#1
Hello guys, I will start by mentioning that I have a few RazoRock synthetic brushes(400 noir, Bruce, big Bruce, barrel tuxedo and an Omega 10049. I used them all and like them a lot but I started to get annoyed when I splayed the synthetics on my face and water started dripping from it when I wet it too much. This never happened with the omega and I preferred it as it is well broken in and it’s really soft.

Well a couple days ago I bought a Stirling finest badger 26mm, I cleaned it and this thing is massive and makes a ton of lather. Well I used it today and it’s really soft(I don’t really care for softnes)and didn’t drip water when face lathering but it seemed to absorb a ton of lather. When I squeezed it about 3 times as much lather came out than when I use my 24mm synthetics and about 2 times than when I use my Omega.

This is the only badger brush I have ever used. Is this normal since it’s so dense? And if I buy the 24mm fan knot, will it be more like what I want? Will it still hold a lot of lather? I don’t know what other brands to try and I don’t want to spend a ton like I did with my razors. I was looking for an alternative to the 10049 because it’s big and I tried a smaller boar and found it too stiff and hard to lather with. It was the Omega 10019.

Michael P likes this post
#2

Vintage Razor Fan
Southwestern NY
Quick question, SharpnShiny, how many times have you lathered the Omega 10019?  I've found that the Omega boar brushes will continue to break-in for several weeks of use.  I tend to do test lathers(usually palm lathers) and rinse well with boar brushes every other day or two for a couple of weeks.  This allows the bristles to dry between lathers which usually leads to the tips of the bristles splitting.  Once the tips split, it should be softer on the tips and lather much better.  Boars seem to lather better and soften up a bit with use.  In my experience, at least.  I remember hearing about a technique to accelerate the breaking in of boar brushes, but I've never tried it.  So, I can't offer help in speeding up the process.  

Now the Stirling badger brushes.  I have a Stirling 24mm Finest bulb and a 24mm Finest Fan.  I really like the 24mm Finest Fan better of the two brushes.  The Fan has very soft tips, but seems to have enough backbone to get the job done face lathering.  Both brushes seem to me to have medium density with good flow through.  I still prefer the fan shaped knot better for my face.

Which 26mm finest badger brush did you get from Stirling?  I seem to remember that the black handled one has a shorter loft than the 26mm finest with the white/ivory handle.  The length of the loft would make a difference, I would think.  I believe that the badger knot should break in some, as well.  I'm just speculating on the Stirling 26mm Finest badger, as I haven't actually tried either one of those personally.  I'm sure somebody else here has tried these 26mm brushes.  

All of this said,  2-Band Finest Badger is probably my favorite shaving brush knot.  Good luck in your quest for that perfect shaving brush for you!

SharpnShiny, kooshman7, Michael P and 1 others like this post
-Rob
#3
I wish I had a Stirling Finest for firsthand experience on just how dense the brush is. A badger will indeed be different from synthetic and even boar. Synthetics I've used typically release lather better than what a badger brush does because they don't hold water like a badger brush does. Hair grade type, amount of hair used, the loft, and knot size will alter just how giving or hoarding of lather the brush will be. Longer lofts with less density will usually give lather up more readily, but you can tweak things around too. You don't need to venture into badger unless you want to try something else. It sounds like you enjoy boar, but just want a smaller alternative. I would agree that the 10019 would not be to my liking for the same reasons. Too small a loft. Boars tend to do better with a bit of loft. Have you looked at the Semogue 820 or 830? The 820 line is a pure white bristle, while the 830 line has a banded boar appearance. The 10019 dimensions and the dimensions of the 820/830 are quite similar, but that extra 5mm really makes a difference for me. The Omega 31064 is another nice brush I appreciate that might be of interest. A bit bigger of a knot and more loft, but works like a charm. One last alternative that might be appealing is a horse hair brush from Vielong. I have a White and Brown Horse hair Epsilon that I love. To me they have better water retention than the boar, and a unique face feel. I prefer the brown more as it feels better, but they are supposed to be quite similar. The difference between the two lies in how much mane hair and tail hair. I forget the balances of such. The bright side with this route is you can possibly find such a brush being sold under the Cremo brand in Target. I picked up one a year or so ago, and I would think they would still have this for sale. Got mine for 20 at the time.

Sorry to not answer the original questions earlier that you had. I would say that it is normal because of the fact you are using a badger. Any badger retains water better than a synthetic does. I would rate it in scale of water retention Badger>Horse>Boar>Synthetic. A fan typically gives lather slightly easier, but so many more variables come into play. You can find a good badger that you will probably enjoy, but typically if there is a quality in a certain hair type that you admire, it's easiest to stay within that hair type to get what you want. I'm not saying you can't achieve what you are looking for in a badger, but it sounds like you like the softness of a well broken-in boar, the backbone it still possesses, but you just want a smaller boar for variety. My safe bet recommendation would be look into a 820/830 in red or black. Feeling adventurous, and I would still say a safe bet, get a Vie-long Brown horse hair brush. Not one of the Epsilon's just because of the fact you were looking for something smaller than the 10049.

49erShaver, Michael P, Blade4vor and 1 others like this post
#4
(07-11-2018, 06:45 AM)Blade4vor Wrote: Quick question, SharpnShiny, how many times have you lathered the Omega 10019?  I've found that the Omega boar brushes will continue to break-in for several weeks of use.

It's a good point that the 10019 could in time break-in to getting to the point where you like it. I've tried Omegas with those general specs and never found them to my liking even with extended use, but that doesn't mean that you wouldn't. I can only speak from my own experiences.

Michael P and SharpnShiny like this post
#5
(07-11-2018, 06:45 AM)Blade4vor Wrote: Quick question, SharpnShiny, how many times have you lathered the Omega 10019?  I've found that the Omega boar brushes will continue to break-in for several weeks of use.  I tend to do test lathers(usually palm lathers) and rinse well with boar brushes every other day or two for a couple of weeks.  This allows the bristles to dry between lathers which usually leads to the tips of the bristles splitting.  Once the tips split, it should be softer on the tips and lather much better.  Boars seem to lather better and soften up a bit with use.  In my experience, at least.  I remember hearing about a technique to accelerate the breaking in of boar brushes, but I've never tried it.  So, I can't offer help in speeding up the process.  

Now the Stirling badger brushes.  I have a Stirling 24mm Finest bulb and a 24mm Finest Fan.  I really like the 24mm Finest Fan better of the two brushes.  The Fan has very soft tips, but seems to have enough backbone to get the job done face lathering.  Both brushes seem to me to have medium density with good flow through.  I still prefer the fan shaped knot better for my face.

Which 26mm finest badger brush did you get from Stirling?  I seem to remember that the black handled one has a shorter loft than the 26mm finest with the white/ivory handle.  The length of the loft would make a difference, I would think.  I believe that the badger knot should break in some, as well.  I'm just speculating on the Stirling 26mm Finest badger, as I haven't actually tried either one of those personally.  I'm sure somebody else here has tried these 26mm brushes.  

All of this said,  2-Band Finest Badger is probably my favorite shaving brush knot.  Good luck in your quest for that perfect shaving brush for you!
Thank you for the advice helps me out a lot. Sadly I gave up on the 10019 too quickly, a gentleman at work that I found wetshaves was using edge gel and a Van Der Hagen razor with VDH blades, so I hooked him up with better gear.

49erShaver and Blade4vor like this post
#6
(07-11-2018, 07:03 AM)kooshman7 Wrote: It's a good point that the 10019 could in time break-in to getting to the point where you like it. I've tried Omegas with those general specs and never found them to my liking even with extended use, but that doesn't mean that you wouldn't. I can only speak from my own experiences.
Yeah, found the the Omega 10019 to not really hold enough lather for 3 passes and the handle for some reason would make my hand cramp up so I leaned towards using the Omega 10049 with the bigger handle. I’m probably going to order the Omega 10066 and go from there.

Blade4vor likes this post
#7
Hi guys, sorry about my vague and lazy sentences, I was using my phone and was working and out an about all day.

(07-11-2018, 06:45 AM)Blade4vor Wrote: Quick question, SharpnShiny, how many times have you lathered the Omega 10019?  I've found that the Omega boar brushes will continue to break-in for several weeks of use.  I tend to do test lathers(usually palm lathers) and rinse well with boar brushes every other day or two for a couple of weeks.  This allows the bristles to dry between lathers which usually leads to the tips of the bristles splitting.  Once the tips split, it should be softer on the tips and lather much better.  Boars seem to lather better and soften up a bit with use.  In my experience, at least.  I remember hearing about a technique to accelerate the breaking in of boar brushes, but I've never tried it.  So, I can't offer help in speeding up the process.  

Now the Stirling badger brushes.  I have a Stirling 24mm Finest bulb and a 24mm Finest Fan.  I really like the 24mm Finest Fan better of the two brushes.  The Fan has very soft tips, but seems to have enough backbone to get the job done face lathering.  Both brushes seem to me to have medium density with good flow through.  I still prefer the fan shaped knot better for my face.

Which 26mm finest badger brush did you get from Stirling?  I seem to remember that the black handled one has a shorter loft than the 26mm finest with the white/ivory handle.  The length of the loft would make a difference, I would think.  I believe that the badger knot should break in some, as well.  I'm just speculating on the Stirling 26mm Finest badger, as I haven't actually tried either one of those personally.  I'm sure somebody else here has tried these 26mm brushes.  

All of this said,  2-Band Finest Badger is probably my favorite shaving brush knot.  Good luck in your quest for that perfect shaving brush for you!
I gave my Omega 10019 away since I found the handle uncomfortable to use and the loft too short. Maybe I'll order a similar one with a bigger handle to use. I think my 10049 is well broken in, the hairs are split(even the black ones) and all i have to do is soak it and its ready to go. I was just wondering with the Stirling brush if this "lather hog" thing is with this particular badger brush or are all similar to some extent , I don't even know is this characteristic will change or stay. I will have my eye on the Stirling 24mm fan knot with the handle that the boar has, seems like a nice comfortable handle. I actually bought the ivory handle 26mm and I was aware the loft is a little bigger, I didnt think it would mind at all. Thank you, I have my ADs under control just finding "my gear" now.

(07-11-2018, 07:00 AM)kooshman7 Wrote: I wish I had a Stirling Finest for firsthand experience on just how dense the brush is. A badger will indeed be different from synthetic and even boar. Synthetics I've used typically release lather better than what a badger brush does because they don't hold water like a badger brush does. Hair grade type, amount of hair used, the loft, and knot size will alter just how giving or hoarding of lather the brush will be. Longer lofts with less density will usually give lather up more readily, but you can tweak things around too. You don't need to venture into badger unless you want to try something else. It sounds like you enjoy boar, but just want a smaller alternative. I would agree that the 10019 would not be to my liking for the same reasons. Too small a loft. Boars tend to do better with a bit of loft. Have you looked at the Semogue 820 or 830? The 820 line is a pure white bristle, while the 830 line has a banded boar appearance. The 10019 dimensions and the dimensions of the 820/830 are quite similar, but that extra 5mm really makes a difference for me. The Omega 31064 is another nice brush I appreciate that might be of interest. A bit bigger of a knot and more loft, but works like a charm. One last alternative that might be appealing is a horse hair brush from Vielong. I have a White and Brown Horse hair Epsilon that I love. To me they have better water retention than the boar, and a unique face feel. I prefer the brown more as it feels better, but they are supposed to be quite similar. The difference between the two lies in how much mane hair and tail hair. I forget the balances of such. The bright side with this route is you can possibly find such a brush being sold under the Cremo brand in Target. I picked up one a year or so ago, and I would think they would still have this for sale. Got mine for 20 at the time.

Sorry to not answer the original questions earlier that you had. I would say that it is normal because of the fact you are using a badger. Any badger retains water better than a synthetic does. I would rate it in scale of water retention Badger>Horse>Boar>Synthetic. A fan typically gives lather slightly easier, but so many more variables come into play. You can find a good badger that you will probably enjoy, but typically if there is a quality in a certain hair type that you admire, it's easiest to stay within that hair type to get what you want. I'm not saying you can't achieve what you are looking for in a badger, but it sounds like you like the softness of a well broken-in boar, the backbone it still possesses, but you just want a smaller boar for variety. My safe bet recommendation would be look into a 820/830 in red or black. Feeling adventurous, and I would still say a safe bet, get a Vie-long Brown horse hair brush. Not one of the Epsilon's just because of the fact you were looking for something smaller than the 10049.

The Stirling 26mm Ivory handle is really dense, the densest brush I own now. I haven't tried the Semogue brushes, I have read about the extremely long break in periods and that put me off to be honest. I was just checking them out yesterday reading about them. Apparently the Semogue brushes are more densely packed? I have to buy some I guess. As for horse hair brushes, I have seen the Cremo brand at Target but I never looked it up. I will definitely check them out and your descriptions of them was really helpful.

I wasn't planning on buying the Badger brush, I ordered some stuff from Maggard and I was going to get the Omega 10066, the Omega 11126 and the Omega 20102 but decided against it to try the badger. I'm going to use the Stirling for a month, then I'll order the 24mm fan knot badger along with the Synthetic, both with the boar handle. Thanks you guys for taking the time to teach me something.

Blade4vor likes this post
#8
That's why I wish I could say from personal experience with the Stirling if it is above average density or not. The densest brushes I've used are old Rooney 3-band Heritage, Shavemac 3-band D01 and 2-band D01, Simpson Chubbies, and Epsilon 50mm badgers. An old Rooney Emillion 3-band was by far my densest brush, and that thing was a black hole for lather. Getting a smaller size in a fan could work to your advantage. Smaller knots seem to do better with releasing the lather as well as fan shaped brushes in my experience. I would consider Semogue and Omega close in the density. A smidge more density goes to Semogue, but to me it isn't an earth shattering difference. No problem at all with helping. I like to try to help out with my experience where I can!

Blade4vor and SharpnShiny like this post
#9
It’s been awhile but I actually purchased the Stirling Butterscotch fan knot and I actually like it better than the 26mm bulb knot with the Ivory handle, mostly because of the more comfortable handle.

I do have a question regarding the “gel tips” on the Stirling badger brushes, do all high end badger brushes have gel tips? Or just some of them?


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)