SR3122 or BK4?

What kind of shaving brush do you use? Tell us all about it!
rsp1202
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SR3122 or BK4?

Post by rsp1202 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:45 am

I'm planning on getting another brush to keep my Polo 8 2-band company. I've had several Savile Rows and Kent BK4s (with the former usually replacing the latter), but have been reading the recent BK threads and am now in my usual undecided state. Advice would be appreciated.

Perhaps Tim/TRBeck would deign to chime in since he is an SR aficionado and has used both.
Ron

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Post by Thalay Sagar » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:04 am

Ron, I've have/had a couple of SR 3120's, a 3722 and 3824 as well as a BK 4. (I lent Tim 3120 which turned Tim onto the SR's although he took many side trips in the process as so may of us do). I love the SR's- especially the 3120 knot- and find them to be an exceptional balance of firmness, lather release and value. That said, for about the last half year the only brush I have really used is the BK 4. It makes an exceptionally high quality lather quickly with either soaps or creams and releases the product without any issues. At times I miss the feel of scrubbiness I get from the SR's (and other brishes), but that's merely aesthetic. (I don't believe that scrubbiness makes any difference in the actual shave or skin conditioning/exfoliating.) All that said I haven't parted with my SR's and don't plan on it.

As to an xx22 knot versus a BK 4 knot, the SR is perceived to be denser becuase of the shorter loft and bulb shape as well as the heavier gauge bristles making the brush feel stiffer. So it will have a firmer ride on the face. Personally, I prefer a PJ style handle, but the 31xx handle is very comfortable. The BK should also be a little cheaper, even with shipping across the pond. Either way you go, you will get a great brush and if don't like it should have no problem selling it.
Best,
Chris

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― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

rsp1202
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Post by rsp1202 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:36 am

Great review, Chris. Appreciated. I remember your history with the SR and Tim's journey; it no doubt led me to my own involvement with the SR's. I ended up preferring the newer lower-loft 3120 over the 3824, but ultimately it was a bit too small for me. A very good brush, nonetheless. I thought the 3122 would be a good compromise between the 3120 and 3824; I had the original version for about five minutes but ended up selling it for reasons I don't recall.

I suppose if I was the logical sort, having the Polo with its comfy scrub should open the door to partnering it with the BK. I never had a problem with those I had; they felt great on the face and their flow-through was stellar. Guess I was looking for something firmer and wanted to experiment, being a newbie at the time. Oh, well. I'm sure both the SR and BK would do well with the P160 soap which is my current fave, and there's no question they'll handle creams.

This should be another interesting decision involving sleepless nights and constant hand-wringing. I live for those.
Ron

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Post by Nate » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:46 pm

Ron, like you I have had both and sold both, Chris knows that.
I don't miss the BK4.

The Savile Row 3722 was the only brush that I have ever had that I truly felt it was at home, whether lathering either a soap or a cream. Yea I can take any brush to any product and get it to work, but that' not the point. Whether I like to admit it or not, every time I look at one of my brushes, instantly I think either 'soap brush' or 'cream brush'. Maybe I am just a biased shaver but I have always bought into the fact that a certain brush WILL have characteristics that lends itself, even if a little, to either cream or soap.

The truth is I am looking at getting both again. But for different reasons. I never really used the BK enough to really understand it. So I look at the BK4 as still a bit of a mystery. The Savile Row is the one that I am now kicking myself over and therefore needs to be replaced first.

The funny thing is we think we have a bunch of all-arounder kind of things. Thats why we branch out and try all of these different things, because they are all special. The fact as I see it right now, as I weepily lament my SR, is that the only really "special" I have ever had was my SR, because ironically, it was my ONLY real all-arounder.

It was over looked because it had no bells and whistles. I reached for it most days without thinking because I didn't have to think while I used it. It just plain worked, every damn time. Now in retrospect I realize that was its bells and whistles.

So to answer your question, everyone needs a product like I have described above. If you have a brush that is your absolute fallback, and can take anything and I mean ANYTHING you throw at it... if you have a brush like that... then get the BK4. Why? Because it's special and there is really no other brush like it.

For me though, first comes the SR. Then the BK4 (or maybe the BK8, have you thought about that one?).

Nate

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Post by rsp1202 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:28 am

Nate, I guess the SRs fit into the fall-back position since I've repeatedly gone back to them. Like you, I never gave my BK4s enough time; my only excuse being that I was new at the game and wanted to try everything immediately. Evidence suggests that my attempts to have one thing and stick with it don't work very well. It will take some time but I'll probably get both. Hopefully I will have learned by then to enjoy having choices.
Ron

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Post by m3m0ryleak » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:45 am

I recently brought my BK4 out from hiding to "compete" for face time with my trio of SR brushes. I originally was led to believe by the online gurus of the time that it was a mop and not worthy of lather and as a naif fell into lockstep. Upon rediscovering the BK, I find it a very nice brush that delivers when used correctly.
Tony

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Post by Nate » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:04 am

Ron, not to throw another wrench in the works, but have you had any experience with the Thater 3 bands? Those might be something else to consider.

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Post by rsp1202 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:32 pm

I've read about the Thaters here and elsewhere, Nate, and they do sound interesting. The bulbs look gorgeous and I like the looks of the acrylic handle. But I'm still on the fence. I don't feel any rush at the moment and am open to wherever the current takes me.
Ron

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Post by rtaylor61 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:54 pm

The Kent BK4 is on my wish list. With all of my shaving gear in storage, I've been using the $35 C&E Badger brush exclusively since April of last year. Now that I have Astra blades, Cella Shave Soap and a Palmolive Shave stick arriving today (finally), brushes are on my mind. Too bad it's gonna have to wait.

Randy
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Post by rsp1202 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:45 pm

My Polo 8 is a wonderful brush, firm with soft tips, but I'm having thoughts about going smaller again and feel the pull of the SR and/or Kent. I'd have to sell one to get one so there might be a good deal a'comin'.
Ron

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Post by TRBeck » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:06 pm

Ron,

I'm late to the party as always, but here goes:

I am craving a different brush after quite a long stretch with the 3122 as my only badger. The BK4 is on the short list of contenders due to its slightly larger size and the fact that I never gave it a fair shake, like many others apparently. :wink:
EDIT: I have located some neglected and forgotten failed sale brushes and been enjoying them lately but the BK4 remains a brush that never let me down, shed, hogged, or annoyed me, and it is likely to wind up being one of only a couple badgers I keep long-term.

I think the 3122 has stayed with me because, like Nate, I have found it to be the only true "all-rounder" I've ever owned, though I remember the BK4 being an all-rounder, too, for the short time it was in my possession. I have tended to use my Simpson Bests with soaps and my Vulfixes with creams and...well, you know...but the 3122 makes perfect lather for me with every soap or cream I throw at it, even some that are suboptimal shave preps otherwise.

So it's a tough call, but I think you can't go wrong with either the 3122 or the BK4.

Of course, the only path to true certainty would be to try both. :twisted: :wink:
Last edited by TRBeck on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by rsp1202 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:28 pm

'Bout time you showed up. :) Glad you're back, Tim.

I sold my Polo so am ready to party. Interesting you characterize the Kent as larger, I guess from a loft standpoint. My only hesitation remains on how small the 3122 really is, having now come from a much larger brush. I thought the 3120 was too small for my liking, but now I'm wondering if the -22 size increase will be only marginal, and that a 3824 might be more appropriate for my needs. I used to think that anything with a 22mm knot and up to a 52mm loft was the sweet spot, but now I don't know.
Ron

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Post by TRBeck » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:38 pm

Glad to be back, Ron.

I think the BK4 is larger in terms of loft height and splay both. The fan shape tends to sprawl on the face more than the bulb of the 3122.

I also think the 3120 feels quite a bit smaller than the 3122 in practice; the knot just seems significantly tighter.

PM me if you want to take my 3122 for a spin. I'd be happy to lend it to you for awhile.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by rsp1202 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:02 pm

See PM. :lol:
Ron

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Post by TRBeck » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:41 am

Ron, not to enable you, but the BK4 is on deep discount right now here. I'm told the vendor is trustworthy. Just sayin'.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Post by rsp1202 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:53 am

Killer price. Outrageous. Stick the knife* in a little deeper while you're at it, Tim. :)

*Did I mention I have a kitchen knife on sale in S&T? Coincidentally the same price as the Kent. Funny, that . . .
Ron

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Post by Thalay Sagar » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:16 pm

That's an absolute steal.
Best,
Chris

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― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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Post by jww » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:50 am

A vendor which will remain nameless had a small supply of BK4 with the imitation horn handle a few months back for $75 plus a 15% discount. I ordered, all looked copacetic, and then when I got my order confirmation a minute or two later, it said that they were all sold out. I went back to the site to validate, it showed sold out, then low and behold, out of nowhere, a couple of days later, it showed as available again. Again I ordered it up, and got the same result -- no stock when the order confirmation came through. I called them, and after a very long winded explanation that they sell off the shelf to walk-ins, the cust service rep told me I must have fallen between the cracks. Then the sale pitch came out -- they were happy to provide me with a 20% discount on a BK12, but they only had "one" on the shelf. She offered to take it off the shelf personally to be sure I got my product. It sounded just too plain fishy to me, so I told them to send me the coupon and that I would use it up later. Never did go back to use it .... just didn't feel right.

Still watching and waiting for the perfect time to drop some $$ on a Kent BK or BLK 4 -- no stock at Fendrihan at the moment. :(
Wendell

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Post by rsp1202 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:25 am

I took two quick latherings with Tim's 3122 and was much impressed. He calls it "a beauty"; I call it Old Familiar and agree that it's a pip of a brush. Do I want one? Well, sure, but I'm in no particular rush seeing as how unlike Simpsons or Rooney, a Savile Row never seems to change much from one year to the next. It'll probably be around in a familiar form when I want it. By then maybe Charles will have come up with a 3822 or 3823 -- or I will have come full circle and decided to get the 3824, which, ironically, was my first brush.

In comparison with the Kent, for me the SR comes close enough in the lathering, flowthrough and face-feel departments, with some firmness to boot. I'm leaning toward the SR, still.
Ron

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Post by TRBeck » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:59 pm

Ron, I concur on the idea of a 3822. Until then, though, Old Familiar will work. It really is an interesting nickname you've got for it. It's the only brush in my collection that felt instantly familiar, whether because I'd sampled enough brushes at either end of the firmness/flowthrough spectrum that the middle ground was easy to handle or because the 3122 is simply the brush for me. Having owned two and gone through a year-long period of fidelity with this one, I lean toward the latter. It's hard for me to imagine using any of my other brushes that steadily for that long, though I do very much enjoy them.

Still, you really ought to try a Kent soon, just to see...

:twisted:
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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