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Trying a few Manx (Simpson & Vulfix) small brushes

I must admit, I still prefer synthetics for travel, and I don't think that will ever change. They dry so much quicker, and even if there is a smidge of moisture left in when you pack, it's not going to spoil anything. It'll just need a bit of a wash later.
I did a morning shave before traveling back home and popped my Special in its travel tube and needless to say it smelled pretty musty when I got home haha. A vinegar soak did the trick but learned my lesson quick.
 
I must admit, I still prefer synthetics for travel, and I don't think that will ever change. They dry so much quicker, and even if there is a smidge of moisture left in when you pack, it's not going to spoil anything. It'll just need a bit of a wash later.

I completely agree with you 💯%!

Since getting my first synthetic brush, there is a couple of things that I've noticed.

(1) Synthetic doesn't soak up all the lather, leaving you lather to whip up and make right consistency!
(2) Synthetic doesn't need to be soaked in water, for it to hold water, it instantly has it upon dunking!
(3) Synthetic is much quicker to dry out when done, vs animal hair, which takes forever.

Proof of #3, is when I take a hair dryer on low to my synthetic brush, and move the hairs around as I dry, that brush gets dry far quicker then my extra dense 2-band silver tipped badger brush from Maseto!

You would never want to store a real animal hair brush, even just damp, inside a travel tube, without drying completely first, you will ruin the knot so fast doing that. But since a synthetic dries far quicker, you could conceivably, just leave it on the counter for awhile to dry before leaving your Hotel room. Or if you have to leave right away, just give the brush a quick dry with hair dryer.

You know what else I find about synthetic that is kind of fascinating to me? I couldn't believe how fast I was able to whip up a lather using shave soap, into a Yogurt like consistency today, I was super impressed by that. If I tried to whip it up with my badger, it would just soak it all up, and then I'd have to squeese the hairs to get the lather back out, to whip it up some more.

I think what my badger brush is better for, is face lathering to be honest, cause that, it doesn't amazingly well. But bowl lathering, you can forget it! lol.
 
(1) Synthetic doesn't soak up all the lather, leaving you lather to whip up and make right consistency!
(2) Synthetic doesn't need to be soaked in water, for it to hold water, it instantly has it upon dunking!
(3) Synthetic is much quicker to dry out when done, vs animal hair, which takes forever.
Agreed. I feel like I can load a lot less with my synthetic brushes and I can get to where I want to be lather wise a lot quicker. They certainly dry a lot quicker and you don't need to soak them. Admittedly, sometimes I grab a synthetic on super lazy days where I can't be bothered to plop a brush into a mug for a few minutes (1st word problems).

It's just that badger brush face feel though! I love my synths but I just never get that "luxary" goodness, ya know? It's all subjective. Feel, for me, outweighs the utlilatarian benefits of a good synth. Can't wait for the day where I find a good synthetic brush that blows my badgers out of the water. That day will come.
 
Cool idea for a thread, and will be following along!

I have the Special in pure, and wouldn't travel without it. I prefer it over my Classic 1 actually because of the longer handle. The Special is a sleeper in my opinion.
Discontinued afaik, so the Berkeley holds that place now.
 
Alrossa seems to keep the Special in stock on Amazon. Unsure how that affects things globally but I'm pretty sure the warehouse isn't too far from where I live actually.
Must be old stock then. Simpsons is now listing the Beaufort B1 and the Berkeley as cheapest Pure options and the Case and Berkeley as the cheapest Best brushes.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
1st shave with the Simpson Special in Best

Wilkinson Sword Classic razor
Wilkinson Sword blade (shave 32)
Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera mug soap

Lather:
With a well used blade such as this one, it's important for me to get a nice slick lather. This brush achieved that flawlessly and effortlessly. However, I did load lighter than with yesterday's test lather, and indeed I lathered too lightly. I had to go back to the soap for the second pass, but then there was more than enough for a third pass (which I didn't need). That was a familiarity issue (my error), not a brush failing.

Scrub:
I should say that today, I dunked the brush in cool water, and stood it on its handle, while I filled the sink and wet my face. Then I dunked the brush again in the warm sink water before loading. No soaking as such. This gave me plenty of scrub or presence to feel like I was using a natural hair brush, but not the deep heavy scrub I would want to exfoliate or free up an ingrown hair. As such I personally wouldn't consider this a scrubby brush.

Softness:
Post shave, I like to rinse my face by painting water on the face. With a soft brush this feels nice, makes less mess, and also helps free up any trapped soap deep in the knot. This wasn't super soft in this usage, but certainly soft enough.

Shedding:
Four more escapees today.

Other Notes:
Very pleasant shave. This should make for a nice "regular use" brush, but not an "I need a damn good scrub today" brush. The brush has opened up considerably already. I'll take new pictures after a few more shaves, to show the difference in the dry splay.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
1st shave with the Vulfix 403 Mayfair

Wilkinson Sword Classic razor
Wilkinson Sword blade (shave 33)
Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera mug soap

Lather:
This behaved (unsurprisingly) like a new boar. I only soaked it for a couple of minutes, which is fine for a broken in boar, and there wasn't a lot of bristle action. I got the lather I wanted, but had to work for it.

Scrub:
There's plenty of backbone on a short soak, but it's far too early to say how much scrub will be left when broken in.

Softness:
Errr ... No, not yet. However, it wasn't as scratchy as I thought it might be, when painting off the lather post shave. There is a little bit of warmth on the face too. Not exactly brush burn, but there was obviously more friction than is ideal.

Shedding:
Only one escapee noticed

Other Notes:
This is the only one of my new brushes which fits on my brush stand. All the Simpsons fall through. I might need to consider making something for these smsller brushes. Also, as this brush might take a while to settle in, I'm not sure how worthwhile it will be to update after every shave.

I think I may do nine shaves (3 hard soap, 3 tub soap, 3 cream), with the Mayfair and Special, then update. Maybe an initial impression of the Case after the first shave, then another update after the ninth shave on the Case, and a second run of nine on the Mayfair. Again, same routine when it's time to try the Wee Scot.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
From how they looked out of the box...

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... here's how much the Special has opened up after just two test lathers and one shave...

IMG_20220522_175231.jpg

No significant change in the Mayfair yet.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Interim shave with "Sctitchy", the Omega Midget

Wilkinson Sword Classic razor
Wilkinson Sword blade (shave 34)
Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera mug soap

I can honestly say that yesterday's first shave with the Vulfix Mayfair, was vastly superior to to today's shave, with a brush that has had many uses.

I had hoped to use Scritchy to pad out the tester shaves, giving the new brushes a little extra drying time, and also give a bench mark for the new brushes to surpass. However, they surpassed it on the first shave, and by such a large margin, that I do not want to return to the Mixed Scritchet... ever. However, if any of the new brushes (the four that are here, or two others that I am awaiting), feel a little on the rough side, I may subject myself to another shave with it, just to see which is worse.

Back to the new acquisitions for the next shave.
 
Interim shave with "Sctitchy", the Omega Midget

Wilkinson Sword Classic razor
Wilkinson Sword blade (shave 34)
Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera mug soap

I can honestly say that yesterday's first shave with the Vulfix Mayfair, was vastly superior to to today's shave, with a brush that has had many uses.

I had hoped to use Scritchy to pad out the tester shaves, giving the new brushes a little extra drying time, and also give a bench mark for the new brushes to surpass. However, they surpassed it on the first shave, and by such a large margin, that I do not want to return to the Mixed Scritchet... ever. However, if any of the new brushes (the four that are here, or two others that I am awaiting), feel a little on the rough side, I may subject myself to another shave with it, just to see which is worse.

Back to the new acquisitions for the next shave.
That is quite the experience Al! I think I have to dig mine again out to give it a try :)
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Two little Pure Badger brushes should (unless there's another boxing error) arrive with me tomorrow. One Simpson, one Vulfix. I'll use one of those in place of the Mixed Scritchet, to pad these test shaves back out, and allow each brush two days drying time after each use again.
 
Two little Pure Badger brushes should (unless there's another boxing error) arrive with me tomorrow. One Simpson, one Vulfix. I'll use one of those in place of the Mixed Scritchet, to pad these test shaves back out, and allow each brush two days drying time after each use again.
Which brushes? I'll be interested in hearing how the pure knots compare feel wise from Simpson vs Vulfix. I've read that Vulfix knots aren't as dense as their Simpson branded brushes but the pure knots from Simpson seem to be a bit less dense than their other grades (from my experience, anyway).
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Which brushes? I'll be interested in hearing how the pure knots compare feel wise from Simpson vs Vulfix. I've read that Vulfix knots aren't as dense as their Simpson branded brushes but the pure knots from Simpson seem to be a bit less dense than their other grades (from my experience, anyway).

I've read that about the Vulfix Pure knots too, which is why I opted for one from each brand.

I'm having another attempt at getting a Special in Pure. The last one came in a Pure box, but had a Best inside. If the right one arrives this time (I'm trying a different seller), I can compare the Specials in Pure and Best.

The other should be a Vulfix 513 Piccadilly, which promises to be very similar dimensionally to the Simpson Case. That gives me another head-to-head... or close comparison, at least.

The Case in Best is a lot more scrubby than the Special in Best. But if the Pure Special is more scrubby than the Best, and the Vulfix is less scrubby than the Case, that could make the pairs quite similar. In the next 12 to 15 hours, I should be able to confirm what actually got sent.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Mr Postie has been...

IMG_20220525_093529.jpg

...and this time...

IMG_20220525_093628.jpg

... the correct brush arrived.

IMG_20220525_095614.jpg

The Piccadilly looks larger than the Case, and doesn't feel quite as dense, at the tips (more dry splay), but feels far from sloppy. Here is where they sit in the revised line up of this month's additions.

20220525_095924.jpg

And yes... dry, and straight from the box, they both feel better than The Evil One.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
First shave with Simpson Special Pure Badger.

Wilkinson Sword Classic razor
Wilkinson Sword blade (shave 36)
Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera mug soap

As this brush only arrived this morning, I did two test/palm lathers, then went on to face lather as normal. This was the first of the brushes to have any of the "wet dog" scent, but by the time of the full face lather, that had already diminished.

The lather produced was very good, and through all three lathers, I only lost about half a dozen hairs. Aside from the tips not being quite as soft as the Best Badger version of this brush, I am not seeing a huge amount of difference between them. Backbone and scrub are about the same, in as much as there is a presence on the face from both brushes, but neither are what I would consider scrubby.

Maybe there will be more differences to discern over time, after they have both settled in a while. At this stage though, both are very comfortable and pleasant lather fiends, with no significant character traits to differentiate them. Damn good everyday brushes, for very modest outlay, is my initial impression on first use.
 
I recall my Simpson brush in best softened up a little after some time and became easier to splay, but I don't recall any of my Simpson pure knots changing in character at all, even after a lot of use.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Wilkinson Sword Classic razor
Wilkinson Sword blade (shave 37)
Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera mug soap

Second shave with the Best Badger Special, and confirmation (for me) that it really does feel very similar in use to the Pure Badger version.

The shedding has significantly reduced, and there were only two escapees today. There is a little bit of jiggery pokery needed, trying to get the very best lather from this brush, but that's all due to lack of familiarity, and bouncing between several different brushes doesn't help. Despite that, the lathers that I am ending up at, are excellent.
 
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