The Omega 10048 – aka the Omega 48, Omega Pro, and/or Pro 48 – was the first “real” shaving brush I was exposed to after using an old Body Shop brush for a decade. The one I got was part of a Starter Kit I bought from Barbershop.no, and the box it came it was branded Proraso. The brush itself bears no re-branding, but proudly proclaimed itself to be an Omega boar brush.
The brush is of good quality manufacture, and should last a lifetime if properly looked after. I have no idea what grade of boar it is – I’m really not all that knowledgeable when it comes to boar brushes. What I can tell is that it looks like the hairs have been bleached, the knot has plenty of backbone and is not all that scratchy. It is also a big knot – the biggest in my small rotation – and a big handle… almost too big for my hand.
The knot is, as mentioned, bleached boar bristles. It’s a 28mm knot with a 70mm loft, but thanks to the solid backbone it’s not in the least bit floppy. The handle is chromed plastic and fairly light – meaning the balance of the brush is firmly towards the knot end of things. And speaking of the handle, I was expecting the chromed plastic to be pretty slippery, but to my pleasant surprise I have found that I can get a great grip on the brush even with wet fingers.
Various places online touts the Omega 48 as the preferred brush of professional barbers in Italy; and as much lather it’ll hold I can easily see why. At the same time the things that makes this an excellent brush for lathering someone else makes it – for me at least – a less perfect brush for shaving one self. The sheer size makes it somewhat awkward to use – I feel like I am applying lather with a straight elbow – and the balance makes it less optimal for applying lather. The size also means I can’t use it for making lather in my favorite Turkish copper bowl, but luckily I have a back up in the cereal bowl from IKEA The size of it also means I simply can’t face lather with it; my goatee gets in the way.
The Omega 48 isn’t a bad brush, far from it. It’ll whip anything you’ll throw at it into lather, be it a soft cream or a rock hard soap. But it is a BIG brush; from base to tip it clocks in at 133mm. If you’re in the marked for a boar brush and you like ’em big, the Omega 48 will get you lots of brush at a reasonable price.
As an aside, I see that Omega also sells the 10049 – an ever so slightly smaller brush than the 10048 but with a handle that’s coloured either red, black or white. It might be an option for those who find the chrome to be a little too much.