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Vortex Razor 85mm Spotting Scope Review

Editor Name: Ryan

Basic Description of Item: High Quality High Power Spotting Scope

Just the Facts:

  • 20 to 60 power magnification and 85mm objective lens
  • Premium (High Density) extra-low dispersion glass
  • Fully Coated Lenses
  • Waterproof & Fogproof – Argon gas purged to prevent fogging
  • Measures 15.25 inches long and weighs 65.7 ounces


For the past several years I have been stockpiling all my birthdays, Christmases, Fathers days, plus any spare change in hopes of purchasing a top of the line spotting scope.  I had my sights set on a Swarovski or Kowa, but at a price of $3,000-$4,000 I was not closing the gap very quickly.

Several months ago I read an article about the Vortex Razor at  This article had a lot of nice things to say about the Razor & awarded it the “Best Value” in high end spotters.  At a street price of $1,700, is a relative bargain.

Still skeptical, I visited Sportsman’s Warehouse to take a look for myself.  I had them setup a Swarovski HD 80 & the Vortex Razor HD 85 side by side so that I could compare.  In viewing the resolution chart on the far wall I was amazed to find virtually no difference in clarity.  I could read as far down the chart with the Razor as I could with the Swaro.  The picture was clear to the very edge with both. I actually liked the focus knob on the Vortex much more than the focus barrel on the Swaro as it seemed easier & quicker to fine tune the focus.  As I zoomed both to 60 power there was a very slight difference in brightness, but nothing significant.

I knew I had to get my hands on a Razor that I could take into the field for a day or two.  After asking around I found out a guy I know that had recently purchased the Razor.  I asked him about it & he also had nothing but praise for the scope.  He offered to let me take his Razor out for a couple days so I jumped at the chance.  I went out on the winter range & was impressed the moment I aimed it at a couple bucks.  It was so easy to look thru, the eye relief is great, the ergonomics just felt really good and the resolution was truly world class.  It didn’t take long in the field & my mind was made up.

After purchasing the Razor several weeks ago I have spent multiple hours behind it already.  It’s one of those purchases that just seems to get better every time I use it.  It took me a bit of time to get fully acquainted with the angled eyepiece, but in a few short weeks target acquisition is practically instinct.  One aspect I have really enjoyed is digi-scoping thru the Razor.  I have been able to get some good pictures & even better video.

Though the Razor is not the best scope out there in all areas of comparison, it scores high in all areas & is the best when it comes to value.  The transferable lifetime “no fault” warranty is also the best you will find.  Even if you drop & break the scope, it is still covered, which brings some peace of mind.  So if you want a scope that is in league with the best but at a price that will save you hundreds, then you should take a serious look at the Vortex Razor.

What they could do better: 

–          Make the large lens cap easier to remove & replace

–          Include a better see-thru case

Vortex Razor HD Spotting Scope Review
  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability

One Response

  1. Avatar for Jake Jake August 17, 2012