What brush do I need?

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
I have some shave creams and some shave soaps.
Some of those soaps probably need a stiffer brush than my Yaqi Tuxedo synthetics.
Don't know that I'd like a boar brush though...(too 'prickly'?).
Thought I might try this soap too...
https://fineshave.co.nz/collections...rongn-scottish-shaving-soap-in-glass-jar-95gr
It's a hard soap.
So what do I need? A boar, a badger, a stiffer Yaqi knot?
Anything here you would recommend?
https://yaqibrush.aliexpress.com/st...76.html?spm=a2g1y.12024536.hotSpots_7398848.0
Thanks for any advice.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2018
Location
Melbourne
You shouldn't have too many dramas with the Yaqi knot in a hard soap. I little extra time loading (bloom the soap if you're impatient) and you'll be fine.

However that's not really in the spirit of P&C. Another option is to grab a cheap boar (20 - 30) or a 2 band badger (also affordable) for that extra backbone when loading the hard soaps. If you bowl lather you won't notice the extra scritchiness. If you face lather, I (and many others) find the boar brushes quite exfoliating (in a good way).
 
Joined
May 26, 2018
Location
Melbourne
I am able to load all kinds of brushes; boar, badger, synthetic and horsehair. The only difference is the load time which depends on the brush and the type of soap. A boar will take 10 seconds or less to load a cream. A horsehair might take a minute or even a few seconds more to load a triple milled soap.

My preferred method is to thoroughly wet the brush (or in the case of boar, soak first) then squeeze out the water. Next, I add water to the puck (unless it is a cream) so that it is covered with water and then immediately tip out the water. I don't believe in blooming, to me it just makes a mess for no benefit. This leaves me with a damp brush and a puck with a damp surface. I then begin loading the tips of the brush (no splaying). Check at the 15 second mark to see how well it is loading. You might need to add a few fingertip drops of water to the soap. Keep loading until it looks like the tips have been smeared in a good amount of toothpaste and the bristles are sticking together.

Then either paint on the face and begin adding water and lathering or add 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) of water to a bowl and begin lathering. Once the larger bubbles have disappeared, add another 2.5ml. I have yet to come across a soap or cream that couldn't take 5ml of water with a properly loaded brush. Then add either a 1/4 tsp of water or a few drops and keep lathering. If you get to 1 1/2 mls total (7.5ml), only add drops after that, if necessary. Caution required here or you might add too much. Beware that a boar will retain more water than a horsehair, so keep that in mind when adding water.

tldr: Buy the brush you like the look of at the price that suits, then experiment.
 

Blackie

The guy from over the ditch
Joined
Jun 23, 2017
Location
Richmond, New Zealand.
Thanks guys.
My Yaqi 24mm struggles with harder soaps (but may be a bad choice of soap on my part).
Arlington and Fenchurch are fine, but have been given a couple of 'no name' soaps (they were refill pucks that were dropped into plastic tubs. The name on the tub is not the true indication of what the soap really is...but they smell nice!).
If I beat the crap out of them I get a lather.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Location
Australia
hey @Blackie i have a Yaqi tuxedo that gets through a hard puck of tabac with no issues at all and to my knowledge is a triple milled soap.

as for a boar brush, cant comment too much yet but yes there is a breaking in period, which i am going through atm. the omega boar has certainly gotten softer in the past two weeks but from what i have read it will take around another month or so to break in properly. It has plenty of back bone and i do enjoy it even now

also have a yaqi silvertip badger which is also soft, and that chews through the Tabac soap, atm, the badger is my favorite.. such a luxurious feel when lathering and makes a killer lather also

you can always try blooming your hard soap before use also
 
So what do I need? A boar, a badger, a stiffer Yaqi knot?
From the link to the soap I read,"a soap that does not retain any humidity" So it's a dry soap? Easy fix is get it wet. Might add a minute or two to your shave to prehydrate the puck, or get a stiffer brush - boar!

I started my wet shaving with an Omega Pro 10098 boar brush. Love the scrubby feeling and it loads any hard soap well. Tabac (triple milled) and Klar (quintuple milled ) only need a damp brush and a little time. That brush is now 4+ years old, never drops a bristle, and the ends have split well. It's soft enough I bought another new one to install the knot in a Rubberset 400 replica. It's getting soft now, too. I ought to start a boar brush breaking in service because I like that scrubby feel. Some other boar brushes like Semogue and Zenith start out softer, nearly broken in if that's your desire. I've never had problems loading any soap with a Tuxedo knot (from APShaveCo on Etsy). Got a Cashmere from them and it might be a little softer but still loads easy enough. Those are both among the latest synthetic fibers available. An older synth sold by Maggard - the Sunrise - it just that little bit stiffer of fiber. None of those synths have shown any sign of changing qualities in a couple years of use.

For horse or badger I'll let others recommend. I find badger floppy unless the knot is set deep in the handle. Maybe one of those Super High Density knots? Never tried horse for their reputation of flop.
 
there is a reason for the love for high(er) end 2-band badgers...
That's what I hear. Next time I go shopping I'll be looking for a better 2 band. Care to recommend a brand, diameter, and loft? Either loose knots or set in handles. Since there is no industry standard for descriptions, one guy's 2 band might not be the same as another. Or the badger might be harvested at a different time of year, better fed, or poor genetics.

The "rule of thumb" I'm trying to follow is Loft no more than twice the diameter of the knot.

My experience has been;

Vulfix, #2235a (Super) & #660e (Pure) - Not cheap, but not dense. Maybe if set deeper...

Virginia Sheng Black Pure set in a custom handle - call it sctitchy, it's a little better but no where near the backbone of a boar.

The knots Steve @Vlasta uses in his Alpha 400 & that chubby "The King" - with a rubber O-ring to help hold in place these approach what I've been seeking.

High Mountain by Whipped Dog - set deep in a Rubberset 400 replica ferrule, it's my favorite for the lack of flop.
 

alfredus

organises many group buys
Staff member
Site Moderator
State Convenor - SA
Grand Society
Group Buy Caporegime
Charity Auction Team
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Location
Adelaide
Maseto usually is a great bang for your Buck and I rarely have heard anyhting bad about them...

Personally I like to recommend a Paladin...my first real badger was one and since then I have added some more to the den...

They might not be customisable - but Ken makes brushes that just work. He comes from our side (a wet shaving enthusiast) who wants to give people more joy in their shaving routine.
 

todras

est Français pour après-rasage
Menth Dealer
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Location
Sydney
Anything from Declaration if you are lucky enough to secure it, next to that the Simpson CH2 SiLVERTiP is worthwhile - The Simpsons Manchurian hair I regret to say is middle of the road, I have 3 of them now and they are nothing to write home about. The SiLVERTiP hair however stands alone, it's exceptional and no other brush maker comes close - if they do a CH3 in SiLVERTiP I will pay whatever the cost, it simply is that good. If you see a CH2 and want something extraordinary, grab one.

Paladin does a nice handle, and I do like their brushes. At the end of the day their knots are good, but not great. I have around 12 of them now and it's a brush I do like, but their hair source could use a little fine tuning. I will however buy more of them as they are a company that is true to the artisan ideal, they are nice folks.

Declaration B8 is also superb as are most of their batches.

Frankly, if you want a luxury experience you will pay for it, when it comes to badger brushes 80%90% of brushmakers or more use complete rubbish when it comes to the knots. But if you want something of high quality, that will last for years and is hand made by an artisan then look to paying $190 - $500 - it will be money well spent, in many cases you will be buying an heirloom piece that will last for years and years given daily use.

I own around 45 'high end' brushes, so this is where I'm coming from :)
 
Personally I like to recommend a Paladin...my first real badger was one and since then I have added some more to the den...
I haven't looked beyond visiting the Paladin website. Seems the maker makes a batch, lists them, and quickly sells out. From different perspectives this business model could be a low volume production focusing on quality and highly desired by a fan base drooling for the next drop...or a deliberate marketing ploy to give a perceived shortage with inflated prices. I only currently see one for sale on the bay so folks aren't hoarding and upselling. Not being "brand conscious" I'd sooner seek a great knot than a Caddilac handle.
Frankly, if you want a luxury experience you will pay for it, when it comes to badger brushes 80%90% of brushmakers or more use complete rubbish when it comes to the knots. But if you want something of high quality, that will last for years and is hand made by an artisan then look to paying $190 - $500 - it will be money well spent, in many cases you will be buying an heirloom piece that will last for years and years given daily use.
Gotcha, I think? Terms like "hand tied" suggest attention to detail. Otherwise with no industry standard all descriptors are self imposed. While there's no direct correlation between price & quality, the informed consumer who's done his research has a better chance of getting his money's worth.
I'll gladly recommend a sub $20 Omega boar because I've experienced them over a period of years. Dropping ten times that becomes an investment that would get my jimmies in a bunch if it sucked in quality for less than ten years service.
 

alfredus

organises many group buys
Staff member
Site Moderator
State Convenor - SA
Grand Society
Group Buy Caporegime
Charity Auction Team
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Location
Adelaide
I haven't looked beyond visiting the Paladin website. Seems the maker makes a batch, lists them, and quickly sells out.
I would say for most of 2019 there were always at least ~30 brushes available on the Paladin site. They finally had gotten to the point of doing regular drops ebery 2-3 weeks and most drops didn't sell out, so they were slowly building up an inventory...

Now the shop is empty because they are moving both the the private house and the workshop...once they are settled in, brushes will be up again...

But having said that...most high end artisan products cannot meet the demand...I was once told, that there are knife makers with a 3-5 year waiting list
 
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Australia
Well ... if anyone has a shigefusa gyuto for sale that isn't priced at astronomical (e.g. Wolfman +++) pricing let me know.

Website also currently on hiatus at the moment but the Tony Forsyth badger brush is sublime. I'm yet to even take the Paladin out of the packaging because I'm enjoyed it so much. Didn't have much trouble finding a Paladin brush I like although the website can be overwhelming in detail - which handle ; which badger hair batch ; which combination of the two.

I don't even know where my wife put the Simpsons Brush I had...
 

Rami

Active Member
2017 Sabbatical Fail
2018 Charity Auction Winner
Joined
Jun 11, 2016
Location
Sydney
But having said that...most high end artisan products cannot meet the demand...I was once told, that there are knife makers with a 3-5 year waiting list
Yep.

Well ... if anyone has a shigefusa gyuto for sale that isn't priced at astronomical (e.g. Wolfman +++) pricing let me know.
You should be so lucky. We do have a few shig collectors in Australia but I am out of that game.
 

nav1

Active Member from afar
2018 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
I want to add that the concept of requiring backbone to load up hard soaps is just not true!

I have a preference for milled pucks of soap and never have I had any issue loading enough soap for an entire 3+ pass shave, even with the most floppy badger or the softest synthetic (i.e. cashmere knot).

It's just about preference. Boar brushes may give me lather which provides the best shave but it's my least preferred just based on face feel.
Synthetics may be the quickest to create lather but my preference has shifted to badger brushes in recent months because of face feel, even though I sometimes don't appreciate the time it takes.

If you're happy with a Yaqi synthetic overall, try their silvertip and a two band. Great value for money. I've had higher end (albeit, not top end) badger brushes and the Yaqi are not that far off, at a fraction of the cost.
 
Top