This Brush Is No Dog: Simpson’s "Rover" Brush

Simpson’s Rover

It might surprise some readers to know I don’t own any Simpson’s shaving brushes (actually, that’s not quite true: Lee from Leesrazors sent me a Simpson’s “Major” travel brush a few years ago as a gift.  But I didn’t have any full-sized Simpson’s brushes).  I always thought Simpson’s were, well, a little over-rated if not over-priced.  Maybe I was rebelling against the “snob appeal.”  So my reaction was admittedly luke-warm when John from West Coast Shaving suggested I try a “Rover” limited-edition brush.  After a little more prodding from John, and a little more hesitation from me, he finally said “here, try one, on me” and sent me a sample, gratis (normally I buy everything I review).

Pre- Bloom

When I received it, the brush didn’t look particularly impressive to me.  It is packed with Simpson’s “Best” grade hair, which is pleasantly soft to the touch.  It is a little smaller than average:  loft 47mm, knot 22mm, total height 92mm.  The handle is certainly distinctive, though I was not particularly taken with it.

Size Comparison

But I quickly discovered that looks can be deceiving.  While the knot dimension is 22mm it is “packed” much more fully than the other brushes I have of about the same size.  And that translated to outstanding performance!  This little guy lathers like nobody’s business!  I’ve been using it for several weeks now and I continue to be impressed with it: its smaller physical size gives it good maneuverability but its denser hair knot gives it the lathering performance of a bigger brush.  It has worked equally well with soaps and creams, though I seem to like it better with creams (purely personal preference here, your opinion may vary).

My preconceptions of Simpson’s brushes have been challenged.  This may not be the last one I buy….

Anyone else using a Rover?  How do you find it?  I’m particularly interesting in someone who can compare it to other Simpsons brushes!

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  1. Johnny says

    I would love to give you my opinion but I don’t have a Rover at this time. I’m working on trying to get that problem solved. I do have both the Major travel brush and the Wee Scot and can say nothing but good things about them. Simpsons are great brushes, it’s okay for you to own some Mark. :)

  2. Chris R says

    I, like you, stubbornly held off buying a Simpson brush for several years. Then in a matter of months I bought a Simpson Colonel followed by a Persian Jar 3 – both in best badger. As a surprise for my birthday I got a Simpson Gary Young LE M7 in super badger. I like them all and can’t hold one as being better or less than the others. I will say that value for money the best badger is the way to go – my opinion.
    They all have densely packed lofts and hold more than enough lather for a three or four passes and then some. Soap, cream or
    a combination of both no problem.The LE brush is even more densely packed than the standard brushes and the loft is stiffer. Once wet and loaded with lather though, it’s a super soft brush.
    I do not have a Rover but can only assume it would be no different to any other best badger at the same price and size.
    So you will have to buy another one or two, or three to make the
    comparison yourself. A great Christmas present!

  3. Thomas G. Jeane says

    Can anyone suggest a good, reputable razor restoration service? I have two gold-tone vintage Gillette Aristocrats that I would like to have refurbished. They are hefty, well-balanced, beautiful little TTO razors that are going to look unbelievable when refinished.

  4. RSpellecy says

    So…how soft are we talking here? I am very interested in this brush given your evaluation, but I too have held off on the Simpsons. I like soft tips with no or virtually no scritch…is this the Rover?

    • mantic59 says

      The brush has been scritch-less for me! Its “firm but soft” in a way that I have felt with only one other brush, a Shavemac “variable loft brush” (VLB) which is no longer produced. And the VLB used very high quality silvertip hair.

  5. Tim says

    Still using my drug store brush…now that I am able to work a lather and have become numb to the pricking. I can’t wait to purchase something of greater quality. Thanks for all the tips.

  6. LarryRN says

    I shave with a DE and a brush, usually a silver tipped badger or super badger. The “Rover” is my second Simpson, my first Simpson was the “Wee Scot”. The “Rover” is GREAT!! It will lather Mitchell’s Wool Fat, (MWF) with little effort. The Rover works well with creams as well. I LOOK FORWARD TO EVERY SHAVE!!

  7. Peter says

    Just wondering if you still feel the same way about the Rover a month later? Do you still think it performs better with creams? Has the performance of the brush changed with more use?

    • mantic59 says

      Peter, yes I certainly do feel the same way. It is a really excellent brush. It still seems to work a tiny bit better with creams vs. soaps with me but as I’ve learned how to use it the gap between cream and soap has narrowed. I still have no problems at all recommending this brush.

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