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Stainless Steel shaving bowl vs ceramic/porcelain bowl vs cup

What are the pros and cons of each Stainless Steel shaving bowl vs ceramic/porcelain bowl vs cup.

The ceramic/porcelain bowl and cups are more expensive than the Stainless Steel shaving bowl, is there much difference and is it worth spending the extra dollars on the The ceramic/porcelain bowl and cups? Thanks for all your help
If you're talking about bowls to build lather in, I think the ceramics have the advantage that they retain some heat. I fill up mine with hot water prior to showering, and my lather is a little warmer as a result. Of course a downside is that they're more fragile. Then again, they're often more attractive objects.
The biggest advantage of the metal ones they do not break nor shatter
The same applies to polymers though.
The ceramics retain heat better but I have average lather when it is warm or hot much better at room temperature.
A rough textured ridges surface also helps to lather up faster. But finding that in stainless is a challenge. Exists in copper though.

I still prefer my granite mortar as long as I do not drop that 2 pound plus on anything....
What are the pros and cons of each Stainless Steel shaving bowl vs ceramic/porcelain bowl vs cup....
Function is more important than materials for a lather bowl. The most important things IMHO are that it is large enough and deep enough, has the right shape, can be held securely in the palm of one hand and will not break if dropped. Bonus points if it does not make loud noises in use.

A good design is the Timeless lather bowl. This was made by someone who understood what matters most. It costs $12 and is very well made, of unbreakable polypropylene plastic. Dimensions: HEIGHT: 2 3/4": INSIDE DIAMETER: Bottom: 3 1/4" Top: 4 7/16" WEIGHT: ~4 oz. It has internal ridges that reinforce the bowl and help make it easy to build a lather.
This is just one example. It could be slightly bigger in diameter maybe, a little less deep, etc. But the basic ideas are there.
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What are the pros and cons of each Stainless Steel shaving bowl vs ceramic/porcelain bowl vs cup.
I picked up a small hammered stainless bowl for $4.00 in a kitchen store. It works like a charm.

I had used a small china bowl in a large soup mug as a makeshift lather scuttle but found the warm lather blew up some irritation.

I use a mug for loading from pucks or load cream from the tub. Then change over to the bowl and build the lather. I'm happy with that.

I picked up a small hammered stainless bowl for $4.00 in a
That's a good way to go. You can find something inexpensive that looks nice and re-purpose it. I usually prefer things that are unbreakable, just because I hate dealing with broken glass, etc. in a bathroom area.
If price is a consideration, or even if it is not, then don't buy a bowl or mug at all, instead simply face lather. Face lathering is a wonderful experience, there is nothing like it. Quite simply it feels fantastic and to exclusively bowl lather is to deny yourself one of the great pleasures in life let alone in shaving.
Size and depth is more important, functionally, than material.
Be sure the bowl you get is the right size for the brushes you use.
For instance, I have one quite large brush that is too big for any of the bowls that I own.
Many bowls will only accommodate small to medium-sized brushes.

The propensity of ceramics to break is always a factor.
However, I have a couple I've used for decades without managing to break even one.
Only you can judge how likely you are to break a ceramic bowl.

Most gents leave their shaving-bowls out in view, so style and attractiveness should also be considerations.

It's true that ceramic bowls retain warmth better than metal, but if that's your priority, a scuttle is better than either.

But the real answer (and I'm certainly not alone here), is that you should get all of the above.
You are a shaving hobbyist, after all, aren't you?


I have a lovely scuttle that sits unused in a cabinet in my bathroom. I used it for a while but it fell out of favor. Recently, I purchased a captains choice copper bowl and use that every day. It is the perfect width and depth and helps makes great lather.
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Was using a Stainless steel kitchen bowl. Was working well but was a big too wide. Then found that copper bowl on ebay and it's my favorite. The size is about 5.25inches wide and the bump in the middle really helps making lather. ( Plus all the details inside are little ridges ) Just wished I ordered 2.
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