For the price this is a great starter brush. Like all animal hair shaving brushes, you want to shampoo it with pet shampoo a couple times before use. Now, the wooden handle on two that I ordered were splitting after their first time getting wet. The handle still stays intact, and I'm practical, so a little bit of JB weld in the crack keeps me happy--just let it dry before using it to shave. Fantastic brush though. Get this, and if you feel like you need to move up, seek out an Omega brush, their cheapest one runs from 8-14 and can be found in Italian supermarkets that carry Proraso cream (also recommended).