What's new

Saponificio Varesino Artisanal 2.0 a quick review

Just a quick review of the 2.0 versions of the brush offerings from Saponificio Varesino.

The new brushes, like the older version are crowned with your choice of a pewter or gold topper at the base of the knot. The brush is marketed as a 26x50 High Mountain Manchurian White Badger ( a mouth full ). My personal opinion is that the knot type is exactly that Marketing, as I don't think that the HMMW has a nametag.

That being said it does not suffer from performance in that regard, so to me it could be armpit hair from the monster on Big Trouble in Little China, and I would still love this knot.

I did not have calipers to get exact measurements, but it is extremely soft right out of the gate, but without lacking backbone, and the density of the knot is very nice.

It is a hefty brush and is a bit larger than the Paladin PK-47, of which mine has a 28x50 fan.

The brushes come in a variety of flavors from wood to various faux resins, I chose the faux ivory. The presentation and packing is typical of Saponificio Varesino and could, I guess be called opulent, I prefer just very fine quality.

Pre Blooms:

The brush post bloom is an umbrella and very easy to load, and the water retention and flow thru are fantastic. It seems to love all soaps, as I do my "break-in" magic with shampoo and MWF, and it proved to lather MWF like no-ones business.

The fit and finish of this brush are top-notch and scream being handmade and with the quality and attention to detail that Italian Artisans are known for. The deep etching on the Crown match all the other branding as well.

Post Bloom and size comparison to PK-47:


Although I do not post Lather pictures, the performance of this brush is fantastic and used with any soap the load is easy, and only a small amount of water was needed to have enough lather to shave a small county.

Shape and hand feel is ergonomically very good, although again, it is a big thick brush. Soap release is very easy, but no overly so, and moisture retention, again, keeps the lather very nice with no re-loading or additional water needed though a three pass + clean up straight shave.

Unique to this brush is the stand and shown below in my SOTD photo, and is made of ebony with a small retention edge that fits the crown perfectly and puts the brush in a nice angle for display or while shaving ( Stand is extra ).

Also Saponificio Varesino has introduced a matching soap dish to most of the brush offerings making it is nice "Matched shave" for those of us that are OCD with our shave set-ups.

Stand Picture:


Currently I believe the brush is only available directly from the Saponificio online store, with the various flavors retailing from $168.00 - $190.00, with another offering of a custom brush starting at $128.00.

these can be found HERE

Admittedly, I am very Pro SV, however when compared to the other high end brushes it ranks at or very near the top. Would I buy again, Absolutely.

This is not an in-expensive brush, but fits right in with the other priced manufacturers on the top end of the price scale.

Overall Performance ( 1-10 )

Fit & Finish - 10
Knot Feel - 10
Flow thru - 9
Face Feel - 10
Water retention - 9
Ergonomics - 9
Price - 7 ( but again relative to what you like )
How it competes with the Big Boys - 10

Summary: It you are looking for a high end brush, this offering from Saponificio Varesino is well worth your consideration, and it should be noted shipping is lightning fast ( 4 days from ordering to door Via Fed ex ) and the Folks at AV are a pleasure to work with.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.
Coincidentally, Dave, my SV brush just landed today. I ordered the Tortoise with gold pewter ring. I have read some very favorable reviews, in addition to yours, so am anxiously awaiting my ability to add to them. Congratulations!

As mentioned, I received my faux-tortoise shell brush this week, mine crowned with a golden pewter ring. The presentation is very classy, the veneer wooden tube and leather closure are delicate and unique, probably the nicest I have ever seen, but I didn't buy this brush for the box.

The brush had a nice protective foam fabric wrapped around the pewter ring to protect it on it's long yet very quick journey. It also came with a descriptive card held in place by the leather strap telling about the knot, handle and pewter ring construction. I noticed a bit of dust clinging to the handle which I easily wiped off, this probably came from the wooden container and should have been avoided at the factory by stepping up the finishing process, but I'm nitpicking really.

After wiping off the dust and removing the protective foam I tested the ergonomics and measured the obviously larger than advertised knot, listed as 26mm on the website. As expected the handle is a bit hefty due to the pewter ring, but it is indeed well balanced. The hair used for this knot are clearly well sorted and feels very soft right out of the box. Putting my calipers to use I measure a knot diameter of 30mm with a loft of 51mm. Density is respectable, but not what I would consider to be on the high-end.

The faux-tortoise resin is translucent, allowing ambient light to easily penetrate and making the contrasting colors pop. The shape of the handle is nice, but nothing imaginative, nor impressive. With the pewter crown though, it does pass the eye test.

View attachment 663618
Using the brush for today's SOTD, I can easily declare this brush as worthy. With over 100 brushes in my collection and over 200 others that have been passed along, I have a very clear understanding of my preferences and tolerances. This brush is not only adequate in performance, it is downright enjoyable to use. I typically prefer handles under 60mm in height, with 50-55mm being my sweet-spot. This handle comes in just slightly taller at 63mm. The knot is the true star of the show here with moderate backbone and splay, gravitating much more to firm than soft, and the tips are very soft from the get-go. Face lathering was so enjoyable that I spent more time working the lather than necessary, something I enjoy doing when I have a brush that feels this nice.

People will want to know how this brush compares to other high-end brushes on the market and I am always hesitant to offer comparisons given the vast difference in experiences and variances in hair quality over time as manufacturer's go through different batches of hair. Also given that I have only used the brush once I don't feel that I am ready to make such a determination. I will say that the brush is absolutely worth the near $200 it took to acquire and would proudly give a thumbs up to those looking for a recommendation.
Last edited:
I was trying to decide between this new SV brush or a Paladin. The decision is now made to get the SV. Any further uses/comments on the SV?

If I told you it would be easy to find another 30mm two-band brush with this density and softness, at this price, I'd be a liar.
Hey Dave, just how quickly do you want to see me in the poor house? I visit the website a couple of times a week and drool. Eventually it will be in my collection, it is so very beautiful. Thanks for the review, it just stoked my BAD!

Just trying to help out a fellow Zonie, Dan. Besides now that 1-17 is shut down you are isolated, LOL:thumbup1:
Top Bottom