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In Praise of the Kent BK4

What kind of shaving brush do you use? Tell us all about it!

In Praise of the Kent BK4

Postby Marsom » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:03 pm

Hello all,

It's rare that I post these days, but really felt like it would be good to express my satisfaction with the BK4. It is just so user friendly and produces such a fine lather. I bought one about a year ago as a travel brush with a handful of Simpsons that I was into. As I slowly kept narrowing down on brushes, I've at this point ended up with just the BK4... even recently parting with my superb CH2 Super. When I first got the kent I really didn't like it. I thought it was too loose, soft, and silky. However, as I continued to use it, I've become more and more attached to it. IMO, there really isn't anything out there that will peform better with creams and soaps equally. I've even grown to love the feel of it as I moved away from the dense brushes which are also great. It is true and should be said that I've slowly become less and less a shave fanatic as the years have gone by, but still use a brush because it just works better and is pleasurable. I'm not saying I'll never buy a Plisson or something like that again if I have some extra money around, but I am saying that I really have enjoyed using this brush daily and can't really see needing anything else from a practical high performance standpoint. I use this brush, one razor, shave cream and moisturizer and that's pretty much it. I don't have any spare stuff around and have never enjoyed my shaves more. For the cost and quality, the BK4 is just impossible to beat and after experimenting with lots of different size brushes, I have found this brush to be about the ideal size for my style of shaving. If I bought anything else, I'd probably like a T2 or Plisson HMW 10 or 12, but I'm pretty certain that after my using enough top shelf brushes that neither of these would do necessarily a better job. If I wore this one out, I wouldn't hesitate in buying another one.

Best,
Marion
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Postby bernards66 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:02 pm

Marion, A most enjoyable read and something to chew on for those relatively new to the whole traditional shaving thing. Yes, I remember urging you to hang on to the BK4 when you first got it and didn't think it was for you. And I couldn't agree more. For most wetshavers, from a practical point of view, I don't really think that there's anything 'better' out there. One may have other personal preferences, or aesthetic and psychological factors my lead one elsewhere, but as far as basic performance and quality is concerned the BK4 is just aces. I've had mine for some time now, have used it quite a bit, and it hasn't lost a single bristle that I can recall. And it wasn't even brand new when I got it even. It's usually my choice when I use hard soap ( like today ) as it just does such a good job with it, and so easily. And having skin that's somewhat sensitive to more...a....assertive brushes, the Kent is just a delight. While I don't really see myself ever getting down to just one brush, if I did, the BK4 could fulfill that role just fine. It's not the only one that could, but none would do it better.
Regards,
Gordon
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Postby rsp1202 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:32 pm

I wish I'd been as smart as Marion and hung onto one the "several" I've had. It would be making things a bit easier right now. Good review, M.
Ron
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Postby CMur12 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:46 pm

Hi Marion -

I had a BK4 for a couple of years and, though I never could "bond" with it, myself, and passed it on, I recognize it as a good brush. I think if I had gotten it as my first "silvertip" brush and had not contracted SBAD, it would have served me very well. It is a good value in a good brush.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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Postby giammi » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:03 pm

I don't like this brush when face lathering, probably because it is too soft for me.

But it is the only brush I use when I want to create the lather in the mug - here it beats all my other brushes.
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Postby Squire » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:29 pm

This brush certainly gets some good press.
Regards,
Squire
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Postby bernards66 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:52 pm

Squire, It does, including from some members who have used/own really high end specimens. It's very versitile, unfussy, well and traditionally made, and especially a few months ago ( with the then exchange rate ) incredibly attractively priced. And it's got the tradition as well; Kent being the second oldest brush maker still plying the trade today, Royal Warrant, the whole ball of twine. Those who don't like them are generally those who simply can not abide more flexible bristled brushes, or who have some aesthetic issue with it. I know that you have one on the way, and so you'll get to evaluate it for yourself shortly.
Regards.
Gordon
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Postby Marsom » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:23 am

Yes, I agree it's not that great a brush for face lathering, but with a bowl, it's top notch and it is also superior with soaps in wooden bowls. I've never really owned a brush that worked equally superior with creams and soaps like the BK4.

Best,
Marion
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Postby IanM » Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:57 am

Excellent post, Marion. I have also recently been thinking about narrowing down my selection, and I think that once some of my stuff has been used up, it won't be replaced.

Ian
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Postby fallingwickets » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:07 am

great post, Marion. It is nice to see that another member has found shaving serenity(?) in fidelity. I've never owned a bk4, but maybe I;ll catch one the next time Richard has an affair with one :lol: In the meantime I use what rumour has is extremely similar which is the vulfix 2234

Clive
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Postby drumana » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:27 am

The BK4 is one of those things I feel I just have to try given my interest in wetshaving and the props it gets on the forums... Although I've come close , I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
-Andrew-
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Postby Leisureguy » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:02 am

I have to disagree with some of the comments above. I think the BK4 is fantastic for face lathering. I had the BK8 initially, but as I moved to face lathering and got more experience, I got a BK4 and eventually sold the BK8. The BK4 is one of my "best brushes," and I think it is unmatched for face lathering.

One forum member at one point commented that the BK4 could get a great lather from a pork chop. :)
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Postby bernards66 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:08 pm

Clive, Well, I hope you get the opportunity at some point, as I think you'd like the BK4. It's actually noticeably more densely packed than the Vulfix, but since it also has a greater loft, it feels equally pleasant and posh....or even more so, if anything. But there is a little bit of backbone way down there in the core that the Vulfix lacks. With soft creams they are both equally excellent, the Vulfix being maybe even a tad better, But with the hard soaps in those wooden bowls, I think that the Kent is superiour. In truth, I could be quite content with a Vulfix 375 for creams and the Kent for hard soaps. It'll probably never happen, but it really would be quite enough.
Regards,
Gordon
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Postby Nitrox » Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:59 pm

I love my BK4, it is an amazing brush for creating thick lather easily.
Okay, it is on the soft side in terms of face lathering, but for the price I don't complain and I find it performs pretty well compared with some of my other expensive brushes.
Bruno

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shave every day and you'll always look keen."
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Postby Dave T » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:08 am

I raved about the BK4 in this thread: http://www.shavemyface.com/forum/viewto ... ht=#384170

I still feel the same.

The exchange rates can still make it more favorable to buy a BK4 overseas for Americans. You might consider The Shaving Shack at this link: http://www.shaving-shack.com/shop/catal ... -2775.html At 37.99 British pounds, the price is about 63 US dollars. I'm thinking that the 37.99 price includes VAT, so it will be even less on this side of the ocean. I'm also thinking that they give an SMF discount. In any case, check around before buying a new one. If you can get one for around $60, grab one. By the way, the BLK4 is the same brush with a black handle.

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Postby bernards66 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:23 am

Dave, Oh well, to put it mildly. It's always been absurd to even consider buying Kent BKs from American sources as the importer/distributor jacks the prices up outrageously. The BK4s are still an excellent buy from UK sources, it's just that a few months back it was a ridiculously good deal.
Regards,
Gordon
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Postby Dave T » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:41 pm

Gordon,

Indeed. I've seen used BK4's offered for more than new ones from England.

Dave
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Postby druphus » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:15 pm

When I bought my BK4 from the UK in March of 09 the pound was at $1.40; so even with shipping the total was $54.16. At todays exchange rate it would be $64.33.
Regards,
Andy
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BK4, just about perfect!

Postby Luxlover » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:54 am

I bought a BK4 used from a Forum Member.
It is just about perfect, and feels so luxurious on my face.
I face lather soaps and creams and also bowl lather both.
The foam just explodes from this brush.
This brush along with my Omega 63183 are my absolute favorites.
I really do not use anything else.
It is so beautifully made. No hair loss at all. Great packaging.

Luxlover
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Postby stuff495 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:19 pm

Does The BK4 lose hair? I had a BK12, but it lost hair often enough I replaced it with a Simpsons H3, which has lost maybe 1 hair a year.

Now though I'm thinking about a BK4, because I liked the handle of the BK12 better then the handle on the H3.

EDITED TO ADD: I should probably mention that I use soaps exclusively.

--Vincent
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