So I recently set out to make custom brushes to compliment my existing brushes. I decided to have a custom in each of my four brush categories; a badger, a boar, a synthetic, and a travel brush. I used products from Whipped Dog, The Golden Nib, and Shave Forge. Firstly, I will clarify the experience was positive. All three of the suppliers I used delivered. I’d say that Shave Forge, with discount running at the time and flat rate shipping, over delivered. I recommend all three. But in the end,I realize the value of making a brush is completely dependent on one’s initial motivation. Only in one, maybe two, of the four cases can I make an objective argument for doing it. So here we go. I will give MSRP prices and discount where applicable. Travel brush. - I wanted something cheap, small, and synthetic. I made a 20mm brush using what seems to be a synthetic tuxedo knot. Definitely at least a plissoft knot, but feels similar to my tuxedos. Total cost $13. I feel like this, objectively, might have been worth it. If I add 33% of my epoxy expense, it was $15. Not bad, but you can find a small cheap boar or pure badger for that or less. In my case I wanted synthetic and no larger than 20mm. Hard to find that readily available. Now on this guy I got 30% off, so real cost was $11.10. So really happy, but can’t count on such deals. So in terms of make or buy? Gentle lean towards make. Synthetic - Whipped Dog had a 24mm tuxedo knot dyed the colors of my grad school alma matter. Great brush. However, it was $28. My Razorock Snowman performs identifcally to it for $9.99. The only justification for this? Go Gamecocks! Great emotional purchase, but the Snowman is insanely punching above its weight class. Make or buy? Buy unless you’re tired of losing to Clemson and think this brush will bring good luck or something. Boar - 24mm in really cool looking blue handle. $17 bucks plus epoxy, $19. Nice brush. I’m happy with it. However, Jeff Bezos will sell you your choice of various Semogues or Omegas for that and ship it to you free if you are a Prime member. Again here I got 30% so it was $13.90. It got me right in range of a few Semogues but I don’t think the knot on my brush is that good. It’s good, but Semogue and Omega are using great knots for the money. Make or buy? Buy all day long. Silverip Badger - same handle as boar, 24mm knot. $35 plus epoxy, $37. Now here I think that it was unconditionally worth it. Even if it isn’t the greatest silver tip knot, you are at the very low end of silvertip entry prices. On top of that, I got a longish handle to specialize in bowl lathering. There wasn’t a brush like this in that price range. On this guy, there was a 20% discount, so real cost was $30 including epoxy. This is an obvious case of a make over buy. So I come out of this adventure learning two things. A custom brush, if you want a silvertip, is totally worth it. Sure you can get a better brush, but you will pay accordingly. All other cases, making a brush needs to satisfy a need beyond value. You want a crazy cool handle, you have a vintage handle, you want a crazy huge knot, or you’re a Gamecocks fan. The other lesson, give places like TGN, WD, and Shave Forge a try. They are providing a great product / service that WCS, Italian Barber, Amazon, etc are not and, in my experience, are ran by guys that care about what we think. Love to hear others’ take on this.