Dissection of Stirling Synthetic Brush - Review

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by GDCarrington, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Well as I stated earlier I purchased two of the Stirling Synthetic Brushes that were discounted as seconds due to scratched on the logos. So today the shipment arrived. Thanks Rod for the fast shipping.

    Now to the brushes. Yes they use the same thin Generation 3 fiber as the L'Occitane Plisson. The fibers are more numerous and more densely packed and the lofts are longer than the L'Occitane Plisson.

    Now we all know what I was going to do with one of these brushes when they arrived. So here is the tale of the tape.


    I plan on using the intact brush in next shave of the day. I really do not expect any surprises from this brush and knot.

    So you may ask what is the plan for the removed knot?

    Well some time ago, I had another set of handles in which one was used.


    I might use this knot in the remaining handle. When I decide that this is indeed the one then I will install it but that will be for a later date.

    I hope you enjoyed the view of the Stirling Synthetic and viewing the knot that is within.
  2. RaZorBurn123

    RaZorBurn123 waiting hardily...............

    Very neat. Thank you Burma Shave! :)
    GDCarrington likes this.
  3. Dzia Dzia

    Dzia Dzia Entitled to whine

    You could PIF it to some little girl to use as s paint brush for her sky and grass. LOL.
    Very interesting. PM coming sometime soon.
  4. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Thanks for 'sacrificing' one of your brushes for this 'inside scoop'!
    GDCarrington likes this.
  5. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Same fibers as the Plisson, so one wonders how the performance compares to it?...
    GDCarrington likes this.
  6. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    Thanks for the write up!

    Out of curiosity, how can you tell Gen 3 fibers from other generations?
    GDCarrington likes this.
  7. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    I am sure that Guy @ram57 would be amused ... on second thought.
    ram57 and Dzia Dzia like this.
  8. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    The hairs are about half the thickness.
    It very obvious if you have a side by side comparison in hand. Not so obvious from photos.

    Edit: I would think these are actually Gen 4 hairs, but again, half the thickness of initial release Gen 4 hairs, like the H.I.S. brush. Unless Gen 4 is considered the "kinky" hair of the muhle synthetics.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  9. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

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  10. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    The thinner fibers, are really a major definition between this Gen 3 fiber and other Gen 3 fibers especially early ones such as the FS and the 2 Band TGN. This is why you can pack these fibers tighter and they tend to splay more uniformly than the older Gen 3 fibers.

    They are also thinner than current Gen 4 fibers, but the tips are more defined when placed against the skin dry

    Gen 3.5 (the first version of the Mühle STF) was the crumpled fiber version but that was more expensive to produce so they went to the Gen 4 long after H.I.S. Gen 4 was out on the market.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  11. Norcalnewb

    Norcalnewb Magnanimous Moos

    Thanks for the link! That was a good read with lots of information. This will be my first synthetic brush, and I have been curious about them for a while. This provides some good information for me.
    GDCarrington likes this.
  12. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    side by side of TGN with the new Stirling….
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  13. ram57

    ram57 Don't Open til Christmas

    Well I had given the thought that since the fibers may not be recoverable to the level that I like that this would be a perfect candidate to try and steam out the knot to see if this process was doable or had to be cut open. Since Rod was kind enough to let me purchase a brush that had not been paid for, I have decided to spare the "paint brush" and less than an hour ago gave it to my daughters boyfriend and he can decide to keep it or do what he pleases. I got him started in wetshaving just before Christmas so I'm going to say that he will keep it for his own use as it is usable and he has not used a Plisson before. It's just that I know what the feel is like and would not settle for something less. He did pay me for the replacement brush and bought me dinner to boot.
  14. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    That is a big brush.
    GDCarrington and ram57 like this.
  15. cmorris357

    cmorris357 catching flies.........

    You don't realize just how big until you hold it. But By Golly does it ever whip up the lather. I'm looking forward to picking up one of the smaller ones when Rod gets them in stock. It'll be going straight into my Dopp kit.
    GDCarrington, ram57 and Jayaruh like this.
  16. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    As you see in my photo, steam does not work. The knot is somewhat sunk into the handle and the handle is not the easiest to cut. You have to work it out by cutting and I do mean work.
    ram57 likes this.
  17. Bobcat

    Bobcat Well-Known Member

    Thanks Gary!
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  18. ram57

    ram57 Don't Open til Christmas

    Oh I agree with you looking at your post. Part of the reason I decided to forget it as I went through the exact same issue as you with the two The Grooming Co. brushes I had which by the way are the same handle as this one just pint size. I was able to steam one knot of the TGC but took almost 1.5 hrs to do so and it was b**h and even then had to be extra careful to remove so second on I did exactly the same thing as you did to this one and still a b***h so after reading your post it was reinforcement not to attempt it. Thanks for the much appreciated warning.
    GDCarrington likes this.
  19. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Now that I have had the opportunity to use the Stirling, I was not surprised. It was what I expected. It has quite a bit of splay just like the L'occitane Plisson since they are the same thin Generation 3 fibers. Don't let this fool you since there are far more fibers due not only to size but the fibers are packed tighter than the L'occitane Plisson. Unlike the thinner packed L'occitane Plisson, the Stirling creates a wall of fibers that allows for a consistent and dense lather to be produced and applied. I face and head lathered today with Soap Commander and only had to make one set of swirls in the soap and then Stirling made mounds of lather. I did two full face and head passes and the brush had enough for two more without having to reload. I like this brush a lot. It is a far better executed brush and knot than the L'occitane Plisson due to the density of fibers alone. I have provided a comparison to other well known brushes for comparison and contrast.


    The Stirling even if it sells for 25 USD is a far better value brush than many others that are on the market. I like it as much as the Mühle Ver. 2 STF and the original H.I.S. based on performance. My other Stirling knot will make its way into a vintage handle before long as well. So what does the L'occitane Plisson want to be when it grows up ... A Sterling. Rod (@ezlovan) well done on bringing this high performance, high value brush to the traditional shaving community.
    Bosoxfan, Tdmsu, gwsmallwood and 5 others like this.
  20. ezlovan

    ezlovan Well-Known Member

    Supporting Vendor
    Thanks for the kind words and the detailed write up. I'm really pleased that these brushes have been so well received.
    Bosoxfan, Tdmsu, wristwatchb and 2 others like this.

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