Vortex Razor: An Optic for Cross-Platform Compatibility

If you are looking for a precise mini-red dot optic for your rifle or pistol, the Razor provides a crystal-clear field of view and rapid acquisition for any environment.

Introduced in 2012, the Razor Red Dot Sight (RDS) by Vortex is designed as a high-quality, open reflex optic for competitive or defensive shooters. It can be mounted to either rifle or handgun for improved cross-compatibility.

The housing of the Razor is made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, giving it a high-degree of shock resistance. All threads and battery compartment are sealed with rubberized O-rings that make the Vortex waterproof from moisture. Overall the exterior is in a hard, matte-black anodized finish. There is an included lockout feature built into the rear of the optic that will prevent slippage to the adjustment dials, and requires a hex key to tighten/loosen.

The diode inside the housing is projected on XR™ Fully Multi-Coated glass, and sheltered by the optic’s flared shroud. It projects either a 3MOA reticle (intended for rifles), or 6MOA (for pistols) based on your selection at the time of purchase. Intensity is adjusted by a two-button polymer switch at the base of the glass with nine levels of brightness, while the ON/OFF function is done by press-holding the up chevron (ON) or down (OFF). The glass itself is further protected in an ArmorTek ® coating to fortify scratch resistance.

The CR2032 battery provides approximately 150 hours of life on the brightest intensity (or 30,000 hours at the lowest), and is side-mounted off the RDS’s right side to facilitate changing power sources while leaving the optic mounted. There is a powersave feature that after six hours of inactivity, the Razor will automatically power off and thus conserve battery life.


  • Mount Type: 1913 Picatinny
  • Magnification: 1x
  • Dot Color: Bright Red
  • Eye Relief: Unlimited
  • Adjustment Graduation: 1 MOA
  • Max Elevation Adjustment: 170 MOA
  • Max Windage Adjustment: 114 MOA
  • Parallax Setting: Parallax free
  • Length: 1.83 inches

It should be noted various mounting plates are available by Vortex or other retailers to mount the Razor directly to handgun slides, thus negating the need for a picatinny rail. As all its products, Vortex covers the Razor under a lifetime VIP warranty coverage.


Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostGood (4/5): At an MSRP of $499.99 the Razor is comparatively priced for a high-end optic. It doesn’t come with the legacy of other RDS optics, such as Leupold’s Delta Point Pro ($519) or Trijicon’s RMR ($419-$546) with its extensive Government contracts, but those also come with the associated intrinsic price tag that can be unrelated to the optic itself. The Razor does offer improvements in design and materials, as well as a larger field of view than more inexpensive RDS optics of similar purpose. Considering that it came with an included picatinny rail adapter, then the price point is well placed.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): With a 28mm x 17.5mm field of view, the Razor was slightly larger than other RDS optics (such as Trijicon’s RMR with a 22mm x 16mm field of view), and was wider than the Vortex Viper. For carbine, the added height-over-bore from the rail adaptor made for a perfect fit and put the rounds right on target without any necessary adjustment. The ability to see the dot, and the peripheral target area allowed for rapid transitions. The 3MOA dot was not as bright nor crisp as a Trijicon RMR04 in full daylight, but was comparable to an Aimpoint PRO in intensity and was still readily tracked. It was an uncomfortable placement of the intensity buttons under the shroud, specifically when turning the RDS ON/OFF. This was made all the more complicated when gloves were introduced. There was a slight bluish tint to the glass that is shared by other optic manufacturers, but not to the level as being a distraction to the shooter.
  • Durability – Excellent (5/5): The Razor is comprised of high-quality aluminum and during evaluation took a significant amount of abuse in terms of contact from weapon manipulation and contact to other gear/hardware. Some superficial marring of the exterior finish was noted, but not to a significant degree so as to penetrate the base metal. Overall the glass quality was very high and resisted any scratching or other marring. The weakest point in the durability of the Razor will be from stripping the hex bolt that secures the picatinny mount to the rail if overtightened, but it is made from the same high-grade aluminum and should last through some level of abuse (within reason). But to extend the durability, should anything happen Vortex has its no-questions-asked VIP Warranty coverage that will replace the optic should something beyond owner’s neglect happen.
  • Functionality Average (3/5): From the standpoint of functionality, the Razor did what it needed to do, and did it well (which was consistently place rounds on target and maintain zero). The robust housing and the optic’s height-over-bore made it easily compatible to either pistol or rifle given the appropriately sized MOA reticle. During the course of evaluation, only the 3MOA dot was tested, which given the smaller dot, may have played a factor into the lack of brightness at full intensity in full sunlight. RDS optics with larger MOA reticles, such as the Razor’s 6MOA option, often are much easier to pick up but lack that precise shot placement for rifles. The curved angle of the protective shroud ensured gear or other objects contacting the top of the optic deflected away from the glass and front of the housing. As noted in Comfort, the biggest negative to functionality was the placement of the polymer switch under the optic’s shroud. Vortex could potentially mitigate this by moving the switch to the side, such as in its Viper RDS model.
  • Weight Average (3/5): At approximately 1.4 ounces without the included picatinny rail adaptor, or 2.4 ounces with it, the Razor is perhaps only slightly heavier than its Trijicon RMR (at 1.2 ounces without a rail adaptor) or Leupold’s Delta Point Pro (1.9 ounces without a rail adaptor) competitors. But at such a minor weight limit to begin with, the differences are really inconsequential in comparison to other accessories or gear. In comparison to the market of other similar RDS optics then the weight is typical for its size and design.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

Product Link: https://vortexoptics.com/red-dots/razor-red-dot/vortex-razor-red-dot.html?vortex_reticle=942

IMG_2889I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the author. The views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.