10 Best Shaving Brushes: Secret to a World Class Shave

by Garrick Dee | Last Updated:
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If you’ve read my shaving tips article, one of the things I recommend you get is a shaving brush.

10 of the Best Shaving Brushes

And in this guide, I’ll help you by going through the basics in choosing the right one that will fit your hand size, budget, and other preferences that you may have.

A shaving brush can be the difference between a mediocre shave and a world-class shave because it helps evenly spread out shave cream, lift up facial hair, exfoliate skin and retain moisture.

All of which play a massive factor in having a great Here’s

Here’s an overview of the Best Shaving Brushes


Edwin Jagger Large Silvertip
  • Exquisite fine grade silvertip brush
  • Excellent balance and weight
  • Does not have the usual break-in period


Mühle Silvertip
  • Solid and balanced that’s not too bulky
  • Builds a rich lather
  • Stiff backbone makes it excellent for shaving soaps.


Omega #10048 Boar Bristle/PRO 48
  • An excellent option for daily use
  • Reasonably priced with a good finish
  • The compact feature makes it ideal for traveling


Omega Pro 49
  • Natural boar hair is stiff and requires a break-in period
  • Holds soap very well
  • Works well with face and bowl lathering


Parker Pure Badger
  • Uses quality badger hair
  • Has little to no shedding
  • Great at water retention


Edwin Jagger Super Badger brush
  • Soft bristles and stiff backbone is excellent for lathering
  • Holds water well
  • Uses a high-quality super-badger brush


FS (Frank Shaving) Travel Synthetic Brush
  • Small size and cover makes it an excellent option for traveling
  • Synthetic bristles are flexible
  • Dries quickly


MÜHLE 39 K 257
  • Uses vegan fiber that produces a rich lather
  • Works best with shaving creams but not soaps
  • Synthetic bristles are comparable to Silvertip bristles

The Basics

A shaving brush has two parts – the handle and bristles.

There are terminologies that you have to know to help you in choosing one.


The overall length of the brush hair from the end to end.


The knot specifies how much hair is inside the handle. But take this with a grain of salt because it can be packed too lightly or loosely.

Total height

The overall height of the brush from the base of the handle to the tip of the bristle


Type of hair used for the brush such as synthetic, boar, horsehair, etc. (more on this below)

Typically measurements are in millimeters, but unfortunately, most sellers on do not don’t list these measurements. Still, other online retailers like West Coast Shaving actually have these numbers listed for your reference.

Handle Material

Another thing that differentials these brush are the material for the handle. The most common material would be plastic, like acrylic or resin. Other brands would use wood or a combination of plastic with chrome-plated accents.

Higher-end brushes may use a metal handle, costly ones use real ivory.

Most consumers today would prefer a synthetic handle made from either metal or plastic, and the main reason why is longevity.

Wood may not last as long.

Handle made from wood could split in half due to moisture accumulation. If you choose a brush with such, make sure to dry it thoroughly after every use.

Handles made from ivory are freaking expensive. Metal handles will corrode if you don’t dry it properly.

In the end, what you’ll choose will depend on personal taste.

Brush Shape

The four most common are

  1. Bulb
  2. Fan
  3. Flat-top
  4. Hybrid

The bulb and fan-shaped brushes are two of the most common available right now, while the hybrid is commonly found on synthetic brushes.

There isn’t much of a difference in performance between these brush shapes.

Handle size

Another criterion you should look into is the knot (or the width of the handle) and height. Most brushes will have a knot of 20 millimeters and a height of around 50 millimeters.

One way to find out the right handle height that will fit in your hands is to measure the distance between the palm and the pad of your thumb like this.

Measuring Brush Handle

Screengramantic59′ stic59’s video.

Types of Bristle

Shaving brushes typically use any of these four bristles – (1) boar, (2) horse, (3) synthetic, or (4) badger brush.

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Boar brush

Boar Shaving Brush

Boar brushes are usually the cheapest and most widely available in the market.

Heck, you can find these brushes in stores like Walmart for as low as $5.

But before you run off to the nearest Walmart, you need to read the following point below.

  • Most boar brushes will not last long because of poor construction, but there are gems.
  • Boar hair generally has poor water retention.
  • Because it has reduced water retention, it will not create a rich lather.
  • Poorly made boar brushes virtually have zero heat retention (if you like the lather to be warm don’t get boar brushes)
  • This type of brush isn’t flexible and will break when you put too much pressure.
  • It has a coarser texture, which makes it useful for lathering shaving soaps.
  • Some poorly-made on “s are “putrid,” as Joe describes it in his post in Badger and Blade.

Most of the points mentioned above apply to cheap boar brushes. But some brands make good boar brushes like Omega.

Horse Hair Brush

Horse Hair Brush

Vie-Long horsehair brush – image courtesy of Amazon

Horsehair brush is a step up from a boar hairbrush and a notch below their badger hair counterparts. It is softer than a boar but stiffer than badger’s hair.

And like its name implies, this brush uses hair from a horse – usually from the mane or tail. If animal cruelty is a big concern for you, this is a great option.

In terms of value for money, it is hard to beat horse brushes because they provide better water retention than boar hair at a similar price point.

Some even prefer this over more expensive badger brushes because it gives them a “less scratchy” feeling than a badger.

There are three types of horsehair brushes:

According to the Sharpologist, he prefers the pure horse hairbrush because it broke in faster and feels softer on the skin.

The biggest downside to this is the odor that again the Sharpologist describes as ghastly. He recommends that you wash this with a pet shampoo thoroughly a couple of times before using it to remove the odor.

In terms of availability, these are harder to find, but fortunately, stores like Amazon carry a wide variety of these in stock.

Synthetic Brush

Synthetic Shaving Brush

Synthetic brushes use nylon bristles instead of animal hair. So there are no animals that perished just to make these. This is another option if this is a big concern for you.

What are the advantages?

In terms of price and performance, synthetics fall in between boar and badger brushes.


The most significant advantage would be the knot consistency because every strand of fiber will have the same diameter and length. One nuance of using animal hair would be the variances that naturally occur.

Can withstand higher temps

Another advantage is the ability of nylon to withstand higher temps.

Will last longer

Synthetic strands tend to more durable compared to their animal hair counterparts and should, in theory, last longer.

Unlike natural hair brushes that will have a specific odor, these don’t have any at all (at least the good brands).

There will be a break-in period when you use this. If it does not perform well the first time you use it, don’t worry. It should improve in subsequent uses.

Dries faster

Lastly, these brushes will dry more quickly, almost immediately after you rinse and wring out excess water, which is excellent if you travel a lot.

How about the disadvantages?

These will not hold as much water compared to a badger hair brush, you’re used to natural hair brushes, you will need to reload on shaving cream more often.

Poor heat retention.

It won’t retain heat as well as animal hair. So if you like a warm lather, stick to a badger brush. But it isn’t an issue, then this is a good alternative.

Bristles will not flex.

You’ll need to put more weight on the brush a bit more to achieve the same lather as a natural haired brush because the bristles are stiff and don’t flex as much.

So you will need to tweak your technique using this. If you have sensitive skin, then this could be an issue.

One backbone

I don’t know if this is a con. Some don’t like the backbone feel of synthetics.

Others like Nick Shaves say that they like how the backbone feels and it isn’t a big deal for them, so it is a personal preference.

For natural hair, you can vary the backbone depending on how long you soak the brush.

Stiff feel

The last disadvantage would be how it feels on your face. Unlike soft badger brushes, these brushes are stiffer and will feel different on your face. Again, this will boil down on personal preference.

Synths are improving though at a fast pace in terms of performance with the added benefit of quick-drying times and durability at a more affordable price.

Badger Brush

The badger brush is the crème de la crème of shaving brushes, these brushes hold the most water, retain the most heat, the most flexible which allows it to create a lather faster and usually the most expensive.

There are four grades here – pure, super or fine, best, and silvertip.

Pure Badger

Pure Badger

It is the lowest grade badger and most abundant because it comes from a badger’s body. This is the cheapest of the four.

Manufacturers will typically trim the edges forming the final shape of the loft, which makes it the coarsest.

These are great for lathering soaps and for exfoliating. If you don’t want to spend $100++ on a brush, this is an excellent option for beginners.

Best Badger

Best Badger

Badger brushes are softer compared to pure badger because some of it comes from the belly.

And these have more color separation compared to pure badger. It will retain more water and heat, plus these brushes are softer, which makes it great for lathering up shaving creams.

In terms of coarseness, this will fall in between the pure, super, and the silvertip. It will give you the best compromise of softness and price.

Super Badger

Super Badger

This is a step up from the best badger, providing a softer feel. These brushes don’t need any trimming because of its natural shape, which is already tapered.

The result is almost no scratchy feeling on the face.

These brushes usually have a light brown base followed by a black midsection and a light brown/whitish tip. Some manufacturers will actually bleach the tip to make it appear whiter.

The hair in these brushes is softer, so more is needed to make it denser. More hair means more water retention and a better lather for both shave soaps and creams.

Make sure to dry this thoroughly because it will be susceptible to damage if it isn’t.

Silver Tip

Silver Tip Badger Hair

This is the highest grade badger brush that provides the softest and most flexible bristles.

These are also the most expensive brushes since it is rarest. Hair for this brush is taken from the neck area of the badger. It is characterized by a cream-colored base and tip with a dark band in between.

Having the softest brush means more water, heat retention, and a soft massage-like feeling on your face when lathering.

Manufacturers rarely bleach the tips so it will retail its cream color or dirty white hue.

While these brushes are the most luxurious, these are also the most delicate, so you will have to make sure thoroughly rinse and properly dry this after every shave so that the strands of hair won’t break.

There is debate however, between the silver tip and super badger on whether or not it is worth the premium you are paying for.

Travel Brushes

travel brushThese brushes are designed with a frequent flyer in mind. Along with the smaller loft, these products come with a case that has a knot. It covers the brush to protect the bristles from damage and dirt.

Make sure that the brush is thoroughly dry before covering it, so moisture or molds do not form.

Bristle sources can also vary from a pure badger to a synthetic one.

Remember that while synthetic brushes don’t hold a lot of water, they will dry almost instantly, so if you’re on the go, this may be a deciding factor.

Things to consider in choose the best shaving brush

With an extensive range of options available, how do you select the best shaving brush? Take note that these are just guidelines, your preference might change as try out more and more products, but I think these factors are a good starting point for anyone who wants to go into wet shaving.

  1. Consumer Reviews: There are a lot of sources for this like forums, reviews in shopping sites, vendor sites, and blogs.
  2. Price: Is it excellent value for money? (Set a maximum budget and go from there).
  3. Brush Type: You’ll have to decide what you’ll get, whether it will be a synthetic or an animal brush.
  4. Handle: For practicality’s sake, I’d go for something made from plastic because it will last longer. It may not look as good as wood, which will quickly degrade in a high moisture environment (the bathroom!).
  5. Size: If you have larger hands, you’ll need a brush with a wider knot and longer handle.

Here are our picks for the best shaving brushes in the market and the reasons why.

#1 Edwin Jagger – Large Silvertip

Edwin Jagger has been a worldwide leader and distributor of luxury wet shaving products in the Sheffield region of England since 1988.

The secret and appeal of the Edwin Jagger line is its owner and founder, Neil Jagger.

Neil designs every wet shaving piece with meticulous attention to detail, which goes into the manufacture of traditional English style melded with cutting edge design.

His family-owned and operated business are dedicated to integrity and Sheffield craftsmanship.

A leader in shaving brushes

Edwin Jagger Large Silvertip shaving brush is an overall leader in the wide variety of badger hair brushes that the company produces.

The quality of this particular brush lies in its silvertip badger hair and its faux ebony handle, made of carefully selected and crafted polyester materials.

Natural, superior grade, fine, yet flexible badger hair is the key with this brush as it absorbs hot water well, evenly dispenses it to the face as it softens and ensures consistent lathering and shaving results.

Silvertip is rare, soft, and luxurious and is perfect for those with sensitive skin who prefer a gentle experience with lather and mild exfoliation.

This brush comes with a plastic drip stand, elegantly packaged in an Edwin Jagger box that includes tips and instructions on brush care.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:



Bottom line

Edwin Jagger is one of the leaders in terms of manufacturing shaving products, and this large silvertip brush is an excellent reflection of that tradition. It has great size, weight, and lathers well without any odor out of the box. If you don’t mind paying a premium for a shaving brush, but you only want the best, this is one of the best options out there.

#2 Mühle – Silvertip Shaving Brush Chrome Metal

Hans-Jürgen Müller GmbH & Co. KG is the proud owner and manager of the MÜHLE brand, which is based in Stützengrün, Saxony (federal state of Germany).

MÜHLE has been in the shaving industry since 1945. Driven by passionate experts with fervor for high-quality products possible.

Mühle in translation can mean a mill or milling machinery, and Hans Muller’s pioneering family definitely decided on an appropriate and work-related windmill design logo for their products.

While they make wet shaving products, they also sell body care and beauty products.

Also, they’re committed to the environment and sustainability and work with suppliers who uphold the same standards.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:


  • The warranty offered (3 months)
  • Reasonably priced for a high-end brush.
  • Solid, heavy balanced handle, but not unwieldy
  • Enjoyable feel and weight of the brush
  • Builds rich lather and rinses clean
  • Holds lather well
  • Very soft, compact head yet stiff backbone for standing up to harder soaps
  • A tightly knotted brush that spreads/splays well
  • No hair odor
  • Good stainless finish – limited stains/rust


  • Brush head shedding
  • The handle can be slick when wet
  • Handle shape not very ergonomic
  • Somewhat of a break-in period
  • Can be noisy (hitting the side of shaving bowl)

Only the finest matMühle ‘sMühle’s Silvertip Shaving Brush is made of the finest materials coupled with craftsmanship that is hard to match.

This silvertip brush has luxurious badger hair and has a large knot size that provides for fuller and broader strokes when lathering the face.

Lathering is more effective because of the bulbous loft of the brush, which helps with raising and increasing the buildup of the lather in a shaving bowl.

Chrome handle

The chrome-plated, specially crafted handle is made with a brass core, then nickel-plated and finally refined in galvanized chrome that has anti-slip engravings that aid in preventing hand slippage.

One user even commented that “the chrome metal handle is just amazing, great craftsmanship, great finish, and great weight; it feels very comfortable in my hand when whipping a lather.”

Bottom line

If the Edwin Jagger is too expensive for you, then this Mühle – Silvertip is a good alternative – only slightly cheaper, though. It has a decent 3-month warranty, a very balanced handle, gives you a rich lather and odor-less out of the box plus the handle comes in a beautiful stainless finish!

#3 Omega #10048 Boar Bristle/PRO 48

Omega is a family-owned and runs Italian brush company that was founded in 1931.

Omega’s current Chief Operating Officer was just 13 when he started his work with the family, and he is now, at 90 years old, still a part of the company.

Not only did Omega make shaving brushes and shaving sets, but they started with bristles, moved on to paintbrushes, intervened with shaving brushes, and ended with paint rollers, which were all part of the overall company plan.

Omega’s Greek-letter trademark logo says it all as it means collections of items as well as greatness in number.

The company’s complete range of quality brushes in bristle, badger, and synthetic fibers, which have been produced over the last 80 plus years, has been significant and varied.

Their products reach far beyond Italy as meticulous manufacturing processes and raw material selections have gained Omega respect throughout the world.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:


  • Reasonably priced
  • Relatively large brush, yet lightweight
  • Go-to brush
  • Good rotation type brush
  • Dries fairly quickly
  • Good fit and finish
  • Usable with shave soaps and shave creams.


  • Some bristle shedding
  • Bristles seem long
  • Easily scraped handle
  • Break-in time to remove boar bristle odor

Great budget option

The Omega Shaving Brush #10048 is a good shaving brush at an affordable price and is a boar hairbrush that is of high quality that is great for traveling and quick shaves.

It provides soft bristles for a close shave and is easy to hold with its chrome-colored classically styled ABS handle.

The brush is suitable for thick or coarse hair as well as for luxurious massaging and exfoliating effects on the skin.

The firmer bristles make it easier to work the lather into the beard past any long or coarse hairs.

These bristles are obtained from the finest boars in the German Black Forest, which provide for good foaming action as well as retention of lather and hair firmness when the bristles are wet.


Don’t let the low price fool you. The Omega Pro 48 is definitely a keeper in our book. It has a relatively large brush that dries quickly, plus it has an excellent finish, something astonishing from a brush at this price point. The low price point makes it very appealing as a daily driver sort of brush that you use and abuse without worrying about the cost.

Best Low-Cost Shaving Brush

Omega Pro 49 – Slightly Shorter Slightly More Expensive

The Omega Pro 49 boar bristle shaving brush is an easy and less expensive way to initiate the wet shaving process, snd it’s available in some colored faux-ivory handles.

Firm bristles

The brush bristles are longer and firmer than usual and are made from natural boar hair that lathers well and is useful for exfoliating facial skin.

Its bristles are not as soft as badger hair, but there is softening after a break-in period.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:


  • Inexpensive
  • Good starter brush
  • Bristles hold the soap well.
  • Large, yet not unwieldy or uncomfortable
  • Works well for face or bowl lathering


  • Stiff bristles (break-in period)
  • Holds less water
  • Plastic handle
  • Omega Sticker washes off.
  • Some bristle shedding
  • Slight boar bristle odor

Good backbone

The brush has a good backbone, retains less water, and is and is considerably larger than other shaving brushes, which helps in transforming harder soaps into denser and richer foams for face and bowl lathering.

If you are looking for a brush that is inexpensively priced, has a great backbone, long bristles, and holds a large amount of lather – this would be a great option.

Bottom line

The Pro 49 is slightly longer than the Pro 48, the choice between these two will depend on your preference. Since both of these are so cheap, you can buy them both and see which one fits your facial features the best. However, I must warn you that it has stiffer bristles, which means it will have a break-in period, and it also has a slight odor.

Best Value for the Money Brush

Parker Pure Badger

The Parker Pure Badger Shaving Brush is of outstanding quality and utilizes pure badger in a wide and plush bristle head.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:


  • Moderately priced
  • Quality badger hair
  • Holds water well
  • Little to no shedding


  • Brush stand difficulties
  • Larger and heavier than appears

Holds lots of water

This allows the brush to hold water in large amounts and produce a good lather and a refreshing shave in a matter of minutes.

Comes with a stand

The brush is accompanied by a free drip/brush stand, which helps the brush to dry and preserve the life of the bristles.

An eye-catching faux horn handle sets this brush apart from others and brings a classy look to the brush.

Bottom line

Parker not only makes decent safety razors but also shaving brushes. And this pure badger shaving brush is proof of that. It uses high-quality badger bristles that have excellent water retention that provides a good lather. And priced at a very reasonable amount, it’s another superb budget option.

Most popular shaving brush

Edwin Jagger Super Badger brush

This beautiful English medium-sized shaving brush is a perfect size and weight, and it contains super soft, yet not floppy, natural bristles.

The brush has a classic yet modern touch in its imitation ivory and ergonomically designed handle that is easy to hold and use.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:


  • Soft but not floppy
  • Good lathering brush
  • Good water retention
  • Silky smooth bristles


  • Brush hair shedding
  • Smaller knot

High-quality, super badger

The knot holds quality super badger hair that brings the perfect shave because of the soft and luxurious brush head backbone.

It generates good lather while retaining just the right amount of water to complete a full lather. The beard is softened, and hair is lifted for a closer and longer-lasting shave.

The Edwin Jagger Super Badger brush is determined as best “n the “Most Popular Shavin” Brush” category because the brush is well made, a good size, soft, but not floppy, and lathers well.

Bottom line

This super badger brush is another excellent mid-priced option thanks to its soft natural bristles that retains heat well and produces a great lather. The handle is excellent ergonomically – it’s easy to hold and use.

Best Travel Brush

FS (Frank Shaving) Travel Synthetic Brush

The FS Travel shaving brush is made of synthetic materials that are soft and similar to animal hair. Yet, the brush is smaller and easier to care for and travel with because of its smaller loft, as opposed to the girth of larger and unwieldy brushes with natural hair.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:


  • Cleverly designed
  • Reasonably priced
  • Perfect size
  • Dries quickly
  • Smooth metal parts
  • Synthetic bristles soft, yet flexible


  • Some bristle loss
  • Density and softness issues
  • Moisture retention

Dries easy

This brush lathers well and is easily dried because of the synthetic fibers.

Storage is simple, with positioning the brush in the sturdy metal container it comes in and closing it.

Slippery handle

The handle is smooth, but it can be slippery in moist conditions. One trick that wet shavers use to prevent slippage is to apply some alum on their fingers to make it sticky.

Though not as good at holding moisture as natural bristles, the brush dries out and stores quickly when you’re traveling.

Bottom line

This brush is an excellent option for frequent flyers because of its compact design and synthetic fibers that dry quickly. It only costs less than $30, so it’s a great affordable option.

Best Synthetic Shaving Brush

MÜHLE 39 K 257 Synthetic Shaving Brush

The MÜHLE 39 K 257 Synthetic brush utilizes the latest in synthetic “Silvertip Fibre,” which is comparable to natural hair fibers in its quality, thickness, and softness.

Muhle quality

Everything about this brush screams quality from the bristles down to the handle. Muhle used premium resin ivory for it. It has a nice smooth finish and definitely screams classic with its cream finish.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:


  • Dries more efficiently
  • Comparable to natural hair bristles
  • Vegan Fibers – (produces creamier and thicker lather from a small amount of soap or cream)
  • Very soft


  • Small brush
  • Hard to work with a shaving soap

Silvertip Badger

The brush head is equivalent to natural silvertip badger, and brush users seem to think that the synthetic fiber performs just as well as natural hair.

Silvertip Fibre is incredibly soft at the tip of the brush, and it is firmer and more stable than natural hair in the mid-section of the brush, which brings a soft sensation to facial skin and allows for density in the lathering process.

Vegan brush fibers are also easier to use as they produce creamier, thicker lather with the use of less soap.

Bottom line

The MÜHLE 39 K 257 made our list “s the “Best Synthetic Brush” because of the high-quality bristles that provide better performance compared to natural hair. It also dries faster and produces a more luxurious lather with less soap usage.

Best High-Performance Shaving Brush

WSP & Plisson “Monarch”

The WSP Monarch was designed to be the ultimate all-purpose shaving brush, and WSP is highly rated as America’s classic shaving brand.

This brush is versatile in that it can be used with shaving soap or cream.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:


  • High-density knot
  • High performance
  • Holds moisture/not floppy
  • Exceptionally soft
  • Handcrafted and assembled in the United States
  • Backed by warranty (1-year)/returns accepted.


  • The high-density knot may require additional soap.
  • Some scritch (scratchiness)
  • Smaller than appears
  • Fairly expensive

Not China made

Unlike most cheap shaving brushes that come from China, this isn’t imported but is sourced locally in Arizona. It has the longest warranty in the industry for 1 year.

High mountain white badger

The brush itself is very dense thanks to the authentic “High Mountain White” badger hair that contains 30% more badger hair than other brands.

So this product is all about luxury and performance. WSP used ivory acrylic to make the handle that offers both durability and excellent grip.

The brush features a strong main backbone that can withstand pressure and force along with brush tips that softly caress the face.

Bottom line

The WSP & Plisson “Monarch” shaving brush is determined as best in the “Best High-Performance Shaving Brush” category because of its all-purpose qualities as well as its strong backbone, high-density knot, soft tips, and its warranty and money-back guarantee.

Best “If-Price-Is-Not-a”-Issue” Shaving Brush

Kent BLK12

The Kent BLK12 in silvertip is thought of as the finest luxury shaving brush available today.

This brush utilizes a large silver-tip brush along and a smooth black barrel type handle that looks elegant with the Kent logo printed.


  • Large, beautiful brush
  • Nice feel in the hand


  • Very Expensive
  • Long drying time
  • The heavy density of hairs that can shed
  • May hold excessive water and soap when lathering

Kent has packed this brush with double the number of hairs of most shaving brushes, and the feel of the brush and sturdy resin handle makes applying lather easy, comfortable, and efficient.

Kent also provides a lovely red case (with gold accents) where you can store this beauty.

A few of the pros and cons of this top-rated product include:

Bottom line

 The Kent BLK12 brush is one of the best in this category because of its size, comfy fit, soft Silvertip quality, and packaging.