Sunday, July 24, 2011

Introducing Fido's Shaving Brush Blog

Please note - every brush in my collection was purchased by me. There are no "freebies" here. Each brush has been used by me to enable me to write a wholly impartial review of how it has performed.

And there's more!


After completing this blog  I decided to use some of the knowledge I gained from my research and from using the wide variety of brushes described here. As a result, New Forest Brushes has now been established. The purpose of this venture is to enable me to design, have made and supply a small number of popular brushes that will meet the needs of enthusiasts at an affordable price. This is has been achieved by dealing directly with an established manufacturer, and a local craftsman and selling direct to customers. My brushes will be listed from time to time on the website below.

This blog makes no other reference to these brushes.

Blogs need to be read backwards, so it's a case of finding the oldest post and working back to here.
This is about shaving brushes in general and my collection in particular. I decided to assemble a collection of brushes across a range of prices and makers and brands, to provide some details about each brush and to express my opinions about them. Where I have found them, I have added links to other reviews to provide a more balanced assessment.
As with many things, it takes time to appreciate a shaving brush. As it gets used it settles down and you find the best way of using it to suit your preferences. So I will keep the blog updated if I discover new things about a brush. Treat all reviews with caution. I am judging brushes against my own criteria. After using many different shapes and sizes and brushes with different degrees of firmness I know what I like in a brush. I like to feel in control of the brush head. So I prefer smaller and shorter knots - no more than 22mm or much above 50mm loft. You may prefer larger, softer brushes - its all down to personal preferences.
I also like to feel I am getting good value. Brushes vary widely in price. And there isn't always a direct relationship between quality and price. But this too is a very personal thing. You pay your money and make your choice.
I hope you find something of interest here. I am not an expert. I don't go into great detail in my comments - just general impressions - you will find much more information in the many reviews to which I provide links.
If you have anything you would like to say, please do add comments to the post about which you have an opinion. It will be much appreciated - even if critical!

I love using my shaving brushes. Casting an eye over them to decide which one to use each day is part of the fun of this crazy obsession of ours.

Thank you for looking in.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Best buys

I have thought about expressing an opinion about best buys or my favourite brushes in each price range. Looking through my reviews indicates what I think about each of my brushes. They are all good. I bought most of them because other people rated them highly. It is very difficult to decide the 'best' in each price range. They are all so different.
I have no hesitation in recommending the Vulfix 404 badger/boar mix as a brush for everyone to buy. It shows that you do not need to spend more than £10 to get a very decent shave using a brush.
If money is no object I can happily advise you to try a top Plisson, Simpson or Rooney. But don't expect it to be good value for money compared to the 404.
Real value in my opinion can be found in the £45 to £75 price range. These are perhaps where the real stars can be found. Brushes like the Savile Row 3120, Simpson Duke, Persian Jar Best Badgers, the Vulfix 2234, the odd Rooney and one of my special favourites the Kent BK8.

But I doubt two of us would agree!

Fido's verdict

Here are a few thoughts about the brands I have covered so far. I may add more.

Edwin Jagger
Jagger are great at marketing and presentation. They make no secret of buying ready made knots and show how they make the handles and complete the brushes in a video. A nice range of brushes that will appeal mainly to cream users. They are soft and floppy but have the soft and luxurious feel that you get with such brushes. They make some lovely handles.My pick would be their 21mm medium silvertip.

Kent Brushes
Some of the better Kent brushes are excellent. They have a wide range - many retail at less than £10.
My pick. The Kent BK8 silvertip. One of the very best brushes in my collection.

Progress Vulfix
Vulfix probably make most of the brushes sold in the UK. The Vulfix range of brushes are great value across a wide range. And they are made in the Isle of man. They are open about their operations, receive visitors and talk to you openly if you telephone them. Many of the branded brushes in the London shops are made by Vulfix to a high standard. And they now make Simpson brushes to their traditional specification.
My Vulfix pick - the 2234 - deceptively soft yet firm enough for all uses. But surely the 404 badger/boar mix is the best value first brush for anyone new to wet shaving?

A legendary name in the world of shaving. An incredible range and choice of brushes. But very expensive. If their name and quality enables them to sell at these prices, good luck to them. The parameters I set for my collection demanded that I should have at least three Plissons. They look beautiful. But apart from the High Mountain White, their performance does not match up to the hype. Even the High Mountain White I have - a small 20mm knot - is far too expensive for what it is. My little 21mm Edwin Jagger silvertip is a close match at about a third of the price.
There is only one Plisson contender to be my pick - the High Mountain White. And it is very good indeed, if I forget the price tag.

Savile Row
I have two examples of this exclusive range of brushes available only in the USA from QEDUSA. The outstanding reputation of the brand is richly deserved.

shavemac (with a small s) have an outstanding reputation for customer service and fine quality brushes. Take a good look at their website and you will find a brush or be able to have one made to your specification. My 177 silvertip is a superb all round brush.

A huge range of great value brushes. The boars are very popular in the shaving community. My two examples didn't impress me. But it would be unfair to judge the rest on that basis. They cannot be so popular by accident.

Many rave about these great value brushes. The 1305 and 2000 boar brushes have many advocates. I admire their marketing. My best Semogue is the 2009 Limited Edition. An exceptional boar brush. But I have to confess - I'm a badger fan - still.

Acca Kappa
I mention them because i have just one of their brushes. It is beautifully made and presented - but £120 - no wonder it only got sold at half price. And even at that price it's not a lot of brush.

 The famous R A Rooney & Sons Ltd that enjoyed an outstanding reputation no longer exists. Rooney is a brand name. Unlike Vulfix, who now own the Simpson brand, there is no one to communicate with about the Rooney brand except some on line retailers.

What about the brushes?  I have several Rooney brushes. They are fine brushes. I thought that in the Heritage stubby 2, I had found my dream brush. After a few uses I found others I preferred.
My pick? The Rooney 3/1 silvertip. I think it outperforms the more expensive super grade and is a great little all round brush.

I have left my best to last. I have twelve Simpsons brushes. And I have seen and handled most of the extensive range. These are superb brushes, very well made, a delight to use and own and are made by a manufacturer willing to back up retailers with excellent customer service. And a manufacturer willing to communicate directly with users. The brand richly deserves its world wide reputation.
As to price. There are some expensive brushes in the range. But look at the prices of top of the range Rooneys and Plissons. The real value in Simpsons can be found in their smaller best badger ranges. Brushes which are more than big enough and superb performers like the Duke and Persian Jar best badger grades. Shop around and you will find great value here with a brush built to last.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Savile Row 3824

Winner of a recent brush wars on the Badger and Blade Forum, this is a Finest Silvertip available only through the QED website. It has an incredibly soft brush head - no sign of the  scritchyness of my 3120 from the same stable. It shows how brushes can vary. When wet, both brushes have soft tips. This has great backbone making it a versatile brush. This is about the largest brush I find really comfortable to use. Quite superb. Said by many to be good value. All things are relative! It's still an expensive brush but a delightful one to use.

Knot 24mm
Loft 54mm
Handle 52mm
Height 106mm
Price $115 USA

Other reviews

Savile Row 3120

Out of the box and after use alongside an older brother, my shavemac 177. It is not surprising that it is widely thought that Savile Row brushes are made for QEDUSA by shavemac, the German brushmaker. Savile Row enjoy a reputation for outstanding quality and value for money. Some of their brushes are said to be rather soft and floppy. This isn't. At 20mm knot with a loft of 48mm ( Advertised as 50mm) it has a firm backbone which makes it a versatile brush to handle soaps and creams with equal effectiveness. The silvertip hair makes it soft on the face and it is a perfect size to retain control over face lathering. It is a third of the price of the same size High Mountain White Plisson. Yet it feels just as luxurious. If the Plisson is the Queen of my brushes and the Astor Simpson the King, this is the Prince. It's a pity it is only sold in the USA.

Knot 20mm
Loft 48mm
Handle 46mm
Height 96mm
Price $85 USA ( exc tax)

Other reviews

Thursday, February 18, 2010

H L Thater 4125/0 Chubby 1

The 4125/0 is a small high quality silvertip that was around £87. Handle just 42mm, 22mm knot and 48mm loft. Not a lot of brush for the price. The knot is dense and soft with more than adequate backbone. So this is an excellent silvertip that will handle creams and soaps alike. A pleasant size for face lathering. At first, I found the handle uncomfortably small. But as always, once you get used to a brush, it will generally serve you well. I'm pleased to have this in my collection. Once again - not available in the UK. So why make the effort to buy if a brand is not easily available? It's really not that good, and it's expensive. 

Just two final points. I was told before ordering this brush that the loft was 52mm. It's 4mm difference is a lot. It's a different brush to my expectation. I was later told that it should have been 50mm. That just doesn't tie in with the website data (Straight Razor Designs) The handle also had two specs of white paint which should have been spotted by someone at the factory before shipment. When you pay a high price for something you don't expect this. But it's still a fun brush to use.

Knot 22mm
Loft 48mm
Handle 42mm
Height 90mm
Price £87

Other reviews


Muhle synthetic silvertip

This is a synthetic brush claimed to have the characteristics of a real silvertip shaving brush. First, the basics. This has an excellent resin imitation horn handle. The brush fibres bear some similarity to silvertip but without particularly light tips. When dry, the fibres feel soft to the touch. The brush looks good, feels good when dry, has a nice springy backbone and creates superb abundant lather. Paint the lather on and it's effective. But the brush is a little stiff so doesn't feel as luxurious as a genuine silvertip. As long as you don't mind prickly tips it's good for face lathering with circular and scrubby motions.
This is a synthetic brush which does its job. But it is not equivalent to a silvertip. It may look like one, but it doesn't perform like one. If you have scruples about using animal hair it's a way in to traditional shaving. I'm pleased to have the brush as an example of a synthetic brush made by a top quality brand but it will not be used much in comparison to my badger and boar brushes.

The brush comes with good quality packaging and a tiny brush which I haven't tried to use - yet!

Knot 21 mm, loft 51 mm, handle height 47 mm Price 35 euros plus 7.50 shipping.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vie - Long 16510 Silvertip Badger

This is an extraordinary brush. It has the softest, silkiest hair of any of my brushes. Moderate density allied to a 23mmm knot and 60mm loft ensures that it is exceptionally floppy and flexible. Look how it blooms!
This is a brush for bowl lathering cream users who simply want to paint on their lather with a soft gentle brush that is kind to the skin. This is not for face lathering if you want an exfoliating massage with scrubbing or circular motions.

Vie Long custom Horse Hair

This is a limited edition brush for members of the Pogonotomy Shaving Forum.

After use

This brush is an extra hair horse hair brush with a loft of 52 mm and a 20 mm. It has a small acrylic handle, just 42 mm high with a 28 mm diameter.

The hair is very different to anything I've used before. It's not very dense yet it has a reasonable backbone with a 52 mm loft. When dry the hair feels soft and not prickly.

I have used the brush in a variety of ways including bowl and face lathering with both soaps and creams. The most striking feature of the brush is the amount and texture of the lather created. No doubt with more practice I could make a thicker and more creamy lather but my early efforts have produced lather rather more "fluffy" than with a badger brush - a bit like whipped cream. This is not a criticism - I like the lather and it works effectively.

By far the most satisfying way to use this brush is to make the lather in a bowl and to just paint it on. The handle is easy to hold and the brush hair is firm enough to ensure the brush is easy to control as you paint the lather on. When lathering directly on your face in circular motions the hair feels prickly, rather similar to some pure badger brushes.

While producing prodigious amount of lather, not a lot remains in the brush. That's why so much lather gets made in a bowl. I had very little lather left in the brush for my final squeeze compared with what I normally get with badger brushes.

Like any brush, it takes time to yield up its secrets. Once you figure this brush out it will serve you well. For those with scruples about the use of badger hair, this type of brush could prove a satisfactory alternative to boar and synthetic brushes.

Most horse hair brushes tend to have lofts in the 55 to 60 mm range - I may try one of those soon. This limited edition brush cost around £24 delivered. At the price it is good value.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Simpsons Astor Super

A limited edition to mark the 90th anniversary of Simpsons brushes. 90 made of an old Simpsons design using two band super hair. This is no 73.It has a faux horn handle and all engraving is in gold ink. Forget the collector angle - this is a superb brush. The 22mm knot head is large enough for anyone. A superb face latherer and a great all rounder. Priced at £180 it is more than a match for high priced Plissons and Rooneys. A truly delightful brush. It delivers.

Knot 22mm
Loft 52mm
Handle 56mm
Height 108mm
Price £180

Simpsons Tulip 1 Super

Another popular Simpsons brush, available in four sizes in Super Badger grade. If you search around you can also get it in two band. This is the smallest size. Although a very well made brush this size is just too small for my liking but will suit many who like a small brush with a short loft for face lathering.

Knot 21mm
Loft 45mm
Handle 46mm
Height 91mm
Price £88

Other reviews
None found!

Simpsons Rover Manchurian

I'm going to be a bit lazy here. All I want to say about this brush can be seen here:

Simpsons Polo 14 Best Badger

I ordered this directly from Progress Vulfix. I confess that I haven't used it yet. It would seem such a pity to disturb it. It is the largest brush presently in production intended for regular use. The quality is superb. The Best Badger hair feels as good as the Super grade. The shape of the Polo handle is not among the more popular in the Simpsons range but it is a very practical shape ensuring that not much lather needs get close to your fingers. It is a truly enormous brush that must overwhelm your face unless you are exceptionally large yourself. Until I test it, the brush will remain towering above the others in my display cabinet. Here it is alongside a Wee Scot.

Loft  57 mm
Handle 82 mm
Height 139 mm
Knot 34 mm
Price £214

Simpsons PJ2 Super 2 Band

This for me is just about the perfect brush. Stiff enough to provide adequate backbone for hard soaps yet soft tips that have a luxurious feel during lathering. And just the right size.Another winner from Simpsons.

Knot 21mm
Loft 50mm
Handle 55m
Height 108mm
Price £103

Other reviews


Simpsons Duke 3 Best

Mine and a few other opinions are here:

Knot 23mm
Loft 46mm
Handle 48mm
Height 94mm
Price £74

Other reviews

'I really enjoy this brush. It seems to be the perfect all around brush. It can be used for anything you fancy be it soaps, cream, bowl or face lather. Definitly an all purpose brush, at a great price too'.

Simpsons Chubby 2 Best

Here it is after being used a few times

This is an extraordinary brush. Superb quality. Like no other. Why anyone would want a Chubby 3 is beyond my comprehension. Unless a real giant likes to shave. And like other Simpsons Best grades it is soft tipped enough to make you question the need for anything more. This is the ultimate soap brush for a face latherer. Just swirl it over a puck and you will understand the use of the term "explodes with lather" Lather anyway you like on your face and enjoy the thrill of a masterpiece in action. Need I say more? Yes.
I have heard it said that there really should be a Chubby 1.5. This is considered too unwieldy by some while the Chubby 1 is a shade too small. I agree. Much as I love this brush I really do prefer to work with a brush smaller than this with which I can exercise more control. But I will include this brush among the few I will use in a rotation. I'll give it an occasional run out - it's such an experience! Do have a look at the other review below. I didn't have any shedding with this brush - an issue raised by the other review.

Knot 27mm
Loft 50mm
Handle 45mm
Height 95mm
Price £114

Other reviews

TSR (A salutary tale!)

Simpsons PJ 2 Best

Another superb Simpsons brush. Although engraved "Best Badger" it's actually a two band for which you would normally pay a lot more. An excellent all round brush that will make a fine job of any approach you want to adopt. Excellent with soaps, creams and different methods of face lathering. Tips quite firm when new but will soon soften up. 21mm knot still produces a brush head that is large enough and easy to control.

Knot 21mm
Loft 50mm
Handle 55mm
Height 88mm
Price £74

Other reviews

Simpsons Berkeley 46 Best Badger

One of the modest Simpsons, a Best Badger with a 20mm knot. Simpsons Best are very soft when dry and only a little bit scritchy when lathering, but it does notice in comparison with the higher priced Simpsons. The 45mm loft makes this quite a small brush which will appeal to many face latherers. The knot is dense enough for all purposes. The usual quality one expects although it has shed the odd hair. Less glamourous compared with some other relatives but a great workhorse for a reasonable price.

Knot 20mm
Loft 45mm
Handle 45mm
Height 90mm
Price £35

Other reviews

The Wee Scot

It's the one on the right! It's hard to imagine anyone buying this brush for regular use. It is so small. Yet it does whip up a surprising amount of lather and can do enough for a perfectly adequate shave. It is the usual high quality one comes to expect from the Simpsons brand. A novelty brush I'm pleased to have. Would I have bought it if I hadn't wanted it for my blog? I doubt it.

Knot 14mm
Loft 36mm
Handle 31mm
Height 67mm
Price £26

More opinions

Simpsons Keyhole 2 Best Badger

This handle forces you to hold the bottom half yet it is comfortable non the less. Another smaller brush that may appeal to face latherers. The Best badger grade is high quality, the knot has a firm backbone and soft tips and generates adequate lather. It's a matter of personal preference but using the brush again confirmed my liking for the next size up from a 20mm/45mm brush head. The price is quite a jump from the Beaufort B1 Pure Badger which is the next size and grade down from this.

Handle 52 mm
Loft 45 mm
Height 97 mm
Knot 20 mm
Price £62

Other reviews

None found

Simpsons Beaufort B1 Pure Badger

This is one of the smaller and affordable Simpsons brushes that may appeal to face latherers. The quality of this pure badger hair is excellent. Slightly prickly but not uncomfortable. Produces adequate lather and of a size that enables complete control over applying lather where you want it. A quality brush for a fair price. Just a little too small for me to use as one of my regulars.

Handle 47 mm
Loft 42 mm
Height 89 mm
Knot 18 mm
Price £20

Other reviews

Simpsons Emperor 1 Super Badger

Super Badger is the top Simpsons grade. Their Best Badger grade is so good that this is really just a small step up in softness for which you grit your teeth and pay the price if you want the top quality. This is a small brush which gives great control for face latherers. Lather is easy to create and apply. A real quality brush for which you pay a high price. But you need to have a strong preference for the shape of the handle and the size of the brush head to justify this investment.

Handle 54 mm
Loft 44 mm
Height 98 mm
Knot 19 mm
Price £74

Other reviews

None found

Plisson High Mountain White

When handling this brush it feels soft and floppy. But when lathering on your face it somehow manages to have a sufficient firmness to make it a satisfying experience. This is the unique High Mountain White hair of the Plisson badger grades. If my Simpson Astor is my King of brushes, this little Plisson is a worthy Queen. Perfect lather with soaps and creams and just a great performer. It is incredibly soft and may not appeal to a hardened face latherer who prefers a stiffish brush for an exfoliating massage. Although it has a knot of just 20mm it has a relatively large head which is more than adequate. Outstanding quality. But a very high price, especially for such a small brush. Is it worth it?  No. But I'm really pleased to have it.  How could my collection be complete without it? I just paid the price and gritted my teeth.

Knot 20mm
Loft 51mm
Handle 46mm
Height 99mm
Price £189

Plisson European Grey

Knot 20mm
Loft 53mm
Handle 46mm
Height 99mm
Price £110

This brush looks good. But has to be the worst value brush in my collection. It is soft and floppy and almost as prickly as the pure black badger brush. Stick to lathering with painting motion and it will feel good. But if that is all you wish to do you can match the performance at less than half this price. The brush looks good and is an example of a popular grade by a famous maker so I will settle for it being a legitimate member of a collection. But for serious regular shaving it doesn't come near the quality of many brushes at much lower prices.

Plisson Pure

Knot 22mm
Loft 56mm
Handle 50mm
Height 106mm
Price £68

This is an unusual brush. Pure is the coarsest grade of badger hair so £68 is a hefty price to pay for such a brush. But this is a Plisson. This is simply a beautiful specimen. Photos don't do it justice. The brown/black hairs are topped by flecks of silver in the tips. The brush is soft and floppy but lathers well and if painted on will provide a sense of luxury. The tips are prickly but not uncomfortable when gently massaging with circular motions. I bought this brush from the viewpoint of a collector rather than a regular user. In that context I am delighted to have it. The Plisson handle and logo are very attractive and look good on display. But for serious regular use, there is much better value elsewhere.

Rooney 1/2 Finest

This is one of the elite brushes made from rare high mountain badger hair. This may have been one of the last as it is no longer available due to difficulties of sourcing the hair.  It has the same handle as the Rooney Style 1 medium best badger and costs an extra £142 - for the special hair?
So one has to expect something truly exceptional with this brush.
The first thing I noticed was an overpowering smell of mothballs. Even after several latherings, it was still there. After several weeks, it finally went. And as you would expect, it does produce all the lather you need, very effectively.
Although"only" a medium 24mm knot size, this is a big brush with a 56mm loft. The tips are very soft. It has a reasonable backbone just about adequate to face lather with circular motions. But it's really best as a cream brush using painting motions. And it's excellent when you use it like that. But once you limit it to that it is no better than many other brushes you can buy for well below £100. But there is no doubt that is does have an edge over most of the competition. Although a very fine brush, it does come at a very high price that I suspect most people won't think is justified. But I'm pleased I have it in the collection.

Knot 24mm
Handle 47mm
Height 103mm
Price £190

Other reviews

Rooney Heritage Stubby 2

This is a genuine all rounder. A firm backbone to lather from the hardest of soaps, yet soft tips. Excellent for face lathering in circular motion. Great latherer. This is a super badger brush from the Heritage range. Not easy to find in the UK at the time of writing. It is just a little too large for my personal taste. The smaller Alibaba 2 suits me better. It's also not great value for money. At this price, Simpson offer better alternatives.

Knot 24mm
Loft 48mm
Handle 48mm
Height 96mm
Price $154.99 USA

Other reviews

Rooney Heritage Alibaba 2

This is a very good all rounder. For a 20mm knot it is quite a size. The fan shape head blooms after use yet it is far from floppy. It has the backbone needed for soaps and face lathering. Another 2 band Super grade. It ticks all the boxes. Except price. Difficult to find in the UK - I shouldn't think there would be much demand at the price. Why it is more expensive than the Heritage Stubby 2 (24mm knot) is beyond me. You will find better performers for a lot less.

Knot 20mm
Loft 48mm
Handle 54mm
Height 102mm
Price $175.99 USA

Rooney 2/1 Best

This is Rooney trying to have a brush for everyone. This is not the usual dense Rooney. It is soft and floppy and may appeal to cream users who prefer to paint on their lather. The quality of the best badger head is very good - really very close to a super or silvertip grade. Great latherer and a nice soft feel on your face. A poor man's Edwin Jagger silvertip? A BK4 feel alike? At this price you would be better off with a Vulfix 2234 -a super grade and just a bit firmer to make it a better all round brush. This is more a £40 than £50 brush in my opinion. 

Knot 22mm
Loft 50mm
Handle 55mm
Height 105mm
Price £50

Rooney 3/1 Silvertip

I show photos of the new and used brush - quite a bloomer, although I would not describe this as a floppy brush. It is an excellent all rounder generating lather with ease. Provides all the options for face and bowl lathering with soaps and creams. An ideal size, easy to feel in control with a nice size handle and brush head. But at £65 it's a hefty price for this size of brush compared with some of its rivals.

(The other brush is the Rooney Style 1 small size)

Knot 22mm
Loft 45mm
Handle 50mm
Height 95mm
Price £65

Rooney 3/1 Best

The 3 series are the all rounders of the Rooney range. It will meet the needs of the soap and cream user and be fine for face lathering or making lather in a bowl. This best badger is a fair performer but as with many UK Rooneys there is better value elsewhere. Vulfix and Kent have brushes that will outperform for less than £55.

Knot 22mm
Loft 45mm
Handle 50mm
Height 95mm
Price £55

Rooney 3/1 Pure

The other end of the Rooney range - this is the pure version of the 3 series of all rounders. A scrubby brush that may appeal to face latherers who want to give a decent exfoliating massage. It has the usual prickly feel you expect with this hair grade. It's better value than some Rooneys at £35 in the UK.

Knot 22mm
Loft 45mm
Handle 50mm
Height 95mm
Price £35

Rooney 1/2 Super

This is a large floppy brush that is not best suited to face lathering with circular motions. Once you say that about about a brush and use it painting style you start to notice fewer differences between brushes. It's smaller brother is a much better all round brush - much more versatile. For all that, this has a luxurious feel, lathers well and within its limitations will perform well.

Knot 24mm
Loft 49mm
Handle 48mm
Height 97mm
Price $99 from USA

Rooney 1/1 Super

This is the little Rooney. A lot smaller than the medium version shown in the second photo. I also show it with the Rooney 3/1 Silvertip and the knots of both brushes. I am a little confused about the super and silvertip grades. Super is said to be redressed or resorted silvertip that is regraded in England. Any short or twisted hairs are removed leaving the hair feeling softer and giving the brush a lighter appearance. My 1/1 super and 3/1 silvertip don't bear this out. The super has a tighter head and the hairs are not as soft as the silvertip. 
The super 1/1 is thought by many to be an ideal soap and face lathering brush. It is quite scrubby and the brush head is a highly effective latherer but soft tipped? Mine isn't - it's not uncomfortable, but not as pleasant to use as the 3/1 silvertip. The 1/1 handle is quite short and it doesn't make it easy to hold. I really see nothing to justify buying this brush in preference to the 3/1 silvertip. 

Knot 22mm
Loft 45mm
Handle 43mm
Height 88mm
Price £50 (USA)

Other reviews

Taylor of Old Bond Street Imitation badger

This imitation badger performs rather like a boar brush. Slightly pointed feel to the head it is much softer than a boar and makes a good soap brush. It doesn't hold much lather but it's easy to top up with a swirl on the puck. Feels really soft using short to and fro strokes but it does work in circular motions once you find the best way of doing it. If you have something against the real thing this is worth checking out.

Knot 22mm
Loft 52mm
Handle 52mm
Height 104mm
Price £24

Truefitt & Hill Super badger

This really is a delightful little brush. Despite being quite a soft brush, the low loft size enables it to be a very effective soap/face lathering performer. It's just a little too small for my liking.I measured the knot size at the base but it seems a very small head compared with other 20mm knot brushes. Looks very much like the Vulfix 374 but slightly different dimensions. Well worth a look on a visit to T&H.

Knot 20m
Loft 44mm
Handle 48mm
Height 92mm
Price £43

Acca Kappa Silvertip

I bought this brush at 50% off the list price. It is beautifully packaged and presented on a plastic plinth for display in a collection. It is a soft silvertip with a zebra wood handle and  performs very well as a cream brush. Perhaps the loft is a little too high to give the sort of backbone preferred by soap users. This will stay unused in my collection until and unless curiosity gets the better of me.

I finally gave my little Acca Kappa a run out today. This is a soft silvertip 21mm knot with a 52mm loft. Feels floppy and soft. So I used it with my TOBS Mr Taylor and lathered up in a bowl and just used the AK as a paint brush. And what a delight it was! For floppy, read luxurious. Surely with this type of brush it just has to be cream, bowl, paint and it is then pure luxury. Enough lather for several passes and some to spare. This brush retailed at £120 and was on offer at TGS for 50%. Not surprisingly it has the best packaging of any brush I've seen - including High Mountain White and Rooney Finest. It's really a collector's brush. I'm keeping it - in my collection.

Knot 21mm
Loft 52mm
Handle 41mm
Height 93mm
Price £120

Barny badger

This was given to me by a friend known as Barny. It's very old. The original  owner bought a new Gillette Single Ring razor in 1916. A tiny brush which performs well. I put it here to remind you that there may be some old brushes in your family vaults that are worth trying. It's too small for me for regular use. The sort of thing to chuck in a travel bag.

Knot 19mm
Loft 38mm
Handle 40mm
Height 78mm.
Price unknown

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The internet wasn't even imagined when this little brush was made.