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Which knot for soaps & cream?

Discussion in 'Shaving Help' started by shaunwistow, Saturday September 2, 2017.

  1. Hello

    As I now have a few different knots, Silvertip, boar, Tuxedo, Cashmere I was wondering which are best suited for soap and creams.

    I used my boar the other day with a hard soap, seemed to lather ok, but when I came to dona 2nd pass the lather had gone. Used the Silvertip yesterday with a different hand soap, again hardly any lather left for 2nd pass.

    This is obviously user error, any tips? Is it the abvious i.e. load the brush for longer?

    I don't seem to have any issues with the Tuxedo or Cashmere.

    Looking forward to your expert advice or any video links.
    Barry Giddens likes this.
  2. Greetings

    I personally don't think it makes a blind bit of difference what sort of brush you use for what sort of soap or cream, the only variable is how long you take to load it, the softest of knots will work just fine with the hardest of soaps it just takes longer.

  3. lloydrm


    Use more product. A lot more. I spend a while loading hard soaps particularly with boar hair brushes.
    You can wet the surface of the soap first thing when setting up to make it easier and, imo, better.
  4. chrisbell


    Most soaps will lather better if you moisten the surface beforehand; the exception for me with my very hard water, is, strangely enough, the one soap that most people agree should be moistened or soaked, which is Mitchell's Wool Fat.
  5. Olie29


    I know friendship shaving on YouTube did a video on this recently, he had been having trouble with a semouge boar knot and had taken some advice from somebody else, he spoke about soaking the knot in cold water and leaving it in the fridge and also about lathering up and leaving the lather sat in the brush, he found that it stopped the brush eating all the lather before he got to the second pass. Worth checking it out
  6. I agree with wetting a hard soap before hand and spending a little more time loading the brush. I usually bowl lather because it's neater and I can control things better. Of course, some say the same about face lathering but they're wrong, of course. ;)
    Barry Giddens likes this.
  7. There is a big difference between synthetic and animal hair: the first is way more efficient in generating lots of lather with little soap. This means that if you want to properly lather a soap you can use both kind of hair, but that you will have to load longer with animal hair.
    Knot dimensions are also to be taken into account: a wider knot needs much more soap to lather, and may also have some lather hog.
    Moreover, usually boar knots are wider than badger ones - and you have to load longer. At the end, I consider a 24 mm finest badger brush the perfect all rounder.
    That being said, I can tell you my advice (YMMV as usual): use 22 mm synthetic knot to lather rapidly soaps that you want to last longer or while travelling (they dry fast), use boar knots for those you don't mind to finish, pick up the brush you love more in those days in which you just want to fully enjoy your shave and use the badger brush any time you like it.
    All brushes can perform flawlessly, given you soak and load them in the proper way.
    Last edited: Tuesday October 3, 2017
    Barry Giddens and Merkurologist like this.
  8. Because some shaving creams got silicone as ingredient, I only use them with my affordable boar brushes or synthetics. For shaving soaps I use all kind of hair knots. Hard soaps will be soaked in warm water for about 5 to 10 minutes, like my boar or badger brushes. Than I pour off the water and starting as with every soap or cream. Very easy way to handle hard shaving soaps and getting a nice, thick and creamy lather. ;)
    Barry Giddens likes this.
  9. This.
  10. Supermangs


    Just enough to cover the top of the soap is enough. And don't pour that water down the sink before lathering. Tip it into your hand and rub it over your face as a kind of pre-shave.

    As it happens, I find that "pre-shave water" indicative of the protective quality of the soap. Sometimes it is just lightly scented water, other times it feels almost like oil. The latter is the better. Palmolive sticks rank highest (scent aside - meh!)
    Barry Giddens and Blademonkey like this.
  11. mpf9ret


    + 1 on that. Though I like to use certain brushes for different soaps, but they tend to be inexpensive
    boars or synthetics.
    Barry Giddens and Fergiebilly like this.
  12. You can also pour that water into the brush, thus increasing the effectiveness of the brush in generating lather.
    Barry Giddens and Blademonkey like this.
  13. [​IMG]

  14. You must be slipping Billy, you forgot to mention how all cream is a pile of pish.
  15. +1
    That says it all, really.
    It is already acknowledged that different knot (types) perform differently, so why load them the same.
    Barry Giddens likes this.
  16. Perhaps your water is the issue? Try filtering some water then boiling that water for your shave. Hard water is poison for a great lather!
  17. TeP


    I'm lucky I guess I live in a soft water area which is a great help. One thing I have found in my limited experience is to use a hard soap all the time. I swap around creams as I see fit, but with hard soaps I use the same puck each morning. Boring? Maybe, but it takes me 5-6 days to get the surface of the soap working and full of moisture, I find that leaving the hard soap to dry out for a few days you have to begin the whole thing again, even left with the top on.

    Brushes, I only use synthetics now, and never bowl lather. I've found that the only proper way to lather up is on the face.;):rolleyes:
    Mr. Blonde and Barry Giddens like this.
  18. Nisse


    Tested and experience was pretty much the same, same, same, same so not able to single out a winner. (soft water and all loaded swirling 30 times on a Haslinger soap)
    Last edited: Wednesday October 18, 2017
    Obelix, TeP, phoenixandbeau and 3 others like this.
  19. My experience with MWF is exactly the same. I too have very hard water and with the MWF I have to be careful to start the lathering process as dry as possible. Just a touch too much water and I just get an explosion of useless bubbles.
    chrisbell likes this.

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