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Thread: Quality of Badger Hair

  1. #1
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    Default Quality of Badger Hair

    Hello all,

    I recently started straight shaving a few weeks ago and am still learning some of the ropes. From the info I've seen, badger hair is the quality standard I see when it comes to shave brushes. If this is the case, why is it that I see a range of price from $10 to $100+?

    Thanks for the info and insight in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Butzy's Avatar
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    It's usually the quality of badger hair, not the fact that it is badger hair. take a look at the library link

    I would encourage you to poke around the library beyond just that section as well! lots of good stuff

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Hirlau's Avatar
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  4. #4
    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daminnick21 View Post
    Hello all,

    I recently started straight shaving a few weeks ago and am still learning some of the ropes. From the info I've seen, badger hair is the quality standard I see when it comes to shave brushes. If this is the case, why is it that I see a range of price from $10 to $100+?

    Thanks for the info and insight in advance.
    Price range should be more like $10 to $600 + for some brushes.

    A large Plisson High Mountain White badger hair brush can easily run you over $600, some of the top quality Simpson's Super Badger and Manchurian badger are also in that range...superb brushes all.

    It depends also on what you're looking for, do you want an uber soft brush, where the tips feel like angel's wings on your face? Or are you looking for some serious scrubbing action, "scritch" as it's referred to. Also, size impacts costs as well, you want a huge 31mm brush, with High Mountain White badger hair, and you will pay larger.

    Best thing is to decide all your specs for what you want in a brush, determine a price range, and go from there.

    Then the BAD sets in...Brush Acquisition many different brushes to try.....
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Pete123's Avatar
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    There are many different types/grades of badger hair, thus there is not 'best on the market' brush. As well, people have different preferences.

    Having said that, Stirling Soap Company has some badger brushes that are very high quality with a reasonable price - between $35 and $40.

    With this being a foray into badger brushes, I would not go with their 'fan' brush.

    These brushes are very soft, yet have a lot of backbone.

    Here is a link to each of them:
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    Senior Member blabbermouth RezDog's Avatar
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    There are different grades of hair, and different densities of knots and there is also different countries of manufacture and with that comes different levels of quality control. Kind of like cars. I have some very nice (for the money) brushes from China, but they were not the cheapest brushes from China. Most knot are from China, except for a few companies in the U.K. And Europe. Shave Mac, Simpson and a couple of other still make their knots, hand tied and the old fashioned way. Some brushes shed easily, others take years and years to get there, it all goes back to the quality control. You very often get what you pay for in brushes. It is very difficult to wade through all of the options in the beginning. I started with an inexpensive silver badger brush at 22mm and if curiousity had not gotten the better of me I could still be shaving exclusively with that brush.
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  10. #7
    Senior Member blabbermouth rolodave's Avatar
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    Besides the quality of the badger knot, you will also be paying for the handle material itself.

    Here is a link to Plisson. The site has a lot of info on brushes. I do not own a Plisson but i do love my Simpson Manchurians and Shave-mac knots.

    Hair quality Guide for Plisson shaving brushes

    The Simpson site:

    Simpson Shaving Brushes: Products: Best Badger
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  12. #8
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Also consider that the loft of the knot relative to it's size will have an affect on how the brush feels on your face. Add that to all the other variables already mentioned and you will likely have to go through several brushes till you find your preferred/goldielocks brush type of badger brush. You may get lucky and find a badger brush on first go that is best for you. It's all individual preference as to what the best badger brush is for you, mine might likely be totally different.

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  14. #9
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yes, brush quality and price can vary, and while high end is not necessary, but nice to have. You can buy a very good brush, maybe not badger for around $30, but everyone should have at least one excellent brush.

    You can buy a gorgeous Custom brush, of equal or better quality, often for much less that a named brand high end brush. We have several excellent Custom brush makers here, that are turning out excellent brushes, for much less that name brand brushes.

    And then there are Vintage handles re-knotted, with a knot of your choice and performance.

    I passed on a nice vintage brush that needed re-knotting, with a great Lucite handle yesterday, and have been kicking myself since. It will be a bit of a drive, but I may have to go back there later this week and pick it up.

    Yes, everyone should have at least one, GOOD / GREAT, brush they are a lifetime purchase. I still have and use a Simpson I bought over 40 years ago.
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  15. #10
    Mental Support Squad Pithor's Avatar
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    As far as I know, there are three types of badger hair: black (for make-up brushes), grey (coarse) and silvertip (for higher end shaving brushes).

    There are differences in quality of hair well as differences in manufacturing the knots: knots that are trimmed into shape Vs. knots that are tied into shapes without trimming). These last two are the main differences between okay silvertip knots and high quality ones.

    Then there are manufacturers' qualifications. There are no standards, so it's hard to compare the quality of different knots without physically holding them. Most of them are varying qualities of silvertip, at least for the more well-known manufacturers (Simpson, Thäter, Shavemac, etc.).

    A decent silvertip badger brush does not need to be expensive. Then again, it would be quite a challenge to find a luxurious, high-end silvertip for under €100.
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