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Thread: Shavemac Synthetics

  1. #1
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    Mar 2014
    Dubai, Vancouver, Hamburg
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    Default Shavemac Synthetics

    Shavemac is well-liked and has established a solid niche for badger brushes, but is a relative newcomer to the field of synthetic brushes and people were curious when Shavemac announced their plans to offer synthetic shaving brushes now as well.

    To start off, do not ask whether Shavemac uses the same fibres as Mühle.
    I did, and the answer that Shavemac does not cooperate with Mühle sounded almost indignant. So you might as well save you that embarassment.

    I only started taking synthetic brushes serious when Mühle brought out their Silvertip Fibres. For the first time a synthetic brush had came close to badger, and the performance and robustness, especially when travelling and having to cope with problems getting badger brushes to dry properly, quickly won converts.
    The Mühle soon became the benchmark that I compared all other synthetics against and Mühle Silvertip Fibres had not been overtaken in that capacity until now.
    I did have high hopes for the Simpsons Chubby 2 “Synthetic Bristle”, but somehow could never really warm up to it.
    I have also tried synthetics from Plisson, the Mühle Black Fibre, and Omega S- and Hi-Brushes, but none of these ever made it close to my regular rotation.

    I have now used my two Shavemac synthetics for about ten days, and yesterday and today I whipped up the lather for the first pass with the Simpsons “Synthetic Bristle”, for the second pass with the Mühle “Silvertip Fibre” XL (25mm knot), and for the third full (uncommon for me) pass with the Shavemac 26mm synthetic fan.
    My two Shavemacs are a 28mm bulb with standard 56mm loft and a 26mm fan with standard 54mm loft, but I thought that the similarly sized 26mm Shavemac would be closer to the Simpsons and Mühle for this comparison.

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    From left to right, Simpsons “Synthetic Bristle” Chubby 2, Mühle “Silvertip Fibre” XL (25mm knot), Shavemac 28mm bulb-shaped synthetic, Shavemac 26mm fan-shaped synthetic, and a Shavemac silvertip two-band and silvertip fan for comparison.

    Out of the box, one could never confuse a Shavemac synthetic with a badger brush. Despite the badger-style dark ring that seems to have become a requirement for better synthetics, the nylon-white of the Shavemac fibres reminds me more of the fake looking pearly-white teeth of TV personalities than of badger brushes. But luckily for the Shavemac, I am more interested in brush performance than in looks.

    After ten or so shaves, the Shavemacs have shown slightly more backbone, springiness, and a little less softness than the Mühle Silvertip Fibres, but don’t forget that this Mühle has been my faithful companion on regular overnight trips for years and may have lost some of its original backbone.
    The Shavemacs just love hard soaps, the brush is easy to charge and it is a pleasure to whip up a dense lather on my cheeks.
    If I use a cream, I usually put some small dabs on my cheeks for lathering and the Shavemacs handle that with ease too and whip up a nice, dense, not overly thick lather. If you should be interested, the soaps that I used in the ten days were D.R. Harris, Martin de Candre, Haslinger, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Pre de Provence, Meissner Tremonina, Valobra and Taylors (both were the hard soaps), and once Lavanda shaving cream. (I used Valobra twice, once Fougére and once Colonia.)

    - Will these Shavemacs replace my silvertip brushes?
    I don’t think so; I still love my genuine silvertips that offer a combination of backbone and luxurious softness that no synthetic has been able to duplicate so far, but these new Shavemacs do give pure badgers, boar, and horse brushes a good run for the money and I would rather use a Shavemac synthetic than one of the last three.

    - Is the Shavemac a game-changer?
    No; if anything it is an incremental step in the evolution of synthetic brushes and to my way of thinking the game-changer came a few years ago when Mühle introduced their Silvertip Fibres.

    - Is the Shavemac better than the Mühle then?
    That depends; as mentioned above, my Shavemacs have a pleasantly higher amount of backbone and scritchiness than my well broken-in Mühle Silvertip Fibres. So if you like some backbone and use mainly hard soaps, like me, the Shavemac might be the better choice. Or, to use an analogy, if you consider Mühle Silvertip Fibres the synthetic alternative to a silvertips, then think of these Shavemacs as the synthetic alternative to two-band silvertips.
    Contrary to what I had expected (I bought both my Mühle and Shavemac synthetics directly from Germany), the highly configurable Shavemacs tend to be cheaper than the fairly standardized Mühle brushes.
    There is no direct comparison however, with standard handles and lofts the Shavemacs come with 24, 26, and 28mm knot for €42.-, €51.80, and €61.60 respectively.
    The Mühle Silvertips with 21, 23, and 25 mm knots are €43.-, €49.50, and €68.- respectively.

    - Knowing what I know now and if I could take only one synthetic, which one would it be?
    For home probably the Shavemac 28mm bulb, for travelling the Shavemac 26mm fan, because the 28mm does not fit in a (Mühle) standard travelling tube.

    I do hope you found this discussion useful....

    Last edited by beluga; 04-20-2019 at 07:30 AM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth celestino's Avatar
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    Excellent summary of three quality synthetic brushes. Thank you for sharing.

    I am looking forward to trying the new Shavemac synthetic as I still find my Chubby 2 synthetics to be the best synthetics that I have tried, so far.
    Laughter, Love and Shaving

    ~ Celestino ~

  4. #3
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Many Thanks for the write up

    I have been wanting to try a quality synthetic for while, I am actually a big ShaveMac fan anyway so perhaps this is the push I need
    "No amount of money spent on a Stone can ever replace the value of the time it takes learning to use it properly"
    Very Respectfully - Glen

    Proprietor - GemStar Custom Razors Honing/Restores/Regrinds Website

  5. #4
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    Apr 2018
    Vienna Austria
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    Always glad when people put time and effort into saving me money. I too really enjoy my muhl synthetic. I had been looking at these and will now pull the trigger with confidence.

  6. #5
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    Dubai, Vancouver, Hamburg
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    Just an update after one month’s use.

    After using little else but the two Shavemac synthetics during the initial evaluation period, I had expected to quickly go back to my usual Silvertip rotation and relegate synthetics, as before, mainly to overnight trips.

    This has not happened; even at home I somehow kept reaching for the two Shavemac synthetics and have used them almost exclusively for over a month now.

    I found that these brushes, on top of their obvious usefulness when travelling, work exceptionally well when face lathering with creams or soaps. At first it may not look like the brush has absorbed much shaving cream or soap, but once you start face lathering the brush starts to shine.

    But what kept me reaching for them more than anything else was that they have more backbone than Mühle Silvertip Fibres, my favourite synthetics until then. Since I like more backbone than the typical Mühle Silvertip or Silvertip Fibre can give me, these brushes give me a better balance of backbone and softness than the Mühles. As mentioned before, you could think of these new Shavemacs as the synthetic alternative to two band silvertips.

    Synthetic brushes do not need much of a break-in period, but - if anything - I like these two brushes now better than in the beginning.

    Having said that, I am sure sooner or later my Silvertips will claim their old pole positions back...

    Last edited by beluga; 05-10-2019 at 05:17 PM.

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