The Best Shaving Kits for Men


After comparing the offerings of top razor manufacturers and 12 different shaving supply shops, we’ve found the seven best shaving kits for men. Our luxury pick is the Oneblade – Core Black Tie Shave Kit, with a revolutionary razor design and an impeccable set of accessories. For a whiff of artisan-made wet shaving products, the Stirling – Budget Starter Set will also give beginners everything to start daily shaving with a range of unique manly scents. The best value for travel is the Razorock – Five-Piece Set with its time-tested safety razor gear and leather travel bag.

Our Top Choices

Best Men's Razor


Oneblade

Core + Black Tie Kit

See Price at Amazon

Best Scent Options


Stirling

Budget Starter Kit

See Price at Stirling Soap Co.

Best Travel Shaving Kit


Razorock

Five-Piece Set

See Price at Italian Barber

Best Set For Flying


Jack Black

Grab & Go Traveler Set

See Price at Amazon

After comparing the offerings of top razor manufacturers and 12 different shaving supply shops, we’ve found the seven best shaving kits for men. Our luxury pick is the Oneblade – Core Black Tie Shave Kit, with a revolutionary razor design and an impeccable set of accessories. For a whiff of artisan-made wet shaving products, the Stirling – Budget Starter Set will also give beginners everything to start daily shaving with a range of unique manly scents. The best value for travel is the Razorock – Five-Piece Set with its time-tested safety razor gear and leather travel bag.

How we selected

After spending the last 15 years shaving with everything from specialized head shavers to electric razors to straight razors, our staff shaving enthusiast has some confirmed opinions about what makes a good shave. There are some amazing wet shaving products out there that will really help you get a noticeably better shave, with less irritation and maybe even clearer skin than you’re used to.

Finding real value

Buying shaving products with a one-stop shopping experience is tricky. We searched for popular so-called reviews of shaving kits, and our resident shaving nerd was shocked to see recommendations for collections of products worth $20 or $30 but selling for $90 or more. Sure, these kits often include a few reliable pieces, but you shouldn’t pay extra for mediocre fillers.

Before you look at kits it’s well worth checking out our safety razor review, shaving brush review and shaving cream review to see what top-quality options are available for $5–$20 per item. For $58 you can have all the top wet shaving products we’ve reviewed, and that setup will beat the pants off what’s in most $70 Amazon kits.

Complete shaving kits for those who prefer easier-to-use cartridge razors aren’t easy to find. Harry’s and Gillette side-brand Art of Shaving both sell a travel kit, but the basic gear and sample-size shaving products included aren’t worth the hefty up-charge.

Well-known products

After coming away basically empty-handed from direct Google and Amazon searches, we checked Reddit wet shaving product recommendations at r/wicked_edge and r/wetshaving, as well as the reviews at sharpologist.com and the forum at badgerandblade.com, to gauge the differences between popular shaving kits and make sure we weren’t missing any hidden gems.

Established sellers

Next we checked the inventory and prices at those longest-running and most-recommended shaving shops on the web to see what their starter kits had to offer. After cross-referencing razor reviews and narrowing down our criteria for essential features, we found a few bargains and a few stand-out luxury products that we built this list on.

Our writer for this post wishes he could have squeezed in a few more of the excellent small-shop vendors that have made shaving so much better in the last 20 years, but these are the best values and sure-fire upgrades that are worth buying as-is. Note that if you’re looking for something with slightly different features, most shave shops will be able to put together a more customized kit if you ask nicely.

Important features to consider:

Types of razors

Safety razor types

Most people already know what they love or hate about the big-name disposable-cartridge razors, but the finer points of old-fashioned safety razor are important to note. Safety razors use loose double-edge blades,  which are very affordable and even recyclable. Most safety razors set up the blade and guard bars at a fixed angle, and as you practice shaving you’ll learn exactly how to hold the razor for a close-but-comfortable result. Check out our safety razor review for more details about which razor designs are easiest to learn with.

Soap or cream scents

Unscented shaving products or less-daring options like simple citrus scents are the easiest way to avoid buying stuff you can’t stand. That said, shaving products that capture a more daring blend of botanical or cologne-like smells can change shaving from a dreary routine to a daily ritual you look forward to. Our staff soap collector loves the curated sample packs from West Coast Shaving that highlight what the best artisans have to offer.

Razor blade brands

Choosing a razor blade to load into your new safety razor is tricky. Thick or wiry hair demands extra sharpness compared to fine hair, but if you can get a comfortable shave with a less-sharp or Teflon-coated razor blade your skin will thank you. Sample packs are the best way to find out what works for your face: This set includes both Feather and Derby, the most popular picks for sharpness and smoothness.

Shaving brushes

Shaving brush types

Unlike razors, the best shaving brushes have totally changed in just the last five years. The big pivot is from animal hair — which was only nice to use if you bought the highest grades of brush — to incredibly-soft synthetic fibers developed for painter and makeup artist brushes. We found in our shaving brush review that there are two commonly-used fibers: One that has blonde color bands and is a little bit floppy, first used by Plisson from France, and a new slightly-stiffer black and white fiber, pioneered by Yaqi in China but now available from nearly every factory and brush maker.

TSA checkpoint suitability

There is a problem with most of the travel-oriented shaving kits we found: The Transportation Security Authority makes shaving difficult. First, they want your soap or cream in a container less than 3.3 ounces. Second, the TSA won’t let you carry on loose razor blades. The soap is fairly easy to deal with — scoop it into a smaller container or even make your own shaving stick — but the blade problem isn’t so simple. Safety razor users have to check a bag, hope they can buy decent blades at a drugstore when they arrive, or buy backup plastic-cartridge razors for air travel.

A travel bag

Also known as a dopp kit or toiletry case, a piece of luggage dedicated to your shaving gear makes it much easier to shave at the gym or when travelling. Sadly, a travel bag isn’t usually enough if you’re flying — you’ll need to put the contents on the security checkpoint conveyor in a see-through bag, making most dopp kits obsolete for frequent flyers.

1

Oneblade - Core Razor with Black Tie Shave Kit

See Price at Amazon

Oneblade’s Genesis model launched in 2015 and was lauded by every reviewer who tried it as an easy-to-use razor that preserves many benefits of a traditional safety razor. It’s $400, though. This newer Core model with Black Tie Shave Kit takes that engineering and swaps most of the stainless steel for Tritan polymer — just like those indestructible water bottles — so the price of this whole kit drops to $130, with nearly identical shaving performance. The accessories are all top-class, and this set is a good balance between luxury and affordability.

Like a multi-blade cartridge razor, the OneBlade pivots while you’re shaving and makes it easy to maintain the perfect angle while nearly eliminating the chances of nicks. Unlike popular plastic razors, OneBlade uses a single-edge razor blade that you slide in through a carefully-engineered refill slot. The downside: If you want to take this on a plane, the blades need to fly in checked luggage.

After using old-school straight razors and safety razors for more than 15 years, our shaving enthusiast enjoys the challenge of trying other razor types to see how close they can shave, despite the risks of nicks and irritation. The Oneblade can’t get as close as something like a straight razor, but it’s close enough that the self-adjusting pivoting head feels a bit like cheating.

These unique blades are one-quarter the price of multi-blade monstrosities from Gillette and Schick. This kit comes with 30 blades, and most men get two or three excellent shaves with each blade (though many of us go longer). There’s also a little steel “bank” included to collect old blades, and when it’s full you can toss the whole thing in a recycling bin — no special processing is required for these blades.

The shaving brush included in this set is basically perfect. It’s smaller than the top pick in our shaving brush review, but it uses the same ultra-soft and springy synthetic fiber. Just rinse it, shake out the excess water, and it’s ready to generate mounds of pillowy lather right on your face.

The new Oneblade shaving cream is even better than the luxury pick in our shaving cream review, and the tasteful lavender scent doesn’t last long enough to be annoying. We wouldn’t pay $25 for a refill jar on its own given how many other amazing shave soaps you can get for less, but as a pack-in it’s a perfect cream to get you started. The after-shave balm isn’t really necessary, but it’s a nice skin-care perk.

If Oneblade were selling just the razor and 30 blades for $130, it would still be cheaper than the equivalent Gillette – Fusion setup. If you can’t imagine spending that much on razors, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with other options below.

Read more…

Pros

  • A perfect balance between cartridge razors and older safety razor designs
  • Includes a perfect shaving brush, both impossibly soft and animal-hair free
  • Top-tier lathering shaving cream
  • An excellent choice for those who balk at other safety razors

Cons

  • Blades have to be ordered online
  • Price definitely includes a luxury upcharge
  • Still feels like plastic, even if you call it Tritan

2

Stirling - Budget Starter Kit

See Price at Stirling Soap Co.

If you’re interested in exploring the world of scented artisan-made soaps and traditional shaving gear, the Stirling – Budget Starter Set makes the process of finding new favorites as easy as possible. This set is built around options and samples, and we think it’s a great value even for someone who already has a few pieces of shaving gear.

The budget razor option for this kit is a twist-to-open model with which you can get a close-enough shave in the dark, but for $8 more you can select a DE3P three-piece razor that mimics the balanced shave of best-selling Merkur and Edwin Jagger designs. The DE3P1S is the safe bet here, with a standard-length handle, But Stirling offers four handle options. The five included blade samples cover the full range of options from extra-smooth to extra-sharp, but you’ll need to re-supply quickly once you try them all.

Stirling’s soap and other shave products are made in Arkansas by Rod and Mandy Lovan and a few lucky apprentices. It’s consistently great and easy to lather, and the three one-ounce samples should last a month each at the very least. Sample-size soaps also give you a TSA-approved option, though obviously the blades aren’t.

Choosing three scents (or four, if you want to try another for aftershave) is the hardest part of buying this kit. Two of our tester’s favourites: “Baker Street,” a masculine blend of juniper, jasmine and patchouli, is one of the few strong scents the lady of the house admits to liking. Next on the list is “Executive Man,” inspired by the popular Creed – Aventus cologne, an exciting blend of pineapple, smoky musk, and vanilla. All of the 53 current scents are going to be good for someone — yes, some men even enjoy smelling like “Texas on Fire,” though it’s far less popular with spouses and co-workers.

Stirling includes a great Plisson-style synthetic brush for the base price, but you can pick the “Synthetic 24mm x 56mm (2-Band)” option with slightly-stiffer black-and-white fibers, very similar to our favorite, for another $3. This option is easy to miss (as we did when ordering the kit in our photo), but the upgrade makes lathering soap on your face easier. They also let you choose excellent examples of traditional boar- and badger-hair brushes, but most people will prefer the synthetics to natural hair.

Shave shops like Maggard Razors and West Coast Shaving can set you up with a similar kit, but the 2-Band synthetic brush and access to different samples of Stirling’s extensive line of scents made this an easy pick.

Read more…

Pros

  • No-compromise options to build at a good price
  • The DE3 safety razor option is a perfect choice for learning
  • Your-choice samples of three soap scents and one aftershave, with unscented options
  • Stirling’s synthetic-hair brush options are better than most $50 or $75 badger brushes

Cons

  • No stand or bag included
  • All these choices might be confusing if you haven’t done research
  • You might not like all the scents you pick
  • Only includes one sample of each blade type

3

Razorock - Five-Piece Set

See Price at Italian Barber

The Razorock 5-Piece Set from Italian Barber is easily the best value in a complete kit of shaving products. The razor and brush are reliable standards that make a perfect introduction to wet shaving, and the soap, aftershave and travel bag make this a complete set. It’s not TSA-ready for travel in a carry-on, but it’s a perfect kit to throw in checked luggage.

The razor in this set is a modern clone of the Gillette – Tech razors made from 1938–1966, but with a bigger handle. It’s a razor that works well for nearly everyone, though our less-experienced testers needed practice to get the most out of it. The included Derby blades are a smooth choice that everyone should try, though we would have liked to see a variety pack.

Joe, proprietor of the Italian Barber, seems to commission a new machined-in-Canada stainless steel razor design every couple of months — of which the Game Changer is the biggest success — but he doesn’t include them in pre-packaged sets. They’re an excellent upgrade over the razors you find in this and most other sets, and the closest competition to the Oneblade in terms of quality.

For a shaving brush, this set includes the faux-horn-handled Disruptor, with vegan “Plissoft” synthetic brush fibers that have made this the most successful brush brand in the history of shaving. It’s a tiny bit floppy, so we would take the newer tuxedo-colored synthetics as seen in the OneBlade or Stirling two-band brushes, but this is still better than nearly any animal-hair brush.

Italian Barber’s custom-blended Razorock soap and aftershave from Italy is good stuff. Other small-batch products might beat it in a side-by-side test, but this is still luxurious, pillowy lather that gives excellent protection. There’s no unscented option, but “Essential Oil of Lime” is a safe bet for most.

One minor disappointment in this kit is the travel bag’s zipper. It’s a real leather bag, with a real brass YKK zipper, but ours was prone to stick until we rubbed some wax into it and gave it a chance to break in. It’s still impressive to see a kit with a bag at all for this price, but if we had the option of a canvas or nylon bag with a smoother zipper for a bit more money we’d take it.

Read more…

Pros

  • A complete package, including a travel bag
  • Tech-style razors have stood the test of time
  • Includes the synthetic shaving brush that broke all the rules
  • Razorock soap and aftershave comes in great scents

Cons

  • Only one pack of Derby blades, try at least a couple of other brands
  • Italian Barber also sells much nicer razors, but it’s tricky to get them included in a kit
  • The zipper on the leather bag is a bit sticky
  • No TSA-ready product options

4

Jack Black - Grab & Go Traveler Set

See Price at Amazon

If you’re not interested in replacing your razor, but you do want to try out a travel-friendly set of luxury shaving products, the Grab n’ Go Traveler Set by Jack Black has quality shaving goods in an excellent travel case.

The bag is really the highlight here; compact without being cramped. We liked being able to hang it on a hook, and it gives you complete clamshell-style access to all the corners — this also makes TSA checkpoints a breeze. This bag actually helps keep your toiletries organized with a separate top pouch, and that’s rare even among luxury-grade dopp kits. It won’t last for decades, but it’s a well-designed travel case.

Jack Black includes a complete set of travel-ready toiletries: hair-and-body wash, shaving cream, a post-shave moisturizer and antiperspirant. The set we bought also had some sample pouches of exfoliating scrub and UV-blocking moisturizer. Jack Black’s signature scent is sporty but spicy enough to pass as a deliberate fragrance.

For shaving, we think everyone should try soap and a brush, but the Jack Black “Beard Lube” is no slouch. It doesn’t lather at all, unlike our favorite shaving creams, but it’s extra-slick without clogging razors. There’s also a refreshing menthol tingle and less scent than in the hair-and-body wash.

Read more…

Pros

  • A complete set of TSA-approved toiletries in a compact bag
  • No razor included, but a ready pocket for whatever you like to use
  • Shaving cream is good stuff for shaving on the go

Cons

  • Price per ounce for this set is high
  • A styptic pencil or other travel essentials would really round this kit out
  • Not a lot of room in this bag for extras like hair product

5

Fendrihan - Explorer

See Price at Fendrihan

Fendrihan is a boutique men’s grooming store that stocks unique products from around the world. The Explorer Travel Shaving Set would be a good value if it only included the razor and bag, but the extras make it a perfect start to a top-tier shaving routine.

The standout item in this shaving kit is an excellent bag: The Koby by Tooletries. It’s a large all-silicone dopp kit that won’t soak up your shampoo and has an excellent no-snag zipper. There aren’t any organizer pockets, but there’s extra room inside for a full-size jar of your favorite pomade along with the included barber-size shaving towel and other shave gear.

The Fendrihan – Mk II Stainless Razor is a versatile three-piece design, with both an open comb side for no-clog shaving of weekend stubble and a closed-comb side that’s smoother for a second or third pass. It’s made from cast stainless steel, so it will never succumb to the inevitable disintegration or breakage that plagues weaker chrome-plated razors.

The only disappointment with the hardware in this kit is the brush, which is clipped-to-shape badger hair, scratchy and lackluster despite the nice handle. We’re a bit spoiled by all the amazing synthetic brushes we’ve tried, but Fendrihan themselves designed the top-quality-bargain-priced model that won our shaving brush review. If they had included that piece instead of a mediocre badger brush, this kit would have been a shoo-in for top place, even if it added another $10 to the price tag. Since this kit is only available direct from Fendrihan, you should ask if they can swap the brushes when you buy.

Fendrihan’s jar of aloe-enriched shaving cream (yogurt consistency, easy to apply with fingers or a brush) is soothing and moisturizing, and lathers quickly. The scent is mild citrus, a bit like a cleaning product but it won’t bother most people. There’s no aftershave in this set, but with a cream like this you won’t need it.

Read more…

Pros

  • A great razor and bag with the essential accessories to give you a good shave
  • Buy-it-for-life stainless steel razor that’s versatile and beginner-friendly
  • Shaving cream that’s easy to lather and keeps your skin feeling great
  • Includes a great little towel — perfect for shaving at the gym

Cons

  • Razor and shaving cream aren’t ready for air travel
  • Bag won’t fully contain leaks, and doesn’t have organization pockets
  • Badger-hair brush should have been a synthetic model
  • Only one razor blade brand included

6

Groomatorium - Economy Shaving Set

See Price at The Groomatorium

Groomatorium’s Economy Shaving Set is simple, but it has what you need: A razor with blades, some good soap and a brush. None of the products included are exciting or innovative, but they will deliver excellent shaves and reward the time you spend learning how to use them.

The razor included is the Baili – BR131 — a modern clone of the Gillette – Tech, one of the most popular double-edge razor designs ever made. This is the same head included in the Italian Barber kit above, but it has a smaller handle. It’s a razor that works well for a lot of people, though some of our less-experienced testers found it takes practice to get a close, nick-free shave.

The brush included in this set is another “Plisson-type” synthetic, well worth a full $10 and a real bargain in a $15 kit. The soap is Arko, a popular shaving stick soap from Turkey. This stuff smells like generic bath soap, but if you rub the stick into your wet stubble and swirl it with the brush, the lather comes quickly and protects your skin very well.

There are a few shops collecting a wet-shaving starter kit that’s nearly identical to this, but the Groomatorium has the best price. It’s well worth ordering a few samples of Chiseled Face soap or something from the new value-priced Stubble Buster line to go with this kit.

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Pros

  • A set of reliable products that won’t break the bank
  • Baili’s clone of the old GIllette Tech is a beginner-friendly razor
  • Almost direct-from-factory prices

Cons

  • Arko soap won’t win any awards for scent
  • Only one brand of razor blades included
  • “Economy” sends the wrong message if you want to send a gift

7

Proraso - Travel Shave Kit

See Price at Amazon

Our final pick is Proraso’s Travel Shave Kit, easy to throw in a bag for hassle-free passage through TSA checkpoints. This is one of the oldest shaving cream brands that still makes a traditional product for a mass-market price, and the green-label “Sensitive Skin” formula gives a great shave with a menthol-eucalyptus tingle. It was a runner up for traditional shaving products in our shaving cream review.

The shaving brush included in this set uses boar bristles, which are stiffer than badger or synthetic hairs. The feel is more like an exfoliating scrub than a silky caress, but that stiffness allows this compact brush to perform well despite its size.

The pre-shave cream and post-shave balm Proraso includes are highly regarded by aficionados of the brand; they’ll help minimize any razor burn if you find yourself shaving in a hurry on your trip.

This kit is a poor value per-ounce, but it’s a very convenient way to pack for a short trip. You could make a kit like this yourself, of course, but at $15 it would be tough to spend less money for a complete setup.

Read more…

Pros

  • One of the best-known traditional shaving creams
  • The perfect sizes to slip into your carry on
  • Pre- and post-shave creams for maximum skin protection

Cons

  • Comically tiny
  • Not a great value compared to full-size sets
  • Some don’t like Proraso’s eucalyptus scent

Daniel Jackson, Writer

Daniel is a Canadian farm boy who grew up to be a nerd with a literature degree and too many hobbies to count. He emigrated from Canada to California in 2013, and now writes for Your Best Digs full-time. Daniel remains unapologetic about Canadian spelling, serial commas, and the destruction of expensive travel mugs.

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