A New Era for Simpsons Shaving Brushes
Despite all the skepticism, I began collecting Simpsons brushes simply because there is nothing else like them. Until Charles Roberts launched his Shavemaster brushes to compliment his own Hydrolast brand, which I consider a separate class of shaving, I rarely considered ever using anything other than a Simpsons ever again. When my good friend, Lee Cantor, called me and told me that Vulfix was taking over the production of Simpsons brushes, I saw that as both a happy and sad event.
Recently I added a handful of Vulfix brushes to my collection. Despite their design specifications that I find less than ideal, I quickly developed an appreciation for the consistent, well-made construction of Vulfix brushes. They are a bit on the “floppy” side given that the knots are not loaded nearly as dense as I would like, but the build quality is certainly there. I am sad, however, that the Simpsons brand that I had developed such a love for even despite the mixed opinions, would never be the same. There’s something special about a 100% handmade product, the little variables that you grow to appreciate, such as how every brush has its own character. I have compared two Simpsons of the same model side by side, and I can clearly see how one handle is slighter larger or smaller, maybe curved just a little differently. No doubt that many people don’t care for this, but to me it’s a symbol of real hand-made craftsmanship when I know for a fact that each and every piece that came out of that factory was shaped and assembled completely by hand and not by an automated machine.
On the other hand, a manufacturer like Vulfix, renowned for its consistent quality, may be the answer to many of the quality control and production shortage issues that has turned many shavers away from Simpsons brushes over the last few years. Without a doubt, we can expect that the availability issues that left vendors with a queue of buyers anxiously awaiting that Polo 8 or Chubby 1 will finally have brushes to sell. Perhaps we will finally see an end to the complaints of hair shedding. While I’ve been quite lucky that none of the brushes in my collection have exhibited this problem, I can certainly understand how someone who spent $150 or more on a brush would be very upset by this. The questions now are: Will they be the same? Worse? Better?
The new owner of Simpsons has made it clear that they fully intend to maintain the integrity of the brand. The materials, size, weight, density, and all other characteristics of the original brushes are supposed to be carried over to the new production facility and will be unchanged. Whether or not this is realistic still remains to be seen. I am looking forward to getting my hands on one of the first ones off the production line and seeing for myself what the future has in store for these brushes. As much as I hate knowing that the original Simpsons are no more, I am optimistic that we may finally get brushes that are consistently good quality and more readily available than we have had in the past.
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