Nine Highly Recommended Shaving Brushes
“I want to order my partner a new shaving brush, what do you recommend”?
This is one of the most frequent questions we get asked. We ask the enquirer what their budget is, if they have a preference for badger hair or synthetic and if the user has large hands.
For the sake of this wee blog let’s say the man the brush is for is open to suggestions for a badger or synthetic, has medium size hands and wants to keep expenditure to below £100.00. Here's my choice of 9 fantastic shaving brushes.
- Our best-selling brush by some distance, is Big Jock Synthetic in Black (Pictured). It benefits from a lathe turned and polished handle. Why mention this? Cheaper brushes have a moulded handle which usually means a raised mould seam and a less than perfect finish. Packed with a 24mm knot of new generation, pillow-soft synthetic fibres that don't shed hair and they don't smell like a damp dog. Keep in mind too that no badger had to die for its coat. Only £24.50.
- Outlaw by Alpha Brushes, this brush has a large 28mm knot of densely packed, ultra-soft synthetic hair and an aluminium handle that's based on the Rubberset Brushes from the 1930s through to the 1950s. What a classis design and what a grip this handle delivers. Retro styling, 21st century engineering.
- I’m a massive fan of the Muhle brand; however, I’m not a fan of their badger hair brushes. I find them not to be as densely packed as I like, the knot splays too easily as a result. Their Synthetic Fibre Shaving Brushes are wonderfully made, they're so soft on the face yet they have a good backbone, the fibres dry out quickly after use and they don’t suffer from hair shedding. If you’re buying a Muhle brush, my advice is to buy a synthetic. The Purist with Birch Handle is stunning on the eye and feels just right in the hand. Turned from square banks of Karelian Masur Birch lathe turned and polished then waterproofed. Price £81.50
- The Simpson Chubby range of brushes are the flagship Simpson brushes, they have densely packed knots of Best or Super grade badger hair and as the name implies a stout, short handle. The Chubby One in Best is good for men who like to feel the lathering action of the brush when face lathering. This brush is well priced considering it’s handmade in England, the old-fashioned way. Price £99.50.
- Parker brushes are made in India, they offer amazing value for money and old school craftsmanship. The pick of the Parker range is surely the HHST which is a large size Silvertip badger hair shaving brush with a gorgeous, highly polished faux horn handle. It’s heavy in the hand and has a large 50mm loft and a 23mm knot. Impressive looks and dimensions! The chrome plated base is a nice contrast to the faux horn handle. A real bargain at only £58.00.
- If you want a large shaving brush then the Executive Shaving Big Jock Silvertip badger hair shaving brush is what you need, it’s a beast of a brush. Moreover, it has a lathe turned and polished real horn handle, a massive 30mm knot and a loft of 65mm. Being made from horn your brush will be unique to you as there are subtle differences in the colour between each brush. The overall length is a mighty 122mm. If anyone can source a better-priced brush with the same dimensions and features please get in touch. Taylor of Old Bond Street offers a similar size brush but with a resin handle for £138.50. Big Jock price - £75.00. Yes, seriously only £75.00.
- Travel shaving brushes are popular and the Simpson Classic 1 in synthetic is a good option. It comes with a travel case to protect the brush when you’re on your travels. Being synthetic the hairs will be dry after a few minutes after use and the brush won’t smell like a damp dog when you take it out of its case. Simpson synthetics have a really good backbone so they are very much at home when needed for lathering up hard soaps and face lathering. Traditionally shaped and sized, it has a 22 mm knot and an overall length of 84mm. Expect the usual high standard of workmanship. Price 44.95.
- If you don’t want to spend too much on a brush but you still want a quality purchase then the Executive Shaving trio of medium size best badger hair brushes should be high on your list. Available in faux horn, black and faux ivory, these brushes come with a free drip stand. The 20mm knot and 50 mm loft make then ideal for bowl, face and hard soap and soft cream lathering. The laser etched Executive Shaving logo features on the base, this is your guarantee of quality. Price £32.50.
- Muhle travel brushes come in an aluminium case which when in use acts as a handle, when not in use you slip the brush head into the hollow handle and this protects the super-soft synthetic fibres when you travel. Available in black or matte, lightweight and ever so practical. Price £32.50.
Written by Brian Mulreany
Prices correct at 25th April 2018
Updated on 16th July 2019