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Too many brush choices!

With so many brushes out there is there really a big performance difference from $20 to 30$ brushes and $30 to $100 brushes? Synthetic vs best badger vs silvertip? The choices are confusing! I see Parker and Vikings blade brushes are highly rated. I have thick stubble and like a brush that exfoliates and makes good lather. What are some good recommendations? Right now I’m using an Edwin jagger best badger and EJ mug with tobs but are there better options for soaps?
 
You can get a great performance out of a $10 synthetic. I feel that price range varies more with the looks, feel, and the uniqueness of the brush. I can shave with my Maggard synthetic for the rest of my life as it performs excellently. At the same time, I love the look of custom made artisan brushes and the feel of SHD badger knots so I have a couple in my rotation.
 
The maggard synthetic looks decent for a 10 dollar brush. Any downside with synthetic other than not being as soft? Are they much more prickly feeling than a best badger?
 
Ok, here's a plan. Buy a cheap resin handle for around $10. You can find them at Whipped Dog as well as other sites. Then buy either a Maggards SHD knot or an Elite Manchurian Fan knot and pick up a tube of silicone at the local hardware store for around six bucks. You'll have to choose the handle size based on the knot size. 24mm, 26mm, 28mm, etc.

When you have all of the items in hand you can place a little silicone in the handle and insert the knot. Not too much as you'll want to get the knot back out with a good tug. Let it dry overnight and it should stay in there nicely. I have several brushes that the knots have been in this way for years. You don't have to use the five minute epoxy that'll necessitate you destroying the handle or the knot to save the other.

If it's a 24mm knot then start at around 50mm for the loft. I use a cheap set of calipers from Harbor Freight that cost me like twelve bucks. Too much backbone pull the knot and raise it up. Not enough pull it and install it at a lower loft. You can pull and reinstall it several times to test various lofts.

Now you have an excellent performing brush for maybe $40 to $60 or so. You also know what the loft you prefer for this knot is. You can stop here as you have an excellent performing knot in an ok handle.

Later on for your Birthday or whatever occasion, you can order a custom handle from one of the exceptional handle makers like Wolf Whiskers or Mozingo Brushworks for somewhere between $70 and $100. Just pull the knot and reinstall it into the new handle in the same way as before and you have an exceptional brush.
 
Ok, here's a plan. Buy a cheap resin handle for around $10. You can find them at Whipped Dog as well as other sites. Then buy either a Maggards SHD knot or an Elite Manchurian Fan knot and pick up a tube of silicone at the local hardware store for around six bucks. You'll have to choose the handle size based on the knot size. 24mm, 26mm, 28mm, etc.

When you have all of the items in hand you can place a little silicone in the handle and insert the knot. Not too much as you'll want to get the knot back out with a good tug. Let it dry overnight and it should stay in there nicely. I have several brushes that the knots have been in this way for years. You don't have to use the five minute epoxy that'll necessitate you destroying the handle or the knot to save the other.

If it's a 24mm knot then start at around 50mm for the loft. I use a cheap set of calipers from Harbor Freight that cost me like twelve bucks. Too much backbone pull the knot and raise it up. Not enough pull it and install it at a lower loft. You can pull and reinstall it several times to test various lofts.

Now you have an excellent performing brush for maybe $40 to $60 or so. You also know what the loft you prefer for this knot is. You can stop here as you have an excellent performing knot in an ok handle.

Later on for your Birthday or whatever occasion, you can order a custom handle from one of the exceptional handle makers like Wolf Whiskers or Mozingo Brushworks for somewhere between $70 and $100. Just pull the knot and reinstall it into the new handle in the same way as before and you have an exceptional brush.
Good idea
 
The maggard synthetic looks decent for a 10 dollar brush. Any downside with synthetic other than not being as soft? Are they much more prickly feeling than a best badger?
Only downside that I notice is that the feel of the bristles feel more springy than the natural hairs. They're still soft but it's a slight difference.
 
Only downside that I notice is that the feel of the bristles feel more springy than the natural hairs. They're still soft but it's a slight difference.
Good info thanks. I might order one of those to compare to the Edwin jagger I currently use. Might look for a silver tip also to see what the hype is all about lol
 
My two cents opinion is that in SOME cases there is a big difference with Badger hair, but so far my favorite synthetic is the Razorock Bruce regular handle which cost me a whopping $20.

As for the badger brushes, for me the Simpson Chubby 3 in Manchurian is the best knot I've ever used...it is pricey, but no one ever remembered what they paid, but rather how long the item they bought has lasted, and I've that brush for around 15 years without an issue. I also think Declaration - Batches B2 through B9, Shavemac 2-band Silvertip, and Rooney Heritage and 2-band varieties are better than anything on the market today. A very close 4th are the Viking Soaps Odin's Beard Brushes that Andrew is making. What makes these unique it that he treats the hair himself and turns his own handles. It's not a hand-tied knot, but it also doesn't command extreme prices, either.

But brushes are VERY subjective, and what might work for you may not for me or anyone else. As usual YMMV, but I prefer quality, and I'm not afraid to pay for it.
 
My two cents opinion is that in SOME cases there is a big difference with Badger hair, but so far my favorite synthetic is the Razorock Bruce regular handle which cost me a whopping $20.

As for the badger brushes, for me the Simpson Chubby 3 in Manchurian is the best knot I've ever used...it is pricey, but no one ever remembered what they paid, but rather how long the item they bought has lasted, and I've that brush for around 15 years without an issue. I also think Declaration - Batches B2 through B9, Shavemac 2-band Silvertip, and Rooney Heritage and 2-band varieties are better than anything on the market today. A very close 4th are the Viking Soaps Odin's Beard Brushes that Andrew is making. What makes these unique it that he treats the hair himself and turns his own handles. It's not a hand-tied knot, but it also doesn't command extreme prices, either.

But brushes are VERY subjective, and what might work for you may not for me or anyone else. As usual YMMV, but I prefer quality, and I'm not afraid to pay for it.
I sent you a message, Justin
 
My two cents opinion is that in SOME cases there is a big difference with Badger hair, but so far my favorite synthetic is the Razorock Bruce regular handle which cost me a whopping $20.

As for the badger brushes, for me the Simpson Chubby 3 in Manchurian is the best knot I've ever used...it is pricey, but no one ever remembered what they paid, but rather how long the item they bought has lasted, and I've that brush for around 15 years without an issue. I also think Declaration - Batches B2 through B9, Shavemac 2-band Silvertip, and Rooney Heritage and 2-band varieties are better than anything on the market today. A very close 4th are the Viking Soaps Odin's Beard Brushes that Andrew is making. What makes these unique it that he treats the hair himself and turns his own handles. It's not a hand-tied knot, but it also doesn't command extreme prices, either.

But brushes are VERY subjective, and what might work for you may not for me or anyone else. As usual YMMV, but I prefer quality, and I'm not afraid to pay for it.
Thanks for the info. I know everyone needs what works for them. Out of all you listed what one is your favorite? Wondering also what your lather of choice is to pair with it?
 
Thanks for the info. I know everyone needs what works for them. Out of all you listed what one is your favorite? Wondering also what your lather of choice is to pair with it?
Out of all my high end brushes my personal favorite is my Simpson Eagle G3 in Manchurian, with my Chubby 3 Manchurian second and a Declaration Mozingo B3 hybrid as a very close third. For best lather, I have a tie with Nuavia Verde and Martin de Candre Agrumes, which has a citrus scent.
 
I think the Maggard SHD knots are underrated and a great choice if you want to try out a premium brush. Once I got the loft right it they turned out to be exceptional. with a 28mm knot I use a 50mm loft. I am not a fan of a ton of backbone so if you are I suggest going lower.
 

sarimento1

Contributor
With so many brushes out there is there really a big performance difference from $20 to 30$ brushes and $30 to $100 brushes? Synthetic vs best badger vs silvertip? The choices are confusing! I see Parker and Vikings blade brushes are highly rated. I have thick stubble and like a brush that exfoliates and makes good lather. What are some good recommendations? Right now I’m using an Edwin jagger best badger and EJ mug with tobs but are there better options for soaps?

Welcome to B&B, Sir Justin!!

And, how extremely perceptive you are at this early stage!!

Many, many great choices!!

Try several, focus on quality, and you'll rarely go wrong!!

brushes in bins.jpg
 
Thank you for the welcome and the kind words. You have a lot of brushes! I’m sure you know your way around pretty good! Probably put a few miles worth of lather down! Lol what are the 2 on the top of the stacks? I’m guessing your preferences?
 
I would recommend a semogue 1305 honestly for the money it cannot be beat in terms of lather generating performance and face feel
 
I started with an Edwin Jagger silvertip and bowl lathering. If I had it to do over again and my advice if you want exfoliation and good lather, grab a Simpson chubby within your budget and face lather. I get my best lather from my Chubby 2 silvertip, Chubby 2 synthetic, and Declaration B8. IMO Simpsons just have a knack for building great lather.

For soaps, Declaration milk steak base is tops for me right now. In terms of classic soaps, I used Tabac exclusively for what seemed like an entire year.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
If you want to try boar, the Omega 10066 is a great performer for about $10. Plenty of backbone for exfoliation. Definitely a change from badger.
 
So, you have come to a place where you are going to get a bunch of answers and most will end with you trying a bunch of things. Personally, I was using one badger brush from the Art of Shaving for years. Then I got an Omega S-brush, then a Cremo Horse Hair, then A bunch of DSCosmetic Synthetics, and finally an Omega 10049 boar.

With the badgers you may need to clean them to get rid of a smell, but they will be ready to use as far as feel goes basically out of the box in my experience.

Boars need time to break it. I just got done using my Omega 10049 Pro Boar for 30 days straight and it needed a two day break in to be useable for my skin. It is now one of my favorites. It still needs some more break in as it eats lather at times depending on the soap or cream I am using.

My Omega S-Brush which is synthetic needed about a 30 day break it as well. It now has an unusual shape, but works wonderfully.

I have tried two of my DSCosmetic Synthetics (Kensurfs Limited Edition, and a Sinatra Lennon). They are both super easy to make an amazing lather with so far, and they hold up to fairly hard use. They have a slightly unusual springy feel to them if you are concerned about that. It personally only bothers me when I am coming from my Boar.

I have a horse hair and haven't loved it nearly as much as the Boar or Badger. I find that the way I lather on the puck of soap creates a fair amount of tangles if I get lazy with the brush and do not condition it and de-tangle it after every couple of shaves. Great lather creator, but I hate fussy equipment personally. It also might just be the one I have, so don't let my experience guide you on that. I am still considering another horse in the future.

Overall, I would say look at an Omega Boar Brush since it is super cheap $8-10. A good synthetic either DSCosmetic, APShave Co, Yaqi, or other around the $10-25 range. If you don't mind spending a little more on a boar then get Semogue, or Zenith $15-40.

Personally, I still have 4 more DSCosmetic brushes to try, a RazoRock Plissoft to try, a Maggard 2 Band Badger, and a Maggard Synthetic. I still want to get a Semogue Owner's Club in cherry, and a zenith Copper both are boar brushes.

I haven't even considered a custom yet. But in the future I am sure I will. Good luck with your shave brush decisions. You most likely will have to try a few to find out what you really like.
 
So, you have come to a place where you are going to get a bunch of answers and most will end with you trying a bunch of things. Personally, I was using one badger brush from the Art of Shaving for years. Then I got an Omega S-brush, then a Cremo Horse Hair, then A bunch of DSCosmetic Synthetics, and finally an Omega 10049 boar.

With the badgers you may need to clean them to get rid of a smell, but they will be ready to use as far as feel goes basically out of the box in my experience.

Boars need time to break it. I just got done using my Omega 10049 Pro Boar for 30 days straight and it needed a two day break in to be useable for my skin. It is now one of my favorites. It still needs some more break in as it eats lather at times depending on the soap or cream I am using.

My Omega S-Brush which is synthetic needed about a 30 day break it as well. It now has an unusual shape, but works wonderfully.

I have tried two of my DSCosmetic Synthetics (Kensurfs Limited Edition, and a Sinatra Lennon). They are both super easy to make an amazing lather with so far, and they hold up to fairly hard use. They have a slightly unusual springy feel to them if you are concerned about that. It personally only bothers me when I am coming from my Boar.

I have a horse hair and haven't loved it nearly as much as the Boar or Badger. I find that the way I lather on the puck of soap creates a fair amount of tangles if I get lazy with the brush and do not condition it and de-tangle it after every couple of shaves. Great lather creator, but I hate fussy equipment personally. It also might just be the one I have, so don't let my experience guide you on that. I am still considering another horse in the future.

Overall, I would say look at an Omega Boar Brush since it is super cheap $8-10. A good synthetic either DSCosmetic, APShave Co, Yaqi, or other around the $10-25 range. If you don't mind spending a little more on a boar then get Semogue, or Zenith $15-40.

Personally, I still have 4 more DSCosmetic brushes to try, a RazoRock Plissoft to try, a Maggard 2 Band Badger, and a Maggard Synthetic. I still want to get a Semogue Owner's Club in cherry, and a zenith Copper both are boar brushes.

I haven't even considered a custom yet. But in the future I am sure I will. Good luck with your shave brush decisions. You most likely will have to try a few to find out what you really like.
Great overview!

My taste: I have Semogue (2), Zenith (2), unbranded (several), vintage boar knots, and self-lofted boar knots purchased from a couple sources. I rotate through them all. If I could only have one boar brush from a major brand it would be an Omega. Semogue is a close second. Zenith not so much.
 
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