The Shaving Essentials
I have been asked several times what strop should I buy, which shaving soap or cream performs well and what's a good shaving brush. With so many artisans and companies on the market it's really hard to navigate sometimes.
I really can't name them all but what I can tell you is what I personally use and find to be either a top tier product or good value for the money.
My soap collection is mostly from Tallow & Steel, MacDuffs, Saponificio Varesino, Ethos, Sē'bŭm, Noble Otter and Grooming Department. Scent is very personal so I will not get into the details however you cannot go wrong with any of those artisans. Those are just a drop in the bucket to what's available but for me those rank as being amongst the best performers.
When it comes to a leather strop I always recommend a 3" wide strop with either canvas or linen as your secondary fabric. I have always tried to avoid the synthetic/nylon secondary fabric. A very good value for money is the 3" latigo strop from WCS. It's available in either mahogany or black. Same leather, different dye. I also prefer D handles as opposed to the leather handle. They also offer a cheaper 3" top grain leather but I prefer latigo leather. Another excellent strop comes from Tony Miller. Any of his strops are worth owning however as I mentioned before I am a big fan of 3" wide and D handles. Horsehide is my least favorite leather and one I always try to avoid. It's personally too slick for me as I prefer a leather that has some drag or resistance once broken in.
Shaving brushes are plenty from synthetic to genuine badger hair in different grades. My best brushes are from Aldo (Varlet). I also own brushes from Declaration Grooming, Black Eagle, Turn 'N Shave, Paladin,...
For synthetic brushes I highly recommend you check out AP shave Co.