What Kind of Shaving Brush To Get

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by OSGGuy, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. OSGGuy

    OSGGuy New Member

    Hey Guys!
    I've been thinking about starting to use a shaving brush, I haven't used one before, been using my finger tips all these years lol. I did get one as a gift a few years ago, but I didn't really use it at the time since I was sporting a beard so wasn’t shaving much. My biggest fear is if I’m spending some money on a brush, I don’t want it to be something that is crappy or doesn’t work properly.

    I saw some options compared on this site and am leaning towards the Parker Safety Badger Brush.


    What do you guys think? Trying to get some input.
    Thanks for the help in advance.
    RaZorBurn123 and Douglas Carey like this.
  2. DDuckyMark

    DDuckyMark Ducky Duck and the Hiding Bunch

    I personally have never made a badger brush work well for me. I have some favorite boar and synthetic brushes. The semogue boar brushes are decent but after a few months (17) they start shedding out all the hair. At least mine do. The whipped dog synthetic is amazing. I use it every time I shave anymore.
  3. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

  4. bscarpenter

    bscarpenter Well-Known Member

    I have a Parker badger brush that is my go to brush as it sits on my counter with a matching lather mug. It's served me well and has whipped many a soap.
    RaZorBurn123 likes this.
  5. Terry Williams

    Terry Williams Well-Known Member

    Synthetics are very reasonably priced (as are boar brushes; easily under $10 for a decent/nice one) and do just as good a job as badger brushes IMHO. I do have badger brushes, but the only ones that I seem to get along with are north of $50. They are decent brushes, but I get just as decent a lather and scrub from my synthetics. My badger brushes can create a thick lather a little faster and are a little better for face lathering. But, I can face lather with a boar brush just as easily and I usually lather up in a bowl, then brush or swirl it on. So, I guess it's all in how you want to shave.

    My first badger brush was a pure badger brush from Frank's Shaving. I don't remember if it had a funky smell, but it shed constantly and just wasn't very soft even after a month of shaves. I even tried to lather it everyday in the shower on my arm and it didn't make it any softer. I steamed it out and put a Maggard synthetic in it and it improved the brush 1000%. I have a John's Brushes handle that has a "finest" badger knot. It was markedly different than the Frank's (and about twice as expensive). It is a very nice, soft brush and I still rotate it in every now and then (the handle is just too cool). I recently purchased a West Coast Shaving "silvertip" badger on a whim (as they had a great sale on them a few months back). It had a really funky scent when new; it is soft and has good backbone. It lathers beautifully, but it sheds every time. It doesn't shed a lot, but I am picking hairs off of my face and the end of the brush every shave. Since, I get just as much performance from my boar and synthetic brushes, without the extra "features," I tend not to use it as much. As a matter of fact, it is put away in its tube for the time being.

    I found that once my boar brush was broken in, then it created ultra lather in the bowl or on my face; just as easily as any of my badger brushes. My synthetics create awesome lather in the bowl and are very soft, with just enough scritch for me. Plus they don't shed, they dry in an hour or so (great for travel) and they don't smell of anything other than the soap.
    PLANofMAN, RaZorBurn123 and RyX like this.
  6. Stu929

    Stu929 Well-Known Member

    I have a couple vintage Badger brushes and liked them but I just used my jtspartan with a synthetic knot and was blown away. Worked amazing compared to my other brushes. Soft, decent backbone and whipped up a great lather this morning!
    RaZorBurn123 and Terry Williams like this.
  7. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    I haven't tried a Parkers brush before. But I have tried boar in three manufacturer's; Semogue, Omega, Whipped Dog. All three are great but I lean towards Omega and Whipped Dog. The synthetic I have Whipped Dog, seems to work just beautifully. Also have a Whipped Dog High Mountain, it's soft with decent backbone and whips a nice lather too. Sometimes a little finicky. I would suggest either a boar or a synthetic for my two cents.
    RaZorBurn123, Terry Williams and RyX like this.
  8. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    If you budget allows, there are folks that can recommend a good badger. I tried several on the lower end of the price range, and went back to my boar and synthetics. Since then I've found my previous badgers, both Vulfix brand, were just too lofty. They didn't have the backbone I came to expect from my other brush experience.
    If I was counseling someone on their very first brush and budgeting was a big deciding factor I'd point then towards a Maggard's or an APShaveCo synthetic, or an Omega boar. The synthetic fibers are soft with very little scrub yet plenty of stiffness for lather making. Boar bristles being a Natural fiber are stiffer, add a bit of scrub and scritch thought they soften as they get broken in.
    If badger is the theme I've finally found a couple I'd almost recommend; Whipped Dog High Mountain, or a Virginia (ebay) Black Pure Badger. These two knots are set deep into custom handles to make them less floppy. The rule I read was; Diameter of the knot = no more than 2X the loft. Being a Natural fiber there's quite the variety of descriptions with no real standard amongst manufacturers.
  9. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    I have different types and like them all, but a good synthetic can be bought at good prices. Boars are also nice, if you don't mind breaking them in. There are a lot of them at $10.00 - $20.00 price range.
    RyX and RaZorBurn123 like this.
  10. jtspartan

    jtspartan appropriately stimulated, via Netflix

    For a first brush, I would recommend a decent Synthetic in a complete brush (already set in a handle, don't start off by trying to build a dream brush). Use it as a starting point. You'll find out what you like and don't like about it. Give some serious time to the forums that you see on here for other recommendations moving forward from there- badgers, boars, other synthetics, knot purchases, restorations, etc.
    I think you can make a much more informed decision once you are familiar and well-versed with one brush.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  11. Jim99

    Jim99 Gold Water Shaver

    All of the above are solid recommendations.

    For starting out, I'll recommend a synthetic brush as they are simple and foolproof. Look at Maggards synthetic brushes as they are excellent and under $20.

    I personally like boar brushes the best due to their backbone and face feel. They will take a dozen or so uses to break in, but I can whip up a great lather with them. I like Semogue boar brushes and they can also be purchased for under $20.
    RaZorBurn123 likes this.
  12. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    definitely nothing wrong with a Parker. I have a Parker silvertip. I love mine. The big knot is soft as a cloud, makes tons of lather. The handle feels luxurious, it's weighted and feels so nice in the hand.
    That said, i also have a few finest badgers as well. They cost less, and don't feel as soft on the face. I feel them a bit rough, but sometimes i like that.
    My latest was a synthetic. It's a razorock 400. Synthetics are very inexpensive comparatively. I feel they take a little different technique, but if your just beginning using a brush, you'll figure it out.
    One word, don't judge boars by the way they feel new. The boar require a break in. After broken in, they become very soft.
    RyX and RaZorBurn123 like this.
  13. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

    Omega 10098 Boar.
    'Nuff said.
    brit, Hembree, entropy1049 and 3 others like this.
  14. jar

    jar Well-Known Member

    There are few really bad brushes being made today.
    RaZorBurn123 likes this.
  15. Bobcat

    Bobcat Well-Known Member

    I will suggest ordering a custom Whipped Dog Silvertip. Inexpensive, great quality, even better service.


    brit, Terry Williams, RyX and 4 others like this.
  16. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    Your options are Badger (Various Grades, with manufacturers having different names/grades), Synthetic Badger, Boar, Synthetic Boar, Horse.
    One way is to buy one of each kind and then settle on that one kind. Or have a few , like most of us. I have a Simpson best badger, an Omega boar, and a WCS synthetic. I have a Vie-Long horse, but it doesn't agree with me. A shame, as it whips up a great lather.
    RyX and RaZorBurn123 like this.
  17. theFAT98

    theFAT98 Well-Known Member

    Just from my own experience i would recommend a boar or synthetic brush.

    Omega boar or semogue boar

    Maggard razors or razorock synthetic.

    In whichever handle you like.
    RaZorBurn123 likes this.
  18. DE Cartman

    DE Cartman Well-Known Member

    You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't check out an Omega S brush. They can be found for less than $15.
    RaZorBurn123 likes this.
  19. Straight razor dandy

    Straight razor dandy Stuck cleaning the house himself PERMANENTLY

    I prefer synthetics. They flat-bottomed perform better for me and are WAY cheaper than badgers
    RyX, Bama Samurai and RaZorBurn123 like this.
  20. RaZorBurn123

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

    Simple question that's extremely difficult to answer, at the end of the shave it's all up to you.
    No maintenance and very affordable? Synthetic.
    Break in time and could be a little more money? Badger or Boar.
    I'd get one of each..
    RyX and theFAT98 like this.

Share This Page