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Bulb or Fan: A Look at Shaving Brush Shapes

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One of the most common questions that new wet shavers ask is, “What kind of shaving brush should I buy?” Unfortunately, there is not a “one size fits all” answer as there are many variables to consider when you are shopping for a shaving brush. You have many choices for sizes, hair grades, handle materials, and other features, including the shape of the brush loft. This article provides an introduction to the two most common shapes of shaving brush lofts: bulb and fan.

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Types of Razor Strops

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Many people assume that a razor strop is a simple accessory, but there are dozens of options available that can make a new straight shaver's head spin. There are strops made by major companies, such as the Illinois Strop Company and Straight Razor Designs, and then there are artisan strops by craftsmen, such as Tony Miller and Ambrose. The materials are diverse and there are many types of finishes of leather and canvas that are offered. Each strop has unique characteristics that give it a feel and life of its own. 

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Safety Razor Aggressiveness

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It is difficult to describe the way a razor feels when it glides across the skin, but both the feeling and performance are classified by safety razor aggressiveness. There are several factors that affect how aggressive a safety razor is and how it performs. The size of the blade gap, the amount of blade that is exposed, and the cutting angle dictated by the design of the safety razor affect the way it shaves. This article simplifies cutting head designs to quantify safety razor aggressiveness.

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Avoid Brush Damage and Maximize Your Investment

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Recently I was offered a trade for a vintage Simpsons Chubby 3 Best Badger and I was excited about receiving the brush. It was originally purchased for around $325 about 10 years ago and was never part of a regular rotation. Because it is a Somerset shaving brush, it could still be valuable to collectors and could easily be priced over $200 on the used market.  I was very disappointed to receive the brush and discover that many bristles in the inner core of the loft were broken off.  When I made the dreaded phone call to the brush’s owner, he was very gracious. He said he had not given much thought to brush care and he did not know that the brush loft was not supposed to sink in after use. He is not alone; it is common to see online pictures of raggedy used shaving brushes. The goal of this article is to inspire wet shavers to use their brushes in ways that do not indent or invert the brush lofts.

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Straight Razor Honing Video

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One evening after a nice long honing session on coticules and shapton hones, Mike suggested filming a simple video in HD to show how to sharpen a straight razor on the most common and affordable beginner hones out there – the Norton 1K, 4K, 8K and the Chinese 12K hones. We began with a dull razor that we were actually using to cut electrical tape to cover the spines of the custom straight razors we were honing. This nearly 10-minute video is unedited other than added music and subtitles.

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Why do badger brushes lose hairs?

James
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