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Silvertip or Manchurian


Well-Known Member
I am not sure if this is the place to post this thread. If it isn't, please move it to the proper place.

Ever since I started shaving, I have always been satisfied using either boar or the many varieties of synthetic brushes. I have one badger brush from when I first started and was not really impressed with it. It is probably one of the two lowest quality brushes. Now I decided to get myself a good brush so I could properly compare with my boar and synths. I am doing my research and have found that the two best badger grades are Silvertip and Manchurian. What I want to know is what is the difference between the two and what are the characteristics of both. I also see mention of a gel tip and don't know if it is something different from the above, or just a different processing of the knots.

I wanted to ask the members of the SU because asking in the bigger forums will only get more divergent responses than I need and because I notice that many of the members here really go crazy with soaps, which means you probably have good knowledge of brushes.

help me out.
To keep it simple. The quality of the hair-tips is quite the same if one compares (good) Silvertip (3-Band) Badger with (good) Manshurian (also called „Finest“ oder „2-Band“). The question ist, do you prefer more ore less Backbone. If you love backbone, than go for a Manshurian. If not, Silvertip is your choice.

And for the start you do not even have to spend huge money to try. For example Maseto Shaving and Frank Shaving from China make quite good brushes in both, Manshurian (called Finest there) and Silvertips. (Both to be found at the Bay) ;)
@Hellas, Thanks for the information. I have expanded my search to include Finest and have began looking at Frank Shaving and Maseto Shaving. So much other questions come up in my search such as Super Badger and High Mountain White. Maybe that is why I stayed away from looking at badger brushes for so long.
Do not make thinks complicate. "Super Badger" is the softes Silvertip re the tipps. High Mountain or not, who cares:D (was a former mark of Plisson where "Haute Montagne" (High Mountain in french) was expected to be the highes Quality: Honestly, I owe one and its not better than a Masto or a Frank:

So, keep it simple: If you prefer not so much backbone, than lock this:

Masto Silvertip 24mm Extra Density
Maseto Silvertip 26mm
Frank Silvertip Brushes

If you are like me a backbone-lover, lock this:

Maseto Memhis 2-Band 24mm Finest HD (Great brusch, I love mine)
Maseto Atlanta 2-Band 26mm Finest HD

Or any of Frank Finest

Try one of them an you will know if Badger ist for you or not. ;) Afterwards you can spend a lot of money for Thäter, Shavemac, Morris & Forndran, Simpsons, realising that yes, they are nice, but are they so much better than a Maseto or a Frank than the price suggests? - So that is a question one has to find out by himself :rolleyes:
Good to see that I am on the right track. I just identified some FS and MS brushes on Aliexpress and eBay. I also identified some at WCS and Italian Barber, which has the advantage of not having to wait a couple of weeks for it to appear. Of course I end up paying a little more, but such is life.
My 26mm Silvertip arrived today, and because it was used, there was no breaking in (and no funny smell). I did all the proper prep for the brush, which I usually take short cuts with synthetic brushes, such as soak in warm water and then squeeze from halfway up on the brush and not shake. I face lathered tonight with a very soft soap and the lather built up quickly and continued to build as long as I lathered and added water.. The brush was very soft to my face, similar to the original Plissoft brushes, but with more water and lather retention. I eventually ended up with enough lather to last me for a couple of days. So far, I am impressed with the silvertip. A few more uses and some extra time to let my bank account recover, and I will be ready to try a Manchurian. :daumenhoch

Tonight I attempted to bowl lather my silvertip brush. I did the same prep of the brush with the warm water soaking and squeezing halfway up before loading the brush. When I started bowl lathering, it was just too simple. a couple of seconds, and I had lather flowing out the sides of the bowl. One thing I noticed this time around is that the badger brush retained the heat from the warm water and felt quite nice lathering my face. This is such a different experience from my original badger brush which was a 24mm Best Badger. One thing I found out in my research of badger brushes is that Best does not mean best. :confused:
The problem with badger hairqualities is that there is no standard. Everybody seems to define their own qualities, using the same terms for different things. M&F has Best and Blonde, or had, both tterly good hair. With other producers, Best means lower end of the spectrum. Modern artisans, they don't bother anymore. Decaration has B1-Bwhatever, where the number means which batch of hair it is. Paladin and Brad Sears code their hair in similar, be it more complicated ways.
The problem with badger hairqualities is that there is no standard. Everybody seems to define their own qualities, using the same terms for different things. M&F has Best and Blonde, or had, both tterly good hair. With other producers, Best means lower end of the spectrum. Modern artisans, they don't bother anymore. Decaration has B1-Bwhatever, where the number means which batch of hair it is. Paladin and Brad Sears code their hair in similar, be it more complicated ways.

M&F has Finest and Super
I know, that's what the
, or had,
was for. Hairvariants were recently changed. You're partly right though, they had finest and blonde, not best and blonde.
Well, I now have a Finest badger coming in, which I am hoping that @Hellas is correct in saying it is another name for Manchurian, and then I am about to pull the trigger on a Maggard SHD knot, which I have no idea what it is except maybe a extra stuffed silvertip? :confused I still haven't gotten around to trying to figure out High Mountain White and how that is different from High Mountain. :confused:
My Finest Badger arrived about a week now and I have spent the time breaking it in and comparing with the Silvertip. At first I was confused because I was told that the Finest had more backbone than the Silvertip, however my experience was that the Finest was softer. After comparing both brushes the past two nights using the same soap, I realized that the Finest had more backbone, but felt softer because the tips were softer than the Silvertip. Both brushes brought out a whole different experience from my original Parker Best Badger. I especially like that when I use warm water, the brush and lather stays warm on my face. I find also that they are soap hogs and I would have to load more soap than with my synth, which may not be a bad thing because it might make me go through my stock of soaps faster.

At this point, I am not favoring one type over the other as both are excellent performers (and these are the low cost brushes).

I ordered a knot from Viking Shaving, which just arrived yesterday and I am waiting for the epoxy to set. Had all of the buzz words, and so like a typical modern consumer, I had to purchase it. It was a two band, fan top, ultra dense, and gel tips, all for $40. It should be ready for tomorrow's shave.

One thing I find myself doing with the badgers is to soak them before use. I then try to squeeze out the water from the middle and load it.I never soaked my brushes before except when breaking in a boar. More practice, I guess. I know my dry brush technique that I use for the synths will not work with these badgers.
Tonight's shave, I took @efsk advice (kind of) and soaked my WCS Finest Badger for a shorter time and only halfway submerged. I then squeezed the water out closer to the tips. I then loaded the brush less than the previous night and continued to add water as I needed. I had enough for three full passes (plus a little more if I squeezed the brush into my palm), and rinsing was much easier. I am learning very quickly. Tomorrow is my newly mounted extra dense Fan with gel tips. :daumenhoch
I have not posted here in a while to tell of my journey into the badger brush experience. In less than six months, my badger brush collection has gone from this:


To this:


My original badger brush, the Parker best badger has been taken out of rotation only because it doesn't get used any more.. I was doing well with the four I had accumulated back in the end of October, but with the addition of my last two brushes that came on the same day late last week, I have no desire to go further as I got the last two on my wish list - an Oumo knot, and a high end badger (Paladin).

I have to say that as a group in general, these newer badgers are a totally different experience. the backbone vs floppy thing does not matter much any more because of SHD knots, and the gel tips makes the lathering experience much easier on your face. I think the thing I enjoy most (especially this time of the year) is that the badger brush retains heat better than the boar or synth and a warm lather is way more relaxing.

Even though I have gotten to the point where the brushes are no longer lather hogs, it does take a little more soap loading to build a good lather, which only helps me go through my very large collection of soaps.

I really have to thank everyone for helping me through all of this, and especially @Hellas for giving me great recommendations on high performing low cost brushes and the differences between the types of badger.
Nice badgerbreeding you've done there! Glad to see you vary from classic ivory to psychedelic.
I do believe if you have one yet, you need a Declaration brush.