#1

Member
Chicago
(This post was last modified: 10-15-2017, 03:55 AM by bijou.)
Like everyone I have my favorites restaurants, though the years I've had hundreds of favorite restaurants as my taste and desires change, the same goes for cars and shoes. Another thing is I've always been a collector of items that interest me starting when I was a teenager, it's ingrained in my nature. 

It was about 18 months ago that I picked up my first Paladin that offered their own knot (actually my first Paladin was a Lee/Blonde). After a few Paladins my opinion was they made the best handle/finished handle in all of wet shaving. So when Ken put out his knot code I read it thoroughly realizing that most their brushes would have their own shaving characteristics, meaning I would not be buying the same 2 band knot like I do with other companies or Artisans in a different size, loft and handle (by the way consistency is good in a brands knots).

I started to purchase a few brushes over the next 4 months with different lofts, knot sizes in bulb and fan along with different handles, I also began to trade brushes to obtain knots, lofts that were in  handles I liked. As Paladin offered new knots and I continued to purchase, I was able to evaluate which brushes provide me with soft, medium and strong backbone, soft tips or a feel of tip presence also there is a difference in L and S knots. Now with all these different attributes including handle designs and colors Paladin creates and offers a unique variety of brushes. As an example one such combination is a brush with soft backbone, nicely dense knot (no flop), excellent flow through that provides me with the best 3 band silvertip lathering I've ever used and I have pretty much not touched a 3 band in the last 6-7 years. Or a bulb brush that has strong backbone that provides an incredible scrub with soft tips, if the same brush was a fan the scrub feel would be altered. Now there is one characteristic that is the same through out in all  manor of knots, excellent density.

So as it stands my rotation again has changed over the last 18 months (it has been evolving for the last 55 years) as I slowly began putting away M&F's Elites, Thaters, Simpsons, Wiborgs, Declaration, etc I replaced them with Paladins that gave me more of a variety of superb lathering experiences (my rotation at the moment stands at 13). I will continue to read up on the knots and add new ones as they appear. My collection at the moment including the new knot in a PK47 Neptune which I should receive this coming week makes it 20 brushes.

Yes as you can tell I am very pleased with Paladin but there is one small thing I would like to see changed or added as another choice, this would be a cosmetic change. On a few brushes the engraved wording color blends into the handle color to where the words cannot be read unless your up close (this is just my artistic/marketing opinion). As it is the engraved color wording on most of the handles are excellent making the handles/branding very distinctive accept for the Cobalt (I did have one where the words was in white, I liked that one), Tortoise and Malachite. I believe white worked well on Cobalt, I also believe that the gold that Paladin uses on some of their other handles would work well with the Tortoise and Malachite, again just my opinion..

My thoughts on Paladin knots 
2CLNL2 medium backbone soft tips
2CLND3 medium backbone soft tips
2CLNA4 medium backbone very springy tip feel presence (not scitchy) 
2CSLE4 strong backbone tip presence softens after 6 lathering's
2CSLD4 strong backbone very soft tips

Head shape characteristics
Fan head spreads out to give a lush lathering 
Hybrid gives a plush semi concentrated plush lathering 

Firm backbone scrub
El Dorado Ebony 26 53  48 bulb  2CSLD4  firm backbone soft plush tips  
Cleo 26 Tigris 52 46 bulb  2CSLE4  very firm/strong backbone mild tip feel which soften after 6 lathering's     

Medium backbone
Chief 26  Buttersccotch 52 48 bulb 2CLND3 nice lathering medium backbone very soft plush lathering feel     
PK47 26  Ivory 51.7  48  bulb 2CLNL2 nice lathering medium backbone very soft plush lathering feel     
El Dorado  Malachite 28  55.5  51 bulb 2CSLD4 medium backbone soft full plush tips
El Dorado Summer-set 28 55  52 bulb 2CSLD4 a firm medium backbone with soft full plush tips
PK47 Butterscotch  28 55 51 bulb 2CLND3 medium backbone very soft plush tips     
Chief  26  Jade  53 48 fan 2CDLE4 springy medium backbone that at first there was tip presence which soften after 6 lathering's 

Medium soft backbone
Tut 26 Lapis  51.5  51 fan  2CSLD4  springy mild medium backbone head spread very lush soft tips   
Chief 26 Lapis  51.75  50 fan  2CLNL2  springy mild medium backbone head spread very lush soft tips    
El Dorado Ivory 28 56 54 bulb 2CSLD4 medium soft backbone nice spring simi spread with exceptionally soft plush tips giving an luxurious lush lathering    
Chief 26  Tortoise 52.7 52 fan 2CLNA4 very spring medium backbone head spread with mild tip sensation     

Soft backbone 1 step above a 3 band silvertip
PK47 28 53 53 fan 2CSLD4 if you love 3 band silvertips you will love this brush soft to medium backbone, great head spread extremely soft tips

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PK47 26 Ivory, Chief 26 Butterscotch
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Chief 26 Jade, PK47 28 Butterscotch, El Dorado 28 Malachite
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Tut 26 Lapis, El Dorado 28 Ivory, El Dorado 28 Summerset, Chief 26 Lapis
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El Dorado 26 Jade, El Dorado 26 Ebony, Cleo 26 Tigris
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Chief 26 Tortoise
Steven
[+] 12 users like this post
#2
Clearly you've found a brush line that has smitten you...congrats!
#3

Member
Gilbert, AZ, USA
Nice write up on an excellent brand. Paladin has become one of my very favorite brushes. I think their handles are second to none in finish quality, they’re absolutely stunning in person. I’ve also gotten some excellent knots from them as well, both bulb and hybrid. I also have a Paladin like you with a hybrid knot that appears to be three band, and it’s excellent. The tips are soft, but there’s still plenty of backbone, and it has great flow through. It whips up lather like a Champ and gives it back no problem. It has been interesting watching them dial their knots in to the specifications they want, the last couple of batches have been excellent. Ken has been great to deal with in the past as well. I had a small concern that I addressed with him through email on his contact page on the website, and he actually called me on the phone to discuss the matter. Awesome customer service and an Awesome product. I’ll definitely be adding more Paladin Brushes to my Den in the future.
Hunter
[+] 2 users like this post
#4
Paladin brushes are some of my favorites. I currently have three and hope to add some more in the future. Ken's handles are the best out there in terms of appearance.
[+] 1 user likes this post
#5

Member
Arizona
I only have three Paladin brushes. A PK 47, Chief, and El Dorado. I bought the PK 47 in 2016 and the Chief and El Dorado this year. They are all superb brushes. Great looking and incredible performers.
[+] 2 users like this post
#6
To the OP, that was really a tremendous, well thought out post. I appreciate all of your insight on the knots, very nice to have some much wisdom about so many of the knot codes.
[+] 1 user likes this post
#7

Member
Chicago
(This post was last modified: 10-21-2017, 02:16 PM by bijou.)
Another observation that I did not mention is the L knots (2CL) vs the S knots (2CS). What I've found (again just my opinion) is that the L knots have medium backbone and a little more spring to the hairs/knot, the S knots have stronger backbone and with certain loft configuration will have more scrub or again with a certain loft configuration will have medium/strong backbone. The L knots have not appeared since May and those were the 2CLNA4 that have a tip feel presence. That's it for now I hope all that I've written helps in making an informed decision.
Steven
[+] 1 user likes this post
#8

Member
Chicago
(This post was last modified: 12-07-2017, 09:45 PM by bijou.)
I made a comment on this thread about a few Paladin's handles that I thought the color of the lettering did not complement the handle and the Paladin brand (Ken stated in another post that others also made the suggestion in-which he put out those handles with complimenting colors). With in a few weeks as Paladin was putting up new brushes they changed the lettering colors on those handles, Cobalt, Malachite and Tortoise. (below are photo's of the old and new, I purchased 2 of the new)

When Paladin came out with a new knot (2CH3K4) Ken put up a thread about this knot in-which I read his observations and analysis and I made an informed decision and purchased a Chief 26 Malachite with the new gold lettering and new knot.  

A week later Ken reached out to those that purchased a brush with the new knot and went into further detail about the issues with this knot, he also refunded $20. to each one of us. He also gave us a choice about retaining or returning the brush (Ken posted his new observations for others to read).

I decided to retained ownership and here is my short review of this new knot. All of the Paladin knots up to this new knot have substantial density from moderate to strong backbone the, tip feel ranges from tip presence to soft. This new knot has less density with medium soft backbone (not floppy) then Paladins other knots that have greater density. So after some use I would classify the character of this new knot to be similar to company that most can relate to and that would be a Shavemac 2 band silvertip but with soft tip presence . My experience with Shavemacs are I have 6 Shavemacs 24's and 26's (with their new Unique knot on the way) mostly fans, one bulb in numerous handles, the bulb is the only one that has tip presence, the fans are all cotton soft.

Please keep in mind this is only my opinion
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Steven
[+] 5 users like this post
#9
(This post was last modified: 12-08-2017, 09:27 AM by Javinho.)
(10-21-2017, 05:37 AM)bijou Wrote: Another observation that I did not mention is the L knots (2CL) vs the S knots (2CS). What I've found (again just my opinion) is that the L knots have medium backbone and a little more spring to the hairs/knot, the S knots have stronger backbone and with certain loft configuration will have more scrub or again with a certain loft configuration will have medium/strong backbone. The L knots have not appeared since May and those were the 2CLNA4 that have a tip feel presence. That's it for now I hope all that I've written helps in making an informed decision.

I also appreciate, as you say, more backbone in my 2CS knots and therefore I prefer them to 2CL.
Do you feel last knots (2CH3K4) be similar to 2CL in terms of backbone?

Great collection, thanks for sharing.
#10

Member
Chicago
(This post was last modified: 12-09-2017, 06:44 PM by bijou.)
I don't feel there is any similiar at all, the new 2CH3K4 knot set as a 26 feels like a 24 and because of less density it has a milder moderate backbone. I kmow people who will love this knot because they do not like dense knots. Though I have to say I love the Malachite with the acsent Gold letteing. Hope this helps.

There is one thing that I would like to see Paladin do with their brushes (just my opimion) designate them into categories that would make someone like myself (the cunsumer) better informed.

As an example (suggestion) these categories would be mild moderate backbone, moderate back bone, strong backbone, and maybe a firm strong backbone. Then give some tip info a- soft tips, b- soft tips with some presence. This is only my opinion.
Steven
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