#1
Premise: I have been wetshaving for about a decade. After an Omega 48/Proraso boar bristle brush, and a cheap iShaving "finest" badger brush, I have converted to synthetic brushes: Chubby 2, Omega EVO, G5C.

It's not that I really need another brush, but I fell in love - quite tardily with respect to its original market release - with the design of the Muhle Hexagon Brush.

Some online stores here in Europe currently offer the two versions - Silvertip Badger and Silvertip Fiber - of the Muhle Hexagon Brush at similar prices (between 60 and 70 Euros after discount).

I guess that price-wise, the Badger would be a better deal than the Synthetic.

But regardless of the great discount with respect to the list value, I'd be interested in your advice, especially because I have no physical store nearby where I can compare them IRL.

I would appreciate any recommendation based on the following:

- I mostly use tallow-based soaps and croaps, that load easily with a synthetic. Almost no hard/triple-milled soaps in my rotation. I used to be mostly a bowl latherer, but I see that I am instinctively switching with increasing frequence towards FL.

- I don't know if Muhle has improved the quality of their synthetic fibers over the years -- and if that was the case, I am not sure I'd have a reliable way of making sure of which "generation" the on-sale Hexagon fiber knot belongs to, before I purchase it from an online vendor. 
Would the Muhle Hexagon with synthetic fiber knot still be a worthy addition to my den, or I risk ending up with a knot that doesn't perform as well as the synthetic ones I already own?

- I was reluctant to buy another badger knot after the underwhelming experience with the cheap one I purchased years ago. I assume that a Muhle Silvertip would be a significantly better quality, but is it a knot that you would recommend to "reconnect" with badgers? I am not a big fan of the additional maintenance that natural fibers require with respect to synthetics, but if you guys tell me it's a great knot, I am open to consider it Smile

Two options (badger vs synthetic) are already too many for me: help!
#2
I predominantly use natural hair brushes, when buying a brush l primarily look at the knot before the handle. With badger brushes, l do think you get what you pay for; personally I’d buy a badger brush form a “brand” that focuses on the knot or an artisan handle maker that use a decent third party knot. Some time ago l did have a Muhle badger brush (the handle was damaged so was very very cheap) and to be honest the knot was terrible.

Saying that the Muhle synthetic knots are very good, and one of the few l actually quite like ……. lve melt one in the den !! l think AP Shave Co have recently started to offer Muhle
knots in their handle.

deckard likes this post
#3

Member
Chicago Suburbs
The type of fiber or hair used in a brush is only part of the equation. You also need to consider the knot diameter, density, and shape of the brush knot. Since synthetic fibre is significantly less expensive than silvertip badger hair, if the two brushes are priced similarly, I suspect the badger knot is smaller in diameter than the synthetic knot. The Muhle hexagon brushes listed for sale here in the States have a 21mm knot. Some people like small knots; if you are one who does, that is fine. Personally, I do not like anything smaller than 24mm. While I prefer badger brushes to synthetic brushes, I would take a 24-26mm synthetic knot before a 21mm badger. It all depends upon your likes.

For reference, your Chubby 2 brush has a 27mm knot. If you like the size of that knot, you might not like a 21 mm badger.

deckard likes this post
#4
May I suggest that you reconsider a boar bristle brush? The Omega Pro 48 is at the far end of the spectrum of boar bristle brushes. First, it is huge. Second the bristles are very stiff and the tips never seem to really get soft. A $25.00 Zenith or Semogue will develop tips as soft as a badger and still be stiffer than a synthetic for a good face scrub.

deckard likes this post
#5

Living on the edge
Muhle STF is very good stuff
#6
(05-19-2024, 08:10 PM)Tedolph Wrote: A $25.00 Zenith or Semogue will develop tips as soft as a badger and still be stiffer than a synthetic for a good face scrub.

Thanks! I read mixed reviews about the Zentihs.

Among the Italian brands, I've seen that PantaRei asks premium prices for their Nebrodi bristle brushes, but I could find very little about the actual quality of their bristle knots (does it justify the higher cost with respect to a Zenith?), and I am a bit concerned about the use of ceramics inside the handle, as I tend to destroy anything that is frangible.

Reading opinions on well-available and established brands, I was considering a Semogue SOC in premium boar bristle, but then I was also tempted by the boar/badger Mistura variant, so I am still undecided.
#7
(Yesterday, 06:35 AM)Tester28 Wrote: Muhle STF is very good stuff

Thanks for the feedback!

Do you know if there's any significant difference in performance between the STF knots made when the Hexagon brush was released on the market (2017-2018) and today?
#8
(05-18-2024, 11:34 PM)RayClem Wrote: The type of fiber or hair used in a brush is only part of the equation. You also need to consider the knot diameter, density, and shape of the brush knot. Since synthetic fibre is significantly less expensive than silvertip badger hair, if the two brushes are priced similarly, I suspect the badger knot is smaller in diameter than the synthetic knot. The Muhle hexagon brushes listed for sale here in the States have a 21mm knot. Some people like small knots; if you are one who does, that is fine. Personally, I do not like anything smaller than 24mm. While I prefer badger brushes to synthetic brushes, I would take a 24-26mm synthetic knot before a 21mm badger. It all depends upon your likes.

For reference, your Chubby 2 brush has a 27mm knot. If you like the size of that knot, you might not like a 21 mm badger.

Here in Europe the Hexagon Silbertip Fiber has MSRP of Eur 66, whereas the Badger one has a MSRP of Eur 88. But thanks to some resellers' discount, I seem to able to find one with the Badger knot at almost the same price as the STF.

I see that both STF and Badger are advertised as having a 21mm RING, sometimes mentioned with a size M indication next to it. I see that it's the same size of the ring I have on my Muhle travel brush.
Does it mean it also has the same density, shape and loft?
#9

Member
Chicago Suburbs
(Yesterday, 12:43 PM)deckard Wrote:
(05-18-2024, 11:34 PM)RayClem Wrote: The type of fiber or hair used in a brush is only part of the equation. You also need to consider the knot diameter, density, and shape of the brush knot. Since synthetic fibre is significantly less expensive than silvertip badger hair, if the two brushes are priced similarly, I suspect the badger knot is smaller in diameter than the synthetic knot. The Muhle hexagon brushes listed for sale here in the States have a 21mm knot. Some people like small knots; if you are one who does, that is fine. Personally, I do not like anything smaller than 24mm. While I prefer badger brushes to synthetic brushes, I would take a 24-26mm synthetic knot before a 21mm badger. It all depends upon your likes.

For reference, your Chubby 2 brush has a 27mm knot. If you like the size of that knot, you might not like a 21 mm badger.

Here in Europe the Hexagon Silbertip Fiber has MSRP of Eur 66, whereas the Badger one has a MSRP of Eur 88. But thanks to some resellers' discount, I seem to able to find one with the Badger knot at almost the same price as the STF.

I see that both STF and Badger are advertised as having a 21mm RING, sometimes mentioned with a size M indication next to it. I see that it's the same size of the ring I have on my Muhle travel brush.
Does it mean it also has the same density, shape and loft?

The RING is simply the diameter of the knot at is base where it plugs into the handle. You can ascertain the  shape of the knot from photos. See if the loft of the knot is described in the specs. Usually the density of the knot is only described if the knot is denser than normal. I have seen a few knots advertised using the weight in grams of the amount of hair/fiber packed into the knot, but again that is usually only for knots denser than normal.

If you already have a 21mm travel brush, you need to determine if you travel enough to need a second travel brush or whether a travel brush size is suitable for daily use. If not, the brush will end up on the shelf, seldom being used.

BTW: I would not suggest traveling with a 66 Euro brush, it is too easy to misplace items while traveling. My travel brush is a Simpson Trafalgar T2 brush with a list price of 40 Euro. In the States, it sells for $30. It has a knot diameter of 24 mm.  I would never use a badger brush for traveling as it takes too long for the hair to dry after use. Synthetic fiber does not absorb water, so it is more suitable for travel. 

Unless you really like smaller brushes, you might want to reconsider purchasing the Muhle brush.

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#10
(This post was last modified: Yesterday, 03:18 PM by Tedolph. Edited 2 times in total.)
(Yesterday, 12:26 PM)deckard Wrote:
(05-19-2024, 08:10 PM)Tedolph Wrote: A $25.00 Zenith or Semogue will develop tips as soft as a badger and still be stiffer than a synthetic for a good face scrub.

Thanks! I read mixed reviews about the Zentihs.

Among the Italian brands, I've seen that PantaRei asks premium prices for their Nebrodi bristle brushes, but I could find very little about the actual quality of their bristle knots (does it justify the higher cost with respect to a Zenith?), and I am a bit concerned about the use of ceramics inside the handle, as I tend to destroy anything that is frangible.

Reading opinions on well-available and established brands, I was considering a Semogue SOC in premium boar bristle, but then I was also tempted by the boar/badger Mistura variant, so I am still undecided.

I have never owned a Zenith boar so I can not speak from experience. I have owned (and still do own) both Omega and Semogue boars, a few different badgers (currently an Omega black) and a variety of synthetics and other badgers over the years. I think that the selection of a brush and bristle type has more to do with what properties you are looking for than price. Rereading your OP, I don't see much in the way of what you are looking for in terms of performance, except that you are moving to face lathering, and you don't use a lot of triple milled soaps. So, what do you favor in a brush? Extra soft tips for painting? Excellent heat retention for a hot lather shave? Stiff backbone for a good scrub? Quick drying for travel? Ability to hold a lot of lather for more than three passes? All around performance? Putting aside quick drying, I can identify either boar or badger brushes that have different combinations of those properties, and often it doesn't have anything to do with price. For example, I have an Omega black badger that has properties much closer to a boar brush than an expensive silver tip badger, and frankly I prefer it for what I like: stiff back bone for a good scrub when face lathering, heat retention and ability to load triple milled soaps. Also, it is gorgeous. However, the tips are not as soft as say a well broken in Semogue 1305 boar. If I was primarily a bowl latherer and used creams from a tube, I would be looking for something completely different. If I used a mix of tube creams, croaps and triple milled hard pucks again something different.

One of my favorite bushes is the cheapest I own: an Omega 10065 bleached boar with a cheap red plastic handle. It is very stiff, yet the tips broke in nicely (much softer than your Omega 49) and it is small so it doesn't waste soap. I like to use it in the summer with Omega's eucalyptus/menthol croap. It really gets my face clean and beard softened up prior to my shave. It's not a good painter though, so in the winter when I want something gentler I would use my Semogue 1305. If it is really cold and I want a nice hot lather shave, I would use my Omega badger. I guess what I am saying is that it doesn't make much sense to me to select a brush based primarily on price, when features are more important.

Now with respect to price I will say this, a cheap badger brush is about the worst investment you can make, and there really isn't any reason to spend a whole lot for a boar brush.

Also, believe whatever RayClem says. He knows what he is talking about.

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