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What is my money going towards?

I am presently using a AoS pure badger brush that a friend gave me when he learned I was starting in wet shaving. This brush leaves a lot to be desired so the thought of springing for a "real" brush has snuck into my mind. But before I go all out, at what price point does the money no longer go towards quality materials (silvertip badger hair, good sturdy knot, ergonomic handle, lathering ability, backbone, etc.) and begins the seep into features that are non-essential to the job of the brush (i.e. jewel encrusted handles, genuine wild-caught badger hair)?

I think I'll be sticking to bowl lathering so I'm considering a Rooney 1/2, or is it really more intelligent to get the all-rounder (style 3) so that I keep my options open since I'm still so new to the game?
 
Another question, are primo knots as primo as the knots used in the primo brushes?

If I gave you two identical looking brushes (say two 1/2s) marked "rooney" and tell you one of them is a golden nib knot installed by a brushmeister at rooney, would you be able to tell the difference?
 
I don't have an answer in regards to your question about knot quality, but IMHO I think at about $100, your money starts paying for aesthetics, workmanship, and rarity than just performance.

There is a big difference between badger brushes at the $30, $50, $75 and $100+ ranges.
 
This is off-the-cuff, but I'd guess the sweet spot is from about $75 (for a smaller brush) to $200.

I have a Heritage Stubby Medium ($150) and think it's excellent.
I like it at least 50% more than my SR 3122:wink:. YMMV.
 
This is off-the-cuff, but I'd guess the sweet spot is from about $75 (for a smaller brush) to $200.

I have a Heritage Stubby Medium ($150) and think it's excellent.
I like it at least 50% more than my SR 3122:wink:. YMMV.

Barry is on the mark. You can get a good, serviceable brush for $40-$50 or so, but I consider the best value for money in brushes to be in the $70~$130 range. These are markedly better than the <$70 brushes, and generally you don't gain much at/over the >$130 mark.

Veteran wet shavers that are connaisseurs of fine brushes can appreciate the (minor and subtle) differences of the high end brushes that would be lost on a newbie, though newbies do 'grow into' the great brushes. You'll probably end up with multiple brushes anyway, so start mid-range and acquire additional brush(es) over time as you learn your likes/requirements.

The AoS products are generally pretty good, but are generally considered to be 'over priced'.

HTH.

-- John Gehman
 
I have a 1/2 as my only "high end" brush. Once mine broke in (about 10 shaves) it proved to be a wonderful performer. I usually face lather with this brush as it is incredibly comfortable.
 
I want to thank EVERYbody who took the time to share their take on this matter. I don't have the money right now to get started into BAD as I am recovering from SRAD as it is.

So, high-end, all-round brush like a 3/1? or 1/2 for bowl lather?
 
and what about custom brushes like i see from bob's razors? this goes back to my second post in this thread:

two identical brushes assembled by a brushmeister at rooney. one is a primo (e.g. rooney) brush straight out of quality control at the plant and the other is identically spec'd but uses a primo knot (e.g. golden nib). can you tell the difference?
 
and what about custom brushes like i see from bob's razors? this goes back to my second post in this thread:

two identical brushes assembled by a brushmeister at rooney. one is a primo (e.g. rooney) brush straight out of quality control at the plant and the other is identically spec'd but uses a primo knot (e.g. golden nib). can you tell the difference?
I couldn't tell you, as I have no comparison brush from Rooney. I have, however, made several brushes from TGN knots and use two myself: they are very fine performers, and I really like the results. In my case I have a 24 mm Silvertip and a 22 mm Finest Badger. I also have made some brushes with Shavemac knots, mainly pure badger due to cost, and use one also. This is also a sweet brush, and I would guess, the only difference would be that I made the handle for this one myself. Both the Finest and the Pure have yet to loose a hair; the Silvertip lost some in the first ten day/two weeks of use, but has not lost one since then. These ST knots are highly overstuffed and it is expected that they will shed some of the hair - I think mine did as expected. I believe the main difference is that some like a brush that comes from one of the famous makers and are willing to drop good $$$, others like the idea of a custom brush with a handle of their liking - an unique article, that was created to their specifications, or to own a product that exists only once.
 
For standard handle brushes, most of the $ goes into the knot (i.e. the bristle) - see for example the Rooney special for $39 vs. the same handle with the rare finest grade bristle that goes for over $200 when available. The handles are identical, in fact more color options are offered in the cheaper brush. Vulfix offers boar and silvertip in identical handles with a 5X in price difference as well.

If you then add hardwood, real horn or vintage ivory.... handle then the handle starts to add significantly to the cost.

Where is the value point? This is unknowable and is very personal. The true white bristle gives a fantastic lathering experience and is well worth the $ IMO. I know there are others who prefer a $15 boar brush (and not just because it costs less money) and I fully respect their choice.

Most custom brushes use fairly inexpensive knots and the the money mostly goes into the craftsmanship in custom making the handle in small quantities.
 
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