Review: The BiG Shave Scuttle
BiG Shave Scuttle
Measures: 3″ height
Diameter of lather chamber: 3.75″ at top, 2″ at bottom
Total Scuttle Diameter: 6″
Weight: 1.5 lb
Description: Double wall design, holds 16oz of water, microwave safe, and dishwasher friendly.
This is a unique, handmade in the Czech Republic, artisan shaving scuttle. Each is a one of a kind.
I could barely sleep last night in anticipation of trying out my new BiG Shave Scuttle. It arrived by post only hours after my morning shave…so I had to wait. After ordering it two weeks before, meeting my mailman at the door became part of my daily routine. As a card holding member of the wet shave enthusiast “tribe” we all know what this is like. We build strong relationships with the postman, we call him by name, and he calls us by ours. He shares in our excitement and wonder, he may even be a wet shaver himself. Jonathon, my mailman, was as giddy as I the day the much awaited parcel arrived. He practically begged me to open it, though this was hardly necessary. As I held up the scuttle in the light of the mid-day sun any passerby would have easily assumed both Jonathon and I had discovered the Holy Grail. We stood still, mouths agape and starry eyed, and we may even have hugged. He set down his mail bag, took a seat on the stoop, and closely examined it with the trained eye of an envelope pusher.
“This is brilliant!” he exclaimed, and I could not help but to agree, nodding nervously as he handled it. Anxious to get it out of his hands I showed him the other contents of the package that Stephen Faragher had so generously included with my purchase. A stick of Arco Shaving Soap, Astra Blades, and a Turkish YUMA Razor, which I believe to be modeled after the classic Merkur 1904 3-piece.
Awkwardly and rather abruptly, I bid Jonathon good day, shook his hand and thanked him for doing a fine job while at the same time mumbling something about the importance of getting the mail out on time. I left him envious and shoulder slumped on my front steps, almost half expecting him to follow me inside in hopes of watching me try out my new toy.
Being a wet shaving fanatic can be both rewarding and tragic. Rewarding in the few ceremonious moments when we get to shrug off the world and enter a sensuous realm of focus, control, and constraint known to only a few, analogues to that of a yogi unrolling his mat or a Buddhist entering a state of nirvana. Tragic in the fact that the “ritual” is only to be performed once a day when there are so many razors, blades, brushes, and shaving soaps to collect and try! Toys that will patiently await use, like good inanimate objects, taking up space in the bathroom, dangerously encroaching on our significant other’s aggressively defended territory…and yet, only once a day is all we get. I blame cruel evolution for this, it gave us opposable thumbs in which to grasp a razor yet took away the fur we could be shaving off multiple times a day. This is where wet shaving as an interest and hobby differs from all others. So we learn to savor and appreciate the little time we have for the daily practice and wake each day with the mantra in our heads “another day, another shave.” In short, I was itching to try this thing!
The scuttle really is an ingenious piece of craftsmanship and wouldn’t look too out of place on display in a China Cabinet or a museum. Decorative and rustic, hansom yet classic, clever in both form and function…thought provoking even. The scuttle is similar to the Moss Scuttle in concept: inner chamber holds hot water, top outer chamber holds hot lather. However, that is the only thing they share. The overall shape and design is drastically different. Instead of a clumsy open spout that can lend to spillage as the wrist holding it fatigues, the mouth of the BiG Shave Scuttle is smaller, round and rather smartly plugged with a removable cork stopper. Not only does this prevent one spilling hot water but it also aids in keeping the scuttle hotter longer.
Pull out the cork and fill the bottom vessel with boiling, hot or warm water then replace the stopper. Now fill the top vessel with hot water, place your brush of choice in it to warm and soften the bristles. Allow the scuttle to sit undisturbed for 5-10 minutes then pour out the water from the top chamber. You are now ready to take her for a spin.
For the maiden voyage I chose to use my current shaving puck of choice, a neroli scented, kokum butter puck by Petal Pusher Fancies. This soap has already proven itself in the lather, scent, glide, and moisturizing department, so I was more than curious to see how it performed in my new scuttle. For a brush I chose my Colonel Ichabod Conk silver tipped badger hair. For razor I was armed with my 1947 Aristocrat loaded with a brand new Big Ben DE blade.
After gently squeezing out most of the water from the brush I began to load the brush using a figure 8 motion on the surface of the soap I held in my hand. Once the brush was loaded I put the soap aside and begin whipping up lather in the hot scuttle. I add more water as needed, and at hotter temps it usually is much needed. The conical shape of the lather bowl and the ridges that run along it really aid in creating a thick lather relatively fast. The lather and brush was kept hot in between all four passes.
The entire experience was everything I expected it to be and more; unadulterated bliss. This little scuttle is a satisfying hot lather machine, and a wet shaver’s best friend, if not secret weapon. The only thing I might add to the design is a removable lid for the top of the soap bowl to top off when allowing the scuttle to heat. I am using a wooden lid that came with a shaving bowl I was using prior to the scuttle. All in all I am completely satisfied and impressed with the BiG Shave Scuttle. I highly recommend anyone who has not already fallen in love with it to treat themselves to one today, in turn making your girlfriend jealous and your mailman envious! Cheers!
To find out more about the BiG Shave Scuttle or to order one contact Stephen Faragher today Here
Also, check out Stephen’s popular Facebook group The BiG Shave where at anytime of the day you can join in on a conversation about wet shaving- great group and always a party Here
Review and meanderings by Douglas Smythe
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