If you have been delving into wet shaving forums and looking through stores then you will have undoubtedly heard about shaving scuttles. But what are they and how do you use them to improve your shaving experience?
This article explains what a scuttle is, how to use it, and the benefits that you can obtain to your shaving ritual.
Any wet shaving enthusiast will know that using premium equipment is key to achieving the best shave including a straight razor, shaving brush, shaving cream/soap and maintenance gear. But what about a piece of equipment to build your soap lather in?
Most beginners use their hand or even build that lather directly on their face - which is great while learning to understand how long and how much water is needed to build a thick lather for that particular soap.
But after time when you are starting to progress to multiple pass shaving you will want to have a ready supply of lather available. This is where a shaving mug or scuttle become important.
Shaving scuttles are a great upgrade to any wet shaver’s setup. They add a sense of luxury by keeping your soap lather thick and warm, particularly during winter. Interest and popularity in scuttles have been increasing in recent years. What were once seen as vintage ceramics are now part of daily routines.
But first – what is a scuttle?
A shaving scuttle is a double walled, ceramic bowl used to keep soap lather warm and ready for multiple passes. It is used by filling the bottom bowl with hot water and building a thick soap/cream lather in the upper bowl.
This helps create a thick lather using both the heat from the water and any inner grooves in the bowl while also keeping it nice and warm - ready for re-application for any future passes.
Some scuttles can also have a wide enough opening so that your shaving brush can also be kept warm and wet with the water in the bottom, however this is less common.
The normal material used in a scuttle is ceramic which has great thermal properties - they have a standard size of 3.5 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep but this can vary significantly based on the potter’s designs and style.
You can also get full scuttle kits made up of three containers - a bowl to keep your brush wet, a scuttle for building and storing lather, and a third bowl for storing a soap puck and loading the brush.
Another, cheaper alternative is a shaving mug – which is virtually a coffee mug used to both store soap pucks and build and store a lather without getting your hands soapy. They are often made with a protruded handle for extra ease and are also known as apothecary mugs.
They are a simpler method for storing lather to avoid mess but do not keep it warm, and can often have a difficult time due to the shape of the mug.
There are a wide variety of shaving mugs and scuttles available online and are a fantastic addition to any wet shaving collection.
Use the steps below to get the most out of your scuttle:
- The first step is to fill both the inner and outer bowl with hot top water.
- Then use the top bowl to fully soak and wet your shaving brush. Leave it for a few minutes until the brush is fully saturated.
- When the brush is fully wet, empty both bowls and refill the bottom bowl with hot water.
- Remove any excess water from the top bowl and load up your shaving brush with your favorite soap or cream.
- Build a thick lather in the top bowl and add extra water as required.
- Lather your face as per normal.
- Shave your face with the grain for your first pass.
- Re-lather and shave again for as many passes as required to get the desired shave.
- Finally rinse your face, equipment and clean up.
At Cut Throat Club we offer custom hand made on a wheel, hand glazed, glossy black scuttles to improve your shaving experience.
We would be interested in hearing your experiences around using scuttles for building lather and the differences between individual scuttles/mugs.