Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beginner or on a budget? Consider the Dreadnought Avenger Boar Brush

“Although the boar brush you find in the local drugstore will probably not amount to much, a well-made boar brush, once broken in, has a pleasant feel and makes a superb lather.”

That line was from Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving by Michael Ham. The publication is filled with a lot of great info. But I had to chuckle a bit when I read that one sentence because my first shave brush didn't amount to much.

Not knowing a thing about shave brushes, and having not done any research at the time, I wound up purchasing an inexpensive boar shave brush from a big box retailer.  I wanted to start using a shave brush and for the price I thought it was too good to pass up.

It broke during the third use. 

Thought it should've lasted more than 2 shaves  :(

Soured by the experience I gave up for a while. But decided to retry using a shaving brush once I got my hands on the Dreadnought Avenger.  While it was a little shorter, the wood handle of the Avenger Shave brush felt more solid and the knot felt as if it were held more firmly in place compared to the last brush.   The Dreadnought Avenger only measures about 3.5” high and weighs (according to my scale) a little over an ounce.  Incidentally, that turned out to be a good travel size and weight – so this is pretty much the brush I take with me when I go places.

Photo is a little overexposed, but shows how light the brush is.

Boar bristles tend to be stiffer and require up to a few weeks of use to break in compared to badger hair (or horsehair, or synthetic).  The bristle ends will split and will soften as a result.  Though, it is still boar bristle – so I wouldn’t expect it to soften to the point where it feels like Badger hair.  Because of the stiffness of boar bristles, some prefer using a boar shave brush rather than a badger shave brush with shave soap.  Personally, I like using the Avenger on the harder pucks of soap. But, as with most things, it’s a matter of preference.

Dreadnought Avenger: ends splitting on some of the bristles resulting in a softer feel.
Boar bristles absorb water - compared to badger hair doesn’t absorb but holds water between the hairs. So prior to use, soak the boar brush in hot water for a few minutes to help soften the bristles. Personally, I soak my brush for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Soaking the brush while on the road.
Some time ago I gave a shave brush as a present, along with a small assortment of creams and soaps, to someone who typically uses the canned aerosol shaving cream.  For a while I’d see the brush and a soap puck on their bathroom counter.  Though, after about a month the aerosol can reappeared.  Since, then I have only seen the brush and soap sitting in a basket under the sink.  Another time, I found myself reading this story on the Badger and Blade shaving forum where someone used their fairly pricey shave brush to clean their keyboard.

So, if you’re considering giving a shave brush as a gift and not sure if it will wind up as a keyboard cleaner; or if you may be on a budget but want to shift from the canned aerosol to a soap or cream, then maybe a boar bristle brush, like the Dreadnought Avenger, may be the way to go.  Boar brushes tend to cost less than badger, horsehair, or even some synthetic brushes.

The Dreadnought Avenger after many months of use (on left).
If you haven’t seen the below video (not our video) reviewing the Avenger shave brush, then give it a view.  They consider it a "great entry level shaving brush." 

Thanks for stopping by …

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