It’s all about style when it comes to brushes. Shaving is more than a procedure for a man: it’s a ritual. And when you’re holding a quality shaving brush in your hand, it should do more than just water your facial hair: it’s a preparation for your daily battle. So a premium brush can be quite a luxury piece, like a knight’s weapon.
As a professional, I have come across many shaving brushes. Some of them were merely functional, and some were masterpieces. Some might be called overpriced; some were worth just what they did. But there was one thing hard for me to learn. Shaving rituals are ancient, and still, they are here – procedures for summoning success. For me, it used to be just about how you look.
Thus, the hardest part of writing this article for me was to stop being a pro. No, I don’t compare this kind of shaving brushes to others. I hold it as a shield, as the straight razor is my sword. God bless me today, just like yesterday. This is my prayer and my gift. And if this intro has set your mind right, it’s time to go through the options I can recommend.
If you are ready to give your prayer the best equipment, it should be a badger hair shaving brush, namely silvertip. A silvertip badger is denser than a synthetic shaving brush but harder than even the best boar shaving brush. It’s usually quite expensive, but the premium feel of the knot, as well as the handle and even the box, sets your mind on luxury from the very morning.
Top 7 Shaving Brushes
- VIKINGS BLADE Dark Stallion Luxury Badger Brush – Top Pick
- Parker Safety Razor Handmade Deluxe – Runner Up
- Simpsons Chubby 2 Super Badger: the Premium Option
- Kent BK4 Cream Traditional Small Silver Tip Badger Shave Brush
- Maison Lambert 100% Silvertip Badger Bristle
- da Vinci Shaving Series 291 UOMO Silvertip Shaving Brush
- Parker Safety Razor – Faux Horn Handle
1. VIKINGS BLADE Dark Stallion Luxury Badger Brush
Well, a real badger doesn’t have to be as expensive as the first items reviewed. Vikings Blade is an Australian manufacturer that found the formula of the online bestseller. Now, the company specializes in affordable yet quality shaving tools and accessories, including real badger ones. It’s probably the best shaving brush around $30.
Dark Stallion features quite a “silvertip-feel” knot (that assumes it’s not a real silvertip, but hair is taken from other parts of a badger). On the other hand, the bristles are selected so thoroughly that the difference is neglectable unless you’re an extra sensitive type. The look reveals its origins, though. It’s a good shave brush, with no ambitions of being above its level.
The handle of the brush is made of acrylic and metal, so-called “Swedish alloy” (hardly the one used to forge the authentic Vikings blades, but do we care?) The acrylic part of it is processed so it resembles obsidian. If there were White Walkers around, you might have something to make a weapon against them. But now it’s against your own facial hair.
Its size is way more compact than of the brushes above, which is quite good for traveling. Alas, the original box is not the best option to endure the tribulations. So you better find a more durable box for it.
|extremely affordable;stylish design;real badger bristles;solid feel;compact size.|
|not a silvertip;not that premium feel the others deliver.|
2. Parker Safety Razor Handmade Deluxe (Ivory)
Not to be confused with the Parker which manufactures pens and other office stuff, this Parker is all about shaving. This company produces razors, accessories, and beard brushes as well. This item is not as expensive as those above, yet it’s very stylish and impressive.
Not only is this brush comfortable and stylish. It is big – no, BIG! The handle is ivory-colored, though it’s actually resin. The knot, though, is just what it looks like. The real silvertip badger, made of hand-selected bristles, is just as big as the handle. It’s unclear whether you move it upon your face – or your face moves upon the knot. The feel is, however, still smooth, and it lathers the skin deep. And yes, it’s handmade – so handmade that Parker even added the word to its name.
If you prefer to shave mugs to make your shaving routine more comfortable and more resemble a ritual, the handle of this wet shave brush is well compatible with a mug. Place it there while you’re taking your razor. After you’re done, place it on the included stand.
|big knob of the silvertip badger;compatible with mugs;extremely soft feel;stand included;reasonable price.|
|resin handle;oo big to use while traveling.|
3. Simpsons Chubby 2 Super Badger: the Premium Option
A men’s shaving brush by Simpsons is among the most premium options. The materials are supreme, the items are all handmade, and the feel is more than rich: it’s luxurious. It’s the thing to afford once and enjoy for years, making shaving some sort of enjoyment instead of the torment it becomes with cheap accessories.
The Super Badger features ivory handles (relax, PETA, it’s faux), bearing the name of the item and the logo of the vendor. Though it’s just 48 mm high, it’s more comfortable to use than one could expect (regardless of the hand size). As for the 50-mm knot, it’s very dense, with that full thick feeling, but not too dense like it may happen in other Simpsons badgers. With a lot of water held, it holds just as much lather. The item is flexible and slides upon your face smoothly, no matter how many millimeters of the beard you’re about to shave off.
The feel is nothing but supreme, due to the softest tips and just the right density, and it gained the brush its fame. Now Chubby 2 is referenced as the most top-rated shaving brush on the market. There may be individual issues with it, caused by compatibility with certain skin and facial hair combinations. But it works smoothly both in a linear and circular manner.
This version of the iconic brush comes with silvertip hair, named Super. The mnemonics are easy: both start with the S. If you want the best badger brush ever available, take a closer look: this one is arguably the most acclaimed of all models by Simpsons.
|super premium feel;optimal hair density;holds much water and lather;provides the best tactility;it’s just pleasant to have such a thing.|
|quite expensive;can lose hair.|
4. Kent BK4 Cream Traditional Small Silver Tip Badger Shave Brush: a Solid Choice
If there was a premium league of luxury shaving brush makers, Kent would be in it. The company was established back in 1777 in the UK, and now it retains its reputation as one of the best brush vendors in the world. Its goods are quite premium yet not overpriced, being even more affordable than those by Simpsons.
As for BK4, it’s a smaller version of BK8 and BK12, made for those who prefer smaller brushes. The handle is made of mock ivory (not as noble, but – no animals were harmed), the knot is of a silvertip badger. It can be used with various soaps and creams. As a smaller model, it delivers quite different feelings while shaving. It’s a sort of meditation: you lather every square inch of your face to remove or trim the facial hair, giving it all the time it takes.
Due to its size and knot density, Kent BK4 is among the most versatile brushes ever produced. It seems incredible, but its small knot holds enough water and lather for a three-pass shave.
|versatile, works with creams and soaps;compact size;perfect knot density;easy feel.|
|the handle is too big for standard stands;not the cheapest one.|
5. Maison Lambert 100% Silvertip Badger Bristle
Brushes by Maison Lambert don’t offer that conservative feel with ivory handles. On the contrary, they combine metal and plastic. On the other hand, this combination provides customization. So if you want your initials (or those of the one you’re presenting it to) engraved on the metal part, you just have to mention this demand while ordering. The feel is still premium, but it’s another sort of it. When you hold this item by Maison Lambert, you’re touching the greatness of today. Simpsons, as well as Kent, delivers a bit of history, what’s called the good old.
As for the badger hair knot, it feels great, with little difference from that by Simpsons. There is more difference between types of shaving brushes than of particular brushes within a type. It holds enough water and lather, sue to quality hair and the right density – some even call it excessive. The feel of the knot is very soft, but not too soft. In fact, in this price category you’ll hardly find a mediocre brush, except for unlucky defective items. There can be some odor after unpacking, but it goes away in a day or so.
If you buy this brush from the official Maison Lambert site, it will be a little more expensive. But that option comes with a stand, while on Amazon you can have the item without it – and thus cheaper.
|a very balanced feel;large size;natural silvertip badger;can be customized by engraving on the metal part.|
|looks too modern for a conservative user;quite heavy;stand not included.|
6. da Vinci Shaving Series 291 UOMO Silvertip Shaving Brush
If you want it green, then Da Vinci is among the few options you have to choose (and, maybe, even the only one). This family business claims it’s the only shave brush factory that keeps the production completely green. Despite the most Italian name one could imagine, the factory is located in Germany. What does Da Vinci have to do with shaving? The answer is: brushes. The company produces artist, dental, nail, and cosmetic brushes. Why not shaving ones?
As for Series 291, it’s a large brush with a 25-mm badger knot, a solid mock ivory handle, and a premium pack. Its price is also premium. But for a hand-crafted European item, it’s okay. The badger hairs are hand-inspected, with only the flawless ones making it to the knot. It results in a soft shaving brush, huge in size, holding floods of water and lather – in fact, just like any decent badger brush. What you may like about this particular model is its huge size: this feature even multiplies the pleasant feel.
The worst thing about this particular model is that it’s discontinued and replaced by newer ones. If you want it regardless of that, you better hurry before it’s all sold out. But even if you miss this brush, there’ll be a lot of Da Vinci’s to choose from.
|it’s huge and holds plenty of lather;selected and crafted by hand;classic visual style;premium feel;artistic design.|
|quite expensive;too big for some users.|
7. Parker Safety Razor – Faux Horn Handle
Another item by Parker Shaving is just what you might expect: the same big knot of the same quality silvertip badger hair. The size is the same, as well as the price. The stand is included, too. The handle, though, is different, and that’s the main difference.
It contains as much of natural horn as the previous one does of natural ivory. In fact, the handle is made of chrome and faux horn. It’s heavy and solid, delivering the feel of a real thing. If you are not one of those conservative nature-lovers that consider hunting the best expression of their love for nature, there is nothing to be confused with, though. Faux horn feels like the real one; as for chrome in the base, it is real.
Unlike the previous product on the list (looking like ivory), this brush doesn’t look as contrasting when resting on the stand. On the contrary, the colors fit. So it’s purely a matter of taste which one to prefer.
The most frequently reported problem with this item is common for most silvertip brushes. When you release it from its beautiful gift pack, the brush can smell unpleasantly. The smell is usually gone after one or two usages, but you have to be prepared for that.
|big silvertip knot;long stylish handle;packed greatly;stand included;reasonable price.|
|too big to use while traveling;produces an unpleasant smell when just unpacked.|
Buyer’s Guide and FAQ
Some of you may be confused by the brushes above. The look, the description, and the price may take you by surprise. So let’s answer some of the most common questions.
How to Use a Shaving Brush?
If you are new to using a shaving brush (used to have a wide wild beard, or just didn’t bother about the accessories), there are simple steps to using it.
- Wet the brush. Give it some time to get it all through, so all the bristles are saturated enough but don’t stick together. You may shake it once or twice while wetting in hot water and do it necessarily after that.
- Put some shaving cream or soap on the knot. It takes just a little of quality cream to produce a rich lather. And, since you own a quality badger, you better opt for quality creams or soaps.
- When the cream is on, work your skin with the brush. Pass over the entire area you’re about to shave until it’s wet and lathered. You don’t have to add more cream if it’s getting dry: the water will do. After you have lathered all the square inches to process, wait a bit until your facial hair absorbs the cream and becomes shareable.
- Do your shaving.
- After you’re done, wash the brush. Pay attention so no cream or soap remains on it, and don’t let the bristles stick together. Now it’s even more important than before shaving.
- Put your brush on its stand. Yes, if shaving is a ritual for you, a brush stand is an important part of it.
That’s it. The first battle of your day is won. Set to keep winning, proceed to others.
Also read: Best Professional Hair Clippers Reviewed
What Are Shaving Brushes Made Of?
The most premium material for shaving brush knots is badger hair; that’s why the word “badger” means this item, as well as the animal. If you’re concerned with the animal care, I can assure you that killing badgers is not required for making brushes.
The animal just gets shaved and left alone until the new hair grows. The silvertip hair – the type used in the brushes described above – is collected from around the badger’s neck and considered the best type. As long as in Europe and America badgers are protected by law, the manufacturers purchase the badger hair they use in China, where badgers are farm-grown.
While the handle may be made of any suitable material, usually it should match the badger hair in its premium feel. So no wonder ivory (usually mock) is just as widely used. Other materials are here to provide the same feel. The aim is to make you feel like a million bucks at the beginning of your day.
Also read: Best Beard Combs for Easy Straightening
How Long Does a Shaving Brush Last?
While a regular boar brush is expected to serve for five years, a premium badger one can last up to 20-30 years. There are items reported to have lived for half a century. Given that they’re mostly handmade, with strict quality control implied, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Expect to buy two or three badgers for yourself in your entire life. Now they don’t seem that overpriced, do they?
In fact, there are defective items you may run into. Even the best manufacturers sometimes fail. It results in hair loss of a brush, and thus the knot is thinning too fast. Luckily, if you report on the problem, they will probably send you another item instead of the defective one.
Also read: Best Beard Shampoos Reviewed
Enjoy Your Shaving Ritual with a Perfect Brush
Shaving is among the most intimate moments in the life of a modern man. What you do while shaving is purely your own business. This experience is not to be shared. So, turning it to a ritual is quite an egoistic manner, but that’s the most suitable place to unleash your egoistic side.
It’s a matter of attitude: you may either take shaving functionally or enjoy it. And if you’re on the latter side, the right type of brush is your tool. Purchasing the one you truly enjoy can change the way you feel, and thus change your whole life. Sounds big, and so it is.
Do you enjoy the process? Do you turn off your mobile or at least mute it? How much time do you spend on shaving? And what brushes did and do you use? Let’s share these details here, in comments.