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Thread: common terms

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    Member sean121718's Avatar
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    Lightbulb common terms

    can some of the more experienced wet shavers define the following terms for me, "backbone" (shaving brush), and "cushion" (lather)...this way when i'm describing some of my products I can do so properly....Thanks
    Sean the barber

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    Backbone describes how stiff the bristles are. If you use hard soaps as opposed to creams, you need a brush with some backbone to make lather. A very soft brush will take a long time to do what a stiffer brush can do quickly. Cushion is how slick a soap is (IMO) and helps to avoid some razor burn although no soap or cream can stop a carbon or stainless steel blade that is heading in the wrong direction.
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    Member sean121718's Avatar
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    thank you very much...so for soaps the more "backbone" the better??? I have a few people asking me to describe some of my brushes and I just want to do so without embarrassing myself....so your input is highly appreciated....
    Sean the barber

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    Senior Member PFunkDaddy's Avatar
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    For soaps in general and particularly hard soaps, more backbone is better.
    Just to be specific the term refers to the stiffness of the bristles/hairs but not to the relative softness of the tips.
    A brush with good backbone will not be floppy. They are usually not describe as a 'soft cloud of badger.'
    Though the tips can be exceedingly soft, there is always a firm foundation behind the tips.
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    I have always felt you can get great lather no matter the brush (backbone wise) whether you use soap or cream. Maybe if you use a pure badger which is very stiff or get a very stiff boar it might be different but honestly from the silvertip assortment I have I have no issue getting equally great lather. To me backbone is more a quality you either like as harder or softer right on down to very floppy and they way they feel on your skin.

    As to cushion I usually think of it a a layer of soap between the razor and you. Some have minimal cushion and some have way more. Slickness is more the lube effect which is different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean121718 View Post
    can some of the more experienced wet shavers define the following terms for me, "backbone" (shaving brush), and "cushion" (lather)...this way when i'm describing some of my products I can do so properly....Thanks
    Above right, is the "Advanced Search" button (Not the GOOGLE Custom Search Box), it opens up to a page that allows you to put in the "Keywords" box things like "backbone, cushion". The result will be threads that talk extensively about the subjects you are looking for.

    This approach gives you a ton more information on the subject , than just asking in a single thread, as you have here. Also it will discuss brands of brushes that are known for backbone & cushion,,,photographs are often included.

    Don't take me wrong,,,,,you starting a thread asking about these topics is a good thing & a welcomed thing. It also contributes to the data stored in the forum in regard to those two topics. I myself use the Advanced Search Function often on all kinds of topics. I like to have as much information as possible before investing my money on new shaving equipment.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Any quality silvertip Badger Knot can be made to have more backbone,is all in how the loft is set IMO
    You look at the Vulfix brushes,big floppy mops because the lofts are set in the 60mm range,same with some of the older simpsons and rooneys.
    I have done some older re knots for members where the orig lofts were close to 70mm.
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    the deepest roots TwistedOak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelfixed View Post
    Any quality silvertip Badger Knot can be made to have more backbone,is all in how the loft is set IMO
    You look at the Vulfix brushes,big floppy mops because the lofts are set in the 60mm range,same with some of the older simpsons and rooneys.
    I have done some older re knots for members where the orig lofts were close to 70mm.
    I agree. I don't really think that backbone is a characteristic that should be given to knots themselves. Then, when you start to compare knots set in brushes there really isn't a standard measurement of how much "backbone" a brush has... it's all very subjective.

    OP - If you want to describe a brush you are selling, I would focus more on the facts (knot diameter, loft height, type of badger hair).
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    This is not my actual head. HNSB's Avatar
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    I think backbone is still a useful term. I prefer brushes with a lot of backbone. I could say I prefer a short loft, but I'm not interested in the loft. Loft doesn't translate across materials.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by HNSB View Post
    I think backbone is still a useful term. I prefer brushes with a lot of backbone. I could say I prefer a short loft, but I'm not interested in the loft. Loft doesn't translate across materials.
    Very true,two bands have alot more so called backbone and the loft needs to be set accordingly
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