Help With Picking the Best Shaving Brush

An Introduction To Shaving Brushes

Shaving brushes cost anything from as cheap as £5 and all the way up to the top of the range of around £225. The average price though for a good quality shaving brush is about £15-25.

They are made by companies like Edwin Jagger, Wilkinson Sword, Vulflix, Proraso and Bluebeard.

At the higher end you are paying that extra money for what the brush is made of, in terms of quality of bristle, quality of wood, and the addition of either ebony or precious metals.

They are made by companies like Simpsons and Thiers Issard. These are a bit of an indulgence for sure. Now let's get back to normality.

For the normal wet shaver though those would be an extravagance, and well out of the price range of most people. They price on between £50-200 depending on which model you go for.

Top 5 Shaving Brushes

if you don't have the time to read our extensive reviews below, then we have put together our top 5 list, of the highest buyer rated shaving brushes. That will quickly show you the best available in the market.

Rank

Brand

Type

Amazon

1

Boar Bristle

2

Edwin Jagger Best Badger Hair Shaving Brush

Badger Hair

3

Edwin Jagger Pure Badger Shaving Brush

Badger Hair

4

Progress Vulfix 404 Grosvenor

Mixed Boar & Badger

5

Kent Pure Badger Grey Bristle Shaving Brush

Badger Hair

No 1 Choice - Black Omega 49 Professional Pure Bristle Shaving Brush Review

We have done a short review on this number one choice just below. This one has an average RRP of around £10.99, and gets a 94% buyer satisfaction level. That is an excellent rating, and the reason it is placed so high in our table.

Its is made in Italy, and when we look at the many shaving forums online, this is the choice of many experienced wet shavers in the UK.

This one uses boar bristles, and the handle is made from a very tough plastic, that is long and has a great grip. (73 mm long)

The bristles are also long at 55 mm, so it has an overall length of 128 mm.

The black colour on the handle has an egg shell look to it, and the logo can be removed if you don't want that showing.

No 2 Choice - Edwin Jagger Best Badger Hair Shaving Brush with Drip Stand Review

We have done a short review on this number two choice just below. This one has an average RRP of around £35.50, and gets a 90% buyer satisfaction level. That is a very good rating, and it combines a brush and stand.

Normally you can get this one online at a better price than the RRP.

This one is classed as a medium sized brush, and this one uses badger hair for the bristles.

The handle is made from an imitation ivory, and the drip stand has been made to match the handle.

This one is a very popular choice with UK buyers.

The black colour on the handle has an egg shell look to it, and the logo can be removed if you don't want that showing.

No 3 Choice - Edwin Jagger Pure Badger Shaving Brush Review

This is another brush from the Ediwn Jagger brand, and this time it is made from an imitation ebony, which we think  gives this brush a nice bit of character. It has an RRP of £21.00 and buyers rate this one at 86% satisfaction.

Normally you can get this one online at a better price than the RRP.

This one is best suited for anyone starting out with wet shaving, and have not used a brush before.

It has a moulded plastic handle so no danger of rotting. This one also does a very good and fast job of lathering up a soap.

The brush is large with soft bristles and it is very comfortable to hold. Like most shaving brushes, there is a slight smell to them when they are bought new. Worry not, this goes after a few uses. This one also holds the water really well.

No 4 Choice - Progress Vulfix 404 Grosvenor Review

This is the biggest selling brush on the list, and does get an average buyer rating of 90%, which is a very good score to achieve and maintain. It has an RRP of £14.49 so that should be affordable enough for most people.

Normally you can get this one online at a better price than the RRP.

It is an interesting choice as it combines both badger hair and boar hair, and has a very smooth and sophisticated handle.

This one is 10 cm long and weighs 100 grams, and has a flat bottom. overall it is classed as a small brush.

This is one that I bought around 2 years ago, and I do like it. More often than not I use this one for travelling, mainly because of its smaller size. It is well made and like many brushes, does take a bit of breaking in.

Produces a good lather though as the mix of hairs, holds a lot of water.

No 5 Choice - Kent Pure Badger Grey Bristle Shaving Brush Review

This is a higher end brush with badger grey bristles, and forms part of the Kent Shaving range. It is a medium sized brush that has an RRP of £39.99. Overall it gets a buyer satisfaction rating of 86%.

If you are thinking of buying someone a shaving brush as a gift, then this one would be one of the better choices.

As you can see it comes in a pretty cool and classy looking red and gold coloured cylindrical case.

The grey badger hair is slightly coarser than the normal silver tip badger hair, making this a good choice for those with tougher stubble.

We think this is one for those men who have what we call rougher beards. Don't buy this type of brush for anyone who has sensitive skin.

So those would be the top 5 that we would recommend based on price, and a high buyer satisfaction rating. You can of course buy more expensive models of these, and they will be higher quality.

That said, if you are looking at a first brush, then anyone of these will give you a good shaving experience, as they all hold the lather well, and that is good for creating a rich lather for wet shaving.

Why Bother With A Shaving Brush At All?

If you are making the move to traditional shaving, then you will be using a safety razor, or a straight blade razor  If that is the case, then you will be using either a shaving cream shaving soap.

We discussed the difference in these two in another article which you can read by clicking here.

So we can either go with the cream, and simply rub that in by hand, or we can decide to use a shaving brush. If you have decided on soap, then you will also need a brush, as shaving soap and the hand don't really work.

Benefits of Using A Shaving Brush

First up, we here at the Shaving Emporium just believe they are good fun to use. Not only that, but they also look good, especially if they are hung on a shaving stand.

What Do You Use a Shaving Brush For?

They look manly around the home, and they say just a little something about the owner. We think that they are a nice touch for a man to have in the bathroom.

Now that of course is all well and good, but do you really need one to have a good shave? If you want to get a really good lather on your soap or cream, then a brush with good bristles, will infuse the soap or cream with water, which is needed for a creamy lather.

You can of course still do this by hand, but a brush simply does a much better job.

Now you have to apply the lather to your face. The bristles of the shaving brush do this while at the same time, help exfoliate the skin, and remove any dead cells. This makes for softer and smoother looking skin that just looks a great deal healthier.

Finally it serves its prime purpose, which is to raise up the facial hair, making it more open to the blade that will soon come along and remove it.

For us here at the Emporium, a wet shave without a brush, is like eating ice cream without a cone. It is we believe a key part in the entire wet shaving process.

Just think of the difference. Some "squirty foam" out of a can rubbed on your face by hand, OR, a quality shaving cream, well lathered and pushed into your bristle by a badger hair brush

Which one does the better job and is better for your skin? As Holmes would say, Elementary my dear Watson."

What Are The Parts of A good Quality Shaving Brush?

You will already know just by looking at them, that there are only two parts; the handle and the bristles. Of these, the bristles are what really matters. They are the major factor in just how good a shave you will manage to have. The handle, providing it is of a decent quality, will simply be the appearance and just how the brush will feel in your hand.

How the bristles are joined to the handle is important, because if that is poorly done, then the bristles will start to fall out. Really cheap £5 shaving brushes all have that problem, and we would recommend that you avoid those like the plague.

What Is The Best Hair for a Shaving Brush?

Let's Talk Bristles

This is yet another thing the shaving purists fight over. For us here at the Emporium, it is not a major stumbling block.

There are basically three types:

  • Badger Hair
  • Boar Bristle
  • Synthetic

Our advice is to not consider a synthetic bristle brush as although they work ok, they are not great. They do come slightly cheaper than buying a natural hair one, but they feel horrible.

We just don't like them or rate them. Boar hair is a very good choice if you have a very big wallet, so we would avoid those as well. You can find the odd brush that uses boar hair, and is well priced, but they are rare.

Almost all good brushes costing around an average £20-25 are made from badger hair which does a fabulous job. if you are a beginner to wet shaving, or a returning shaver, then we strongly recommend buying one around this type of price range.

We have a full article written on badger hair shaving brushes only, which you can read by clicking here.

Anything cheaper is poor quality and anything more expensive is an indulgence.

Now we do feel obliged to issue a warning here. If you make the decision to buy your first shaving brush, you will buy more. It is addictive and you have now been warned.

While writing this article I did a quick count of how many I had bought - the answer 17. So as I said, you have been warned. I also have a different article on the best shaving brush for travelling and holidays.  

Tip If Buying Your First Shaving Brush

Badger hair works best as it can absorb large amounts of water, and yet it retains a nice strong bristle, that can raise up the hairs on your face. This is a tried and tested hair that has been in use since the 18th Century and no-one has found a better replacement yet. 

So our main recommendation when it comes to buying a brush, is to make sure that it uses badger hair, and we then know you will not be disappointed.

Let's Talk Handles

As we mentioned earlier handles are made from different materials, and they also come in different sizes. In terms of size, these will either be short handles, or long handles. Some men like the short or "stubby" handles as they can make smaller motions when building up a lather.

Other men like the longer handle as it can then rest in the palm of your hand. My own preference is the short handle but each person will have their own preferences.

Once you have made that decision, then it comes down to the weight, colour and type of handle you like the look of. Tradition would dictate a light wood, but there are so many other nice looking finishes about, that settling on one can be difficult.

I guess that explains, why I have 17 and no doubt more to come.

Which Shaving Brush Will You Pick?

There are lots of choices across a whole range of brands. If you don't like those on our list, then why not have a look at everything that is available, by clicking on the link just below.

You can see from the information above, that there are plenty of brushes to pick from. I started out with a wooden one and then tried one of the newer materials, which was like a hard black plastic. I did however revert back to wood as I just find that more traditional.

So that concludes our reviews of what we believe to be the best shaving brushes around the market in the UK at the moment.

How Long Does A Shaving Brush Last?

I am sure you have heard the old question, "How long is a piece of string?" Now I know that doesn't help a great deal, but allow me to explain myself a little more.

It really simply depends on three things:

  1. The quality of the brush
  2. How often it is used
  3. How well it is looked after

Now let me try and narrow that down for you, just to give you a sense of how long the average brush will last. A brush with normal badger hair, if hung up properly to dry on a stand (Hairs down of course) and used daily, will last for about 10-15 years.

If only used at the weekends, it will probably last a lifetime. As I mentioned I have quite a collection of these, and I have only ever had to throw out one. That was from the early days, when I didn't hang it up.

I left it sitting with the hair upwards on the shelf in front of the sink. It had a wooden handle, and where the hairs met the handle, effectively started to rot. Then the hairs started to fall out, and it was useless.

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Enda
 

Male Grooming is more important now than ever. In today’s modern society in the UK, men really do want to look their best, and spend a lot of time on their appearance. Here at the Shaving Emporium my team do all the research work, so as you don’t have to waste your time searching, for the best health and grooming products.

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