Shaving is a lot easier – and more comfortable – when you’re working with the best shaving goods out there. Aside from your razor and creams, lotions and aftershaves of choice, one of the most important parts of a good wet shave is a quality shave brush.

Generally, shaving brushes are made of badger, boar or horse hair, while there are also synthetic options. The consensus is clear: badger hair is some of the softest, most exfoliating hair one can use in a shaving brush, and the extra price for good badger hair, according to many seasoned shavers, is worth it.

The Grades of Badger Hair

Badger shaving brushes typically come in one of three grades: pure, best and silvertip. Pure badger hair is the lowest quality; it’s still good and soft, but it’s not the softest hair on the badger, and it comes from the underbelly of the beast, which covers more than half of its body.

Best badger hair is softer and better quality, and offers a gentler shaving experience. Where pure badger hair may cause irritation to sensitive skin, best badger hair can retain more water and offer a better lathering experience.

And then there is silvertip badger hair, which comes from the soft neck of the animal and is considered top-of-the-line stuff. This hair is lighter than pure and best hair – hence the name – and offers the softest, gentlest shaving experience.

Where pure badger hair is rougher (but still soft, generally speaking) and is best for exfoliating and raising facial hair, silvertip hair is best for creating a rich, smooth lather that makes shaving a much smoother experience.

So which grade of badger hair is best for you? Depends.

If you’re looking to test the waters, a pure badger hair brush is just fine: it’s soft enough to give you an idea of how things work, and you won’t have to break the bank. If you’re the type to balance value and quality, a solid mid-range shaving brush would be ideal.

And for those who want a top-of-the-line shaving experience above all else – including a budget – then silvertip is the way to go. You’ll also find that some makers and shavers include other categories, such as super hair, but in general you’ll find it easy to figure out where each category stands in relation to the others.

We’ve selected some of the best buys from across the spectrum to give you an idea of which badger shaving brushes are the best. There’s no winner for everyone, so it depends on how much you’d like to invest, and how much you value the softest, most lather-intense shave.


Best Value Brush

Escali 100% Pure Badger Shaving Brush

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

For those of you just getting into the wet shave game, the Escali brush is a great entry-level product. Clocking in under $15, it’ll let you decide for yourself if a badger brush is best for you without making a big financial commitment.

For value brushes, the Escali is hard to beat: its 100% pure badger hair is soft for its grade, and although there are softer brushes out there, they’ll cost you a good deal more. The brush does a sufficient job of creating a nice lather, and if your skin isn’t too sensitive, you’ll find it exfoliates and raises your hair follicles well.

Users note that it’s one of the best bargain brushes they’ve used and is sometimes seem as the gateway brush to more expensive and softer products. For beginners just looking to get their faces wet, the Escali brush is an ideal place to start.


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Best Value Brush with Stand

Miusco Premium 100% Pure Badger Hair Shaving Brush

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

If you’re looking for an all-in-one setup without spending too much, the Miusco badger shaving brush comes with a sleek looking stand to keep your brush well cared for. Though it typically retails for much more, you can often find this brush set for under $20, and at that price its a great bargin.

The brush is made of pure hair, like the Escali, so it’s soft but on the more coarse end of the spectrum. Like the Escali, it’s a great entry-level product that will let you get a better feel for wet shaving and how to best use a badger hair brush.

Reviewers find that it holds and absords a good amount of water and provides a nice, rich lather that’s somewhat better than its price point suggests. Nearly 75% of all reviewers give the Miusco set 5 stars, and those who rate it lower still note its quality for the price. For a value buy that will give you a glimpse into daily life with a badger brush, the Miusco does the job.


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Best Pure Badger Shaving Brush

Parker Safety Razor Handmade Deluxe Long Loft

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

For an upgrade over the value buy, check out the Parker long loft brush. It’s still pure badger hair, but it has the quality and construction that makes Parker one of the leading shaving companies in today’s market.

This brush is ideal for those still looking to start out with an entry-level shave brush, but want slightly better quality than the beginner-priced products. The black and chrome handle looks clean and sleek in the bathroom, and it fits beautifully on the lucite stand that’s included.

Because this brush has longer bristles than other pure badger hair brushes, it provides a better opportunity to create a rich, wet lather that lasts. It’s still pure badger hair, so the quality is expected of its hair grade, but for that type of product you’re getting the best brush available.

Some users note that this brush provides the shaving experience and quality of best badger hair while costing the price of pure badger hair. More than 70% of reviewers gave the Parker long loft 5 stars, and overall it’s clear that this brush provides a shaving quality that’s far better than its price.

It’s durable and constructed to last a long time, even with daily use. For the best of pure badger hair, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this Parker shave brush.


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Best “Best” Badger Brush

Parker Safety Razor 100% Extra Dense Brush

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

For those looking to move beyond pure badger hair, best hair offers an excellent mix of high quality and good value. While note quite as expensive as silvertip brushes, best badger hair products have a more absorbent, softer shaving quality that’s noticeably (to many) better than pure badger hair.

Parker makes many quality brushes, and this extra dense best badger hair brush is as good as anything they put out there. The extra density creates a thick lather that works well on even the most sensitive skin, and guys of all skin types report that this brush is effective in creating the conditions needed for a really smooth shave.

Users note that the brush is heavy duty and puts up with just about anything. The bristles are soft and absorbent, yet also tough enough to stay effective over time. It carries a good amount of water in order to reach a good lather, while also raising the hair follicles enough to get a nice smooth shave.

With its white and chrome handle and accompanying brush stand, this is everything you need to get in to a mid-market badger hair shave.


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Best Silvertip Badger Brushes

Parker Safety Razor 100% Silvertip Faux Horn Handle Brush

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

Welcome to the big leagues, amigo. If you’re the type to buck financial conservatism in favor of the best damn shave out there, we feel you. And you’ll feel the Parker 100% Silvertip Faux Horn brush, made from the finest neck hairs on this side of any badger you’ve ever met.

For those of you who’ve used pure or best badger hair brushes, the silvertip will be a noticeable step up from what you’re used to. And for shavers jumping straight to silvertip, you’ll find the most luxurious shave you’ve ever imagined. Gone are the disposable razors and second-rate electric shavers. Gone are the days of not waking up excited to shave.

Because that’s how things are going to go from now on: awesome.

This handmade brush features bristles that absorb and retain more water than lower hair grades, so you’ll find yourself with a more rich, wet lather that’s easier on your skin and creates less irritation. Where some shavers find the pure badger hair to be slightly irritating to sensitive skin, you’ll likely have no such problems with the silvertip brush from Parker.

More than 84% of reviewers give the Parker silvertip 5 stars, and many have noted that they’ve used several different types of brushes and badger hair grades in the past, with this providing the most superior shave and lather experience.

If you’re okay spending a little more money on your shave brush, this can offer a spectacularly comfortable shave for beginning and seasoned wet shavers.

And, if you’re not a big fan of the faux horn handle, check out Parker’s chrome handle silvertip brush.


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Edwin Jagger Large Silver Tip Brush

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

If you’re looking to spend a little more money, consider the Edwin Jagger silvertip brush. It’s elegant, comfortable and capable of giving you the sort of shave that makes you shake your head, thinking, my god, I did not know this sort of shave was possible.

If the Parker brush above gets you into the silvertip game, the Edwin Jagger gets you frontcourt seats. While some shavers may not notice a huge difference in silvertip brushes at this point, it’s worth noting that many reviewers found the Edwin Jagger to be the best shaving brush they ever used, hands down.

This faux ebony handle is handmade in England by a company that’s been around since 1988, and they’ve been putting out great products ever since. For men who want the cream of the crop stuff in an aesthetically gorgeous package, Edwin Jagger’s the way to go. The brush has a solid weight and feel to it, and though it’s sturdy, its easy to move around quickly to create a nice lather.

Combine this brush with their signature shaving soap and you have the morning that, to this point, was only had by the Gods. And now, here you are, man, enjoying such a spectacular shave that birds are flocking around your home because they sense an energy that has not previously been felt on this plane. Your welcome.

Reviewers noted that using the Edwin Jagger was like using an old school, incredibly soft cloud-like brush and if that’s what’s important to you, then it may be time to spare no expense.


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Best High End Badger Shaving Brush

Kent BLK12 Traditional King-Sized Pure Silver Tip Badger Shaving Brush

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

Alright. There are silvertip brushes, then there’s the Kent BLK12. It’s big, it’s bold, it offers a great shave – and it’s $250. For many people, that’s maybe a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, or maybe a not-ever-in-a-lifetime purchase. But for athletes, rappers, doctors, you name it, the BLK12 is a realistic thing of beauty.

Here’s the breakdown: more than 90% of reviewers give it 5 stars, and they note that it’s one of the most satisfying shaves – and in general, feelings – on the planet. Is it worth $250? That’s up to you to decide. Money, after all, is relative and abstract and based mostly on things like perceived value. Anyway, if you’re looking for something that’s a financial outlier in the most impressive way possible, you might do well to check out the Kent BLK12.


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Best Synthetic Badger Hair Brush

Parker Safety Razor Synthetic Brush

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

Animal lovers, fear not. If you’re looking for the comfort and gentle exfoliation of badger hair, but don’t love the idea of Chinese badgers being butchered for their body hair so that we can shave our own hair (ironic, isn’t it), then a synthetic brush may be a great alternative.

Synthetic badger hairs are modeled after the real deal, and although they don’t retain quite as much water, they’ve come a long way in the last few years, and Parker makes one of the best synthetic badger hair brushes around.

This particular model has a blue wood handle, a small stand and the sort of convenience that makes it perfect for traveling or shaving in a hurry, like if you’re late for work and things just aren’t going right but you still want to give people that “damn I feel good” look when do you arrive at work.

The synthetic bristles on this brush do a good job of creating a natural-feeling lather, and many users find that it’s a great financial alternative to the regular badger hair brush, so whether it’s for ethical or financial reasons, the synthetic brush can be a nice tool to have in your shaving arsenal.


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Best Alternative to Badger Hair Brush

Parker Safety Razor Deluxe 100% Boar Bristle Brush

Best Badger Shaving Brushes

Now, if for some reason you have something against badgers and don’t want to use a shaving brush made with their hair, you can choose a brush made from boar hair or horse hair. Horse hair is nice because the horse doesn’t have to be killed in order to make the brush, but boar hair is also good because it gives you a softness, comfort and lather similar to badger hair.

Boar hair requires a little more time to break in, which means you’d spend a few more days or weeks getting your hair bristles softer, which makes for a better exfoliation and lather. Badger hair has a shorter break-in period, but it does still take some time to get the ball rolling.

Overall, boar hair is an affordable alternative to badger hair – this particular model runs at a fraction of Parker’s higher-end badger hair brushes. If you’re just looking to get a feel for wet shaving, this Parker boar brush can be an excellent alternative to badger hair.

This would also be appropriate for those in Wisconsin who believe the badger to be “all-seeing, all-powerful” and therefore would not dare use a badger to clean and groom oneself.


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Sources & Further Reading
  1. http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Shaving-Brush-Hair-Basics-What-You-Need-To-Know-To-Get-Started_b_67.html
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shave_brush
  3. http://www.today.com/style/how-get-perfect-shave-2D80554959
  4. https://www.classicshaving.com/pages/brush-and-bristle-basics-without-the-sales-pitch
  5. http://www.shaving101.com/index.php/education/shaving-brush-basics/105-understanding-hair-grades-of-badger-brushes.html
  6. http://shaveinfo.com/shaving-information/brush-grade-faq.htm
  7. https://dappered.com/2013/09/choosing-a-shaving-brush-the-different-grades-of-badger/
  8. http://www.edwinjagger.com/
  9. http://www.parkershaving.com/