08-10-2021, 10:01 AM
#1
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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?

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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 razor* 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.

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Let’s get the less good stuff out of the way first; this is not a stainless steel razor.** 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.^ 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.


Footnotes
* 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.

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 08-10-2021, 12:17 PM
#2
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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Weren't the Gillette Tech base plates stamped sheet metal?
Asking for a friend...
- Bax

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 08-10-2021, 07:50 PM
#3
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The Tech's have stamped base plates, but they are significantly thicker and of much better metal than the ones you'll find on cheap Chinese stamped metal razors.

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 08-11-2021, 04:59 AM
#4
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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.

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 08-11-2021, 02:27 PM
#5
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Techs are nickel plated, or more rarely gold plated brass. Perhaps there were some very late ones with aluminum components, memory fades.

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 08-11-2021, 04:53 PM
#6
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(08-11-2021, 04:59 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: 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.

Notwithstanding what the wholesaler's website says, I suspect the handle is also made from a zinc alloy (a/k/a pot metal or zamak).

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 08-11-2021, 10:58 PM
#7
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I saw the exact same razor here in Normal in Copenhagen last week.

Once I saw ‘Stainless steel’ on the box and then the price I shook my head in disbelief and moved on.

I’m looking for something like an Above The Tie or Wolfman razor, but I do realise this is next to impossible to find in stores.
But a fake stainless steel razor……made in China, not so much ;-)

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 08-11-2021, 11:50 PM
#8
  • Wolf
  • Active Member
  • Valencia, Spain
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I have these two with the name of Haward D653, it also says that they are made of material: zinc alloy + aluminum, aluminum handle material.

some also happens with the European razor that the seller says that some are stainless steel and they are not.[Image: r5s8bA1.jpg]

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 08-12-2021, 06:56 AM
#9
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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You know what? If you need to pick up a razor for emergency use, say while traveling (I would love to travel!) it seems like a pretty sweet deal. Good score, Hans Smile

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 08-12-2021, 07:28 AM
#10
  • RyznRio
  • Senior Member
  • Connecticut
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From Pedro's photo, the head locks the blade in a way that I have not seen before. Is this a copy of another razor?

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 08-12-2021, 08:26 AM
#11
  • Wolf
  • Active Member
  • Valencia, Spain
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(08-12-2021, 07:28 AM)RyznRio Wrote: From Pedro's photo, the head locks the blade in a way that I have not seen before. Is this a copy of another razor?

Aesthetically in my opinion, the one it most resembles is the Feather AS-D2.

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 08-12-2021, 09:39 AM
#12
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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(08-11-2021, 04:59 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: 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.

The same Hitachi that makes electronics?

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 08-12-2021, 07:08 PM
#13
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(08-12-2021, 09:39 AM)DayMan Wrote:
(08-11-2021, 04:59 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: 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.

The same Hitachi that makes electronics?

Hitachi makes a great many different things.

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