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REVIEW: Tatara Masamune/Semogue Collaboration Finest Badger Brush

Intro:

I came across the recently released Tatara Masamune Finest badger brush. The design really caught my eye and the combination of the beautiful stainless steel handle and the Semogue Finest badger knot basically sealed the deal for me!

I received the brush last week and upon opening the outer packaging, I was impressed to see the brush packaging with paper wrap and a wax seal. Once opened, the brush was seated in a cork stand. It is so unique and absolutely gorgeous!

Just check out these pics:

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Shedding and Smell:

There was no badger funk in the knot. I don’t mind either way but I know many people are sensitive to the smell in the badger knots. I personally like that earthy smell.

The brush shed a few hairs in the test lather, perhaps around 5. I suspect these were just loose hairs as they slipped out of the knot during the first few swirls in the palm with no hairs coming out after that.

Pre-bloom:

Surprisingly soft for a two band! It did have a bit of scritch but given it is not a gel-tip brush, it was softer than I expected.

A point to note is how broad the dark waist of the hair is. It’s broader than most of my other two bands. It really gives the brush a unique look. I believe the same hair is used for the Semogue SOC finest badger brush.

Pre-bloom:

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Break-in:

After the couple of test lathers, it was soft and ready to go. Being a two band, it will soften up as it breaks in further over time but it is already very comfortable to use.

Post-bloom:

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Softness:


Two bands are a thicker hair so they do have an innate scrub to them. When they are new, they have a light scritch but with this particular brush, the scritch was well reduced after two test lathers and one use for a shave. A soak in some water for a few minutes ensures it is comfortable on the skin for a full 4 pass shave.

(Silvertip and Pure/Best badgers give opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to scritch but a two band finest lies perfectly in-between where there is no scrtichy feeling on the face but it does give the feeling of scrubbiness).

Splay:

The splay is effortless and so natural. The knot is 24mm with a loft of 50mm. This may seem like a fairly low set loft however, the first thing to note is there is no glue bump at all so the “effective loft” is 50mm. I found this 24/50mm knot to loft ratio perfect!

I generally don’t push down much on my brushes but I wanted to test the splay and when I pushed down a little bit, it responded well and opened up a bit more, enveloping the face but it doesn’t have a tendency to splay flat as it’s definitely not a floppy brush!!

Backbone/Density/Scrub:

The knot being 24/50mm, this combination is just perfect! It has a density that is suited to the 24/50mm specs. It’s not a super high-density knot and gives a beautiful scrub on the face without hogging the lather. It releases the lather easily (not a lather hog).

The backbone is moderate due to the 50mm loft however, the brush doesn’t resist splay nor does it feel stiff against the skin.

I get a beautiful scrub from the Semogue knot as it is not treated to be gel-tipped. It gives a really nice face feel of natural badger hair. I have a real liking for soft and natural badger knots, however it’s becoming difficult to find these as most brush makers are opting for bleached/gel-tipped knots.

Knot density:

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Drying time:

The brush takes roughly 10 hours to dry out completely (in my current cold, dry climate). This is consistent with all the other two band and silvertip brushes I’ve used.

Handle:

The brush handle is based on the well loved Tatara Masamune razor handle.

It is made of 303 stainless steel with a bead blasted, satin finish. This is really one of the nicest brush handles out there!

The lip at the top of the handle helps to prevent any lather coming down on to the handle so during use, the grip is maintained nicely.

The base of the handle has bot the Tatara and Semogue logos, which I thought to be a wonderful touch that really celebrates the coming together of the precision work of Tatara and the master craftsmanship of Semogue.

Base of handle:

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Very nice review! Thank you! But...

I've been really good this year month, and had just about convinced myself I have all the shaving gear I need or want. And then you come along with this. Well played :)
 
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Reactions: nav

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
You mentioned, @nav, the Semogue SOC finest badger knot.

In my opinion the SOC finest badger is a good two band. Is the Tatara/Semogue finest the same knot?

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
You mentioned, @nav, the Semogue SOC finest badger knot.

In my opinion the SOC finest badger is a good two band. Is the Tatara/Semogue finest the same knot?

Happy shaves,

Jim

Hey Jim,

Yeah, Tatara had confirmed the brush has the Semogue Two Band Finest knot installed, with the knot/loft customised for Tatara.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Bear in mind that the SOC is 24/53 versus the Tatara 24/50.


Thanks, Cal.

I'm not sure I trust loft measurements very much. (50 and 53 are perhaps depending on who measured them.)

I'm not running out to buy a brush, especially not another two band. Just thinking if getting one next time there's a big discount coupon might be worth considering. The Semogue SOC finest is a pretty good brush though.


1-1-22.Muramasa.CK-6.Semogue3 Band:LE.640JPG.JPG



This three band is better though, but it's an unobtainium LE. It might be my favorite three band, not that I have a lot of three bands.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Bear in mind that the SOC is 24/53 versus the Tatara 24/50.
I'm not sure I trust loft measurements very much. (50 and 53 are perhaps depending on who measured them.)
50 and 53 are the lofts specified by Tatara for their finest badger brush and Semogue for their SOC finest badger brush respectively. Naturally there will be some ± tolerances. From my experience Semogue usually get their lofts to ±1mm of the spec.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Intro:
Shedding and Smell:
Pre-bloom:
Break-in:
Post-bloom:
Softness:
Splay:
Backbone/Density/Scrub:
Knot density:
Drying time:
Handle:


Excellent brush introduction and write up. Thanks so much for it.

Having used the brush for a while now, how do you like it? How does it compare to other brushes you're familiar with? What are the ergonomics of the brush's handle?

Because I have and like the SOC finest brush I'm assuming I'd like this knot. I like the look of the handle, too, and it would certainly "go with" my Muramasa adjustable.

Searching around for reviews I found a pass around done by gentlemen who tend to shave against the grain. Most liked the brush. A common criticism was the handle being too small in diameter.


Ian's Oumo Mixed.640.2-17-21.JPG

1-3-22.Muramasa.CK-6.CH3.Manchurian.640.JPG


I have at least one handle which is great even though I'd think it way to small in diameter, but I tend to prefer fat handles. The butterscotch above has great ergonomics as does the CH3.

Happy shaves and thanks,

Jim
 
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Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
50 and 53 are the lofts specified by Tatara for their finest badger brush and Semogue for their SOC finest badger brush respectively. Naturally there will be some ± tolerances. From my experience Semogue usually get their lofts to ±1mm of the spec.


I see that Semogue has what looks to be a similar knot with the same specified nominal loft in their Torga C5 finest badger.


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I don't have any of their C brushes. (I have only SOC or SOC-looking.)

You're probably right on the loft measurements, Cal. I'm not good enough at measuring lofts to be sure about them within that degree of tolerance. I'm noticed numerous times that brushes are often, by my measurement, of lower loft than the vendor's measurements, but I'm not particularly speaking here of Semogue brushes. (Brushes which come to mind are Zeniths, but I'm not saying they're atypical. It may be Semogue measurements are atypical in being very accurate.)

Generally I trust the manufacturers (and Rudy Vey) on lofts. Generally I don't care all that much about a brush's loft as long as the brush "works." Mostly my problem brushes have had lofts which were too high, but not all of them.


12-31-21.Tatara.SS-NIL.70:30.640.JPG


This one brush is the only brush I've made myself. I've raised its loft by the height of four US quarter dollar coins, and it's still not right. It may be a tad better, but only a tad, with the higher loft. Or, it could be the knot (a 70/30) is an outlier, and just not a good 70/30 knot.


9-1-21.Jade.Omega.6210.SilvertipBadger.640.JPG


Speaking of too high lofts, this Omega Jade 6210 has major problems. It's not useable. It's my worst brush purchase in a long time. Makes me wonder if the Omega 6209 would be better, but I'm not buying it to find out.

I love the same handle in my boar, but this is a bad badger according to me.


The differences between the 6210 and the 6209 are in knot size (26/25) and loft (57/55). At best, I bought the wrong one. At worst, they're both bad.


1641748023880.png



Getting back to this Tatara brush. Much about it is very appealing to me, but I've gotten very picky about both handles and knots. (Of course, that comes with experience.)

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
Excellent brush introduction and write up. Thanks so much for it.

Having used the brush for a while now, how do you like it? How does it compare to other brushes you're familiar with? What are the ergonomics of the brush's handle?

Because I have and like the SOC finest brush I'm assuming I'd like this knot. I like the look of the handle, too, and it would certainly "go with" my Muramasa adjustable.

Searching around for reviews I found a pass around done by gentlemen who tend to shave against the grain. Most liked the brush. A common criticism was the handle being too small in diameter.




I have at least one handle which is great even though I'd think it way to small in diameter, but I tend to prefer fat handles. The butterscotch above has great ergonomics as does the CH3.

Happy shaves and thanks,

Jim

The feel is that of the SOC but the have been is different due to the shorter loft, which is very nice!

The handle is a little small but very ergonomic so that shouldn't really be a concern unless you have hands like an NBA player!

The dimples on the handle do provide some extra grip so it doesn't feel slippery.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
The feel is that of the SOC but the have been is different due to the shorter loft, which is very nice!

The handle is a little small but very ergonomic so that shouldn't really be a concern unless you have hands like an NBA player!

The dimples on the handle do provide some extra grip so it doesn't feel slippery.


What's the have been?
 
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