So you’re a brusher (or want to become a brusher). Lucky for you, brushing climbing holds can really give you a boost in performance and let you push your limits. The only catch is that you need the best climbing brush to get the best results!
You have undoubtedly seen a strong Boulderer or Sport Climber religiously brushing the holds on the crux of their project before every burn. While some people see this as just a placebo or nervous habit, make sure to ask these naysayers if they have ever climbed anything over V8 or 5.13… You will most likely get some lame excuse and explanation on who they climbed V5 in a gym once.
If you are looking for more information on brushing check out our article: To Brush or Not to Brush
So from this point on we are assuming you think brushing help clean the holds and increase friction. Now you have another thing to consider when choosing the best climbing brush, bristle material.
The two main types of bristles seen in climbing brushes are as follows:
- Boars Hair
While these two materials essentially solve the same problem, they actually have two separate use cases.
Boars Hair is the crème de la crème of climbing brush materials. This bristle type will give your holds a deep cleaning and won’t leave behind a plastic residue. This is extremely important when climbing outside. If you choose to use a nylon brush outdoors you risk the chance of polishing the rock. Every climber needs to own a good boars hair climbing brush if they plan to spend any amount of time climbing outside.
Nylon/Plastic bristles are much more durable and abrasive than boars hair. This means the nylon brushes should be used in the following two cases: clean moss and choss off of an outdoor climb or while climbing indoors on plastic holds. Gym holds are specifically designed to take the abuse from these types of brushes (plus if they get worn out they are easy to replace).
Boars Hair Brushes = Outdoor Climbing and High Performance
Nylon Brushes = Indoor Climbing and Climbing Outdoor Holds (Development)
There are two main types of materials that climbing brushes are made out of:
Plastic handle brushes are very common. They can have both Nylon and Boars Hair Bristles. The quality of these handles can vary greatly. Some the of best climbing brushes have plastic handles. These high-quality brushes have very rigid plastic handles that withstand the abuse of a season full of climbing. Since plastic brushes are almost always made by injection modeling, it allows the manufacturer to design the handle with contours the make it fit into your hand like a glove.
Wood handle brushes are quickly becoming less and less popular. This is due to the difficulty in manufacturing. Wood products are harder to mass produce than plastic products. One reason you might still want to get a wood handle climbing brush for sustainability purposes, although many plastic brushes are easily recyclable these days. A huge advantage of climbing brushes made of wood is that they can be very aesthetic and unique. If you are interested in a custom wood climbing brush check out Faza Brushes.
So bigger is better right? Most of the time this is true, but not always.
A serious Boulderer will most likely have multiple brushes in their bag. Some smaller brushes for hard to reach places, a medium sized brush for typical holds, and a larger brush to clean up those massive slopers.
So are we telling you to go out a buy a half dozen climbing brushes, absolutely not! You need to figure out what brushes you need and how you plan to use them. If you are just starting out, get a very general boars hair climbing brush and you will be good to go.
Ok, enough rambling, let’s get to the good stuff!
Best Climbing Brushes – Top 8
While this is a rather small brush, it actually performs very well. This would not be a brush to buy for outdoor bouldering (please don’t polish outside holds). These brushes are also just about the cheaps ones you can find.
Here is an alternative called the X-Brush
This set comes with 3 small nylon brushes that are perfect for the gym, one mega sloper brush (also for the gym), and one boar’s hair brush for outdoor climbing.
The BD Brush Set is ideal for a beginner trying to get their brush collection started.
Find the best price on the BD Climbing Brush Set HERE
The handle is made of lightweight and strong bamboo wood.
This brush is definitely not a sturdy or durable as some of the brushes listed later in this post.
Find the best price on the Evolv Bouldering Brush HERE
The issue with this brush set is that the bristles are not dense. The smaller brushes are especially underwhelming. That being said, for the price its still a pretty good option.
Find the best price on the Escape Brush Pack HERE
This brush has a wide area of bristles that have a good density. This will make quick work of slopers and jugs on your outdoor project.
Maybe not a primary climbing brush but definitely a good addition to a healthy collection.
The Mammut Boulder Brush is a bit too expensive for more peoples taste. If you can deal with the price its a really good brush.
Find the best price on the Mammut Bouldering Brush HERE
This model is especially good. It has a solid amount of bristles and a little compartment (for whatever your little heart could desire to shove in there).
The issue with this brush is it’s quite expensive.
Find the best price on the Sublime Climbing Brush HERE
LAPIS is one of the older and more successful climbing brush manufacturers. These brushes are very simple and lightweight.
This is most likely the brush that your climbing gym or local shop has in stock. The brush its self it nothing particularly special, but they are very affordable and reliable.
You can get these brushing in all different colors and styles.
Find the best price on the Lapis Brush HERE
The handle is made out of high strength glass filled polymer which makes it virtually indestructible. It also comes in bright orange to make it nearly impossible to lose.
This brush is prepared to take on whatever you can throw at it. Get ready to crush your proj with the Crush Brush!
Find the best price on the Crush Brush HERE
A quick disclaimer on this one. This is not a 100% unbiased review of the Crush Brush. The maker of these brushes is a part of the team. Although this review does not have any false information. We just try to keep it real.
We hope you enjoyed the review of the best climbing brushes.
If you have any questions or concerns please let us know in the comments below.
Owner and Operator of Every Last Rock. He is dedicated to spreading the Stoke about all things climbing. Often found Bouldering around the US and obsessively training.