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Boar vs Badger

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

Boar vs Badger

Postby alcx77 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:09 pm

I have but 3 shave brushes. A 5.00 Burma Shave boar brush. A small
badger bursh I pick up 25 years ago at a dept store for 25.00 and a new Omega synthetic.

I realize this is a sad :cry: little collection of brushes but of the 3 I prefer the boar because of its spine and frankly the boar and the synthetic hold only one pass but the badger wont even load up with a soap cream super lather combo and is nearly worthless.

Is there a brush out there of any type for say 45.00 or less which will allow my to load up enough say Trumpers Sandlewood Soap for 4 passes without reloading?
Thanks all-
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Postby bernards66 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:14 pm

That would depend, to a considerable extent, on your water. Where I live, no. But why does it matter? I've always reloaded the brush between each pass...it's hardly a big inconvenience.
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Gordon
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Postby gsgo » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:47 am

Can you describe how you go about lathering your soap or cream and what products you are using. I have two Omega Syntex brushes and either one can lather up a storm with soap or cream, easily enough for four passes.

Maybe we can help you through this and turn your sad collection into a happy one!
Good shaving,

Gary
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Postby alcx77 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:44 pm

Sure, for instance if I use the Omega syntax with Trumpers Sandalwood soap it does load nicely for say two passes. With Prorasso soap its hit or miss on the richness of the lather and I suppose I may have too much water in my mix. I run the brush in hot water and then shake it out before swirling the tip in the soap. Palm lathering seems to work best compared to face or bowl.

If I am in a rustic mood I will use Williams and a pinch of Polmolive from the red tube and this combination, while less luxurious than the better milled soaps never fails to produce copious lather.
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Postby bernards66 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:40 pm

alcx, Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that a better brush won't improve your lather situation, it will. But depending upon your water, the finest brush made may, or may not, hold enough lather for several passes without refreshing it. Even with my best brushes, I always just lightly run the tips under the water and give a few more swirls on the soap or in the lather bowl before re-lathering my face for the next pass.
Regards.
Gordon
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Postby Leisureguy » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:25 am

If it is your water, you can try getting distilled water (available at most drug stores for use in steam irons, and quite inexpensive). Heat some and use that for your shave and see if it makes a difference. If it does, it's the water that's the problem.
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Postby gsgo » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:15 am

alcx,

Along with the water comments I would suggest the following. After a quick couple of shakes on your Omega Syntex, give the brush a little squeeze to remove just a bit more water. Syntex's seem to hold and release water with a flush which can drown a soap pretty quickly.

Additionally I like to get my soap well primed with a good rinse of hot water to soften it up and then load up the damp Omega quite thoroughly, this action will start creating a creamy lather, if it is really foamy you need to squeeze a little more water out of the brush or keep loading. Once you get a nice creamy texture built up take the brush to your face or palm and start adding water slowly until you build the lather you prefer.

Good luck.
Good shaving,

Gary
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Postby bernards66 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:03 am

I think that most likely, the only 'problem' here ( other than that the poster could do with a bit better brush ) is one of expectations. I don't expect ANY brush to just load up with lather and then I don't touch the soap again for the duration of a three pass shave. It's not going to happen, at least not here....and not even in NJ where the water is better.
Regards,
Gordon
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Postby gsgo » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:46 am

Gordon,

Lucky for me our water here in Chicago is really quite good and I have no trouble whatsoever loading up my Omega Syntex 90081 with either soap or cream. Now that my Omega Boar 10066 has broken in a little I can make a decent three passer with just a little to spare, much improved over the first few times I used this brush.

Since my C&E BBB has had pretty much a complete breakdown the Syntex has been my go to and it has served me extremely well. I think it is a fine brush that builds great lather with either soap or cream and has a very nice face feel. But as always everyone's results will certainly vary.

Cheers
Good shaving,

Gary
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Postby giammi » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:38 am

Leisureguy wrote:If it is your water, you can try getting distilled water (available at most drug stores for use in steam irons, and quite inexpensive). Heat some and use that for your shave and see if it makes a difference. If it does, it's the water that's the problem.


I agree, this is the easiest way to find out if the water is the problem.
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Postby bernards66 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:38 pm

Gary, Well, water does make a big difference when it comes to lathering, but also, I suppose, what one wants. I 'can' get three passes out of my brushes, but not the kind of lather I want. I like it rich and heavy, and so, reloading the brush briefly for each pass is preferable. Hell, it only takes a couple of seconds so why not? If you watch Richard's old video on using the Japanese style Feather straight, you'll see him discreetly give the soap a few more swipes a couple of times during the shave, which is what I do also.
Regards,
Gordon
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Postby alcx77 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:39 pm

Thanks to everyone for the prompt and thoughtful replies. I live in the Washington
DC area and bought some distilled water a couple of months ago and heated it
and introduced it into my mixing routine but noticed no change. The advise on squeezing
out the brush makes sense because I think my best results have come when the brush is
not so wet. Of course swirling the tip to refresh it between passes is something I already do.

I like my lather rich and heavy and if face lathering isn't quite making it I will resort to
palm lathering then drawing the brush between my fingers to pull a large dollop of lather into the palm for direct application to my face, add a couple drops of water and perhaps another swirl of soap and repeat.... works like a charm except the small price to pay is that I have had to break in two identical boar brushes [Which improve with age.] because the knott breaks and has to be reglued and allowed to sit for a month.
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Postby bernards66 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:48 pm

alcx. Okay, well it sounds as if you already have it down pretty well. Something like a Rooney or Vulfix Pure badger brush would, while not entirely eliminating all that, would diminish it and give you a fine lather easier. Even more so a Vulfix Super if you don't mind spending just a little more. The Vulfix Supers are among the very best brushes made, at any price, for lathering stuff like Trumpers cream, IMO. Perhaps that's why most of the house brand 'Trumper' brushes are exactly that' Vulfix Supers.
Regards,
Gordon
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Postby alcx77 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:01 pm

Since the small badger I have now has no spine to it I am nervous about investing in expensive badger brush. Is it true that boar brushes, once properly broken in are stiffer than badgers?
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Postby bernards66 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:17 pm

alcx, No. It depends entirely upon WHICH badger brush we're talking about. The Vulfix Supers I mentioned are very flexible ( which, personally, I don't see as a problem....rather more of an asset if anything with soft creams ), but some badger brushes are very stiff and firm. It depends on the type and gauge of the bristle, how densely it is packed, and the degree of loft. Frankly, the badger brush that you have does not give you that good an idea of what badger brushes are about.
Regards,
Gordon
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Postby alcx77 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:36 pm

No doubt this is true. I look at pictures of badger brushes on the various sales sites and wonder how I can tell which brush performs best .... when best is hard to define!
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Postby bernards66 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:54 pm

alcx, Well, without access to examining the brushes in person, it's tough, and no doubt about that. Those members in England don't know how lucky they are when it comes to this problem. You start by trying to define what you want and like, or think you might like, in a general way; around what size, stiff or flexible, soft or 'scritchy' tips, absolute maximum you're willing to pay, etc. When you have that you run it by the Brush section in a seperate thread and see what responses you get. Then you shift and winnow those, make the best choice you can.....and pull the trigger. Is it a gamble?....sure...but there's no other way under the circumstances. The good news is that if you get a brush from one of the top makers and really don't like it, you can usually recoup at least some of your money by selling it on our Sales/Trades forum. A lot of our members have gone through this process here, so, you'd be in good company.
Regards,
Gordon
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Postby Matsuey37 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:18 am

I have found that I like Boar brushes more than badger. I have more boar brushes than badger. As far as loading up a brush once for a three shave pass, I have no trouble here in NC loading up with any soap or sc I have tried.
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Postby swarden43 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:30 am

I'm another that has no problem with either boar or badger to get 3+ passes out of one trip to the soap. Then again, I am in Jersey :wink:
Take care and God bless,
Steve
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Postby alcx77 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:21 pm

I find that different brushes work best with different soaps as well.
Alan
[Currently]
1979 Wilkinson Bonded Razor
Bonded Blade Cartridge
Boar Brush
VDH shave soap
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