Best Shaving Brushes: Top 5 Boar, Badger, Horse & Synthetic Shaving Brushes

Best Shaving Brushes: Top 5 Boar, Badger, Horse & Synthetic Shaving Brushes2018-01-02T13:16:37+00:00

how to load a shaving brush with soapThe best brushes can be hard to find and there are so many to choose from that it can be difficult to find the right one. As our shaving brush materials guide explains in detail, bristle fibres can be made from several sources.

Not only are there boar and horse hair but several grades of badger hair. Additionally, there are also shaving brushes made from synthetic fibres. So what should you get? Each fibre type features different properties. Therefore, it’s useful to read up on their different characteristics via the materials guide mentioned above.

However, you can always dive in right here and find the one that best suits your needs.

What Are The Best Shaving Brushes?

The following guide assembles the top 5 brushes from around the world that are easily available on Amazon.com. We’ve broken them down to the best according to each material as well as the ideal starter brush for beginners:

  1. Best Shaving Brush For Beginners
  2. The Ultimate Badger Hair Brush
  3. Best Horse Hair Brush
  4. Best Boar Hair Brush
  5. Most Vegan Friendly & Best Synthetic Brush

1. Best Shaving Brush For For Beginners: Omega 80266 Pure Boar Bristle Brush

  • Country Of Origin: Italy
  • Bristle Material: Boar
  • Cruelty Free: Unlikely
  • Bristle Loft: 55 mm
  • Knot Diameter: 23 mm
  • Price: $15 [Buy Now On Amazon]

Omega 80266 Pure Boar Bristle BrushFor those only just venturing into the wet shaving world, they could do far worse than Omega’s 80266 pure boar brush. This particular model has been in production for over 30 years by the renowned Italian manufacturer.

Styled for a badger effect, the boar bristles offer an excellent balance between softness and backbone.

Therefore, newcomers will be able to get a solid grasp and improve their technique before moving onto more complicated materials.

Overall, the quality is excellent for the price. The bristles may not be as soft as badger but offer decent water retention. The ivory colour resin handle perfectly acceptable and the knot has been properly banded.

Indeed, value for money is unparalleled with this excellent starting brush. At only $15 on Amazon.com, users will have an authentic experience at a small price.

2. Best Badger Hair Shaving Brush: Simpson No.1 Chubby Super Badger Brush

  • Country Of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Bristle Material: Badger
  • Cruelty Free: No
  • Bristle Loft: 47 mm
  • Knot Diameter: 24 mm
  • Price: $130 [Buy Now On Amazon]

Simpson CH1 Chubby Super Badger Hair Shaving BrushMen seeking the ultimate shave need look no further than the Chubby Super Badger Brush. Handmade in the UK by the celebrated Simpson firm, their brushes offer the most exquisite shaving experience.

The knot is filled with extra dense super badger hair of the highest quality. Being a UK reputed manufacturer, this grade of super is indeed the highly sought-after silvertip badger bristle grade.

Therefore, it will create an unparalleled lather otherwise impossible with boar hair. Furthermore, it offers a comfortable backbone but still comfortably splays against the skin.

Being a three-band hair, it has fine thickness and very soft tips. This means that you simultaneously get both stiffness and softness. As other users have noted, it feels like running a baby bunny across your face.

Finally, the price is indeed exceptional at $130 on Amazon.com. As many have noted, Simpson’s creation is an exceptional brush that offers the best possible quality on the market.

3. Best Horse Hair Shaving Brush: Vie-Long 13061 Horse Hair Shaving Brush

  • Country Of Origin: Spain
  • Bristle Material: Horse [50% mane / 50% tail]
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Bristle Loft: 60 mm
  • Knot Diameter: 23 mm
  • Price: $35 [Buy Now On Amazon]

Vie Long 13061 Horse Hair Shaving BrushIf you’re looking for something between boar and badger, then horse hair is certainly worth your consideration. Spanish house Vie-Long is best known for its horse hair brushes that are handmade in Valencia.

Made with an even blend of mane and tail hair, it offers the perfect balance between softness and stiffness. The bristles are incredibly soft to the touch and it’s a bit floppier than boar or badger here.

Although this can make it harder to lather, mastering it creates a perfect cream. It’s an absolute pleasure on the skin and very soft indeed.

Unlike boar, horse hair is much easier to break in and within three shaves, this will be perfect. However, it does tend to smell a little stronger than boar but don’t be alarmed. This is treated by letting it soak in hair conditioner overnight and left to dry.

This premium horse hair brush comes with a marbled Lucite, which is very eye-catching. Interestingly, horse bristle is usually cruelty free as hairs used during grooming are reserved for the brushes. Therefore, it presents as a both natural and humane alternative to badger or boar.

At $35 on Amazon.com, it’s slightly steeper than even the most premium boar hair. However, the experience is well worth the investment.

4. Best Boar Bristle Brush: Semogue 2000 Natural Boar Bristle Shaving Brush

  • Country Of Origin: Portugal
  • Bristle Material: Boar
  • Cruelty Free: Possibly
  • Bristle Loft: 60 mm
  • Knot Diameter: 25 mm
  • Price: $17.50 [Buy Now On Amazon]

Semogue 2000 Natural Boar Bristle Shaving BrushWhen considering the premium boar options on the market, Portugal offers some excellent options. The Semogue 2000 is a substantial brush that gives one of the best boar experiences possible.

As boar brushes take time to break in, you may need to wait a few shaves to experience the brushes full potential. However, when it gets there, you will know. The bristles are stiff with a solid backbone, which provides excellent sought-after exfoliation.

Nevertheless, the long bristles are soft enough to splay correctly and give some softness.

Overall, Semogue’s boar bristle is heralded as of the best choices for lathering. The rigid brushes make it much easier to whip up even the most stubborn soaps.

Finally, the Semogue is not much more expensive than the Omega. In fact, it can be found on Amazon.com for only $17.50. Therefore, if you’re serious about taking up wet shaving, you may want to consider it as well.

5. Best Synthetic Brush: Kent Infinity Silvertex Shaving Brush

  • Country Of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Bristle Material: Nylon
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Bristle Loft: 52 mm
  • Knot Diameter: 22 mm
  • Price: $19 [Buy Now On Amazon]

Kent Silvertex Infinity Synthetic Shaving BrushAs Kent effortlessly prove, synthetic bristles doesn’t necessarily imply inferior quality. On the contrary, the historical brush and comb firm offers one of the finest synthetic shaving solutions available.

Their in-house Silvertex nylon bristles have been crimped to emulate real badger bristle. The design helps it retain water, which is often a lacking trait in synthetic brushes.

Amazingly, the Infinity brush loads an excellent lather.

Additionally, the brush features a solid backbone but with a soft touch. Expect only light boar-like exfoliation but refined softness. Because the Kent is lightweight and nylon dries faster than natural bristles, many people consider it an excellent option for travelling.

As synthetic brushes have made remarkable improvements in recent years, it’s actually more expensive than a boar brush today. However, it’s in high demand and the price is still quite reasonably at only $19 on Amazon.com. Bear in mind that although this is a synthetic brush, it is also a premium one from a reputed brand.

Can I Use A Vintage Shaving Brush?

shaving brush with straight razorIn theory, it’s possible to pick up vintage brushes quite easily at very cheap prices. However, unlike razors that can last several lifetimes if properly maintained, shaving brushes do have a fixed lifespan.

Firstly, even if properly looked after, a shaving brush may begin to lose its bristles after around 30 or 40 years. However, in some instances it has been known for them to last longer.

There are no real risks in picking up a vintage shaving brush apart from obvious hygiene concerns. Sometimes the bristles can be quite stiff after being left for too long. Nevertheless, you can easily take care of these issues with a good clean as if you were breaking in a new brush. You can learn more about maintenance with our lathering guide.

Unless the handle is particularly valuable, don’t spend much on a vintage brush. This way, you won’t be crushed if the bristles do shed. Not all is lost if it does lose its hairs, though. Vintage handles are particularly unique and you can simply replace the old, worn knot with a new one.

Next Steps

Now that you have learned about the best models, you can head back to the shaving brush main page to learn about looking after one as well as the various materials used. Alternatively, you can jump across our shaving guide series to learn about straight razors, safety razors and much more!