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Best Shaving Brush for the Money - For a close quality shave

Thanks for taking your time to read out information and reviews on the best shaving brushes, that are currently available on the UK marketplace. Making the move to a shaving brush is something that men consider, when they are in the process of making the move to wet shaving, or "real shaving" as it is better known.

You can apply shaving soap or shaving creams by hand, but nothing does it as well or as efficiently as a good quality shaving brush. Your dad, and most definitely your grandfather will have made use of one of these, and suffice to say that the best barbers still use these every single day.

Here at the Emporium, we believe that proper wet shaving needs to be done using a brush and either a DE safety razor or a straight razor.

Shaving brushes have been around for longer than most of us have lived. They are certainly considered "old school," or as we prefer to call it traditional.

They are made from two pieces, the handle and the hairs on the brush. In the old days handles were either made from wood or from ivory. Ivory is of course not allowed to be used for obvious reasons, so many manufacturers now use imitation ivory, which works perfectly well and offers a very nice style.

When it comes to deciding on which one is where most people have their first big problem.

There are a lot of options when it comes to shaving brushes, and below you will find our top 10 list, which we have based on those that get the best buyer reviews. That way you can pick the one for you knowing that, it is highly rated by actual users.

Top 10 Quick Guide

Rank

Product Name

Brief Description

Amazon Availability

1

Well Groomed Wizard Shaving Brush

  • 94% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Synthetic brush
  • Comes with a travel case

2

Synthetic Shaving Brush By PimplePopper.co

  • 94% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Vegan friendly shaving brush
  • 30 day money back guarantee

3

Black Omega 49 Professional Pure Bristle Shaving Brush

  • 92% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Made in Italy
  • Pure Boar Hair

4

Progress Vulfix 660S Large Super Badger shaving brush

  • 92% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Injection moulded handle
  • Badger Hair

5

Progress Vulfix 404 Grosvenor Mixed Badger and Boar Bristle Shaving Brush

  • 90% buyer satisfaction rating
  • BIGGEST SELLER ONLINE
  • Lathe turned handle

6

Everpert Badger Hair Men's Shaving Brush

  • 90% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Wooden Handle
  • Badger Hair

7

Mini Travel Shaving Brush with Travel Case - Benny's of London

  • 90% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Comes with a hard case
  • Synthetic Hair

8

Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush with Drip Stand

  • 88% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Handle - Imitation Ivory or Ebony
  • Badger Hair

9

GRUTTI Shaving Brush 100% Pure Badger Hair

  • 88% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Metal Handle
  • Badger Hair

10

PRORASO Pure Bristle Shaving Brush

  • 88% buyer satisfaction rating
  • Thermoplastic Handle
  • Boar Hair

Before You Buy - Top 5 Buying Tips

Just before checking out the main reviews, we have provided a few tips just below on shaving brush selection, that we think will help you make the best choice.

  1. Don't spend a fortune - This is true when starting out as a beginner. Any of the brushes on our list above will get you started. When you have had some experience then you can try out more expensive brushes.
  2. Think Hair Type - Boar and badger do mean killing the animal which some people will not like. If that is the case then horse hair (taken from the tail) or a synthetic brush work perfectly well.
  3. Size of Brush - You will hear some fancy terms when it comes to describing the size of a brush (loft, knot and overall height). We explain those later but for now, you simply want the handle of the brush to fit snugly in your hand. The simple rule to follow is the bigger the brush the easier it is to use and the better lather you can make
  4. Losing Hair - Always be aware that shaving brushes will lose some hair in use. What you want to avoid is what is called shedding. Cheaper brushes do tend to do that so always check the buyer reviews
  5. Handle Types - People like different handles. Almost always this changes the appearance and the weight of the brush. You can get handles in wood, synthetic materials, metal and horn. It is really a matter of personal look and appearance.

Top 10 Shaving Brush Reviews

Just below you will find concise reviews of the top 10 shaving brushes, that are available in the UK. We have listed those showing those that have got the best reviews and ratings from online buyers.

1. Well Groomed Wizard Shaving Brush, Synthetic Badger Hair with Travel Case (Best Synthetic)

Well Groomed Wizard Shaving Brush review

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  • This is an animal-free product that is vegan friendly and performs very well
  • Synthetic hair
  • Handle is made from black acrylic
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 94%
  • 79% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Comes in a clear plastic case with a lid

PROS

  • Some buyers were worried about using a synthetic brush, but they really liked the feel of this one
  • Buyers liked the fact that there was no bristle loss
  • Buyers thought this one was great value for money

CONS

  • A few buyers said it felt a little stiff

2. Synthetic Shaving Brush By PimplePopper.co: Vegan-Friendly Shave Brush With Synthetic Bristles

Synthetic Shaving Brush review

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  • This is a synthetic animal-free product that is vegan friendly​
  • Has Synthetic hair
  • Handle is made from black acrylic
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 94%
  • 86% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • 30 day money back guarantee and 1 year warranty
  • Overall length - 11 cms, handle length - 5.4 cms, bristle length - 5.4 cms

PROS

  • The majority of buyers thought that the bristles were stiff yet still soft on the skin which they liked
  • Those using badger hair before preferred this one for shaving
  • Buyers said it makes a great lather and is very good when using harder soaps

CONS

  • The handle is thicker than most brushes and some buyers struggled to find a stand that would fit this brush

3. Black Omega 49 Professional Pure Bristle Shaving Brush (Best Pure Bristle)

Black Omega 49 Professional Pure Bristle Shaving Brush review

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  • This is a one of the biggest sellers on the UK market
  • Uses pure boar bristle
  • Handle is made from ABS thermoplastic
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 92%
  • 76% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • Bristle Length: 65 mm
  • Bristle Diameter: 27 mm
  • Overall Length: 128 mm
  • Handle Length: 73 mm

PROS

  • Buyers said this is a firmer brush and does scrub the skin a little which they liked a lot
  • Buyers liked the tall bristles and said they could hold a lot of lather
  • Buyers say this does not loose many bristles
  • Buyers say this one work really well with just a little amount of shaving cream

CONS

  • The thicker handle can make buying stands an issue

4. Progress Vulfix 660S Large Super Badger shaving brush (Best Super Badger)

Progress Vulfix 660S Large Super Badger shaving brush review

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  • This is a one of the more expensive brushes and is made from super badger hair
  • Handle is made from ​an injected mould
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 92%
  • 63% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • Hand made in England
    Total Height: 103 mm
  • Bristle Loft: 52 mm
  • Knot Diameter: 20 mm
  • Versatile brush

PROS

  • Most buyers say this creates a great lather especially when using a shaving cream
  • Buyers also used this with soaps though they stated that boar brushes are better with soap
  • Buyers say this is a very versatile brush
  • Buyers said this had great water retention and a nice loft

CONS

  • Some buyers said that the handle lets the brush down but the hair is really good

5. Progress Vulfix 404 Grosvenor Mixed Badger and Boar Bristle Shaving Brush (Best Mixed Hair)

Progress Vulfix 404 Grosvenor Mixed Badger and Boar Bristle Shaving Brush review

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  • This is one of the biggest sellers online
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 90%
  • 76% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • Best of both hair types to make a versatile and good all round brush
  • Handle height: 53 mm
  • Overall brush height: 103 mm
  • Knot diameter (At base): 23 mm

PROS

  • Buyers said this was great value from a well respected brand and a good quality set of hairs on the brush
  • Buyers said the handle had a really nice shape and the bristles were strong and well stacked
  • Buyers said that this one worked well with soap or cream
  • Buyers say the bristles do get a little softer with use

CONS

  • Some buyers complained about the number of bristles this brush lost when in use
  • A few buyers complained about the smell when it is first new

6. Everpert Badger Hair Men's Shaving Brush (Cheapest Brush)

no 6 rated shaving brush

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  • Wooden handle
  • Badger Hair
  • Measures 110*40*32 mm
  • Buyer Satisfaction rating 90%
  • 77% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • 5% of all buyers gave this a bad review
  • A good choice if you want to try out a shaving brush and see what the fuss is all about

PROS

  • Buyers said this was great value for money
  • Buyers were surprised that the quality was so good for such a low price
  • Most buyers said they had no issue with hairs falling out

CONS

  • A couple of buyers said this was low quality and doesn't hold the water well

7. Mini Travel Shaving Brush with Travel CASE - Benny's of London (Best Travel Brush)

Mini Travel Shaving Brush review

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  • This ​brush is good for home use but also an excellent choice for traveling
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 90%
  • 87% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • This is a synthetic hair brush
  • Overall brush height: 85 mm
  • Handle height 42.5 mm
  • Hair length 42.5 mm
  • Comes with a hard protected case ideal for travel
  • Comes with a 100% money back guarantee

PROS

  • Buyers said that this is a smaller brush than a standard size, but it is perfect for travel as it doesn't take up too much room
  • Buyers liked the bristles on this brush
  • Buyers loved this brush for taking on holidays

CONS

  • A couple of buyers received damaged goods

8. Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush with Drip Stand

Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush with drip stand

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  • This is another big seller online
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 88%
  • 70% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • Available in small, medium and large sizes (medium shown)
  • Has badger hair
  • The handle is either imitation ivory or imitation ebony
  • Dimensions vary by size selected
  • Handmade and superbly styled by Edwin Jagger in Sheffield, England
  • Comes with a matching drip stand

PROS

  • Buyers said that the way the brush is shaped, and the soft firm bristles make a nice comfortable contact with the skin
  • Buyers stated that this brush created a very good lather very quickly
  • Buyers thought that the drip stand was very useful

CONS

  • The main complaint about this is that it starts to lose hairs over time

9. GRUTTI Shaving Brush 100% Pure Badger Hair

GRUTTI Shaving Brush review

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  • This is an affordable 100% pure badger hair brush
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 88%
  • 68% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • Metal handle with a very nice looking chrome finish
  • Absorbent brush
  • Good water retention and softness
  • Can be hard to find a stand to fit this one

PROS

  • Buyers said that they thought this was good value for money
  • Buyers liked the feel of this brush and they also said it had a nice weight to it

CONS

  • A couple of buyers said the chrome on the handle started to wear

10. PRORASO Pure Bristle Shaving Brush

Proraso Professional Boar Hair Shaving Brush review

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  • This is one of the biggest selling boar brushes online
  • Buyer satisfaction rating 88%
  • 66% of all buyers gave this a 5 star review
  • Best used with a shaving soap
  • Used by barbers throughout the UK
  • Overall Length: 130 mm
  • Handle Length: 65 mm
  • Bristle Length: 55 mm

PROS

  • If you like the stiffer and firmer boar hair, then this is the one to buy
  • Buyers said that this is very well made
  • Buyers love the way that this works with good shaving soap

CONS

  • Some buyers said the brush started to lose hair after a few months

What Does a Shaving Brush Do?

  • Helps make a rich creamy lather - A brush is the best shaving tool to create a lather if you are using a shaving soap or cream. With cream you can also get away with apply the cream by hand. It is not effective as applying with a brush. However if you prefer to use shaving soap, then the only way to create a lather is with a brush. Don't forget, it is this rich and creamy lather that moisturises, protects, and lubricates the skin on your face.
  • Exfoliates - Good quality shaving brushes will gently exfoliate the skin. This is not a hard skin scrub type of exfoliation such as a facial scrub. The hairs are softer but still strong enough to remove dead skin cells and raise the hairs on your face and neck.
  • Facial Hair Preparation - The action of a well lathered brush lifts the hairs in an upwards motion away from the face. It ultimately results in preventing itchiness or dry skin and spots.

Shaving Brush Buyer's Guide

We always like to write a full buyer's guide, which we believe is especially helpful for any new buyer. Shaving brushes on first appearance, seem to be little more than a wooden or ceramic handle, and attached to that is some form of hair or bristles.

There is a great deal more to a shaving brush than first meets the eye. Some guys who use a shaving brush get very picky about which is the best, and there are often strong disagreements between users.

Here at the Shaving Emporium we do take a more pragmatic view and not the purist view of those who stress about the quality of their brush.

What Hair Are Shaving Brushes Made From?

When it comes to buying a shaving brush, you are really presented with 4 clear choices. Those are:

  1. Badger hair - this is the best choice and is used in the more expensive brushes
  2. Boar hair - this is the most common used in cheaper brushes
  3. Horse hair - this hair is taken from the horse's tail or mane, and is starting to be used once again, having fallen out of favour for a time
  4. Synthetic - a good choice if you don't want to use any type of animal hair, but still want to own a shaving brush

There are different grades of all of the above, but your chosen brush will contain one of those four hair types.

We always like to point out really important information, so as our readers are as fully informed as possible. To get both badger and boar hair for a brush, those animals have to die. That is not allowed in many European countries. Although there may be culls, theses animals are not allowed to be killed simply for their hair.

That is a step too far for some people, and we understand that. We would recommend if you find that as being too cruel, that you can still get a very good synthetic shaving brush. Those are created from man made fibres, and they are also very good quality.

Sometimes these are referred to as "natural" hair brushes. Not that long ago the "go to" synthetic material was nylon. That made the brushes stiff and could stick into the skin, and many people found them uncomfortable to use. Manufacturers have changed that and now used specialised synthetic materials. It is actually quite difficult to tell the difference between a badger hair brush and a synthetic, if you buy the right ones.

Handle Types in Detail

We mentioned in our buying tips a little about handle types. Here we explain those in a lot more detail. The manufacturer decides what materials they are going to use to make their handles. Here at the Emporium, the different writers at our website all have different preferences.

The handle is important as it greatly impacts on the overall appearance of the brush. The two things worth noting though are the actual size and the weight of the handle. The number one thing to consider though is that the size of your hand should be a key factor in your decision making process.

Metal Handles

These are usually made from brass which is a heavy metal. They are then plated with nickel or chrome and sometimes both. That makes them look better and brass would also discolour if left bare. There are a few made from aluminium and these will be lighter. Metal handles last a long time and the plating prevents any risk of rusting.

Wooden Handles

This is the traditional look and wooden handles are usually made from ash, sycamore, rosewood, olive wood, juniper or pine. There are some imitation wooden handles that are actually made with synthetic materials used to make them look like wood.

If you like tradition or simply prefer wood, then these will be a great choice for you. Some people object to these because they say they are not hygienic, similar in a way to wooden chopping boards. This is just not the case. If a brush with a wooden handle is washed out and hung to dry, it does not in itself carry any more bacteria than any other type of handle.

This notion came from when a shaving brush was used for preoperative shaving in hospitals. That was researched and yes those brushes showed contamination, according to a scientific study by Science Direct. However that was not related to the wooden handle, but to the actual state of the brush conditions, and the lack of cleaning.

The one drawback of wood is that the handle will degrade quicker than other materials, simply because the wood is in a lot of contact with water. That said, you can get at least 6-10 years from a wooden handle without any worries at all.

Synthetic Handles

Some shaving brushes use synthetic materials. Synthetic simply means man-made. Back in the day ivory was used but that is now never used to make handles. Manufacturers have however made imitation ivory which looks very similar. Some people like that very classical barber shop appearance.

However the most popular synthetic handles are made from either acrylic glass or from resin. This opens up quite a wide range of interesting coloured handles. Some buyers will prefer this type of handle and many of them do look really well.

Shaving Brush Sizes

We mentioned in our buying tips a little about the size of hair brushes. Here we explain those in a lot more detail. There are three clearly defined measurements when it comes to understand the size of brushes. We have listed those just below:

  1. Overall Height - This is the easiest one to understand and is the length of the handle plus the length of the loft (hair length)
  2. The Loft - This is the hair length from the top of the handle to the uttermost tip of the hair. if you look very closely at the way these hairs are shaped, you will notice that most are a bulb shape, but others are a fan shape. Again this is down to personal preference. Wet shavers often discuss which style is better, but for us it is simply down to personal choice.
  3. The Knot - This is an interesting measurement. It refers to the diameter of the amount of hair that is packed into the handle. Is it really significant? Again if you ever closely examine shaving brushes, you will see that some are packed very tightly and some are rather loose.

Our take on this is really simple. Larger brushes create more lather and cover the face faster. If you like to be more precise then opt for a smaller head. The fan style also covers the face faster, whereas the bulb style gives you more precise control of the lather, and where it goes (or doesn't go)

In terms of brush length (often referred to as height) measure the distance from the palm of your hand to the pad on your thumb. That would be the overall ideal length that you should buy. It is a good rule of thumb, if you will pardon the pun.

Shaving Brush Price Points

We mentioned in our buying tips a little about the various price points. Here we explain those in a lot more detail. You can quite literally pick these up for around £2-3 at the lower end.

Many beginners will buy these just to see if they like the idea of using a brush for wet shaving. In our opinion there is nothing wrong with that at all. Why spend more money than you have to, if you are simply giving something new a try.

There is no doubt though that the hairs will fall out of any cheaply made brush. That is why most men are prepared to spend a bit more and get a better quality brush.

For around £8-10 you get a good quality brush that will last you for years. if you want something even better, then by spending around £20, you can get a great looking high quality brush that will last you a lifetime.

Shaving Brush Shedding

We mentioned above about hairs falling out of a brush.That is called shedding. The hairs on a shaving brush are glued into the handle. Quite literally thousands of hairs are compressed and then glued inside the handle.

Over time, the hot water may start to break down that glue, and hairs may start to fall out. More expensive brushes go through a stricter process of gluing and as such are less likely to shed hairs.

Shaving Brush Brands

For many years certain brands were known for their wet shaving products and included brands like:

  • Simpsons
  • Progress Vulfix
  • Wilkinson Sword
  • Taylor of Old Bond Street

Those are still excellent brands, but they are not a cheap purchase. Other brands entered the market such as:

  • Edwin Jagger
  • Proraso
  • Benny's of London

These are also very good brushes, but they are usually at lower prices. If you have been wet shaving for a while, you do tend to start to like one brand, and may stick with them. You will not buy tens of shaving brushes in your lifetime. We would advise buying something like a Progress Vulfix as they are established and we love their brushes.

Shaving Brush Accessories

There are a few small accessories that you can get for a shaving brush. The most popular is a stand. That is really useful as it gives you a place to properly dry your brush out. These are usually made with a place to hold your DE razor.

You can also buy a variety of shaving bowls, mugs and scuttles where the brush is used to create the lather with a good shaving soap.

How to Care for Your Shaving Brush

The most important thing you can do for your brush is to hang it with the bristles pointing downwards one you have finished rinsing it after a shave. That allows the hairs of the brush to naturally dry.

It also stops any surplus water in the hairs from running back into the handle. Something as simple as rinsing out the brush and hanging it from a stand is all you really need to do to look after your brush.

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