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HL Thater 22mm Chubby

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HL Thater 22mm Chubby

Postby Percypurps » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:55 pm

On my neverending quest for esoteric and obscure Shaving Soaps I have come across other items of shaving paraphenalia that don't seem to get a great deal of attention on the English language boards, despite being popular in their country of origin. The brush manufacturer HL Thater is one such company, their brushes are very popular on the German-language boards, but whenever they come up for discussion on the US boards most people can't seem to get past the resemblance to Shavemac brushes and their has been the suggestion that Thater brushes are simply Shavemac brushes with a rebranded handle. Similiarities aside, HL Thater is the older of the two companies, tracing their roots back to the early 1900's, but whilst Shavemac is a known quantity on these boards, the Thater brushes remain little-known. I have a few HL Thater brushes, but am reviewing the 4125/0 Chubby Silvertip, a brush with a 22mm knot, standing 96mm overall.

These brushes are supposed to be manufactured in a similiar fashion to the venerable Simpson's Chubby brushes, the retailer's website going into an in depth description as to how the Simpson's brushes and those of HL Thater are the only two brushes still being made in this fashion today. Seeing as the company itself invites a direct comparison with a Simpson's Chubby, how do the two stack up against one another? Simply put, the Thater bares little resemblance to it's British namesake; and it is with this general feeling of being underwhelmed that I will continue my review. It's not a bad brush, but it's nothing special either.

I was looking forward to receiving this brush, pictures I had seen of Thater brush displays in various shops showed brushes with what looked to be a genuine white bristle of the two banded variety, but the quality of hair isn't quite so impressive once in hand. The hair would certainly pass as a silvertip by today's standards, and it is in fact a nice grade of badger hair that is used, but compared to other high-end brushes, such as Rooney Finest, Plisson HMW or two-band Simpson's Super, it is definitely inferior. I would rate the quality of hair as being better than Shavemac's current Silvertip, but not as good as the older Shavemac bristle favoured by many. The tips are a reasonably bright, slightly off-white in colour, but with some darker solids mixed in. The bristles are of a medium guage, and when dry felt pleasantly resilient without being overly stiff. The knot itself is of a medium-high density, but despite the claims there is no resemblance to a Chubby. The density is intermediate between the older style Shavemac Silvertip and the newer one, the Thater being more densely packed than the current regular Silvertip Shavemac uses, but much less dense than the older/ DO1 bristle. It's a step up from a Vulfix, but I don't feel that this brush would satisfy someone looking for a firm and scrubby knot either. The shape of the brush is a very exaggerated bulb shape, personally I prefer a fan shaped knot, but tried to keep an open mind as far as this particular brush was concerned.

All in all, Iwas completely underwhelmed by this brush when it arrived. Also, nit-picking here, I ordered a HL Thater brush, but received one labelled HL Thate. Now I know that collectively we've forgiven both Plisson and Simpson's for more grievous lapses in quality control when it comes to labelling there wares, but this is the kind of thing that annoys me because I know that it shouldn't. :evil:

So medicore initial impressions aside, how does this brush actually perform? Better than I expected to be honest, but the high loft of the brush negates the density of the knot. By this I mean that despite being relatively generously packed, the overly tall loft means that the brush feels very floppy on the face. Another strange thing that I noticed about this brush was that the bristles had a tendency to clump together when wet, and this, coupled with the tall loft, made the brush a lot more unwieldy than a 22mm knot would suggest. It always seems to want to go in the opposite direction to which you want. The brush has bloomed very little with use, due mainly to the bulb-shape, as opposed to the density. That being said, for a soft feeling brush like this, it whipped up a surprisingly good lather from the soaps with which it was used. Like more densely packed brushes it seems to hold a lot of very rich lather right at the core of the knot, but because it isn't overly dense it gives the lather up quite easily. It worked much better than I thought it would with soaps, but I still feel that this brush would be more appropriate for someone who prefers to use Shave Creams.

On the face, the brush feels somewhat floppy as mentioned previously, and despite the bulb shape, and moderately high density of the knot, it doesn't feel at all scrubby. Personally, I prefer a little more backbone in my brushes, and despite the fact that it managed to whip up a nice lather with my soaps, I still feel somewhat unsatisfied with it in day to day use.

I've given a list of negatives, but there are some positives. As already mentioned the grade of hair is quite nice and the brush gives the impression of being a well made product, having lost only a single hair since I've started using it.

This brush retails for 99.50 EUR, and this is the major stumbling block for me. Often, when buying higher-priced items one is forced to comment on the distinction between over-priced and expensive in order to rationalise their purchases. I have brushes that cost more than the Thater, two-band Simpson's, Rooney Finest, Plisson HMW's, a Da Vinci Uomo and my treasured Gercon HMW, and whilst these were expensive items to buy, they weren't overpriced, in my opinion at least. The Thater on the other hand is overpriced, plain and simple. For similiar money you can get a comparable DO1 Shavemac, and for much less you can buy a Shavemac Finest which is far superior to the Thater.

Overall, one is left feeling somewhat unsatisfied with this brush. Taken on it's merits it's not a bad brush, and I certainly wouldn't advise people to steer clear of Thater brushes altogether, but it is unwise for the company to invite comparisons between this brush, and a classic like the Simpson's Chubby which is better made and better functionally.

Lacking any sort of photographic ability I'm afraid you'll have to make do with a link to an e-tailer who carries this particular brush. http://www.thedifferentscent.de/product ... cts_id=968

Kindest regards,
Alex
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Postby drmoss_ca » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:12 pm

Sure does look like the old Shavemac 167:

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Postby bernards66 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:43 pm

Yes.....quite so ( cough ).....now, THAT is a 'review'. Reading it, I started to even feel a little sad. I must admit that until the Thater brushes were mentioned in a thread here a little while back, I was not aware of them. I was cognizant of a couple of German brushes that are hardly ever mentioned on these boards, but not that one. Looking over their website I found myself being mildly interested, which for me is rare in regard to current Continental brushes. Hence, the vague sadness. Judging by your description, I probably would like a number of things about this brush ( personally favouring somewhat more flexibe bristle with more flow through these days ), but the price and the extreme bulb shape are detriments for me. Still, I will tuck it away for possible future reference. Thanks for your comprehensive job.
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Postby Percypurps » Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:13 am

Gordon,
I've developed a preference for brushes with more "flow-through" like yourself, with this brush it's the loft that effects the performance and makes it feel overly floppy. The company also offers a 4125/00 which stands 87mm tall instead of 96mm. I got the 4125/0 because that was the model that The Different Scent had in stock; everything else being equal I think that that particular model might be a much more satisfying, and versatile brush. Hopefully the shorter loft would bring the brush under more control, without making it feel overly stiff.

Kindest regards,
Alex
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Postby Fido » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:20 am

I have just added a short description and review of the 4125/0 to my shaving brush blog. I was looking for other reviews to link to my blog entry and came across this thread.

When I enquired about the loft of this brush I was told it was 52mm.

The loft of my brush is 48mm. Very different compared with the 54mm loft described in the above review.

I know now from my experience with my first New Forest brush that there are variations within batches of individually hand made brushes. But a difference of 6mm? That's an entirely different brush.

Personally, I think a variation of +or- 2mm from the quoted loft is just about OK. Any more, and it's best to send it back to exchange it for a loft closer to your expectation.

I point out in my review that my brush had specs of white paint on it. Not what you expect from an established famous brand. I kept my brush and it quite nice to have in my collection. But like many high end brushes, it's not really good value at £87 delivered for a relatively small brush.
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Postby SiR-ed8 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:48 pm

Alex,

Very nicely done. You pretty much covered everything. I was interested in this brush awhile ago but for the life of me the site offered no translation.

Such a shame for I fancied their 49125 which was offered at Different Scent as well.

Fido wrote:I have just added a short description and review of the 4125/0 to my shaving brush blog. I was looking for other reviews to link to my blog entry and came across this thread.

When I enquired about the loft of this brush I was told it was 52mm.

The loft of my brush is 48mm. Very different compared with the 54mm loft described in the above review.

I know now from my experience with my first New Forest brush that there are variations within batches of individually hand made brushes. But a difference of 6mm? That's an entirely different brush.

Personally, I think a variation of +or- 2mm from the quoted loft is just about OK. Any more, and it's best to send it back to exchange it for a loft closer to your expectation.

I point out in my review that my brush had specs of white paint on it. Not what you expect from an established famous brand. I kept my brush and it quite nice to have in my collection. But like many high end brushes, it's not really good value at £87 delivered for a relatively small brush.


Peter,

How does yours compare to your dense brushes? Is it flaccid? Is the spring rate good when it comes to piston loading from puck? This more suited to cream users like Alex mentions?

BTW if that would've been me I would seriously contact the vendor and tell them to reimburse you for shipping back to them for the deception.
But alas you used the brush. I reckon it won't be accepted for returns.

I've ordered many a time with Gary at Shoebox as well as Tony at TGN and at least with their description it's + or - 1. When asked I'm sure either would take the time to measure a particular loft that would be sent to me. See that's the difference with vendors like Gary/Tony and the one you dealt with.
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Postby Fido » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:29 pm

The combination of dense loft and 48mm knot makes this silvertip a very good brush for use with soaps and face lathering. And of course it's great with creams. Personally I prefer a slightly larger brush head.

The knot is certainly not flaccid - it is dense, firm and very soft at the tips.

Although the brush was not what I'd expected, I was happy to keep it. The variety of brushes I have is of great help to me in deciding the characteristics I want to aim for with my New Forest brush venture.
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Postby SiR-ed8 » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:55 pm

Peter,

Just so we're on the same page your experience is entirely different from Alex? He describe his as floppy, unwieldy not scrubby at all.

I'm glad you mentioned that because thus far the New Forest will be a benchmark for comparison.
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Postby Blue As A Jewel » Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:10 am

What's the Gercon HMW that's referred to?
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Postby drumana » Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:16 am

I do like the handle design on that Thater. The Omega boar I had for a while had a similar thing going on and I found it to be very ergonomic and comfortable in my hands. Too bad the knots/lofts are too big and floppy for my tastes...
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Postby franz » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:02 pm

Bumping an older thread here. In contrast to the OP, I'm very happy with my Thäter 4125 "0." It's the softest tipped brush I've ever had the pleasure of owning, with a good bit of backbone to go along with it. It's not floppy in the least. I would classify it as moderately dense -- certainly less so than the Simpson density monsters (e.g., Chubby, Duke). For my sensitive skin it is an ideal face lathering brush.

The appellation "Chubby" is unfortunate as these are very different brushes. The German vendor mentioned above uses this term. Thäter does not.

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[22mm knot, 48mm loft, 42mm handle, 90mm total height]
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Postby SirWhiskers » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:22 pm

My favorite brush right now. I have the black/clear handle. I call it the octo-chubby handle.
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dead centre

Postby malocchio » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:58 pm

franz wrote:Bumping an older thread here. In contrast to the OP, I'm very happy with my Thäter 4125 "0." It's the softest tipped brush I've ever had the pleasure of owning, with a good bit of backbone to go along with it. It's not floppy in the least. I would classify it as moderately dense -- certainly less so than the Simpson density monsters (e.g., Chubby, Duke). For my sensitive skin it is an ideal face lathering brush.

The appellation "Chubby" is unfortunate as these are very different brushes. The German vendor mentioned above uses this term. Thäter does not.

Image
[22mm knot, 48mm loft, 42mm handle, 90mm total height]
.......................................yes...my exact feelings for my thater chubby 2....my vie-long 16510 is my softest brush,the duke 3 is the sturdiest ,not counting the black badger brushes,and the thater chubby 2 is dead centre ,the best of both worlds,not floppy by any means,and capable of hard work on a stick,puck or bowl of cream...the thater is one of the finest brushes available at the price....take note,the u.s. dollar is at a very low point in value ,and if the dollar had the strength it once enjoyed,the thater would be a bargain brush.........
Image

Image
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Postby franz » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:44 pm

Malocchio's Thäter is the rarely seen (stateside at least) ivory version - gorgeous brush, mate!
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Postby SirWhiskers » Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:08 pm

franz wrote:Malocchio's Thäter is the rarely seen (stateside at least) ivory version - gorgeous brush, mate!


Mr. Rudy Vey will have to learn how to make me one of these octo handles in his special ivory.
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Postby Churchill » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:02 am

Does anyone know who carries the ivory version of the Thater brushes?
Thanks.
Bob
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Postby SirWhiskers » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:15 am

Churchill wrote:Does anyone know who carries the ivory version of the Thater brushes?
Thanks.


The only place I found is The Different Scent in Germany. You save on VAT but shipping to the US is not cheap, assuming you are in the US.

http://www.thedifferentscent.de/index.p ... rers_id=92

If you PM Phil (BullGoose) he might be able to get them with his next order.
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Postby Churchill » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:11 pm

SirWhiskers wrote:
Churchill wrote:Does anyone know who carries the ivory version of the Thater brushes?
Thanks.


The only place I found is The Different Scent in Germany. You save on VAT but shipping to the US is not cheap, assuming you are in the US.

http://www.thedifferentscent.de/index.p ... rers_id=92

If you PM Phil (BullGoose) he might be able to get them with his next order.


Thank you Sir. I was hoping there might be a stateside vendor carrying the ivory handled ones. I've been searching but don't seem to be able to find one.
Bob
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Postby nathanb » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:05 pm

Those Thater brushes are gorgeous and I have heard some great things about their combination of backbone and soft tips. I may have a Thater brush in my future. :lol:
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