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Went a little nuts

I like to use my boar brushes every once in a while for a nice change up from my 2 band badgers and my haram of synthetics that I really enjoy a lot. A good broke in boar brush is 2nd to none IMO.
 
Nice collection!! My experience is that a large boar rotation is counter productive. Best to have only one or two and use them often.

I prefer Omega because all my Semogue began to eat lather after breaking in. The 48 and the 102 are my favorites
 
I am having my own brush crisis as well that I highlighted in another thread. I have a few very nice, expensive brushes. Simpsons Chubby 2 Super, Duke 2 Best and Muhle Silvertip Fibre. All I want to use now is that damn Semogue 610.

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Dave - Could you give us a few of your top favorite? I’m guessing I know #1.
Happy to. First, I need to thank @Chan Eil Whiskers for his help over a year ago when I started into the boar rabbit hole. He is a prime example of what makes B & B such a great resource - a willingness to share & help & teach as others ask questions. Here's a link to a thread that has good input when I was seeking advice:
B & B Boar Thread

The brushes in my pic above: (front row) - Connaught Omega Premium Jade, Semogue Torga C5, Zenith Unbleached Olive wood 506U XSE, Zenith aluminum handled 506ALL SE, Zenith black B17, Omega B&B Essential Boar. (back row) - Zenith Big Scrubby B21, Zenith unbleached plastic handle 80B XSE, Semogue Owners Club (SOC), Proraso Pro, Mondial 1908.

In terms of what are my favorites, they are all different, but here are my preferences:
1) Omega Premium Jade. This knot is dense & wonderful. Denser than any boar I've tried. Soft, yet firm against my face. This Premium Jade is only available from Connaught's. The bristles of this brush are unbleached. I think you're going to see a trend with unbleached bristles for me.
2) Zenith Unbleached olivewood handle 506U XSE. To my face, the unbleached bristles are as soft or softer as their bleached cousins, but they seem a fraction thicker, & are also a bit firmer against the face. I like backbone & firmness against the face in my brushes & these first two on my list are exceptional at that!
3) Zenith Unbleached plastic handle 80B XSE. These big knots are my preference & this Zenith has the largest knot of my top 3. It also has a higher loft so it is borderline too floppy for me. But the soft tips & backbone make it a top 3 brush for me. But the backbone is a little less than optimum for me because of the longer loft. I would also like this brush more if it was a slightly lower loft, & ideally a bit denser. If this was a bleached bristle brush the loft would definitely make this brush floppier than what I care for. The Omega 00048 & 49 are similar lofts but because the bristles are bleached, it's an entirely different brush for me, & one I didn't care for. That's why neither Omega is still in my den. But it's not fair to compare Omega bleached bristles to Zenith bleached bristles. Zenith, to me, are finer & provides more softness & firmness when set at the right loft.
4) TIE - Zenith aluminum handle bleached 506 ALL SE and the Semogue Torga C5. Zenith has the edge in softness but the Semogue is an excellent brush also because of its density & shorter loft than the SOC.

What I like may be entirely different than what you like. I prefer knots larger than 24mm & lofts less than 55mm (except in the case of the unbleached Zenith).

I hope that helps. Please post any questions or comments. These threads are how we learn.
 
Happy to. First, I need to thank @Chan Eil Whiskers for his help over a year ago when I started into the boar rabbit hole. He is a prime example of what makes B & B such a great resource - a willingness to share & help & teach as others ask questions. Here's a link to a thread that has good input when I was seeking advice:
B & B Boar Thread

The brushes in my pic above: (front row) - Connaught Omega Premium Jade, Semogue Torga C5, Zenith Unbleached Olive wood 506U XSE, Zenith aluminum handled 506ALL SE, Zenith black B17, Omega B&B Essential Boar. (back row) - Zenith Big Scrubby B21, Zenith unbleached plastic handle 80B XSE, Semogue Owners Club (SOC), Proraso Pro, Mondial 1908.

In terms of what are my favorites, they are all different, but here are my preferences:
1) Omega Premium Jade. This knot is dense & wonderful. Denser than any boar I've tried. Soft, yet firm against my face. This Premium Jade is only available from Connaught's. The bristles of this brush are unbleached. I think you're going to see a trend with unbleached bristles for me.
2) Zenith Unbleached olivewood handle 506U XSE. To my face, the unbleached bristles are as soft or softer as their bleached cousins, but they seem a fraction thicker, & are also a bit firmer against the face. I like backbone & firmness against the face in my brushes & these first two on my list are exceptional at that!
3) Zenith Unbleached plastic handle 80B XSE. These big knots are my preference & this Zenith has the largest knot of my top 3. It also has a higher loft so it is borderline too floppy for me. But the soft tips & backbone make it a top 3 brush for me. But the backbone is a little less than optimum for me because of the longer loft. I would also like this brush more if it was a slightly lower loft, & ideally a bit denser. If this was a bleached bristle brush the loft would definitely make this brush floppier than what I care for. The Omega 00048 & 49 are similar lofts but because the bristles are bleached, it's an entirely different brush for me, & one I didn't care for. That's why neither Omega is still in my den. But it's not fair to compare Omega bleached bristles to Zenith bleached bristles. Zenith, to me, are finer & provides more softness & firmness when set at the right loft.
4) TIE - Zenith aluminum handle bleached 506 ALL SE and the Semogue Torga C5. Zenith has the edge in softness but the Semogue is an excellent brush also because of its density & shorter loft than the SOC.

What I like may be entirely different than what you like. I prefer knots larger than 24mm & lofts less than 55mm (except in the case of the unbleached Zenith).

I hope that helps. Please post any questions or comments. These threads are how we learn.
You prefer the Zenith 80B XSE with 64mm loft to the Mondial pro boar 26mm knot w/ 60mm loft? That surprises me somewhat! Though I have the Zenith 80N bleached version, not the unbleached one.

I would put the Omega Jade, Mondial pro, Zenith B03-A26 and Semogue C5 Torga towards the top. I'd put a special word in for the Semogue SOC Finest Mistura, which is a badger/boar mix, since it does everything well.
 
Happy to. First, I need to thank @Chan Eil Whiskers for his help over a year ago when I started into the boar rabbit hole. He is a prime example of what makes B & B such a great resource - a willingness to share & help & teach as others ask questions. Here's a link to a thread that has good input when I was seeking advice:
B & B Boar Thread

The brushes in my pic above: (front row) - Connaught Omega Premium Jade, Semogue Torga C5, Zenith Unbleached Olive wood 506U XSE, Zenith aluminum handled 506ALL SE, Zenith black B17, Omega B&B Essential Boar. (back row) - Zenith Big Scrubby B21, Zenith unbleached plastic handle 80B XSE, Semogue Owners Club (SOC), Proraso Pro, Mondial 1908.

In terms of what are my favorites, they are all different, but here are my preferences:
1) Omega Premium Jade. This knot is dense & wonderful. Denser than any boar I've tried. Soft, yet firm against my face. This Premium Jade is only available from Connaught's. The bristles of this brush are unbleached. I think you're going to see a trend with unbleached bristles for me.
2) Zenith Unbleached olivewood handle 506U XSE. To my face, the unbleached bristles are as soft or softer as their bleached cousins, but they seem a fraction thicker, & are also a bit firmer against the face. I like backbone & firmness against the face in my brushes & these first two on my list are exceptional at that!
3) Zenith Unbleached plastic handle 80B XSE. These big knots are my preference & this Zenith has the largest knot of my top 3. It also has a higher loft so it is borderline too floppy for me. But the soft tips & backbone make it a top 3 brush for me. But the backbone is a little less than optimum for me because of the longer loft. I would also like this brush more if it was a slightly lower loft, & ideally a bit denser. If this was a bleached bristle brush the loft would definitely make this brush floppier than what I care for. The Omega 00048 & 49 are similar lofts but because the bristles are bleached, it's an entirely different brush for me, & one I didn't care for. That's why neither Omega is still in my den. But it's not fair to compare Omega bleached bristles to Zenith bleached bristles. Zenith, to me, are finer & provides more softness & firmness when set at the right loft.
4) TIE - Zenith aluminum handle bleached 506 ALL SE and the Semogue Torga C5. Zenith has the edge in softness but the Semogue is an excellent brush also because of its density & shorter loft than the SOC.

What I like may be entirely different than what you like. I prefer knots larger than 24mm & lofts less than 55mm (except in the case of the unbleached Zenith).

I hope that helps. Please post any questions or comments. These threads are how we learn.
#1 - Omega Jade…I knew it!
 
I've been a synthetics guy for several years. I like the ease of use. Bought my first boar brush last year, a Semogue 830. Didn't do any particular break-in just soaked it for 20 minutes and started using it. Wow. Compared to a synthetic this thing is really stiff. Stuck with it for about 3 weeks and noticed it was getting softer. Put it away to go back to my other brushes. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. Took out the 830 to give it another go and it wowed me again but this time it was for brush perfection. Don't know if something changed in the intervening months or if I was just on the verge of perfection before putting it away.

Now I'm a boar convert with a credit card. So far I have an SOC in cherry wood and 3 Zeniths. An SOC in butterscotch and a jade Omega from Connaught are enroute. So yeah, went a little nuts. Even worse, I like the looks of these things so much I'm thinking I need backups just to keep pristine versions around to admire. They are little gems.

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I've been a fan of boar brushes since I got a Rubberset #4. I love it. Everything else feels too soft in comparison.
 
Dave, thanks so much for your write up. The Omega Jade is my favorite boar as well, and I also agree with Atlantic59 with regard to the SOC Mistura. Both of these boar brushes are my favorite face lathering brushes just behind my Simpson Duke 3 best.
 
You prefer the Zenith 80B XSE with 64mm loft to the Mondial pro boar 26mm knot w/ 60mm loft? That surprises me somewhat! Though I have the Zenith 80N bleached version, not the unbleached one.

I would put the Omega Jade, Mondial pro, Zenith B03-A26 and Semogue C5 Torga towards the top. I'd put a special word in for the Semogue SOC Finest Mistura, which is a badger/boar mix, since it does everything well.
Good question & great observations. That's why this is such a fun pastime & terrific forum - the sharing of thoughts, likes & preferences!

Yes, I like the Zenith 80B XSE more than the Mondial. Neither are full & dense, or perhaps it's the high loft that makes them seem like they aren't extremely dense. The unbleached Zenith performs better for me because I like the slightly thicker diameter bristles because they hold up & are firmer than the bleached Mondial bristles. Does the bleaching break down the makeup of the bristle so it is less supported in its structural makeup? I don't know, but I know I like the performance & feel of unbleached more than bleached. My top 3 brushes are unbleached. The Mondial was my first good boar & I will always enjoy using it, but it's not what the ideal boar brush is currently, for me. They both have high lofts, but the Zenith is unbleached & doesn't flop like similar lofted bleached brushes.

Interesting you mention Mistura. I just purchased a Torga C5 Mistura less than an hour ago. I like the loft of the Torga C5 boar more than the higher loft of the SOC. But guess what? YMMV!!!
 
Good question & great observations. That's why this is such a fun pastime & terrific forum - the sharing of thoughts, likes & preferences!

Yes, I like the Zenith 80B XSE more than the Mondial. Neither are full & dense, or perhaps it's the high loft that makes them seem like they aren't extremely dense. The unbleached Zenith performs better for me because I like the slightly thicker diameter bristles because they hold up & are firmer than the bleached Mondial bristles. Does the bleaching break down the makeup of the bristle so it is less supported in its structural makeup? I don't know, but I know I like the performance & feel of unbleached more than bleached. My top 3 brushes are unbleached. The Mondial was my first good boar & I will always enjoy using it, but it's not what the ideal boar brush is currently, for me. They both have high lofts, but the Zenith is unbleached & doesn't flop like similar lofted bleached brushes.

Interesting you mention Mistura. I just purchased a Torga C5 Mistura less than an hour ago. I like the loft of the Torga C5 boar more than the higher loft of the SOC. But guess what? YMMV!!!
The Semogue SOC Finest Mistura loft is only ~53mm. It is not an unruly ball of hair like some Semogue boars. It's all under control. The handle is one of the best.

The Semogue C5 Torga boar loft is ~50mm. Basically like a more compact SOC boar knot.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Happy to. First, I need to thank @Chan Eil Whiskers for his help over a year ago when I started into the boar rabbit hole. He is a prime example of what makes B & B such a great resource - a willingness to share & help & teach as others ask questions. Here's a link to a thread that has good input when I was seeking advice:
B & B Boar Thread

The brushes in my pic above: (front row) - Connaught Omega Premium Jade, Semogue Torga C5, Zenith Unbleached Olive wood 506U XSE, Zenith aluminum handled 506ALL SE, Zenith black B17, Omega B&B Essential Boar. (back row) - Zenith Big Scrubby B21, Zenith unbleached plastic handle 80B XSE, Semogue Owners Club (SOC), Proraso Pro, Mondial 1908.

In terms of what are my favorites, they are all different, but here are my preferences:
1) Omega Premium Jade. This knot is dense & wonderful. Denser than any boar I've tried. Soft, yet firm against my face. This Premium Jade is only available from Connaught's. The bristles of this brush are unbleached. I think you're going to see a trend with unbleached bristles for me.
2) Zenith Unbleached olivewood handle 506U XSE. To my face, the unbleached bristles are as soft or softer as their bleached cousins, but they seem a fraction thicker, & are also a bit firmer against the face. I like backbone & firmness against the face in my brushes & these first two on my list are exceptional at that!
3) Zenith Unbleached plastic handle 80B XSE. These big knots are my preference & this Zenith has the largest knot of my top 3. It also has a higher loft so it is borderline too floppy for me. But the soft tips & backbone make it a top 3 brush for me. But the backbone is a little less than optimum for me because of the longer loft. I would also like this brush more if it was a slightly lower loft, & ideally a bit denser. If this was a bleached bristle brush the loft would definitely make this brush floppier than what I care for. The Omega 00048 & 49 are similar lofts but because the bristles are bleached, it's an entirely different brush for me, & one I didn't care for. That's why neither Omega is still in my den. But it's not fair to compare Omega bleached bristles to Zenith bleached bristles. Zenith, to me, are finer & provides more softness & firmness when set at the right loft.
4) TIE - Zenith aluminum handle bleached 506 ALL SE and the Semogue Torga C5. Zenith has the edge in softness but the Semogue is an excellent brush also because of its density & shorter loft than the SOC.

What I like may be entirely different than what you like. I prefer knots larger than 24mm & lofts less than 55mm (except in the case of the unbleached Zenith).

I hope that helps. Please post any questions or comments. These threads are how we learn.

Nicely done, David.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
Great read and input here. I’m going to do my best to resist that jade beauty. I use my semouge 620 on occasion and mistura almost exclusively now. The 620 ended up working for me over a host of others like some omega and Proraso. It just seemed to break in without a fuss. I’m not a fan generally of small handles but again it works. I have a few soc also that also are very nice but not in any rotation. However maybe I should go to the bench more often.
 
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