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Why Does The SOC Boar Splay More Than The Omega

The SOC has become my favorite boar brush and I like its characteristic splay. However, I understand why others may prefer an Omega knot, which does not splay anywhere near as much. This is all a matter of subjective preference. The reason for this post is to try to determine why the SOC splays so much and the Omega does not.

In these pictures, I compare the SOC on the left, to a Rudy Vey custom with an Omega knot on the right. At the time of the pictures, the SOC had been used 3 times, and the Omega 15 times. The SOC splayed after the first use. The Omega has barely splayed at all, and it looks almost the same as when new. The individual tips on the Omega have started to split, but the brush is still not fully broken in and the knot has not loosened up much.


What accounts for such a difference in splay? I can guess at possibilities. Are they different species of boar? Are the bristles processed or treated differently? Is the Omega knot denser? Are the Omega bristles a larger diameter and less flexible?

I have such a strong preference for the SOC that I'll be listing the Rudy Vey for sale. However, I'm interested in your thoughts about what accounts for the difference in how these knots behave.
Ricardo, my preference is exactly the opposite of yours. If you have ever taken apart a Semogue you'll notice the metal ring on a Semogue is crimped on the bottom and I believe that spreads the knot giving a Semogue it's characteristic splay. Last summer I did a lot of experimenting with boar knots and loft with both Semogue and Omega knots so I took quite a few a part. Enjoy your Semogue, they're a great brush.
My favorite boar is an Omega # 20248 knot with a loft of about 53-54mm.
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Loves a smelly brush
I get more lather from my omega and more scrub (which I love) from my semogue. I am having great trouble picking my favorite.
Ricardo, I think this consistent difference between the two brands is based on how the knots are packed: Semogue splayed and Omega more straight up and down.
I am in the Omega camp and prefer a tight compact knot which works for me in face lathering. I have a Semogue SOC and Omega short loft boar around 50 mm loft. I don't find that knot density is very different in these brushes but they have very different backbone and splay. I also have a short loft Vulfix Hyde Park boar which has very different bristle that is almost badger like. The Vulfix bristle diameter are very smaller in comparison. I have no information that boar bristle is different except Semogue describes different boar bristle in their brush models. It does seem to me that not all boar bristle is the same or maybe bristles are treated differently in the processing.


Loves a smelly brush
I just made lather with my Semogue 610 and Omega 11137. I think I prefer my Semogue by a bit. The Omega is extremely good, but the Semogue loads up faster and has a bit more scrub. For my face lathering purposes, the feel of the 610 is better by a little bit thanks to the scrub. I also notice that pretty much all the Omegas have a pretty long loft and Semogues seem to have a greater variety of loft/knot ratios.

I should also point out that my Omega is far more broken in than my Semogue and I still like the Semogue just a bit better. I'm guessing after more break in it will really shine.
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