Review: H.I.S. Bullet Brush
This is an initial review of the H.I.S. Bullet Brush by FM Brush sold through Artist Brushstrokes. This is the same company that manufactures and sells the H.I.S. shaving brush. FM Brush has been in the brush manufacturing business since 1927. The company has two primary manufacturing facilities. One facility is in Thailand and the other is in Glendale, New York. The Glendale facility is the design and custom manufacturing facility as well as the company headquarters. This make FM Brush the only brush manufacturer with a operational manufacturing facility in the United States for any type of brush, shaving or otherwise. The H.I.S. brush was their first offering into the shaving brush arena and this is their second offering. The H.I.S. Bullet is manufactured in the FMT facility in Thailand. The initial price point is expected to be about $23.00.
With that being said, let's get to the photos and measurements.
In addition here is how it compares to some other well known brushes for comparison.
The brush handle is only slightly larger than the knot diameter, so do not expect to use this with a brush stand hanging down.
Now to the testing of the brush. This was accomplished over four days in which I alternated between bowl and face lathering and used different soaps and or creams to provide a greater variety of testing in a short amount of time.
First day testing - Bowl lathering with Dalan d'Men cream:
I soaked down the brush and when I removed it from the water, the brush showed the tell tale sign of a donut hole in the center. That is a bad sign for either a natural or a synthetic brush. Generally when that appears the brush will not have enough backbone and will flex at the void. The handle was slippery since it did not have a ridge or groove to get a better grip. It did caused some difficulty in holding the brush but a small piece of paper towel remedied that. I then dispensed some cream in the mug. Usually with a nickel sized dab of d'Men, I am able to easily generate lather in a mug. With the H.I.S. bullet it was difficult to generate lather but was able to produce enough in the bowl to perform 2 face passes and 1 head shave but this brush was excessively floppy. After completing my shave I stood the brush upward to dry.
Second day testing - Face lathering with Wilkinson Sword Shave Stick:
I proceeded to wet down my face and apply the stick only across my face which usually provides me with enough lather for my face and head for a complete shave I soaked down the brush and when I removed it from the water, the brush showed the tell tale sign of a donut hole in the center just as it did the first time. I began to lather and basically it was flopping all over the place. I was finally able to generate enough lather on the brush and my face to cover the first shave and then apply the lather for the head pass and a second face pass. I was able to complete the shave without reloading but it was a very difficult process. Due to the splaying of the brush, most of the lather was generated by the sides of the fibers and not the tips. After completing my shave I stood the brush upward to dry.
Third day testing - Bowl Lathering with C.O. Bigelow:
I soaked down the brush and when I removed it from the water, the brush again showed the tell tale sign of a donut hole in the center. I then dispensed some cream in the mug. The H.I.S. bullet encountered the same difficulty as with the d'Men cream. I was able to generate lather enough to produce enough in the bowl to perform 2 face passes and 1 head shave. After completing my shave I stood the brush upward to dry.
Fourth day testing - Face lathering with Palmolive Shave Stick:
I proceeded to wet down my face and apply the stick only across my face and soaked the brush and began to lather. I was finally able to generate enough lather on the brush and my face to cover the first shave and then apply the lather for the head pass and a second face pass. It handled exactly the way that it had for the second day testing. After completing my shave I stood the brush upward to dry.
When I test any product, my starting out position is a desire to like the product. With this in mind the product has clearly disappoint me in performance to change my viewpoint. This is contrary to some others who come in planning to dislike a product before using it. That method, for the majority of testing. leads to negative bias and personal position to prevent the tester from being able to overcome.
I cannot recommend this brush for everyday use or even as a travel brush. I wanted to like it, but it clearly disappointed me. The handle is slick. That could be corrected by adding a neoprene sleeve with some small ridges, or even cutting some small grooves in the handle itself. For bowl lathering it is not usable in my opinion. Face lathering is somewhat usable. The knot does not have enough density. There needs to be a greater density of fibers to prevent the donut hole from occurring and making this brush so floppy. There are better brushes available for less money. The Franks Shaving is a far better brush at a much lower price. There could be some more brushes in the works from FM Brush, but as for this one, it needs to be revamped with a modified handle and better knot in order to change its handling and lathering characteristics.
Losing my grip on reality while gaining a grip on my razors. BOTOC, LOSER and OGA member.
Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied (Jude verse 2).