Sticks and Stones

I was taking a look at my incredibly disorganized shaving cabinet over the weekend, thinking about which wet shaving and grooming products to review next, and I realized that I needed the ability to try more products in smaller quantities.  That thought process led me to thinking about a couple of the most overlooked items in traditional wet shaving, the sticks and stones of shaving.  I’m talking about shaving sticks and alum stones or blocks.  These two tools pack and incredible punch when it comes to convenience, value, and sampling.

Both shaving sticks and alum blocks are amazingly convenient, not just for travel, but also for storage.  Like shampoo bars, they store dry and are easily packed.  Shaving sticks take up much less space than a full tub of shaving soap in your cabinet.  Both are very well priced.  Shaving sticks also have the added bonus of helping you get more for less.  As I’ve written before, I think many wet shavers are drawn to the experimentation aspect of this process, trying as many soaps and creams as they can.  Well, shaving sticks allow you to try more products for less money.

The Sticks

  1. Arko – First of all, be sure to read our full review of the Arko shaving soap, but this little gem is an amazing value with incredible lather and glide.  A travel go-to for most wet shavers, Arko does not disappoint.
  2. La Toja – This is quickly becoming one of my favorite shaving products overall, not just shaving sticks.  The powdery, earthy smell pairs perfectly with my Floid aftershave, and the lather is so easy to build.  Additionally, the plastic cap makes this stick ideal for travel.
  3. Palmolive – I’ll be honest, I’ve only used this stick a few times.  I just bought it, and I’m still getting the lather building down.  It seems to take a lot of water.  However, I can say the post-shave face feel with this one is amazing; one of the best after-shave feels out there.
  4. Tabac – What can I say about Tabac?  I love this stuff.  The scent, the slickness, this stuff is amazing.  If you’re not ready to shell out for the soap in the ceramic dish, this is the perfect stick for you.
  5. Taylor of Old Bond Street – I will always have a soft spot in my heart for TOBS.  Taylor’s Sandalwood shaving cream was the first real shaving cream I ever bought.  You can pick up a shaving stick in either the Sandalwood or the St. James College fragrances.
  6. D.R. Harris – Without a doubt the largest selection belongs to D.R. Harris.  With five shaving sticks available in Arlington, Marlborough, Windsor, Lavender, and Almond, you have the ability to experience almost the entire D.R. Harris line in the convenient stick form.  Don’t forget to read our review of the Marlborough shaving soap too!

The Stones

  1. Osma Alum – This is the alum block I primarily use, probably because it was the one I started with.  Alum blocks in general are a great way to heal cuts and nicks, stop bleeding, and prep your skin for the next shave.  
  2. Razorock – I should probably switch over this alum block.  I am a big fan of Razorock, and I love the convenient travel case.  My shaving cabinet has a little pile of crystals where I store my alum, and the case would keep it much cleaner.

These two overlooked products can aid your travel issues, clean up your cabinet, and give you a chance to try more wet shaving gear.  Let’s not overlook them any more.  Pick a few up today!


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