Why use bowls/scuttles?

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by DrRoly, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. DrRoly

    DrRoly New Member

    Only just got into "old school" shaving and I have so many questions at the moment!

    Here we go:

    -At the moment I have some Crabtree and Evelyn Sienna in a wood bowl and just build up a later in the bowl. How is a bowl better than this?

    - I can see two benefits of using a large bowl: less lather wastage and you can fit any brand of soap into the bowl (i.e. a C+E bowl will only take C+E soap). So, why is a purpose made shave bowl better than, say, a large mug or mortar with the pestle removed?

    - Any other benefits vs not using a bowl?

    I've searched TSD and can't find anything that explanes why you'd want to use one in the first place. I'm interested because I want to get the best possible shave.
  2. Regan

    Regan Well-Known Member

    Well for now you are creating lather on the soap? Most people after loading the brush build lather on face or another large bowl or a scuttle if you want to get into that.

    I started with loading a brush and then going to a capachino mug. But now that I learned how to face lather. I have started to do that daily.

    I would see if you have a large mug to build lather in. Many do not load it on the soap as you said it wastes lather and i believe makes you use the soap faster.

    Check out Marks vids. They are amazing and can give you great knowledge here is a thread containing them. He has good ones for creating lather. Outlines the general methods and then some other methods as well. Hope that helps.

  3. fishcrow

    fishcrow Birdman of TSD

    I have a scuttle on loan. It has swirl ridges inside, it seems to make greater lather then any bowl I have. I have the depth to better suited then a bowl for making lather. I also think that the lather is more effortless.
  4. Flatfish

    Flatfish Member

    I personally can't see any point to using a scuttle. The bathroom sink with its plug and hot water literally on tap is far superior in my opinion. I tend to only do one pass but I have a sort of rustic simple minimalist approach to shaving whereas others enjoy the ceremony and the accessories that go with it. Nothing wrong with either approach.
    I also whirl the brush around on the soap and then apply to my face. Works very well in my opinion.
    As for a bowl. You need something to hold the soap. Your wood container is perfectly acceptable for this.
    A soap container needs to be big enough for you to whirl the brush on top. I personally use a coffee mug which is big enough for the brush and small enough to fit on the shelf in the bathroom cupboard. It also has a handle which makes it easy to hold.

    You can make any soap fit any container. Some soaps can be melted and there are threads on this site describing the process. NOT ALL SOAPS WILL MELT. CHECK FIRST.
    Other soaps can be grated or chopped into small pieces and stuffed into a container. Press down well otherwise it will all fall apart.

    I currently have erasmic and palmolive SHAVING STICKS mashed together with some left overs and put into a mug.
  5. Regan

    Regan Well-Known Member

    I agree with some of the above... For me I face lather as it scrubs my face more. I think it works the lather in and provides a smoother shave. More time with soap and water on face to soften the hairs. However many just go bowl right to face and no scrubbing and it works for them.

    It really is up to you.
  6. profsaffel

    profsaffel The a**s go marching one by one

    I like the clanking sound my brush makes against the side of the bowl. Besides, it drives my wife crazy. *snicker*
  7. tomnat

    tomnat accepting applications

    Mine too. :happy102

    To combat this, I try to hold the brush a little lower, but end up smashing my finger tips into the sides rather than the brush handle.
  8. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    The term "better" can only be defined by you.

    The "benefits" can only be determined by you.

    That said, have fun and experiment. It's the only way you'll discover the benefits and what's better.

    This may or may not be helpful, but it's the bottom line truth.
  9. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Member

    For lathering with a cream, a bowl will produce a lighter lather in less time; a scuttle (I have a Georgetown G5) keeps it warm, and the ridges make it easier to lather the Italian soft soaps.

    That being said, I face-lathered for over 40 years, and bought the scuttle on a whim; now I use it every day.
  10. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Guess I'll take a stab at what I think you're asking.

    Using your soap as your lathering container makes it harder to control your soap to water ratio.

    That's why many folks load their brush from their soap then take the loaded brush to another place (bowl, scuttle, skin) to build the lather.

    You have 2 types of scuttles; modern and vintage.
    The modern version's basic purpose is to keep your lather warm during the shave.
    The vintage's purpose has been speculated to be; to provide the shaver with a water and soap holder when there was no/limited indoor plumbing.
    scott wein likes this.
  11. azshaver

    azshaver Member

    Try using an Old Spice mug. It has lower sides and doesn't clank.
  12. GoldenBoys

    GoldenBoys New Member

    I started out building the lather in the soap mug, then started face lathering. I didn't care for it, so I started building my lather in a bowl. That way, you just load up what soap you need, then move to the bowl, add a drop or two of water, then build a great lather. It is also the only way, besides face lathering, that you can lather up a cream. I use a scuttle most of the time now because I love the hot lather!
  13. Regan

    Regan Well-Known Member

    You can also lather with brush on your hand. Or you can just rub it on your face and go to town.
  14. ksigtuck

    ksigtuck New Member

    I usually just add some water to my soap bowl and try to build from it and face lather. I find that I get a much better lather when I use a cream instead of soap. For me it is a learning process that is continual. Eventually, I will figure out the perfect combination of water/soap ratio to build as good of a lather as I get from cream. Guess I need to watch some more videos.
  15. theshaver

    theshaver Member

    I like my dirty bird scuttle. It gives a better lather than in a mug in my opinion. Plus it keeps it nice a warm, very comfy on the face.
  16. MÜHLE-Man

    MÜHLE-Man Member

    2 words....Warm Lather ;)
  17. DaveNJ74

    DaveNJ74 Member

    I use a bowl and also have used a scuttle. I also have face lathered. I prefer face lathering which you can do from the soap and wooden bowl.
  18. mwleach58

    mwleach58 Active Member

    This is my approach. Once upon a time I used an electric because I could be done with the entire business in minutes. Result? A crappy shave which I had to do twice per day. But now I like to fully appreciate the ceremony - or ritual, if you prefer that term - and I usually have the time, or make the time, to fully appreciate all the little steps. It's like shining a pair of good shoes. I'd rather do it by hand than use an electric buffer. I'd rather tie a tie properly than wear a clip-on.

    I have face lathered, when I've had less time, but I generally use a bowl. I use an old, porcelain child's cereal/soup bowl with a handle on it, somewhat like those french onion soup bowls with handles, but the top rim doesn't close in. I put my brush into the bowl and let both soak and warm up in hot water while I give myself a hot towel for a few minutes, then load my brush on whatever soap or cream I've chosen that day, and go to work in the bowl. I give myself a bit of a face scrub with the soapy brush (boar), then massage the lather in, then another hot towel. Then I re-apply lather, and start the shave.

    That's the routine I've worked out for me, and it serves me quite well. Working out exactly what works for you is part of the enjoyment of the whole process.

    Happy experimenting!
    simmonds and scott wein like this.
  19. Picky

    Picky New Member

    I never use a bowl or scuttle.I load dry soap on my face and add drops of water, as seen on Mantic`s videos.This is something like an universal formula to get good, thick lather out of any soap, even from MWF, and it works everytime.You spend more time shaving like this, and the soaps stays significantly longer on the skin, this is how I need no prep, at least IMHO.So I agree, you should experiment and try most of the options and see for yourself.
    scott wein likes this.
  20. kaseri

    kaseri New Member

    I was a bowl latherer for many years but I recently started face lathering and find it more enjoyable. A side benefit is that I need lees things to shave with.

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