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What makes for a good bowl for bowl lathering?

What are some things to look for in a bowl that helps make good lather quickly? Height, width, depth, texture, material, etc.

I’ve got this bowl and it seems pretty good. It is tall and deep, which I wonder whether or not that is best. It tends to push lather up the sides. I’ve also been bummed out by how the handle on my new brush (Omega 011842) bangs against the sides, unless I’m really slow and careful. It’s scratched it up quite a bit already. I think it’s partly due to the height and depth. The rough ribbed texture doesn’t help with scratches either.

So, I guess I’m maybe considering a new bowl even though I spent quite a bit on this one.

FWIW: I use creams (CO Bigelow and Spieck).
My best shaving bowl is a cheap double wall, stainless, purchased from an Indian store (also found on some online stores). Seen below, the one on the left.



As you can see, the inside is brushed and the top quarter is narrower thus keeping the lather in (to some degree). It says Onyx on the bottom. I have tried many shaving bowls and, next to the GP scuttles, this one is my favorite and the one I ended up using exclusively.
It is 4" across and about 3" high.
Good luck and have fun chasing the perfect one for you. Oh, almost forgot, you get cookie points for posting pictures, when and if you settle on one.
I used to have a very fancy hand crafted ceramic bowl. Trouble is, ceramics tend to get slippery when wet and soapy. And they tend to shatter when dropped on granite. I replaced it with a plastic bowl I found at Target for under $2.00. It has served me well.
Five to six inches in diameter, roughly three inches deep, with straight walls. The rest, to me, is details. If it's breakable I set it on a face towel on the bathroom counter while building lather, etc.
Or you can defy conventional wisdom and go for FACE lathering. Having done both, I’m a FACE latherer for life now. The stubble, # pass, so on, feedback for FACE lathering with one’s hands (and then “paintingl” with brush) is incomparably great, IMHO.
I have looked at very fancy bowls, but my Proraso bowl is great and so is my Dollar Store one I picked up last year which resembles @VerbaVolant’s bowl on the right.

I was face lathering last month with Decemboar but now use a hybrid approach.

But no fancy bowls for me - this simple set up works like a charm as long as you have something to agitate your brush against.


Timeless Razors makes a cool bowl. Works good is cheap and unbreakable.

I have a Frankoma soup mug that I found at the antique store for a few bucks. 5" diameter, about 2 3/8" deep. The handle is nice for lathering. I never had any problem making lather in a smooth bowl so I can't say textures or ridges are necessary but some guys prefer that. Only issue is that short handled brushes will fall in unless they have a lip at the base.
Timeless won out for me as my daily
the Captains Choice in heavy is also very cool and many love

I also like to leave the lather I did not use up in the bowl and the CC does not like that so much :)
the plastic of the Timeless does not matter
Captains Choice for me!
Not very deep (avoids the handle from hitting the edge while whipping up), not very rounded edges (helps lather from overflowing), and it's the right size!
I've got the one I use and have 2 new ones stored as spares. And I've also got a soap locker that he makes which is also excellent.
The Captain makes excellent stuff!
I never liked the Timeless bowl. I only use my Timeless bowl for brush soaking.
Any ‘ol oversized coffee mug will do. I’ve purchased quite a few dedicated shave mugs in my tenure here on this planet and, they’re all the same to me. I have learned to get a great lather from a styrofoam cup, to just lathering in my hand, to a $$$ crystal scuttle. My experience tells me that there’s nothing special about any of them in regards to a great lather…except for the one you use and enjoy the most.
Or you can defy conventional wisdom and go for FACE lathering. Having done both, I’m a FACE latherer for life now. The stubble, # pass, so on, feedback for FACE lathering with one’s hands (and then “paintingl” with brush) is incomparably great, IMHO.

Agree. Not lathering on the face is, in my opinion, a missed opportunity to soften the stubble as prep. But, certainly, to each his own.

I have in the past used a vintage shaving mug (not so much recently as I haven't been buying pucks) The was absolutely nothing special about it, seemingly just an oversized ceramic coffee mug with a rimmed base. Anthropologie used to carry similar ones labeled "Monogram mugs." They're available on Etsy and Ebay among other places.

Thinking I would want to have a bowl to lather in, I thought something with a rough interior (or otherwise textured) would facilitate building lather. To that end I picked up a small 50 cent homemade pottery bowl (maybe 3 1/2 inches wide and 2 inches deep) at a garage sale. It has kind of a sandy texture to it. It worked well enough though I never really used it all that much, as I prefer to face lather. It just sits on the counter now, holding my brush.

Certainly anything will do. Be creative. Use something fun or interesting.


I shaved a fortune
I know they are on the expensive side for shaving bowls but I've never used anything as nice as the CaYuen bowls Rich has for sale on Etsy.

And right next to it is one of Scott's (Captain's Choice) soap lockers with PAA Cube 2.0 pre-shave melted into it.

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