The shaving brush is an old-school tool that your grand and great grandpas probably used. But it is still as effective as ever today.
If you’re seriously considering having a smooth and close wet shave, this is the tool to go for.
But here’s the catch: Not all shaving brushes are equal.
I reviewed tens of products, and their qualities varied; from the best premium quality, you can get to unworthy brushes. An influx of products has seen the entry of unscrupulous manufacturers in the industry. It’s thereby important to settle for the right product.
So, what product is right?
I try to answer this question by compiling for you a list of the Best Men’s Shaving Brushes of 2021.
The 5 Best Men’s Shaving Brushes Comparison of 2021
"Best" Badger Mix
Ultra Heavy, Obsidian Black Acrylic
Best Soapy Lather
Polished Horn Polyester
- The 5 Best Men’s Shaving Brushes Comparison of 2021
- Do You Really Need a Shaving Brush?
- The 5 Best Shaving Brushes Reviews and Our Top Picks (2021)
- 1. VIKINGS BLADE ‘White Knight’ Luxury Shaving Brush
- 2. Proraso Professional Shaving Brush
- 3. Parker Pure Badger Men’s Shaving Brush
- 4. Omega Pure Bristle Shaving Brush
- 5. Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush
- How to Choose The Best Shaving Brush?
- 3 Must-Have Accessories When Using A Shaving Brush
- How To Clean Your Shaving Brush?
- Final Thoughts
Do You Really Need a Shaving Brush?
You may be wondering: Who needs a shaving brush when I can lather and apply the cream with my hands?
Yeah, I get! The shaving brush might not sound as important to you, but it actually is!
For instance, will the results when you use your hands be as good as when you would’ve used a shaving brush?
Definitely not! Having a shaving brush implies that you take your wet shaving seriously. Moreover, you’ll get the desired lather with the brush for a close shave.
Here are other benefits of using a shaving brush.
- A shaving brush will lift and soften the hair on the face, easing the shaving process.
- It will also whip air into the shaving soap or cream for a richer lather.
- The bristles of the brush are incredible in exfoliating the skin of dead cells.
- It adds heat to the skin while shaving. This helps lubricate the skin and also opens the skin pores.
Yep! These are only a few benefits with more in store for you. Now that you’re ready to use a shaving brush, how do you find the right one? Let’s find out!
The 5 Best Shaving Brushes Reviews and Our Top Picks (2021)
1. VIKINGS BLADE ‘White Knight’ Luxury Shaving Brush
Leading my list is arguably one of the best shaving brushes for men – VIKINGS BLADE ‘White Knight’ Luxury Shaving Brush.
This brush enjoys thousands of positive reviews from verified purchasers, proof of how good it is. All these people can’t be wrong, can they?
I highly doubt it. I have used this brush personally, a solid reason why I decided to include it as the first product on my list.
And the reason for its success is simple: the brand is strong, and the build is good. Its craft is natural and solid to give you the confidence of its quality.
Quality was a top consideration with this product, and I loved what I saw. The brush’s bristles were relatively firm, although not everyone loves synthetic hair. They will massage your beard and double up to clear away flaking and dandruff caused by irritation or dryness.
This brush comes in a compact size and should easily fit in your bag for travels or EDC. Look as good while you’re on the move!
Its price is also incredibly affordable, and you wouldn’t break the bank to purchase it.
2. Proraso Professional Shaving Brush
Proraso manufacturers have made it their business to produce only high-end, quality wet shavers pleasant to their customers. The Proraso Professional Shaving Brush is a reflection of their incredible work.
The brush is made from the silvertip badger hair, and so you can expect it to be extremely short. But the price to pay is a higher one, literally!
The price tag that comes with this brush is a huge one that turns away lots of people. But that still isn’t to dispute the brush as one of the best.
An excellent feature that I loved with it is its bristle’s ability to hold large capacities of water. This makes working a beautiful lather much easier. And although the bristles may require some break-in period, they’re fantastic once you get used to them.
Like most shaving brushes, this one also comes with exfoliating properties. Its soft bristles also make it excellent for men with sensitive skin.
The high quality of this brush gives it a low shedding rate. You’ll experience minimal bristle loss even after prolonged use. You can rest assured that you’ll not be buying another brush any time soon.
Also, the brush comes with its stand for proper storage and drying.
3. Parker Pure Badger Men’s Shaving Brush
The precious and lovely gift box of the Parker Safety Razor should’ve been enough to entice customers to use it.
But Parker went further ahead to ensure that the performance of this product is incredible.
The hand-crafted, lightweight and rustproof brush courtesy of Parker might be what you need for a clean wet shave.
Parker Company is widely known in the industry for providing reliable products at affordable prices. This shaving brush is an embedment of their mission. While it isn’t of the prestigious silvertip badger hair, you can still rely on it for a smooth lather.
The first thing to note with it is its compact size, which makes it excellent for traveling. The icing of the cake lies with its Aluminum construction. Aluminum is rust and corrosion-resistant. You shouldn’t, therefore, be worried about leaving it outside wet conditions.
A thumbs-down with the product, however, lies with the badger hair. It is of the pure badger type, which we all know isn’t the best.
So, if you are in search of a brush for daily use, sorry, this isn’t your type. Its backbone is a little stiffer and doesn’t hold more water than other quality brushes.
But if you are on the road, the brush’s performance should be more than okay. The Parker Safety Razor is an incredible choice for those searching for a compact brush to use while traveling.
4. Omega Pure Bristle Shaving Brush
If the Omega Pure Bristle Shaving Brush was a car, then it would definitely be the Maserati Levante. Italians have not only mastered the art of manufacturing machines but also shaving brushes.
Yes, I was as surprised as you are.
Omega has been in existence since 1931, surviving through the decades. What’s their secret? Let’s find out.
This shaving brush is for those who want to own a single brush their entire life – that’s how good the product is. Its bristle softness is perfect and should give you a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
This brush is designed using pearwood. Its bristles are of the pure boar hair type. It measures 1 inch in length, excluding the handle – talk of a compact design. This size is travel friendly.
Although there isn’t any mention of warranty with the brush, I can confidently assure that you’ll not be returning it any time soon.
Lastly, this brush comes with a range of bristle stiffness, allowing you to choose between a stiff or soft bread brushing experience. I wouldn’t think of any better product in its price range than the omega Pure Bristle Shaving Brush.
5. Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush
Edwin Jagger features a wide variety of high-end shaving accessories, and among them is their phenomenal badger shaving brush. The company has been in business for more than three decades, and you can be assured of premium quality with their products.
From a company with such a reputation, what else should we expect if not excellence? I took the time to examine the product and noted the following.
One, Edwin Jagger hand-crafted this brush and combined it with the latest technology.
Secondly, the brush comes with a drip stand for storing and drying it. Ensure that you rinse the brush with warm water after using then hang it to dry.
Thirdly, this brush is slightly smaller than other brushes (4.75 inches). However, it will comfortably fit your hand and provide good control at the lathering and mixing processes. Its compact size also makes it for traveling and EDC.
This brush’s badger hair absorbs hot steam during shaving, which, in turn, gives you a rich and creamy lather. It makes a perfect option for men who love a firm feel during shaving or those with coarse facial hair.
How to Choose The Best Shaving Brush?
Here are some factors to consider when purchasing your shaving brush.
1. Bristle Type
The bristle type of shaving brush is one of the first things to consider when making your purchase. There are four types of bristles: badge hair, horsehair, boars hair, and synthetic.
1.1 Badger Hair
The badger hair is by far the most common type of bristle that you’ll come across.
There are different grades of badger hair, depending on where the fiber was obtained from the badger. Here are the 4 different grades.
- Silvertip Badger Hair
This is the softest and finest of all grades. Its fiber comes from the badger’s neck. This bristle is of quality and draws out quality lather from shaving cream. Its fibers are incredibly fine, and so you should handle the shaving brush with care.
- Super Badge Hair
Next in line in terms of quality is the super badger hair. This bristle is also of great quality, but not as fine as the silvertip one.
Its bristle also tends to be thin. Being that it is very delicate, the shaving brush will require a high-quality shaving cream.
- Best Badge Hair
A step lower from the super badge, but one higher of the pure badge is the best badge hair.
The badge is a little softer and substantially darker than the pure badger. Its soft bristles retain a lot of moister for a rich lather. However, don’t expect very deep exfoliation from it when lathering.
- Pure Badge Hair
This is the most common and cheapest of badger hair grades that you can get. It is a great option for beginners to start with.
As expected, the prices of the grades differ with quality. Silvertip badger hair is the most expensive while the pure badger hair is the cheapest.
Horsehair was once scarce around the early 1900s. But safety measures were put in place, and the hair is back in business!
The fiber of this brush is very soft (when compared to boars hair) and equally affordable. Many quality brushes use it.
1.3 Boars Hair
The boars hair is relatively affordable when compared to the silvertip badge.
Brushes with this bristle have a strong backbone. However, with time and regular use, the brush splays and becomes softer.
Synthetic brushes are for those who are looking for alternatives to cruel shaving brushes.
The quality of synthetic bristles can either be very good or bad, depending on what you go for. Also, their lathering and backbone abilities will vary as the fiber is manmade.
It will depend on how discrete the company was during manufacture.
When perusing through shaving brush reviews, there are certain terms like loft, backbone, and size that you’ll come across – some that I have already used. It is, therefore, imperative that you familiarize yourself with such terms.
Here’s a detailed guide on some shaving brush components that you’ll come across.
2.1 Knot Size
The knot is where the bristles of the shaving brush are packed into its handle. The knot size normally varies between 15 and 30mm in diameter. Large knots carry more shaving cream.
The backbone of a shaving brush is how strong its bristles are. If you push the bristles against your face, how would they react? Would they be stiff or splay out easily? This property is what is referred to as the backbone of the shaving brush.
Unlike lofts, there is no definite unit of measuring the length or extent of the backbone. It’s, therefore, a matter of trial and error. I recommend going for a soft to medium backbone for the first time shave brush users.
If you’re uncertain about a brush’s backbone, check out its reviews. Look out for words such as scratchy or scratchy, which indicate a stiff backbone. On the other hand, words like soft, plush, and squishy indicate a soft backbone (refer to my recommendations).
The loft of a shaving brush is the distance between the top of the handle and the bristle’s tip. The loft is important because it has an impact on the lather and application process.
The loft lengths vary between brushes. Typically, most of the brands make their brushes with different loft lengths. A long loft is above 55mm, while a shorter one is below 45mm. A medium loft is in between.
Why does all this matter? A long loft has a quicker lathering time. But it’s also harder to control than a short loft.
I, therefore, recommend going for a medium loft, especially if you’re a newbie.
3. Handle Design
The handles of shaving brushes are made using different materials and in different shapes. However, what I feel matters most is the length. The material isn’t much of a biggie, to be honest, as long as it is comfortable and firm on the hand.
You’ll want to go for a brush with a substantially large handle – this is especially if you have a big hand. But it shouldn’t also be too long. Too long or short handles are tough to control.
Typically, the handle length of a shaving brush shouldn’t be longer than the length between your thumb’s tip to the center of your palm.
When it comes to the material, four common components are used:
- Ox Horn
Plastic brushes are well-built but aren’t eco-friendly. Wood and bamboo, on the other side, are eco-friendly, although they’re prone to water damage. Remember to dry them if they get wet. Ox Horn offers high-end, well-built brushes without environmental concerns.
I’ll not tell you to spend mega-cash on shaving brush, but one thing I will – avoid cheap shaving brushes!
Low prices mean poor quality. And poor quality brushes will only increase your frustration. There are two downsides to settling for a cheap shaving brush.
One, a cheap brush generates static, which makes it super difficult to manage and control your beard. Secondly, a cheap shaving brush will damage your hair follicles.
You don’t need to break your bank to buy a shaving brush but spend decent amounts.
5. Shape and Size
Square or oval? Handle or no handle?
Which combination of the brush should you go for? Well, it all boils down to personal preference. But a few factors may come into play.
For instance, if you travel a lot, you may want to avoid brushes with handles to save you packing space. But at the same time, a handle might prove useful for extra grip and stability if you have a monstrous beard.
3 Must-Have Accessories When Using A Shaving Brush
Purchasing the best shaving brush is one thing. Complementing it with an accessory for the best shaving experience is another.
A proper shaving brush needs the support of accessory tools in order to shine. Here are a few of the grooming supplies you should consider purchasing.
1. Shaving Cream
It goes without saying that the success of your shave depends on the shaving cream.
Here is a pro tip: always go for shaving creams that are in tubes or tubs and not cans. These are of higher quality.
These shaving creams contain better quality ingredients that will hydrate and nourish your skin. Their scent is also better.
2. Pre-Shaving Oil
A pre-shave oil gives ‘prepares‘ the way for the shaving cream. It lubricates the base and softens up your whiskers. It prevents pulling and tugging on the hair follicle when you pass the razor over your skin.
3. Brush Stand
Men invest all their cash in quality shaving brushes and overlook a brush stand. This is like purchasing a Bugatti without having a garage. Absurd, right?
A brush stand prevents the spread of bacteria and preserves the long-term performance of the brush.
With a shaving brush stand, you can be assured that your brush will always be properly dried.
How To Clean Your Shaving Brush?
Here is a video illustrating how to clean your shaving brush.
Edwin Jagger Best Badger Shaving Brush leads the market and scoops the award for the best overall product. A huge reason for this, apart from its incredible performance, is its price tag.
Although models like the Parker Pure Badger Men’s Shaving Brush are of better construction, their prices are exaggerated.
If your tight on budget and don’t want to break your bank, then the Omega Pure Bristle 10049 Shaving Brush is the best option to go for. Its performance is decent, price unmatchable, and size compact for travel and EDC.
But if you don’t mind spending the extra cash to settle on premium quality, I’d highly recommend the VIKINGS BLADE ‘White Knight’ Luxury Shaving Brush. You won’t regret it. Always confirm with my buying guide whenever in doubt on what to look for in a shaving brush.