The “Rein Dachs Klassik Walnut” model is a “two-band” badger brush with a buffed walnut wood handle with gold ringlet that’s made in Bavaria Germany. Both the handle and the knot are made by hand in Bavaria, and the company making the knots does nothing but produce brushes for >100yrs in an area well known for the handicraft.
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You may have heard about this thing on the news that’s been spoken of online and in other venues quite a bit since early 2020, its genesis originating somewhat earlier in 2019. Anyways, since that thing, logistics of shipping’s been turned on its head. We, teeny tiny The Superior Shave (of far, far below a six figure annual net profit business and far below $0.5M annual gross sales) have lost two parcels in 2020 worth nearly $4000, with no recourse, a fact we blame on that thing in the news. Another parcel this January 2021 was held of $7000 worth of safety razors that matter for our business because of $45 worth of a foot nail file, a CYA-obsessed presumably-new customs agent (I hope that’s what it was, anyways) claiming we’d need to be an MD to bring that into the country because if I had five minutes to myself I might be able to draw blood on my foot from it if that was my express intention (one should wonder why they would allow extremely dangerous ball point pens into our fine nation)…that box got ‘repatriated’ at a 20% clip, which I had to pay, along with the ~$400 of DHL’s costs to be involved as a completely incompetent broker and shipping courier.
So, because of those ‘lessons’, we can only reliably import items by the much-more-costly-and-much-more-regulated-because-their-accounting-team-brings-in-the-real-bucks UPS Express, DHL Express, or FedEx, and we’ll certainly never dare to import anything to deal with a human foot again… with these entities, if we import one item in a box with a dead animal part in the item (like a badger brush, a nice horn comb, etc.), that’ll cost over $200 in bullsh*t accounting creativity for the first piece.
The only way around that is to beg for your business’ tiny nature to the regulating body associated to this, which we did and have been granted, they put a scarlet letter upon our business id #, and now we’re on a very strict leash of 24 or less units of any dead animal part item, and not more than $5000 of goods in said box.
That’s a tight leash, hard to make money with such a lease. Given the high cost of UPS Express/DHL Express/FedEx as a basis over the importation of just twenty-four units of something, what it really means is that The Superior Shave can no longer import economical animal-part-based anything, combs or less costly shaving brushes or razor scales alone, not until Earth would return to normal from that thing in the news which upturned logistics, and that doesn’t look too likely to be honest. We’ve got the pieces we’ve got left of those types of things, and that’s it.
It was and is a terrific little brush; between all the various handles for this ‘Klassik’ 20mm knot we’ve sold hundreds and hundreds of them over >9yrs and never once had a complaint of shedding, which I will partially attribute to 1) modest density given that these hair strands have thick bottoms 2) the machined-into-handle knots always have less problems than hand-set knots that don’t have that exposed ‘ringlet’, regardless of which brand’s involved 3) they make shaving and other brushes as their only living and we believe any firm, China or otherwise, that does nothing but make brushes under one name for many years will have the competence not to screw you and the dignity to back up their name if anything goes wrong.
Their stuff with this knot, we can still import for you (precisely twenty-four at a time in a box all by their lonesome), because laying off the UPS etc. overheads on twenty-four of those isn’t as obvious to your penny-pinching rat bastard wallet (you cheap bastard). But that’ll be it.
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Six Different Handle Options Available
The Rein Dachs Klassik knots came with various handles for your pleasure. This Nussbaumholz model denotes a buffed walnut handle with four flat facets and gold ringlet to cap the knot.
A Manifesto All About the Klassik Knot
The “Rein Dachs Klassik” knot is a stiffer, springier type of hair and knot design, set slightly deeper within the handle and with a shorter loft than the classically-formed 3-band “Silberspitz” designation.
While we can’t speak for all of them, these particular Germans don’t even refer to this stuff as “2-band silvertip”, because, ahem, they staunchly and declaratively decree there’s no such animal, at least not in the terms under which they evaluate the tips of their “real” (3-band) silvertip hair stock.
Many years ago they imported a couple kilos of this stuff at our request (because we believed in the US market’s infatuated with high-stability knots without scratchy tips); we sent images of competing styles from famed brands, they replied they were aware of hair with larger dark zones but didn’t believe it physically possible for hairs to have dark bands as long as we’d shown and that the hairs were thus altered with dye (while surely most are dyed, dark bands >3cm in nature must exist somewhere, one would think), they showed us what they believed was the best hair of this type according to the hair exporter they trust and have used for many decades, and we proceeded along with our purchase order – all this took place ~10yrs ago now as this prolific run-on sentence is created, with >100x pcs sold per year over all the models combined since, and zero complaints of shedding from this knot! It has never happened.
In cold German, our invoices referred to these merely as “badger, with black stripe”. Ignoring for a moment the very real influence of demand on price, in terms of what is available on the animals themselves, the so-called “2-band” hairs were and are more common than “3-band silvertip” hairs. The silvertip hairs are not as firm and are more consistent in their thickness from base to tip, allowing far more strands per unit of area at maximum, while the “2-band” hair has a certain spring and resilience intrinsic to the hair itself which allows more ‘backbone’ to any knot and more ‘flow-through’ due to the variance in their diameter from base to tip…when you can get a soft tip on a ‘2-band’ hair they truly are tough to beat, and that’s why Simpsons can command such a premium price for theirs.
These hairs are certainly pretty good. But they’re not Simpsons’ Manchurian level. They’re also not set in to the handle entirely by hand as Simpsons does on all their brushes; the weighing, gathering, filling, tying, and gluing of the knots is all 100% by hand for these Rein Dachs Klassiks, but thereafter the knot is set by machinery in to the handle. Removing that last step by hand is a great reduction in overhead of labor, and it does tend true that 100%-set-by-hand knots 1) have much greater risk of shedding 2) can be flexed all the way to knot/handle border without much feeling of a “glue bump”, which if you’re particular you will indeed notice on these.
What these Klassik knots remind me of are a sparser version of the now-long-deceased 2-band Simpsons ‘Best Badger’ knots, like a German competitor to the ~2009-2011 ‘2-band Best Badger’ Simpsons Special or Berkeley 46B. It is a solid homogenization of softness, spring, and scratch/itch (however you like to denote a sense of scrubbing that’s bereft of genuine prickliness). When we first carried Simpsons ~2009-2011, we were routinely receiving batches of the bread-and-butter ‘Best Badger’ hair that looked much the same as these “Klassik” hairs, at least in terms of the hair strands themselves if knot the German-vs-English knot canopy styling or handle setting (where Simpsons, in just this opinion from a man who they cut out financially to align with a straight-to-Amazon wanker, are superior). White-tipped, a little white band nearest the animal’s body rising up from the knot/handle border, with a small minority even so nice as to be completely dark at the base and completely light at the top.
Time has evolved, if not the badgers themselves, and now Simpsons’ brushes with high grade tip softness and being long enough and with a wide enough dark bands to set those knots deep and completely hide the bottom white part of the knots are unimaginably expensive. Those hairs are in a different class to this, due primarily to their enviable length to say nothing at all of that Simpsons deep and all-by-hand handle setting.
Nonetheless, while I’m proud to say that I’ve a sweet quartet of ~2009-2011 “2-band Best Badger” Simpsons brushes (Berkeley 46B, Classic CL1, Persian Jar PJ1, Harvard H2) I’ll keep forever because they cannot readily be replaced, these humble ‘Rein Dachs Klassik’ knots are the closest thing to my personal Simpsons unofficial 2-band Best Badger ~2009-2010 stash. I have many copies and they’re all consistent. They have spring, scrub, and no (for me) prickly sensations I associate to less costly badger hair. I don’t find them equal to our house brand Silberspitz knots in hair tip quality. However, I feel the same about my “2-Band Best Badger” Simpsons stock; I own many Simpson Best Badger brushes with notably softer tips than those “2-Band Best Badger” era units, and in fact I’d imagine from their hair exporter those particular ‘lucky’ Best Badger knots’ hairs would have been exported as silvertip hair if only they were longer, because they are plenty soft and white at their tips and uniformly thin/fine across their span.
Use of a brush is a complex thing, however, and the fact of the matter is these knots can lift up a hard soap and get under a harsh beard (for me) more easily than the $$$ knots can, without providing a “this is a cheaper knot” subjective feeling. That’s not to say a $$$ silvertip can’t also do that, it just isn’t it’s easiest task. These knots don’t provide a “this is a luxury knot” feeling (for me) as the Simpsons Super Badger brushes and our house brand Rein Dachs Silberspitz both certainly do, and I make the exact same ‘criticism’ of those famed old Simpsons ’09-11 “2-Band Best Badger”. But they have charm, and I am surprised they never get much forum play given that we’ve sold so many for a decade…part of buying something from this crazy store, I guess!