In honor of Norse Foundry sparking off their new and improved website, I’ve decided to publish a review of their flagship precision aluminum dice! The price tag on these are quite hefty, but before you make a decision one way or another, you need to be informed. At the end of the review, I also have a 20% off coupon code for you gals and guys! I won’t be hurt if you skip ahead.
The first thing you’ll notice when opening these guys – the aluminum case they come in is incredibly, incontrovertibly, overtly hefty. It’s extremely thick, sturdy, powder-coated aluminum. I’m pretty sure with its honeycomb design it could stand up to a car driving over it.
The case fits perfectly – two groves at each end of the case allows the magnets set into the lid and body to line up properly and snap closed.
There is a bit of an issue, sadly: the lid is free-floating on two sides. There is no lip or groove to keep the lid from slipping off of the top of the case. It’s only held in place by the one primary magnet on the lid and the three secondary magnets on the body of the case.
Part of the reason this concerns me is apparent in this photo: the extraordinarily hard paint, no matter how well produced, is no match to friction. With the lid slipping, even a tiny bit, back and forth, it will inevitably rub away the paint. Perhaps if the magnets were stronger (they stay closed, but no one would call them “strong”) it might keep the lid more stationary.
Just like my honest suggestion for Eldritch Arts, I’d like for Norse Foundry to embrace foam inserts. As it is, the dice rattle around inside this hard aluminum case like a can full of nickles – which is quite upsetting considering the cost ($140+) and the selling point (scientific precision) – a single chip on the dice may render them imbalanced. However, the paint is extremely hard, as I’ve said, and would require a ton of abuse to actually be damaged.
Due to the cost of the precision set, I have no qualms about comparing them to my go-to dice storage: Wyrmwood Dice Vaults.
The Aluminum case, which I said was hefty, weighs in at nearly twice the weight of a wooden option from Wyrmwood. The weight shouldn’t be seen as a negative, in my opinion, as it does showcase just how much machined metal you have protecting your dice from all sides. But I’d remiss if I didn’t at least bring it up.
This is the true selling point of the precision series… A perfect, even, uniform color!
The choice to rely on the shine of machined aluminum for the numbering is a smart one, in my opinion. It showcases the purity of the metal and stands in stark contrast to every color option – allowing for a deep recessed number cut beautifully on every face of every die.
We’ve often harped on the heft and near brutality of other metal dice – but how do aluminum dice compare? We’ll be contrasting the Noble Blue set with our most popular metal die competitor, the Easy Roller Gunmetal series.
Each aluminum die in the series weighs about 46% less than their gunmetal counterpart. In the hand, the difference is not so striking – but when you add up each set…
We see a more interesting measurement: the difference drops to 43%. When holding multiple dice, it does feel much lighter. Those of you with a keen eye might be able to tell: the Aluminum dice are actually bigger than the gunmetal dice, yet maintain a much lighter weight.
Norse Foundry has chosen to step away from tradition for the sake of this particular product, and I have to commend them on it.
As you can see, each individual die is cut bigger so that they are comparable with every other die in the set – making traditionally small dice (the d4, d8, d20) bigger when compared to competitors’ dice.
In addition, the edges of every die are every so slightly rounded by the matte finish – some of the die (the d6 for instance) are actually machined to be more rounded purposefully. The set can get away with this because, mathematically, each die is machined to be perfectly flat on the face. Rounding the edges and adding a hard finish means that you’ll get hundreds of thousands of rolls without wearing down any edges!
After my original photo shoot, I did the unthinkable… I threw one of these dice across the parking lot before the final photo. Can you tell which one? Look below.
I love the dice. Having measurable perfection in my dice just gives me chills. They roll well and still make that tactile clatter that metal dice are known for. They are a bit lighter and a bit bigger than traditional metal dice, which I find to be a benefit more than a detriment.
The weakest aspect of the entire product is, arguably, the most seen: the case. Between the free floating lid and the incredible rattle when you so much as tap the dice, it sours the overall experience. If you decide to grab some of these INCREDIBLE dice – Get a set sans the case for the time being. Or at the very least cut and press some foam into the dice wells.
Anyone who goes to Norse Foundry’s Relaunched Website can use the following:
Coupon Code “NEW” for 20% off!
I don’t always advocate rolling, but when I do… be sure you have to Drop the Die.
Review by JB Little, Follow me on twitter for more “useful” information.