Gillette Mach3

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Mach3 sold in Indonesia
Dissassembled Mach3 Handle

The Gillette Mach3 (/mækθr/,[1][2] /mɑːkθr/[3]) is a line of razors produced by Gillette.


Prior to the announcement, Gillette built plywood walls around the production lines in its factory in Boston, in order to keep it a secret from many of its own employees.[4] Gillette said its manufacturing plant was capable of producing 250 cartridges per minute.[5]

In production, Mach3 mold tools used the first touch screen temperature controllers, developed and manufactured by PMS Developments, an English electronics company based in Hereford, later purchased by Mold Masters of Georgetown Canada who themselves now form part of the Milacron Group of companies.

Steven Davis, a process controls engineer working for Gillette's subcontractor that designed the Mach3, stole information about the Mach3 and faxed them to Gillette's competitors, Warner-Lambert, Bic, and American Safety Razor.[6] Davis pleaded guilty to five counts of stealing Gillette's trade secrets in January 1998.[6] Davis was sentenced to twenty seven months in prison.[7] Davis said he committed the crime because he was angry at his boss.[7]

Announcement and introduction[edit]

Gillette announced the Mach3 razor on April 14, 1998,[8] following more than $750 million in research and development costs.[9]

Gillette budgeted $300 million for a two year advertising campaign for the Mach3 razor.[8][10] Gillette marketed the three blade design as allowing for a shave with less pressure to the skin and with fewer strokes, thereby reducing skin irritation. The Mach3 razor was released in North America during the last week of June 1998.[11] It was first sold in Europe in September 1998.[12]

Cost and profit[edit]

Profit margins on Gillette razor blades are high.[13] In June 2009, Gillette manufactured and packaged razor blades for about US$0.10 each, and customers paid 48 times that amount in stores.[13]

Mach3 series[edit]

Other razors in the Mach3 series are the Mach3Turbo, the Mach3 Power Nitro, the Mach3 Start and Mach3 Sensitive. There are also disposable Mach3 razors, available in blue or black. Mach3 Sensitive has a green grip and is also available as a black disposable razor. Mach3 Start has a blue handle which has better grip for better control when wet. Mach3 Power Nitro is a battery powered vibrating razor which has a thicker handle.

The Mach3Turbo adds a diamond-like carbon coating for added wear resistance to maintain a sharp blade edge.[14] All Mach3 series razor blades are interchangeable. Mach3 disposable razors lack a "blade remove" button, but it is still possible to remove and change blades on the disposable razor without breaking them.

Mach 3 system[edit]

The Mach 3 system is also used in razors offered by other producers like Truefitt & Hill, DR Harris, and Muhle.


  1. ^ Gillette Mach 3 commercial (1999). YouTube. 2013-05-21. Event occurs at 0:29. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Gillette MACH3 | 5 Reasons To Upgrade. Gillette, via YouTube. January 22, 2018. Event occurs at 0:08. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  3. ^ Gillette MACH3 Sensitive Barbed Wire TV Commercial. Gillette, via YouTube. July 3, 2013. Event occurs at 0:08. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  4. ^ Meyers, Todd (April 21, 1998). "Gillette paves way for first class shave". Charleston Gazette (Charleston, West Virginia). p. P1D.
  5. ^ Francis, David (July 1, 1998). "Economics Of Whisker Removal". Christian Science Monitor. p. 1.
  6. ^ a b "Prison Shave". The Australian. May 1, 1998. p. 33.
  7. ^ a b Lowry, Tom (May 28, 1998). "FBI Joins Firms to Fight Espionage". USA Today. p. 1B.
  8. ^ a b "Gillette unveils three-bladed razor". Associated Press. April 14, 1998.
  9. ^ Aoki, Naomi (August 2003). "The war of the razors". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 28, 2007.
  10. ^ Estrin, Robin (September 28, 1998). "Gillette to lay off 4,700 workers as part of reorganization". Associated Press.
  11. ^ "Gillette Earnings Up 11 Percent". Associated Press. July 16, 1998.
  12. ^ "Gillette sets Mach3 launch". CNN Money. CNN. April 14, 1998. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Poulter, Sean (June 8, 2009). "Sharp practice? The razor heads that cost just 5p to make, but sell for £2.43 each". Daily Mail. London.
  14. ^ Kadiyala, Krishna Chaitanya (2006). Characterization and tribological behavior of diamond-like carbon and nitrogen-doped diamond like carbon thin films. Master's Thesis. Baton Rouge, LA, USA: LSU. p. 22.

External links[edit]