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Shaving Brushes

Welcome To The Shaving Brushes Wiki

On behalf of the entire team at B&B, we're so happy you found our Wiki page dedicated to Shaving Brushes! Please check out our forum dedicated to Shaving Brushes here to join in the discussion. Here is your one stop for everything brushes!


The shaving brush is the brush used to generate lather from a shaving soap or shaving cream. Brushes come in a great variety of shapes, sizes, materials and prices. On this page we'll help you organize and consider this information so you can really have fun while picking out a brush for yourself or as a gift.

There are four main categories of shaving brushes and they are grouped according to the material used for the bristles. These are Badger, Boar, Synthetic and Horse. Shown here are these four types of brushes in that same order.

While each brush is unique in it's feeling and performance there are some basic characteristics that help to define each of these four categories. Badger brushes are probably the most common type of brush and are known for their softness. Boar brushes are only slightly less common than badger brushes and are known for their stiffness. Synthetic brushes are becoming more common and offer a good combination of both softness and stiffness. Horse brushes are probably the least common of the four categories and are also known for their stiffness. While this is a fairly simple way of describing each of these categories it's very important to note that there is quite a bit of crossover of these characteristics between these categories. For example, many badger brushes are said to feel stiff and many boar brushes are renowned for their softness. So don't get too caught up in these characteristics when choosing a brush for yourself and instead rely more on reading reviews of the model you're considering to get the most accurate description of it's performance.

Sizing Up A Brush

After considering a bristle material, the next thing to consider is the brush's size. Each brush is composed of a handle and a knot. The knot is the name given to the bristles when they are joined together before being attached to a handle. The three most common measurements of a shaving brush are the overall height, the loft and the knot diameter.

Considering these three measurements it’s easy to see why shaving brushes come in such a large variety of styles. And, just like changing the bristle material, changing these measurements can change how the brush performs.

Generally speaking, the height of the loft will determine the stiffness of a brush and the knot diameter will determine the density of the brush.

The shorter the loft the stiffer the brush will feel. This stiffness is often referred to as the brush's backbone. Higher lofts have a looser or floppier performance.

The larger the knot size the more dense a brush will feel. Smaller knots generally feel less dense.

Another factor to consider at this time is the knots shape. There are two main shapes of knots, fan shaped and bulb shaped. They are shown in this picture in that order from left to right.

Lastly, in sizing up your brush, is the handle. Handles come in seemingly endless shapes and are made from plastic, wood or metal (or a combination of all three). There is no real difference in brush performance based on handle size or material so choosing something to fit your hand or a look you enjoy is a good staring point.

Getting Started

Shaving Brush Database


Cleaning and drying a shaving brush after the shave is very important. This will reduce the risk of bacteria and possible shredding problems. When you complete your shave, it is recommended that you remove any remaining lather by using clean water. When done, squeeze any excess water out and try to shake the water out of the brush. You can do it over a sink or in the shower(this will avoid a messy mirror if you are shaking the excess water over the sink).

See also

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