In times long gone and again more recently, men everywhere owned shaving supplies. This includes items like shaving scuttles, bowls, and mugs because that’s just the way things were. Now, you see shaving creams and gels that have become the norm. Before those became mainstream, your only option to shave would have been shave soap.
However, old-fashioned shaving supplies have come back into popularity. Bowls, scuttles, and mugs are a luxury for many people these days, especially because they don’t know how to pick one or what to look for. Thankfully, you have access to helpful tips that will help you figure out what to look for in a good shaving scuttle.
Worth the Cost or Not?
The cost really depends on what is important to you. Furthermore, your willingness to spend the money for a shaving scuttle will determine whether or not you should buy one. Do you value time over luxury? If you do, then you probably prefer latherless shaving cream or gel. In your case, having a bowl or scuttle won’t do anything for you.
It is different if you prefer luxury over time. If you want a luxurious shaving soap, then having a bowl or scuttle is going to be very useful.
A Brief History of the Scuttle
Originally, companies created scuttles to have a separate compartment for water so that you could dip your brush as needed. Today, most shaving scuttles have an open bay to hold water to keep the lather warm.
Companies decorated earlier scuttles with vintage designs. In fact, some were even personalized at barbershops as a way to keep people coming back.
Many of the mugs people purchased actually came imported from places like France and Germany. They didn’t have their full decorations until after they arrived at their final destination.
If you find these kinds of items, they are genuine vintage mugs and scuttles. You’ll find them on places like eBay for a price that might make you flinch. Today’s models are not nearly as expensive, but they definitely more expensive than your run of the mill shaving cream.
Choosing a Bowl, Scuttle, or Mug
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You don’t need all three different lathering containers, but you will need to figure out which one will work best for you at keeping your lather warm. They all do the same thing, but selecting one for your purposes will come down to personal preference.
Shaving bowls are perfect if you intend to use shaving soap. A large scuttle works well for shaving soap too. If you prefer shaving cream, bowls and scuttles are also great for that as well. Scuttles and mugs have the best heat retaining capabilities when compared to the others. If that makes a difference to you to keep your lather warm, keep this aspect in mind.
Mugs are very similar to scuttles, except there is an open and hollow compartment under the bowl that holds the cream. You put hot water into the empty chamber, and it keeps your cream nice and warm.
In Regards to Heat Retention and Materials
If you want a shave soap, make sure your scuttle, mug, or bowl is deep enough and wide enough. Some scuttles on the market are the size of bowls while others are more like mugs, so do your homework and research your options.
Also, consider the warmth that you’ll feel on your face. Do you prefer a warm lather as you shave, or do you mind if it goes cold? If you prefer a steady warmth, then a shaving scuttle is going to be your best option. If you’re okay with a dissipating warmth, then a bowl will be just fine as well.
Don’t forget to think about the material that scuttles, bowls, and mugs consist of. You can find them in stainless steel, ceramic, porcelain, and wood. You can even find bowls in plastic if you want a cheaper option.
Porcelain is the most fragile, so you need to handle those carefully. Ceramic is a bit tougher, but it is still fragile. Take care not to drop it because it is likely to chip. Wood requires extra care to keep it from warping, so cleaning and keeping it dry are essential. The downside to metal models is that they lose heat quickly.
If warmth is important to you, metal is not the best choice. If you worry about fragility, wood and metal are both excellent choices. Once again, each has its own benefit, so it is up to you to decide which is best.
Prices of a bowl, scuttle, and mug have a pretty big range depending on materials, brands, and durability. You can find some pretty low prices on Amazon, as low as just a few dollars. You will also see some that are some much more expensive models, especially if they’re porcelain.
Naturally, vintage mugs are more expensive than newer mugs, even if the newer ones are attempting to look like something from the past. One of the latest trends includes apothecary mugs, which have an old-time feel but are really a modern take on a classic look.
Newer ones are simple and minimal in design. If you’re looking at something that’s a little easier to find, you can use a large soup mug too. It’s not a shaving scuttle as it doesn’t have a place for warm water, but the size is about right for what you want.
The Best Shaving Scuttle Is Up to You
Selecting the best shaving scuttle for yourself ultimately depends on what you’re looking for. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available, so you can always try a few to find one that feels right to you.
Scuttles are perfect for shaving cream and soap, and they do a great job keeping lather at a consistent heat. All you have to do is choose the material and style that you want, and you’re set.
What do you think makes a good shaving scuttle? Tell us all about it in the comments section.