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Thread: Time for a Better Brush

  1. #1
    Senior Member GreenRipper's Avatar
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    Default Time for a Better Brush

    I've decided it's time for a better brush. I've been wet shaving for roughly two weeks short of ten years and it is time to invest in better equipment. My first brush was a Art of Shaving "Genuine Badger" brush of indeterminate size which has recently been pressed back into service. Also lurking in my collection (a very loosely used term) is an old Ever-Ready 100T, a Caswell-Massey "Pure Badger" travel brush, and a VDH badger brush.

    The last member of this group was purchased as the test brush for my Brush Stand project. Since I've been investigating how well the stand is going to survive the humid environment of my bathroom that cheap VDH brush has been the daily go-to for six months...until last week. Unsurprisingly the VDH shed its knot last week, which is what necessitated my return to the AoS brush. My plans are to repair the VDH and press it back into limited service at my mother's house for when I visit but my thoughts have certainly turned to finally investing in a better brush.

    The reason I'm here asking for advise? I don't know all that much about brushes, which I'm sure absolutely no one is surprised by after reading about the ones I do own. Grade of knot? Size? Loft? These are all terms I now understand academically but are still totally alien to me in any real sense. That being said I can say that I'd prefer a badger knot with reasonable backbone and while scritch isn't a quality I'm seeking it also isn't one that I'm completely avoiding. Last but not least is budget, I'd like to keep my options in the $50-75 range as I'm still figuring out what I like and I see no need to shell out a bunch of money when I'm certainly likely to seek out other options in the future.

  2. #2
    cau
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    Given your budget, something like a Simpson's Colonel will fit your needs well. Take a look.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth 10Pups's Avatar
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    When I went for brush variety I went with the re-knot option. Buy an old brush with the handle you love and put a different type knot in it. Yeah it is some work but you can try more knots for a lot less that way. Depending on how you shop of course. Just another option to consider :<0) I didn't really go for the cheaper option as I re-knotted Dubl Duck brushes.
    Last edited by 10Pups; 12-21-2016 at 03:40 AM.
    Good judgment comes from experience, and experience....well that comes from poor judgment.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth celestino's Avatar
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    What characteristics are you looking for in a brush/knot? You have so many options now.

    TGN 2-Band Finest knots are great for their price.
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    Nemo me impune lacessit RobinK's Avatar
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    I would put a high-powered knot into the Ever-Ready 100T by all means. Shavemac offers stand-alone knots, and unlike various offers for aftermarket knots from China, theirs are hand made, and well worth the price.

    Failing that, and by ways of full disclosure, and despite the fact that I have a variety of Thäter silvertip brushes (still the best in the market in my opinion), my daily brush is a Frank Shaving synthetic which cost me something like $2 in China. It works like a charm. Personally, if I had to retrofit a brush into a handle, it would definitely be a modern synthetic, because it's hassle free, cheap, and will last forever without its quality degrading.
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    How about the Viking Brushes? I was checking for a new brush also and the Thater brand is out off my price range but then I saw the Viking Brand and it looks like a good brush and it is affordable for me. Has anyone tried it or has one? I like the name because of my Viking blood.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    I agree with Robin, on shavemac you can get just the knot you want and the quality is top tier. installing it in your handle is a great option.

    you can look at lots of different brands and they have their good points, but if you get that shavemac you will never tell yourself I wish I had. cost is relative, pay now enjoy for a long time or go cheap and maybe not enjoy at all. the synthetic is a workhorse that has some great uses, myself I haven't been able to like mine. Tc
    Ever wonder why you never see a motorcycle in front of a Shrinks office? ,,,,, then you have never ridden one "

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  11. #8
    Senior Member GreenRipper's Avatar
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    I've been trying to get around to answering my own thread for two days now but the holiday season is upon us and it has kept me very busy as of late.

    Quote Originally Posted by celestino View Post
    What characteristics are you looking for in a brush/knot? You have so many options now.

    TGN 2-Band Finest knots are great for their price.
    My lack of experience with quality knots is probably my biggest challenge when it comes to picking a brush/knot. While I can study the technical aspects of knots and read/watch brush reviews I'm left with the fact that I simply lack real life experience and am simply unable to communicate what characteristics I want. If I knew I wanted a high end silvertip I would scrape together the money and buy one. The reality is that I don't know that the shavemac has that value for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10Pups View Post
    When I went for brush variety I went with the re-knot option. Buy an old brush with the handle you love and put a different type knot in it. Yeah it is some work but you can try more knots for a lot less that way. Depending on how you shop of course. Just another option to consider :<0) I didn't really go for the cheaper option as I re-knotted Dubl Duck brushes.
    The re-knot idea is a fantastic one and I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it! Of course I don't have any great love for the feel of the 100T in my hand so it's not an option but this suggestion, along with others, has sent me down a whole new train of thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by tcrideshd View Post
    I agree with Robin, on shavemac you can get just the knot you want and the quality is top tier. installing it in your handle is a great option.

    you can look at lots of different brands and they have their good points, but if you get that shavemac you will never tell yourself I wish I had. cost is relative, pay now enjoy for a long time or go cheap and maybe not enjoy at all. the synthetic is a workhorse that has some great uses, myself I haven't been able to like mine. Tc
    Tc, in many ways you're a man after my own heart as I would rather spend the money up front and have something I love and use for years than buying a cheaper option and then using it, unhappily, for months or years before buying the option I should have purchased to begin with. The problem is I hate to throw down that type of money, at this point, when I'm not sure that the shavemac is really what I want. Add to that the fact that if I do spend that type of money I want a great handle to put it in and that is only going to raise the cost (I am in love with those Shokwood brushes in the Alcove.) At that point I might as well commit to BAD, buy a lathe and get to making brushes myself, an action I'm getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger on.

    For now I'm contemplating buying a generic handle or two and giving a few of the synthetic knots a try. In fact I may simply get back to basics and learn to build a lather all over again and try to unlearn what I'm sure I've been doing wrong for ten years. While I'm doing all of this maybe I'll find a local with one of those high end brushes who will be willing to let me take it for a test drive!

    Thanks for all of the suggestions guys! This community is fantastic and while I'm not strictly following the suggestions given it has certainly put a variety of ideas tumbling around my head.
    Last edited by GreenRipper; 12-23-2016 at 03:05 PM.
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    I have a Simpson Colonel and an Omega boar brush. Like them both and alternate them every other day.

    Omega also makes some reasonably priced badger brushes and have thought about trying one of those.
    Steve
    Omaha, NE

  13. #10
    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    Lynn is righ down the road from you in Chesterfield. Tc
    Ever wonder why you never see a motorcycle in front of a Shrinks office? ,,,,, then you have never ridden one "

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