The 10 Best Shaving Sets

Updated April 08, 2018 by Chase Brush

Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Gentlemen, are we done with the whole beard fad yet? Thank goodness. Now that's over, it's time to get back to looking smooth and sophisticated by using one of these elegant shaving sets. They make a perfect gift for a male family member during the holidays or on birthdays, and come in safety and straight razor options that should work for any hair type and personal preference. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best shaving set on Amazon.

10. GBS 5-Piece

The GBS 5-Piece comes with reasonable quality components, including a chrome bowl, genuine badger brush and sturdy stand. It's not for purists or professional barbers, but it should serve as a good backup kit or as a gift for someone just getting into the art of shaving.
  • comes with double-edged safety razor
  • backed by satisfaction guarantee
  • razor handle is a little short
Brand GBS
Model pending
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Boss Razor Mach 3

The Boss Razor Mach 3 uses the same Gillette cartridge head that you'd find in stores, but adds to it a smooth, contoured handle that feels much nicer in the hand than your standard plastic model. It also comes with a padded chrome stand that won't scratch your sink.
  • razor head is replaceable
  • brush may shed a little
  • doesn't include soap or bowl
Brand Boss Razor
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Colonel Conk Model 237

A solid hardwood stand and a deluxe boar's hair brush gives the Colonel Conk Model 237 a rugged and rustic look, making it the perfect addition to the country home or backwoods cabin. Its double-track razor, with a polished, gold-tone finish, helps complete the aesthetic.
  • includes glycerin shaving soap
  • brush has strong acrylic handle
  • wooden stand may absorb water
Brand Col. Conk Products, Inc
Model 237
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Van Der Hagen Men's Luxury

If you've already got yourself a quality straight or safety razor, the Van Der Hagen Men's Luxury is the perfect complement. In addition to a brush, it also come with a monogrammed apothecary mug and hypoallergenic shaving soap that is suitable for use on sensitive skin.
  • affordably priced
  • clear plastic stand
  • does not include razor
Brand Van der Hagen
Model pending
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Gentleman Jon Complete

The Gentleman Jon Complete features almost everything you need to make your next grooming a success, including a sandalwood soap puck, five Astra blades, and a razor burn-fighting alum block. Regrettably, though, it doesn't come with a stand, which is pretty important.
  • comes in a gift-ready package
  • shouldn't leave bumps or cuts
  • bowl is a little small
Brand Gentleman Jon
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Mid Century Shaving Kit

The Mid Century Shaving Kit is a highly affordable and sleek-looking set that won't take up much counter space, thanks to the stand's ergonomic wire design. The double-edged safety razor comes in a handy travel case, so you can get a great shave at home or on the road.
  • includes 5 spare blades
  • brush comes in black or ivory
  • badger hair may smell initially
Brand Mid Century Shaving
Model pending
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

4. Parker SR1 Shavette

Using a straight razor like the one in the Parker SR1 Shavette takes some dedication to learn, but once you get accustomed to the technique, you likely won't go back. This model is designed for use in professional barber shops, so you know it's up to the task.
  • includes a pack of 100 blades
  • snap-lock secures blade in place
  • stand has nonslip rubber-lined base
Brand Parker Safety Razor
Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. The Shave Network 10-Piece

Ideal for traditionalists who see a belt and an old-fashioned straight razor as the peak of shaving technology, The Shave Network 10-Piece won't disappoint. The blade is made from heated carbon steel, and glides smoothly across the face when used with the included lather.
  • also comes with aftershave
  • brush bristles are synthetic
  • great value for price
Brand The Shave Network
Model RASMES-03
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Merkur Gift Set

Seasoned shaving aficionados will immediately recognize the superior quality of the components in this Merkur Gift Set, which features the German brand's most popular safety razor. If properly maintained, it's an elegant kit that should last for years of regular use.
  • includes colonel conk soap
  • extra long handle on razor
  • all parts are easy to clean
Brand Merkur
Model 190
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Parker 96R Butterfly

Give yourself a barber shop-level shave at home with the Parker 96R Butterfly, which incorporates a three-ounce razor that cuts through tangled bristle easily and feels well-balanced in the hand. All components are nicely matched, with patterned black and chrome detailing.
  • butterfly head twists open
  • durable and long-lasting
  • brush creates a dense lather
Brand Parker Safety Razor
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

What is a Shaving Set?

A shaving set will be the best friend of anyone experiencing a wet shave. A wet shave, as the name suggests, is a method of shaving that includes a straight or safety razor, a shaving brush, and a host of other optional items. The recent trend of wet shaving has companies reintroducing a host of shaving sets.

The set itself resembles a toothbrush holder, and it is designed to hold the razor and the brush. The brush must be hung upside down in the set after a shave in order to properly dry. Also, given the semi-dangerous properties of open blades, the razor is safe and secure in the set as well.

Some sets may chose to include additional items: disposable blades, shaving soap or cream, or a leather strop. It will seem overwhelming for the beginner to juggle all of these accessories. In anticipation for this, some sets are designed with the novice in mind to make the wet shave experience as easy as possible.

The razor in the set should always be the first item in consideration. A shave set will include either a safety or straight razor. If you are new to this type of shaving, I personally recommend a safety razor. Pressing a straight razor against your throat a la Sweeney Todd can be nerve wracking if you are not properly trained. A safety razor will have a guard to protect your skin from an open blade. The safety razor, however, will require you to replace disposable blades after several shaves. They are extremely cheap to purchase and in the long run they're more cost-efficient than disposable razors.

The second component is the brush. This is used to create a lather in the soap to apply to the face and ease the shave. You could simply use your hands, but it's more irritating on the skin and creates an irregular uneven lather. The brush is designed to soften the hair and raise it as it exfoliates the face. This advantage beats the multi-blades you see disposable razors boasting.

The Nitty Gritty

Since every shaving set will include at least a razor and a brush, how can one decide which to purchase? Your level of experience with wet shaving should determine the type of razor you'd consider. Since most safety razors will use disposable blades interchangeably, the selling point of the safety razor is usually the handle. The handle should be long enough to fit your hand and navigate across your face, legs, or wherever else. Some handles are ornately designed and flaunt luxury, while others suggest practicality. A rubber handle is extended for grip and precision, yet won't look as inviting as a chrome plated handle.

The straight razor can have a disposable blade as well. Though many will argue this is not a true straight blade, it offers the best of both wet shavers: a reliable sharp blade and a maneuverable handle. The straight blade has greater agility than its cousin, however, the risk of nicking one's skin is high. Keep styptic handy.

The safety razor usually is less expensive, but requires purchasing additional disposable blades frequently. As the name denotes, they are relatively safe to use, however, most beginners will want to train if possible. The Art of Shaving is an excellent source of information for those delving into wet shaving. A good safety razor properly cared for can last decades and they are worth the investment.

If you thought the shaving brush would be an afterthought, you could not be more mistaken. The grading system for shaving brushes is excessive. The standard classic for material is badger hair. The hair of a badger is ideal for smoothness and water absorption. There are tiers of badger hair quality: pure, best, super, and silvertip badger. A rule of thumb is you should like for all natural badger hair that tapers to an off-white color at the tips. This means it is not machine cut and it comes from a rare breed of badger.

Boar's hair and horse's hair are other acceptable materials for a shaving brush. For those of you squeamish using animal products, many synthetic brushes are available on the market. They primarily use nylon and the quality can vary as wildly as their animal counterparts.

The set is designed to hold the razor and dry the brush. Other than that, its up to one's personal taste. If your set will be on the bathroom sink, I would advise against a wooden set that can absorb water and get warped.

A Brief History of Shaving Set

The shave brush originated in France in the 1750's. They called the brush blaireau, which is French for badger; the primary material in the brush. These brushes were the most expensive, while boar and horse hair brushese were of lower quality and lower cost.

The other component of the brush is the handle. The handle showcased a shaver's wealthy or luxurious taste. Originally handles where composed of ivory, porcelain, silver, tortoise shell, and even gold. When the popularity of home shaving rose in the 1800's, a shaving set was seen as a status symbol to be viewed by guests.

Given the resurgence of wet shaving, thanks to hipsterdom, the shaving set is seeing a comeback. A delicate balance of practicality along with aesthetic should be observed when making your purchase. I commend all of you that chose wet shaving, as it will provide a closer shave with less long term cost. Good luck and happy shaving!

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Last updated on April 08, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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