What’s the Best Type of Shaving Brush?

best type of shaving brush

So you’re thinking of taking the plunge into wet shaving.

One of the things you are going to need is a Shaving Brush. 

But there’s so much choice out there you’re lost as to what the best type of shaving brush you could buy.

You may have been shaving for a while and you’re looking to upgrade your shaving brush but don’t know which is the best type of shaving brush or which is the best type of shaving brush for you.

As you can see from our review of the best Rooney Shaving Brushes even though they are extremely high quality, they are also expensive and difficult to find. So today we’ll look at some other Shaving Brushes to help you find the best type of shaving brush for you, but before we do that.

Why use a Shaving Brush?

So why bother using a Shaving Brush at all? What benefits do you get from using one?

Well, Shaving Brushes are used to whip up the Shaving Soap into that perfect lather, as opposed to the froth that comes out of canned aerosol shaving creams.

The process of applying of applying the freshly whipped up lather to your face with a Shaving brush exfoliates your skin.

It softens your beard and makes sure that the lather is evenly distributed amongst your facial hair. It also lifts each of your hairs, which helps produce a much closer shave.

But why do these things matter?

Compared to using your fingers to apply your Shaving Cream which can matte and clump your facial hair, it's also rather difficult to evenly distribute let alone actually lift the hair, So you end up with having to scrape your razor against your face.

Using a Shaving Brush reduces nicks and cuts that commonly occur from shaving when you've applied your Shaving Cream by hand.

So for a smooth, comfortable shave using a Shaving brush is your best bet, but you need to find the best type of shaving brush for you.

Some are softer than others so you need to experiment to find the perfect shaving brush for your face.

A shaving brush also looks cool, they have the retro vibe, but they really are very important for getting a good shave.

Don’t just take our word for it:

Brushing lightly exfoliates the skin and gets the facial hair to stand up straight from the face, which are both essential first steps in getting a smooth, rash-free shave.

Kyle Hinton
Founder of the men’s grooming brand Prospector Co

To us, that makes perfect sense.

Now the next problem is that there are just so many different options to choose from so how do you find the best type of shaving brush for you?

We are going to help guide you, we will educate you in the ways of the Shaving Brush so that when you go to buy one, you make the right choice and but the best type of shaving brush for your face giving you the best shave possible.

So What's The Difference Between These Types of Shaving Brushes?

The major difference which you may not be aware of is that there are several different types of bristle options.

The bristles used in a shaving brush can be sourced from boar, badger, horse hair and synthetic, because of this the prices will vary based on the hair type.

Not only that but the type of handle which houses the bristles will also affect the price somewhat.

Boar hair is rather thick and is very common due to how easily it’s found. This unsurprisingly makes it less expensive than some of the other options available.

Badger hair is kind of a jack of all trades, It’s so versatile, the silky nature of the badger hair makes the quality really nice too.

Each type of bristle has its own softness, durability and longevity.

You’ll want to find something that fits your shaving routine best.

So whilst we love and believe that the badger brush is the best type of shaving brush, that may not be the case for you, you may find that the boar hair shaving brush happens to be the best type of shaving brush.

So how do I use my shaving brush?

Well, that’s a question with many answers, each type of bristle and brush style will have a specific way it should be used as documented by the manufacturer.

The general guide for using your shaving brush is to first soak the brush in hot water, then just prior to use give the brush a tap against the bowl to remove any excess water from the bristles.

Now get busy whisking away in your shaving mug or shaving bowl.

This should result in a nice lather that you can apply directly to your face.

Most guys like to use a sort of flicking and massage technique that helps raise your whiskers away from your face, whilst also giving your face a gentle exfoliation.

Now you need to keep in mind the type of bristle you have when selecting your shaving soap or shaving cream.

Boar bristle shaving brushes are ideal for solid shaving soaps. The rigid nature of the hairs helps to work up a great lather.

Badger bristle shaving brushes are better suited for less solid more creamer shaving soaps or creams as the bristles are generally softer and have excellent heat retention qualities, which means your resulting lather is usually and better hold and is thicker.

How Should You Care for My Shave Brush?

It’s really important to take good care of your shaving brush, these things aren’t cheap and you will want to maximise the brushes longevity.

Once you’ve finished shaving it's important to rinse the shaving brush really well to remove any residual lather & hair.

Once your entirely sure that it’s clear of all shaving soap and hair, removed any excess water by giving the shaving brush a gentle shake, then hang the brush upside down in your shaving stand.

Hanging the shaving brush upside down ensures that all the extra water within the bristles has a place to escape, this will also ensure that your brush maintains its sterility.

By ensuring you take good care of the shaving brush you are ensuring it will last a long time and continue to perform as it did when it was new

Heres some further information on how to care for you shaving brush as once you’ve chosen the best type of shaving brush for you, you will want to ensure its longevity.

What kinds of shaving brushes are there?

Our Pick for the best badger brush

The Simpsons "Chubby"

Is this the best badger brush in the world?

The Simpsons Chubby has been acknowledged as the finest shaving brush available today.

Simpson & Co were established in 1919 and have continued to make the world's finest hand made shaving brushes using techniques that haven't changed since the company was founded.

Each handle is turned on a lather, polished and then by hand the knot filled with fine quality Chinese badger hair is inserted.

The hair for each knot is manually sorted, weighed and then a skilled craftsman cements the knot into the handle.

Finally, the handle is etched with the name of the brush.


  • Bristle Diameter: 50 mm
  • Bristle Length: 50 mm
  • ​Overall Length: 95 mm
  • Handle Diameter: 40 mm

If you're after the best and want something that is considered the height of shaving brush quality, then by yourself this piece of English shaving luxury today!

Click for Price

Badger hair shaving brushes

To some, the Badger Haired Shaving Brush is considered to be the gold standard in shaving brushes. They hold a lot of water and make a really good lather. They also release said water and lather with ease onto your face.

The differences between the cheap and more expensive versions come down to:

  • Thickness and fullness of the bristles
  • Whether its been handmade
  • ​Whether its silver-tipped (these bristles come from the softest part of the badger, its underbelly)
  • ​What the handle has been made from

When it comes to handles some people prefer a wood handle though they are known to rot over time from water exposure.

Acrylic handles prevent rot, though the real key with all shaving brushes is to ensure that you hang them up so that they dry completely inside.

Badger hair retains water well, so takes some time to dry out.

A badger brush may also have a slight gamey odour at first, that is until its managed to absorb the smell of your shaving soap.

You can pick up a cheap badger brush but if you are going to invest in a badger brush rather than synthetic, why go for the cheapest which won't have the fullness of a quality badger brush and may shed more requiring a replacement, which most certainly will remove any savings found in the cheaper brush in the long run.

We feel that a good quality silvertip badger brush is the best type of shaving brush you can get, but everyone is different so your mileage may vary.

These are our picks of the best type of badger shaving brushes, they range in bristle type and price, so there's something for everyone.

Boar hair shaving brushes

Boar brushes are coarser than badger brushes, this means that they aren't as soft against the skin, but they also tend to have a firmer shape than a badger brush.

Some people also claim that a boar brush will create a better lather than a badger brush.

Boar bristles tend to be scratchier against the skin than a badger brush, so as always with shaving it comes down to personal preference.

Boar brushes need to be soaked in hot water for about ten minutes before use, so you need need to factor that into your shaving routine.

The bristles do soften over time, so that's something to bare in mind.

A Boar brush tends to shed more than a badger hair brush, but the shedding is generally minimal.

A Boar brush will last a long time, some people are put off from boar brushes due to the scent they exude but as time goes on that scent will be masked by your shaving soap.

These are our picks of the best type of boar shaving brushes, they range in bristle type and price, so theres something for everyone.

Horse hair brushes

Horse hair brushes really aren't for the fair of heart.

These brushes have a stronger odour than any of the other animal based brushes.

Though once you get past the smell you will find that a horse hair brush is softer than boar hair, but stiffer than badger hair, so you tend to get the best of both worlds.

Horse hair brushes don't tend to need to be soaked as long as a boar brush before use.

​There isn't a huge amount of horse hair brushes to choose from though if you do find one that you like, horse hair brushes are very affordable.

These are our picks of the best type of horse shaving brushes, they range in bristle type and price, so theres something for everyone.

Synthetic shaving brushes

Synthetic brushes are fantastic for anyone who doesn't like the gamey odour, or for anyone who doesn't like the idea of putting animal hair against their face.

There are a lot of good synthetic brushes out there to choose from.

They tend to have the softness of badger bristles but tend to be less floppy, whilst being less scratchy than a board or horse hair brush.

They produce a good lather though they may not release water as easily as a badger brush, they will still give you a really good shave.

One of the biggest pros for a synthetic brush is that they dry much faster than an animal hair brush.

These are our picks of the best type of synthetic shaving brushes, they range in bristle type and price, so theres something for everyone.


You may have noticed that we haven't answered the question of whats the best type of shaving brush, Trust us we've tried but there is no one great brush that suits everybody.

You have to experiment with different brushes until you find the best type of shaving brush for you.

Loved the article? Why not check out more of our shaving articles or if you want, you can see more from shaving brushes and shaving mugs

Last update on 2018-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API