Simpson Shaving Brushes Reviewed
We thought we would take a closer look at shaving brushes made by the Simpson Company. The have been around now for almost 100 years and are based in London, where their company originated in 1919. They are still to this day best known for making all of their brushes by hand. There are very few companies who can say that with any degree of authority.
With that kind of pedigree, you can imagine that their quality is extremely high, and they have also developed a wide range of products over the years. As an avid wet shaver myself, I almost found that I had to try out one of these, so when I went looking, I did all of my usual research to see which one I would like the best. Here at the Emporium we are more than happy to share that information, with you our readers.
Before you start reading though we would like to point out that these brushes, well most of them, will set you back a pretty penny. They are in the main expensive, but for traditional wet shavers like me, they are indeed a bit of an indulgence. We would not recommend these for people starting out, and they are aimed at a certain type of dedicated wet shaver who simply wants to have the best that money can buy.
What Makes A Simpson Brush So Special?
The obvious answer is sheer quality, made by hand and with the best type of bristle that can be bought and used. The Simpson Company pride themselves on producing these products by hand and to the very highest quality. So the question is really twofold for us:
- What do actual buyers think of them?
- What should you expect to pay for them?
We will answer the second question first and these can cost as low as £20 and all the way up to £250. The determining factor that sets the price is the type of badger hair that is used. Many of the cheaper brands will use a synthetic hair, but to be honest this is a very poor substitute for the real thing. With Simpsons, you will only have badger which comes in three different grades:
- Pure – Coarse dark hair of either short or medium length
- Best – A light base with a cream coloured top and is the most popular
- Super – Long hair with a lighter tip and is the softest feel
In essence the badger hair used sets the price, and the better the hair, the more you will pay.
The answer to the first question of what buyers think, we shall answer in the reviews below. Just before we get to those we want to let you know about the different ranges available in the Simpson range.
Models of Simpson Shaving Brushes
The various models in the range include:
- Wee Scot
- Persian Jar
- Milk Churn
That is some length of list, and within each of those there are a sub set of models, so as you can see the list can get rather lengthy. Rather than try to cover off every single one in the list we decided that we should go for our top 5 best rated brushes in this range, so we have shown these below.
Simpsons Chubby 1 Best Badger HairThis one came out our number one pick, and was the one that I bought myself. It is a chubby so not great for people with small hands, but for me it was ideal. It is simply a joy to use this one. It cost me just under £85 so yes a sheer indulgence and one I got as a requested birthday present from a bewildered wife.
This one is packed to capacity with the best badger hair available and has a diameter of 45 mm and a bristly length of the same size. From top to toe the brush measures 85 mm. There is no danger of the hairs falling out of this one as it is so well made. These brushes are iconic of shaving and when you hold this one in your hand, you will know why.
Simpsons Special Pure Badger Hair Shaving BrushThis one is affordable at under £20, so we picked this one for our number two choice. There are a few of these brushes at this type of price point, and after reading the many reviews, we opted for this model. It uses pure bristle hair and it is a well packed brush which measures 90 mm in length, with 40 mm of that being the length of the bristles.
Buyers at Amazon rated this one at only 3.8 out of 5 stars, but please note there are only 4 reviews. One thing that we think is worth noting is that some buyers do complain that Simpson brushes are a little harder on the face, that what they may be used to. This is true with the entire range that they produce. Ultimately it comes down to the fact that they are using only real badger hair.
For £20 we think that this one is worth trying and you can always say that you own a proper and well recognised brand of brush.
Simpsons Wee Scot Best BadgerThe name alone on this one almost tempts you in to trying this one out. Again at around £28-30, we thought that this one could be affordable for many of our readers. As you know ivory can no longer be used to make products, so fake ivory is used. We think however it is as close a look to ivory as you will find.
It uses “Best” badger hair and has a total length of 70 mm with half of that being the bristle length. It gets ratings of 4.3 so that is where we would expect this one to be. It is a small chubby type brush so not for large hands, but fits beautifully into a small or average sized hand.
This is also ideal if you want a good travelling brush as this will fit comfortably into any washing kit or set that you might have.
Simpsons Berkeley 46 Pure Badger HairThis one is also priced at the £28-30 mark, and we think it is really good value for money. It uses pure badger hair and measures 90 mm in length with half of that being the bristles. This one has a nice balance to it and is a popular choice for a high quality product.
This one is softer than many and is ideal for using with a good quality shaving cream. You could use soap as well, but from all the reviews that we have read, it just works way better with a cream. Just bear that in mind if you prefer to use a soap and avoid this one.
If you are a soap user, you will know that you need a stiff brush to work up a good lather. This one is in our opinion too soft to do that, but is soft on the face, if you are a cream or gel user.
Simpsons Chubby 2 Best Badger HairLast but not least is another in the chubby range. Warning this one is only for those who can afford it and you should expect to pay anything between £100-120 for the pleasure. It is however one of the best that you will ever buy. It is 95 mm long with a fully packed 50 mm of best badger hair.
You will be quite literally stunned by the amount of water this brush can hold. When it comes to creating a lather, this one is hard to beat, but as you can see, you pay for that pleasure. Ideal for the connoisseur of shaving, and also makes a super quality gift for someone who would appreciate the indulgence.
So there you have it, our summary and review of the great range of brushes that are available from the Simpson Company based in London, England.