I've been shaving exclusively with the TGN variant for over a month. Like others, I wasn't blown away with they keyhole design at first. Then the brush arrived and I actually got to hold it. I have big hands and the keyhole design fits like a glove....I love it! As far as the knot, I have only used soaps, no creams as of yet. The brush lathers wonderfully. The Super Badger knot is softer than a Best Badger but still has plenty of backbone when using with soaps. I'm looking forward to trying out this brush with some creams in the near future.