Shaving scuttle mugs are standard barber shaving gears that are the secret to getting a warm and thick lather, making it a must-have for every wet shave enthusiast. But what does it do, and do you really need one—why not just use an old coffee mug?
We break down the importance of a scuttle and how to use it.
- What is a Scuttle Mug?
- How to Use a Shaving Scuttle Mug
- Alternative Shaving Mugs
- Do You Really Need a Shaving Scuttle?
What is a Scuttle Mug?
A scuttle mug is a double-walled cup, usually stainless steel or ceramic. It has a two-chamber feature providing a designated reservoir for hot or warm water that will aid in making a good lather and keeping it warm.
Shaving scuttles are the more improved version of a traditional shaving bowl or mug. It has ridges on its interior, which creates additional tension and friction between the shaving brush and the hard soap.
The hot water at the bottom chamber heats the whole mug, which has excellent thermal properties, to easily melt shaving soap while they keep lathers warm until the end of one’s shaving routine.
With that, scuttles are a modern rendition of a shaving mug, which became popular in the 1880s.1
How to Use a Shaving Scuttle Mug?
Using scuttles vs. shaving mugs offers a different experience. It requires finesse and elbow grease. The hard part comes when whisking the soap into a foam, which should not take long at all. Nonetheless, it is an easy and therapeutic process.
Here’s how to use a shaving scuttle mug:
- Prepare your hot water by boiling it and cooling it down until lukewarm.
- Open the cork and fill the bottom chamber with warm water.
- Place your shaving brush in the scuttle’s upper section to warm its knots.
- Use your brush to gather some shave soap.
- Start whipping the lather by swirling the soap-loaded brush inside the scuttle.
- Apply on the face using a circular motion.
Prepare your hot water by boiling it and cooling it down until lukewarm.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using lukewarm water for washing the face.2 Hence, the ideal temperature of the water you will fill up your scuttle with should be around 84℉ to 115℉.3
Do not pour boiling water into your shaving scuttle because it will damage the bristles of your shaving brush when your foam is heated too much and even burn your skin. Anything above 115℉ will also cause your lather to deflate, which is an irony you want to avoid.4
Open the cork and fill the bottom chamber with warm water.
Remove the stopper first to put the warm water inside the scuttle’s bottom chamber. Fill in the reservoir to its brim, just enough that it is full but not spilling.
Dr. Roberta Del Campo, a dermatologist from Florida, says in an interview with NBC News that “warm water is always best as hot can strip the skin of its natural oils, and cold does not allow the pores to open to remove dirt.”5 You wouldn't want to try cold water shaving at this point.
Warm water is also great for avoiding razor burns. It helps open up the pores, preventing them from getting clogged, leading to inflammation. Also, it conditions the hair, opening up the cuticles, which lets the hair absorb more nutrients from the soap, making it easier for your straight razor blades to bite through.
If you are lazy or in a rush, you can always bring your scuttle to the shower and fill it with warm water while showering. You can then dunk the soap in and create a good shaving lather which you can use to smother your face.
Do not forget to put the stopper back in to close the bottom chamber and seal the temperature.
Place your shaving brush in the scuttle’s upper chamber to warm its knots.
Before preparing your skin for shaving with a straight razor or your favorite shavette, place your brush inside the upper chamber of the scuttle. Doing so will warm the bristles of your shaving brush.
Using a warm brush will make it easier to work with your shaving soap. Not only that, but it will also help keep your lather warm and thick. If your brush is cold, it can cool down your lather.
Note to wet shavers: Always use high-quality shaving brushes because the low-quality variants tend to melt if kept in hot water for too long, and this is because most of these cheap brushes are held in place with cheap gum or polymers.
Use your brush to gather some shave soap.
Once you are ready to begin your shaving process, use your warm brush to gather the amount of soap you need. Put a couple of drops on the puck and swirl your brush on top.
You can also throw the whole puck inside the scuttle’s upper chamber. However, it can be challenging to move around as it takes space. Plus, you can save more shaving soap when you pick up a small amount and add it later if necessary.
Remember always to use shaving soap because it has a higher fat content and lower alkalinity,6 making it more ideal for creating a thick shaving foam than an ordinary bath soap. And since they are usually organic unlike shaving creams in cans, you save yourself from harmful ingredients like artificial emulsifiers, fragrances, and colorings.7
Start whipping the lather by swirling the soap-loaded brush inside the scuttle.
This part is when the hard work and magic begin!
Since your brush is already loaded with shave soap, all you have to do next is swirl it inside the scuttle. Make sure to run your shaving brush in circles while touching the ridges on the walls to speed up the process.
Continue doing so until the foam starts to form into a thick and velvety lather.
Apply on the face using a circular motion.
When you have the amount of lather you need, scoop it up using your shaving brush. Apply the lather generously on your face using a circular motion. The bristles will help exfoliate and lift the hair from the skin, making it easier for your razor to cut through.
Alternative Shaving Mugs
Scuttles can be pricey, especially if they are made of high-grade materials. If you cannot afford one at the moment, shaving mugs or lather bowls are great alternatives to scuttles. After all, they are what inspired the birth of scuttles.
However, note that you will need an extra cup to store hot water because shaving mugs do not have a bottom chamber. This means you will have to dip your brush into the warm water and then the lather if you want a hot shave.
If shaving mugs are still a bit of an investment for you, you can always opt for an old cup. You can also create a make-shift scuttle by placing your mug on a bigger container filled with warm water.8
Do You Really Need a Shaving Scuttle Mug?
Is a scuttle worth it? Yes!
You might think that investing in shaving scuttles is not a practical choice. But, having a scuttle is necessary if you are using shaving soap. Also, even if you prefer using gels and canned foams, a scuttle will help keep it at the most calming temperature for your shaving routine.
Here are the benefits of using a shaving scuttle mug:
- It offers a comfortable shaving experience.
- The warm lather calls for a smooth and nick-free shave.
- It helps in softening the skin and hair for excellent pre-shave prep.
- It is convenient to use at home.
- Barber-like shaves at home every day.
The very benefit of using a shaving scuttle mug lies in the comfortable shaving experience it offers. Its excellent thermal properties warm up a lather that nourishes the skin and softens the hair for a smoother, closer, and irritation-free shaving experience—all the more while helping you save on soap consumption.
Investing in a scuttle shaving mug also lets you enjoy an affordable, even free, barber-like shave at home. Instead of going to the barbershop and spending a hundred dollars for a shave, just get a scuttle, and it saves a huge chunk of your time and money.
What Men Says
Some wet shaving fans mention that it lets them get a more efficient and relaxing shave where they can do more with their hands, save on water, and combat chilling winter shaves.
According to one user from Badger & Blade, he “wouldn't shave without one now, [...] I find the warm, scented lather provides the most comfortable, relaxing shave I've ever experienced. And it gives me a place to mix it and to put my brush without holding something in my hand; no extra time really, and, for me, contributes to a better shave.”9
Scuttles are no longer difficult to find with the rising interest in straight razor shaving and other wet shaving routines, like using a shavette or safety razor. But do not let quantity fool you into thinking that all models are of good quality.
The Best Shaving Scuttle
Naked Armor's Savanna Scuttle is an excellent option if you need a scuttle with superior thermal properties, whereas the Silver Fox Scuttle is perfect if you want a lighter & rust-free partner when creating your lather.
What you are looking for is a functional, lightweight scuttle that has a hollow interior. It would also be best if there are horizontal ridges and vertical bars and that the hot water chamber has a cork and can hold at least 10 oz of water.
Shaving scuttle mugs and shaving bowls need to be made with A-grade material and stoneware. Here at Naked Armor, you can find two kinds of apothecary scuttles that also come in a complete shaving set.
For instance, the Savanna Scuttle Shaving Mug comes loaded with simple and incredibly functional features stated above, which will simplify your shave and make it hassle-free. Unlike many other products, its cork is all-natural and environmentally friendly. Its lightweight body made of high-quality ceramic makes it easier for you to hold the scuttle with one hand. Meanwhile, its horizontal ridges catch soap in the middle of the brush bristles for creating a thick lather, which you can smother on your beard and mustache.
Another great choice would be the Silver Fox Scuttle Shaving Mug. It is exactly reminiscent of modern, contemporary, and industrialized shaving paraphernalia. Unlike a quintessential scuttle, the Silver Fox is made of durable stainless steel, making it extra lightweight over its ceramic counterpart. It has an inner chamber that can keep your foam warm for more than ten minutes, and a bowl deep enough to hold shaving cream for three full passes. Most importantly, the Silver Fox also has ridges on the bowl to add tension to the brush for a thicker lather.
The takeaway? Shaving scuttles are worth it if you can find a good one, like the ones we have here in Naked Armor. Not only will a scuttle help you achieve a more luxurious and comforting shaving experience, but the warm foam from your scuttle will also help prevent razor burns and help keep your skin moisturized.
So, what are you waiting for? Click add to cart below.
More Naked Armor Reads
- Mantic59. Shaving Mugs, Bowls, And Scuttles – What They Are, How To Use Them. Sharpologist. https://sharpologist.com/shaving-mugs-bowls-scuttles/
- Face Washing 101. American Academy Of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/face-washing-101
- Water Temperature. THe Shave Den. https://theshaveden.com/forums/threads/water-temperature.7408/
- Scuttle Water Temperature. Badger & Blade. https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/scuttle-water-temperature.275098/
- N. Spector. The best way to wash your face, according to dermatologists. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/best-way-wash-your-face-according-dermatologists-ncna1147956#anchor-Whattemperaturewaterisbest
- Shaving Soap Definition & Meaning. Dictionary.com. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/shaving-soap
- E. Sennebogen. Are there harmful chemicals in shaving cream? How Stuff Works. https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/men/shaving-tips/chemicals-in-shaving-cream.htm
- Show Us Your Scuttle. The Shave Den. https://theshaveden.com/forums/threads/show-us-your-scuttle.54525/
- Are there benefits to using a scuttle other than warm lather? Badger & Blade. https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/are-there-benefits-to-using-a-scuttle-other-than-warm-lather.411084/