Shaving Brush Review: Simpson Classic 1 Manchurian

Ah, Simpson. Every serious wet-shaver knows Simpson brushes. Still constructed in England on the Isle of Man, Simpson is the brush to beat. And what causes even more interest than Simpsons? Why, the elusive and obscenely expensive Manchurian hair offered by Simpson.


  • 20mm actual, 21.5mm at the base
  • 46.5mm loft
  • 86mm total height
  • CNC Lathe turned acrylic resin handle 39mm high
  • 46 grams

Initial Thoughts

I’ll be honest, I think Simpson brushes are a very poor value for your dollar. I also have my doubts about what makes this Manchurian hair so unique, so rare, and so popular. But, it cannot be denied that the Classic is a classic. And in Manchurian hair, this brush looks fantastic!


Okay, this is where all the controversy is. How this hair feels on your face. Everyone seems to agree that this hair is scrubby. I agree. The differing opinions seem to be about whether the scrub is too much or Goldilocks just right. What I can tell you is that the hairs are not horrible. I hesitate to say it is silvertip soft, but it certainly is an experience.

Perhaps it is best to compare the hairs to some other two bands. The hair is about as soft or probably softer than Semogue SOC 2 band. The difference between the SOC & the Manchurian hair is that the Manchurian hair is scrubby, yet somehow feels soft. The SOC is soft, but when you feel the scritch, it feels like scritch/scratch. The Manchurian hair feels like an exfoliating scrub. It is definitely softer than one example of the same brush in 2 band super (manufacture date unknown). However, I think that 2 band hair had very poor feel on my face. Comparing it to the Vie Long 2 band I reviewed earlier, it is not as soft.

The brush definitely has some backbone. The Classic has less density and no glue bump, which means the hairs have more play. My final verdict for this brush in this hair is: soft, but scrubby. Definitely exfoliating. It will be up to you as to whether you like this. The bottom line is that the brush is scrubby. If your face cannot handle the scrub for two passes, this is not the brush for you. But if you want to feel like you are really (and I mean REALLY) exfoliating when you’re lathering, then this is the hair for you. My face can withstand the onslaught, but this is definitely not an everyday brush for me. Still, it is an interesting hair.


The brush is of good density and the flow through is excellent. As described above, there is no glue bump above the handle. The hairs are able to move about freely in the small knot.


Not much to say here other than well made Simpson. Well made. No noticeable flaws on this brush.

Final Thoughts

The Classic 1 is a handsome brush. The Classic 1 in Manchurian may well be the perfect travel brush. A very expensive travel brush, but a great brush nonetheless.

The Manchurian hair is a unique hair. It has yet to be replicated by another manufacturer. It does require some break in, but it does get softer. Is it for you? Maybe.

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