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Fan v bulb shape heads

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Fan v bulb shape heads

Postby Fido » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:11 am

Continuing my quest to understand better the characteristics of shaving brushes what features do fan and bulb brush heads have which might make one preferable to the other? Is each type suited to different purposes?
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Re: Fan v bulb shape heads

Postby joe mcclaine » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:15 am

Fido wrote:Continuing my quest to understand better the characteristics of shaving brushes what features do fan and bulb brush heads have which might make one preferable to the other? Is each type suited to different purposes?


I find that more of the tips in a fan-shaped brush touch the face when lathering.

With a bulb-shaped brush many of the outer tips do not touch the face and just collect a lot of lather . . . which doesn't go where I want it (like right down to the bottom of my neck or way up past my sideburns).

Perhaps Bulb-shape brushes are better for 'painting' and fans are better for 'swirling'?
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Postby drmoss_ca » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:23 am

A bulb shape with hair of the right degree of resilience makes for a very pleasant face-feel. The big Shavemacs exemplify this, especially a few years back before Bernd started using thinner and softer hair. Once the loaded brush was pushed against your face it would actually resist being pulled away, presumably from the centre hair having folded and compressed together - it would have to suck lather in through the sides of the brush to expand again when against the face. I once said it was like the attention of an over-friendly baby lamprey.

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Postby M6Classic » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:17 am

Observe how a bulb shaped knot collapses when wet. It forms a fairly strong, pointed brush which picks up soap and cream and whips it up quite effectively and efficiently. The outside hairs, being shorter, support the inner hairs, which do most of the work. It is quite marvelous and ingenious, actually. My reference on this is a bulb shaped Plisson HMW versus an old Chubby 3 in what would be called Mandarin.

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Postby drumana » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:26 am

I think the difference is mainly aesthetic.
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Postby Kyle76 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:39 am

drmoss_ca wrote: I once said it was like the attention of an over-friendly baby lamprey.

Chris


Now, that's a descriptive phrase! :D
Jim
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Postby M6Classic » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:46 am

drumana wrote:I think the difference is mainly aesthetic.

I beg to differ. I find the mechanics of how the two shapes generate lather to be different. Neither is better, mind you, just different. Then again, I'm the guy who thinks the number of bands exposed on a shave brush's hair is of only aesthetic consequence, and who didn't think one could easily find shave cream in metal tubes, so what do I know?

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Postby Squire » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:26 am

I use both and do not find one style preferable over the other.
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Postby M6Classic » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:35 am

Squire wrote:I use both and do not find one style preferable over the other.

As I said, Squire...different, not better.

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Postby Squire » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:39 am

I was responding to the question of whether one was preferable.
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Postby bernards66 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:00 am

I agree with Buzz that they are a bit different, especially if we're talking about them in their more pronounced forms; say my Plisson #14 EW, which is VERY bulb shaped, vs. my Rooney Emillion, the crown of which is almost flat. As Joe said, I think that fan shaped brushes bring more lather to the face more easily, and they seem to retain more lather for use toward the end of the shave. When I squeeze the base of my Plisson for the final florish to the third pass, there is almost nothing there, whilst with, say, my old PL8 there was loads of lather in the core still available. Plisson always maintained that they used the domed shape because it had a better feel on the face, and some think that this shape is more precise in lathering although neither seems so for me personally. Ultimately, it's one of those personal preference things, like soap vs. cream.
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Postby KAV » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:19 am

They look purty on display with all the equally varied handles.
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Postby woodsrider » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:22 am

M6Classic wrote:....The outside hairs, being shorter, support the inner hairs, which do most of the work. It is quite marvelous and ingenious, actually. My reference on this is a bulb shaped Plisson HMW versus an old Chubby 3 in what would be called Mandarin.

Buzz

I think there's something to this, especially with the way that the lofts on the medium to large sized Plissons are constructed (particularly P16 and larger).
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Postby drumana » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:04 pm

M6Classic wrote:
drumana wrote:I think the difference is mainly aesthetic.

I beg to differ. I find the mechanics of how the two shapes generate lather to be different. Neither is better, mind you, just different.
Buzz


Every brush is different whether or not it has a fan or bulb shaped loft. Heck, you can get two of the same brushes and they could lather differently...
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Postby Fido » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:40 pm

Many thanks for these thoughts everyone, I'll provide links to this thread in a new shaving brush blog I'm working on.
I now have over 40 brushes including examples of most of the well known brands to write about. I'm learning fast about a wide range of brushes at various price levels. And about where and how the brushes are made and by whom. Rooney will be well covered!
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Postby CMur12 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:41 pm

Fido, I have a marked preference for the fan shape.

I like the way it loads evenly from a cake of soap.

When I make lather, I do it in a bowl, and I use swirling and compression motions of the brush.
When swirling, the fan shape has more brush surface in contact with the lather, and it keeps the lather in the bottom of the bowl.
When applying compression, the force is evenly distributed across the flatter top of the brush.

I also like the way a fan-shaped brush applies lather to the beard.

In the case of pure badger, I have never gotten any irritation from painting the lather onto my sensitive skin with a fan-shaped brush. A bulb-shaped brush in pure, however, exposes more of the prickly tips to the skin, and it causes irritation.

I must say that the dynamic that Buzz describes, in which a bulb-shaped brush collapses into a point when working it, is exactly what I don't like. That works especially well with Buzz's lathering technique, while it is incompatible with my own.

I have been intrigued by the new Simpson brushes in two-banded Super, but because Simpson has made these with more rounded brushheads I wouldn't consider making a purchase. In this case, the shape of the brushhead is more important to me than getting a more exotic grade of badger.

- Murray
Last edited by CMur12 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Fido » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:25 am

Thank you Murray

I suspect most guys don't think about these things as deeply.
A fascinating insight.
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Postby KAV » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:06 pm

Fido, Along with your brush insights I expect a photo of a free badger in your beautifull Forest.
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Postby Fido » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:31 pm

Image
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Postby bernards66 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:54 pm

Jeez! Look at the little buggers! Lucky that they didn't decide to bite your knees ( chuckle ).
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