Oumo Brush "Hook"

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by mvd, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. mvd

    mvd Well-Known Member

    I was eyeing the Oumobrush or Oumo Brush vendor on aliexpress or alibaba (not sure on the difference) and decided to give their finest two-band "hook" brush a try. I found and continue to find the site difficult to navigate, difficult to find information on, and generally hard to use. Likewise, it is hard to tell what the real difference is between their brushes. Based on what I researched, I decided to give the "hook" brush a try.

    Clearly, "hook" is marketing jargon referring to hooked tips on badger brushes as a desirable quality. Frankly, I don't know if I would know a hooked tip if it jumped up and bit me on the behind. I suspect the hype is exactly that--just hype. I am skeptical of hook brushes and gel tips.

    Who knows, though; I am happy to be proved wrong.

    My real goal was to fine something close to Maggards SHD. I hope this Oumo Brush is close. Based on the look and feel out of the box, it is indeed quite dense and a bit scratchy. I am hopeful.

    I have to check my receipt, but I think these doubled in price from 45 CAD to 74 wow! Also available from APShaveco apparently.

    I hope to be able to plant this guy in a handle in the next few weeks.

    Has anyone else tried these? Any thoughts?[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
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  2. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I know some knots "hook" (the tips curl) during the sterilization process. It's supposed to give a softer face feel as a bonus.

    That's a good looking knot.

    Edit: You also mentioned gel tips. Brushes with Gel tips were common around 2011-12. Basically, the brush tips 'gel' together in clumps.

    This behaviour is not natural to the brush knot. It is caused as a byproduct of a mistake in the bleaching and/or sterilization process. So is hooking.

    The shaving brush industry seems to be unique in it's ability to pass off (what could arguably be called) manufacturing defects as a better brush. Different? Certainly. Better? It really depends on the eye of the beholder.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  3. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    I've been looking over their site and the prices are reasonable. I just haven't tried them yet; let us know how they are.

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  4. Linuxguile

    Linuxguile dating an unusual aristocrat

    Supporting Vendor
    I have a pair of 30mm SHD Manchuria brushes in bound. I also have some Maggard SHD brushes, a Fanchrian V2, and TnS Tip knot I can compare them to. Looking forward to your reviews

    Sent from my Galaxy using Tapatalk
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  5. mvd

    mvd Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the history! The use of gel as in "gel together" while also suggesting softness is pretty clever, I admit, from a marketing standpoint. We often seem to be victims of our own passion for this niche hobby when we pounce on new developments. I have a new handle all lined up. I just need to bore out the hole about a mm and then polish it up. I am really curious to see how it holds up against my Maggards SHD and my TGN 2-band.
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  6. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Make sure you chamfer the edge. It's one of the things that seems to be almost unique to wolf whiskers brushes. It will keep the sharp edge from cutting through the hair during use.
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  7. mvd

    mvd Well-Known Member

    It sure takes me forever to get any hobby projects done these days. I put the knot into a Simms brush. I will cross-post the pics in my ongoing Simms thread too.

    Might have ended up a touch off centre, but oh well. I thought about sanding out the dark crack on the one side, but I ultimately decided to leave the brush as is for a more vintage look.

    I should be able to take it for a spin tonight or tomorrow. [​IMG][​IMG]
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  8. mvd

    mvd Well-Known Member

    I ballsed up the lather for the first time in a looong while just to get a lather pic lol. Other than my ineptness, the brush performed great. It actually did have a soft gel-like feel which surprised me since it is one of the scratchier brushes when dry.

    I would say it is softer than the TGN finest and Silvertip and on par with the Maggards SHD but with a slightly different feel to the tips. Not a lot of backbone, but I like to set my brushes high--just so the glue is out of sight, so the backbone may be from that.

    Frankly all of these brushes are great. It's pure curiosity and hedonism that keeps me trying new ones.

    Since there are so many great knots out there, I can't say I'd pony up the current price for another of these ones. It is wonderful but I prefer it at the price I first saw it for. Likely they have to keep priced it high if it is indeed the same as the new one from Apshaveco since you ought not to undercut you own retailer lol.

    Might try the Oumo HMW or Manchurian. They seem better priced for future experiments.
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  9. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    High Mountain White and Manchurian are different names for the exact same hair. Or at least it ought to be. Maybe they overstuff one of the knots to differentiate them?
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  10. Linuxguile

    Linuxguile dating an unusual aristocrat

    Supporting Vendor
    I often see HMW referring to three band knots and Manchurian referring to two band knots

    Sent from my Galaxy using Tapatalk
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  11. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Good enough. I'll add it to the brush wiki, and that will make it so. Why knot? It's as good as classification as any. :)

    Edit: So let it be written... So let it be done.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  12. b1hart

    b1hart Well-Known Member

    I'm expanding my brush collection into badger knots. Badger brush/knot newbie and naive. Definitely will be reading the stickies before any more badger knot (or brush) purchasing.

    Seems I'm finding too much variety with badger knots/brushes (and not a good thing imo). Have a badger in a Darwin brush (2 band), a Zenith (2 band), a Wild West Brushworks (2 band) and one from Heritage Collection (HMW). The first 3 are nice, lather, face feel all mostly OK. The Heritage Collection HMW a little bit of a lather hog. Face feel is nice though. Had a couple very inexpensive badgers....one was literally pokey, the other just too thin. PIF'd.

    I also have a good number of boar brushes, several with the same Zenith boar knot, a couple with a less expensive Zenith boar knot, an Omega boar, a Semogue boar, and love them. Face feel, backbone, lathering, release...all of them very nice. Some variety and differences, but nothing that makes me go searching and posting.

    Question....is it possible to correct the 'gel' tip issue on an existing badger knot? Maybe shave off a smidgeon of the tips? Reason being, last week I purchased a Heritage Collection HMW 26mm Gel tip (in a Klenzo handle). I could be wrong, but maybe it's one of the Oumo gel options (seem to remember that from some other reading or maybe an IG post). But...this knot is the worst lather hog I've experienced, and I am not a fan of the gel tip option (at all). This morning it held almost 2-3 passes worth of lather (and very little would be released on my face or even in the bowl). If I did't love the handle (and it matches a straight I have) so much...it'd already be in the BST.

    I've got badgers from TGN and EnvyShave on the way for a couple handles...will see how these fair in my world. One is slated for an awesome wood/resin handle from @jtspartan (thank you!)...the other may end up in the Klenzo handle.

    Maybe I'm finding I'm a boar brush kind of guy.....
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  13. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Heh. First, don't give your brush a haircut. It will absolutely ruin it, and won't improve it.

    Lather hogging can be caused by thinner hairs, denseness, and too high a loft.

    So, if you have a silvertip/three band knot, with thin silvertip hair, set just below the glue bump, it will be floppy and a lather hog. The easiest 'fix' is to keep adding small rubber bands to the base of the knot until the knot is the desired density and loft.

    Without handling your brush, I can't say what is wrong with it. I suspect that for most people it would be a wonderful brush, and they would hit the puck for a very long time, do four passes, and then 'ooh' and 'ah' over the three more passes worth of lather they squeeze out of it afterwards. For someone like me, I would set that knot so deep you would only see two bands... and I still might not like it.

    Since it's already set, you'll probably have to end up scrapping the knot to save the handle.

    I seem to remember a line from a movie. "A knot chooses the wizard, Hairy." Close enough, anyways.

    Now, about your other problem. There are two trains of thought. One is mechanical abrasion. The other is chemicals. I'm not comfortable recommending either one. Both are really designed to soften the tips.

    The first one is easy. Fan out the hairs in a sigle layer and run a dremel with a sanding drum or sandpaper lollipop through the ends of the hairs. Check, rotate, fan, sand, repeat. Continue until you have achieved desired 'softness' or the knot is destroyed.

    The second one I've seen discussed but I've never seen anyone pursue it. It's something of an open secret that the Chinese do some creative things with badger hair, and the colors of your knot may have been somewhat different when that hair was attached to the badger. The tips of the hair are narrowed (dissolved) in some sort of acid. Probably diluted hydrochloric acid, then the tips are bleached. Probably using some off the shelf 'pure platinum' hair bleaching kit.

    You then wind up with a brush full of low grade hair (stiff thick hairs) with soft (silvertip like) tips. "Why Ryan, it almost sounds as though you are describing best or two band badger."

    Yeah it does, doesn't it? Funny, that. It could be hair from the hog badger too. We just don't know. We have less than 10 hair grading levels for badger hair. Hair suppliers have dozens. We know they have dozens. We have no clue what they are or what the critera is for each level.

    I've yet to see anyone go all homebrew chemist on the shaving forums, at least in regards to badger hair.

    In conclusion, as a long time boar fan, since for the longest time, I thought all badgers were soft and floppy, you will probably prefer two-band knots, set deeper than normal (12-14 mm set depth), in a hole 1mm bigger than the normal manufacturer's recommendation. That recommendation is for a 22-24mm knot, and is more of a guideline than a rule, since knot heights vary, as does the size of the glue bump.

    With this particular setup, you will get the stiffness of a lightly soaked boar brush, the slight scritch (scrubby feeling) of a badger, and a flow through (lack of lather retention) that is worse than boar but better than badger. To put it another way, the same size knot will hold more lather than a boar brush, but less lather than a silvertip/three band.

    Hope that helps.

    Here's a visual example of what that setup looks like. Most Wolf Whiskers two-band brushes look similar in the knot to handle proportion. Compare them to synthetic and silvertip wolf whiskers offerings, and you'll notice the difference. The silvertips especially tend to be more 'bloomy.' (Bear in mind that at least half the time, he is making the knot hole size and depth to customer specifications. If he doesn't agree with the customer, he will double check to see if you REALLY want the hole that size).
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  14. b1hart

    b1hart Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the incredible detailed reply. Seriously appreciated. :thanks:

    Love the HP analogy. Me being the badger padowan learner will have to think on the options....
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  15. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    The golden rule is 2:1 (loft:knot) this is as close to an industry standard as anything else. Measure across the base of the plug/glue cap. Lets call it 22mm. The golden rule would put the loft at 44mm.

    Knot size = 22mm diameter X 58mm (from the bottom of the plug to the tip of the hair)
    Desired finished Loft = 42mm
    Hole diameter would be 23.5+
    Hole depth = 16mm
    (Yeah, I know this doesn't follow the golden rule. I told ya earlier, I like it set deeper than the industry standard).
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  16. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I really need to do an Alton Brown style Build-A-Brush© thread.
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