I had picked up the Omega 81052 shave brush a while back and noticed today that I had yet to provide my opinion on the brush. I decided on this brush solely due to the handle and when it arrived in the post and I was happy I did. It has had a front row spot in the shave cabinet because of its handle, but would probably have gained that position based on its performance as well.
Staying on the topic of the handle of the Omega 81052, beyond its aesthetics it is nice to handle as well. It is a decent size, as you get to the end of the handle you may find it a bit difficult to maneuver if you have larger hands. I did expect the handle, and brush in general to be a bit heavier. Of course that assumption was based solely on the image of the brush and what my imagination dictated the brush should weigh.
Like most Boar brushes the bristle had an excellent firmness to them. Making it great for hard soap and for exfoliation while applying. I was surprised to find that the end of the bristles were softer than expected. Typically Boar brushes soften up somewhat over time, the Omega 81052 was soft out of the box.
Lathering with Omega 81052 is a joy as well. Great water retention, not as good as my Badger brushes, but great for a Boar brush – holding more than enough water than I would need. Lathering with hard soaps is a breeze as well, usually creating an excellent lather with little to no effort. I tried using this brush with some soft creams and didn’t like the results as much, opting instead for my Badger Brush
when using a soap like Taylor of Old Bond Street. Applying the lather is also enjoyable. Even distribution is achieved with little effort. I prefer to ‘paint’ the lather on with this brush rather than use circular motions, the results were a bit more desirable.
Overall I would recommend the Omega 81052 to anyone looking for their first shaving brush or something to add to their collection. Granted you could find a slightly cheaper Boar Brush, but for the extra few dollars it is worth the upgrade, if for the handle alone. If you don’t plan on using hard soaps you may want to consider a Badger brush or failing that a Synthetic Brush.