Shaving 101: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Shave Better With ZIRH

Up until recently, I didn’t really care about shaving. I used whatever gel was on sale at the grocery store and those old-school Bic razors. You know, the blue ones that are like fifty cents each. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but there’s nothing really “right” about it either.

My point is, there’s a better way to shave.

I figured this out when one of Manshway’s earliest sponsors – this Brooklyn-based men’s grooming company called ZIRH – sent me a box containing their full line of products. Shave gel, pre-shave oil, cleanser, moisturizer, etc. I told them that I’d use it for a while and share my experience with our readers.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve always been pretty happy with my skin, and I only have to shave every other day, so why should I buy fancy grooming products?

Well, after a few weeks of using premium products, I can honestly say I’m surprised. My skin is noticeably clearer and softer. Plus, there’s something nice about the whole ritual – washing with the cleanser (which is much gentler than my normal stuff), preparing my skin with the pre-shave oil, etc.

I actually look forward to shaving and make sure to carve out a few extra minutes in my morning routine for these extra steps. What are the steps, exactly? Glad you asked:

   Step 1: Clean

“Invigorating Alpha-Hydroxy face wash removes dirt and excess oil for fresher looking skin.”



Step 2: Prepare

“Light unscented botanical shave oil designed to prime your face for shaving and reduce razor friction.”


   Step 3: Shave

“Aloe Vera and Glycerin condition the skin and help protect from dryness. Extremely concentrated formula – one jar should last up to 3 – 4 months.”



Step 4: Soothe

“Post-shave solution enhances the appearance of dry skin after shaving. Also makes an effective light moisturizer.”


   Step 5: Enhance

“The 1st dual phase anti-aging serum designed for men. Goes beyond traditional creams to deliver potent anti-aging results without the heaviness.”


Step 6: Protect

“A daily facial moisturizer designed to help the skin feel nourished. Helps bind moisture effectively to the skin; aids in maintaining smooth and healthy looking skin”



If this seems like a lot, don’t worry. You don’t have to follow these exact steps everyday. You can figure out what works for your skin and schedule. If you want to step up your shaving game but would like to keep it simple, take a look at ZIRH’s starter kit.

Until next time, happy shaving!

Man Law #9: Books

Gentlemen – whether or not you are an avid reader, you’ve probably kept books on display in your place at one point or another. On the book shelf, on your coffee table, etc. And we can’t help but be impressed when you visit someone who has hundreds of books – their own personal library – on display in their living room.

They must be so smart!

But have they actually read all of those books? Maybe, but maybe not. I believe that it’s okay to proudly display books that you’ve read, especially those ones that influenced your life or that you think everyone should read.

But it’s not cool to keep every book you’ve collected on some shelf in the middle of your living room if you haven’t actually read many of them. Which brings us to…

Man Law #9:

Don’t keep books on display that you haven’t read.

And if you’ve converted over to the Kindle and need something to do with all of those old books, read this.

Did You Know, DIY: 7 Resources For DIY Dudes

Hacking isn’t just for Mark Zuckerburg fellas!

In fact, there’s a DIY switch that’s been embedded deep within our brain matter through years of evolutionary Darwinism. According to a recent study, men engage both sides of the brain when handling visual-spatial tasks. This means you are naturally inclined to see things not how they are, but how they could be. So, it’s time to start using that vision to build something strange like Howard Roark.

1. Furniture Hacks

IKEA Desk Hack
Courtesy of IKEA Hackers

Ever wonder what your dresser would look like if you replaced the musty drawers with sheet metal shelves, attached cupboards to the frame opening outward and had a car hatch hydraulic pump modified to pop up the sheet metal shelving units to chest level? You’d never have to bend down to grab another t-shirt again and you’re girlfriend will be asking to see your IKEATRON when she comes over!

2. Pinterest Hacks

Recycled Corona Bottles
We recommend filling these with Pacifico...

There’s a growing number of dudes who are looking to make something out of Pinterest and while most of the boards are still dominated by what chicks think other chicks think is cool, there are some righteous boards to be found.

I found this method of upcycling Corona bottles because every guy finds himself drinking Coronas at least once during the summer.

Editor’s Note: For those who are not inclined to make these awesome Corona glasses themselves, you can get them pre-made right here.

3. Electric Hacks

Power Strip Hack
Courtesy of

This particular power strip hack is genius for many reasons. Among them: you don’t need a welder’s certification to perform this mod.

(Disclaimer: Hack at your own risk, gentlemen.)




Mr. Beer - Makes a great gift!That’s “Brew Your Own Beer” for this mod instead of the more well known acronym, “Bring Your Own Booze.” No doubt, serving up your own schwill will definitely up your man cred. Even though Mr. Beer kits are for the weak and feeble-minded brewer. It’s easy on your pocket book. What’s more is that there is an entire community of beer geeks devoted to all sorts of mods you can make with your Mr. Beer brewing system. What’s that saying? A journey of a thousand brews begins with a single sip?


6. iPhone Hack

Now you can make your own iPhone videos with high quality audio (only available on the iPhone 4 and above). Simply take any camera-ready audio device (lav microphone works best) and plug in this three band adapter for the iPhone microphone, . Viola! You’ve got interview quality sound direct to your iPhone. Like this:

7. Digital Hacker

Matrix Code
There is no spoon.

The Hollywood hacker archetype is someone we find at a smoke filled apartment typing furiously on a MS-DOS type platform with lines of code pouring through the monitor.

That archetype has shifted to include not only the nefarious digital transients at Anonymous but also the creators of Farmville.

So if making things with your hands is not for you, maybe creating things with your fingers is a good place to start. Try this free code academy on for sans serif sake!

(Bonus): Resources for hacks like you.

Dumpster Diver
If possible, wear pants.

Sure any Home Depot or Lowes will probably have what you’re looking for but when was the last time you went to either for anything other than materials to make a beer bong?

Garage sales, Craigslist, Freecycle, and yes dumpsters are great places to look for hacks.

Time to DIY!


Are you a DIY guy? Share your favorite projects and resources in the comments section!

Put Your Old Books To Good Use

5 Alternative Uses for Books

If you’re like me, all of the hundreds of books you’ve read (mostly thick, leather bound ones) are just lying around your place, collecting dust. You could just give them away, but then how would people know how smart and worldly you are? You could just tell them that you’re wildly thirsty for knowledge and actively expanding your horizons everyday, but it’s better if they discover this on their own.

Alternatively, you can keep your old books on a bookshelf, which seems logical. But the idea of storing something that you will never use violates at least one Man Law. Everything in a man’s place should have a purpose, with the exception of art.

So what do we do with all of these musky hard covers? Here are five awesome ways to re-purpose your used books:

1. Make a Book Shelf (literally)

I know what you’re thinking: “Didn’t he just say bookshelves are a waste of space?” Yes, I did. The whole point of this article is to eliminate the bookshelves and actually do something useful with your books. When I say make a bookshelf, I mean make a shelf out of books. Like this:

Book Shelf
by Jim Rosenau


There are a few different ways to do this, and most of them involve destroying at least one book (which is fine because you’ve already read all of your books, right?). One of the best DIY tutorials on building your own book shelves can be found right here.

2. Use Them as a Side Table

Book Side Table

This is one of the easiest ways to re-purpose your old books. You just stack ’em up on top of each other.

You’ll have to use some heavy books for this if you just want to stack them. Alternatively, you can actually secure your books together with straps or adhesive.

Either way, a stack of books can make a unique, artsy end table that will definitely get noticed by giving any room that cultured, intelligent feel.

Bonus points if your table’s base is a book about the life of Leonardo da Vinci or some other ancient genius.


3. Create a Coffee Table

Forget trying to pick the perfect coffee table book (you know, the one that really describes who you are). Instead, stack up all of your books to make a coffee table. Only really smart people can do this because it requires a ton of books. I’m hoping to have my own book coffee table one day…

Book Coffee Table

If you don’t have enough books or are worried about making each stack level with the next one, you can just make four stacks and put a piece of glass on top of them. This will create a cool see through effect, so be sure to put your favorite books face up on the top of each stack.

4. Make a Room Divider

This one sort of goes against what I said about not putting books on shelves purely for display, but not really. The shelf serves a purpose. Once you load it full of books, you can use it as a room divider. This is a perfect example of an effective blend of functionality and aesthetics. Check it out:

Book Shelf Room Divider
Courtesy of
Book Shelf Room Divider 2
From the other side of the room...


5. Build a Desk

Most individuals don’t have enough books to build a desk (at least like the one in the picture), so this is really just meant to stimulate creativity. You could do something as simple as stacking two sets of books a few feet apart and putting a nice, finished board on top of them to make a simple, utilitarian desk.

Or, you could bring a U-Haul truck to your library’s next book giveaway and go nuts. If you do, please send pictures.

Book Desk

So before you put your old books on the shelf or throw them away, try to do something creative with them. Whether you go with one of these ideas or something different, re-purposing used books is a cool DIY project that doesn’t require too much effort and yields great results.


Have you done anything creative with your old books? Let us know by leaving a comment!

5 Uses for a Spare Room In Your Home

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Christine Cooney – who loves learning about architecture and modern house plans. She one day hopes to devise a home plan for her own dream home.

Spare Bedroom

Do you have an extra room in your home? Not exactly sure what to do with this extra space?  Many homeowners turn their spare room into a guest bedroom for friends and family members that stay overnight.  But unless you have frequent guests over, the guest bedroom is likely to collect dust from lack of use.

Instead, try to make the most out of your space by giving the spare room a new purpose. A spare room can be utilized in an endless variety of ways. Take a look at the following in order to get an idea of how to best use your extra room:

1. Home Office

Do you frequently work from home? Need a dedicated space without any distractions? If so, turning the spare room into a home office may be a valuable option for you. Setting up a desk, bookcase, and other necessary furniture can greatly boost your productivity and concentration.

If you have children, adding a separate desk for them can give them a place to do their homework without the distractions typical with other rooms.

2. Man Cave

If you need a bit of time away from the wife and kids, a man cave can be a welcome refuge. A man cave can contain nearly anything you want – large TVs, kegerators (or Man Tables), musical instruments, pool tables, the possibilities are endless.

No need to worry about décor and design; a man cave is meant to look exactly the way you want it. If you’re the type of guy that frequently have male friends over, a man cave can be a space for you to rest and relax without disrupting the rest of the home.

3. Playroom for the Kids

Want to give your children a bit more room to play? Converting the spare room into a playroom can be a great way to keep messes centralized, while freeing up more room in their bedrooms.  If you have a Wii or an XBOX, turning a spare room into a playroom is a valuable tactic for keeping the noise contained.

As your children get older, the space can evolve with their tastes and preferences, going from playroom to teenage hangout in the span of a few years.

4. Home Gym

If you need a place to work out and relax, turning the spare room into a home gym is a great way to get the most out of your space. Placing weight equipment, a treadmill or a stationary bike gives you nearly no excuse to not work out. Adding a TV, a music player, and mirrors on the wall can have the room turn into a fully fledged gym.

5. Rent It Out

If none of these ideas appeal to you, perhaps the idea of making cash on the side will. Turning the spare room into a bedroom for roommates can be a great way of turning a tidy profit. If you live in a college are or a city, this idea may seem attractive, as there are a fair amount of individuals looking for space.

However, adding a roommate to the household may not be suited for families, so consider carefully before letting a potential stranger into your home.


Have you done anything cool with your spare room? Let us know in the comment section below!

Mobile Grooming: The Dopp Kit

Look Sharp At Home and Abroad

Every man needs the right luggage, and any seasoned road warrior will agree that one of the most important travel accessories is the Dopp kit. Whether you’re embarking on a safari adventure halfway around the world or just a quick business trip, you need your toiletries – your razor, toothbrush, tail clippers, deodorant, etc. You can’t put these things in your stowaway bag. What if it gets lost? What if you get stuck in the airport overnight and want to brush your teeth?

No…you need to keep these essential supplies in your carry on bag. But you can’t just throw everything in your backpack and call it a day. The Manshway man is organized, and he knows exactly where his things are at all times.

Hence, the Dopp kit. Invented by Charles Doppelt, a German leather worker from Chicago, in the early part of the 20th century. He made tons (literally) of “Dopps” for the U.S. troops who were going off to fight in World War II, and men everywhere have wanted their own kit every since.

Most Dopp kits are made from leather or nylon. We like the leather ones because they’re durable and classy. Like anything else, you can spend as little or as much as you’d like on these things. You could go to Amazon and pretty much name your price. Of course, you might spend a little more and get yourself a beautiful Dopp kit that will last forever if you treat it right.

Like this one from Hammacher Schlemmer – ideal for The Jet Setter:

Gentleman's Superior Leather Toiletry Bag
Travel much?


This is the full-grain leather toiletry bag rated “Best Overall” by The Wall Street Journal.

Unlike common toiletry bags, the shell is made from Napa leather–the same leather used in fine furniture and luggage for its soft yet durable grain.

Durable yet compact, it has an internal shelf large enough to accommodate all your travel needs.



What’s that? You want to spend a little more? This kit is perfect for The High Roller:

Leather Excursion Travel Case
Are you a high roller?


Modeled after the classic shaving bags used in the early 1900s, this tri-fold case transports his toiletries in style.

The case is made of handcrafted top-grain leather that takes on a rich patina over time. Details include antiqued bronze hardware, a removable canvas lining for easy care, and convenient hanging hook.





This customizable military canvas Dopp kit would make an awesome gift for The Veteran in your life:

Military Canvas Dopp Kit
Perfect for "The Vet"


Inspired by the first government-issue Dopp kits of World War II, this toiletries case is constructed from military grade duck canvas.

The bag is lined in easy-to-clean nylon with two internal organizer pockets and finished with saddle leather details. Made in USA.





If you don’t already have a Dopp kit, you should definitely buy one before your next big trip. After you use it once, you’ll never go too far from home without it.

Backyard Beats

Outdoor Sound Systems

Do you really need your outdoor speakers to look like frogs, rocks, or carriage lamps?

Maybe you do.  After all, it’s your yard, and you can outfit it to suit your will.

Frog SpeakerDepending where you live, a backyard can serve as an extension of your living space from four to twelve months every year.  If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool or hot tub/spa, it will probably become your prime entertainment space.  Because of the potential to spend plenty of quality time with your friends (or singular “friend”), and because music is a great mood-enhancer, we recommend you spice up your sound system as soon as is feasible.

Almost any music is better than no music, so go ahead and continue to use your portable boom box while you sock away your nickels, awaiting the arrival of your outdoor system.  While you wait, you have plenty of time to learn about the science of sound.  Because seventh grade physics was a while ago, here’s the Manshway primer:

When in the air, sound is waves of vibration, emanating from the source like ripples from a rock dropped in a pond.  The closer together these waves, the higher in pitch (or frequency) the sound.  When these vibrations enter the ear canal, they are channeled to the eardrum, which vibrates at the frequency of the sound.  These oscillations are then electrochemically relayed to the brain, which in turn instructs the limbs to dance.

When music (or any other sound) is recorded, the vibrations produced by the instrument are captured by a microphone’s driver, which is a thin layer of material much like the human eardrum.  It oscillates to the frequency of the sound, and converts these vibrations into electrical impulses, called signal.  Signal is then electronically stored on a record, tape, cd, or computer file.  When we want to reproduce it later, the signal is output by the player, made stronger by an amplifier and fed to a speaker, which has a driver that is much bigger than the microphone that originally recorded the sound.

This amplified signal causes the speaker to vibrate (at the frequency of the sound) and makes vibrations in the air.  The more faithful the recording and reproduction process, the more the music will sound like it did when it was originally recorded.

When playing recorded music, indoors or out, there are three pieces of equipment that need to be considered – the source, the amplifier, and the speaker.  These can be located all in one device (like your boom box) or in separate boxes, or even separate rooms.  They will need to be connected together, either with wires or with a wireless (radio frequency) signal.

Audio sources can be analog – tape decks or turntables, both of which are best located inside, away from the elements or digital – CD or Mp3 players, both of which are fairly resistant to heat/moisture, and can be placed outside for the sake of convenience.  The amplifier can be inside or out, or can even be integrated into the speakers themselves.  For outdoor applications, a powerful amplifier and speakers that can handle its output are required.

Without walls to contain the sound waves, and with the increase in ambient noise from wind, traffic, and other sources not found indoors to overcome, you’ll have to produce more sound in order to reach a comfortable listening volume.

Outdoor speaker technology has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years, powered in part by the rise of the Mp3 player.  Everybody can be the poolside DJ, because everybody’s got music in their pocket.

So what does Manshway recommend that you look for when setting your backyard up for sound?  First, eschew the funky speaker shapes.  This is an area where we have to take function over form – there is a reason that speakers have been placed in rectangular enclosures since the days of Marconi, and that’s because rectangular boxes work.

Find a good pair of speakers rated for outdoor use, and mount them on a brick wall or other surface that won’t rattle when the pound out the bass.  The higher you mount them, the further the sound will carry, but remember that if they’re overhead, the area directly below will get missed by the majority of the sound.  Closer is better, and if your yard is small, or you are going to spend far and away the majority of your outdoor time in one location (say, the hot tub) locate them accordingly.

Even though the speakers will be designed for outdoor applications, try to put them somewhere that they won’t be in direct sunlight or susceptible to driving precipitation.  They’ll thank you by lasting longer.

In terms of the simplest and most efficient solution, you should consider a wired installation (there’s a lot to go wrong in wireless, and in eliminating the need for a speaker cord you will require a power source for the amplifier in the speakers.  Buy the best amplifier you can afford, and locate it where it will be protected from the weather.  Consider buying or building a weather tight box that can be closed when it’s not in use.  For your cable runs, special cable tracks that will protect and minimize the visual impact of your wiring are an absolute must.

It is imperative that you audition the speakers and amplifiers that you’re considering.  High end audio shops know that you want to hear their products in environments that approximate the ones in which you’re going to use them, and have set up listening rooms accordingly.  If your budget is no object, or you simply want to have someone else do the hard work, most good shops can provide on-location service, or at least refer you to someone reputable who can help you.

Though by no means an exhaustive list, the following brands have a track record in the field of outdoor audio:

Bose –

Polk Audio –

Paradigm –


Infinity –

Yamaha –

Sounds good to us!


Got any tips for setting up an outdoor sound system? Share your experiences by leaving a comment!

Man Law #8: Hand Towels

Every guy know that doing laundry on a regular basis is one of life’s necessary evils. It’s just something you have to do. But a lot of men fail to keep their hand towels (for the kitchen and bathroom) fresh and clean. The whole point of hand towels is to dry your hands off after washing them. So what’s the point in drying your clean hands with a dirty towel?

Also, remember the last time you used the bathroom in a guest’s house? If it was a guy’s place, there’s a good chance that you had to pick between his bath towel (gross), a decorative towel that clearly wasn’t made for actual use, and that tiny wash cloth that probably hasn’t been washed for weeks (not to mention it is already damp from the last person who used it).

Step your game up by following this simple rule:

Man Law #8:

Be sure to keep clean, fresh hand towels in your kitchen and bathroom at all times.

While you’re at it, buy a few extra towels to keep as reserves in your linen closet.


Share this Man Law:

Cutlery 101: Know Your Knives

Knives are inherently manly.

After all, the same knife could be used for cooking a gourmet dinner, building a makeshift jungle shelter, and defending against a deadly foe in a ninja duel. Of course, given the choice, you probably wouldn’t use the same knife for all of these tasks. There are knives made specially for filleting a fish, chopping through vines and throwing at your arch enemy.

In fact, there is a plethora of knives made specifically for use in the kitchen. And whether you are a master chef or just learning how to cook, you should know which knife to reach for…and when.

If this seems overwhelming, fear not! Manshway is here to help.

Now, before we start talking about the different types of knives used for preparing and serving food, it’s important to understand that we’re not saying every guy has to run out and buy some ridiculously expensive Henckels knife set (although, if you have the cash and want it, by all means…). But, if you like to cook and/or entertain, you should own a basic set of decent knives, and you should know what each one is for.

We are going to examine the eight most important types of knives. Well, actually, only five of them are technically “knives”, but the other three are just as important. Let’s go in order of size, starting with the smallest:

1. The Paring Knife

Paring knives are the smallest knives in the kitchen. Like most knives, they are named according to their function. “Paring” is the act of removing an outer layer or cover. In this case, the outer layer is most often the skin of a piece of fruit or a vegetable. Paring knives do this wonderfully.

Paring Knife

A skilled chef will use a sharp paring knife to skin an apple in a matter of seconds. Paring knives can also be used to cut out the core or pit of a piece of fruit. In short, paring knives are like me and my friends felt after seeing the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie – small but deadly.

2. The Utility Knife

An all around bad***, the utility knife is my personal favorite. It’s the Bear Grylls of knives. If you could only have one knife, this would be a solid choice. It can do the job of a paring knife, a chef’s knife and even a carving knife if you need it to, albeit not quite as efficiently. The utility knife has a 6″ blade, which makes it a cross between a paring knife and a chef’s knife.

Utility Knife

It is most commonly used for carving small pieces of meat and slicing fruits and vegetables. If you are on a budget and are building a knife set one piece at a time, you should definitely start with a high quality utility knife. In fact, I’d recommend buying one or two good utility knives over a cheap 20+ knife set any day.

3. The Chef’s Knife

A step up from the utility knife, the chef’s knife typically has a 6-12″ blade and is used primarily for dicing and chopping. Chef’s knives are heavy and can handle big jobs like shredding a whole head of lettuce or slicing up a cucumber. When used correctly with a rocking motion, this knife can slice and dice with quickness and ease. Of course, proper technique and knife safety are paramount. You can’t go swinging a chef’s knife around like some sort of hibachi grill master. It’s all about control and precision. Check it out:


4. The Bread Knife

Of all the knives we’ve discussed so far, this is the first one with a serrated blade, which makes is great for cutting through soft foods like bread and bagels without tearing or squashing. Ever try to slice a bagel down the middle with a non-serrated knife? It’s a pain and usually leaves crumbs all over your counter. This is why you should have one good bread knife. A big one that can handle those long baguettes or oven-ready loaves of garlic bread.

Bread Knife

It’s to important to remember that you can’t sharpen a serrated knife with a traditional knife sharpener. This will just ruin the blade. Some companies make bread knives (and other serrated knives) that can be sharpened, but it requires a special tool.

5. The Carving Knife

Also referred to as a “slicing knife”, the carving knife is the big man on campus. The linebacker. It’s 8-10″ blade can turn hunks of meat into paper thin slices that would make even the most seasoned Jewish deli owner proud…or jealous. It’s perfect for meat but can also be used for fruits and veggies. It has a sharp pointed tip that is surprisingly useful for cutting out/around bones and cores.

Carving Knife

Now you might be tempted to bust out your carving knife for every job, but I recommend saving it for bigger and tougher items – like turkey breats or a whole pig. In most cases, your utility knife has enough fire power to get the job done.

6. The Carving Fork

When you are using your massive carving knife to slice through a perfectly cooked glazed ham, you will need to hold the roast steady to ensure clean cuts. This is where the carving fork comes in. A carving fork is basically a handle with two long, sharp prongs that can stick deep into a piece of meat to hold it in place while you cut.

Carving Fork

These over-sized forks are also great for moving large pieces of meat around in the oven or flipping them over on the grill. Plus, when you’re done with dinner, you can duct tape them to your wrists and pretend you’re Wolverine.

7. The Sharpener

Most high end knife sets come with a sharpener. If you don’t have a sharpener, be sure to invest in a good one sooner than later. Sharpeners are basically just handles with long stainless steel rods used for sharpening the blades of any non-serrated knife. Most people never sharpen their knives. In fact, a lot of people just assume that knives will inevitably become dull over time and need to be replaced or professionally sharpened.

This is false and totally anti-Manshway. When treated with care and sharpened regularly, a good set of knives will last for many years. There is, however, a right way to use a knife sharpener. Luckily, it’s not rocket science. Check it out:

8. The Cutting Shears

Cutting shears are really just hardcore scissors. Allow me to compare scissors to figure skaters – precise, dainty, supple. Shears are like hockey players. They’re tough, strong and are up for a fight. Good cutting shears are ambidextrous – they work equally well for left and right handed people. Quality cutting shears can be used to cut anything that scissors can cut (although they may not be as precise for delicate material like paper), but they are often used to cut through thick, tough substances like plastic or center cut bacon.

Cutting Shears

I find myself reaching for the cutting shears regularly to open vacuum-sealed packages (like the tough plastic that deli meat or coffee comes in) or to snip fresh parsley into tiny bits. They are also great for trimming plants and flowers (not that I have any flowers in my apartment), cutting up tortillas, trimming the fat off chicken or steak, or even household uses like cutting rope or cloth.

Which Knives Should You Buy?

There are a ton of options when it comes to buying knives and knife sets. On the lower end, you can go to Target and find an 5-piece knife set for less than $20. These knives probably won’t last very long and will go dull after moderate use. At the other end of the spectrum, you can go on and find $1,000+ 36-piece gourmet knife sets made by J.A. Henckels or Wusthof.

We recommend splitting the difference. There are some great knife sets available for less than $150. Go for quality over quantity. It’s better to have three or four solid knives than a cheap 20-piece block set. Specifically, here are four of our favorite picks (all available online):

Chicago Cutlery 18-Piece Insignia Steel Knife Set – The pictures used throughout this article are from this knife set, so you can see that the knives have a sleek, modern feel. Also, this block comes with a built-in sharpener, which is a nice feature. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this set, especially since it seems to be on sale a lot.

Wusthof Classic 5-Piece Studio Knife Set – This is my personal favorite. You get your chef, utility and paring knives along with some cutting shears, and you know they’re high quality since they were made by Wusthof. This set comes with a simple wooden storage block. It’s a great beginner knife set for any aspiring chef. Click here to check it out.

Mercer Cutlery Genesis 6-Piece Knife Set – Once again emphasizing quality over quantity, this 6-piece knife set from Mercer is a great choice. It doesn’t come with shears, but it does include a bread knife and a 6-inch boning knife. Plus, the storage block is clear, tempered glass. If you want something functional and stylish, this one might be for you.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature 3-Piece Starter Set – If you don’t want to spend too much money and can avoid the temptation of buying a complete knife set, this Henckels starter set is your best bet. In fact, it’s probably the most practical purchase you cold make. Nothing fancy here – no built in sharpeners or tempered glass – just three high quality knives made by one of the most reputable knife manufacturers in the world. It’s usually on sale on Amazon…check it out.


We hope this article was helpful. If you like what you read, share it with your friends and leave a comment below!

Putting A Man Cave In Every Living Room

Sometimes The Fridge Is Just Too Far…

Imagine something that you could store your beer in, keep it ice cold AND still have your wife approve when you place it in the middle of your living room.

Gentleman, what we are about to show you is top secret and is about as Manshway as it gets. We give you the Man Table:

Man Tables
Looks like a regular table, right? Read on...

Man Tables are high quality wooden end tables that double as hidden fridges. They have eliminated the most difficult journey in a man’s life—the walk from the living room to the fridge for another beer. We were so excited when we found out about Man Tables that we immediately called the founders and asked for an interview. Here is co-founder Tom Stein answering a few questions:

Manshway: How did you come up with the idea for Man Tables? Did you realize that you would be changing the lives of men all over the world?

Tom: I actually came up with idea when I was planning on moving-in with my now wife, one of the only things I was concerned about keeping in “our” new place was my beer fridge. She said that a beer fridge in her living room was a deal breaker, so I hid it right where it belonged—in our the living room.

Manshway: Your website says that Man Tables are put together from Amish end tables. Could you talk about this a little bit more and explain why Mantables are not just hidden refrigerators but also quality piece of furniture?

Tom: Being a man and not a boy, you want something that is functional, dependable and that looks nice. I am a woodworker of the lesser order and the Amish men are true master craftsmen. I recognized this and knew that in order to produce the Man Table I needed their workmanship.

Manshway: The versatility of the Man Table is one of the reasons why we love it here at Manshway. Can you explain why Man Tables are necessary components of both the gentleman’s study and the college freshman’s dorm?

Tom: The Man Table truly fits anywhere. We have had people buy them for their living rooms, man caves, bedrooms, waiting rooms, and offices. Everyone loves its classic style and the best part about it is that when you don’t want people to know that you have a secret stash, they won’t.

Stocked Man Table

Manshway: By cutting out the time it takes to walk to the kitchen refrigerator and therefore increasing beer-drinking time, do you find that you are more or less productive? How has this dramatic innovation changed your life?

Tom: Definitely more productive in achieving victory in Portal 2, as well as my max of 12 oz. curls.

Manshway: On principle, are Man Tables exclusively for beer? Would it be sacrilegious to put a half-eaten Big Mac in one’s Man Table?

Tom: I would probably go for a Jimmy John’s sandwich but you can put whatever you fancy in there.

Manshway: What are your favorite three types of beer that you like to stock your Man Table with?

Tom: Gotta Say Kansas City Favorite Boulevard Pilsner is my everyday drinker. The Hop Stoopid when you gotta have hops and New Belgium 1554 when you wanna party.

Manshway: Can we expect to see any new products from Man Tables in the future? Perhaps a cigar humidor disguised as a leather bound “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”?

Tom: Does Lifetime hate men? Can’t tell you too much but what I will tell you is that it includes a trophy and a tap beer at your service.

There you have it guys – the Man Table. I’m not going to say that no Manshway space is complete without one, but…no Manshway space is complete without one. Check them out at If you ever decide to buy one, you can get a great deal by using our discount code Manshway.

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