First off, this brush is STIFF. I own several brushes, made from Boar and various grades of Badger, but this is easily the stiffest one in my collection. That being said, even before breaking-in, the bristles aren't uncomfortably scratchy or prickly. It easily bites right into hard pucks of soap, but it's still gentle enough to pull creams directly out of the container without overloading the bristles. Because of the impressive backbone, the 2030-b is fantastic for face lathering. The bristles don't splay out much, so there's very little "floppiness" when building or spreading lather. This lack of flop, combined with the relatively short loft, prevents your lather from disappearing down into the knot like some of the loftier boar brushes. Take the other reviews about lather "dying out" too quickly with a grain of salt, as I've easily gotten 2-3 passes without needing to reload. Like the description mentions, the handle seems to be made of solid metal. It's heavy, but comfortable to hold and easy to grip. The overall build quality is outstanding, and it feels as sturdy as brushes that cost far more. Quality brush at a great price. You really can't go wrong with this one.