Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

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Bill_K
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

Post by Bill_K » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:40 pm

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IMG_0463.jpg (436.45 KiB) Viewed 734 times
From left to right: Semogue 1305, Tuxedo with Emerald Green handle, SynBad with Blue Lagoon handle, Cashmere with Jet Black handle, and SynBad with Ruby Red handle.

I’ve had the pleasure of using AP Shave Co.’s[1] synthetic brushes for a few months now, so I think that it’s time I submitted a review. Note that I have no affiliation whatsoever with this company.

My first purchase was the Tuxedo knot with the ‘Emerald Green’ handle. When stroked dry against the cheek it feels as smooth as a light bulb; it’s far smoother, in fact, than my boar or horse hair brushes. It has terrific lathering power (especially on hard soaps) and unlike my Semogue 1305 it doesn’t hang onto the scent of the soap after rinsing. It has tons of backbone, so as a result it doesn’t splay very well; if I want to use my Moss scuttle then I revert back to the naturals.

The next one was the synthetic badger (“SynBad”) knot with the ‘Blue Lagoon’ handle. I don’t have an authentic badger brush so I can’t compare it to these knots but I must say, they are very, very nice. It feels even softer than the Tuxedo knot, and it has somewhat less backbone to it. Like its bigger Emerald Green sibling, it produces great lather with little effort; unfortunately, the handle is a bit short for my taste – I prefer something with a little meat to it – so I don’t use it a lot. It does make for a good travel brush, though.

My next purchases were the Cashmere and SynBad knots in the Jet Black and Ruby Ripple handles, respectively. The Cashmere knot certainly lives up to its name: it’s really soft and has noticeably less backbone than the Tuxedo and SynBad knots. Thumbs up for its great lathering ability and wonderful face feel.

Overall, I’d say that the synthetic brushes stack up very well against my natural hair brushes. They’re good-looking brushes that stand out from the crowd. They’re certainly softer than the naturals – zero scritch – and they don’t require any soaking before use, although I like to soak them anyway just to warm them up a bit. If I’m using harder soaps, these are the ones I consider using first.

Plus, how can you argue with the price? For $25 - $27 CDN (about $18 - $20 USD) plus taxes and shipping, you a terrific brush! If you buy two or more then the shipping cost per brush is less. :wink:

The “cons” are: (1) they don’t seem to hold heat as well as naturals; (2) their stronger backbone means they won’t see much use when I get out my Moss scuttle; and, (3) as Michael Freedberg points out[2], they just don’t have any soul.

If you’re considering the purchase of a synthetic brush, I recommend that you give AP Shave Co. a try. I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.

[1] https://apshaveco.com/
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG0KKaq-Qyw (10:40 to 11:35)
Bill

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

Re: Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

Post by CMur12 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:34 pm

Thanks for the review, Bill.

I have several synthetic shave brushes and I'm always interested to hear what else is out there, though I buy much less new shave equipment these days than I once did.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

Rufus
Posts: 2042
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:25 pm
Location: Greater Toronto Area

Re: Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

Post by Rufus » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:12 am

I’ve tried several synthetic brushes (Muhle, Muhle V2, Kent, Simpson and AP) and so far the AP Synbad is the best. As with the other synthetics I’ve tried, it has very soft tips, which caress your face, but what differentiates it is the medium backbone and the ease with which it splays. Since I lather on my face only, ease of splay is important to me. Whilst the AP Synbad is my travel brush of choice it does not have a permanent spot in my brush rotation at home, which comprises 27 badgers of all flavours and 3 boars.
Bryan

Bill_K
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

Post by Bill_K » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:52 pm

CMur12 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:34 pm
...I have several synthetic shave brushes and I'm always interested to hear what else is out there, though I buy much less new shave equipment these days than I once did...
Yeah, I've slowed down on the purchase of blades, brushes, and soaps. But aftershaves and colognes, well, they're another matter. :lol:
Bill

brothers
Posts: 19609
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

Post by brothers » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:30 am

Bill K, thanks for the thoughtful and informative synthetic brush reviews. I have all of the same brush heads, except for the Cashmere. In my hands, the favorites so far are the SilkSmoke and the Tuxedo. The SilkSmoke does have soul in my experience, and I love using it for soaps and creams alike. I just love it. I think one thing I like most about the SilkSmoke is the semi-flat top, as contrasted with the pure bulb shape of the SynBad. As regarding the Tuxedo, it's a close second. I was able to mount it in a vintage Rex handle and it makes a great inexpensive and very effective travel brush. Having and using synthetics alongside my boar and badger brushes has given me a much better perspective on all 3 types. I have learned that I had never admitted that I just don't care for boar brushes. I am keeping two of them and will ultimately sell off all the rest of my boar brushes without a second thought. I have several favorite badger brushes that will stay with me permanently. There is only one synthetic brush that is as scritchy as any other, and that is the Omega S-Brush. I really like the fact that synthetics dry almost immediately, unlike the animal hair brushes.
Gary

Bill_K
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

Post by Bill_K » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:54 am

How well do the natural badger brushes compare to the SynBad knots? I realize there are several grades of badger but I'm wondering if they're so similar in performance and feel that I should get a 'natural' so that I can enjoy the benefits of heat retention and splay.
Bill

Bill_K
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

Post by Bill_K » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:20 pm

Bill_K wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:54 am
How well do the natural badger brushes compare to the SynBad knots?
Well, never mind: it looks like I can do my own comparison.

My lovely bride gave me a gift certificate to one of the local barber shops as a Christmas stocking stuffer. Minutes ago, I went in looking for the Rockwell razors they had in stock a few weeks ago - unfortunately they were sold out, but I did walk out with a badger brush and a tub of Henri et Victoria 'Cognac and Cuban Cigars' shaving soap.

Merry Christmas to me! :)
Bill

brothers
Posts: 19609
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: Review - AP Shave Co Brushes

Post by brothers » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:55 pm

Bill_K wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:20 pm
Bill_K wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:54 am
How well do the natural badger brushes compare to the SynBad knots?
Well, never mind: it looks like I can do my own comparison.

My lovely bride gave me a gift certificate to one of the local barber shops as a Christmas stocking stuffer. Minutes ago, I went in looking for the Rockwell razors they had in stock a few weeks ago - unfortunately they were sold out, but I did walk out with a badger brush and a tub of Henri et Victoria 'Cognac and Cuban Cigars' shaving soap.

Merry Christmas to me! :)
Merry Christmas indeed! :D
Gary

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