After eight Wirecutter staffers spent more than two months shaving with eight different cartridge razors, we think the Gillette Mach3 is the best combination of a close shave, an affordable price, and a comfortable grip. Marketed for men but appropriate for anyone who wants to shave their face, it will leave a smooth look regardless of skin and hair type.
Gillette’s Mach3 cartridge razor system was first introduced more than 20 years ago, and though the company has made some changes to the design, the basics—three stainless steel blades on a pivoting head, mated to a sturdy, cylindrical handle—continue to make it all most people will ever need to remove their whiskers. Five members of our eight-shaver test panel named it in their top three razors. The Mach3 feels comfortable and solid to grip, and the three-blade cartridges clear whiskers and foam efficiently. And at about $2 or less per refill, the Mach3 provides a superior shave to subscription razors for about the same price.
If you want a closer shave and don’t mind spending up to $4 per cartridge (though cheaper refills can be found), Gillette’s Fusion5 is a potentially worthy upgrade. Six of our testers thought it was one of the best razors they tried, thanks to its five blades and how close it shaves, plus a trimming edge on the other side of the cartridge. But that many blades need to be closely spaced and don’t rinse out as well.