#1

Posting Freak
Peachtree City, GA
(This post was last modified: 03-23-2024, 07:08 PM by DanLaw. Edited 5 times in total.)
Scott Stewart, owner of Declaration Grooming, pours and turns all his handles and hand ties all his knots unless specified in the offering.  There has been some speculation that Scott has become less personally involved in the manufacture of his brushes but, per direct communication in January 2024, this only extends to having an employee comb out the knots after the glue has dried and sand/polish the raw handles.


This post is intended to serve as a comparative perspective of various Declaration Grooming knots; this is not a comparison of knots across various vendors nor is it intended to infer any superiourity/inferiourity to other artisans. There are many on the various fora possessing clearly superior knowledge and experience in regards to brushes, so will readily stipulate that my brush expertise is severely wanting when compared to some acknowledged experts.  Irrespective, that is not to suggest a complete lack of brush experience and knowledge, having owned at least a hundred brushes of high repute over the years including: Brad Sears, Declaration Grooming, Elite, Firmin, Kent, Mozingo, Morris & Fordran, Paladin, Rooney, Simpson, Varlet, Voigt & Cop, Wiborg, Wolf Whiskers&c many of which are now in other owners’ hands.  As is suggested in coaching circles, sometimes there is strength in having less than complete confidence in one’s expertise by being aware that there are gaps and acknowledging those holes. 



Concerns have been raised following the B10 and B12 knot releases; enough so that projects were halted while information and options weighed; So far, ensuing knots have been some of Scott's best.  Recently had the honour and privilege to test the B17 knot to determine its qualities relative to the B2-B16 releases of DG knots used and/or owned over the years.  There is nothing quantitative in this review; it is based entirely on the qualitative perspective of one person, admittedly biased in favour of this artisan’s knots. It has helped my decision making, perhaps it will aid yours.



Thanks to the generosity of others, was able to assemble the following:

• Jefferson Scrooge B17

• Washington Space Salmon B16

• Jefferson Blood of Kings in B15

• Jefferson Cold in B14


• Jefferson Blood of Kings in B13

• Jefferson SSB in B11

• Jefferson Fae in B9B

• Jefferson Chance of Showers in B8

• Jefferson ABH in B7

• Jefferson Ti C&R in B6

• Jefferson Custom Cape Buffalo in B5

• Jefferson Sol in B4

• Washington Sandstone in B3



It is unfortunate that an original B3 pour in the Jefferson handle could not be located to make the comparison as consistent as possible BUT this is not a review of the merits of one handle shape over another, nor is this a review of the merits of 26mm v 28mm knot size.  Rather this is an assessment of the immanent qualities of badger hair batches in each Declaration Grooming release summarized in a comparison of the knot hair characteristics from releases B2-B16 in comparison to B17.


B17 Initially Reviewed In a Vacuum:


This brush was another loaner from a fellow DFS member, new in box.  Funny thing, had always held a prejudice against the colouration and patterning of 'Scrooge' style brushes so was anticipating it would be met with a flippant attitude of 'it appeals to somebody'.  Instead, have found the cosmetics quite fetching and would definitely purchase one if the opportunity presents.  This is a reminder that Scott has a pretty good eye for what works, which i sometimes forget; also, it a perfect example that how a brush presents in real life is almost always superiour to how it presents in a photograph.

But, as wonderful as DG pours are in the classic shapes Scott embraces, the heart of any DG brush is the knot.  Unlike most artisans, Scott's nomenclature has significance: while some knot batches share attributes with others, no batch can be confused for another.  Those having any familiarity with the range of DG knots can almost immediately identify the knot batch simply by lathering; suffer no delusion that these are not very real and discernable differences.  Some view this variation between knot batches as a failure of quality control or consistency; to my perspective, nothing could be further from the truth: for one, badger hair is a natural product and damn well better differ from batch to batch whether due to region, season, genetic variability or any of hundreds of variables - only artificial means could assure relative consistency batch to batch over time barring artisans securing prodigious one time purchases of hair.  Further, one should perceive interbatch variability as a sign of a wholly bespoke product experience: a designer pret-a-porter suit damn well better be consistent across every unit produced but a couture should never be replicable, even by the same tailor for the same customer.  All this to posit that, one of my favourite things about the DG brush experience is that every knot batch is distinctly unique.

DG knot batches of late are trending, moving toward more traditional feeling knots, less uber pillowy luxourious and increasingly exhibiting the much beloved soft yet scrubbing feel of classic British knots of decades past.  The B17 may represent the ultimate conclusion of the recent DG trend.  The B17 is a unique knot that shares much of its appeal with the controversial, yet also much beloved B3, managing to differentiate itself while doing so.  Confession here: have over the past year become lackadaisical regarding soaking brushes prior to lathering, really only acknowledging my shortcoming with the B17.  Whether due to the hair characteristics of the current brush inventory or their being well and properly broken in and maintained, have been able to get away with quick wetting under the faucet, immediately enjoining the bowl lathering process: well, the B17 is not other batch codes.  The B17 requires a solid soaking to function optimally, ideally 30 minutes - sure, one could short cut the soaking but the difference in brush performance is dramatic.  Properly soaked, the B17 performs out of the gate just slightly but noticably softer than a B3.  It has a Manchurian feel but more similar to a British Manchurian than what one would term scritchy - prefer to reference it 'scrubby'.  When properly soaked prior to use, it creates abundant lather readily in the bowl or on the face and releases wonderfully - just a wonderful knot if one dances the tips.  However, if one doesn't soak thoroughly, this knot can be very frustrating: originally wrestled with thinking this knot was a dead end; even doing multiple thorough washes until over soaked it by accident - serendipity is a beautiful thing!  Without sufficient soaking the knot is difficult, at best, to lather, is a total hog and can present as very scritchy - user be warned - to those having issues, suggest you give extended soaking a try as it may be the resolution.  My perspective is this will be the terminus of the move to more natural feeling DG knots with a subtle attenuation back to the B16 compromise so favoured by many.

In conclusion, the B17 knot is a legitimate alternative to B3 when soaked properly.  Those thinking the B3 too raw will find the edge taken off just slightly but sufficiently to make the experience enjoyable: preserving the ability to work a multiday beard growth for ease of shaving the first pass while still being enjoyable for subsequent passes.  Conversely, those adoring the B3 will view the B17 as its luxourious stable mate, definitely of the same lineage yet with a little more refinement without abandoning its raw presence.  Often use well known autos to relate everyday products - in this case the B3 is an early 80s 911 Carrera while the B17 is a 90's 911 993 - filling a range of driver oriented sports GTs for those sufficiently skilled and knowledgeable to extract their merits.

B16 Initially Reviewed In a Vacuum:

A generous forum member had his new Washington B16 in Space Salmon shipped directly from Scott.  At first was a little taken aback by the colouration - not that any handle Scott has ever poured is less than stellar but that it presented nothing even remotely resembling what one would expect when anticipating a shade of Salmon.  Rather than a variation on the theme of coral, this was heavily yellow, green and blue biased - IF there is any coral in there, it slipped by unnoticed even during the extensive break in procedure and long sessions under close visual inspection.  Frankly, prefer the actual versus the expected colouration but find the nomenclature confounding.  

But, as fantastic as are the pours and handle shapes of Declaration, the business end: the knot, and specifically, its character is the subject matter of this post.  Like most of Scott's brushes, this knot has a subtle twist; it is posited that discerning collectors seek examples where the knot set square; in that regard we differ: strongly prefer the idiosyncratic hallmarks of an iconic brand (and DG/Scott has earned that designation) - e.g., while I love the 90x, 92x, 94x and 968 Porsches (refusing to accept rebadged VW SUVs as a Porsche despite representing over 80% of sales - F that), only find the 356, 5xx, 911 and Boxsters to be genres true to Porsche automobiles.  Not that there hasn't been evolution afoot at DG: Scott has grown the Washington from a 24mm knot to 28mm and added a Jeffington (hybrid of Jefferson lower and Washington upper - why? have NO idea): in the case of the larger Washington, wish Scott had left it a 24mm as find the handle more fits the smaller, yet still substantially blooming knot and it offered an alternative to those preferring a splaying knot of smaller diametre but it not really anything to legitimately criticize.

For those bored of DG knots having an almost universal super soft (sometimes gelled), dense, highly backboned face feel, your day has arrived.  Like all DG knots, the bloom was amazing: full and picture perfect by any definition.  However, unlike any but the B3 knot, the B16 presents an unmistakable but extremely slight scritch (only) when pressured - NOT the heavy scritch of the B3 but much more subtle @10% if one had to quantify it.  Do NOT interpret that as a negative; for one, there are many preferring the B3 over any other DG knot; for another, this scritch is so subtle that one experiences it and can only identify it as scritch upon reflection.  For this reason alone, the B16 is the most unique knot ever released by DG and am confident will be embraced by its legion of fans as an instant classic.  When used appropriately, which is to state dancing the tips, one will find a traditionally soft, nongelling luxurious feel so common in British knots of a couple decades past along with a slightly but noticeably less dense and less backboned face feel again @10% reduction from typical DG knots, NOT floppy but unique to anything encountered from DG hitherto.  Initially the unique to DG face feel is a bit surprising but quickly becomes accepted as a welcome high quality knot worthy of Scott's signature, unique within the DG pantheon of Godlike knots.  An added benefit to the ever so less dense and backboned knot is that lathering is among the easiest of any badger knot currently in production.  The ever so subtle scritch combined with the ever so subtly reduced backbone synergize to make this knot work so well; were one or the other characteristic absent, the knot en toto would be something substantially less but together, they actually are reinforcing virtues - this knot is quite unique.  While I would not have set about creating a design brief for the characteristics of this knot, I would welcome it within my collection and strongly suspect many will single it out for inclusion as their epitome of a DG release.  Perhaps this too will remain a seemingly endless knot offering ala B3. 

There is a biological concept termed speciation.  Speciation occurs when a population becomes isolated and evolves without outside interaction, becoming distinct.  The B16 is the Declaration Grooming brush equivalent of a knot having undergone speciation.  There is not another DG knot remotely close to it.  The hair is decidedly thinner that leads to a face feel with slightly less backbone and density than any other DG brush; were it the sole difference between this and other DG knots, this might be exhibited as a vice BUT there is an ever so slight - so slight that one has to reflect on it after it is experienced - scritch that synergizes with the less dense and less backboned thinner hairs to deliver a quite good if startlingly different knot than hitherto offered from Scott.  The B3 guys will likely prize it as a variant, the collectors will likely want it for its uniqueness and those that thought the B3 just horrid may well find that this is a perfect all around brush for handling single day as well as thick multiday beard growth.  The SINGULAR sui generis DG knot.


B15 Initially Reviewed In a Vacuum:

Thanks to the generosity of a forum member was able to secure a B15 knotted Jefferson Blood of Kings.  This particular BOK pour is as damn near perfect as the original B3 release in its depth and complexity.  Nobody encountered to date has been able to mimic Scott's red for its ability to captivate the eye for minutes mid shave in admiration of some new feature drawing attention.  There is a charm in DG handles being hand turned and lacking the precision of other artisans whose shape are spot on dimensionally from release to release.  Am often drawn back to the Associate in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' movie (bearing zero resemblance to the Capote novella) commenting how it comforting knowing some elements of life retained their charm through time and pressures of modernity.  One gets the impression Scott actually gives the owner of his brushes a piece of his soul as do all good artists across media.  Sure, it isn't numerical perfection but as Tolkien railed in 'The Lord of the Rings' novel, technical perfection is an afront to spirituality.  But to the knot, eh?

The initial perspective viewing the knot is it typically Declaration Grooming in that the hair is ever so slightly rifled for whatever reason, beautifully fan shaped and, given an opportunity, loves to bloom.  This knot came new in box from DG and was immediately subjected to a full and proper breaking in procedure.  As with all DG knots it easily created abundant lather easily using a variety of soaps including: ETHOS, Wholly Kaw, Grooming Dept, MdC, B&M and JabonMan.  The knot really blooms during bowl lathering which is typical of Declaration Grooming, requiring intermittently squeezing out the lather throughout the process to facilitate getting the best results.  As I prefer a smaller brush, despite owning huge brushes almost exclusively – WTF is that?, applying the brush to the face requires discipline, otherwise a mess ensues.  Whether using just the tips or splaying, the knot presents cloud soft with excellent backbone and perfect lather release - which is always quite amazing for such a huge and dense knot – there is zero scritch whether used properly or not.  Followup latherings present just as perfectly as the initial which is always a sign of well sourced hair and tied knot as freshly exposed skin is particularly sensitive.  Without doubt, this is the single best knot ever encountered having tried every artisan knot known; it even exceeds Scott's best knots of the B5/6 era.  In every metric from density to backbone to lathering to lather release: whatever, there is none better ever encountered.  Tried this back to back with every great knot currently in possession across a spectrum of artisans and reflected on others from memory - this is it folk, the new knot King, all hail!


B14 Initially Reviewed In a Vacuum:


Thanks to the generosity of a forum member was able to secure a B14 knotted Jefferson Cold.  The Cold colouration is not prepossessing to my eyes but that is a matter of personal preference; irrespective, nobody can doubt the captivating presence of the distinctive bold swirls with the best execution of this general handle shape that stands out compared to any other artist's rendition.  But to the knot, eh?


The knot is it typically Declaration Grooming, ever so slightly rifled, beautifully fan shaped and tending to bloom.  Unlike a few of the other knots tested, this knot was fully and properly broken in.  As with all DG knots it easily created abundant lather using a variety of soaps including: ETHOS, Wholly Kaw, Grooming Dept, MdC, B&M and JabonMan.  The knot really blooms during bowl lathering, requiring intermittently squeezing out the lather throughout the process to facilitate getting the best results.  Whether using just the tips or splaying, the knot presents cloud soft with excellent backbone and perfect lather release - which is always quite amazing for such a huge and dense knot – there is zero scritch whether used properly or not.  Followup latherings present just as perfectly as the initial which is always a sign of well sourced hair and tied knot as freshly exposed skin is particularly sensitive.  Without doubt, this is one of Scott's best knots with the ever so subtle gel of the B5/6 era.  It not the equal of the B15 (nothing is) and would not go so far as to state the B14 the equal of the B5/6 but it easily ties the B9B and B11 which were amazing compared to any other artisan knots in my experience (having used most).  Did some side by side shaves alongside B5,6,9B,11 and 15 and this is right there period, full stop.  B15 is the undesputed king and think if it came to a fight over honour, would give the B5,6 the edge but really, at that point, one just being truculent without cause.



Super High Level Reviews on Declaration Grooming B2- B16 Knots Relative to B17:



B2 (from memory) uh, no: B2 one of those knots that is reminiscent of classic Brit offerings, say the best Rooney, Simpson or M&F you ever tried.  It quite soft, yet has great backbone – many compare it to B5/B6 but find those are real gel monsters by comparison.  That stated, only ever got hold of one example so….  Really not a good comparison to my perspective.


B3 Ahhhhh, now we have something:  This is without doubt the most controversial Declaration Grooming knot (outside the over treated B10 and B12 fiascos).  If one loves classic untreated Brit Manchurian knots, then there is a RESEMBLANCE.  B3s are renown for being scritchy across a spectrum BUT have yet to encounter one really bad nor, conversely, one great.  Their scritch resides mid to deep layered in the knot and only really jumps out when excess pressure is applied.  Under no circumstance would anybody rightly term the tips scritchy but they are neither soft.  Initially thought the B13 was a reincarnation of B3 hair, perhaps treated BUT when used side by side that is a wholly unfair judgement.  The B13 knot is much softer tipped and by comparison possesses hardly any of the B3 midshaft scritch – were the knots blood related, to use a scientific term, the scritch could be characterized as vestigial.  Hold the perspective of the B3 until the conclusion as we shall elaborate further.


B4 If only it weren’t for the vestigial scritch when splayed: Were it not for the damn inkling of scritch, the B4 (as well as B7, B8 and B9a) would be right there and it would be trifling to characterize differences.  Truth told, the other brushes have seen far more lathering over the years as well been properly treated (which would not endeavour on another person’s brush – irrespective of its simply being a cleaning protocol).  In some respects, think of this grouping of brushes in terms of classic Brit brushes of nonManchurian hair just a step down from the pinnacle offering, say a great Simpson Super vs the premium SilverTip. No gel but still great brushes where every individual hair can be felt whilst lathering.  Soft with great back bone and release too.


B5 (My former favourite knot) uh, no:  It not that B5 is less than perfect in any way BUT B15 is even more perfect - there are legendary knots and this just happens to be one.  Although many prefer the B2 or B6, B5 was my absolute favourite Declaration Grooming knot in every regard until B15.


B6 (damn near B5 in every dimension) uh, no: It not that B6 is imperfect as it IS a legendary knot; just happens that B15 came along.


B7 If only it weren’t for the vestigial scritch when splayed: Were it not for the damn inkling of scritch, the B7 (as well as B4, B8 and B9a) would be right there and it would be trifling to characterize differences.  Truth told, the other brushes have seen far more lathering over the years as well been properly treated (which would not endeavour on another person’s brush – irrespective of its simply being a cleaning protocol).  In some respects, think of this grouping of brushes in terms of classic Brit brushes of nonManchurian hair just a step down from the pinnacle offering, say a great Simpson Super vs the premium SilverTip.  No gel but still great brushes where every individual hair can be felt whilst lathering.  Soft with great back bone and release too.  The B7 is my least favourite of this grouping of knots displaying similar characteristics but that is not an insult as they are all so similar.


B8 If only it weren’t for the vestigial scritch when splayed BUT we’re on to something here: Were it not for the damn inkling of scritch, the B8 (as well as B4, B7 and B9a) would be right there and it would be trifling to characterize differences.  Truth told, the other brushes have seen far more lathering over the years as well been properly treated (which would not endeavour on another person’s brush – irrespective of its simply being a cleaning protocol).  In some respects, think of this grouping of brushes in terms of classic Brit brushes of nonManchurian hair just a step down from the pinnacle offering, say a great Simpson Super vs the premium SilverTip.  No gel but still great brushes where every individual hair can be felt whilst lathering.  Soft with great back bone and release too.  The B8 was my hands down favourite of this grouping of nongelling knots displaying similar characteristics prior to the B13 and that is not feint praise.


B9a (from memory) If only it weren’t for the vestigial scritch when splayed: Were it not for the damn inkling of scritch, the B9a (as well as B4, B7, B8 and B13) would be right there and it would be trifling to characterize differences.  Truth told, the other brushes have seen far more lathering over the years as well been properly treated (which would not endeavour on another person’s brush – irrespective of its simply being a cleaning protocol).  In some respects, think of this grouping of brushes in terms of classic Brit brushes of nonManchurian hair just a step down from the pinnacle offering, say a great Simpson Super vs the premium SilverTip.  No gel but still great brushes where every individual hair can be felt whilst lathering.  Soft with great back bone and release too.


B9a+ (from memory) uh, no: B9a+ is essentially a B9a treated to within an inch of its life to gel the tips.  It is widely panned as being a mop but that is unfair.  Oddly enough, its worst impression is when used in a vacuum BUT when used side by side with the legendary Declaration Grooming knots (B5, B6, B9B and B11), it actually comports quite well.  Suggest the face feel of being one giant hair leads to such negative impressions which are unfair as it really rather good in every dimension save the face FEEL.  This is a knot I expect to grow in reputation over time even if it never quite reaches elite Declaration Grooming knot status.


B9b (damn near B5 in every dimension) uh, no: It not that B9B is bad as it a legendary knot; just so happened B15 was released.


B10 (from memory) uh, no: This was just a terribly overtreated knot that lost a lot of backbone as well as exhibiting terrible face feel.  Imagine having had a nightmare that the B9a+ was as bad as unfairly panned.


B11: (damn near B5 in every dimension) uh, no: It not that B11 is bad as it a legendary knot; just so happened B15 was released.


B12: have never tried one


B13: (best of the absolutely nongelling knots)My conclusion is that if a brush from the B8 family had engaged an illicit affair with the B3, say 6 generations prior and continued the B8 line otherwise uninterrupted, the B13 would be a modern descendant once properly broken in.  The feel of the B8 and B13 are so similar when lathering properly, using the slightest pressure, as to be uncanny.  Would not hesitate to acquire one if seeking a high quality classic nongelling knot.  Happy to report the hair is even better than B8, my previous favourite nongel DG hair batch. It about as perfect as a great batch of Simpson SilverTip. Absolutely zero scritch, solid backbone and density.  Some will decry it not as dense and possessing less backbone than ideal but if pressured properly, which is to state, dancing the tips, it a masterpiece and that 'give' in the knot makes it a champ to lather even the most frustrating to lather soaps.  Have a couple B13s and adore them.  B13 is a winner!!


B14: (one of the best of the gelling knots): Truly one of the greatest artisan knots ever produced, if had to choose, would begrudgingly place it behind the clear winner B15, immediately and wheel suckingly behind the B5,6 in a photo finish with B9B and B11 filing protests requesting photo review for the wooden medal.  It is that good and the gel is properly subtle as should be the case.  What a great knot!


B15: (ALL hail the King): Without any hesitation the single best knot have ever encountered.  Everything is dead balls on about this knot and nothing to criticize even if nitpicking.  It is ever so slightly gelling for those so disinclined but so subtly and naturally as to be inoffencive unless looking to bash.  The backbone and density are beyond reproach.  Perfection.


B16: Ahhhhh, now for something COMPLETELY different: There is a biological concept termed speciation.  Speciation occurs when a population becomes isolated and evolves without outside interaction, becoming distinct.  The B16 is the Declaration Grooming brush equivalent of a knot having undergone speciation.  There is not another DG knot remotely close to it.  The hair is decidedly thinner that leads to a face feel with slightly less backbone and density than any other DG brush; were it the sole difference between this and other DG knots, this might be exhibited as a vice BUT there is an ever so slight - so slight that one has to reflect on it after it is experienced - scritch that synergizes with the less dense and less backboned thinner hairs to deliver a quite good if startlingly different knot than hitherto offered from Scott.  The B3 guys will likely prize it as a variant, the collectors will likely want it for its uniqueness and those that thought the B3 just horrid may well find that this is a perfect all around brush for handling single day as well as thick multiday beard growth.  The SINGULAR sui generis DG knot.

B17 Ahhhhh, now we have something (else):  Suspect this will be Declaration Grooming's second most controversial knot after the B3  If one loves classic untreated Brit Manchurian knots, then this is pretty damn close, resembling an older Simpson Manchurian.  My perspective is it a slightly refined B3 alternative sans scritch if properly used.  This is a scrubby knot, really from mid hair shaft to tip, no excess pressure is needed with this knot to soften multiday beard growth while still possessing pleasant face feel for subsequent passes.  Under no circumstance would anybody rightly term the tips soft.  NOTE: This knot requires extended soaking of 30 minutes to really work but it quite nice for those preferring skin presence and scrub.  Failure to adequately soak yields a tough to lather, lather hog - at least through the 10 shaves tested.

Break in procedure where used:

* 4 days of lathering with traditional tallow soap and leaving so encrusted overnight, followed by thorough rinsing the next day

* 2 washes with a high end canine shampoo followed by thorough rinsing

* Sit overnight in canine conditioner followed by thorough rinsing

* Soak 8 hours in 50% organic white vinegar solution followed by thorough rinsing

* Allow to dry for 3 days


B15 remains King; long live the King!!

Masses feel free to address any questions and the experts, to hurl invective: for the former, shall endeavor to share my perspectives as they apply to your enquiries and for the latter, shall undoubtedly confirm your views of my ignorance.

Max Sprecher, deckard, Southsider and 20 others like this post
#2

Member
I like Pizza
Excellent/Interesting article Daniel! I enjoy the couple Dec’s I have

Your attentive article puts a few things into perspective FOR ME regarding the B13.  Like yourself, no question B5 is my fav “Scott Knot” HOWEVER, I disagree with many written reviews that “bastardise” the B3.  We all like what we like however I sometimes feel comments on the B3 are meant in a way to lower its quality or value.  Truth be told, I’d take a B3 over 85% of the “hand tied” and “luxury” knots out there today.  Declaration is certainly in my top 5 and that’s because of the B3 and B5.  I didn’t think I would like any of the 9’s, 10 or 13 and I stand corrected.  Each knot in Scott’s series does something different….. for me anyway

It’s MY opinion the B13 will be loved by enthusiasts who enjoy soft tips and backbone with movement. But before I set that statement in stone it’s only fair to say I’m only getting acquainted with my B13 so I need a few months

Declaration handle shapes and colours have always pleased me.  Anything that remotely resembles an iconic L7 or M7 immediately gets my vote, thus Jeffo is always a yes HOWEVER, NOT my favourite Declaration shape.  The “Theodore” is my fav.  Idk why, it just is. Colour depth is usually a first person thing but I have captured a couple great images of Blood of Kings and FAE

Thanks for a great article! Cheers

Southsider, SgtCrppls, Deus Vult and 5 others like this post
#3

Member
Minneapolis-St. Paul
Just a quick post to note that B13 is officially sold out. I happened to be on the DG site looking at soaps and saw that Scott had put a banner up saying that B13 was discontinued.

I've never been a brush fanatic, but made the mistake of purchasing my first DG knot - a B10 - earlier this year. I don't know what it is about the B10, but I really, really enjoy the experience of using it - far more so than any other brush I've used. Since then, I've acquired several more knots in various handles - a B9A+, a B11, a B13, and recently a second B10. (While I admire Scott's handles, the value proposition of a DG handle isn't there for me. If I can pick up a full DG brush sometime at a price that feels right, I may do so but I've not been willing to chase them down.) It's likely that I'll be putting my other badgers up for sale sometime in the near future since none is better than any of my DG knots.

I appreciate Dan's comments on earlier knots as I have limited knowledge about them. Of the ones that I've bought, I'm happiest with the B10s, but have been enjoying the B13 as well. I need to use both the B13 (bought new) and the B11 (bought used) more since I suspect they've not reached their potential.

Certif, ExtraProtein, Sascoman and 2 others like this post
#4

अनित्य
(This post was last modified: 10-25-2021, 11:34 PM by Certif.)
I recently purchased B11 and B13 for almost 900 usd.  I was sure that I would sell one of them for sure.  I have used them several times.  But I cannot part with them yet.  Varlet and other good brushes are now on the sidelines, other brushes are getting ready for sale.  What kind of magic DG ?)

Navitimer, betozendejas, DanLaw and 2 others like this post
#5
Kind of funny that while I only have 2 batches (B1 and B3), my impressions of the B3 are much the same as in ahhh now we have something. Not to say B1 is bad. In terms of gel tips, it is the closest thing I have found to the Rooney 2-band Heritage of old that had the pronounced gel tips. About 80% of the way there. Something different about it though and the large 30mm knot in the Franklin that just works extremely well, so much so that I wouldn't part for it with another Rooney 2-band Heritage. Maybe a Rooney Finest... I really like that handle too, and it's a shame Declaration doesn't make it anymore. Glad to see he's getting back to some of the old handles in larger sizes. Wouldn't mind a Theodore and a Washington in at least a 28mm, but it'd have to be B3. Visually nothing has caught my eye like B3, and testing it proven to be to my liking.

That's my largest personal pet peeve with the shaving brushes that get so much clamoring and acclaim for years up to now, and am sure it will continue for many a year from now. The gel tips specifically if that wasn't clear. Just my personal opinion though. Too easy to overdo it, and even for the brushes that I feel do it well, I'm not always left satisfied after using the brush for the ones I do like. It's a unique relationship for sure. Still, they do hit a certain itch I just can't get from other brushes and it is great when things line up and I enjoy it.

SgtCrppls, ExtraProtein, DanLaw and 2 others like this post
Joe
#6
I have one knot in b13 which I absolutely love. I saw he posted up b14 and I’m really hoping that hair is not treated. 

I really don’t like gel knots any more.

DanLaw, SgtCrppls, Certif and 2 others like this post
#7
(10-27-2021, 07:09 PM)og555 Wrote: I really don’t like gel knots any more.

Amen!

DanLaw, AlanH81, ExtraProtein and 1 others like this post
Joe
#8
No reviews on the new B14 batch?

AlanH81 and SgtCrppls like this post
#9

Posting Freak
Peachtree City, GA
(This post was last modified: 11-29-2021, 03:06 PM by DanLaw.)
Nothing yet. Trying to get hold of a B14 to review

In interim, have had the chance to breakin a friend's virtually new B13

Process has been:
* 4 days of lathering with traditional tallow soap and leaving so encrusted overnight, followed by thorough rinsing the next day

* 2 washes with a high end canine shampoo followed by thorough rinsing

* Sit overnight in canine conditioner followed by thorough rinsing

* Soak 8 hours in 50% organic white vinegar solution followed by thorough rinsing

* Allow to dry for 3 days


Happy to report the hair is even better than B8, my previous favourite nongel DG hair batch. It about as perfect as a great batch of Simpson SilverTip. Absolutely zero scritch, solid backbone and density. 

B13 is a winner!!

SgtCrppls, ExtraProtein, Hdad and 3 others like this post
#10
(This post was last modified: 11-29-2021, 12:43 PM by Moriarty.)
Yes, I’ve seen a number of positive reviews of the B13 knots now and mine is certainly a nice, mostly natural knot, which I like. I’m waiting to receive a B14 that is in shipping currently, but I saw one review by Ben from House of Mammoth on Reddit, and he was extremely positive about B14. Hopefully it will be in more people’s hands very soon.

DanLaw and SgtCrppls like this post


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