Gillette Mach 3 vs Wilkinson Sword Hydro 3

Not everyone wants to use a five or six blade razor. For many people, these razors that have been made to have as many blades as possible to ensure a close shave aren’t the best choice. They can end up with redness, irritation, razor bumps and ingrown hairs. No, for many people the best option is to actually use less blades.

And whilst a safety razor is a good choice for many people, a simple 3 blade cartridge razor seems to provide a happy medium. The two most well known 3 blade cartridge razors out there are the Gillette Mach 3, and the Wilkinsons Sword Hydro 3. But how good are these razors, and should you consider adding them to your shaving routine? Well, let’s look at them a little closer to see who they suit most.

You only have to look at my review of the best razor for bald heads to know how much I love the Mach 3. I had spent at least a year trying to find the right way to shave my head, and it ended up being much smoother on the skin than previous 6-blade razors I had used. But then I tested out the Hydro 3 and well.. I was pretty impressed with it.

Gillette Mach 3 vs Wilkinson Sword Hydro 3

Both of these razors are very similar to each other. The Mach 3 is slightly lighter and has a more flexible head, whereas the Hydro is stronger, thicker and more likely to be a better choice for coarse and thick hair. They’re both miles ahead of comparable disposable razors, though.

To compare these two razors, it’s only fair that I use them for at least a few weeks each to see how they are different. I’ve been using the Mach 3 regularly, but this is the first time I’ll try the Hydro 3 out. Let’s look at both razors individually, then look at them together.

Gillette Mach 3

The Mach 3 is one of the best known razors, and I’ve been using it for many years. I typically sport a beard, aside from when I’m testing out razors, as well as having a completely clean shaven head. I use the Mach 3 every other day to shave my head, and my neck and cheeks once or twice a week.


Although I do love the Mach 3, if there’s one thing that I don’t like about it is that the blades tend to get dull quite quickly. This is the case both for shaving your head, but I also use a separate cartridge completely for shaving my neck. I’m lucky to get 3-4 shaves out of the head shaving cartridge, and no more than 5-7 out of the neck and beard cartridge before having to throw it away. Sure, I could continue to shave with the Mach 3 for longer than this, but I like to use a really sharp blade when I’m shaving.

So in most areas, the Mach 3 is the perfect razor, especially for those with sensitive skin. But how would the Hydro 3 compare to it?

Wilkinsons Sword Hydro 3

the Mach 3 razor that I use actually has a gel handle that I paid a little extra for and bought in a package deal. However, it’s still not as high quality as the handle that comes with the Hydro 3. It’s also made with a rubber design, but it is a little different to the Mach 3.

The neck of the razor itself is more curved, and where the Mach 3 is more simple to a basic disposable razor, the Hydro 3 looks to be more advanced. It’s also a little bigger than the Mach 3 too, but they’re a similar weight to each other.


The cartridge of the Hydro 3 is a little different to the Mach 3 too. It has a larger surface area – it’s both wider and thicker than the simplistic Mach 3 design. Like the Mach 3, it also has a strip of supportive rubber along the bottom, which looks to be of a better quality than the lubricating strips of the Mach 3.

The Performance

I’d love to say that one of these razors was so much better than the other one, and it provides a perfect shaving experience. However if I did, I’d be lying. The truth is that I barely noticed the difference between the two razors during the times that I used them, and I’ve used them both for a month straight at least. They’re both so similar that there really isn’t much between the two.


I only found two differences between the two razors. The main physical difference I found is the design of the razor. Whilst the Hydro 3 looks and feels like it’s a better quality razor overall, I just prefer the simplistic design of the Mach 3 overall.

The other difference between the two is obviously the price. like any razors, they fluctuate quite a lot, and it’s best to try and buy them when they’re on sale. If you’re buying them online in 2020, then the Mach 3 is typically £15 for 8 razor cartridges, so just shy of £2 each.

However, I have managed to find the Hydro 3 blades quite a bit cheaper than this, at anywhere between £9 and £12 for eight of them, so between £1.20 and £1.50 a pop. So if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Mach 3, then the Hydro 3 might prove to be a good replacement.

Overall Verdict

The final verdict is that there is very little difference between both of these razors. The Mach 3 is the old staple that many men around the world have grown attached to, providing them with an alternative to the common placed 5 and 6 blade cartridge razors. However, the Hydro 3 is another perfectly good alternative to the Mach 3, and I’d happily recommend it to anyone looking for a good razor. It’s also found at a cheaper price for replacement blades, which will be of importance to some people.

The difference between them is very little. For me, I’m going to stick with my Mach 3 razor, likely out of sheer loyalty that it’s provided me with an irritation free shave for the last few years.

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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