Are Synthetics Really Best?

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by Steve C, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    Let me ask a bit more. Are you recommending badger over boar? And if so, name two or three you would recommend to start with. When I say money is a consideration, I'm talking about not being able to spend a hundred or two on a single brush. I know that some badger brushes can be very expensive.
     
  2. Puma

    Puma Well-Known Member

    If you can't afford a good badger, get something else. I really love some of my badgers, but most were over $100 new. I think two were less than a hundred. I also got a couple of high end brushes used for under $100 on the BST/Classified sections of the shaving forums. Semogue is not a bad place to start for a boar. The Semogue Owners Club boar brush is the go-to brush for several people I know who prefer boar. I have only used badgers and synths, but I will try a boar eventually. A friend of mine recently said, "all brushes of quality have their place, right?" and I agree with him 100%.
     
    PickledNorthern and Zykris like this.
  3. Puma

    Puma Well-Known Member

    For around $100 I would say grab a Simpson's Duke 3 or Chubby 1 in best badger. On Amazon the D3 is about $90 and the CH1 is $105. There is also a Duke 2 that should be a little bit less than the D3. Just be sure to get BEST badger, not Pure. They also have those brushes in Super, but that is a much higher price and not much better than Best, if it is better at all.
     
  4. Col C

    Col C Well-Known Member

    I have cheap badgers, expensive badgers, horse hair, synthetics and several boar brushes. This whole thing is completely depended upon the individual user and his likes/dislikes. For me nothing beats a boar but that is me. Others can recommend what they like but I would never trust anything but my own face.
     
    Eeyore, Marc Bagwell and Zykris like this.
  5. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    There are good options for both. I've used Omega and Semogue brushes. In my experience, I've prefered Omega boar brushes. From the badger department, I've only used Whipped Dog's High Mountain badger. There are vendors that sell silver tip brushes rather decently like Whipped Dog, TurnNShave on etsy. Do you prefer backbone, softness of tips, etc?
     
    RyX and Marc Bagwell like this.
  6. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Moderator
    Badger only excels at the high end of the scale, like north of $80. A $25 synthetic will beat the stuffing out of any other $25 knot you can possibly find. However, a $15 boar from Omega is a solid performer and a great option too. The main advantage of fine badger is skinfeel. However, I have a $150 badger that sits unused because it's only equal to my $25 Plisson type synthetic or $30 @jtspartan Tuxedo synthetic. Maybe that helps?
     
    RyX and Marc Bagwell like this.
  7. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    Generally, I agree with the sentiment, but there are more and more options becoming available for good badger brushes under $100:

    The knots that Rod from Stirling Soap has been sourcing for his finest badgers make really nice brushes, for around $50.

    Razorock brushes are made by Zenith, and get pretty good reviews, even from collector dudes whose opinions I trust, including my own.

    There are a lot of brush makers who sell affordable brushes on Etsy. Most of these guys use knots from Whipped Dog or Virginia Sheng, which are fine in their own right, but if you ask them in advance to use a knot from The Golden Nib, or Etsy Shave, you can step that brush up a tier for very little extra cost.

    My single biggest advice is to stay away from "Silvertip" or three band brushes unless you are going to spend a little more coin. A million times I have seen a guy who says he wants to try a good badger, buys a budget silvertip, and then comeplains that it's floppy. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bargain on a Silvertip. The hairs are softer and less stiff, so you need a ton of them to make a good knot. And a ton of hairs cost a ton of money. That's all there is to it.

    -The Razorock High Mountain White from Zenith is a good brush. (Do not confuse with Whipped Dog's, which is a two band Finest.

    -TGN Grade A Silvertips get good comments from people I trust, but I have not tried one.

    -Envy Shave sells excellent knots.

    The idea (my recommendation) is to stay with Finest or Two Band unless you are looking at higher end stuff. A lot of these knots have treated tips now, which make the tips softer, look better, and knocks the price straight into the basement.

    EDIT* Fixed a typo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
    RyX, Marc Bagwell and Zykris like this.
  8. Puma

    Puma Well-Known Member

    True. Some of the middle tier stuff is getting really good, but I wouldn't expect good badger for synth or boar money. I have a Zenith Manchurian on the way that cost around $75 and it has gotten some good reviews on the forums. One of my Jayaruhs has a Virginia Sheng 2 band and it is pretty good. The Elite Manchurian White is as good a knot as any and it costs $55, but with one of Elite's handles you are still going to be close to $150. Still, if you can get on the list for a Wolf Whiskers handle and have Peter put the Elite White in there you would have one of the best knots in the world set in a custom made work of art for less than $120. However, since Marc seems to be trying to stay under a hundy, I stick by my recommendations of Duke 2 or 3, or Chubby 1, in Best if he wants a Badger. Actually I would really suggest he keep an eye on the classified/BST sections of the forums. I got a 28mm Shavemac D01 in a LoveYourShave handle for $75. The brush was only about three months old and was hardly used. It felt and smelled brand new. That knot alone, at that size, without a handle, goes for about $190 from Shavemac.
     
  9. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    Excellent point! May I ask why you prefer a boar? Is it for the feel or the performance?
     
    Zykris likes this.
  10. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    I like soft with a bit of backbone.
     
    Zykris likes this.
  11. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Moderator
    How do you lather?
     
  12. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    Good question. I forgot to mention that I usually face lather. I've never used anything but synthetics but am anxious to try something new. Any and all advice is appreciated. Let's face it, it cost too much to buy everything so you guys really are helping.
     
    RyX likes this.
  13. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    From what you are saying, I would spend $10 at Amazon and buy an Omega 10049. Pretty much as good of a boar brush as you can get, a classic of sorts, and cheap. That way, while you are enjoying breaking it in and playing with something new, you can study up on badgers.
     
  14. dustmite

    dustmite Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the 10049. Really can't lose on a $10 brush... I know I love mine.
     
    Zykris and Marc Bagwell like this.
  15. Marc Bagwell

    Marc Bagwell Well-Known Member

    Hello,
    Thanks for the input. I have been studying up on badger brushes - but wanted some feedback before flopping down a C note. I researched the customer feedback ratings on both Amazon and WCS. I figured who best to judge a brush than the people who own them. Based on those ratings - relative to price - I have placed an order for two brushes, both a badger and a boar. I was leaping a bit in the dark because I didn't get a lot of feedback on brush manufactures. There were a couple mentions but hardly enough to base a selection on. What I discovered in my research is a silver tip badger than repeatedly received high praise from its owners but was almost never mentioned by other shaving enthusiast. That brush is the Parker Silver Tip which carried a rating of 4.8 out of 5 based on over 150 reviews. So I placed an order. For the boar brush I chose the Semogue 820 - which is the same as the popular 830 but without the dyed hairs. This brush also carried very high rating, I think it was something like a 4.7 out of 5. Did I choose the right brushes? Who knows. Maybe time will tell. I know there are fantastic badger brushes out there at the 150 to 200 dollar ranger but those were eliminated due to price. I am retired and on a ample but fixed income so flopping down two C notes for a brush is not doable for me - and honestly, not certain I would flop down two C notes even if I wasn't on a fixed income. I know some of you have spent that much and that's fine but it's not for me. I do appreciate the help I received from you guys. Thanks. Remember to keep the coffee steaming hot and your powder dry - you never know when that zombie apocalypse might happen. Oh wait, that's a different forum - never mind.
     
    Puma, Bama Samurai and Zykris like this.
  16. preidy

    preidy Just call me Dino

    I use (and like) them solely because of the quick dry factor.
     
    Marc Bagwell likes this.
  17. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    The 820 Semogue should be an excellent face latherer. It'll take some time to break in and for the hairs to split but it's an adventure! The silvertip, I can't comment on but I'm sure someone will have feedback.
     
    Marc Bagwell likes this.
  18. Bama Samurai

    Bama Samurai with Laser-like Focus Staff Member

    Moderator
    I face lather daily. You need a synthetic.
     
    Zykris and Marc Bagwell like this.
  19. Col C

    Col C Well-Known Member

    Once broken in (about three weeks of use) I find the soft feel of the crown (from the split ends) but supported by firm bristles is just right for my face. The boars also make better and quicker lather in a bowl. My opinion.
     
    Zykris likes this.
  20. Col C

    Col C Well-Known Member

    I will admit that on my recent 30 day road trip I used a synthetic. Mainly because it dries fast.
     
    Zykris likes this.

Share This Page