Badger vs. Boar

What kind of shaving brush do you use? Tell us all about it!
brothers
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Badger vs. Boar

Post by brothers » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:08 am

You will say "Gary, what the heck are you posting that for?" Am I out of my mind? Well, yes. Now that I've got three well-broken in boar brushes (Omega 49, Semogue 2000, and Zenith Professional), I have to say I'm finding I want to use the boars more often than the badgers lately. My morning brush choice is far more interesting, now that the boars are here to stay. I used the BK4 with La Toja stick for the past 3 days, and by day 2 I was only wondering how well one of the new boars would work with this excellent soap. That's what makes our little world go around, isn't it?
Gary

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fallingwickets
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Post by fallingwickets » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:37 am

gary, no comment about the brush question, but reading your posts is always a pleasure and for that Im grateful. have fun finding out the answer to your question and if you want to simplify, just buy a t3 lolol

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

greyhawk
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Post by greyhawk » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:58 am

Interesting, Gary. I've always been a badger guy but picked up a Semogue 2011 LE Bristle size 1 to finally try a boar. I liked it a lot and picked up the size 2 as well. I ended up only keeping the size 2 and have since gravitated back primarily to badgers, but the boar is kind of a special treat, especially with hard soaps. It's an excellent brush and a good complement to a softer badger brush.

brothers
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Post by brothers » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:01 am

Thanks for the kind words Clive. T3 maybe, but if I was placing an order with Simpson's, I've already asked Mark, and he says I can get the Polo 10 with an extra high loft if I get ready to pull the trigger. :D
Gary

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Johnny
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Post by Johnny » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:27 am

I have a few really nice badger brushes that I enjoy, but 90% of the time I use either one of my Semogue or Vulfix boars.

Something to do with my childhood I guess. You know, Three Little Pigs and This Little Piggy went Wee, Wee, Wee, all the way home. :D
Johnny

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Post by Nate » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:33 am

Gary, as of late I too have been a huge fan of my boar brushes. Don't tell Gordon, but I only have one Badger brush right now to four boars and one synthetic. Blasphemy I know. But what has really upped my appreciation of them is that I now know "how to use them." I used to treat them exactly like I did my badgers until I realized that its a totally different animal (I know, bad pun that is used all the time when talking about different brushes).

I still soak my badgers while I shower, but with the boars I just dip the whole brush in the water for 1 quick second, right before I start to lather, and then squeeze all of the water out, and then just use the tips to pick up the soap. I find this really helps on my long-lofted Omega Pro 49, because it keeps the backbone nice and stiff but the tips get really quite soft.

Edit: My colored handled Omega would be the 49, not the 48.
Last edited by Nate on Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ShadowsDad
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Post by ShadowsDad » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:23 pm

I almost asked you last night how you liked them Gary.

Great! Absolutely correct, variety is the spice of life.

I have far too many brushes yet I like the variety that brings to my shave. I couldn't conceive of not using badgers or boars.
Last edited by ShadowsDad on Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Brian

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Shave4Fun
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Post by Shave4Fun » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:27 pm

Love my couple of boars, and they are different. But love my Omega #620 silvertip with creams.

Gary, If you want to sell the BK4, send a p.m.
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Post by desertbadger » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:19 am

Got a Omega 49 myself and I must admit.....I really like this brush!

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David
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bernards66
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Post by bernards66 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:32 pm

Jeez!....this has become like the 'soap vs. cream' discussion, always reappearing after a bit. My view on the subject has not changed; I think the badger brushes, on the whole, just work better. I didn't know anything but boar brushes for maybe the first eight years of trad. shaving...and yes, they were good quality boar brushes. They seemed to work well enough and since I had no other frame of reference I didn't give the matter much thought other than improving my technique. Then I came upon my first badger brush; an inexpensive Vulfix in 'Pure Badger' called 'The Strand' and it changed my whole experiance of wetshaving. The lather was better and there was more of it...and I never looked back....until a few years ago. As part of this ongoing discussion Chris M. offered me a really handsome bribe ( an almost new Plisson #12 HMW, which shows up regularly in my current SOTD posts ) if I would use an Omega boar brush ( which he also sent ) for one month straight. So, I did. And....?...the experiance was pretty much like before. After a bit I gave up even trying to use it with triple milled shave soap and finished up the month using it only with creams. It worked okay, I mean some useable lather was produced and I got adequately shaved but the day that that month was up I went straight back to my badger brushes and haven't touched the boar since. What can I say?...that's been my experiance.
Regards,
Gordon

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Post by brothers » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:41 am

Gordon, it's an interesting subject to ponder. I've received comments from some fellows who are of the opinion that a boar brush doesn't need to be well broken in, and that my no-nonsense accelerated boar break-in method was folly.

My early boar brush experiences were the same as yours. (except my two brushes were: 1. a $5 VDH boar brush from Walmart; 2. A $15 Tweezerman badger brush from ebay. No Plissons or Omegas!) The outcome was identical , though. No contest between the two types of brush. Badger by a long shot. My first English branded badger brush was the small but very competent Kent BK4, and by then I'd been following Zach's eye-opening series of posts about unlocking the potential of the up-market boar brushes, sold at that time pretty much exclusively by Giovanni at R&B. So I got the big Omega 48 professional boar.

I was using a big not broken in boar in tandem with the BK4 Silvertip and a TGN Finest refurb and again there was no contest. The Omega was ignored, and eventually passed on. Time goes by and I was still frustrated with boars (kept ignoring the advice to give a boar brush time to split the hairs and become a different animal than it was when it came right out of the box, because I'm a stubborn one) at the same time the larger and softer badger brushes that came along after the BK4 were more than satisfactory.

I finally decided it was time to "man up": do the research, read all of the highly educational forums about boar brushes, get the best boars in the world and do whatever it took to break those brushes in properly and once and for all, find out what it is to have a chance to see for myself whatever it was that I'd been missing. I'm so glad to have done that. The rest is history. My best boar brushes and my best badger brushes give equally superb service, day after day, and all the mysteries (in my case) have been revealed. Now it's time for me to just use what I've got and enjoy the shaves.
Gary

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jww
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Post by jww » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:37 am

Like my boars. Like my badgers. Use them both. End of story for me.
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Post by bernards66 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:21 pm

Gary, Member's experiances in this, like many other, areas vary. Using higher end boar brushes for eight years straight, day in and day out, well...obviously they were 'broken in'. They simply have never worked as well as badger brushes do for me, no matter what I did. The water here is not the greatest although it's not 'bad' and I never use shave products other than the hard milled English shave soaps and the English top shelf creams so how brushes might behave with other types of prep products I really don't know ( not that I have never used anything else but the English creams and soaps are my usual daily products ). I appreciated Chris' very generous challenge because it gave me the motivation to give the boar brushes another serious try, which I wouldn't have done otherwise. But this experiment allowed me to put to rest the whole question as far as my personal choice is concerned.
Regards,
Gordon

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Post by Dale » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:52 pm

jww wrote:Like my boars. Like my badgers. Use them both. End of story for me.
Same for me.
Regards,
Dale

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ShadowsDad
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Post by ShadowsDad » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:23 pm

Sounds like a YMMV item. What a surprise.

I use them both, like them both, and yes, they're both different.

I need to say though, so far there has been only one brush that I absolutely didn't get along with at all and it was a high end boar. In my defense though, at least 6 other folks tried the exact same boar and they hated it as well. Today the handle holds a TGN Finest Fan Badger knot. Take that, brush! :lol:
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

Oscar11
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Post by Oscar11 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:42 am

I'm sure this will amuse some but I've never seen a badger brush in a local store. I've shaved exclusively with boars for years. It's just been the last few years that I've "discovered" badger brushes thanks to the internet and shaving forums. The boars I remember using were Mohawk, Canadian made and Rexall Drug brand which was called White Stag or Stag if I remember correctly. While I do enjoy badgers, using a good boars is as comfortable to me as wearing a well broken in pair of hunting boots. Here's a Semogue 1800 with a handle I made for it. Use what you enjoy.
Image
photo upload

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LookingGlass
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Post by LookingGlass » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:32 pm

Dale wrote:
jww wrote:Like my boars. Like my badgers. Use them both. End of story for me.
Same for me.
Same for me too!!

Ed

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ShadowsDad
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Post by ShadowsDad » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:05 pm

Does anyone see a resemblance to the handle on this boar and the handle on Oscar11s boar brush!?

It's uncanny. Or maybe he had a hand in it's making. :wink:

BTW, this was taken before it was just beginning to get broken in. Note the bristle to the right in front of the dark shadow... it's split at the tip.

Image
Brian

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Ouchmychin
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Post by Ouchmychin » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:27 am

A couple monthe ago I wrote that I didn't care much for my new Semoque 640. Was told at the time that it needed to be broken in until the tips split to get the true boar shave at its best. Since then I have used it about 50 shaves trying every suggestion to get the split tips. Nothing has worked. I thought my water was too soft so I tried putting salt on the wet bristles and letting them dry. I tried hard milled soap. I let the brush dry completely by using it only every 3rd day. No split hairs. Now I believe that either my brush is unusual or the split hair story is just an old wives tale. I have gotten used to the properties of my brush (floppy soft bristles with little backbone and easy lathering) but I still look forward to my badgers.
Ouchmychin (Pete)

brothers
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Post by brothers » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:25 am

Ouchmychin wrote:A couple monthe ago I wrote that I didn't care much for my new Semoque 640. Was told at the time that it needed to be broken in until the tips split to get the true boar shave at its best. Since then I have used it about 50 shaves trying every suggestion to get the split tips. Nothing has worked. I thought my water was too soft so I tried putting salt on the wet bristles and letting them dry. I tried hard milled soap. I let the brush dry completely by using it only every 3rd day. No split hairs. Now I believe that either my brush is unusual or the split hair story is just an old wives tale. I have gotten used to the properties of my brush (floppy soft bristles with little backbone and easy lathering) but I still look forward to my badgers.
Pete, the split hair story is no fable. It's the essence of a well broken-in boar brush. See this link to my SMF post and photo. One thing is certain, 50 shaves and no split hairs is contrary to most guys' experiences as they've posted here and on other forums.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic/boar/badger brushes, General V2 by Colonial, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444

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