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What Badger Shaving Brushes Do You Recommend?

This is my current brush, its got no branding, and is pure badger, with a chrome metal handle.

Brand new unused...
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Brush soaking in water in a mug...
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After first use...
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I'm sure @Chan Eil Whiskers will chime in, cause I think he's our resident shaving brush guru. But here's what I am asking. Are there any badger brushes that are better then the one that I have? This one above cost me 30 dollars. I know Semogue has finest badger brushes in the 95 dollar range, thats a bit more then I want to spend. I am thinking of a brush closer to maybe 50 dollars or less preferably.

Its not that my brush isn't working out, it is, and the hairs are getting softer after two uses now. I am just wondering if there is just something better in the badger department. I figure not all badger brushes are the same.
 
Unfortunately I can't comment on the brush you have. Pure badger, however, is regarded as basic hair grade.

So to understand better: what's wrong with the brush you currently use? Is there anything you like / dislike with this brush? We need to find out in order to make some proper suggestions.

There are a ton of possibilities out there wrt badger brushes, but the majority of badger brushes which feature a higher quality hair grade (two band silvertip, as an example) are likely more expensive.

Given the price range you defined you might want to consider the badger brush offerings from Yaqi (via AliExpress) and Maggards. They offer different qualities and different knot sizes. These are perhaps a good starting point to find out what's your prefrerence in terms of knot size, loft height and handle height - in case you are unsure as yet.

If you are willing to spend a bit more right from the start (not saying you have to) you might want to consider a Zenith Manchurian badger brush in the 70s to 100 $ price range. As per Semogue's lineup you might want to consider the lovely Mistura, a mixed knot made from 50 % badger hair and 50% boar bristles) - this brush definitely is worth a shot, too (approx. 70 $) - these are brushes I wholeheartedly recommend to everyone who likes some scrubb but enjoy rather soft tips, they are worth the financial upgrade imho.

Anyway if you shed some light wrt your prefrerences it'll be easier to address you question better.
 
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Unfortunately I can't comment on the brush you have. Pure badger, however, is basic hair grade.

So to understand better: what's wrong with the brush you currently use? Is there anything you like / dislike with this brush? We need to find out in order to make some suggestions.

There are a ton of possibilities, but the majority of badger brushes which feature a higher quality hair grade (two band silvertip, as an example) are likely more expensive.

Given the price range you defined you might want to consider the badger brush offerings from Yaqi (via AliExpress) and Maggards. They offer different qualities and different knot sizes. These are perhaps a good starting point to find out what's your prefrerence in terms of knot size, loft height and handle height - in case you are unsure as yet.

If you are willing to spend a bit more right from the start (not saying you have to) you might want to consider a Zenith Manchurian badger brush in the 70s to 100 $ price range. As per Semogue's lineup you might want to consider the lovely Mistura, a mixed knot made from 50 % badger hair and 50% boar bristles) - this brush definitely is worth a shot (approx. 70 $) - these are brushes I wholeheartedly recommend, they are worth the financial upgrade imho.

Thank you! :)

The main reason is, I question the durability of the brush at this time. The handle feels clear quality, I mean its metal, it has weight to it, and the chrome plating looks nice. Although I've seen nicer brush handles that had blue, green, or red marbel handle pattern looks.

The reason I question durability, is due to what the hairs are doing on the sides. There are some hairs that are laying so far down, so as to touch the handle bellow. Is this normal? If so, thats cool.
 
The reason I question durability, is due to what the hairs are doing on the sides. There are some hairs that are laying so far down, so as to touch the handle bellow. Is this normal? If so, thats cool.
IMO this should not give reason to be concerned, maybe this is due to the hair structure of pure badger. A bit of splay is well regarded.

The brush might shed some hairs in the beginning, which is often the case. It should stop shedding after a couple of uses.

In any case you might want to rinse/clean the brush properly and assure to fully dry it before using it again (if you are a daily shaver add a second brush 😉).

Enjoy your brush for a couple of weeks first and find out what's to like/dislike... then make a better educated choice 😀
 
Well, since I started DE shaving a couple days ago, I've been daily DE shaving so far. Its good to know that the hairs laying down that far is normal, I don't usually see that in pictures of other people's brushes of a higher dollar value. And don't worry, after I am through with my brush, I rinse it out in the water, and then I shake the crap out of it, to try to get every last drop out of it.

I've seen this brush several times in people's setup shots on this site. I do love the look of the brushes with all those fancy marbel looking textured colored handles, but this brush sort of calls to me, I think if I were to sum this brush up with one word, as to how it calls out to me, is the look of "refinement"

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Well, since I started DE shaving a couple days ago, I've been daily DE shaving so far. Its good to know that the hairs laying down that far is normal, I don't usually see that in pictures of other people's brushes of a higher dollar value. And don't worry, after I am through with my brush, I rinse it out in the water, and then I shake the crap out of it, to try to get every last drop out of it.

I've seen this brush several times in people's setup shots on this site. I do love the look of the brushes with all those fancy marbel looking textured colored handles, but this brush sort of calls to me, I think if I were to sum this brush up with one word, as to how it calls out to me, is the look of "refinement"

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Looks very nice! Enjoy your journey! 😀
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
Not all badger brushes are the same might be the understatement of the year.

My cheapest badger was around $65 and my other end is just under $200. There are shavers that can and will recommend $30 badgers, but I'm not one of them - mainly because you can get a very nice synthetic or boar in that range, but a very nice badger is more of a serious investment.

You can actually get a nice boar or synthetic for under $20. A boar will need to be soaked before use.

I suggest you use your brush for a while and decide what feels you might like in a second brush: more backbone, softer tips, size, etc. If you give a list of your desires and a price range I promise this forum will give you some excellent choices.
 
The only badger brush I have used/own is a Yaqui R1818 high mountain silver tip blah blah blah.

I didn't do much research, but I thought it was good looking at the time, the reviews are excellent, and at just under $50 it seemed like a good place to start.

I'm very happy with it. It builds lather like crazy and is a nice balance between soft and scrubby. I'd love to know how it compares to others out there.
 
I agree with @JAHE that you would be best served by using your current brush for a few weeks to see what aspects you would like to see improved. For example, pure badger brushes, which is what your current brush appears to be, tend to be a bet prickly. If you feel like you would prefer a brush that is softer on your face, you might look for some "higher" grade of badger hair. Unfortunately, there is no consistent grading of badger hair, but typically something called "best", "two band" or "silvertip" would be considered a step up from your current brush. With all that said, there are folks who prefer pure badger, and you could be one of them.

From my personal experience, I respectfully disagree with @musicman1951 and I do recommend some badgers in the $30 range. While I have owned several higher end badger brushes from Simpsons and Shavemac, I have found two band badger brushes from Yaqi and Maggards to be more to my liking. This Yaqi brush from AliExpress would be one of my suggestions, both for its good looks and its performance:
 

Messygoon

Abandoned By Gypsies.
+1 to the @musicman1951 post.

Spent a lot of time thinking about your question @Star_Wahl_Clipper_Treker . I may have been in the same place 15 years ago, when bought a $10 Perfecto badger (they now run $15). Used for a decade until the handle cracked. It was perfect for the time... I had been a part-time wet shaver until then. The Perfecto is the brush on which I learned technique.

Badgers are no different than paint brushes. There are natural and synthetic bristles; contractor-grade and expensive. Many times painted our houses using contractor grade brushes, earning compliments for the finished work. Yet, I much prefer using a high-end natural bristle paint brush.

Same is true with badgers. Am a hand-tied, handmade brush guy. I'm certain you can find such a quality badger within your budget. I suggest continuing with yours while patiently scanning the Buy-Sell-Trade (BST) thread for the following:
  • Simpson: Duke 2 or 3 "Best" Note: "Super" and "Manchurian" are great too, but more expensive.
  • Shavemac: Slightly harder to find, but a good used one can be found within your budget.
  • Zenith: As YourShaving.com offers new Manchurians just north of your budget max, you'll likely find one on BST. Zenith boars are equally nice.
Thanks for letting me ramble, and enjoy the journey.
 
You are the only person who can answer this question! The key is to figure out what makes you happy.

For me, the ‘pure’ grade just has too much ‘scritch.’ However, many here appreciate pure badger brushes. I generally prefer smaller/mid sized brushes in the, ‘best,’ ’super’, or ‘silver tip,’ range. But that’s me.

Also, remember that these are natural products and there is no agreed upon grading system.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Lots of great information already.


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I am certainly not a badger guru by any means. Not that I don't have some experience and plenty of opinions.

The already mentioned Zenith Manchurians are some of my favorites. I also like the one Zenith three band I own.

But...

There are plenty of options - Yaqi, Stirling, Maseto, etc. - without getting outside of the price range mentioned.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 

musicman1951

three-tu-tu, three-tu-tu
Well, since I started DE shaving a couple days ago, I've been daily DE shaving so far. Its good to know that the hairs laying down that far is normal, I don't usually see that in pictures of other people's brushes of a higher dollar value. And don't worry, after I am through with my brush, I rinse it out in the water, and then I shake the crap out of it, to try to get every last drop out of it.

I've seen this brush several times in people's setup shots on this site. I do love the look of the brushes with all those fancy marbel looking textured colored handles, but this brush sort of calls to me, I think if I were to sum this brush up with one word, as to how it calls out to me, is the look of "refinement"

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There is no reason to avoid buying a brush that looks good to you, but I would gently suggest that's way down the list from one that works well for you. My first badger silvertip was a parker that looks a great deal like this with a wood handle. It is pretty, but it's the worst performing brush I own, and it was around $65. Lather hog like nobody's business and almost no backbone. My apologies to all the other Parker owners (I'm sure somebody likes it), but I think you can do better.
 
There is something about a badger you're going to love and hate. All the web searches in the world will not help you pick the brush that's best for you.
 
There is no reason to avoid buying a brush that looks good to you, but I would gently suggest that's way down the list from one that works well for you. My first badger silvertip was a parker that looks a great deal like this with a wood handle. It is pretty, but it's the worst performing brush I own, and it was around $65. Lather hog like nobody's business and almost no backbone. My apologies to all the other Parker owners (I'm sure somebody likes it), but I think you can do better.

Thank you for saving me from making a mistake. As this was one of the ones I was feeling strongly about, and might have ordered it, and end up hating it. I suppose it makes a good show piece brush to display on a shelf, but I am not here to buy display brushes. Yes, I do care about looks, that is one factor most certainly, I won't deny that fact. But at the same time, I need a brush that functions great for me. As I am new to DE shaving, and having only experienced one shaving brush so far, I am developing opinions as I go.

Those Simpson brushes that people are showing off are really nice looking brushes, I just don't like the handles on them, mainly its the color, I don't like white. I do love the look of the Semogue finest badger brushes, love their black handles, and no doubt they are real quality, but the price on them is really up there. And since I just spent a lot of money on my razor, not looking to spend hundred or more on a shaving brush.

I have technically found a brush that I am also interested in, from the assistance of Chan. But I am also weighing my options, from the assistance I am receiving from all of you all. You guys have asked, what are my wants and desires regarding a brush? Well, you already know one of them, I want a brush that can last for one thing. So durability is most certainly a concern for a brush, thats kind of the starting point.

Now, I do want a brush that the hairs are soft on, which is why I chose badger to begin with. I know that I am not going to like bore brushes, cause they are going to be too scratchy for me. Having said that, I also need the brush to have some back bone too, I don't want it to complete flop on its face, and not spread the lather on my face very well. Oh and thats another thing too, lather whipping.

One of the things I've noticed about my current brush, is that it doesn't seem to whip up the lather very well. Either I am doing it completely wrong, (doubtful, as I've watched video's on whipping) or the brush is just not good at whipping up a lather. It just seems to be difficult achieving the proper lather. I am using Tabac soap incase that matters. Maybe its just the nature of Tabac, difficult to whip up and get consistency right.

Anyways, a brush with really nice soft hairs, with some backbone that it don't completely flop on itself, some good lather whipping action ability, great durability, and good looking as well. So far, as per Chan's recommendation, and your recommendation against the Parker, saving me from making a mistake there, I am currently thinking about getting a Maseto 30 knott silver tipped badger brush. I can get the Maseto 30 knott silver tip for around 60 bucks.

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Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
A good boar is not scratchy at all.

Some, such as the bleached Zeniths, are already broken in a good little bit, and not scratchy or scritchy at all.



Jade.3Zeniths.4Boars.4Brushes.640.4-18.JPG



Others, including the unbleached Zeniths, take some breaking in, but are wonderful brushes once broken in, and decent brushes from the get go.



2-28-22.SemogueLE.Boar.Lisa's CocoOud.Denali.J640PG.JPG




There are plenty of good boars. I've acquired what I consider a good selection of premium boars. Mondial, Zenith, the Jade Omega, the Mighty Midget Omega (cost me $7), and a recently acquired really good Semogue LE.

The little black wooden handled Zeniths above cost $20 each are are lovely brushes to use.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
I have two updates for you folks on here...

First update:

I grabbed my good camera, and tried to take a macro shot of my current shaving brush, after its been used twice, and has fully dried. (I assume) I didn't feel like shaving today, so I'll have a bit of stubble to test the Feather AS-D2 on tomorrow.

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The point of this picture was just to show the condition of the hairs on the brush, and to gather the thoughts of you experts, on what you think of the quality, or lack there of, of my current brush.

Second Update:

I just ordered the MASETO Classic 30mm EXTRA DENSITY 2-Band Finest Silver Tip Badger Shaving Brush
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It will be coming on a slow boat from China. But when it finally gets here, the romance will begin. (Key the song Dreamweaver)

Incase you were wondering, Yaqui would have been my second choice for a shaving brush, both were similar, but the Maseto won me over in the end. Thanks to all with your amazing level of support and guidance, I truly find this to be a wonderful community!​
 
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