A completely Normal razor in fact. For those of you who are not from around here; Normal is a retail chain which sells absolutely normal products at abnormal prices. They manage by buying excess stock from other retailers and wholesalers, so it varies a bit what they have and don’t have in stock. So while I was there to pick up something else, I decided to have a look at what they had in the way of shaving accoutrements. After all, I picked up some Proraso from the store not that long ago. And guess what I found?
Safety razor. Affordable safety razor. And one that Solid Shaves over on YouTube had said was not a horrible razor. So off course I had to pick it up for a closer assessment.
To put things in perspective for non-Norwegians out there; 67 Norwegian kroner is – as I write this – worth 7.49 USD, 6.38 EUR, or 5.41 GBP. So not a lot of money for a razor and ten blades, especially considering that the King C. Gillette safety razor1 that dropped on the marked two years ago sells for 199 kroner – plus another 99 kroner for ten blades. So this is an inexpensive shaver.
The box is marked “Gentlemen’s Barbershop” and “Karsten International” (se gallery). No makers mark, but underside of the box tells us it is out of China. Box also claims it will last a lifetime, and “100% stainless steel”. The later is… well, stretching the truth a bit. More on that later. Let us have a good look first.
Let’s get the less good stuff out of the way first; this is not a stainless steel razor.2 This is aluminum or another lightweight alloy razor, most likely using a different alloy for the handle. The blades are stainless, like the vast majority of DE blades are.
The misleading claim on the box notwithstanding, the overall impression is good. There is some flashing on the threads on the top cap. I’m a little dubious as to the longevity of the rather thick chrome coating. The knurling on the handle isn’t sharp, so it might be slippery when wet. But the balance is good, the geometry of the head seems decent, there is no chance of misaligning the head, and the top cap and baseplate are thick forgings and not stamped sheet metal.3 So I am looking forward to taking this razor on a spin in the near future.
For those who want a second opinion of the razor, Solid Shaves have a short video review up on his channel.
Update: According to the wholesaler’s website, the razor has a zinc alloy head and an aluminum handle. The coating is electroplated. And if they use the same blades for this as for their razor / stand / brush set, the blades are from Hitachi.
- Also sold as the Heritage.
- To be fair I knew that before I picked it up, having watched Solid Shaves’ video review of the razor.
- Unlike the inexpensive razor I bought at TGR some years ago.