Try out a synthetic?

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by Rib, May 7, 2018.

  1. Rib

    Rib Well-Known Member

    Any threads that already address this question I apologize.

    I originally used a Pure Badger from Art of Shaving brush and then about 18 months ago with great advice from this forum I purchased a Whipped Dog Silvertip and have loved it! However, curiosity is getting to me and on my last trip with my wife to Ulta I was wandering around as she browsed the makeup and I came across all the various synthetic makeup brushes there. SUPER SOFT! Is this similar to synthetic shave brushes? Is it that much of a different experience using a synthetic vs the whipped dog I have?

    If so, what is the consensus on a good synthetic to try out? I already order from Stirling Soap and saw they too have synthetics. How are they in comparison?

    Does the loft make a big difference here? (whats the loft on a simpsons Chubby?)

    Thank you in advance for the advice/counsel!
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  2. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    There are lots and lots of synthetic shave brushes. Nearly every vendor offers them. Pretty much all of the synthetic knots used today are all very soft and many are very similar. Loft is adjusted by the brush maker and if you are buying a custom brush then you can have the knot set to your specifications. Less loft=more scrub. More loft=more floppiness. Most of the brushes that I like (natural or synth) have a set loft around 54mm. I think some would find that a bit soft. YMMV.

    Everyone here has their favorites. So, I will start with some of mine and let everyone else chime in.

    For good knots to DIY:

    Have fun browsing. :)
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  3. Rib

    Rib Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the pointers; in your experience is there any difference in the "tuxedo" synthetic vs the regular brown synthetic? or is it just a preference of look?
  4. RaZorBurn123

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

    I'd go with any of the RazoRock brushes.
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  5. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    Pretty much just look these days. I have both. I notice a distinct difference between knots from, say, Maggard's and RazoRock (Italian Barber) and those The Golden Nib. But, I can't say that I notice much difference in the tuxedo knot in my Wolf Whiskers brush and the Maggard or RazoRock brushes. Performance is great with all of them. I have to say that I really like The Golden Nib knots and haven't noticed any commercial shave brushes with knots in that style. They seem a little less dense at the tips, but otherwise are very thick and soft. It's almost like TGN knots are simulating split ends on the hairs. When I go to Ulta with my girlfriend I notice that many of makeup brushes have knots very similar to the TGN knots. But, many of the popular brush makers ship a knot that looks a lot like the Maggard and RazoRock.

    These are all 24mm and set somewhere around 52 to 54 mm loft (or so). I like them all.

    Wolf Whiskers--RazoRock--Maggard knot in Frank's Shaving handle--TGN knot in Rubberset 89
    IMG_2506 (1).jpg IMG_2505 (1).jpg
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  6. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Left to right; Tuxedo, Cashmere, Sunrise.
    three synths.gif The Tuxedo & Cashmere are both from APShaveCo, available on Etsy. The Sunrise was found on Maggard. They are of similar size; 24mm and set around 55mm loft.

    Very similar feel from all three. I was surprised by the ease of lather making. Even more curious is how when applying lather I can't feel the brush fibers, only the lather. Maybe if the knots were set deeper there might be scrub. Very happy with these as a change of pace from the enjoyable feeling of scrub from a boar knot. Much more backbone than any badger I own.

    Credit to the handle makers;
    B-400 by Tom @twhite (left)
    30 Day Crew Limited Edition by Jason @jtspartan (center)
    JR #130 by Jim @Jayaruh (right)
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  7. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    I just finished this #287 brush with a brown (horse) synthetic. I find most of the modern synthetic to perform similar. It is a matter of looks for the most part. I thought this was a great choice for this new handle.

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  8. DesertTime

    DesertTime Well-Known Member

    I use the original Plisson fiber brush; it's the only brush I use anymore. I like that particular brush for the very reason most folks didn't like it: it has less "backbone" than many of the later synthetics and I get the decent splay I like (this is from someone who used Vulfix brushes for over 20 years, to give you an idea of where I'm coming from). I tried a few others and they're all excellent, I just prefer the Plisson. At the time I purchased mine, it was about $30, expensive for a synthetic.

    Most of the new systhetics are inexpensive enough you can try a couple and still be way ahead of a badger brush. I think they're all excellent and I prefer them to anything I've used over the many years I've used soap and brush.
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  9. Demidog

    Demidog Well-Known Member

    Makeup brushes are extremely soft and floppy. Synthetic shaving brushes can be really soft but they're usually not as floppy, otherwise they probably wouldn't be too great for lathering.

    The Plissoft knot is kind of a de facto standard and many vendors sell that knot. The Tuxedo knot (black synthetic knot) has earned tons of praise although I haven't tried it. My personal favorite is the Whipped Dog synthetic. It's the only brush that I use now. I found the Plissoft to be way too harsh for me. The Whipped Dog is the just the right balance for me and the one that I'd recommend if you don't want something too scrubby.
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  10. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    I have one synthetic, a Simpson CH2 (2nd Gen.) It's a magnificent brush for home or travel. Lathers ANY soap.
    IMG_4053.jpg IMG_4057.jpg
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  11. Rib

    Rib Well-Known Member

    Thank you for all of your input. I'm seriously looking at two different brushes, any opinion on either?
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  12. Linuxguile

    Linuxguile dating an unusual aristocrat

    Supporting Vendor
    Both are good choices. I feel like the Tuxedo fibers have a little more backbone/stiffness then the sunrise fibers. I own 7 Yaqi brushes now (30mm Black knot, 28mm Tuxedo, 26mm Evil Zebra, 24mm silvertip badger, 24mm finest fan badger, 24mm finest bulb, 24mm boar) and haven't had any quality issues with any of them. Its hard to go wrong with a modern synthetic.
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  13. Shadow Shaver

    Shadow Shaver Well-Known Member

    Those seem like nice brushes. It looks like the yellow one is sold out. Synthetic brushes are good performers and there are differences tuxedo/cashmere /boss but I just prefer badger. My wife prefers synthetic. Let us know what you think, good luck!
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  14. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

  15. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    This is one time to stay away from vintage. The old nylon synthetic brushes are awful.

    Comparison wise, any of the modern synthetics are similar enough in performance and function to just focus on knot size and handle shape. I would recommend sticking with a 22-24 mm knot.

    Edit: 26mm and larger synthetic knots are huge. I recommend using them as leg latherers for the ladies out there. Interesting fact: synthetic knots cannot be made larger than 30mm, as the fibers will just form a tube shape and won't splay out in the traditional fan.
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  16. john zeiger

    john zeiger Well-Known Member

    As others have stated, there are a lot of synthetics out there and I have about 8 or 9. My favorite is my Jayaruh (259) it has a brown faux horse hair knot. From there it depends on how much softness or backbone you want. The softest knot I've got is the Cashmere knot (though I find all synthetics to be soft) which is very similar to the light tan knot that Jayaruh uses in his brushes. But, this knot doesn't have as much backbone as most of the others I've got. The synthetic knot with the most backbone that I have is the Tuxedo or the black knot with the white tips. As far as my synthetics go, these are the two ends of the spectrum, with the other knots falling in between. If you are interested in synthetic I strongly urge you to try one as they are generally not expensive, easy to use and require very little maintenance. Stirling might be a good place to start or you might want to start right out with a Jayaruh - IMO you won't be sorry. Best of luck.
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  17. Screwtape

    Screwtape A Shaving Butterfly

    The specs on the APShaveCo Etsy site indicate that the Cashmere they sell has finer fibres than the Tuxedo, which are maybe a third again as thick (from memory). If this is true of all Cashmeres and Tuxedos then I would expect most to display the difference @john zeiger notes here. It certainly mirrors my experience with my APShaveCo Tuxedo and Cashmere brushes. I find Plissofts fall somewhere between the two. However, the differences between them all are not exactly immense, just minor variations on a generally very good theme.
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  18. Sniper1

    Sniper1 Member

    Have this exact brush. Really like it a lot. Super dense. The only other synthetic I own and its a Muhle. Good brush but not on the same level as my Simpson.
  19. Bill G

    Bill G Well-Known Member

    I love synthetic knots (let me be clear here modern synthetic knots not the vintage varietys). I don't use Badger or Bore anymore because synthetic brushes have evolved so much and there darn cost effective and feel and perform great. I own many of the ones mentioned and shown.

    The Razo Rock from Italian Barbor the clear and black 24mm resin handle silver tip synthetic $17.95 is excellent and darn good looking (can't go wrong with this one). The Stirling Soap Company cream and black handle 24mm tuxedo black knot is also awsome around $12.00 great brush one of my favorites and good looking. Last I looked though it was out of stock

    AP Shave Co out of Canada has some excellent choices and great explanations of the newest style synthetic knots and how they feel and perform compaired between the diffrent types of knots they have, awesome prices and sweet looking brushes. All in the $18.00 to $25.00 range. I got one of there new 24mm Syn Bad knots with the Marble White handle on the way to me as I type this.

    Happy Shaves,
    Bill G
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
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  20. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    Any of the Plisson-types from Stirling, Maggard, and Razorock are essentially the same. Different sizes and depths change the feel up a little bit. Pick the handle that flips your minnow. You won’t go wrong with any of them.

    Maggard, Stirling, AP, and Yaqi Tuxedo style knots are all made by Yaqi. Again, there are variances in depth and size that make them feel a bit different, but same knot. They are also all good.

    There are several new ones out from AP and Yaqi that I haven’t tried. I doubt you could screw up with one of them. My gut tells me that they are going to be very close to the Tuxedo in feel.

    Envy Shave sells Ubersoft knots, and they are excellent also. Similar to the Plisson types, with a hint of scrub.

    Simpsons are fantastic. They are a different feel, and not really the same as the others. I would maybe start with one of the others, and see if you even like the synthetic feel.

    The only ones I do not like whatsoever are the Omega S series. They are an older generation of fiber, and do not play in the same league.

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