Shaving brushes, while not necessary, are often preferred by wet shaving enthusiasts. In this review, we are going to try and help you find the best boar bristle shaving brush for you.
Badger hair is often sought after for these brushes for its softness but many guys like the boar bristles for their stiffness.
Omega and Semogue tend to be the most popular boar hair brushes but there are a few others worth checking out.
Recommendations For The Best Boar Bristle Shaving Brush
When Should You Use A Boar Bristle Shaving Brush
You will want to use a boar bristle shaving brush the same as you would with any shaving brush.
This tool will help you whip up a lather quickly with shaving creams or soft/hard shaving soaps.
First you will want to soak your brush in warm water for a couple minutes so the bristles can soften.
Then add your cream to a shaving bowl or mug with a few drops of water and begin to whip quickly until a creamy lather forms.
You can this use the brush to apply the lather to your face in circular motions. Some brushes will transfer the lather more easily than others.
The brush also exfoliates your skin at this time as well as helps lift the hairs off your skin in preparation for your shave.
Boar Bristle Shaving Brush vs Badger Bristle Shaving Brush
Like we mentioned, badger bristle brushes tend to dominate the market but there is nothing wrong with a boar bristle brush. While they are very similar there are some differences:
- Cost – you will quickly see that these boar bristle brushes are much cheaper than badger hair. Mainly because there is more supply and most of the badger hair comes from China or India.
- Flexibility – boar bristles are not as flexible as badger hair so you will find them to be stiffer however many guys prefer this. Some men think badger hair brushes can be “lather hogs”. Where they tend to hold onto the lather instead of transfer it to your face. Boar brushes will be better at this.
- Water absorption – the boar bristles themselves will absorb water but badger brushes can hold more water in the brush because there are more hairs in the knot.
- Grades – boar hair is not graded by quality like badger hair.
Because of these differences there are some benefits to using a boar brush over a badger hair brush.
Boar brushes tend to work well with hard soaps since they are thicker and stronger, you will easily be able to whip up a nice lather.
Boar bristles can split over time with use so each strand has 2-3 tips. This softens the tips over time but you will still have a strong backbone on the brush.
If you prefer to lather straight onto your face then a boar brush should outperform badger brushes in this department.
As you can see, there are several reasons why you may want a boar brush for your shaving needs.
How To Break In Your Boar Bristle Shaving Brush
Just like with badger, boar brushes will have a ripe smell when you first get it. Like a wet animal.
Don’t worry though this can mostly be removed before your first use and will definitely go away entirely as you start to use it.
First, run in under the hottest tap water you can produce for a minute or so then fill up your shaving mug so all of the bristles are covered.
Allow it to soak for five minutes or so. As it begins to absorb water the bristles should start to fan out a little.
When this happens, it is ready to wash. Put a couple drops of your shampoo in the water and begin agitating the brush briskly to wash it. Some guys hold it between their hand so they can spin it back and forth rapidly.
After you have given a good wash, thoroughly rinse it again under running tap water. If this didn’t remove all of the smell the rest should dissipate after a few shaves.
Check out this quick video I made showing this process:
Recommendations For The Top Boar Bristle Shaving Brush
Again, Omega is known to be one of the better manufacturers of boar bristle brushes followed by Semogue, however there are several brands out there.
These just happen to be the more popular choices out there out of dozens to choose from.
Omega Boar Brislte Shaving Brush
Omega is one of the main producers of boar shaving brushes and have been doing so since 1931.
This family owned and operated company is rich with tradition and is now four generations old with the company being passed down the family.
Besides boar they also make badger and synthetic fiber shaving brushes.
#1048 Omega Boar Bristle Shaving Brush #Aka the PRO 48
The Italian made Omega 48 has high natural, high quality boar bristles with a white and chrome handle that will be comfortable to hold.
The brush is on the longer side at 5.3 inches, split pretty evenly between the loft and the handle. It also has a large knot at 28 mm.
Since this brush is on the larger end of the spectrum make sure any stand you get to go with it will be able to accommodate the length and width.
A lot of guys see great value in this brush since it is not very expensive and is well made.
Some have had it for a long time or compare to other badger hair brushes as being a better shaving brush.
Just a warning it will be a bit stiff and smelly when you first get it but with use it will soften and the smell should dissipate. As it softens you will really love to use this brush.
In fact, most of the complaints are about the smell but let’s remember these hairs actually come from boars!
Other than that, some guys just didn’t prefer this style. It is a big shaving brush so it may be good to use this with a mug that gives you more room to work.
Omega Shaving Brush # 10098 Professional Boar Bristle
Nicknamed the paint brush, Omega’s 10098 is even longer than the 48 and has an easy to hold ergonomic handle.
Omega brushes really are quality, they should last you a long time as long as you take the time to hang them so they can dry out when not in use.
One guy even had his for over 20 years!
The length of the loft and the stiffness of the bristles provide a nice backbone for the brush allowing you to quickly whip your lather and easily transfer it to your face.
You can also work up a lather straight on your face and get a nice exfoliation/massage.
Just like any brush it will have an odor to it in the beginning but it should subside after several uses.
Many guys also mention that the Omega brushes do not shed as much as others. Shedding can be normal in the beginning but normally stops after the first few uses.
If too many fall out over the course of time the brush can lose its effectiveness.
If you have sensitive skin you may want to opt for a softer badger hair brush as the stiffness could cause irritation if it takes too long to break in.
Omega Professional Boar Bristle 10049
Not often do you get more than you pay for and it may be one of those times with the Omega Professional Boar Bristle shaving brush.
This is the shortest of the three Omega Brushes at just over 5 inches.
The brush performs exceptionally well for only being a little over $10. That is probably why it has received so many great reviews.
If you follow the instructions earlier in the post to warm up your brush you may notice them soften slightly even during your first shave.
With daily use this brush could be fully broken in after a few weeks.
These boar brushes will have a stronger scent than a badger brush but after a couple weeks the animal smell should be replaced by the scent of whatever soap or cream you are using.
It seems most of the negative reviews come from guys after their first couple uses without giving it time to break in.
These brushes will be different if you are used to badger hair so know that going. They will soften as you break them in.
Semogue Boar Bristle Shaving Brush
Semogue is another popular manufacturer of boar bristle brushes.
They are also a small family owned and operated company that is based out of Portugal.
Some of the brushes are made from badger hair but their hog hair brushes tend to be more popular because of their ability to make a great lather.
1305 Semogue Superior Boar Bristle Shaving Brush
The 1305 by Semogue is considered by many to be one of the finest shaving brushes out there. It has a vintage look with its beech wood handle.
It is slightly smaller than the Omega’s at 4.3 inches and a tighter knot at 22 mm.
This brush doesn’t have as many reviews but comes with a higher rating than the Omega’s. Guys seem to really love this brush, even after owning badger brushes.
They seem to really love how quickly and how rich the lather is with this brush. It has also been mentioned that this brush doesn’t shed much so it should last for many years if you hang it up to dry between uses.
The 1305 will work well with hard soaps or shaving creams and just like the others it should soften up after a few uses.
The men who didn’t like this brush seemed to have trouble lathering their particular soaps and one guy said it softened up too much.
So, if you really like a stiff brush an Omega may be better but if you want to save some money on a boar bristle brush that will soften up, this could be your brush.
Semogue Excelsior 830 Shaving Brush
At just 3.9 inches in total length the Excelsior 830 is one of the shortest boar bristle brushes on this list but is also highly rated by its users.
It has a nice acrylic handle with a 22-mm knot like the 1305.
Just like you would expect from a quality brush, this may lose a few hairs during the first few weeks of use but then it should stop shedding.
As you break in the brush the bristles will soften and fan out allowing you to create rich, creamy lathers quickly.
The break in period may take longer for some guys than others. One many said it didn’t happen until his 30th lather! Which seems a bit long but it should be worth the wait. Of course, you can use on your hand to help speed up the break in period.
After it is broken in you will be able to face lather with this brush as well.
The complaints are mainly about how stiff or rough the brush is but like we mentioned this brush may require a bit more of a break in period for the hair to really soften up.
If you decide to purchase this brush be sure to put some time and effort into breaking it in before judging it fully.
2000 Semogue Natural Boar Bristle Shaving Brush
The longest of the Semogue’s at 4.5 inches, the 2000 is another highly-rated boar bristle brush with a nice wooden handle.
Even with the nicer handle it still comes in much cheaper than a badger hair brush.
The knot is a little larger on this one at 25 mm bound tightly with a nice metal ring.
It has been noted that the Semogue’s don’t have as much initial odor to them as some of the Omega brushes.
Again, it has been mentioned that this brush has no problems whipping up a nice lather on many different types of soaps or creams. However, a badger brush may still work better on softer creams.
The stiffness of the backbone really helps clean exfoliate your skin as you apply your lather which a lot of guys seem to really enjoy.
The few complaints talk about the stiffness…boar brushes are known to be stiffer than the badger so we know they take longer to break in.
However, there were just a few complaints.
Overall, this is another quality brush that is slightly more expensive because of the wooden handle but still very affordable.
Boar Bristle Shaving Brush – Others To Consider
Parker Safety Razor Deluxe 100% Boar Bristle Shaving Brush with Rosewood Handle
In our opinion the Parker Boar bristle shaving brush is one of the nicer looking on this list and it comes with its own stand so you won’t have to worry about buying another accessory.
With a 20 mm knot this is one of the smallest but this should give you a stiff backbone that will be great for exfoliating as well as whipping a lather.
It also comes in a nice gift box if you plan on giving this to someone else.
There is talk of a long break in period as well with this one that is common with the boar brushes, up to a month. By then they should start splitting and become smooth and soft.
Because of the stiffness, the boar brushes may not work as well as badger for face lathering right away.
This could be a great brush for beginners or for veteran wet shavers, especially if you prefer a stiff brush.
Most of the complaints are just guys comparing it to badger brushes which is hard to do since they are completely different hair fibers.
One guy said this brush was small so it may not work well for you if you like using mugs or have large hands.
Van Der Hagen Natural Shave Brush
If you want to try boar brush for not a lot of money to see how you like them, the Van Der Hagen natural boar brush can be found for less than $10 on Amazon.
There is nothing fancy about this brush and it won’t have the same quality as the others on this list however, it could be a great tester/starter brush if you want to see how your skin likes boar brushes.
This brush doesn’t have the best ratings but you will find some guys really liked it, probably because of how cheap it was.
Others say this brush has a 12-15-month life time before the knot fell off the handle but would you expect multiple years out of a cheap brush like this?
This is not the nicest looking brush and has a wide handle so it may not fit into your brush stand if you already have one.
However, despite all of this it will still get the job done and as it is broken in you will be able to create a nice lather.
Boar Bristle Shaving Brush Conclusion
As you can see there are many fine choices for a boar bristle shaving brush.
With time, they can soften up like a badger brush but still retain their backbone so you can enjoy the stiffness as well.
While it may take some more work to break them in, it could be worth the wait for the money you will save compared to buying a more expensive badger hair shaving brush.
So, which is the best for you? That depends on your wants and needs as every man’s beard and skin are different.
Do you use a boar bristle shaving brush? Let us know about it in the comments below!