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A Tale of Two Scuttles: Crown King and Georgetown Pottery G12

So - I recently decided to try a couple of scuttles out. I've gone back and forth between face lathering and various bowels and mugs over the years. I had settled pretty hard on just lathering on my face, especially since I had moved to shaving in the shower. However, for various reasons (spending too long in a running shower, wasting water, couldn't hear the razor cut, shave oil slicking up the shower, and a few others) I went back to sink shaving but missed the constant warmth of the shower. So I thought a nice heated scuttle might be a good alternative.

I bought two - one from Phoenix (Crown King) and one from Georgetown Pottery. These are both internal reservoir type scuttles with rubber stoppers. I tried to research reviews on both - both had good reviews but I also kept coming across many - "porcelain is good clay is bad (or the other way around)" arguments and also many comments about hot water scuttles just not working.

Being formally trained and educated as an engineer - I decided I need to make a data based decision (of course). I took the two scuttles and heated them with the hottest tap water in my home (I refuse to resort to boiling water to shave - wet shaving is time consuming enough; Also you can supposedly microwave them for more heat - also and added step I'm not interested in) - and warmed them for one minute with hot water in the reservoir and running hot water on the outside. Then I drained and re-filled them - both the reservoirs and the bowels with hot tap water. I then measured how quickly the temperature dropped.

Before I get sharp shot to death - I am fully aware the actual temperatures do not represent what would happen to lather - and that the heat capacity of the water is not the same of as that of lather, etc. etc. What I wanted to know was if there was a difference in the heat retention of the scuttles; Using the same media (water) that was easily measured for temperature eliminated a lot of variables.

View attachment 710954

I would have thought they would perform very differently, they are very different in format (see photo). The crown king is a white porcelain scuttle with a conical bowel - it holds 11 oz of water in its reservoir. The Georgetown Pottery scuttle was their G12. Its about the same size as the Crown King, but has a flat bottom bowel, is made of clay and holds 12 oz of water in its reservoir. There is also a substantial price difference - the CK was around $24 and the GP was $60. Another important point - many have commented on this with Georgetown scuttles - they are HEAVY. With their reservoirs full, the CK weighed 1 lb - 9.3oz; The GP weighed a whopping 2 lb - 9.6oz. You can definitely feel the difference - I could hold the CK for extended periods but not the GP - in fact I leave it on the counter when I use it. Keep this in mind if you get one - they have two styles - this one and a larger one, the G-20 which is different only in height (taller by just over an inch) - it would be even heavier.

So what were the results? Well my starting tap water was at 130.5F (Time Zero); I measured the temperature of the water I filled in the bowels every five minutes out to thirty minutes (even us slow pokes are done shaving by then). I left the scuttles sitting on the granite countertop next to each other and measured the water temperature in place:

View attachment 710957

Here are the temperature measurements:

Time, MinGP, FCK, F

At the end of 30 minutes I also measured the temperature of the water in the internal reservoirs - they were both at 94.3F.

So what to conclude from all this? Yes the GP held more heat longer - but would you notice a few degrees - probably not. You would notice the high price and the heavy weight of the GP (negatives) - but there are a few other factors as well.

The GP while more expensive is beautiful - I really enjoy it every time I step up the vanity - its too nice to put under the sink. Another difference I noticed is that the conical shape of the bowel in the CK - tends to drive more of the lather up and over the bowel while building the lather - a bit annoying. The flat bottom on the GP keeps the lather in the bowel better.

They are both about the same in depth - both have horizontal and vertical lines molded in. I also found both to be a little hard to use with a small brush. I prefer to use a Scott Wee - which is about the smallest brush you can get - I also have their much larger Scott keyhole. I find I don't like most brush sizes - they are way too big - they say to paint the lather on...I feel like its more mopping with most of the brush sizes out there. But the Wee is hard to use inside a bowel - you have to hold it just with your finger tips - a little awkward.

I originally planned on getting rid of which ever one did not hold the heat - I'm going to keep them both. The key thing is that they both work about as well - so if your concerned with price or insist on holding the mug while you lather, and its function over looks - get the Crown King - its a great value and as I've demonstrated works just as well as a fancy pottery scuttle. The GP is definitely a lux item. I love its looks and style and will keep it on my vanity. However if I feel compelled to travel with a scuttle or loan one out - its the CK - I know if I travel with it I'm not missing any performance, its lighter and if it gets broke its not too expensive to replace.

Hope you all find this review helpful.

Warm Regards (and warm lather!)

I bought a crown king knowing I wouldn't be using it daily (it will be under the tree). I'm glad I did and this was extremely helpful! I think this answered all the questions I had and had no answers for.
Thanks for the info. I'm sure it will help some people in their decisions. I'm still happy with the Robert Becker scuttle I picked up a couple years back.
...Being formally trained and educated as an engineer -
The bowel reference is quite funny.

Anyway, thanks for this review. It is clear the "porcelain is good clay is bad" is irrelevant since 12oz is 12oz. More or less.

Now, how about a G20 vs G12 vs CK?

I wish my counter had enough space for another scuttle... As it is, I've enjoyed my Georgetown G12 for almost 2-1/2 years, and I hope for many more.

FYI. After I fill the bowl of my scuttle with hot water, I park it on a wash cloth and work from there. I never pick it up. Weight is not an issue for me.
So, you use the scuttles to keep your feet warm, but what do you keep the shaving lather in?

I've nearly decided to prepare my lather in a Captains Choice bowl and transfer the yogurt over.
'I have an elderly woman who is so heat sensitive I've set my demand hot water heater at 104 (and she'd still like it cooler...). Water from an electronic kettle at 140 sounds pretty awesome to me, and would last at least until I went to rinse the lather well out.
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Yes -

I my computer initially tried to spell check when I typed bowl with a few extra letters - it kept wanting to but bowels in there - so I thought it'd be amusing to let it put it in there and see if anyone would comment - plus I realize the technical aspect made it a dry post anyway....
I do suspect it has a lot to do with the volume of water - I am tempted to buy a G20 and try the same set of experiments.

I was also surprised to find my tap water is 130F - that violates code in some places - also explains why I was getting dry patches from where the water in the shower hits.....

Excellent review, thank you for doing it. I have the Crown King (price, and no counter space, in the cabinet it goes!) and found it took some time for me to learn how to make the lather and not make a huge mess. Interestingly, I found I need to add less water while building the lather compared to same set up using a Fine Shaving bowl. I'd be interested if others have noted that. My hypothesis is that water up in the brush is being used more, as the conical shape of the CK scuttle does force more soap up into the brush than when I bowl lather.

And I loved your comment on mopping versus painting! Too true when I had a larger badger brush.
Who else is travelling for the holiday and bringing along their Bingle gifts? I'm pretty sure my parents are going to give me a strange look on Christmas morning...
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