The Gillette Mach3 is a line of safety razors produced by Gillette and introduced in 1998 after more than $750 million in research and development costs.The three blade design is marketed by Gillette as allowing for a shave with less pressure to the skin and with fewer strokes, thereby reducing skin irritation. While many customers do experience greater comfort with the three-bladed models, some individuals, depending upon skin and beard type, have experienced increased irritation or razor burn as the number of blades has increased.
The Mach3 is more expensive than many other razors. The Gillette Fusion with 5 blades is more expensive still, continuing the Razor and blades business model, or a "loss leader" model, adopted by Gillette in the early 20th century. Since the increased price of the newer cartridges creates slower consumer adoption of each new model, Gillette has heavily discounted the newer models through newspaper and in-store coupons and in many cases mailed free copies to individuals on purchased mailing lists. While this practice has accelerated adoption of both, Gillette still has a strong customer base using their two-bladed razors as evidenced by their wide availability and high sales volume. The blades used by Mach3 only cost around 9 cents to produce, but can sell for over $2 each. This shows that profit margins on Gillette razor blades are high.
Other razors in the Mach3 series are the Mach3Turbo and the M3Power. All Mach3 series razor blades are interchangeable between the three. The Venus series of razors marketed to women are based on their Mach3 counterparts. The Venus is based on the Mach3, the Venus Divine based on the Mach3Turbo and the Venus Vibrance is based on the M3Power. The Venus models feature different grip shapes and lengths than their Mach3 counterparts design to assist with the differing angle and reach needs of women shavers.