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  1. #1
    Senior Member blabbermouth JLStorm's Avatar
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    Default Brushes, Brushes, Brushes...

    Ok,

    I am going to try not to open a can of worms here...so I'll try to make the questoin simple.

    1. Will I notice a large difference between best badger and super badger. I know there is a difference, or else people wouldnt pay for the super badger, but is there a LARGE difference, or is super badger just that extra little bit of comfort and performance?

    2. If I am looking at two brushes of equal type of badger fur, handle material and size, and one brush is twice as much as the other, besides the name of a company, what exactly am I paying for? In other words, is there going to be a major difference in quality between a $70 super badger brush and a $160 super badger brush that are the same size, and made out of the same materials...


    Ok, I know this can become a bitterly debated topic, so I am not asking if a specific company is better than another, but just trying to get a general idea.
    Last edited by JLStorm; 02-20-2006 at 06:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth rtaylor61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLStorm
    Ok,

    I am going to try not to open a can of worms here...so I'll try to make the questoin simple.

    1. Will I notice a large difference between best badger and super badger. I know there is a difference, or else people wouldnt pay for the super badger, but is there a LARGE difference, or is super badger just that extra little bit of comfort and performance?

    2. If I am looking at two brushes of equal type of badger fur, handle material and size, and one brush is twice as much as the other, besides the name of a company, what exactly am I paying for? In other words, is there going to be a major difference in quality between a $70 super badger brush and a $160 super badger brush that are the same size, and made out of the same materials...


    Ok, I know this can become a bitterly debated topic, so I am not asking if a specific company is better than another, but just trying to get a general idea.
    JL,

    Can you post links to the brushes you are considering?

    RT

  3. #3
    Senior Member blabbermouth JLStorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor61
    JL,

    Can you post links to the brushes you are considering?

    RT
    RT,

    I havent been able to get that far, there are so many different companies and so many different price ranges. I was hoping that after I get these two questions answered I could start narrowing down the selection.

  4. #4
    Senior Member blabbermouth rtaylor61's Avatar
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    JL,

    This could be the biggest can of worms you have ever seen. First, a link:

    http://www.shavemyface.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3556

    Reading that will make your head swim! Let's cut to the chase. Basically, there are three different types of badger brushes: pure, best and silvertip. You'll also see this referred to as best, super and silvertip. Best being the "low" end and silvertip being the "high" end. I've got all three. When you compare a badger brush to a boar or synthetic brush, the first thing you will notice is their ability to hold water and heat. Also, they are softer on the face, with the less expensive brushes normally being a bit more "prickly". With badger brushes, there is no "grading" system, so manufacturers have come up with their own names for the different grades. Having covered that, the next thing to consider is knot size. The larger the knot, the larger the brush. I just sold a 30mm knot (it's in the pic below, on the left) because it was too large for me. And I am a big guy. I still have brushes that are 20mm, 23mm, 25mm and 26mm, and I have a 24mm on order. Personally, 26mm is plenty large. I enjoy all of these brushes. I like the softness of the silvertips, and they are outstanding with creams. I like the smaller knots because they tend to work better with soaps and they are generally more stiff. With bigger knots, you get more bristle loft, meaning a taller brush. When you move to a taller brush, you run the risk of getting a brush that will be "moppy", which can make applying lather more difficult. Realize that you are probably not going to be happy with just one brush. It's a fact of shaving. I have reached the point that for new guys, I recommend an Edwin Jagger brush that is sold by Crabtree & Evelyn. It is a bit on the small size, but it generates great lather, is not moppy, and if you decide it is too small, will be a great travel brush. It is a great brush, and at $35 bucks, a true bargain. I would just as soon use it as one of my $100 Shavemac brushes. It becomes a brush that you can compare others to, and still not break the bank.
    It's the brush in the middle. I fouind that you can research brushes until you are blue in the face, and everyone has an opinion about which is best. But until you actually pick up a brush and use it, and use it several times, you won't know your preference.

    If you can provide a price range that you actually want to stay in, that will make it easier to recommend a brush. It's doubtful that you will find a $70 brush and a $160 dollar brush made of the same materials. You may find comparable knot sizes, but there will be a difference. The $160 range should be a silvertip. The $70 range will probably be a super. At this point, this is probably as clear as mud. And it will probably remain that way. Tony Miller, the "stropmeister" here uses a Burma Shave...about $5-6 bucks at Wal Mart. Tonight in the chat, Bill Ellis, known for his razor restoration and a custom knife maker, acknowledged that he uses a Tweezerman, a $10-12 brush. Both are well respected in straight razor world. Both using bottom line brushes. It boils down to what you like. And only you can determine that.

    RT

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tony Miller's Avatar
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    Randy,
    I am slowly coming around to better brushes but have not strayed too far from the basics. I use my latest trusty Burma Shave brush (1 year old now) most days and always with hard soaps. Lately I have been trying creams (Crabtree & Evelyn Nomad and one from The Body Shop) and have splurged by using a Tweezerman Badger.
    My good brushes are the little C&E Travel brush in your photo and the C&E (Edwin Jagger) large brush. I was actually planning to stop by there today and greb that one in the middle as I am growning fond of Badger for creams.
    I also robbed my store and bought the Cocobolo Don McIvor brush I had listed. Really a nice dense brush and I can see why nice brushes cost what they do. I don't ever see myself going for an above $100 brush though.

    Tony

  6. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth rtaylor61's Avatar
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    Tony,

    Thanks for the comments, and I hope you don't mind that I used you as an example. I haven't used the travel brush much, but the middle brush gets a pretty good workout. Right now I am using a brush from a vendor to work up an opinion on a new handle design, so I'm not even using any of my brushes. Mabye someday I'll get to post pics!



    RT

  7. #7
    Senior Member blabbermouth JLStorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor61
    JL,
    If you can provide a price range that you actually want to stay in, that will make it easier to recommend a brush.
    RT
    RT,

    I did some more thread and internet seaching and this is what I have come up with. I definitely want to keep it under $70.00, and even that seems a bit high. I have a brush that is a marked as "genuine badger" which I got in a shaving set for a total of $38.00 here is a link that shows a picture of the shaving kit. http://www.theartofshaving.com/taos/....php?sku=98002 The brush works really well with creams, but it really doesnt seem to build the lather I like with soaps.

    Since I prefer using soaps to creams, and I was planning on making my old brush my travel brush, I thought I would investigate a new brush. I think my current brush may be a bit too short for the tall shaving mug I recently got from classic   I am not sure how tall the mug is...I would guess about 3.5" - 4", but the brush is just a tiny bit shorter than the mug. I REALLY need to have a lot of movement from the brush to work up a good soap lather, which is hard because its short, so the handle keeps banging into the mug, and there isnt much handle to grab. I guess this could partially be the classic shaving soap, but I am assuming it is at least partly the brushes fault as well.

    The brush doesnt hold a ton of water, but it does hold cream or soap lather reasonably well. I find that the brush doesnt lather up my face as easy as I would like, its more as if I was painting a house with a regular old paint brush.

    Does that make sense?

  8. #8
    Senior Member EdinLA44's Avatar
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    JL,

    Take a look at the Vulfix brushes on ClassicShaving.com. They are a great value for an excellent brush. I have the Vulfix 376, which is $70, has Super Badger bristles and a 24mm knot. I have the same mug as you do and the brush will work well with that mug, although you have to hold it with your fingertips and it will bang a bit on the sides of the mug. If you want a shorter mug, get a shorter Old Spice mug off of eBay for $10. Anyway, it's a fairly large brush but holds water well and is very soft on the face. It's not as stiff as a boar brush and will seem to be moppy by comparision, but it works well with hard soaps.

  9. #9
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    Nice post Randy,

    I didn't read the whole thread, I find brushes boring as all get out. I think I would go with Randy's advice. $35 for a brush? Thats a deal. I really got turned off to brush buying when I moved up to silvertip and thought it SUCKED. I like a brush that is a little stiffer and I knock out water when I lather up. Now I use an expensive brush, I have to knock out MORE water to make a good lather, the thing is soft (its like trying to use my head hair to build up a lather, AND I payed more for all this heartache. I get more ingrown hairs now to boot! Yeeeee Haaaaa. Gotta love that huh? Its so soft it doesn't even move the whiskers around. I got so frustrated for a while I stopped using a damn brush all together and just started putting soap on my face with my hands...can you guess where the "bristles" came from? Thats right, these soaps and creams lather up just fine without a brush. Don't forget you may be paying for the name or the handle material too, nothing says the quality of the brush is either better or your going to like it better. When did everyone decide that softer bristles should be better? I've heard of guys paying $400 for a brush and being dissapointed. And you know how hard it must be trying to sell a $400 used brush... Crazy...

  10. #10
    Senior Member blabbermouth rtaylor61's Avatar
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    Thanks Alan,

    I've got more to add, but I had problems with the page freezing up when trying to post with more pics and links. I'll get to it later. Been meaning to mention your signature. My former boss used to always say "A goal is just a dream without a plan".

    RT

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