SilkSmoke synthetic brush

What kind of shaving brush do you use? Tell us all about it!
CMur12
Posts: 7127
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Moses Lake, Washington, USA

Re: SilkSmoke synthetic brush

Post by CMur12 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:09 pm

Thanks for the update, Gary.

1. What size knots have you used?
2. Does Vladimir Ferdman sell finished brushes, or do you have to provide the knot?
3. Are these knots available in finished brushes by anyone else?


I have mixed feelings about synthetic brushes. I think I have several decent ones, but they definitely require an adjustment in lathering technique.

Back when I used to lather in a bowl, I preferred badger brushes, and the best I found anywhere were those by Semogue. At that time, I would load the brush from the soap cake, after which I would work it in a bowl, using both swirling motions and light compression. I began to suspect, however, that the lather in the brush just from the loading process was already pretty good. When I tested it with a shave, I found that it was.

So, I abbreviated the process to simply lathering on top of the soap cake, spending a little more time at it than the previous simple loading. I also found that I preferred boar for lathering in this manner. (Maybe there is something to the practice by Italian barbers of lathering on top of the soap with a boar brush!) For this, the best brush I have found is the Semogue 1305 boar.

The Semogue 1305 and 830 share a quality of boar bristle distinct even from that of other Semogue boar brushes. While other boar bristle typically reminds me of "straw," these are different. They are still definitely boar, but they are unique within the boar paradigm. My 1305 and 830 are from 2009, so I don't know if the new versions of these brushes are still the same. Hopefully they are, as they still use the same description for the bristle.

At this point, I wouldn't buy any more badger brushes, based on the latest information about cruelty to badgers in China. Synthetic brushes are really attractive for their ease of rinsing and quick drying, not to mention no animal cruelty. At the same time, nothing comes close to my Semogue 1305 boar!

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

pausted
Posts: 2195
Joined: Tue May 06, 2014 5:07 pm
Location: Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Re: SilkSmoke synthetic brush

Post by pausted » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:17 am

Murray, I bought my SilkSmoke as a complete brush from APShave on Etsy. It has a nice resin handle. About 25 bucks if I remember right. 24mm brush.
Best regards,

Basil

CMur12
Posts: 7127
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Moses Lake, Washington, USA

Re: SilkSmoke synthetic brush

Post by CMur12 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:09 pm

Thanks, Basil.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

brothers
Posts: 20568
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: SilkSmoke synthetic brush

Post by brothers » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:13 pm

CMur12 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:09 pm
Thanks for the update, Gary.

1. What size knots have you used?
2. Does Vladimir Ferdman sell finished brushes, or do you have to provide the knot?
3. Are these knots available in finished brushes by anyone else?

- Murray
Murray, when I'm using one of my own handles, I pretty much try to go by the size of the existing hole in the handle, but sometimes the knots I use don't always come in the same size I need, so I have had to enlarge the hole to fit the knot. To answer your question, it seems I've used 24, 26, and 28mm knots most often. Lofts in my choices have usually been around 58mm to 60 or 65.

Vladimir sells finished brushes, and in my case, I asked him beforehand if he'd sell the handle only, and told him what size the hole needed to be to fit my knot. He offered to install my knot into the handle if I wanted to send it to him. I declined, as I've set a lot of knots in handles for my own use. Obviously, this is a great option to consider.

I bought my SilkSmoke from APShave. He also offers complete brushes at very reasonable prices for customers who'd rather just have a pretty brush and who have no interest in tackling the installation issues.
Gary

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

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TRBeck
Soapgeek
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:59 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: SilkSmoke synthetic brush

Post by TRBeck » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:44 pm

I have a 26mm silksmoke knot on hand that I bought a little over a year ago and never put into a handle. I'm pretty happy with my good old EJ/Muhle synthetic knots - I use two 25mm knots set at different lofts. I admit I've been curious about this knot; at this point, I'm not willing to spend much money for a handle. Maybe someday I'll set it and use it.
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

brothers
Posts: 20568
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: SilkSmoke synthetic brush

Post by brothers » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:26 pm

Tim, I sold my shoebox filled with old handles last year. Bad timing! Otherwise, I'd give you one and mount it for you. Just to be sure, I'll go through my old stuff and see if there are any more that I've forgotten about.
Gary

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

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