Schick Hydro 5 Sense: Full Review & Is It Worth It?

Close-up of Schick Hydro 5 Sense razor

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Review TL;DR

This five-bladed razor from Schick has a ton of features designed to give a great shave. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our favorite. There’s plenty to like (including the fact that the blades are made in America), but at the end of the day the unique pivoting system and other quirks left us wanting.

Meet the Schick Hydro 5 Sense

Shick’s entry into the five-bladed razor wars is the Hydro 5 Sense. Coming in several different styles of cartridge (including Hydrate, Sensitive, and Energize), all the razors and handles in the lineup share several common characteristics.

Along with five blades, the cartridges all have a wide lubrication strip to provide a smoother shave, as well as microfins at the base to help smooth skin before cutting. But the most unique feature is the pivoting handle.

All refillable razors will have a head that pivots back and forth. What makes the Hydro 5 difference is that the handle also has a pivoting point (Schick calls it “Shock Absorb Technology”) . This double action provides more movement compared to what you’ll find in other razors, all designed to give you a closer shave that takes better care around the curves of your face.

Like other razors that we consider to be in its class (including Gillette’s Fusion5 ProGlide) there are a ton of features and technology packed into a small package.

It’s all designed to give you a better shave. But while the Schick Hydro 5 does provide a good shave, some of the features actually took away from the experience for us.

What’s in the Box

Box for Hydro 5 Sense razor

We bought our test razor on Amazon, where it came in retail packaging, including a cardboard box with plastic casing. That means all the packaging is recyclable and easy to open.

Inside the package came the handle, as well as two Hydro 5 cartridges. For our test, we selected the Hydro 5 Sense “Energize” which comes with lubrication with menthol supposed to “wake up tired-looking skin.”

Razor Design

The Hydro 5 Sense has a lot of engineering that goes into both the handle and the cartridge, making it one of the most unique razors we reviewed.

Hydro 5 Sense razor handle, front and back

Take a look at the handle of the Hydro 5 Sense and you might not notice anything too different, until you get to the top of it.

For the most part the handle looks fairly generic. A mix of chrome-colored metal, overlaid with generous rubber grip (the entire underside is completely covered in rubber), it looks like an average razor.

The weight is decent and the grip — despite not being covered in deep treads — is very good. Wet or dry, this handle is not slipping out of your hands.

But move up to the head of the handle and you can see that there is something unique about this razor. Here you’ll find the pivoting head on the handle. This large area moves back an estimated 20-30 degrees.

Schick Hydro 5 Sense pivoting head

Schick calls this “Shock Absorber Technology.” The idea is that as pressure is applied, this pivoting head will keep the razor firm on your face, but also provide some give to go over curves like the chin and jaw. It takes some decent effort to push the head back. It doesn’t move as easy as you’ll find with a pivoting razor cartridge (which this razor also has).

Don’t want the head to pivot? On the underside of the handle is a lock. Simply slide it up to lock the handle in place, making it a typical static handle. On our razor, however, even with the lock enabled, the head would still pivot some — about a quarter of the way it goes when unlocked. It’s a bit frustrating to want to lock the handle and not have it completely held in place.

The handle is made in China.

Hydro 5 Sense razor cartridge

Schick has put a ton of design into the cartridge as it has a number of features. Of course, the cartridge contains five blades, and at the base is a grey rubber area to help pull your skin taught before the razor passes.

The most eye-catching feature of the handle of course is the lubrication strip at the top of the cartridge. On this razor — the “Energize” formula that contains menthol — it came in a bright yellow. The strip is made of plastic, but features seven reservoirs that hold the embedded lubricant.

Need to shave with precision for spots like right under your nose or on your sideburns? Unlike many razors that have a single precision blade on the back of the cartridge, the Schick Hydro 5 Sense solves the problem in a different way.

The entire yellow plastic area at the top of the cartridge pushes back completely out of the way, allowing you to use the razor with less obstruction so that it can get closer to where it needs to be.

Flipback of the razor cartridge

Of course, the cartridge also pivots, pushing back easily to move over the curves of your face.

When connected to the razor handle there is some “play” between the razor head and handle. Shake the handle and it rattles. You can also move the razor left and right instead of it being held solid.

The cartridges are made in the USA.

Shaving with the Schick Hydro 5 Sense

Hydro 5 Sense on a towel

There’s a lot of technology packed into a small package — all designed to help you shave better. So how does the razor actually do the job?

Overall, shaving with the Hydro 5 Sense is decent. If you have hair on your face, it will definitely shave it, and it will do it comfortably. In our shaving we didn’t have any nicks, cuts, or irritation. If that’s how you judge your razor, then this one passes with flying colors.

That said, the razor was not our favorite to use.

So what’s the issue? For us, many of the special features actually turned out to be more distracting than simply providing a better shave.

Shock Absorb Technology: The most notable feature on the Hydro 5 Sense is the pivoting head of the handle. It seems like a decent-enough idea, but in practice we didn’t like it. When using a razor, we prefer to have decent pressure against our face. With the handle, we would apply pressure and the head would pivot back. That made it difficult to be consistent in applying pressure.

There is a lock on the pivoting handle, which we used. Even with the lock on, the head still pivots slightly.

Lubrication on the Hydro 5 razor

Lubrication: When it comes to the lubrication, there were things that were both good and bad. First, the lubrication is no doubt comfortable. It provides a very smooth shave as it glides over the face.

However, we found the lubrication used to be “goopy” (you can see how thick it can be in the photo above). It feels great to use, but then seemed to leave a layer of lubrication that had to be rubbed off under running water or wiped off. We prefer not to have a layer left on our face from shaving.

The razor we tested is the “Energize,” which is supposed to have menthol in the lubrication to “wake up tired-looking skin.” We didn’t notice any sort of special feeling due to this feature.

Flip-Back Trimmer: If you need to get somewhere precise, then you’ll want to use the flip-back feature on the razor. To do this, you push back the lubrication strip. It will hold back in position, giving you the ability to use the razor without the large lubrication strip in the way.

The issue is that to push the strip backward, you have to carefully put your finger right near the razor blades and the lubrication. At best, you’ll get the lubrication on your finger. At worst, you might accidentally put your finger on the razor’s blades. To us, it seems like an awkward way to use the feature.

Bottom line is that when it comes to actually shaving, the Hydro 5 Sense is plenty capable. It had no problem for us cutting through a few days of hair growth, and it did so comfortably. At least to us, however, some of the promoted features could be improved further.


During our early shaves with the Hydro 5 Sense, cleaning up the razor was a breeze. A quick rinse under the shower head got all the bits of hair out. Nothing got stuck in between the blades that wasn’t rinsed easily away. As well, the rubber fins under the razor also cleaned up easily.

After several uses, we did notice that hair began to get caught in the reservoirs that hold the lubrication. After a few shaves, these reservoirs start to empty, leaving space for hair to collect.


One great thing about the Schick Hydro 5 Sense is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get started. We bought our test razor through Amazon. It cost about $10 for a handle and two cartridges. You can also purchase from for about $15 for a handle and four razors.

A 4-pack of refill razors runs about $12 ($3 each). After a week of shaving we did notice that the lubrication seemed to be running out. Even so, the blades were still plenty sharp and provided a smooth shave. In other words, each cartridge should last you a decent amount of shaves.

Pros & Cons

  • Blades are made in USA (handle in China)
  • Shave is smooth, with no nicks or cuts
  • Lubrication can get "goopy" on the face
  • Awkward positioning to flip back the head for precision trimming
  • "Shock Absorber" can lead to movement you might not want

Where to Buy

You can get started with the Hydro 5 Sense for under $10 on Amazon (handle, plus two razors), but it’s a better deal to go with the handle and four razors from for about $15. This razor wasn’t our favorite, but if still provides a good shave with a lot of comfort.

Next: Razorist’s Top 10 Razors | See All Reviews


  1. I read reviews about the Hydro 5 being smooth & the blades lasting long. Perhaps my stubble is far tougher than most and each of the several packs of cartridges I purchased were defective, but my experience is different. For me the 1st couple shaves were smooth and the cut close, but by the 3rd or 4th time the blades were noticeably dulled. Not so smooth any more when it feels like you’re ripping the hairs out to get a close shave. And I’m careful to keep the blades clean. Not being satisfied, I purchased the Gillette Proglide and the 1st cartridge is still sharp and the shaves close after 11 uses so far. And it’s still smooth. Maybe the Hydro 5 is better for soft hairs & sensitive skin. For tougher hairs & skin, I’m sticking to my Proglide.


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