#1
Just curious what else others out there that might be in a similar boat out there. I can't say I have tried it all, but I have in terms of the old guard (Plisson, Shavemac, Simpson, Vulfix, Vie-long, VP Leonhardy, Semogue, Rooney, M&F, Omega, Savile Row, Edwin Jagger, Hans Baier, Thater, Dr. Dittmar, Il Ceppo, and more). I know I'm forgetting a few of them, but primarily I think of it in terms of who has been making knots for a long time as for me that's what a brush is all about. The knot. Perhaps it is best to say they don't typically do the gelled badger stuff, and is more natural as I have had luck with a few places that do good knots, but not consistency, and with these brands I have gotten consistency, and knots that I like. This isn't to discredit newer players like Paladin, Declaration Grooming, and the wide range of others out there. I actually own a good number of Paladins and the consistency is there for who they use, and the information provided on the knots is excellent. I have a few of the really early batches of Declaration that I like too, but haven't seen knots I like as much. Both of these have something that is where my priorities have been seeming to shift.

I've realized recently that for what I really like seeing is something new in the handle shapes, and color department, and is what has the most affect on getting me to buy something, coupled with hair I already know what I like. I still get a brush here and there because of people talking about how great it is, but I've gotten better at recognizing that is what THEY like, not necessarily myself. That's great as I can hear about what they like, and the information they provide helps me know if it is what I like. I've realized too that I don't necessarily even need the full brush, but honestly find myself wanting just the handle really. A Tall Mega Handle in the normal color, a Radiogram Orion, a large Washington, a large Theodore, a large Moe, and a large Sumo. Those are items I can think of at the moment I would like, it's just not that I necessarily need the hair too.

I have had things that have changed what I have liked buying. The Superior Shave has been great in being one of the first to show what they have for sale, and being able to choose through a bunch of brushes shown and get the exact one you like. I can do a bit of randomness of not knowing, but I have to say I really like seeing the brush before I buy it now. So much to the point that most of what I've bought has been on the BST forum. A significant savings can be had there allowing to have more. Paladin does things wonderfully with all the information they have on the brush knots, and the pictures showing the brush before you buy it. It seems though reason is sort of winning out in a weird way. I know there is only so much I can use, but now I seem to be shifting to where I'm of the opinion, "Give me just the handles gents and ladies, I'll decide later if I want a knot!"  Wink

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Joe
#2

Posting Freak
Peachtree City, GA
Now THIS is a well considered post and worthy of reflection!

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#3

Geezer
New Brunswick, Canada
Ummm . . . Was there a question?

You could always try brushes that were not meant for shaving, just for laffs.
Something like, say, a kabuki brush for applying makeup:
[Image: 2kEFFxU.jpg]

It worked fine, but felt a bit weird on the face. The synthetic fibres are much denser and finer than in a shaving knot, so when it was wet it felt like memory foam or something. But even so, it got the job done.

Now I'm thinking maybe a 2" paintbrush might be interesting.
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Don't judge me.  Big Grin

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We could be Heroes, just for one day.
- David Bowie -
#4

Living on the edge
Try some more?

Marko likes this post
#5
(This post was last modified: 09-26-2021, 10:37 AM by kooshman7.)
[Image: ZHBZ8Bu.jpg]

That proves to be a tad hard to try more.

I will say it isn't impossible though... I still remember a Milk Churn 3 of which I have never seen literature about, or any mentioning that they used to be in more than one size even for the literature Em's Place had posted that was so popular. So rare gems are out there still. Unfortunately what is left new isn't as desirable personally.

I've actually given thought to different types of brushes. I used to collect koosh balls and decided to stop, but the thought of trying to make a knot out of koosh strings has entered my brain so to speak. Paint brushes wouldn't be that far off as there are those that are made from boar and badger. Heck, Omega makes painting brushes.

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Joe
#6
So I’m curious…if you could only keep three brushes, which three would you keep and why?

It sounds like you should start trying to make your own brushes. That’s probably the only place left to go.

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#7

Member
Idaho Falls, Idaho
I get to approach this from an envied position I suppose in that I live next door to a brush maker.  Well, he’s actually a couple of miles away but in Idaho that makes you close neighbors.  My son is Teton Shaves and as a maker it’s allowed me to get to know many of our current best and brightest .  I agree that a brush handle in simplest form a devise to hold the knot.  And natural fiber knots will likely always be variable and subject to factors beyond human control.  I’ve taken to sourcing and sorting knots I like and keep several around in various configurations for future projects.  In doing so I find it frees me to focus on the art of the handle because a most beautiful handle won’t be loved if the knot won’t perform as I like it to.  I haven’t bought a brush with a knot installed for years.  So now I look for brush handle with pleasing shapes or certain colors or materials, or that for some other reason speak to me and I’ll mount my own knot, or their knot, because I want to feel the knot to know what loft I want it at.  Although I like natural hair better than synthetic, I will state that synthetics are far superior to nylon knots of just a few years back.  In fact nothing is more consistent knot to knot than synthetics but even those have variation.  At any rate, I’ve found that when I take over responsibility of which knot will be in the handle, I’ve found that appreciation for the artistry of the handle shines through.

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#8
(09-26-2021, 11:26 AM)pork Wrote: So I’m curious…if you could only keep three brushes, which three would you keep and why?

It sounds like you should start trying to make your own brushes. That’s probably the only place left to go.

I've never been able to do a top three or anything like that. I far too much like my brushes, and my tastes can and do change. Right now most of my changes would reflect that. I have a cream puff of a brush in my VP Leonhardy 700050 classical spherical shape that has the softest hair of anything modern I've felt while still maintaining just a slight tip presence that I like. Spectacular luxury. It still manages to keep a respectable backbone and density to it. I don't reach for it all the time, but it is the epitome of softness with just a slight touch of tip presence.

The absolute softest I ever tried was the 80s Vintage Plisson 3-band HMW that has seen several owners. It was too soft for my tastes, and I have only tried one from around that area. Those that just love synthetic and want to try badger would find it an ideal candidate I think. Good luck finding though. I have another small VP Leonhardy that has a higher loft than most small brushes, but performs spectacularly. Better than Plisson for that size, and that's saying something as to how well it performs. I have some mammoth 35mm plus Shavemacs I reach for often in 2-band D01 and 2-band Silvertip. Just feels right in the hand those mammoth handles and huge knots on the face. Just a few brushes I can think of right now.

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Joe
#9
(09-26-2021, 02:22 PM)Lipripper660 Wrote: I get to approach this from an envied position I suppose in that I live next door to a brush maker.  Well, he’s actually a couple of miles away but in Idaho that makes you close neighbors.  My son is Teton Shaves and as a maker it’s allowed me to get to know many of our current best and brightest .  I agree that a brush handle in simplest form a devise to hold the knot.  And natural fiber knots will likely always be variable and subject to factors beyond human control.  I’ve taken to sourcing and sorting knots I like and keep several around in various configurations for future projects.  In doing so I find it frees me to focus on the art of the handle because a most beautiful handle won’t be loved if the knot won’t perform as I like it to.  I haven’t bought a brush with a knot installed for years.  So now I look for brush handle with pleasing shapes or certain colors or materials, or that for some other reason speak to me and I’ll mount my own knot, or their knot, because I want to feel the knot to know what loft I want it at.  Although I like natural hair better than synthetic, I will state that synthetics are far superior to nylon knots of just a few years back.  In fact nothing is more consistent knot to knot than synthetics but even those have variation.  At any rate, I’ve found that when I take over responsibility of which knot will be in the handle, I’ve found that appreciation for the artistry of the handle shines through.

That would be nice having someone that could turn handles, or to learn how to do it myself. Not sure how my own abilities would fare there, but wouldn't know until I tried. Plenty of other things on my plate and no space for the equipment so that makes it slightly hard. Would help if I had a cheaper knot source that I liked consistently. I would only really have Shavemac and Declaration B3 to go with for custom knots. Romera Manchurian and Maseto 30mm 3-band silvertips in a pinch for a bit, but even those I don't find myself wanting more really. I do agree having the perfect knot set aside is great so you can appreciate the handle more. The wrong knot wouldn't allow me to fully enjoy the brush, and have parted with several for that reason. I had one one of the first Chubby 2's in 2-band Super when it was introduced from Jim at Vintage Blades. I've never seen a stiffer 2-band out of everything else I tried. The bulb knot was just a bit pointy, however, and I traded it for the Amber Chubby 2 in Manchurian I had with a few bucks on the side. I still miss that, but I know it's unlikely I'd ever get reintroduced to that one brush again. Not sure if I truly would want it. One thing I enjoy is saving pictures of others brushes I have seen throughout the years. I've gotten better about writing in the name whose brush it was and slowly organize them into folders. It's a double edged sword, however. I can go a long time without buying and enjoying what I've collected that way, but it has had me buy a few brushes over the years as a result of this too.

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Joe
#10
(09-26-2021, 07:45 PM)kooshman7 Wrote:
(09-26-2021, 11:26 AM)pork Wrote: So I’m curious…if you could only keep three brushes, which three would you keep and why?

It sounds like you should start trying to make your own brushes. That’s probably the only place left to go.

I've never been able to do a top three or anything like that. I far too much like my brushes, and my tastes can and do change. Right now most of my changes would reflect that. I have a cream puff of a brush in my VP Leonhardy 700050 classical spherical shape that has the softest hair of anything modern I've felt while still maintaining just a slight tip presence that I like. Spectacular luxury. It still manages to keep a respectable backbone and density to it. I don't reach for it all the time, but it is the epitome of softness with just a slight touch of tip presence.

The absolute softest I ever tried was the 80s Vintage Plisson 3-band HMW that has seen several owners. It was too soft for my tastes, and I have only tried one from around that area. Those that just love synthetic and want to try badger would find it an ideal candidate I think. Good luck finding though.  I have another small VP Leonhardy that has a higher loft than most small brushes, but performs spectacularly. Better than Plisson for that size, and that's saying something as to how well it performs. I have some mammoth 35mm plus Shavemacs I reach for often in 2-band D01 and 2-band Silvertip. Just feels right in the hand those mammoth handles and huge knots on the face. Just a few brushes I can think of right now.

Very interesting. Thanks for your takes. I have heard a few people mention how nice the VP Leonhardy 700050 is. I have never tried one, but I will have to keep my eyes peeled. 

I actually just acquired a NOS Plisson HMW (sz. 16) made around 1980. It is a pretty remarkable brush, that's for sure. 

[Image: o3fG9tg.jpg]

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