Grades of Shaving Brush Fill Explained

Have you found yourself looking at shaving brushes and been utterly confused about all the different types available? Why are some brushes more expensive than others? Why are the bristles different colours? Are synthetic shaving brushes as good as badger hair shaving brushes? It can be hard to know which brush is the best one to get but luckily, we at Edwin Jagger are here to shed some light on the matter. We understand that no two beards are the same and that everyone is different in how they shave, so we’ve put together a quick guide to go over the different grades of shaving brush fill to help you work out which is the best brush for you and your beard. Ready to lather up? Let’s take a look:


Why Do I Need a Shaving Brush?

First of all, if you’re used to squirting a dollop of shaving foam into your palm and then rubbing it on your face, you may be asking why you need a shaving brush in the first place. Yes, this may be the quickest and easiest way to lather your face, but it’s not the most effective. Here are just some of the reasons why using a brush makes a huge difference to your shave:

  1. It creates a richer lather. The bristles of a shaving brush are more effective than your hands at working the cream or soap into a thicker and more luxurious lather.
  2. It prevents irritation. A thicker lather effectively lubricates the skin and reduces friction for a smoother shaving experience with less post-shave soreness.
  3. It exfoliates your skin. Shaving brushes are excellent exfoliators as the bristles gently lift away any debris and dead skin. This helps the razor glide more easily across the face and reduces the likelihood of spots or ingrown hairs.
  4. It prepares the hair for shaving. The circular motion of a shaving brush lifts your facial hair from the surface of the skin, standing the individual hairs at the perfect angle for the razor to slice through and achieve an incredibly close shave.
  5. A shaving brush helps soften your facial hair. Good quality brush bristles naturally hold water, which then mixes with your shaving soap or shaving cream to create a rich airyated lather. This mixture softens even the toughest and coarsest of beards, allowing for an easier and smoother shave.


What Do You Mean by Fill?

Fill refers to the material of the shaving brush bristles. We currently offer six different fills, which are graded according to factors such as quality, density and rarity. Shaving brushes can either be filled with natural hairs from an animal or with manmade synthetic fibres. Although you may find shaving brushes that use boar or horse hair, we only manufacture badger-hair brushes as this is the most traditional and popular fill. Read our detailed breakdown of the the different grades below and find the perfect fill for your beard and your budget.


Pure Badger

As our most moderately priced grade of badger hair, Pure Badger is very popular with those investing in a traditional shaving brush for the first time. Noticeably darker in colour, it is the most common type of badger hair, harvested mainly from the badger’s underside where the hair provides protection. The individual hairs are therefore thicker, giving the knot a much more rigid structure with less flexibility and softness than other grades. While some shavers prefer a more delicate shaving experience from Super Badger and Silver Tip Badger, this grade of badger hair is perfect for those with thicker and faster growing facial hair. As these bristles are particularly strong, they provide a firmer massaging effect, which is highly effective at lifting dense facial hair, exfoliating the face and preparing the beard for shaving. Pure Badger also has good water retention properties, allowing wet shavers to mix a light, luxurious lather with ease.

Prices of Pure Badger shaving brushes range between £25 and £80.

Edwin Jagger Black & Nickel Pure Badger Shaving Brush

This mid-range Black & Nickel shaving brush is priced at £38.00.


Best Badger

This is a good-quality grade of badger hair, ideal for those looking for an inexpensive and reliable shaving brush. Taken from thicker parts of the pelt, this grade of badger hair is generally shorter and darker in colour than the finer grades although the colours of individual hairs vary from grey and brown to black. The hairs are relatively firm, producing a stiffer and slightly less flexible shaving brush knot that is ideal for preparing thicker stubble and coarse facial hair while providing a firm exfoliating sensation. This grade of badger hair transfers a good amount of water so traditional shavers can whip up a rich and luxurious shaving lather easily and efficiently.

Prices of Best Badger shaving brushes range between £28 and £110.

Edwin Jagger Imitation Light Horn Best Badger Shaving Brush

This Imitation Light Horn shaving brush is only £46.00.


Super Badger

This high-quality grade of hair is collected from the back of the badger, where the pelt is particularly thick and long. Super badger hair creates a densely packed knot that gives the brush some backbone, making it effective at lifting and preparing all types of facial hair before shaving. Each Super Badger brush is presented with a natural fan shape, created by hand and enhanced by the untrimmed tips. As these natural tips have not been manually cut, they feel particularly soft on the skin, creating a much more luxurious and pleasurable exfoliating sensation. Super Badger shaving brushes are excellent at holding water and work incredibly well to easily whip up a deep and rich lather of soap or cream.

Prices of Super Badger shaving brushes range between £45 and £125.

Edwin Jagger Plaza Imitation Black Marble Super Badger Shaving Brush

This Imitation Black Marble shaving brush is part of the popular Plaza range and is £63.00.


Silver Tip Badger

This is the highest-quality grade of badger hair we offer. Collected from the neck of the animal, the hairs are finely graded, sorted and hand-tied to create an incredibly soft knot of entirely untrimmed silver tips. The craft of hand-filling the bundle is incredibly specialised and the distinctive even black band capped with pure white tips shows the quality of the workmanship required to create a Silver Tip shaving brush. The natural end of each hair is very delicate on the skin, creating a beautifully luxurious massaging sensation on the face. As the hairs are so fine, more hairs are required to achieve the desired knot density. Each bundle holds more than 18,000 individual badger hairs, making the knot firmer to effectively exfoliate the skin and prepare the beard for shaving. Silver Tip badger hair is the softest and rarest grade we offer. It is also renowned for its ability to hold very large volumes of water, enabling the brush to quickly produce an exquisitely dense and creamy lather time after time.

Prices of Silver Tip Badger shaving brushes range between £80 and £140.

Edwin Jagger Blue Bulbous Silver Tip Badger Shaving Brush

This Bulbous Blue shaving brush is a contemporary take on the classic Edwin Jagger design and costs £103.00.


Black Synthetic

Our synthetic fills are the ideal choice for vegan shavers or those who prefer not to use animal hair. Shaving brushes filled with entirely manmade fibres have seen immense popularity lately as the world turns to using more sustainable alternatives to old classics. Thanks to recent technological advancements, it is now possible to get the same rich and luxurious lather and delicate touch from purely synthetic fibres. Black Synthetic is our more moderately priced synthetic fill, perfect as a first-time investment in animal-free shaving brushes. This grade of synthetic fibre is very robust and durable, creating a firm knot that effectively exfoliates the skin and lifts coarse facial hair without losing its uniform shape even after vigorous lathering. As these fibres are non-absorbent, Black Synthetic brushes are incredibly quick to dry and have no lingering wet smell, as can be the case with animal hair.

Prices of Black Synthetic shaving brushes range between £25 and £85, although most are under £40, such as this beautiful Chrome shaving brush.

Edwin Jagger Chrome Black Synthetic Shaving Brush


Synthetic Silver Tip

Synthetic Silver Tip is an incredibly high-quality fill designed to rival the elite performance of Silver Tip badger hair without any animal products. Each synthetic shaving brush bundle contains a mixture of straight fibres and waved or crimped fibres of varying lengths. This delicate arrangement of untrimmed tips creates a structure that allows the bundle to conserve moisture and trap hot water within the knot, as well as create the bloomed shape of the bundle. Despite this, the fibres do not actually absorb the water, so the brush dries much faster than animal alternatives. The mixture of untrimmed tips also makes the bundle particularly flexible and creates an immensely satisfying lathering experience, feeling delicate on the skin while still digging into your beard to exfoliate the skin. Synthetic Silver Tip is also designed to be more forgiving than animal hair and will not snap or shed in the way badger hair does. With proper care, a Synthetic Silver Tip brush will last you for years and years, making this an excellent long-term investment.

Prices of Synthetic Silver Tip shaving brushes range between £35 and £96, which is considerably cheaper than the badger equivalent.

Edwin Jagger Bulbous Satin Synthetic Silver Tip Shaving Brush

This Bulbous Satin shaving brush is a top-range model made of the finest materials and costs just £70.00.


If you’d like to know more about the differences between badger shaving brushes and synthetic shaving brushes, we’d recommend you read this article.