Simpsons. This is a wonderful community of very helpful and knowledgeable members on a variety of shaving/personal care products. Thank you.

@Barbarian80 Why do you prefer 3 band over 2 band knots?

To anyone with far more knowledge than I , are 3 band generally softer than 2 band? —from @Eclipse Red Ring I understand this isn’t necessarily true. As Eclipse and a few others said in the end the only way to truly know is to try various brushes to find ones you enjoy, which is to say although I’m perfectly happy with my current 4 brushes—except the feel of the synthetic used for travel— I’m most likely going to buy a Paladin either straight from the source or from the BST to try one. Usually I don’t mind buying higher end gear that have a long history of opinions because I know I can usually resell with a small loss, which to me is okay to learn my future preferences.
 
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Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
Kirk, you might also want to consider knot shape (bulb, fan and hybrid), as often the shape of the knot determines splay and performance qualities distinct from band or tips. (I do understand that you tend to bowl lather.)

For what its worth, as much as I love Paladin handles, I haven’t kept a single one other than a synthetic knot because I face lather exclusively and prefer fan knots for that endeavor.
 
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