#1
Hello all,

I purchased a Stubby 2 2-band Heritage recently and just took arrival of the brush. The fellow I bought the brush from noted that the brush was very soft hair with a nonexistent backbone. I could tell it was indeed 2-band Heritage having had a few in the past and still having some to this day. For me there has always been one overwhelming trait to Rooney brushes. Well two actually. The first is the density of the brush. Even to this day Rooney holds the density crown in 3-band and 2-band grades. That can be a con too as the lathering capabilities suffer as a result. Some come tantalizingly close in terms of density, but I would still give the win to the right Rooney brush from my own experience. The second defining feature is just how unique the hair is. I try not to buy into mystical grades of hair, but I can't help but concede 3-band Heritage, 2-band Heritage, and Finest are special, and to me I consider chase worthy.

Going back to what the seller said about the brush having a nonexistent backbone, I would have to agree. I cleaned the brush, and the first word to describe the backbone in my mind is it is flaccid. I've seen individuals often say the brush is like a mop when lathering with it. My preferences don't call for insane density, but am intrigued by just about any variation under the sun, but I have to agree with the seller that the backbone is nonexistent in the context of what I have experienced in terms of backbone with other Rooney brushes. That is not to say that I feel I got a bad deal as a chief complaint of Rooneys is the density and the backbone to a certain extent inhibiting the lathering capability of the brush. This one will have no such troubles.

The density on this brush would be better if it were in a bulb or hybrid configuration, and would have been better in my opinion having done it that way, but it has a fan shape. I'm fine with accepting it as it is. I just wanted to share this and some pictures of said brush and that even with brush brands that have typical established characteristics, there is always variances and anomalies that will appear over time.

L to R:
Rooney 2XL, Stubby 2, M&F Stubby 3 Blonde badger, Rooney 1XL (All brushes but M&F are 2-band Heritage)

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The 1XL has the characteristic gel tips that started the gel tip craze, and is my standard bearer when referencing a gel tip. It is not my preferred type, but it has grown on me over time. The 2XL was a welcome surprise when I got it as it still has a gel tip presence to it, but not to the extent the 1XL presents. It has a closer feel to 3-band heritage, while maintaining a slight pleasing gel tip presence. Basically a cross of the first batch of 2-band Heritage and 3-band Heritage with a bit less density thanks to a slightly thicker hair of the 2-band hair. I would have to say this is my preference in a gel tip brush, but I am cautious of people staying brushes today are gel tipped as for myself personally it is a fine line between pleasing and downright unpleasant. Almost every ready-to-install knot and many hand tied knots fall into this category, but I have been finding brushes that match my preferences. Just from cleaning the Stubby 2 I can tell it falls closer to the 2XL I have, just with much less density. The third picture shows that difference I think quite well. I'll try to remember to do a comparison shot when it dries. One other interesting anomaly is the handle size difference of the Stubby 2 vs my Stubby 3 M&F. The M&F is from Ben74's famous Perfect 10 set he sold years back, and was the largest of the 5 brush set, and is what I thought is a Size 3, but the Stubby 2 Rooney is larger than the M&F Stubby 3. This might have something to do with that the handles were made after Frank Lynn retired. I base that upon information that Ken wrote about in his Frank and Lynn McInroy backstory.

I wish now I had written down dates when models for Rooney first appeared and other information. I've been trying to remember to write down such information, but my mind gets distracted easily and it isn't always the easiest task. I know that I purchased my first 2-band Heritage Stubby 1 (since sold) on Jan, 18, 2010. I think M&F started around 2011. Can't find my e-mail to Lee when I bought my first brush. I believe I know why that was. It was with an e-mail account I no longer have. Hope this was of some interest to others!

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Joe
#2

Posting Freak
Canada
(This post was last modified: 03-21-2020, 11:41 PM by celestino.)
I might, respectfully, disagree with Rooneys having the most density as I find the Chubby 3-Bands to be a bit more dense because of the thinner hair shafts. But, this is trivial, really.

The lack of backbone with the Rooney brushes is the principal reason I sold my Heritage Stubby 1XL, 2XL and 3XL 2-Band brushes, quite some time ago.
They were just too floppy, especially, the 3XL. If they had been in a tight bulb knot, they may have worked better. What a shame as the gel-tip hair was magnificent.

Great information!   Happy2

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Celestino
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart
#3
(03-21-2020, 01:54 AM)celestino Wrote: I might, respectfully, disagree with Rooneys having the most density as I find the Chubby 3-Bands to be a bit more dense because of the thinner hair shafts. But, this is trivial, really.

The lack of backbone with the Rooney brushes is the principal reason I sold my 1XL, 2XL and 3XL Heritage 2-Band brushes, quite some time ago.
They were just too floppy, especially, the 3XL. If they had been in a tight bulb knot, they may have worked better. What a shame as the gel-tip hair was magnificent.

Great information!   Happy2

I think I've seen your picture of those three together, and if my memory serves me right Celestino, they looked like they had the much finer hair that later releases of 2-band Heritage had to them. I didn't keep up with them entirely for what I believe was the last year they were around, which was in 2012. I took a year break for some reason I don't remember why now, but it was around 2013 I seem to remember stock issues for the brushes starting to happen. I noticed before my break the hair looked different and finer, but still seemed to have the same density. The Finest brushes I bought were from 2007-2008 stock as per Jim at Vintage Blades. I was reminded of that searching past threads. I don't know about the brushes I bought from Classicshaving, but I feel the stock they found later on and were selling was from that period. I don't know how the whole arrangement worked there in regards to stocking. Also from Jim was mentioned that there had been no current brushes made in Finest as the stock wasn't available, and Rooney did not want to lower the quality of Finest. I imagine 2-band Heritage had similar issues. M&F Blonde Badger is becoming limited in stock because of shortages of the grade. Perhaps shortages of 2-band Heritage led to less hair being put in the brushes. All I know is this Stubby 2 definitely does not match the density I expect from a Rooney, and is quite shocking to have the thought of a flaccid Rooney come to mind while I was cleaning it. lol

Another part to the reason the Rooneys I consider denser is due to a glue bump. The glue bump in the Emillion 1 and Rooney Horn are decent size, and it locks down the center of the brush from movement combined with the short loft and the amount of thin hair packed together. The Alibaba series from what I experienced were less packed with no glue bump, and there I would give a comparable brush in the same knot size like the Emperor 2 much more density. As such, I believe if it was possible to take those glue bumps out of the two Heritage brushes the Chubby range would indeed take the win as I've never experienced glue bumps in any Chubby that I can think of, except maybe the Synthetic, and I've had several, and still have 10. The Chubby is winning on the sheer amount of hair packed in without the aid of a glue bump. The biggest win in regards to the Chubby, though, is the fact you can still purchase them new to this day! Smile
Joe
#4

Posting Freak
Canada
(This post was last modified: 03-21-2020, 06:03 AM by celestino.)
How fortunate we are to be able to talk about superfluous items in our lives.
The Chubby 3-Band series will always be classics and I still have a Chubby 2 3-Band knot in my ZenShave Snakewood handle.
Just a lovely knot.
However, I much prefer 2-Band knots, nowadays.   Shy

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Celestino
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart
#5

Member
Northern NJ
I don’t have many things I regret selling but I had a Heritage 2XL and a Heritage Stubby that I wish I held on to. Nice review and pics. Thanks

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#6
(This post was last modified: 03-21-2020, 07:40 PM by JimmyH.)
I bought my first Rooney Heritage when the Emullion was first introduced. Back when Jim at Vintage Blades was around. I preferred the scritchy (to me) Finests and sold mine. A few years later, the Finests were no longer available, and I bought another Heritage from Jim @ VB. It has good backbone, not scritchy, but nowhere near 'floppy.' Really a very nice brush. Right before Lee Sabini left Rooney, and Vintage Blades changed hands. 

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