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What is the best shaving kit for men in 2024?

Welcome to B&B. There is a wide variety of options out there and what is best will depend on the individual. If money were no object, I'd get stones; 1000, 4000, 8000, and 12000 grits, and perhaps a higher grit finisher. I'm by no means an expert on stones. A diamond pasted strop and leather strop would also be on my list. As far as razors, there are plenty of older blades from vendors such as Henkles, but also good options from Dovo. I would avoid Shavette type razors as I found it only delays the learning experience. Then, of course, there are the many types of shave soaps and brushes. I like a strong scent, which I get with Captain's Choice and Sterling, but others like a very light scent. So there really isn't a "Best" in my opinion.

Welcome. 🙂

It's a difficult question to answer, and the answers will vary widely based on personal preferences. Besides, to me, it is unclear where you are coming from, and the information you are after.

Are you a new shaver seeking recommendations?...a new member who is curious about member's preferred razors, soap, strop, stones...etc?

I'm thinking with a little (of your) background information and some more specific questions you will get many responses.


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Hello back.

Perhaps you might be a little more specific about exactly What type of things you might be after. The question is quite broad, and there are literally hundreds, maybe thousands of combinations of items, none of which are "best", just different.

I wouldn't recommend any pre made kit with "everything" in it, as the quality would most likely not be there. Better to build the kit yourself from individual items.
I am awaiting my first pieces of straight razor shaving gear to arrive, but I have used a safety razor for a long time. I spent a lot of time researching at each step of my wet shaving journey, mostly here on B&B. I would encourage you to read up here, and start research one piece at a time. In your reading on B&B, make note of the brands that are repeated, and pay attention to the knowledgeable and well-regarded members recomendations. If you start with more simple pieces like a brush and soap, it won't take you long to find something good. There are many great options, and if the brand is repeated here often you can be assured it works well for most. It can be a bit more subjective with razors, but in the safety razor category, you can't go wrong starting with a vintage Gillette adjustable that will give you a range of settings to try. Once you've been shaving for a while you will know what characteristics you like, and which direction to research if you want a different experience. For me, straight razor research was a bit more daunting. Safety razor shaving is close enough to a cartridge experience that you can intuitively pick it up. But, most did not grow up with straight razor experience, so you are starting from scratch. With straights, you'll need a strop, razor, brush, and soap at a minimum. Again, start with the simpler items, and once you make a decision, the knowledge gained in your research will help with the next selection. You'll see Tony Miller mentioned often for strops, and his vanilla version is only $50. As for a razor, you will read repeatedly that a 5/8 round, hollow grind is good for a beginner. Full disclosure, I have not yet had a chance to shave with a straight, but in my research those were two obvious things I learned here on B&B. In my experience with safety razors, you will be far happier if you do your own research and make your own decisions than going for what someone else tells you is the "Best Kit." If you get stuck on a particular item or are considering between a couple of narrowed down choices, the extremely helpful members here will happily weigh in to help you make a good decision. At the end of the day, it is just shaving, so don't get too worried about it! Most of what you need to get started is relatively affordable, so research, make an educated guess, and dive in.
Welcome to the rabbit hole, @mikemike998!

If you are starting out, something like this:
  1. One new straight razor. Griffith Shaving Goods is a reputable seller. Matt will provide you with a truly shave-ready razor. Or a RigaRazor from Andrejs on eBay. This guy can grind.
  2. Two $25 to $100 vintage straight razors from eBay. Send one to @Doc226 for expert honing and keep the other for yourself to learn on.
  3. One Tony Miller $50 "plain" leather strop from Heirloom Razor Strop Co. You will nick and/or cut your first strop.
  4. One full progression of synthetic stones. I like the Shapton HR stones but Shapton recently came out with a new line of Rock Star stones that I would look at. I would start with 1000 (1k) or 2000 (2k) and then go in 3x progression to get to 12,000 (12k) or 16,000 (16k). The 20 mm Naniwa Super Stone 12000 is a popular synthetic finishing stone, too.
  5. One Atoma 400 diamond sharpening plate for lapping coarser stones.
  6. One Atoma 1200 diamond sharpening plate for lapping finer stones.
  7. One brush. Lots of choices. Very subjective. I love my Semogue Torga C5 brushes - short and scrubby.
  8. One cream/soap. Also, very subjective. Stirling Unscented with Beeswax is an excellent soap.
  9. One alum block.
  10. One aftershave balm (without alcohol) or splash (with alcohol). Floid Genuine is very soothing with a pleasant light scent.
That's about it.
Unfortunately there really is no "best" anything. Because there's only one combination of face and neck contours, skin, and hair quite like yours, finding what's best for you is a process.

You can shorten that process by learning how people with similar attributes have found success, but there's no definitive answers anywhere. Anyone who says otherwise is probably trying to make money from your purchases, whether they're selling directly or using affiliate links.
Yup, no “Best”.

The beauty of Straight Razor shaving is you get to tailor everything to your face, beard, experience level and budget.

Take a razor, you can find a $5 vintage “Little Valley” antique store razor with almost no wear, send it out for honing and you have $30-40 in a razor that will shave you well, for the rest of your life, or you can spend hundreds on a semi-custom razor from a known razor maker, not a knife guy making fantasy choppers.

The big kink in learning to shave is learning to strop. You will strop the razor before and after each shave and the quality of your stropping will determine the quality of the shaving edge.

Here also strops run the price gamut. You cannot beat a Tony Miller handmade, beginners’ strop at around $50. (A note about Tony, he fusses over every detail of his strops, down to how he clocks the Chicago screws, even on his $50 strops, or the look, width and thickness of his linen. Yes, say no more, you are buying quality).

And if you cut it or finally master stropping, (about a year to really “master” stropping) you can replace or up-grade your linen or leather without buying a whole new strop.

Soaps, cheap tub of Cella, or Martin de Candre, I love both and just received a 5-year supply of MDC, but a small tub of Cella is in my travel bag.

The kit Frank laid out is a good start, here again you can cut some corners and price by changing stones and diamond plates but if you have a quality razor pro honed you can get by with just a good synthetic finisher 8-12k and learn to refresh.

Many a new guy has texted or PM me a photo of an eBay or Antique store razor find, for an opinion of a purchase, as many others here have done. I prefer quality vintage over new, but that’s me.

Again, the beauty of Straight Razor shaving is tailoring each item to your face, beard and budget. With experience, your taste may change or at least evolve.
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