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Best Cartridge Razors: Smooth Shaves for Every Skin Type | Top Picks 2024

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best cartridge razors

When searching for the best cartridge razors, you’ll find a wide range of options that cater to different skin types and beard coarseness. The iconic Gillette Mach 3, with its triple-blade system and comfortable grip, offers a close and smooth shave.

For sensitive skin, the Gillette SkinGuard or Gillette Planet Kind razors provide irritation-free experiences. If value is a priority, the affordable BIC Comfort 3 or the Penny Shaver from APShaveCo deliver impressive performance.

For coarse beards, the Personna Twin Pivot Plus Cartridges or the Gillette Guard single-blade razor excel. Ultimately, the best cartridge razor for you depends on your specific shaving needs and preferences. Read on to discover the top-performing options that will elevate your grooming routine.

Key Takeaways

  • The Gillette Mach 3 is a highly regarded cartridge razor that offers a close, comfortable shave with minimal irritation.
  • The Schick Hydro 5 features five Ultra Glide blades that minimize skin bulge between each blade, reducing the risk of shaving nicks and cuts.
  • The Gillette SkinGuard razor is designed specifically for men with sensitive skin, featuring two sharp, ideally-spaced blades and an irritation defense bar that allows the blades to cut hair at skin level.
  • The BIC Comfort 3 is a budget-friendly option that delivers a smooth shave with its triple-blade design, but may not be the best option for those with coarse beards.

Best Overall Cartridge Razor

Best Overall Cartridge Razor
Looking for the best overall cartridge razor?

You can’t go wrong with classic options like the Gillette Mach 3, Mach 3 Turbo, Fusion, or Fusion Proglide – their multiple blades provide a close, comfortable shave.

Alternatives worth considering include the Schick Hydro 5, Gillette SkinGuard for sensitive skin, the single-blade Gillette Guard for a clog-free shave, and innovative models like the OneBlade Genesis, Wilkinson Bamboo Razor, or razors from Gillette Labs.

Gillette Mach 3

The Gillette Mach 3 is a highly regarded cartridge razor that has been popular since its release over a decade ago.

With its triple-blade system, the Mach 3 offers a close, comfortable shave with minimal irritation.

The blades are known for their sharpness and durability, providing up to 15 comfortable shaves per cartridge.

The Mach 3’s handle design is unique, with an open-blade architecture that makes the blades easy to clean and a comfortable grip that allows for better control during shaving.

The handle itself is engineered to change the way pressure is applied to the blade, making it easier to shave without applying too much force and reducing the risk of cuts and irritation.

Overall, the Gillette Mach 3 is a reliable and efficient choice for those seeking a smooth, close shave with a comfortable grip and affordability.

Gillette Mach 3 Turbo

The Gillette Mach 3 Turbo is a cartridge razor that delivers a soft shave, featuring a long-lasting lubrication strip and microfin guards. It’s designed with a 3D motion handle that adapts to contours for expert precision even on tricky areas. Here are four key points that make the Mach 3 Turbo a top pick:

  1. Sharper Blades: Mach 3 Turbo cartridges are made with stronger-than-steel blades that stay sharper longer.
  2. Microfin Guards: The microfin guards stretch the skin and prepare the hair for cutting, ensuring a close shave without irritation.
  3. 3D Motion Handle: The handle is built with a secondary pivot for a close shave even on contours, providing expert precision.
  4. Long-lasting Lubrication Strip: The lubrication strip glides on for a smoother shave, reducing the risk of razor burn and nicks.

The Mach 3 Turbo is also compatible with all Gillette Mach 3 grips, making it a versatile option for different shaving preferences.

Gillette Fusion

Gillette Fusion: A cartridge razor with advanced blade technology, delivering a close, comfortable shave.

Gillette Fusion Proglide

The Gillette Fusion Proglide is a popular choice for men seeking a close, comfortable shave. Here are some key features and benefits of this cartridge razor:

  1. Proglide Handle Design: The Fusion Proglide features a unique handle design that allows for a comfortable grip and easy maneuverability. It’s designed to fit all Gillette 5-blade razor refills, excluding GilletteLabs.
  2. Blade Sharpness: The Fusion Proglide is equipped with five anti-friction blades, the first four of which are Gillette’s Low Cutting Force blades, known for their sharpness.
  3. Affordability: While the Fusion Proglide isn’t the most affordable option, it offers a good balance between cost and performance.
  4. Shaving Experience: The Fusion Proglide provides a smooth shaving experience, thanks to its enhanced lubrastrip with more lubricants for added comfort and glide.
  5. Comparison with Other Razors: The Fusion Proglide is often compared to the Gillette Fusion 5, with the main difference being the FlexBall handle technology, which allows the razor head to move from side to side and adjust to the contours of the face, resulting in a more efficient shave.
  6. Subscriptions and Delivery: Gillette offers subscription services for their razors, allowing customers to receive blade refills on a regular basis and enjoy discounts on their purchases.

When choosing between the Gillette Fusion Proglide and other cartridge razors, consider your personal preferences, budget, and skin sensitivity. The Fusion Proglide is a popular choice for those seeking a close, comfortable shave with a balance of affordability and performance.

Schick Hydro 5

Schick Hydro 5 is a popular cartridge razor that provides a smooth shaving experience for most users. However, it may not be the best choice for those with sensitive skin or coarse beards. Here’s a detailed look at the Schick Hydro 5, including its blades, shaving head, replacement cartridges, handle grip, and skin irritation.


The Schick Hydro 5 features five Ultra Glide blades, which are designed to minimize skin bulge between each blade, reducing the risk of shaving nicks and cuts. The blades are also close together, providing a smooth shave with each stroke.

Shaving Head:

The shaving head of the Schick Hydro 5 is designed to stretch the skin, offering a smooth shave with each stroke. It also has a wider guard bar, which helps to protect the skin from irritation.

Replacement Cartridges:

The Schick Hydro 5 comes with a new design that delivers 40% less friction and reaches 80% greater surface area throughout your shave, hydrating skin up to one hour after you shave. The cartridges are designed to last a month of shaving.

Handle Grip:

The handle grip of the Schick Hydro 5 is ergonomic and comfortable, providing a balanced feel for a customized shaving experience. It also features Shock Absorb Technology, which auto-adjusts based on how you shave, providing ideal pressure on your skin for a truly customized shaving experience.

Skin Irritation:

The Schick Hydro 5 is designed to protect skin from shave irritation, featuring a wider gel dispenser with proprietary ingredients that pack advanced lubrication into the Hydrating Gel Reservoir. It also has Skin Guards on every blade that protect against irritation.

In comparison to the Gillette Mach 3, the Schick Hydro 5 offers a wider gel dispenser and a pivot head design that provides better full-blade contact to the contours of your face and legs. However, it may not be as sharp or effective for those with coarse beards, as its blades aren’t as sharp as those found in other cartridge razors like the Personna Twin Pivot Plus.

Gillette SkinGuard

The Gillette SkinGuard is a cartridge razor designed specifically for men with sensitive skin.

It features two sharp, ideally-spaced blades to minimize tugging and pulling.

It also has a patented irritation defense bar that allows the blades to cut hair at skin level, helping to prevent new razor bumps and shaving irritation.

The SkinGuard technology is clinically proven and dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin.

The razor includes an improved lubrication formula with a touch of aloe before and after the blades, which delivers maximum comfort with each stroke.

The SkinGuard Razor is available in different handle and blade refill options, including a 1-handle and 4 blade refills package.

Gillette Guard

Gillette Guard: A Single-blade Cartridge Razor for Clog-proof Shaving

OneBlade Genesis and Core

OneBlade Genesis excels in effectiveness, durability, versatility, and value, revolutionizing shaving culture without irritation. A true masterpiece among cartridge razors.

Wilkinson Sword Bamboo Razor

Experience the environmentally friendly and sustainable shaving adventure with the Wilkinson Sword Bamboo Razor. Crafted from bamboo, this razor isn’t only gentle on your skin but also on the planet. The packaging is simple, and the razor blades are designed for secure shaving. Elevate your shaving routine with this elegant and functional shaving accessory.

Gillette Labs

Gillette Labs, a subsidiary of Gillette, is known for its innovative designs and high-quality products in the shaving industry. The company has introduced several unique features in its razors, including the world’s first razor with an exfoliating bar built into the handle, which releases trapped hairs from the face for a smooth shave. The Gillette Labs razor with exfoliating bar is designed for the ultimate shaving experience, featuring Gillette’s sharp five blades, a precision trimmer, and 2D FlexDisc technology that contours to the face for comfort and contact with every stroke.

Another innovative product from Gillette Labs is the Heated Razor, which took three years to develop. This razor is designed to recreate the hot-towel shave experience, providing a unique and luxurious shaving experience for men. The Heated Razor is suitable for any man who wants to try something new in their shaving routine, offering an extraordinary shaving experience.

Gillette Labs also offers a range of razors with different features and price points, catering to various skin types and shaving preferences. The Gillette Fusion5 razor, for example, features five antifriction blades, a lubrastrip for comfort, and a precision trimmer on the back for hard-to-reach places. The Fusion5 blade refills are compatible with all Gillette 5-blade razor refills (excluding GilletteLabs) and last up to one month of shaves, offering a cost-effective shaving solution.

Best Cartridge Razor for Sensitive Skin

Best Cartridge Razor for Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, consider the Gillette Planet Kind or the Gillette Heated Razor for a close, comfortable shave. Although more expensive, the Leaf razor is a customizable and plastic-free option designed to minimize irritation.

Gillette Planet Kind

If you’re looking for a cartridge razor that’s eco-friendly and sustainable, Gillette Planet Kind is the way to go.

This razor is made from recycled plastic and is part of a subscription-only service, making it a great choice for those who want to reduce their environmental impact.

With its sharp blades, it provides a close shave while being gentle on your skin.

Remember to follow shaving tips and tricks, such as using shaving lotion and maintaining good shaving hygiene, for the best results.

Gillette Heated Razor

Upgrade your shaving game with the Gillette Heated Razor, designed for sensitive skin.

This innovative tool provides a warm, soothing shave that mimics the hot-towel experience.

It’s perfect for those who want to avoid irritation and razor burn.

Explore other techniques and razor alternatives to find what suits your skin type and beard care needs.

Don’t forget about razor maintenance for a smooth shave every time.

Leaf: Customizable, Plastic-free, Expensive

If you’re looking for a plastic-free, eco-friendly option for your cartridge razor, consider Leaf. Their customizable blades offer a close shave without irritation, making them a great choice for those with sensitive skin. However, the expensive cartridges may deter some users.

Best Value Cartridge Razor

Best Value Cartridge Razor
For those seeking an affordable yet high-quality cartridge razor, the BIC Comfort 3 is a budget-friendly option that delivers a smooth shave with its triple-blade design. Another cost-effective choice is the Penny Shaver from APShaveCo, a single-blade razor offering a close, nick-free shave while being gentle on sensitive skin.

BIC Comfort 3

The BIC Comfort 3 is a popular choice for those seeking an affordable, disposable cartridge razor.

With its three blades, it provides a close shave that can be effective for facial hair removal.

However, it may not be the best option for those with coarse beards, as it may not offer the necessary pressure and sharpness for such hair types.

The BIC Comfort 3 is a good choice for those who prefer a more traditional shaving style, such as the Indian guard single blade razor, and who want to keep their shaving costs low.

Despite its affordability, it still offers a smooth shave that can minimize irritation, making it a good choice for sensitive skin.

Penny Shaver From APShaveCo

If you’re seeking a cost-effective cartridge razor that maintains quality, the Penny Shaver from APShaveCo merits exploration. This cartridge razor delivers a close shave and is engineered to perform effectively on diverse beard types. Key considerations include:

  • Budget-Friendly: The Penny Shaver is an economical choice relative to other cartridge razors available.
  • User-Friendly: Similar to other cartridge razors, the Penny Shaver is effortless to use and offers a seamless shaving experience.
  • Adaptable: It can accommodate both wet and dry shaving, proving convenient for individuals with busy schedules.
  • Premium Blades: APShaveCo provides replacement blades for the Penny Shaver, guaranteeing a consistently close shave over time.

Best Cartridge Razor for Coarse Beards

Best Cartridge Razor for Coarse Beards
If you have a coarse, thick beard, you’ll need a cartridge razor that can handle the challenge. The Personna Twin Pivot Plus cartridges offer extremely sharp blades at an affordable price, while the Gillette Guard single-blade razor excels at clog-proof shaving for those tough whiskers.

Schick Hydro5 Blades: Not Sharp Enough for Coarse Beards

Schick Hydro5 blades are designed to provide a close, comfortable shave.

However, they may not be sharp enough for coarse beards.

The 5-blade cartridges feature Skin Guards, which are designed to reduce irritation.

The razor is compatible with Schick Hydro and Quattro handles.

If you have a coarse beard, you may need a razor with sharper blades to achieve a smooth shave.

Consider options like the Personna Twin Pivot Plus cartridges, which are extremely sharp and affordable.

Or the Gillette Guard single-blade razor, which is clog-proof and designed for sensitive skin.

Fusion5 and Fusion Proglide: Sharp Blades but Inadequate Pressure

If you’re looking for a cartridge razor that provides a close shave, the Fusion5 and Fusion Proglide are both popular choices. However, they may not offer the necessary pressure for coarse beards. Consider alternative razors like the BIC Flex 5 hybrid razor or the Atra handle for better blade design and pressure adjustment.

Personna Twin Pivot Plus Cartridges: Extremely Sharp and Affordable

If you’re looking for a cartridge razor that can handle coarse beards without breaking the bank, Personna Twin Pivot Plus cartridges are a top choice. Here’s why:

  • Sharp Blade: These cartridges feature a sharp blade that can tackle thicker facial hair, making them ideal for men with coarse beards.
  • Affordable Price: Compared to other cartridge razors, Personna Twin Pivot Plus cartridges offer an affordable price point, making them a cost-effective option for regular shaving.
  • Clog-proof Shaving: These cartridges are designed to prevent clogging, ensuring a smooth and efficient shaving experience.

Gillette Guard Single-blade Razor: Clog-proof Shaving

The Gillette Guard single-blade razor is a top choice for coarse beards, offering clog-proof shaving and a comfortable grip. With its ergonomic design and durable construction, this razor is both cost-effective and highly effective.

It’s widely available and can be found in shaving tutorials, videos, and hacks, making it a popular choice among shaving enthusiasts.

For those seeking sustainability, the Guard’s use of recycled materials aligns with current shaving trends.

Sensor Cartridges: Sharp and Smooth Shave

Sensor cartridges are renowned for their acute blades and effortless shave. They’re engineered to procure a snug shave with minimal discomfort, rendering them a prevalent selection for those with delicate skin. Here are five alternatives to mull over:

  1. Gillette Sensor Excel: These cartridges showcase dual blades, which are more slender and diminutive than the original Sensor. They’re designed to be more agreeable than the ordinary Sensor cartridges and are more akin to a Mach 3 in respect to blade positioning.
  2. Gillette Mach 3 Turbo: These cartridges are sharper and can be employed more gently, akin to DE razors, to enhance their efficacy.
  3. Feather Artist Club Professional Blades: These blades are thicker than DE blades and furnish a satisfactory shave in the ATT SE1 razor. They’re also comparable to Skinguard cartridges.
  4. BIC Flex 5 Hybrid Razor: This razor delivers a snug shave but may induce irritation.
  5. Skinguard Cartridges: These cartridges offer a snug shave with minimal discomfort.

When selecting a sensor cartridge, contemplate the following variables:

  • Sharpness: Seek cartridges equipped with acute blades capable of handling coarse beards.
  • Comfort: Certain cartridges may be more comfortable for delicate skin.
  • Ease of Use: Contemplate how facile it’s to employ the cartridge and replace the blades.
  • Affordability: Compare the expenditure of disparate cartridges to ascertain the optimal value.
  • Closeness: Seek cartridges that procure a snug shave without inciting irritation.

Best Cartridge Razor for Close Shave

Best Cartridge Razor for Close Shave

Seeking a cartridge razor that grants a precise shave without inciting razor burn or skin inflammation? The Gillette Fusion Proglide stands as a viable solution. This esteemed razor garners acclaim for its keen blades and efficacious shaving abilities, elevating it to the pinnacle of choices for individuals yearning for a sleek, close shave.

Another option meriting examination is the Feather FII, which, despite its higher cost, offers a shaving experience akin to that of a double-edge razor.

Furthermore, the Dorco Prime Platinum and Permasharp Super warrant mention for their prowess in delivering close shaves.

Bear in mind that the cornerstone of a successful shave extends beyond the razor itself, encompassing the shaving cream and technique employed. Hence, select a cartridge razor that harmonizes with your skin type and shaving requirements, and indulge in a close, agreeable shave.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best cartridge razor for sensitive skin?

The Gillette SkinGuard razor is your best bet for sensitive skin. Its two-blade design and lubricating strip minimize irritation, providing a close, comfortable shave. You’ll enjoy a smooth, soothing experience, even on your most sensitive areas.

How often should I replace cartridge razor blades?

On average, you should replace your cartridge blades every 5-7 shaves. That said, dull blades are like a dull knife – they get the job done but require more effort. Keep an eye out for nicks, tug, and irritation as signs to swap ’em out.

What is the difference between cartridge razors and safety razors?

Cartridge razors have a pivotal distinction – they feature a multi-blade cartridge that simplifies shaving, while safety razors wield a single, sharp blade you manually maneuver. Cartridges foster convenience, but safety razors enable a more personalized, close-shave experience.

Can I use a cartridge razor for travel?

Sure, cartridge razors are a breeze to pack for travel! Their compact design and protective caps make them a hassle-free option. Just toss ’em in your dopp kit and you’re good to go, pardner.

How do I maintain and clean my cartridge razor?

To maintain your cartridge razor, rinse it thoroughly after each use. Pat it dry and store it in a dry place. Replace the blade when it feels dull to guarantee a smooth, close shave.


Regarding the pursuit of the optimal cartridge razor, the choices may appear boundless. Envision a tonsorial establishment boasting a dazzling array of razors, each professing to bestow the most impeccable shave.

By contemplating aspects such as cutaneous sensitivity, hirsute coarseness, and financial constraints, you can traverse this shaving terrain and unearth the cartridge razor that shall elevate your grooming regimen.

Whether your preference lies with the esteemed Gillette Mach 3 or the economically priced BIC Comfort 3, the ideal cartridge razor awaits your acquisition, poised to deliver the close, irritation-free shave you rightfully merit.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.