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What were your worst brush purchases and why

I got a lemon Omega 48, shedding wise. But I didn't have the heart to throw away such a nice brush. Price tag is not all that matters. After 2 years of using it I managed to stop the shedding and now it does perfectly well.

Omega Pro 48 Saved
I used to make fishing rods and played around with a lot of different epoxies. If I got a bad shredder I'll just mix up some guide epoxy and inject it into the base.

Worst knot was my recently purchased Maggard’s SHD 22mm (super high density) that I had set in my new Wolf Whiskers handle. Absolutely no backbone and way too soft. Having it replaced now by Rudy Vey.
Sorry to hear that Headley, I read Gray Dog's post about the SHD knot. And he said its was the best $50 he ever spent so it's a real YMMV thing.

It might need to be set deeper to have some backbone. As I prefer brushes with a medium/strong backbone and soft tips, a floppy knot won't be something I'll like.
 
Omega 11126. Just a turd of a brush. Stunk for months (and still does), floppy, pokey, not-dense, can't hold 2 passes of lather. Good lookin' handle tho.
Along those lines, I have a 80265 which is the same 24mm knot/55mm loft as the 11126 which is just like the above - an absolute stinker, can't hold any lather, sheds a huge number of bristles and has had really prickly tips.

To makes things odd, I have another 80265 which I mistakenly ordered at the same time off Ebay when I had a problem with the order. The second 80265 is my favourite brush. It's not as dense as the first one, but holds a lot of lather, has decent backbone and soft tips after breaking it in.

I'm perplexed at how one brush is such a stinker and the other is a cracker of a brush, I guess it might be down to natural variations in animal hair and so on.
 

SliceOfLife

Contributor
My first Rooney Finest... It was a 3/1 iirc... Hurt my face to use it was so stiff. I either resold it here almost immediately or maybe returned it (don't recall). This was during that year or so when we knew the Rooney Finest was going away, but there were still a few dozen in stock. I splurged way more than I'd ever considered spending on a brush before then ($230 if memory serves), and was so damn disappointed. Shortly after I bought a 1/3 for an absolutely ludicrous amount which became my best latherer and most treasured brush for the decade since... Still I wish I had given that 3/1 a chance to break in a bit.

That italian flag acrylic handle omega... the giant one. Probably the worst boar brush I've ever owned. Floppy, shed, too big, poor knot shape, uncomfortable handle. And I think the thing cost over $40 if memory serves. I tried to pull the knot out and set it deeper so at least it wasn't floppy any more. Forget what happened, but think I wound up destroying the handle and throwing the removed knot (in a crowned plug so it couldn't even be set deeper) in a lot of cheap brushes just to get rid of it.

The Waterford Crystal brush. Bought it cause they were selling for $150+ at the time and I found one for $50 BIN or something like that iirc. Was 100% new, no missing hairs... the floppiest brush I've ever felt. You could flatten the entire knot with a strong breath. Absolutely worthless as a shaving brush. Sold it to a waterford collector who didn't care though, so :a14:

A member here turned me onto using synthetic makeup (specifically bronzer) brushes to shave. Basically he discovered this bamboo-handled ecotools bronzer brush that lathered like a monster and he and I started buying others (synthetic, goat, wool, etc) to try. Most were awful... in fact I really only remember the ecotools being good (It sells/sold for like $8-12 @ target/walmart type stores and is definitely worth it). Eventually gave it away to someone starting out wetshaving because of how easy it was to lather with.

Semo 620. I know it's loved. I know everyone says it breaks in eventually. I tried for 3 months. The backbone was no better than other semogue's that actually feel good on your face, and the hair was just plain prickly... almost felt like a trimmed brush... also held less lather than almost any other boar I had. Taught me to avoid that 60% extra (or whatever it is) grade from Semogue in favor of their higher % tops grades.
 
Along those lines, I have a 80265 which is the same 24mm knot/55mm loft as the 11126 which is just like the above - an absolute stinker, can't hold any lather, sheds a huge number of bristles and has had really prickly tips.

To makes things odd, I have another 80265 which I mistakenly ordered at the same time off Ebay when I had a problem with the order. The second 80265 is my favourite brush. It's not as dense as the first one, but holds a lot of lather, has decent backbone and soft tips after breaking it in.

I'm perplexed at how one brush is such a stinker and the other is a cracker of a brush, I guess it might be down to natural variations in animal hair and so on.
Omega doesn't have consistency in the quality of the bristles. They vary from batch to batch. If you look carefully here, in photo i posted:

What were your worst brush purchases and why

The 2 Omega knots on the left, should be the same. They are not. They don't even have the same colour and they behave differently too. If you buy an Omega and you like it a lot, buy immediately a spare from the same shop, to keep in stock for future use, if you want to be certain that the brush will be exactly the same. The same goes for stench.

My idea is that Omega sees the shaving brush business as secondary. And they don't exactly sweat to find the exact same bristle every time. So they put in the market batches of different quality, characteristics and even stench.
I too have a rebranded Omega that was so stinking that despite at least 20 lathers, if you put it back in its box and take it out after some time, you can still smell the original stench. Unbelievable... The banded Omegas though, have much better chances to have very little stench, that goes away after 2-3 lathers.
 

naughtilus

Contributor
The gold Pro 48 I have has same knot as that Italian resin version, with same shedding issues like @zoidberg. I have to wash it with keratin shampoo (will repair damaged, brittle, dry, and processed hair) and conditioner after every shave or it goes back to falling apart.
 
Omega doesn't have consistency in the quality of the bristles. They vary from batch to batch. If you look carefully here, in photo i posted:

What were your worst brush purchases and why

The 2 Omega knots on the left, should be the same. They are not. They don't even have the same colour and they behave differently too. If you buy an Omega and you like it a lot, buy immediately a spare from the same shop, to keep in stock for future use, if you want to be certain that the brush will be exactly the same. The same goes for stench.

My idea is that Omega sees the shaving brush business as secondary. And they don't exactly sweat to find the exact same bristle every time. So they put in the market batches of different quality, characteristics and even stench.
I too have a rebranded Omega that was so stinking that despite at least 20 lathers, if you put it back in its box and take it out after some time, you can still smell the original stench. Unbelievable... The banded Omegas though, have much better chances to have very little stench, that goes away after 2-3 lathers.
Yeah I imagine Omega's brush business for painting brushes and so on must be much larger and another thing to consider is their brushes aren't the most expensive, especially in Italy.

Btw, when I meant one of my 80265's was a 'stinker' I meant it was a really bad brush! It didn't smell great as well! The other one is my most used brush and probably my favourite brush.

You're based in Italy right? Do you have any Zenith boars? I have an unbleached and bleached one, the unbleached one is a truly superb brush. A real shame in the UK as the unbleached ones seem to now be impossible to get hold off.
 
Yeah I imagine Omega's brush business for painting brushes and so on must be much larger and another thing to consider is their brushes aren't the most expensive, especially in Italy.

Btw, when I meant one of my 80265's was a 'stinker' I meant it was a really bad brush! It didn't smell great as well! The other one is my most used brush and probably my favourite brush.

You're based in Italy right? Do you have any Zenith boars? I have an unbleached and bleached one, the unbleached one is a truly superb brush. A real shame in the UK as the unbleached ones seem to now be impossible to get hold off.
Oh, i understand. Normally, i love the Omega 24x55 knots. But i am not surprised that you happened to get a "stinker"... I 've seen in reviews some very sloppy Omegas. Mostly handles that crack in no time, but anything is possible.

Yes, but i don't have any Zeniths. Up until a couple of years ago, finding a specific Zenith model you liked, was near impossible. I had seen one model i wanted in a slovenian shop and i couldn't find it anywhere in Italy. In the past 2 years, Zenith has "woken up" and now you can find easier both boars and badgers, in a few shops. Hardly the entire range, but at least some. Unfortunately, i had already stocked up a big quantity of Omegas and Semogues, that i just didn't bother...

There is one Zenith with wooden handle that i have laid my eyes on, but i wait until i need some more items from the same shop before ordering. Otherwise it's not worth the shipping cost... Unfortunately i am so well stocked that i will not be needing anything from that shop anytime soon...

The problem with Zeniths, is that in the italian wetshaving forum, i have read many complaints about quality control. Many compulsive shedders, aluminum handles that get scratched "only by looking at them" (quoting the phrase of the owner) and such. The ones that are without problem, are considered very good.

The market availability, although the situation has improved, remains problematic, because it is very limited in shops. Many people just contact directly the factory and have what they want shipped directly from the factory. For instance, in the one italian shop that they have Zenith badgers, they have no "medium" size badger. They all 27-30mm. If you want a smaller one, you either have to find some foreign shop or...contact the factory. Or simply not bother and buy some other medium badger from some other manufacturer...Their badgers also have some quality control problems. Some had metal rings lose immediately their colour, others bad shedders. If you get one "good", then it's really good.

At the end, i just went Omega+Semogue and didn't think too much about it.
 

Rudy Vey

Contributor
Vendor
My first Rooney Finest... It was a 3/1 iirc... Hurt my face to use it was so stiff. I either resold it here almost immediately or maybe returned it (don't recall). This was during that year or so when we knew the Rooney Finest was going away, but there were still a few dozen in stock. I splurged way more than I'd ever considered spending on a brush before then ($230 if memory serves), and was so damn disappointed. Shortly after I bought a 1/3 for an absolutely ludicrous amount which became my best latherer and most treasured brush for the decade since... Still I wish I had given that 3/1 a chance to break in a bit.

That italian flag acrylic handle omega... the giant one. Probably the worst boar brush I've ever owned. Floppy, shed, too big, poor knot shape, uncomfortable handle. And I think the thing cost over $40 if memory serves. I tried to pull the knot out and set it deeper so at least it wasn't floppy any more. Forget what happened, but think I wound up destroying the handle and throwing the removed knot (in a crowned plug so it couldn't even be set deeper) in a lot of cheap brushes just to get rid of it.

The Waterford Crystal brush. Bought it cause they were selling for $150+ at the time and I found one for $50 BIN or something like that iirc. Was 100% new, no missing hairs... the floppiest brush I've ever felt. You could flatten the entire knot with a strong breath. Absolutely worthless as a shaving brush. Sold it to a waterford collector who didn't care though, so :a14:

A member here turned me onto using synthetic makeup (specifically bronzer) brushes to shave. Basically he discovered this bamboo-handled ecotools bronzer brush that lathered like a monster and he and I started buying others (synthetic, goat, wool, etc) to try. Most were awful... in fact I really only remember the ecotools being good (It sells/sold for like $8-12 @ target/walmart type stores and is definitely worth it). Eventually gave it away to someone starting out wetshaving because of how easy it was to lather with.

Semo 620. I know it's loved. I know everyone says it breaks in eventually. I tried for 3 months. The backbone was no better than other semogue's that actually feel good on your face, and the hair was just plain prickly... almost felt like a trimmed brush... also held less lather than almost any other boar I had. Taught me to avoid that 60% extra (or whatever it is) grade from Semogue in favor of their higher % tops grades.
Same bad experience with the revered Rooney Finest!! Felt good when dry, but when it got wet it felt like a wire brush or razor wire on the face. One of my biggest and most expensive disappointment in wet shaving.....
 
Oh, i understand. Normally, i love the Omega 24x55 knots. But i am not surprised that you happened to get a "stinker"... I 've seen in reviews some very sloppy Omegas. Mostly handles that crack in no time, but anything is possible.

Yes, but i don't have any Zeniths. Up until a couple of years ago, finding a specific Zenith model you liked, was near impossible. I had seen one model i wanted in a slovenian shop and i couldn't find it anywhere in Italy. In the past 2 years, Zenith has "woken up" and now you can find easier both boars and badgers, in a few shops. Hardly the entire range, but at least some. Unfortunately, i had already stocked up a big quantity of Omegas and Semogues, that i just didn't bother...

There is one Zenith with wooden handle that i have laid my eyes on, but i wait until i need some more items from the same shop before ordering. Otherwise it's not worth the shipping cost... Unfortunately i am so well stocked that i will not be needing anything from that shop anytime soon...

The problem with Zeniths, is that in the italian wetshaving forum, i have read many complaints about quality control. Many compulsive shedders, aluminum handles that get scratched "only by looking at them" (quoting the phrase of the owner) and such. The ones that are without problem, are considered very good.

The market availability, although the situation has improved, remains problematic, because it is very limited in shops. Many people just contact directly the factory and have what they want shipped directly from the factory. For instance, in the one italian shop that they have Zenith badgers, they have no "medium" size badger. They all 27-30mm. If you want a smaller one, you either have to find some foreign shop or...contact the factory. Or simply not bother and buy some other medium badger from some other manufacturer...Their badgers also have some quality control problems. Some had metal rings lose immediately their colour, others bad shedders. If you get one "good", then it's really good.

At the end, i just went Omega+Semogue and didn't think too much about it.
Thanks for the reply.

I didn't know that Zenith had problems with quality control.

I presume the Slovenian shop in question was TVBShaving? That's where I ordered my two Zeniths from. The bleached one is too floppy but the unbleached one is exceptional. I'd order more if I could find a retailer with decent shipping rates!

Yes, I have noticed their badgers seem to all be on the large side of things. The ones that YourShaving sell at least.
 
Thanks for the reply.

I didn't know that Zenith had problems with quality control.

I presume the Slovenian shop in question was TVBShaving? That's where I ordered my two Zeniths from. The bleached one is too floppy but the unbleached one is exceptional. I'd order more if I could find a retailer with decent shipping rates!

Yes, I have noticed their badgers seem to all be on the large side of things. The ones that YourShaving sell at least.
I always try to make an educated guess about what i am thinking to buy, so i google before deciding. If you have an interest in Zenith, here is a very long thread, where you can read a lot of concentrated information. You can use google's web translator service. I was recently surprised at how good it is in translating italian to english.

Yes, the shop was that. Zenith likes their knots big. In their website, i have seen some 24mm badger knots, but i haven't seen them in shops. Zenith needs to work more on their distribution network of retailers. The current situation is barely adeguate.
 
Worst brush for me was my first brush, a Perfecto badger purchased online. Bought it as my entry brush into wet shaving & before I knew about B & B. It got me started, but I'm much happier now that I'm not using it.
 
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