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Synthetic Brushes and Optimal Size

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Synthetic Brushes and Optimal Size

Postby CMur12 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:18 pm

I'll preface this by saying that I have long favored a knot of 20 - 22mm for both badger and boar brushes.

My first synthetic brush was an HJM Black Fibre brush with a 19mm knot. This brush actually works pretty well.

I next got an Asylum BG-7 brush with a 23mm knot, though it seems more like 21 - 22mm to me. I was irked when I got this brush because it had a more rounded head than the one in the illustration that had persuaded me to order it, so I didn't use it for a long time. When I finally decided to give it a try, it worked very well. I think it works so well with the small knot because it has a finer grade of fiber than my other synthetics.

I got three "budget" brushes from Razorock: One with a 22mm knot and two with a knot of 24mm. The two 24s were in different qualities of synthetic fiber. When I tried the 22mm Rozorock brush, I was quite disappointed in its performance. Much like older synthetics, the fiber didn't splay and it was difficult to use. I got a Semogue synthetic brush with the same size knot and what appears to be the same fiber, with the same results.

I have avoided using the Razorock 24mm synthetics because they always appeared to have such huge lofts. I finally tried the lesser of these two brushes last night (the one with the same fiber as the Razorock 22mm), and it did a great job. It didn't seem that large in action, possibly because it didn't splay much, but the size of the knot seems to make up for the lack of splay. The 24mm knot provides a large enough working surface to lather without splaying.

Another thought: All of the synthetic brushes that I have seen, except for the HJM Black Fibre, have bulb-shaped lofts. This has frustrated me because I strongly favor fan-shaped brushes. I'm starting to wonder, however, if the bulb shape promotes some minor splay.

Have others of you observed much the same or do you see it differently?

- Murray
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Re: Synthetic Brushes and Optimal Size

Postby jar » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:26 am

Almost all of my synthetics are more experienced ones made a half century or so ago. Most are fan shaped or straights. I also have a new RR Plissoft which is more bulb shaped but I don't notice much difference when it comes to using them.

My older nylon brushes tend to perform very much like my boar brushes from the same period so while it is different it is similar to the difference between an experienced boar brush and a modern boar brush.
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Re: Synthetic Brushes and Optimal Size

Postby ShadowsDad » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:17 am

I'll need to pay more attention to it the next time I get into my syn' brushes. At this point I don't even think about it. I just grab the next brush in the lineup and it's use is automatic.
I think the biggest knot I have is a 28.
Brian

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Re: Synthetic Brushes and Optimal Size

Postby Squire » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:52 am

Murray I can't speak as to synthetics but in brushes generally I don't need anything larger than 20-22.
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Re: Synthetic Brushes and Optimal Size

Postby CMur12 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:30 pm

Squire wrote:Murray I can't speak as to synthetics but in brushes generally I don't need anything larger than 20-22.


Squire, that was my experience, too, before synthetics.

Synthetics are a whole different animal. (Which I knew already, but I didn't know that it applied in this way.)

- Murray
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Re: Synthetic Brushes and Optimal Size

Postby ShadowsDad » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:18 pm

Exactly my experience before synthetics also. They're just different and ones experience with natural fiber is no longer valid as it pertains to syn' brushes. Loft as it pertains to synthetics is totally different also.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Re: Synthetic Brushes and Optimal Size

Postby brothers » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:44 am

I'm glad you brought this up Murray. I just measured, and it turns out my first and second most used synthetic brushes are 24 and 26. I have larger ones, but over time I have stopped using them in favor of the ones mentioned above. Incidentally, the TGN Finest (badger) Made Rite I have been using over the years and exclusively for the past several months also turns out to be a 24. Loft is a whole different value depending on synthetic vs. the animal derived fibers.
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