If you follow Tailor & Barber on Instagram (and hopefully you do!), you probably know that one of my favorite shaving brushes fell apart on me a few months ago. Luckily, with some help from my readers and a little marine epoxy, I was able to fix my Semogue 1305. Be sure to read why I love this brush so much. Fortunately, while I was figuring out what to do with the broken brush, I was forced out of my comfort zone. I say fortunately because, like any other traditional wet shaver out there, I have my favorite products that I love to use; however, I need to constantly try new products for the purposes of this blog and personal enjoyment, but sometimes I get stuck in a rut. When my Semogue 1305 broke, and I shifted most of my shaves over to two other brushes. One of these brushes happened to be another Semogue product, the Semogue 620.
The blessing in disguise of the broken 1305 was the chance to really dig into another brush. I had certainly used the Semogue 620 before, but not with enough frequency to truly break it in. Boar brushes, unlike badger brushes, require some use before they reach their potential. If you were to make a pros and cons list for buying a boar brush over a badger brush, the top point on the pros side would be the level of quality received for a small expenditure. While the top point on the cons side would probably be the break-in period. Anyway, I now had the opportunity to run the 620 through its paces.
The particulars I found out about the Semogue 620 are threefold. First, and I’m not going to bury the lead here, I like the Semogue 1305 better. Now that’s not to say that I don’t like the 620, but I personally get better results (i.e. more lather, easier lather) with the 1305. After reading about some of the other Semogue brushes online, in conjunction with my experiences, it seems the like the more preferred Semogue brushes are the ones with lofts above fifty-five millimeters like the 1305, 1800 and 2000. “Loft” is a fancy way of saying “the height of the bristles”. However, the Semogue 620 does have a place in my shaving cabinet. The second piece i noticed about the brush was its performance with triple-milled hard soaps. This is where the brush really shined. The shorter bristles (fifty millimeters) provided a really strong backbone to help beat up my Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood and D.R. Harris “Marlborough” shaving soaps. Finally, I love the handle. The handle is only forty-three millimeters tall, and more of a “Chubby” style, unlike the 1305 which is fifty-three millimeters. This sized handle gave me tremendous control over building and applying my lather.
I do not think the Semogue 620 should be your first shaving brush. It probably shouldn’t even be your first Semogue. However, it is a quality shaving brush, built by hand for an incredible price, and it should, someday, find its way into your rotation. Just wait until you’re in the experimental phase of product buying, instead of the learning phase.