What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

The Summer of Semogue

I haven't really ever given Semogues a fair shake, having owned a few here and there for too short a time to seriously evaluate them. Anyway, after bunches of Omegas (some of which I will always keep) and a few other boars, it's time for a summer of Semogue.

At some point after acquiring a Mistura Semogue last year, I decided to try out the 1250. I like it, and I think it's just now coming into its own. As I've gradually moved toward eliminating my badgers, I've realized none of them is quite what I want, and I decided I might try an even scrubbier, shorter-lofted boar. Around that time, the Torga C5 appeared on the redone Semogue site. Ordered.

While I am breaking in the C5, I decided I might like a smaller but still-scrubby knot. I snagged a 1470. I put an 830 in the cart, too. Upon use, I decided the 1470 was good but might be better with the 610 handle, and while I was at it, I bought a 620. These are still en route. I have an 1800 in the house, too. So my Semogue collection has gotten a bit large...

Anyway, I figure I'll spend the summer mixing it up with these, breaking them all in and deciding which one(s) is/are my favorite(s). Early lead goes to the 1250, but the 1470 is coming on strong. I haven't even used the 830 yet. None of them have 10 lathers on them yet, except that 1250 with maybe 15-20 lathers.

I'm a longtime lover of boar. I am a brush junkie generally, but I have gradually shed most of my badgers (two more to sell). Boars, though, fascinate me more. They evolve so much over time, and there is actually a good bit of variety in feel given the limited number of different companies producing boar brushes.

Before it's over, I might pick up an SOC, because what's a Semogue summer without it, but as it stands, I think I've got every other boar knot Semogue makes in the house here or on its way. Should be fun.
 
I, like you, have had a few Semogues and have settled on the 1470, as well as my Omega 011842. While I admit I am looking for a badger to add to my arsenal, since I don’t have one... I have to say I really like the 1470. I was suffering from som ingrown hairs on my neck about 2 years ago, and switching to a boar from a synthetic- helped solve the problem. Enjoy your new brushes.
 
That is a great summer project! I only have one shave on both my Butterscotch SOC and Torga C5 but they are definitely nice brushes. My 830 is well on its way to a broken in brush and I enjoy it immensely. I agree about the different personalities of Boar brushes. I wish you luck and hope you post your thoughts. Hmmm. I don’t have a 1250 or 1470...aaagh, embrace the madness.
 
Excellent! Eagerly waiting for your findings.

Semogue offers great knot variety and some of the most ergonomic handles. Have fun! :)
 
Terrific shave with the 1250 today. I had loads of lather for three passes. There was plenty of backbone, although the 1470 is (so far) a bit scrubbier. This is my most broken-in Semogue. I will call it 20 lathers now, and there are still some tips that haven't split, but it's farther along than any of my others.

I won't buy the 1305 for now, because the 830 is so similar (albeit more dense). I don't really dig the painted wood handles. OTOH, I am not getting an 820 because it would be redundant compared to the 1250. If it turns out I prefer the handle shape of the 1250 to the 830, and I really love the 830 knot, perhaps the 1305 will be under consideration.

I only face lather and favor some backbone, but one big ol' plush brush would be nice for variety. Will it be the 2000? Omega 49?

I would really like to have no more than 6 brushes. An Omega 10005 will be one of them. The other 5 spots could fall to Semogues or my Mondial boar. The Mistura may hang around, too. So that leaves room for what, 3-4 of the Semogue boars? That would be ideal.
 
Go for the 2000 - you will love it, @TBoner. The SOC boar is almost too much boar for its 24 mm package. On paper, the 2000 seems to kind of miss the mark but in your hand it's magic - great premium knot and the older style handle fits like a glove.

I am right there with you. Before March, I owned two Semogues: a SOC 2-band finest and a SOC boar. Since March I have bought a 1305, a 1250, a 2015 HD, a SOC Mistura with a cherry handle, and a 2000 with an ash handle. And I now have my eyes on the 1520 and the 1800. What a great year for brushes!
 
Terrific shave with the 1250 today. I had loads of lather for three passes. There was plenty of backbone, although the 1470 is (so far) a bit scrubbier...

I only face lather and favor some backbone, but one big ol' plush brush would be nice for variety. Will it be the 2000? Omega 49?...
I would get the 2000 instead of the SOC. The 2000 does what you would expect the SOC to do with a pleasant firm backbone.

I love the Omega 49, but I would consider the Zenith B03-A26 or B02-A28; I think they are better than the Semogue SOC in practice. The SOC blooms to a huge ball of boar hair.

zenith-pure-bristle-aluminum-b02-a28.jpg
 
Last edited:
From all the standard models plus a couple of the LE's, my favorites are the 1800 and 1305.

These are the only two semogues I have kept in the den.
 
I have 610 same knot with the 1470 but different handle and love it. Semogues need more time to fully break in than Omegas. Semogues eat lather till they are ready. Glad to hear that you setteled on 1470 so far :)
 
Terrific shave with the 1250 today. I had loads of lather for three passes. There was plenty of backbone, although the 1470 is (so far) a bit scrubbier. This is my most broken-in Semogue. I will call it 20 lathers now, and there are still some tips that haven't split, but it's farther along than any of my others.

I won't buy the 1305 for now, because the 830 is so similar (albeit more dense). I don't really dig the painted wood handles. OTOH, I am not getting an 820 because it would be redundant compared to the 1250. If it turns out I prefer the handle shape of the 1250 to the 830, and I really love the 830 knot, perhaps the 1305 will be under consideration.

I only face lather and favor some backbone, but one big ol' plush brush would be nice for variety. Will it be the 2000? Omega 49?

I would really like to have no more than 6 brushes. An Omega 10005 will be one of them. The other 5 spots could fall to Semogues or my Mondial boar. The Mistura may hang around, too. So that leaves room for what, 3-4 of the Semogue boars? That would be ideal.
So the question is. What are you going to do with the ones that don’t make the 6??
 
Go for the 2000 - you will love it, @TBoner. The SOC boar is almost too much boar for its 24 mm package. On paper, the 2000 seems to kind of miss the mark but in your hand it's magic - great premium knot and the older style handle fits like a glove.

I am right there with you. Before March, I owned two Semogues: a SOC 2-band finest and a SOC boar. Since March I have bought a 1305, a 1250, a 2015 HD, a SOC Mistura with a cherry handle, and a 2000 with an ash handle. And I now have my eyes on the 1520 and the 1800. What a great year for brushes!
I will bust out the 2000 again soon. I really liked the one I owned back when, and I should have kept it. The one I currently have has seen about 8-10 lathers. It's a nice brush. I'd love your impressions on all of those Semogues you've picked up. I wouldn't mind hearing about the 2-band even.

I would get the 2000 instead of the SOC. The 2000 does what you would expect the SOC to do with a pleasant firm backbone.

I love the Omega 49, but I would consider the Zenith B03-A26 or B02-A28; I think they are better than the Semogue SOC in practice. The SOC blooms to a huge ball of boar hair.

View attachment 1119984
Yeah, I know Zenith does good stuff, and I have eyed the olive wood handle for ages. Maybe once the Semogue summer is over.

I forgot to add that depending on where you buy a 2000, you can get the brush with an ash or beech handle.
I'm intrigued. Who carries the ash handle?

From all the standard models plus a couple of the LE's, my favorites are the 1800 and 1305.

These are the only two semogues I have kept in the den.
It was your comments on the 1800 that convinced me to try it. Digging through old threads, your description made it sound totally unique. So far, it just eats lather, but it's only got 5 lathers on it.

I have 610 same knot with the 1470 but different handle and love it. Semogues need more time to fully break in than Omegas. Semogues eat lather till they are ready. Glad to hear that you setteled on 1470 so far :)
I like the look of that 610 handle. Mine should arrive tomorrow or Friday. The 610/620 pairing appeals to me: two different but similar scrubby face-lathering machines, according to the reviews I have read.

The Torga was really nice today, but I have to admit that even still, I kept thinking that I'm not sure it does anything better than the 1470.

So the question is. What are you going to do with the ones that don’t make the 6??
Haha. Some will be sold, some PIF'd. I am trying to reduce clutter. Even 6 is too many, but it lets me use each one for 60 shaves a year, which is enough to really enjoy having a given brush. When I only use a particular instrument once or twice a year, the joy of having it isn't really there. That's fine for things that are meant only to be perfunctory, but to me a shave brush can be more than that for not much money. A good, well-broken in Omega boar and some Speick soap is wonderfully luxurious and breaks down to pennies per shave. Hoping a couple of these Semogues satisfy in the same way.
 
I started with a 620. Later I added a 610, which I like a little better than the 620. With a Christmas bonus I purchased an SOC 2-band. And recently I bought a Torga C5 boar. With the exception of the Torga, none of them took much break in at all.
 
I'd love your impressions on all of those Semogues you've picked up. I wouldn't mind hearing about the 2-band even.
Keep in mind that I am still breaking in the boars:
  • The 1250 is a tough customer capable of chewing up any soap. Very firm. Feels like a smaller, firmer SOC. I like the plain ash handle a lot.
  • The 1305 seems to fit the sweet spot. The knot is a little softer than the 1250. Great 22 mm brush. The dyed hair and painted handle are growing on me.
  • The 2015 HD is a terrific 22 mm 2-band finest badger brush. It's a little lather machine with soft tips and ample backbone, and a great cherry handle. The fact that you can get this brush delivered for under $65, makes it a terrific choice for someone wanting to try a badger. Think of this brush as a younger brother/sister to the SOC 2-band finest.
  • I was a little skeptical about a boar/badger mix, but the SOC Mistura has exceeded my expectations. Wonderful brush that nicely blends the positives of both boar and badger.
I know that Semogue is best known for their boars, but their SOC and 2015 HD are terrific 2-band finest badgers, and Semogue is clearly selective about the badger hair they use and their overall build quality.

Who carries the ash handle?
This is what I see on the web:
  • Portuguese Factory and Vintage Scent carry the 2000 in ash.
  • Italian Barber and Maggard carry the 2000 in beech.
  • Gifts and Care in oak.
  • West Coast Shaving doesn't specify.
My rationale for buying the 2000 in ash was I read that beech is known to absorb water and Babe Ruth used ash bats.
 
Right now I have 3 Semogue brushes and two more on the way from the Portuguese Factory. All of them are boar. Definitely make sure to pick up an SOC, it’s my favorite even over some more expensive badger brushes I own.
 
Top Bottom