Review of Vortex Optics Razor HD Spotting Scope [2018]

When you ask about the best mid-range spotting scopes then Vortex products must appear on the list. This company has a wide range of amazing spotting scopes and it leads the mid-range market. What’s great about Vortex is that they provide users with high quality optics and durable materials without having to pay a fortune and for these reasons its scopes compete with high-end products making a very fair deal for buyers.

A well-known line of spotters from Vortex is the Razor HD and it is called so because it gives a razor sharp quality and a precise resolution. The Razor HD is an upper mid-range or even high-end line of products and this is reflected in both their quality as well as their price. You can find several Razor HD spotting scopes that vary in features but they provide the same stunning optical performance.

Razor HD series includes many products including: 22-48X65, 11-33X50, 27-60X85, 20-60X85. Let’s go through the pros of these products.

Now, keep in mind – the Razor HD is an excellent series and is priced competitively, but it’s not the only upper mid-range/high-end spotter out there. Some other models that are definitely worth checking out are, for example, the Pentax PF-80ED, the Kowa Prominar ED 66mm (it has a pure Fluorite lens, but the eyepiece needs to be bought separately) and the Bushnell Elite 20-60X80.


What are the key features of Vortex Razor HD spotting scopes?

High quality optics

All Vortex products are known for their high quality optics that are precisely engineered into the scope to provide the best optical performance. Razor HD spotting scopes are equipped with a special one-of-a-kind optical system: the XRPlus fully multi-coated optics which has a powerful light transmission capacity and eliminates unpleasant light reflections.

In addition to that, the glass compenents used on Razor HD products are all HD lens elements with extra-low dispersion characteristics that reduce chromatic aberrations and deliver stunning contrast.

Razor HD scopes also include the APO system which is a triplet apochromatic lens that combines with the HD glass in order to provide the sharpest color distinction.

Convenient configuration

The range of magnification that you will get on your Razor HD is very convenient for use in the field. Especially for hunting or birding, you can get a 20-60X85, the one that will give you an outstanding magnification with the best brightness and a good wide field of view (117ft at 1000 yards). You can also go for an 11-33X50 if you are looking for quality in a compact package over magnification and this tool will absolutely do it for you.

Focusing system

The older series Razor HD spotting scopes are equipped with a smart double focusing system: a macro knob which is responsible for fast focusing and a micro knob for the sharpest quality. The newer ones have a helical focusing system and it is really useful for fast and precise focus.

Other interesting aspects

With the same traditional design, Vortex has succeeded in applying the newest technologies on the Razor HD spotting scopes. These products have some interesting features that every hunter/birder/nature enthusiast needs on a day out.

First, the material used in the construction is of high quality and provides a guaranteed durability. Second, the smart rotating tripod ring allows a rotational adjustment of the scope when mounted on the tripod so it fits your position. Third, these scopes contain a built-in sunshade that eliminates the unpleasant glare that comes from sunlight as well as dust and rain. Finally, all Vortex products are water and fog proof thanks to O-ring seals and the argon gas purging.

After going through the most important features of Vortex Razor HD spotting scopes, it is time to take a look at the cons that make these items incomplete.

Cons of Vortex Razor HD spotting scopes

Portability issues

Good quality and a solid construction require heavy materials and some bulk. As many spotters of comparable quality, the Razors can be quite weighty. This has two consequences: more weight to carry on your back and the need for a high-quality tripod. The 27-60X85 weighs around 65oz / 1.85 kg. The 22-48X65 around 57 oz / 1600 grams and the exception comes with the older compact 11-33X50 weighing only 25 oz / 700 grams.

For this reason, you will need to purchase a decent tripod separately because Vortex does not include tripods with the scopes. Go for something durable and comfortable to get the best results.

Eye relief

Some users have stated that the eye relief – which is the maximum distance you can maintain between your eye and the eyepiece – tends to be on the low side, especially as you go up in zoom.


At the end, it should be mentioned that Vortex is a widely reputable manufacturer and provides its customers with great deals especially on mid-range spotting scopes but, of course, it still has its limits, so do your research. Still, the Razor HD is one of the best series for the money and will in all likelihood fulfill your needs completely.