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What are the differences in Brushes

I got a Yaoi brush from Amazon. I think it was $10. It seems ok.
What is the difference between different brushes? Do they make lather differently? Softer?
Just trying to see what I should care about and what I can change to see most benefit.
What does the 24 mean?


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It's a Yaqi brush that some have recommended before you had a picture. The 24 is mm diameter of the knot at the base inside the brush.

You are about to get bombarded with recommendations going every which way and the only way to know what is right for you is to try things.

You can try to find synthetics with different characteristics, but they really don't vary that much. Boar brushes require a different technique and break in. I have completely switched to badger and have several that have different characteristics.

Some are SHD, high density silver tip hairs packed tightly together. Some are two band, a thicker hair that still has relatively soft tips. Some combine both for ultimate firmness.

Since you are going to bowl lather, you can probably use just about any brush that feels good on your skin. Face latherers need specific qualities. Some brushes have what is called flop and is a sign of a bad brush if you can't work the lather adequately.

Then there is shape...
Synthetics tend to be the softest, need very little break in, are the most durable and require less soap/cream. They also dry fastest

Badger is soft in the premium grades but the cheaper grades can be very scratchy. They have excellent water retention and hold onto heat well. Badger has the most sub categories and are, by far, the most expensive.

Boar start out stiff and take the longest to break in, but they become quite soft when they do. They tend to have good backbone and are usually not very expensive. The more you use a boar the better it gets.

...painting in very broad strokes.

Your brush looks like a Sagrada Familia. They're fantastic. Good choice. It will serve you well for a very long time.
I'm a Yaqi fanboy and the brush you have is a nice brush(it has a tuxedo knot 24mm, 24 is the diameter of the knot coming out of the handle). Yaqi makes beautiful brushes and if you like a softer skin feel of luxury brush they have some nice ones and I'm only going to mention 2 because it gets overwhelming IMO.
Rons 21 shave brushes (4).jpg

Both these are excellent lather generators, heavenly cloud like soft tips, gentle luxury scrubbers + excellent lather painters.
Yaqi 26mm Evil Red Zebra synthetic............................................Yaqi Chianti's 24mm synthetic
Yaqi #1 26mm evil zebra handle.(2).jpg
Yaqi #1 Chianti's 24mm synthetic (5).jpg

Have some great shaves.
Its easy to form an opinion when you haven't tried a variety of things. Every brush i've ever tried was able to achieve the common goal of producing lather, but in the end i found that i enjoyed some variety, but i still found that i preferred real animal hair brushes over synthetics. I watched my grandfather and my own dad use animal hair brushes to make lather so there is the traditional aspect of it, but more than that, i prefer the feeling of animal hair on my face over synthetics. I don't think one is better than the other, but that's sort of the dividing line between types of brushes.

Feeling is everything in wet shaving and you need to find what you like to feel the best. I think for the most part gentlemen in particular like a brush that is about 24 mm in size, has some stiffness, or backbone, and is relatively soft on the face but has a scrubby feeling. That's sort of middle of the road and then preferences change in either direction. Others feel strongly about using animal parts and that is one way to make your decisions far easier and way more cost effective at that. No matter what you choose, every brush you buy will get you from point A to B.


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You are new to this "sport" and already have a synthetic brush .. I'd try a relatively inexpensive badger brush next. Everyone will have an opinion, but the one opined just above mine is pretty much on point. A Simpson's in Best Badger might be something to try - not too pricey but mine from 10 years ago still make lather when their turn is up.
That reminds me, there were some really good deals on Simpson brushes on Amazon earlier this year. If you get it from Alrossa, he is trustworthy. Best is good, but for ultimate softness look out for a deal on anything in Super Badger. Which is Silvertip. Should be within 100.
That reminds me, there were some really good deals on Simpson brushes on Amazon earlier this year. If you get it from Alrossa, he is trustworthy. Best is good, but for ultimate softness look out for a deal on anything in Super Badger. Which is Silvertip. Should be within 100.
Thanks for the info
My advice regarding trying badgers:
Get a nicer one. Yes theyre more pricey but I thought I hated badgers before realizing how nice silvertip and HMW knots are. Even maggards 2 band knots are great. I hate "scritch" or poke so I avoid best or black badger hairs like the plague.

I love the v12 fanchurian knot, and never had a bad silvertip or HMW knot
Great advice above!

My opinion, for what it worth, is that you should try a few options to determines what makes you happy!

For me, the best values are boar or synthetic. Synthetics are fine out of the box. In contrast it takes awhile to break in a new boar brush.

Badger brushes are my personal preference. But, I don’t especially like ‘pure’ badger. That means that I can end up spending considerably more for a badger that makes me happy! Still a bargain compared to any other hobby that I have had over the years!
Since your first brush is a quality synthetic my recommendation is that you acquire a quality boar brush as they lather the fastest and are especially good on hard soap pucks. My current two brushes are a Razorock Monster synthetic and a Blondie Boar brush. The Blondie is a rebranded Zenith 80N and is similar to the Omega 10049. At $9 - $12 these boars are low cost way to explore what works best for you.
It’s been mentioned to try different brushes. It’s a good idea, but it’s not necessary to try every single thing out there. I used the same Omega 31064 boar brush for ten years. Then I decided to try a badger, but, being frugal, I didn’t want to try all the grades of badger, so I bought silvertip first thing. It’s a Parker (made in India), so the price is a lower than, say, a Simpson. It was $60. I still use the Omega, and I really like the Parker I have. I recently ordered a synthetic (Simpson), so I will soon learn if I like synthetics.
I use boars exclusively. Never really had an interest in any other kind of brushes.

The loft (hair height) determines how floppy or stiff a brush is.

The knot (thickness) determines how much hair is packed in. More hair means better lather holding. Obviously you need more cream too.
Simply start with the brush you have a good 24mm Yaqi synthetic which are known for good lather machines and loved by many.

Just work that thing for a couple of months and if you like it and it works for you stay clear of the obvious brush acquisition disorder rabbit hole emerging under your feet….

If you can not resist the lure of the hole….

Inside the hole there is a world with different handle shapes, sizes and materials of which some are more comfy and some are more aesthetically pleasing.

On top of those you will find various synthetics (which mainly dry fast, not rot, not hog soap) and animal hairs like boar (a lot of scritch and scratch), badger (the golden standard, many variations, hog soap) and horse (floppy but for me seriously nice).

Finding the comfy brush handle can be a pain (I like American classic long handles, some prefer shorties, I like them smooth other prefer many ridges).

Ow and prices start at 5usd for a cheap boar/synthetic and there is no upper limit for that custom made badger.
Much good advice here. I would also suggest the Semogue mistura series - mixed badger and boar. About 24 mm knot. IMO they combine the best elements of both badger and boar at a fair price.

As a rule of thumb the higher the ratio of knot height to diameter, the more the brush will splay out when it’s lathered. Thus makes intuitive sense. It makes long loft brushes feel softer for a given hair type.

I have never hesitated to buy used brushes (for example on BST). It’s a cost effective way to try a few different things and it’s easy to resell if they don’t work for you. As for the “ick” factor - I only use natural brushes - badger or boar. I’m sure the bristles have seen a lot worse than someone’s face. I soak in borax solution for and hour and condition with shampoo before first use. Synthetics are so inexpensive new it’s easy to buy online.
The Yaqi you got is among my favorites, but these days I use the PAA Starcraft almost exclusively, leaving all my badgers and boars and other synthetics to gather dust in a cupboard :)

It wasn’t a conscious thing either, it just happened. It’s the best performing synthetic I’ve tried so far, and it just looks so awesome.

I don’t have much to add to the super detailed info already in this thread.
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