Lidl Shark 5: the experiment

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POSTED: September 1, 2017

In the Spring my electric razor gave up for reasons that irritated me greatly. I looked around for an alternative and decided to try one of the new, flash-looking Gillette razors: one of the Fusion models. I ended up buying a Lidl Shark 5 instead, and have never regretted it.

Today I have started an experiment. I have loaded a new blade into it, and I will keep shaving with it until my skin tells me it can take no more. I want to see how long one blade actually lasts.

Phillips electric razors

The problem with my electric razor lay not in the razor itself but in the blades. They lasted several years, but then wore out and needed replacing. when I went to the shops I discovered that Phillips no longer made blades for my razor. Since this represented my first attempt to replace them I felt very cheated. This, it seemed, amounted to an expensive disposable razor.

I looked online and found some replacement blades on eBay. I bought a set and when it arrived it seemed perfect. And it carried on seeming perfect for about six weeks when it suddenly adopted the comfort and feel of course sandpaper. One week after that I threw it out, feeling again as though I had bought an expensive disposable razor

The wonder of Gillette

I therefore went to Prisma and looked at the range of Gillette disposable razors. The more I looked the more baffled I became. They offered a range of similar looking devices in a vast variety of different introductory packs, and the more I looked the less I could work out the actual price of shaving.

What I wanted amounted to no more than a clear indication of the cost per blade of a Fusion razor, once I had bought the stick and the introductory blades, and a clear idea of what the different varieties did that differentiated them from each other.

Lidl here I come

I gave up and went to Lidl who offered on system – the Shark 5 – that differed from their two-blade razors and came in two packs. One pack contained a razor and one blade, and the other contained four blades in a folding container. Both cost 5€. Infant school maths told me that a blade cost 1.25€ and the stick cost 3.75€. I bought one.

The experiment

I have used this for about six months now. I like it. Indeed, I think it may count as the most comfortable and easy-to-use razor I have ever owned, especially when used in conjunction with Lidl’s rather excellent shaving foam.

I now want to know how long a 1.25€ blade actually lasts. I have therefore started a new one on the morning of September 1, 2017, and I will continue to use this until my skin cries for mercy. I will then come here and record the date when I had to replace it.

Science, we love it.


It finally stopped working on December 12! You can read the full results here.