A little while ago I bought a Normal razor – that is, I bought a razor from the low cost store Normal in Norway. I used it all of last week, along with the unmarked blades it came with. And I must say it performed well for a razor costing as little as it does.So lets break things down, shall we?
The razor came in a simple box, along with ten unmarked blades. The box art was, how to put, stretching the truth a little – but at the same time a bit of critical thinking should make that obvious before you hand over money. You see, the box states stainless steel – but that is only true for the blades. The razor itself is made of – according to the wholesaler – an sink alloy for the head, and aluminium for the handle. The razor is heavily chromed, and the one I picked up was in a gunmetalish kind of colour. A fellow Norwegian wetshaver – Solid Shave – bought one in a gold tone
Construction is overall good, for the price point. The coating is, as mentioned, quite thick. It should therefore last well and not flake of after a few uses. At the same time the heavy coating causes the knurling on the handle to be less sharp than it could be. This is a minor issue though, as long as you wipe excess lather of your fingers before shaving.
The head geometry is fairly mild, with a small blade gap and little exposed blade. With the long positioning bars, and the deep holes in the bottom plate, the blade is very secure and will stay straight. This is in contrast to a couple of other cheap razors I’ve owned – I’m looking at you, Yuma – where the blade can be positioned askew on the head if one don’t pay attention.
Balance is a little closer to the head than I normally prefer. One one hand it makes the razor very manoeuvrable. On the other hand it makes it a little harder to keep the angle right. Both would have been better with a slightly heavier handle – either a little longer or a little fatter.
The blades are, well, blades. If I read the wholesaler’s website correctly, they are made by Hitachi in Japan. They are mild blades in my opinion, so they may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But I think they are appropriate to sell with a razor that is likely to be bought by people with little to no experience wetshaving.
For a razor costing a mere 67 kroner – that is about 7.50USD/6.40EUR/5.40GBP – I am very happy with the Normal razor.
Yes, it is mild.
Yes, it’s made of cheap materials.
No, it can not hold a candle to most more expensive razors.
Yes, the coating is thick.
Yes, the balance is slightly off.
No, the knurling isn’t sharp.
Yes, the blades leaves something to be desired.
But most experienced wetshavers isn’t likely to pick up a cheap razor anyway, so the marked for this is the impulse buyer and the guy curious about traditional wetshaving who don’t want to spend a lot of money just to try it. And for those, a mild and easily manoeuvred razor is just the ticket. There will get the pleasure of mastering the shave, without the nicks and cuts a more aggressive razor can cause.
The Normal razor can also serve as a travel razor you won’t be too upset about if your luggage gets lost. Or as the razor you buy when you realise you’ve forgotten to pack one. Or for a starter set you can PIF away to someone curious about this odd hobby of ours.
In short; yes it is cheap, but the Normal razor is the good kind of cheap. Grab one if you see one and is so inclined – it might get handy. Or don’t – it’s a good razor for the price, not a great razor overall.