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Thread: Is badger really better?

  1. Default Is badger really better?

    I currently use the omega (proraso) boar brush. I have been quite happy with it, as it seems to make a great lather, while not feeling prickly, and spreads the lather fine (I would think anything would do this part). What would a good badger provide that this one does not?

  2. #2
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    Welcome to Badger & Blade!

    Good question. Joel wrote an excellent post comparing the two. Hope this helps.
    Take care,
    Rik

    A good lather is half the shave.
    William Hone

  3. #3
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    Short answer: Nothing.

    Longer answer: Most brushes, badger, boar or synthetic, will do a decent job whipping up a serviceable lather and spreading that lather across your face. I have a Savile Row 101 which cost me around $30 that "works" about as well as my Simpsons PJ3 in Super. They both make really good lather, and the SR's prickliness is actually really nice on the face--especially when I haven't used it for awhile. I suspect its slightly stiffer bristles may also work a bit better with hard soaps, but as I'm a cream kind of guy, I'll probably never find out.

    Esoteric, squishy answer: The real "payoff" with the higher end brush is in the feeling of luxuriousness as the bristles move across your face. A good brush in super or silvertip has an indescribable softness and smoothness to it, almost like a mink glove caressing your skin. In terms of shave technique, it also holds a lot more water than a cheaper brush, but adding water to your lather bowl isn't really too tough to do.

    To be honest, there's also a wonderful feeling of pleasure with a high end brush--pleasure that you own something so well made, so perfectly constructed for its (singular) task, a fantastic indulgence that you get to use every morning. My PJ3 sits there on its stand for 23 hours and 50 minutes per day, silently waiting to dive under a stream of hot water and furiously whip up mountains of smooth, slick lather for my morning shave. I have to admit that I truly enjoy owning and using something so beautifully crafted. Its not unlike the joy one gets from owning a beautiful sports car or top shelf musical instrument, writing implement or piece of clothing.

    So if you are ready and willing to consider changing your daily shave from a chore to an eagerly awaited ritual, think about adding a high end shave brush to your locker--and let us know how you like it if you do. We love living vicariously through one another here!
    Mitch

    Go Green!

  4. Thread Starter

    Default

    I respect Joel's opinion very much, as I have learned much from many of his posts, but I must say the lather I get looks nothing like what is picture with the burma test brush. From reading, I gather that the badger will feel better and shed less (I lose about a hair per shave), and hold heat longer. Is this difference really this drastic?

  5. Thread Starter

    Default

    I don't really want a huge brush, so what would you reccomend for an upgrade. I was looking at some of the vulfix models, or maybe I should hold off for the forum brush...

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky5693
    I respect Joel's opinion very much, as I have learned much from many of his posts, but I must say the lather I get looks nothing like what is picture with the burma test brush. From reading, I gather that the badger will feel better and shed less (I lose about a hair per shave), and hold heat longer. Is this difference really this drastic?
    Sparky,
    Let me just say - I think sometime this week - a comparo post from me is in order between the burma shave boar and the omega boar. Readers digest version - the Omega Boar is a HELL of a lot better than the burma.... the burma is a TOTAL POS, so I am sure you are getting much better lather with the Omega Boar.

    Second - the badger will make thicker lather, a heck of a lot more lather, will feel MUCH better, will hold heat longer, etc. So far as I am concerned, it is superior in basically every way/shape/form.

    If you are looking for an outstanding brush for a beginner/expert alike, I would strongly suggest you consider a Savile Row SR-208T. Not only does it have a gorgeous faux tortoise handle, but it is a very generously sized 25mm brush for Under $60..... pretty hard to beat. A 25mm brush is by no means a "monster" but it is kinda big for some gents, so if you are looking for something smaller, and less expensive, I would check out DJ's Muehle Pinsel brush on THIS THREAD which can be purchased HERE. For the money - eventhough shipping from Germany is going to be about $10-15, it is still quite a deal for a nice badger shaving brush.

    EDIT: - I would also like to add, another value priced brush is a $35 Crabtree & Evelyn shaving brush made by Edwin Jagger which can be purchased online or in store at any C&E. For the money - it is might hard to beat.
    Last edited by joel; 06-19-2006 at 08:00 PM.
    - Joel
    joel (at) badgerandblade.com

  7. Thread Starter

    Default

    I don't really like the look of that huge handle on the muehle. The saville row looks quite nice though. Earlier I mentioned the vulfix, maybe the 2234 or so. Do you not feel they are as nice? I really like the size of the omega (minus the length maybe). Would any of the ones we mentioned be similar in knot size?

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky5693
    I don't really like the look of that huge handle on the muehle. The saville row looks quite nice though. Earlier I mentioned the vulfix, maybe the 2234 or so. Do you not feel they are as nice? I really like the size of the omega (minus the length maybe). Would any of the ones we mentioned be similar in knot size?
    The SR 208 would be similar in knot size, but a boar knot is a lot different than a badger knot (as it flexes/splays out). Personally - I am not wild about Vulfix brushes. They are well made, but they are packed loose, and are floppy as all get out. There are better options for the $ - IE Savile Row, and the C&E Edwin Jagger best.
    - Joel
    joel (at) badgerandblade.com

  9. Default

    Sparky:

    I'm in the same boat - used an Omega for years with Prorazo green (tube and tub) with good results. The Burma brush is a complete POS when compared with the Omega (I'm assuming you're using the professional) and I was quite happy with the Omega - until I started using QED glycerine soaps, which are a little harder to lather up.

    I bought an inexpensive Vulfix pure badger ($30), which is miles better than the Omega with the QED soaps, but is a little prickly (which I don't mind too much and will subside with use).

    Joel's comment regarding the difference between boar and badger brushes is bang on and my 22 - 23 mm Vulfix is much bigger in the bowl than the Omega, which has a bigger not (base width).

    So the 25mm you are considering will likely be quite a bit bigger than the Omega at the business end.

    As for what hair to get, I really can't comment, as I don't have the same experience as others with the different grades.

    However, my recent experience is that the badger (even a relatively inexpensive brush from a reputable maker) does work better (especially with glycerine-based soaps) than the Omega, which is probably the best (IMHO)boar brush on the market.

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the brushes people have recommended - they all seem to represent good value for money.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    Sam

    Default

    I think that badger is a better feel and a better-working brush, but once into the badger, the differences between the lower grades and the upper grades is more personal preference.

    Sam

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