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Wooster Alpha. 'Nuff said,
not nearly 'nuff...

...depends on what you're using it for. Looks very soft.

Probably great for smooth finishes, less great for cutting in, and not good at all for exterior.

Have you tested the long-term clean-up? Does it clean up like Nylon or Poly (which tends to collect paint near the ferrule and eventually starts splaying the bristles?), or have excellent clean-up properties like Chinex (which can be used in 90 degree weather all day, and still clean up without paint residue.)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do mostly interior and use them on walls. They cut in great and go a long way with one dip. Clean up is easy. I first tried them looking for something to push Ben Moore paints and worked very well. I tried a Wooster chinex a few years back and tips would bend out of shape at about 1/8 inch.
 

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I do mostly interior and use them on walls. They cut in great and go a long way with one dip. Clean up is easy. I first tried them looking for something to push Ben Moore paints and worked very well. I tried a Wooster chinex a few years back and tips would bend out of shape at about 1/8 inch.
I would send you an E&J but your in canada. Take a trip south sometime and pick one up from me.
 

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I had a period of time where the alphas were the bee's knees. I've eventually went back to the Ultra Pro Linbecks and Sables. They seem to clean up easier.

Alpha is a decent brush, though.
 

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I picked up one alpha to try it out. Clean up easily. Does hold a lot of paint. But I found cutting with it to be like trying to cut with a whisk broom. (I'm not a taper, if that says anything). I usually pull it out for priming when I don't have to do serious cutting and want quick-ish cleanup.
 

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Alphas were my favorite brush for years, I've been converted to the Picasso but I still buy Alphas when I can't get a Picasso. I think the Alpha actually works pretty good for exteriors and definitely interior. They're pretty firm and can cut in and hold their shape ,unlike my experience with Purdys, even on rougher exterior surface.
 

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Alphas were my favorite brush for years, I've been converted to the Picasso but I still buy Alphas when I can't get a Picasso. I think the Alpha actually works pretty good for exteriors and definitely interior. They're pretty firm and can cut in and hold their shape ,unlike my experience with Purdys, even on rougher exterior surface.
Have you tried any E&J?
 

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Have you tried any E&J?
I found this really interesting:
"With 214 years experience it is safe to say E&J has mastered the art of brush making! Elder & Jenks the nation’s oldest continuously operating brush and roller maker opened its doors in 1793." (although recently acquired by WHIZZ?)


In order to compare apples to apples, I argue that we need to know which bristles we are talking about first, Different Bristles are designed for different paints, and applications. Obviously natural bristle with oils and synthetic bristles for water based, softer bristles create smooth surfaces, stiffer bristles cut straighter lines. There are dozens of synthetic filaments on the market, which ones are we talking about?

Start there and then break down the brush construction into other desirable elements (ie., Birch, Alder, and Maple handles; stainless vs. Copper ferrules, etc...).

edit:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have you tried any E&J?
Have not tried E and J. I am in Canada and shipping rates are crazy from US. I get the Alpha's on Amazon Canada when the shipping is free . Most of the time it isn't for some reason and is really high. Home Depot in Canada has some Woosters after ditching Purdy which I tried and were crap. They offer a Chinex which is pretty good. Different from one I had bought online. Maybe they are made just for Home Depot.
 

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I found this really interesting:
"With 214 years experience it is safe to say E&J has mastered the art of brush making! Elder & Jenks the nation’s oldest continuously operating brush and roller maker opened its doors in 1793." (although recently acquired by WHIZZ?)


In order to compare apples to apples, I argue that we need to know which bristles we are talking about first, Different Bristles are designed for different paints, and applications. Obviously natural bristle with oils and synthetic bristles for water based, softer bristles create smooth surfaces, stiffer bristles cut straighter lines. There are dozens of synthetic filaments on the market, which ones are we talking about?

Start there and then break down the brush construction into other desirable elements (ie., Birch, Alder, and Maple handles; stainless vs. Copper ferrules, etc...).

edit:
The closest to wooster alpha would be the GenY Tynex/Orel. Very similar to corona cortez.
wooster chinex is ok, genX is better by a mile
 

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I have many posts here on PT, singing the praises of Wooster Alphas. For years I thought they were the bees knees. Great pickup & release, firm enough to push thicker products but still soft enough to use to tip-off, washes out as easily as any brush I've ever used, doesn't get all wonky after you wash it and place it back in the cover, and holds its' edge throughout the duration of the paint stroke. I think a lot of the criticisms were from people trying to use it for something which it is was never designed to do. It doesn't have the finely flagged & chiseled tips that taper to a point, so I wouldn't try to use it for painting divided light French Pane window grids. That said, I think a lot of folks who criticized the lack of taper weren't pre-wetting before using, which I've always thought was key to using these sort of brushes with synthetic filaments in order to get and keep a tapered edge on the brush throughout the day.

If I needed to cut a laser beam, I'd just switch to a nylon/poly sash brush. I pretty much figured that this was as good as it got, at least until I tried E & J's Gen X. Take a look at any online images of the that brush and notice how fine the filaments are at the end. It's painting wizardry that allows something so soft & fine to still be firm enough to push around some of the more viscous paints. For length of cut-in with a single dip of the brush, I'd give the Alpha a 9.5 and the E & J Gen X an 8. For all other things paint & brush related, the Gen X dominates over the Alphas. No more having to switch brushes when you need production AND precision. The Gen X cleans up just as well, the pickup & release is even better than the Alpha, it can more easily work in tight spots, and the Gen X is exponentially more capable of achieving a smoother finish with less brush strokes. I still use plenty of Alphas, but only for tasks that I can't bare to put my Gen X's through.

I'm not saying it's a better brush for you. I'm saying it's a better brush for me. One thing I've learned is that painters can be very passionate about their brushes, and it seems the longer our love affair with certain brushes, the harder it is to admit that there may actually be something better out there. JMHO. Opinions will vary. The best brush for your situation right now might not be the best brush for my situation right now. It's entirely subjective and dependent upon what we want and expect from the brush, as well as our own individual painting style, our hand shape & size, and the products we're trying to use with them.

I purchased a case of 24 E & J Gen X 2.5" Angled Sash Brushes from @cocomonkeynuts a while back after I conveyed my disdain for not being able to find any local paint stores that would keep them in stock. I got the case for cheaper than I could find online anywhere too. He actually sent me the entire case before ever receiving the payment, which I believe is a testament to his character. If you find yourself wanting to stray from your long time love affair with your brush, consider an affair with the Gen X, and if you can't find them locally, you could try and contact him to see what he could do.
 

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I have not tried E&J, after reading through this thread I might need to though. Don't believe I've ever seen any around here
E&J are found at local Ben Moore stores in the PNW, though switched packaging to the new company name of Whizz.
I was buying E&J and Corona and giving them away to fellow painters, across the country, Canada and Australia, until the last one was gone here... then I picked up some Whizz models... not as exciting now to have a Whizz compared to a real E&J (Gen X, or Y). Never cared for the "N" nylon one personally.

Wooster Alphas were a big disappointment after 1 use every time. They don't cut well. Bristles turn to crud and they become rigid.
If you haven't tried a Proform Blaze 3" Oval I highly suggest those!!! They hold and release SO much paint it's effortless. Find them at painterssolutions dot com (Good company).
Another neat one is the Allpro Monet 3" oval. It's like a Picasso but thicker, and with a hardwood handle.
 
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