The Right Brush - Review
The paint brush. A timeless tool that has remained unchanged since the days of cave painting when some thick-headed caveman first wrapped the hairs from an ox tail around the end of a stick*. What is there to improve upon with a tool this basic? There's the part you hold and then there's the part that paints. On the simplicity/genius scale, it's right there along with the wheel.
So we were a little shocked when we got a glimpse of The Right Brush. What is this? A paint brush with a pistol grip? Oh, the scandal! But, faced with painting our entire house (every single room.....four walls and the ceiling....entire trim package), we happily agreed to test out the item. If The Right Brush could take even a sliver of pain away from the mind-numbing, spirit-crushing, hand-cramping, neck-aching, arm-hurting, paint-drip-frustrating, soul-destroying act of painting, then we would love the tool until the end of days.
So they sent us one. How did it do, you ask?
First a bit about the intent of the tool. Not surprisingly, the unusual design of the handle is meant to increase both comfort and control. The handle is sized well and there's even a contoured area for the thumb to rest in. While the handle is definitely shaped for one particular hold, it's not formed so aggressively that holding it other ways is uncomfortable.
The brush was designed by a man named Mark Wholey who labels himself as a "sculptor and inventor" at the Right Brush website. His artistic bent explains some of the pull quotes over at the site:
You are making something beautiful. I believe the tools you are using should be beautiful as well, for the hand, the eye, the job and give that intangible feeling of satisfaction.
I made it to be a sensuous brush to hold, even grow fond of. To mimic the act of painting. Not to throw away.
"Beautiful" and "sensuous" aren't exactly words used regularly to describe hand tools. But for all of the artistic visions, Wholey has done his homework on his design. The website not only has the standard 'testimonials' page, but also a page devoted to a URI physical therapy study that was done on the brush. You can read it here, but the jist of it is that a regular brush forces your wrist into an unnatural position, where The Right Brush lest the wrist sit in a more normal, relaxed fashion. Interesting stuff.
The brush also has a small hook on it, so you can hang it off the edge of your paint can. It's a nice touch. We need to note that you cannot open a beer with the hook. How do we know this...?
So we've used the Right Brush quite a bit over the past number of months and...well...we can't really tell much of a difference. The brush is comfortable to hold (but not as easy to shift around as a traditional brush), and that's cool. But we were expecting a situation where we'd go, "oh wow. This thing is really comfy. It feels like angels are petting my hand!" No such luck, we didn't feel anything different or any particular relief. We don't doubt all of the research or testimonials at the site, but we also don't have any record of wrist problems, so maybe we're not the target audience. To us, it was a high-end brush with a funny handle. Maybe to someone older or with carpal tunnel it might afford some relief.
The Right Brush costs $13 and can be purchased at TheRightBrush.com.
*Total fabrication. Not based on any fact at all.
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Posted by Doug Mahoney at December 6, 2012 8:09 AM