Yaqi Heavy Metal brush range & Razor/Brush stand reviewed...

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by nav, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. nav

    nav Active Member

    Intro:

    A couple of months ago, I had ordered a few synthetics and decided to add one of their heavy metal handle brushes to try. Well, I had absolutely loved it from the moment I held it!

    Here’s the review if you missed it:

    https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/yaqi-brushes-the-review-series-continues.559388/


    I then decided I really wanted the complete collection in my den so I ordered the remaining heavy metal brushes. Including my original short two band, there are a total of 4 badgers and 4 synthetics:

    - 1 short two band / 1 long two band

    - 1 short silvertip / 1 long silvertip

    - 1 short tuxedo / 1 long tuxedo

    - 1 short timberwolf / 1 long faux horse

    I also got one of their razor/brush stands in all black and it’s awesome!! Really a very handy thing to have in my bathroom and it adds a great look too. My wife loves it!!

    Pics:

    Here are some pics…

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    Shedding and Smell:

    None of the brushes had or have any shedding issues.

    The silvertip had no smell that I could pick up. The two bands had a very faint smell which dissipated after a few lathers.

    The synthetics didn’t shed at all. As per my usual routine, I wash out every synthetic with Dettol soap. Other brands sometimes release dyes during a couple of washes but I haven’t had this with Yaqi synthetics so I presume they wash the knots in the factory itself, just a guess.

    Pre-bloom softness:

    As expected, the both the silvertips were fairly soft even before touching any water. The two bands do have a noticeable scritch when brand new.

    The synthetics are the same before and after, there’s no difference at all due to the nature of the fibre.



    Break-in:

    I never used to believe badger brushes “broke in” and boars were the only hair that actually softened up but how wrong I was!! The silvertip becomes plush like a pillow after about five uses.

    The two bands take a good 8 or so uses before they behave optimally. What I’ve found, particularly with the untreated badger brushes, is that not only do the tips soften up and the knot opens up with a bit of use but they also hold water more optimally.

    I soak the brushes for the exact same amount of time (the time it takes me to brush my teeth and to put the garbage bag out for collection) and after several uses, badger brushes definitely hold the water better so that once I squeeze the excess water out, it still retains enough to get a good load and the proto-lather looks hydrated instead of dry when the brushes are in their first few uses.

    The synthetics don’t break in so they were the same as when new.

    Softness:

    Both the silvertips are very soft, very plush on the face. Very luxurious indeed! I absolutely love the feeling of a soft silvertip, especially in the current harsh winter weather!

    The tall silvertip has a smaller bloom as it has a shorter loft but it also feels softer than the short silvertip. Not so different because they both feel like plush silvertips but there is enough difference to know the hair is perhaps from different batches.

    The two bands lose their scritch after at least 6 uses. Then they become soft but not a silvertip soft. They retain a scrub that is not at all scratchy. It’s very comfortable, no skin irritation but the scrub is what makes two bands known for.

    The synthetics are all soft from the get go! If you’ve read my previous reviews on Yaqi synthetics, you’ll know that I feel they make the best synthetic brushes on the market. Their fibres and characteristics of the complete knots are ahead of the competition. They retain water better, they are softer, splay better and are just overall the best performing synthetic brushes available.

    Splay:

    The silvertip has an excellent splay without any flop! I am able to push down on the brush while face lathering and the brush doesn’t “flop” at all.

    The short silvertip has a slightly bigger splay but that again is just due to the slightly higher loft than the long silvertip.

    The two bands have an excellent splay but since the hair is a bit more resilient than the silvertip, it takes a bit more pushing to splay it out more, but I generally don’t find I need to splay it out that much in any case.

    Backbone/Density:

    The badger knots are so well packed that there’s never any feeling of floppiness, even when pushed down to splay the knot. The backbone is what I classify as goldilocks since it’s dense enough not to be at all floppy but not so dense that it hogs my lather (which I find very irritating).

    The silvertip and the two bands have the perfect amount of backbone and density. The two bands of course do have some more backbone than the silvertip but not necessarily more density, it’s just due to the thicker hair.

    The short two band is just wonderful! It’s a “model” two band IMO. The knot/loft is the perfect ratio and it doesn’t bloom too much and retains all its backbone so well, I just love the scrub I get from it!

    The long and short tuxedo brushes both have strong backbone. The short tuxedo feels very similar to the familia sagrada tuxedo from Yaqi. The long tuxedo has more backbone and a smaller bloom than the short tuxedo.

    The timberwolf has slightly less backbone than the short tuxedo and the faux horse has the least amount of backbone, basically the same as their faux horse rainbow brush, except the heavy metal one is a 24mm knot.

    Handle:

    Before I thought to order my first Yaqi heavy metal brush, I was concerned it would be too heavy and not ergonomic. Upon using it, I found it to be hefty but not uncomfortable. Both the long and short handles are ergonomic due to their very well thought out shapes! I especially like the short handles as they are slightly more comfortable and IMO look a little better than the long handles.

    My wife really likes the long handles so there you go, YMMV!

    The satin finish on the handles is just wonderful! I really like satin finish so these are just perfect for me. These metal handles make for an excellent change from all the resin handles out there and I am glad I got these and am very happy with not just the handles but the top quality knots that are in them.

    Razor/Brush Stand:

    I was in need of a stand as the ledge I put my in-use shaving gear on is fairly narrow so I always worried the brush or razor would get knocked off.

    I decided on the matte-black stand from Yaqi and it looks better in person than on their sales page! It’s really heavy and high class. I don’t know about durability as it’s still pretty new but it’s just wonderful! It can accommodate my brushes that are up to 26mm where the knot exits the handles. This is perfect as only 3 out of my 60 brushes don’t fit in it. If the majority of your brushes are large badger brushes, you’d need a bigger stand. But for the majority of us, this will accommodate your brushes quite well.
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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  2. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Moderator
    Thank you @nav for bringing the info! Yaqi was a well kept secret of wholesale shave brushes until they started selling singles. They seem to offer an ever increasing variety of handles and knots. Best part is their prices put those artisan styles into the hands of budget minded shoppers.

    I've got a couple shiny aluminum Rubberset 400 style repros, but that satin finish does look good.
     
  3. nav

    nav Active Member

    I agree...Yaqi has really changed the brush industry with their excellent knots, wonderful handles and great value for money.

    A badger that used to cost $80+ is now available for just $30, and that too with a wide variety of handles.
     
    Frijolero and RyX like this.
  4. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Moderator
    Boar bristle from China is so common in The U.S. we call paint brushes China Bristle brushes. As I understand it badger fur used to be a British export, but less so lately. The Chinese have undercut and become the raw material producer for both of those, and now synthetic fiber bristle brushes.

    Unforeseen consequences are becoming apparent in hindsight. Chinese badgers are vermin and a source of meat for the table. The very same animal is a protected species in Europe. I don't have insider information, but there's speculation all those expensive British brush makers get their knots ready to install directly from China. I'm not so Brand Conscious that a label is worth double or tripling the price of an item.
     
    Frijolero and nav like this.
  5. nav

    nav Active Member

    Nicely said!
    I have tried many brand name badger brushes and now I refuse to spend more than $60 on a badger brush.

    And synthetics are inexpensive in any case, except the muhle silvertip fibre, which is very expensive and as such, not good value for money given the competition.
     
    Frijolero and RyX like this.

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