Shaving: comparing the Gillette Contour (Plus) with the Gillette Mach 3

For shaving I have always used the same “system” since I started shaving over 20 years ago, the Gillette Contour. Recently there’s been a dearth in blades, especially the regular, cheaper Contour ones, so it was time to upgrade. After consulting the internets to see which system people liked, and asking the lady behind the counter which blades people actually buy I settled on the Gillette Mach 3.

When I got I home I decided to see if there was a difference between the two, so I shaved the left side of my face with the old system, and the right side with the new system. As you can see from the before and after photos, the results are pretty much the same. To the touch, the side shaved with the Contour blades is slightly smoother, but barely noticeable.

The difference while shaving was pronounced though. I usually use shaving foam, but decided to go without for the test. The Contour shave was considerably more painful than the Mach 3 shave. It’s what you’re used to of course. I had shaved without foam before, and having had nothing to compare it with, I never considered it horribly painful. It’s only when contrasted with the Mach 3 that the Contour stood out in the pain department.

Before, about three days worth of growth:


(Right side, my left, was shaved with the Contour Plus. Left side, my right, was shaved with the Mach 3. Note that the Contour Plus comes with a lubricating strip—it’s what the plus stands for.)


11 responses to “Shaving: comparing the Gillette Contour (Plus) with the Gillette Mach 3”

  1. Fabio says:

    Thank you.
    Fabio (Italy)

  2. Darren Stephens says:

    I would say using shaving foam isn’t ideal for wet shaving – it’s drier than properly using warm water, and applying cream or even normal soap with a shaving brush.

    For this test you didn’t use anything at all? Didn’t you even wet your face? I wouldn’t consider that a fair way to test a razor of any kind, to be honest with you.

  3. brankl says:

    I honestly cannot remember, it’s been too long ago.

  4. Anders Frivold says:

    Where can I get blades for Contuor Plus. The last I beaugt was in Denmark two years ago and last year in Villefrance i France?
    Best regards
    Anders Frivold

  5. Iggy says:

    In the UK Boots’ own brand do one called ‘Boots twin blade system’ which fits the contour – exactly the same plus it’s cheap as chips!

  6. Gordon says:

    I have used Gillette Contour (NOT Plus) (with traditional shaving soap put on with brush) for ages and found it very good. But supplies faded almost to extinction a few years ago. Presumably this is Planned Obsolescence to make us buy all the ridiculously complicated gear they are new foisting on us.
    Contour Plus has a strip of soapy gunge that I find unpleasant. Its effect is different after several uses, and reduces the effectiveness of the blade, I find.
    Where only Contour Plus is available (almost everywhere), I unwillingly buy it and then remove the gunge before use! To do that I soak it in water for an hour or so and then remove it carefully with a wooden toothpick or fine screwdriver, very laborious, but worth the effort.

  7. Bob says:

    Try shaving under the shower using nil soap, instead relying upon the natural body oil on your face in conjunction with hot water. I’ve done it for six score years without problem. I found the use of soap removes this natural oil and results in cut injuries.


  8. Bob says:

    Correction six decades.

  9. brankl says:

    Personally I shave under the shower most of the time, however it does happen now and again that I forget to shave or don’t have time for it right away, and then I will break out the shaving foam.

    I have given up on using shampoo after somebody told me that the soap will remove natural body oils. TBH it doesn’t matter much either way, my hair hasn’t gotten better nor worse.

  10. Andrew Kakhuta says:

    Is it safe to use ordinary bath soap to shave with Gillette Mach3?

  11. brankl says:

    If you mean: can I wash myself with soap and shave before or after, I don’t see why not. If you mean: can I use soap as a lubricant, as a shaving cream, then I wouldn’t know, because I have never tried.

    Like Bob above I shave in the shower without using a lubricant. If I shaved above the sink, I would probably use a foam or a gel.

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