The Stray Whisker 452

Discussion started by BrisbaneShaver, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. I'm in the market for a synthetic brush to replace/supplement my natural fibre (1x badger and 1x horse) specimens.

    I'm looking at The Stray Whisker's 452 brushes, probably the 28mm ( - the website reviews are positive, am I right to assume that anybody here who has used one agrees they are pretty good?

    I bowl lather so my needs, in descending order, are:

    1. Surface area for loading the soap,
    2. Decent backbone but with enough flexibility to allow whipping of lather in the scuttle,
    3. A long enough handle to keep the brush tips in contact with the scuttle while
    my fingers are not.

    The description on The Stray Whisker website makes it seem like the 452 ticks all the boxes?

    When I next have some spare play money I want to look into the TF custom brushes but, for now, the 452 is about as much as I want to spend (leaves more room for soap and aftershave acquisitions :)).
  2. Mark1966

    Mark1966 Shavepocalypse 'Prepper' Site Moderator Grand Society 2016 Sabbatical Fail

    Hmmm, and only needing to spend another $40 odd dollars to get yourself free shipping!

    That is how we 'save money' here in these parts. A few of us have saved a LOT in shipping over the years ;)
    GregP and TomG like this.
  3. Ha! That should not be an issue, I've already decided to get the Australian Private Reserve 'Suitably Attired Australian' soap and AS combo from the same store so free shipping here I come!
  4. Snooze

    Snooze Member 2017 Sabbatical Fail

    I have the 452 / 28 TSW brush. Very nice brush (for a Synth) Good handle size and good for bowl lathering. Dries quickly so great for travel. Would definitely pick one up @BrisbaneShaver
  5. Well, I picked a Stray Whisker 452 up in the 28mm knot.

    Having used it for a week now with Squadrons Soap's The Warden, as well as run a few test lathers with 3 other soaps (Otoko Organics, AP Reserve and my own creation) the verdict is in: Pretty good, but too big and therefore floppy, to become an instant daily driver for me.

    My main criticism of the brush is, in fact, not a fault with the brush at all but rather a fault of mine for not contemplating just how big a 28mm knot is. Lesson learned.

    A very big brush.

    Per my 'essential criteria' I offer the following observations:

    Surface area and loading capacity

    Absolutely stellar. The large size and softness of this brush makes loading an absolute breeze. It is a deceptively subtle soap munching monster - if you load until the tips are caked with product (as I am accustomed to doing with my other brushes) you will have far more soap than you need. What looks like a 'half load' is about right.

    Backbone but with lather capability

    This is the biggest weakness of the brush for me - not a fault with the product, I just found the 28mm knot to be too big and soft to really whip up a mean bowl lather. I don't face lather, though I suspect the pliable nature of the large synthetic knot would make it very comfortable to do that.


    Perfect handle length. No knocking of fingers against the scuttle even while driving the knot hard into the bottom to get that lather going.

    Overall I do like this brush, and I will keep using it to really dial in my 'big brush' technique, but when I think about my ideal brush it will be a little smaller.

    A final note on the synthetic knot. I love that it does not shed and does not require soaking but it does feel different to load than my natural fibre brushes ("well, duh!" I hear you say). Loading is absolutely no issue it just feels a bit different, almost more 'smooth', like you can't feel the soap being grabbed up into the bristles like you can with natural hair.
    alfredus, SpeedyPC, Mark1966 and 2 others like this.
  6. Ross

    Ross Member

    I am looking at synthetic brushs and thought big is better is there an optimum size or is it personal choice i have a cheap synthetic that is 19 mm it is fine but i can only compare to a 20 mm boar and a 22 mm badger .
  7. I expect it is 100% personal preference and a lot will depend on how you like to lather.

    Because I use a scuttle, and my other brushes are all 20mm - maybe 22 - knots I found the jump to the 28 to be a significant change and I had some trouble using such a big knot in my bowl (the lather would sometimes overflow). The amount of soap, and water, that this thing can hold is incredible (and is overkill for my lathering needs I find).
    Ross likes this.
  8. Director

    Director Member

    I have the 452/24 which was recommend on this site as my first brush (last month), have tried a couple of others but keep coming back to that one as it seems to work the best. Bought a SS/bowl from KMart of all places and seems to work a treat as well.
    littleaussiebleeder likes this.
  9. The 24mm works best for me and my new synthetic Maggard 24 is a gem to use! Most of my brushes (around 20 of the buggers) are 20 or 21 but I will be pretty much using only 24 brushes from now on. Especially synthetics!
  10. alfredus

    alfredus organises many group buys State Convenor - SA Group Buy Caporegime

    Don't worry - once you are used to the 28mm you'll want 30 :D :D :D
  11. SpeedyPC

    SpeedyPC Active Member Grand Society 2017 Sabbatical Fail

    @BrisbaneShaver before I went away to UK I do have the TSW '452' Synth. 28/63mm knot and I do have the RazoRock Plissoft "BEEHIVE" Synth. 28/63mm knot, both synthetic fiber are different while both knot size and loft height are almost the same by eye, however, the RazoRock Plissoft "BEEHIVE" has twice the synthetic fiber which makes the brush more density and still flow-through very nicely without any problems face lathering.

    The "BEEHIVE" splaying and backbone is absolutely awesome I mean the knot size is 100% spot on is feels absolutely perfect, not too springy, backbone is not too strong and not too floppy, however, I do have a RazoRock Plissoft Big Bruce Synth. 26/63mm knot which I'm currently using while I'm in UK as my travel brush is not the same synthetic fiber as the TSW '452' Synth. The RazoRock Plissoft Big Bruce Synth. has more backbone, not too springy and not too floppy against the TSW '452' Synth., the Big Bruce doesn't splay too quickly against TSW '452' Synth. and is still almost perfect to face lather without any issue against the "BEEHIVE" Synth.

    You might want to get yourself a RazoRock Plissoft "BEEHIVE" Synth. 28/63mm knot which is far better than the TSW '452' Synth. 28/63mm knot or maybe the RazoRock Plissoft Big Bruce Synth.
    BrisbaneShaver likes this.

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