No brush is too floppy for soaps. It's simply a matter of technique. I wish we could put that myth to bed once and for all.
I own 2 vulfix 2233's, one in faux and one in cream and a vulfix 2235, all these are in super and all are great brushes. I actually like the 2233's better as I am finding out I perfer smaller brushes. I use both with soaps and creams. Soaps include MWF, Tabac and various Colonel Conk soaps. I also own a chubby 1, again a smaller brush, but all work well with the soaps.
How does a shorter denser knot pick up more soap? I'm having trouble understanding that. While everyone has their preference which is great, vive la difference and all that, some of these rules or notions that one must use this or that for soaps or creams or bowl or face lathering does newer shavers a HUGE disservice IMO.
Last edited by Island Dreamer; 02-21-2012 at 10:41 AM.
My comment, except for asking how a shorter denser knot picks up more soap, was more general to all those who seem to post rules about what brush for this or what brush for that. Not trying to pick on you. But I would like to know the answer to that question.
I think everyone should compare different lofts and brushes for themselves as I am a true believer in YMMV. I don't think there is a rule book per say, but more of people's opinions on the matter and those whom may have experience with both short and long lofts as well as dense/floppy etc.
I for one, like to listen to opinions too as I simply can't afford every brush under the sun and like to hear from people with more experience than myself.
You still haven't answered my question. Let me try this way, what less dense, floppier brush/es have you tried on hard soaps that caused you to make the comment that in your experience, a shorter and then shorter, denser knot was better for soap? If it's preference, I get that. If that's what you've read others say, I get that too.
I ask because I can see no performance difference in loading a brush like a Kent BK4 (long loft, not terribly dense) with soap vs. something like my Truefitt Classic (quite dense, short loft) or one of my boars.
These sorts of comments come up all the time and I don't understand them other than them being repeated over and over as though it was common knowledge. Other people read them and assume one needs a specific brush for a specific product or use and I think it's wrong to think that without trying, your ownself, these things. Had I believed what I read, I would have never, ever bought a BK4. But some more mature and experience users on another forum called BS on the whole too floppy issue or couldn't face lather issue with BK4's. I decided to try myself and found out they were right and others were wrong. Now, again, if it's a preference thing, that's totally different. I understand that one may prefer one type of brush over another. I just object to the labeling of brushes in the manner I've already discussed.
I guess my goal is to help change some of the way we talk about certain things as though preferences and opinions are stated as facts. I'm sometimes guilty of that too.
My Crabtree and Evelyn(EJ super) in Large did not perform well with Soaps(MWF,Marlborough and Tabac), however it performed better with creams(such as C.O bigelow and AOS). Of course, this is not fair to say that all large floppy brushes like this will perform this way, however it is MY EXPERIENCE, and MY PREFERENCE to use a shorter, denser knot like a Rooney 1XL or a Duke.
Vulfix 377 ... my first shaving brush ever ... and the brush I used today. In retrospect, I prefer the shorter, scrubbier brushes a la Rooney Heritage &c, but my Vulfix has been a tank durability-wise.
Any quality brush can make quality lather. Some brushes are generally preferred for soaps and some for creams ... primarily because soaps are hard and creams are soft. So you need to work the top layer of the soap puck into a soft creamy texture before you can lather it. Shorter-lofted brushes with more backbone tend to be more efficient at this in that the bristles tend more to travel all around the soap puck rubbing the soap and gathering up creamy proto-lather, rather than just bending into the middle and turning on the spot. You can thus use more pressure on the soap with a back-bone-y brush, and get the proto-lather off the puck and into the brush much more quickly.
Once that's done, any quality brush can turn the proto-lather into quality lather.
Be there or be square. Only I can do both!
I've got a cat named Beefeater and a dog named Beefeater, and two goldfish called Beefeater and Beefeater. There's Beefeater my hamster and Beefeater my horse, and my piglet, known as Beefeater of course.
Veteran of the Great Irisch Moos Campaign of 2008-09
I won't argue with a mod who's been here five years but I've seen it repeatedly said in the year or so I'd lurked before I joined last month that certain brushes are for certain things w/o the YMMV caveat. Please don't ask me to go on a search to find all the comments even though they are frequently posted.
I have been using my vulfix 2233 super badger and it is floppy and soft and PERFECT!!!
I use only hard soaps and this brush works better than any short, dense brushes I have used.
The 2233 generates fantastic lather as it is great at mixing air into the mix so the lather is rich and creamy and whips up much quicker than other brushes I have used (except for maybe a well broken in boar brush).
So, yes, I agree it is just a myth that specific software needs specific types of brushes.
Last edited by nav; 02-21-2012 at 03:51 PM.
What's a good Vulfix with a backbone?
1965 SS, Slant, GEM Jr., G-Bar, PAL Adjustable, Schicks, Red Tip, SA, Slim
I generally agree with Doc. I do think there is a false dichotomy sometimes on here with terms like "soap brush" and "cream brush" being thrown around. IIRC there has been a little less of that lately.
Anyway, I can get any brush I've tried to work with any soap/cream if I am patient enough and adjust my technique accordingly. For a floppy, tall lofted brush, loading hard soap and Italian soft soaps works better if I have my soap in a deeper container and lather right on top of the puck or soap. I can add a little more water and just keep swirling for a couple of minutes until the lather is the consistency I want. My dense brushes load soap much less effort and I don't have to really think much.
I face lather with all my brushes, but a floppy brush has real disadvantages for me when face lathering. When I make circular motions, the knot splays out and I don't get the "wall of badger" feel I get from the shorter lofted, dense brushes. I'm not talking about scritch or scratch here, just the feel of all the soft tips of hair on my face. It's just something I like about dnse brushes.
Also, for the floppy, tall lofted brushes, there is greater risk of twisting the inner core hair and causing hairs to break off. This is something that occurs over a period of time, so you might not notice it unless you've been using your brush awhile (a year or more). Pull apart the knot with your fingers so the inner core is exposed and carefully look for bent or twisted hairs...some hairs will be twisted, broken in half, or shorter than they should be.
Just my .02
Be gentle in all things, including shaving brushes.