5 “Good Deal” Shaving Brushes Under $25

brush

[Preface by Mantic59: The response to the “Good Deal Razors” article was so positive I decided to make one about shaving brushes too.  This time I asked brush guru Gary Carrington (GDCarrington) to help by commenting on some of the inexpensive brushes he’s tried.]

There are hundreds and hundreds of shaving brushes out there–badger hair, boar hair, horse hair, synthetic hair–at price points that go from about $6 to stratospheric levels.  Beginners want to try the experience without breaking the bank.  More experienced users with pricey brushes sometimes want an alternate brush to travel with.  The common question then becomes “what are the good deals out there?”  Here are some “good deals” to consider.  I doubt any of these will be passed down to children as fine heirlooms: we looked for brushes we thought were good values in that they were low-cost and reasonably well-built (considering the price).  These aren’t the only choices of course, even at this price level, but they’re reasonably easy to find.

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Synthetic Fiber Shave Brush Trends

synthetic brushes jim

Two years ago, I was member of a group of wet shavers who wanted to look at the new crop of synthetic brushes entering the marketplace. We wanted to see if there were significant changes from the synths we had used in prior years.  This article will not recap our work, but rather look at the growth of interest in synthetic brushes. None of us claim that our work changed attitudes—only that changes have occurred since our project began.

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Does The Shaving Brush Matter?

brush

If you asked me three months ago if the type of shaving brush makes an appreciable difference in the quality of my shave, I’d probably have said no.  For the dozens of shaving soaps, creams, after shave balms and splashes – not to mention razors and blades – that I’ve tried since I began this wet shaving journey in 2011, I had only used five shaving brushes until Mantic and I had a chat about this very topic.

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Synthetic Brushes – The Maturing Market

synthetic brushes

For a while now a team of testers have been testing synthetic brushes.   The results of these tests have been displayed throughout the traditional shaving community on various forums and blogs for some time.    The discussions of these tests, threads and blogs were basically three fold in nature. The first was individual evaluations of various brushes to see if synthetics were truly a viable player in the shaving brush market. This required the testers to obtain a large number of brushes to test and review.  The testing team noted that in the past three years especially there has been enough advancements in this area that Synthetic brushes are a viable player, and a growing sector in the shaving brush market, for various reasons that this discussed elsewhere.  The second was to research and explore the history of synthetic brushes and what areas of fiber development in other areas, such as the toothbrush, paintbrush and cosmetic brush industries supported and allowed fibers to be developed, which eventually allow for fibers to exist to be used in today’s synthetic shaving brushes.  The third area was to try to find common ground between groups of brushes that used the same fiber or very similar fibers, along with how the brushes felt at the tip, backbone, etc.  Based on all the testing information I developed the “Synthetic Generations” concept to help users compare brushes and to understand the differences within synthetic brushes.  In addition to data that the Synthetic testing team produced, discussions from various forums and blogs were also taken into account when refining the generations listings as displayed in the following threads and the threads that are linked within.

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A Synthetic Brushes Update and Overview – Generations

brush groupLast year Mark (Mantic), James SanSouci, Wim Bouman, Teiste Brito, and I, conducted a test of synthetic brushes.  The final results of the testing can be seen at the link HERE.

In addition I developed a series of articles in which the origins and history of synthetic brushes over time.  The summary of this series (which provides links to the other sections) can be seen HERE.

During the last years some additional changes and updates have occurred.    This led to an issue of how to identify synthetics against each other based on performance and fiber composition so users can have a “common language” to make the comparisons easier.

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