Shaving technology has come a long way in the last century.
Or has it?
Despite all of the advances in modern shave gels and multi-bladed razors, many men feel like something’s missing. But shaving can be a ritual – not just another part of the morning routine.
Luckily, there are many new shaving products that try to recapture the magic of shaving. These range from old-school razors (like straight razors and single-blade safety razors) to vintage-style shaving soaps and oils.
These products can make great gifts! A modern can of shave gel might be too boring to give as a gift, but a box of old-fashioned grooming supplies is a whole different story. If you’re looking for a present for Father’s Day, birthday, graduation, or any special occasion, a shaving set can be a very memorable gift that he’ll actually use.
So without further ado, here are the best old-fashioned shaving kits that we’ve found!
Shaving Sets & Gift Boxes
If you’re buying a gift for a gentleman, an old-fashioned shaving set will certainly make an impression. Some shaving sets include very nice-looking wooden gift boxes (sometimes styled like vintage cigar boxes).
But in addition to that, a complete set just makes everything easier. Traditional wet shaving is different from what many guys are used to, and they may not know where to begin. With a complete set, a lot of the guesswork is removed since they’ll have everything they need.
Naked Armor “The Solomon” Straight Razor Shaving Kit (our top pick!)
This kit comes in a handsome, wooden gift box that doubles as a storage case. It includes:
- High-quality straight razor with Japanese stainless steel blade and algum wood handle
- Leather travel pouch
- Leather strop and sharpening paste
- Tin of handmade shaving soap
- “Badger friendly” wood brush (made without badger hair, and a portion of the purchase is donated to the Wildlife Conservation Network!)
- Free PDF guide with instructions for using the kit
- Lifetime warranty
Although it doesn’t include a shaving bowl, you don’t necessarily need it anyway – you can lather the soap inside the tin, or use any mug or small bowl that you have at home. Or you could buy a shaving mug or lather bowl if you prefer.
Compared to some shaving kits, this one is a bit more on the luxury end. Every part is high quality, and it has a price to match. But if you want to give a really nice gift to a gentleman in your life (or to yourself!) this shaving set is a solid choice.
Gentleman Jon Complete Wet Shave Kit
Not every guy wants to use a straight razor, so you might want to consider buying a safety razor kit instead. It’s still a classic design – the kind of razor that was used in the 19th and early 20th centuries, in a time when disposable plastic razors were unheard of.
This kit includes:
- Safety razor
- Shave brush with wooden handle and black badger hair
- Alum block (use it after shaving to prevent razor burn)
- Sandalwood shave soap
- Stainless steel shave bowl
- 5 razor blades
The box itself isn’t going to be as durable as the Naked Armor box, but it has a really nice, vintage look. There is also a deluxe version that includes a travel bag and shave stand.
Maison Lambert Ultimate Shaving Kit Set
This is a handcrafted shaving kit from Maison Lambert. It’s certainly not the cheapest option, but it is a good choice if you are looking for a more luxurious set that really makes a strong impression.
The shaving set includes:
- Double edge safety razor
- High quality black badger shaving brush
- Wooden shaving bowl
- Shaving soap
- Organic beer soap (body soap)
- Alcohol-free unscented aftershave oil
- 10 Astra blades
If you’re not quite ready for a whole kit, you can still use an old-fashioned shaving soap. They work just as well with modern razors as they do with straight razors and old-school safety razors.
You will need a shaving brush to build up a lather. There are many brushes to choose from on Amazon, but the Perfecto brush is a popular option that gets great reviews.
Lather & Wood Shaving Soap
This is a tallow-based shaving soap that is crafted in small batches. It has shea butter to help with lathering. It comes in either a sandalwood or bay rum scent.
Sir Hare Shaving Soap
This shaving soap claims to be “barber approved” (although we’re not sure how stringent those standards are). At any rate, many people do like its old-fashioned barber shop scent, which includes bergamot, oakmoss, and cedarwood scents. It comes in an oversized tin to make it easier to lather without a separate bowl.
Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream
Taylor of Old Bond Street has been around since 1854, so they know shaving. Although the box says “shaving cream”, it’s more like a shaving soap, so it works best with a brush. You can buy it in a sandalwood, coconut, or grapefruit scent.
Using a pre-shave oil is totally optional, but it can help reduce irritation and prevent ingrown hairs. Like shaving soap, pre-shave oils can be used with either modern or classic razors.
There are two ways to use an oil: By itself or with shaving cream/soap. If you use it with shaving cream or soap, just make sure to apply the oil first. You may want to experiment with both methods, but many people find that the oil works fine even without shaving cream.
Colonel Conk Pre-Shave Oil
This product is made from five essential oils, and it includes Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, and menthol. The company takes its name from a real Colonel Ichabod Conk, who made a fortune selling barber supplies in the 19th century.
Bohemian Brothers Reserve Pre-Shave Oil
This oil has a classic Bay Rum and Sandalwood Bourbon scent, and it comes in a pump dispenser to reduce spills.
Lather & Wood Pre-Shave Oil
This product is a blend of seven natural oils, and you can buy it in either a sandalwood or unscented version. Like the Bohemian Brothers oil, it comes in a pump dispenser.
Whether you’re interested in old-school shaving or are content with modern methods, be sure to check out our related article on shaving before or after showering. Happy shaving!