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Simpsons Duke 3 Platinum Fibre Review

I have a Duke 3 and Chubby 2, both with the Platinum fiber. My Chubby did change for the better (opened up more and less rigid) after about 10-12 shaves, but that never really happened with the Duke. I still enjoy the Duke, but I like the Chubby a lot more.
I find this is consistent with my usage too. I can say for sure that platinum is as soft as stf- and definitely feels luxurious. But yeah I think the flaw is that they are following the specs of badger models in terms of dimensions thinking they bloom but they don't. Its one thing I prefer about Muhle - their commitment to innovate. I would really hate to get rid of the Duke so I think I may need to innovate for them and change out the knot with the handle!
My initial impression was "soft but stiff bristles" as well. Keep using it. The stiffness will loosen up a bit after about 40 or so shaves. @awk_m4 actually pointed this out to me, and I am very glad I worked through the break-in period.
Just a quick update: My CH2 has been used 87 times its just fantastic!

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Hi everyone! I am really excited to finally review the Simpsons Duke 3 Platinum Fibre. e I have wanted a brush with this material for a little while and recently in the Black friday sale on Simpsons I saw they were offering a Duke 3 in this material for ~£60 with shipping - I couldn't resist.

Below is my method to reviewing the brush;

I aim to review different categories pertinent to the brush, explain my use case- the dimensions as well as performance to conclude with a final review. Although I will be ranking certain fields (apart from quantifiable aspects) 0-5, instead of giving a final average of 0-5 (so as to not bias max backbone where 0 is no backbone and 5 is max - but max is not necessarily the best) I will give a bottom line with the good, the bad and my final thoughts.

Takeaways: some key takeaways for those who don't want to read the full review; Simpsons platinum fibre requires a break in period; Simpsons platinum fibre has the strongest backbone (potentially owing to the density of the night); and yet seems ever so slightly softer than the Mühle STF; although this dense of a brush does not splay very easily, or should I say typically, there are ways of using the brush to exfoliate which I have found to be very effective and enjoyable. The brush is costly the handle is short on occasion, water/leather drips down the side.

The Brush:

View attachment 1760891

My Use Case: Face lathering from a bowl of TOBS Sandalwood (never gets old!) with a 34c (hello old friend) and an astra platinum (wowzah!)


Cost: ~£53 (2023) (note this was a sale price I got during black Friday) this brush typically costs 69.95 in faux ivory on their website.
Weight: 69g
Knot Width: 23mm
Knot Height: 48 mm
Knot Density (observable): high
Handle Height: 47cm

Fibre Performance;

Water Retention: 4/5
Heat Retention: 4/5
Backbone: 5/5
Splay: 2(3)/5
Softness Factor: 3/5
Scrub Factor: 5/5
Bounce/ Spring Factor: 1/5
Realism Factor (for synths): 3/5
Glue Bump Factor: 2/5
Precise Factor (when painting): 4/5
Flow Through: 3/5

The good: The first obvious thing (besides the absolutely gorgeous resin) is the backbone; the fibres here can be used almost like a toothbrush to lather. This fibre is very soft when painting on lather. I would add that they bristles - for having such back bone - rival and I would dare say excel Muhle STF in softness. It has great water and heat retention.

The bad: I face lather so splay is meaningful to me; so far I am kinda disappointed with splay on this brush. The density of the knot is almost too dense! Even though there is a steel plate in the bottom, it is still fairy light at 69g. Also I wasn't too happy to see that some hairs were actually set upside down. Using this brush, also involved a learning curve; basically, if I left any water in the brush at all, it had a tendency to drip down the handle. This is also true with lather.

The neutral: the color is what it is, the handle is a subjective thing as far as material and shape goes. Size preference is subjective.

Final Thoughts: after using the brush, the first couple times, I found that I had mixed emotions. That said, I'm starting to really enjoy using the brush and I want to confirm I do feel there is a break in with Simpsons brushes that use platinum fibre given their density. The knot is so dense it is hard to splay, for a face latherer this is disappointing- even though it has gotten easier. I absolutely adore this color, though the handle is not necessarily the most ergonomic. The brush is costly. When watching an online review of this brush (
) they described the brush as having 51mm loft, but now on the website it reads as 48. This difference might seem small, but owing to the density which gives the impression of a slight glue bump (even though it's actually much smaller), this brush feels even smaller than its specs. The bristles are profound, in that they are incredibly soft and yet have substantial backbone although one could attribute the backbone to the density of the night perhaps more than the material I couldn't be sure.

I want to add some folks have pointed out that certain synthetics require break in period. I can say, with certainty that the brush felt substantially different on its second and third use than when I first used it; I noticed that the bristles felt softer and bent ever so slightly easier meaning that splay was a little bit more possible.

I have included some additional photos of the brush, and also a side-by-side comparison of the Aesop brush, which some may say is built by Edwin Jagger, using by Edwin Jagger, using Muhle STF.


I also want to add that part of using a brush with this stout of a loft is to essentially paint on the lather, and then perform a sort of swirling motion, using the centre point backbone as a pivoting point. In this sense, it is different from the typical splay, where all of the hairs/bristles spread out across your face. Nonetheless, I find that I can get a really really effective exfoliation using this technique and in the end, the brush becomes a doodle to use dare I say, a delight!

I have found that the handle is a bit short, which means that I almost always get lather on my hand. For some, this may not be an issue, but for me personally, I find it a little bit annoying and takes away from the ritual as an act of self-care/cleaning. Subsequently, I am looking to get the M7 platinum fibre. I am convinced with a 50 mm loft (even just 2mm) and 22 mm knot width alongside the 60 mm handle the M7 might be in fact the single best face lathering brush the Simpson offers, even though I know it is marketed as a bowl lathering brush. I will report back if I decide to go to for that brush.
Thanks for your extended commentary. I recently went through lathering experiments with an Oumo ST-1 knot they may be relevant to you. Coming from the thoroughly intuitive behavior of a Mühle STF (XL) knot, I found water dripping down my arms with the Oumo. the ST-1 is purported to be similar to a G5C in general feel (unverified by me).

It took quite a bit of experimentation, but I finally settled on this method and the bonus is, that with very little modification, it works perfectly with my Mühle as well, so I don't have to memorize two different processes.

So far, I've also found these two synthetics to break in over time - settling in after about 25 shaves, so it comes as no surprise that you found this to be the case with your brush.

Regarding those who love shorter handles (count me in), I've been wrestling with specifying a handle for another STF knot. I love the Shavemac #86 handle that AP Shave Co is fitting to Mühle knots, and in surfing through Rudy Vey's mega thread, I showed him a picture of a candidate handle. Rudy replied that it's a Duke 3 style handle - one of the first ones he made. I was sold.

I don't mean to derail this thread, but at the same time, there may be some of you who love the Duke 3 handle but may not get on with the Sovereign or Platinum fibers - especially if you're face latherers and like to splay.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

... Thom
my Chubby 2 Platinum bristle (bought black Friday 2023) is very schritchy so much i do not enjoy using it. In its current state I Prefer the Trafalgar t3 that was less than halve the price. Note I mainly Facelather)
according to someone I spoke that owned multiple at some point the knots (bristles) changed and were no longer nice and soft like the previous version.
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