Satin Tip "The Purest" Brush - First Impression

Satin Tip

This is a look at a #brush that made the rounds quite a bit about a year or so ago after it first appeared, but didn't seem to truly catch on. The Satin Tip "The Purist" brushes. There are basically two versions; the black-on-black that you see here, and a white-on-black (that is, white bristles on a black handle). Let's take a closer look at them!

These brushes by Satin Tip have had hundreds of hours of research and product development to build what we feel are the world's finest and most affordable synthetic shaving brushes. Each brush comes with an attractive paper slip case for storage and travel.

Made of 100% pure synthetic materials. Ultra soft ends, but firm enough core bristles to make a great lather. These brushes rival and yield better results than most badger hair versions.

The handles are just as amazing as the bristle. Made with a low slip rubberized coating these handles always receive high praise.

As another added bonus of utilizing a synthetic brush you can take comfort in the fact that your product has not contributed to animal cruelty.

The first time I saw them, I found them to be quite striking, as did most. There's nothing else out there like them. As much as I wanted one (or both!) I just never really had an overwhelming desire, since all of my other hardware was basically stainless steel and aluminum - and my current brushes made me happy. About a month ago, I received a black #StandardRazors razor (as a backup to the one in raw I already had) and of course, who doesn't want a matching brush? The second thing I found striking about these brushes is the price! How can you beat $9.99 (black/white) for a synthetic brush? And when first introduced, they went for $15-25! After all, the Plisson brush hit the scene at $30 (albeit with a stand and nice packaging) and people gobbled them up! Unlike the Plisson though, which upturned the brush market... These Satin Tip brushes didn't quite seem to gain much traction. Sure, a bunch of people grabbed one or the other, but nothing like the Plisson knot which is found in a lot of brushes these days.

These brushes are quite similar to the Plisson in a number of ways. First and foremost, they both have synthetic knots (man-made). Secondly, the knot diameter and loft/length are similar. But this is where the similarities end; quickly. One of the biggest gripes about the Plisson is that it's really, really floppy. As in, zero backbone. These Satin Tip brushes have a surprising amount, actually... Almost on par with my Semogue Owner's Club (SOC) boar brush. But otherwise springier and more easily splayed. There's even a hint of scritchiness. This is a radical difference from the Plisson which has none of those attributes. Even my Mühle 23mm Silvertip Fibre brush doesn't compare; it's more like the Plisson in that it's very soft, with little backbone and not nearly enough density. These Satin Tip brushes have more density than both.

Another departure from the norm is the black handle as seen on both Satin Tip brushes. Whereas the Plisson used a (relatively cheap) wooden handle - these use a rubberized, satiny feeling back material. It feels really neat and shouldn't suffer the fate of some Plisson handles where the wood lost its coating or the knot fell out... Which honestly, I suspect was due to people soaking a brush that didn't need soaking, getting the wood too wet. On one side is the text, Satin Tip "The Purist" in gold. Makes for a nice match when using Saponificio Varesino Cosmo software, but not a whole lot else. But hey, you can just turn it around for the all-black look. Something that more and more razors are sporting these days, with names like The Holy Black SR-71, the Blackland Blackbird and the Razorock Stealth Slant to name a few. Well, here's your matching brush, gents!

In use, I found the brush to be... Different. The benefits of synthetic (no smell, no break-in period, no soaking and fast drying) but with a feel more like a boar. Whereas most synthetic brushes emulate badger brushes and are (often extremely) soft - this one goes the other way. Whether on purpose or not, is another story. But that's my take on it. With my usual 25-30s of loading soap and lathering in the Georgetown Pottery G12 Scuttle I came up a bit light on the amount of lather I typically get, but then again, I'm spoiled by the BSB Shaving Brush which sports the Mühle Silvertip Fibre "XL" knot in an impressive 25mm size with extreme density. So it's definitely more like the Plisson and smaller Mühle in that regard. Nevertheless, it was plenty for three passes. As mentioned, there's a bit of scritch which is not generally my style; even the SOC which is well broken-in at this point, has less. And unlike a natural brush - what you see is what you get. It will always be like this, regardless of how many times you use it. Regardless, I enjoyed using it and I'm sure I'll get used to it more with every shave.

UPDATE (10/14/16):

It seems the brush is more sensitive than my other brushes in shaking out excess water (not the brush's fault). Being a little more careful with it - that is, loading with a wetter brush - largely resolved the lather quantity issue. Probably just a side effect of the stiffer bristles and density of this particular brush, and getting used to it!

No matter how you look at it, for the price of this brush and the surge in black razors out there - this is one seriously cool (looking) brush that has none of the common issues people associate with the Plisson and well worth considering. Heck, for ten bucks it's worth it just as a travel or gym bag brush, a gift or a novelty. The bonus is, it's really a nice performing brush - and pretty much unlike most other synthetics out there. So for the brush collectors, it's worth it just for that angle alone.

UPDATE (10/27/16):

I dug further, and as I suspected, the brushes are made in China. The knot is along the same lines as the Game Changer or Tuxedo and made of Taklon fibers at a knot size of 22-24mm. It's actually an interesting synthetic fiber... It's polyester and tapered to a point (much like what Mühle has been doing with the Silvertip Fibre or more especially, the Black Fibre "Rytmo" brushes) ranging from 0.08 mm to .15 mm, which mimic hair, to .20 mm which is closer to a boar bristle and what I suspect these are closest to (because of the backbone I mention above). The variation in diameter creates more space between the filaments, allowing the brush to carry more liquid, and of course makes it more life like and in fact, it was designed to mimic sable. Naturally, its synthetic nature has the same benefits as others; it's animal friendly, more hygienic and dries much faster, requiring no soaking or having a funky smell. Interestingly, it is generally available in white or gold colors, with white Taklon being considered the most pure form and usually displaying qualities superior to dyed Taklon (such as the black seen here, though the brush is also available with white fibers). While originally invented by DuPont, the rights and process were later acquired by Toray Chemical Co. of Osaka, Japan.