You have a choice when it comes to shaving: It can be a chore you perform each morning, a literal pain in the neck (and chin and cheeks), or it can be something mildly pleasing, a ritual that starts your day with a few minutes of focus. To help you win the war against begrudging drudgery, we tracked down the 12 best men’s shaving kits that will make your morning shave classier, cooler, or at least more convenient.
The safety razor is making a comeback. The brush and shave puck too. There’s a club that will send you blades on the regular and shave soaps that smell like sandalwood, cedar, and like nothing at all. Some kits come outfitted in a travel bag, some let you hang your implements on a stand. There’s even one shaving kit here that comes with a notebook, and one that packs a block of something called alum (we’ll explain later).
Pick a kit that’s geared for a get-to-the-point, utilitarian shave, or one that celebrates the four-step, full-service face spa. Ditch that disposable Bic and can of Barbasol rusting up your sink. Buy yourself one of these shaving kits and start looking forward to your morning routine. Or at least stop dreading it.
Harry’s Truman Shave Set
5 Blade Razor • Shave Cream
We introduced you to Harry’s Winston Shave Set up there, calling it the no-frills approach to a good shave. But maybe you were thinking, “Engravable zinc handle? What do I need with an engravable zinc handle? Who am I, the Sultan of Brunei?” We hear you. You want something de-frilled even more. The Truman Razor still has Harry’s five-blade, German engineered cartridge, which includes the precision trimmer and rubber flex head, but this one has a rubberized handle instead. It still feels like quality in your hand, with a weighted core for proper shave handling. And it still looks quite nice, at an even nicer price.
Along with the razor, you get a tube of their Eucalyptus Shave Cream that offers a good glide, close shave and refreshing zip. And while you can’t engrave the Truman razor, we’re betting you’ll still know it’s yours since it’ll be in your bathroom. – Buy It
Dollar Shave Club Ultimate Shave Starter Kit
6 Blade Razor • Prep Scrub • Shave Butter • Post-Shave Dew
There are guys who would benefit from belonging to a shave club. Within this category are those who have used paper towels when the TP runs out and shampoo as body wash when the bar soap is gone. If bringing home bathroom essentials is sometimes overlooked, a club is one way to tick a few things off of your toiletries shopping list.
This Ultimate Shave Starter set is how you get started with Dollar Shave Club. You get their six-blade Executive stainless steel razor with trimmer edge, plus trial sizes of their pre-shave scrub (with multi-textured exfoliants), their shave butter (with willow bark and prickly pear extracts), and the alcohol-free, moisturizing aftershave (aka Post-Shave Dew, with no relation to the neon soda). Then every month, four new cartridges arrive at your door without you having to remember a thing. (You could also have them deliver packs of One-Wipe-Charlies and worry less about your TP depletion issues.) – Buy It
Olivina Men Premium Shave Kit
Safety Razor • 5 Blades • Shave Prep Oil • Shave Soap • Shave Cream • Natural Cologne • Travel Bag
Wood and whiskey. Possibly two of the best scents in existence. Tennessee based Olivina Men has a very good track record of combining the two in their signature Bourbon Cedar scent — whiskey top notes, a red cedar base and smoky vanilla finish. That scent is at the heart of this kit, which also features a double edged, single blade, chrome handled razor (with five Japanese replacement blades) and a handsome washed canvas travel bag with rust colored zipper and grip.
The Conditioning Shave Cream contains yerba mate for a caffeine zip and hemp seed oil for its skin soothing properties. The Classic Shave Soap lathers up rich and contains Olivina’s three key oils: olive, hemp and grape seed. The 2-in-1 Shave Prep and Beard Oil is meant to soften whiskers pre-shave, but also works as a beard oil, should you ever decide shaving is no longer your thing. – Buy It
Imperial Field Shave Kit
Shave Brush • Pre-Shave Oil • Shave Soap • After-Shave • Soap Canister • Field Notes
Three items in Imperial’s Field Shave Kit make it stand out from the pack: the shave soap canister, the boar’s hair travel shave brush, and the Field Notes notebook. The other stuff in here is pretty great too, like the bergamot-scented aftershave with witch hazel to tone and refresh and the pre-shave oil that ups blade-glide and has squalene oil for hydration.
But what makes this kit so field-ready is the shave soap canister. Drop in the included glycerin shave soap puck, add a bit of warm water and swirl the (also included) boar hair shave brush to make a pile of lather. Brush on, shave clean, then just dump out the excess water and close the cap to be all ready for next time. The travel cover on the shave brush keeps the bristles from going all higgledy-piggledy in your dopp bag. And the Field Notes notebooks? We’ve been fans of those for a while now. – Buy It
Every Man Jack Shave Kit
Face Scrub • Shave Cream • Face Lotion • Toiletry Bag
It’s not just about the act. Before and after are nearly as important as during. While the action of moving your razor across your cheeks and chin certainly counts as shaving, giving your skin a little prep beforehand and a little love afterwards will go a long way towards a more satisfied face. The three unscented and paraben/phthalate-free products in Every Man Jack’s shave kit take care of all three stages of the shaving shebang and come in a compact bag to keep it all tidy.
The face scrub has jojoba beads to remove dry and dead skin (usually the culprit in razor bumps). Once prepped, get out your razor for the main event using EMJ’s shave cream, containing olive oil extract for hydration and chamomile to soothe. Finish it all off with the Vitamin E and shea butter post-shave face lotion and you’ll be dealing with a fully gratified, properly shaved face. – Buy It
The Art Of Shaving Travel Shaving Kit
5 Blade Razor • Shave Brush • Pre-Shave Oil • Shaving Cream • After Shave Balm • Black Wash Bag
Back in 2009 Proctor and Gamble acquired the upscale, Manhattan-based men’s grooming brand and retail store The Art of Shaving. Unlike other P&G products, you won’t find their goods at your local Walgreens — think Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue or, better yet, right here on the illustrious web. Built around their Morris Park five blade razor, this travel shaving kit also comes with pre-shave oil, shaving cream and aftershave balm (in sizes that make TSA agents happy), along with their Genuine Black shaving brush.
You get your choice of lavender, sandalwood or unscented for the oil, cream and balm. The shave brush — made from genuine badger hair — helps lift up facial hair while exfoliating skin so you get a closer, relatively bump-free shave. The razor itself has a weighted ABS and chrome-plated handle with a Gillette Fusion ProGlide cartridge. The razor and the other four pieces fit nicely inside a carry-on-ready zippered bag. – Buy It
Baxter of California Super Close Shave Set
Safety Razor • Shave Cream
The patent for the safety razor was granted in 1904. A hundred plus years later, it’s still the way some guys like to shave. The single blade gliding across your skin can result in less irritation, and the razor itself looks like something out of a Cary Grant film. This set comes from Baxter of California, a company that knows a bit about classic cool. Started by Baxter Finley in LA back in the 1960s, they’ve been turning out premium, curated men’s grooming supplies ever since.
The chrome-plated safety razor is made in Germany and features a double edged blade. It comes with an On-The-Go (travel sized) tube of their no-clog Super Close Shave Formula which creates a protective cushion for that single blade, uses coconut extract for hydration, and has menthol and tea tree oil to soothe and tone skin. If the words classic, premium and luxe describe your ideal shave experience, here’s your kit. – Buy It
Anthony Perfect Shave Kit
Facial Cleanser • Pre-Shave Oil • Shave Cream • After Shave Balm • Dopp Bag
Who is this Anthony and what’s he doing in your bathroom? Former real estate developer Anthony Sosnick used to buy and sell entertainment venues, but then detoured into the grooming products for men arena. So far it’s working out for him, and for your face. This kit is designed to keep the irritation, ingrown hairs and shaving burn at bay with a four step regimen.
Start with the Glycolic Facial Cleanser that softens and lifts stubble. Then add a few drops of the Pre-Shave Oil followed by the Shave Cream which has rosemary and eucalyptus to cool skin and perform antiseptic duty, and squalene to lubricate. Post shave, finish up with the After Shave Balm that cools with cornmint, eucalyptus and rosemary extracts and heals with aloe vera. Faithfully followed, the process promises to eliminate the bumps and irritations from shaving, all thanks to a guy named Anthony. – Buy It
Harry’s Winston Shave Set
5 Blade Razor • 3 Cartridges • Shave Cream or Shave Gel
You’re the type who puts down honest hardworking dollars and wants something honest and hardworking in return — Harry’s has the shave set for you. The guys behind this five-year-old company were not impressed by the fancy design gimmickry of overpriced drugstore razors. So they bought a German blade factory and started making low-frill, high-quality blades that ship direct and cost less than those mach-fusion gizmos.
The Winston set gets you an engravable zinc handle, three blade cartridges with travel cover, and your choice of foaming shave gel or moisturizing shave cream. The blade cartridges have a rubber flex hinge with the right amount of give, a lubricating strip, and five German-engineered blades. There’s also a precision trimmer blade at the top of the cartridge for sideburn upkeep and under-the-nose maintenance. Basically everything you need to shave your face, hold the fluff. – Buy It
Grooming Lounge “The Greatest Shave Ever” Kit
Face Wash • Shave Oil • Shave Cream • Aftershave • Dopp Bag
A kit that promises to deliver the “greatest shave ever” better have some impressive product to back up that claim. Grooming Lounge is the DC-based men’s brand offering the kit and since each product is developed and tested by the grooming experts working in the brand’s barbershop/men’s spas, there’s a fair amount expertise backing up that big promise.
The shave kit features full-sizes of their Mug Cleaner Face Wash, Beard Master Shave Oil, Beard Destroyer Shave Cream and their Best For Last Aftershave. It all comes in a black Grooming Lounge dopp bag and each is either unscented or comes in a refreshing clove aroma. Using each of the four products in succession delivers an irritation-, bump- and cut-free shave, leaving you feeling like you just paid a professional DC barber for a hot towel shave, but didn’t actually have to leave your bathroom. – Buy It
Gentleman Jon Complete Wet Shave Kit
Safety Razor • 5 Blades • Shave Brush • Shave Soap • Alum Block • Steel Bowl
Picture a Victorian pugilist: bare chested, fists raised, clean shaven but for that spectacular moustache. Now picture his shaving routine — we’re betting he’d use a kit akin to this one. Brought to you by Gentleman Jon, this everything-old-is-new-again set features the trusty safety razor, five Astra Platinum double edge replacement blades, a puck of sandalwood shave soap, plus a badger hair brush and sparkling steel bowl to froth up that vintage lather.
Once you’ve shaved away that pesky facial hair (except, of course, for the illustrious ‘stache) get out Gentleman Jon’s alum block. It’s 100% pure potassium alum, a natural mineral found in rocks and in the human body that was once widely used and is again gaining followers in this modern era. It has antiseptic properties, stops bleeding, tones skin and closes pores. The final touch in a kit that gives you everything you need to shave like it’s 1899. – Buy It
Merkur 38C 5-Piece Wet Shaving Set
Safety Razor • 10 Blades • Shave Brush • Shaving Cream • Razor Stand
So you watched the Duke of Edinburgh shave in a scene from The Crown and now you want to know where you get a setup like that. This kit will get you pretty close. It’s put together by Royal Shave, a California import company that deals in exclusive, high-end shaving products from Europe and has everything you need to make your wash basin look regal. The double edged safety razor is the 38C from Merkur, a German shave company that’s been making razors for a bit over 100 years. You also get Royal Shave’s own badger hair shaving brush and a chrome-plated stand to show off your posh new tools. For the shave itself, lather up with the Sandalwood Shave Cream, housed in its own bowl with lid and made by Taylor of Old Bond Street, a British luxury grooming company founded in 1854. Shave like royalty. Or like a guy who plays royalty on your TV. – Buy It