The Narcissus electric sharpener is an affordable machine that is well built and relatively easy to use. It offers a mediocre performance in terms of speed and edge quality, but also doesn’t eat away the blade like many others do. The machine doesn’t work very well on short or narrow knives. On the other hand, it accommodates more tools (scissors and screwdrivers).
Its biggest flaw lies in the thermal protection mechanism, which keeps shutting the machine down every 5 - 10 minutes and prevents it from sharpening more than one knife at a time.
Things We Like
- Stylish design
- It can sharpen scissors and screwdrivers
- Package includes replacement abrasives
- Affordable price
Things We Don’t Like
- Self-deactivation mechanism
- It produces a small bevel
- It doesn’t support smaller knives
- Updated Nov 25, 2022:
The Narcissus is an affordable electric sharpener that looks much more expensive than its price. It’s also the only one among all the machines we tested that comes with spare abrasives.
However, the machine gave a rather mediocre performance even when compared to the ones in its own price range. It also has an overheating protection mechanism that makes it turn off after less than 10 minutes of sharpening, which can be frustrating if you’re in the habit of binge sharpening.
Narcissus Electric Sharpener In-depth Review
PerformanceHow We Tested
The Narcissus takes its sweet time to bring an edge to the knife. It also can’t run long enough to sharpen more than one knife at a time. On the bright side, it shaves off very little material from the knife and produces straight, even bevels.
The Narcissus is among the slowest electric sharpeners to bring an edge to a dull knife. We stopped at 6.5 minutes despite the cut being a little forceful because we did not feel we could yield better results by spending more time on it.
For an electric sharpeners, this is really nothing to write home about. However, between this and a manual sharpener in the same price range, such as the Chef’s Choice 4643 or the Zwilling 4-stage sharpener, we’d go with the Narcissus every time.
The Narcissus produces a straight edge with a coarse texture. The knife’s bevels are more even than most. However, the height is surprisingly modest for a 15-degree edge. A low height means the knife will have more difficulty cutting through dense materials such as carrots or pumpkins. Also, you’ll have to sharpen it more often.
As can be expected from the narrow bevel width, the Narcissus only grinds off a small amount of steel from the knife—much less compared to the Trizor XV or Presto. It’s going to take a while before the loss of material becomes obvious on your knives.
FailedContinuous Operation Time
It’s stated in the user guide that the machine is not to be used continuously for longer than 8 minutes, but it’s really hit or miss. The sharpener has an automatic thermal shutdown that prevents damage from overheating. Sometimes it can work for more than 10 minutes, other times it pauses after only 5 minutes of sharpening, which is about the time it takes to sharpen a knife. It can be frustrating if you’re sharpening more than one knife.
The machine also turns itself on automatically after the recovery period, which can last anywhere between 2 and 10 minutes. So if it shuts down halfway through your sharpening session, make sure you switch it off before leaving.
DesignHow We Rated
The Narcissus has a robust body with a neat and stylish shell. It’s one of the rare sharpeners that reserve separate slots for sharpening scissors and screwdrivers; however, its improper placement of abrasives causes a lot of difficulties when sharpening small kitchen knives.
In the Box
- The Narcissus electric knife sharpener
- User guide
- Replacement grinding wheels
The Narcissus comes in a cardboard box with a detailed user guide and one set of spare grinding wheels. The user guide is in English and covers the instructions, troubleshooting, and warranty information.
The Narcissus sharpener feels more expensive than its price suggests. It’s made with decent materials and has a better cosmetic quality than most. The machine boasts a polished plastic shell and well-aligned and appropriately fastened parts.
The Narcissus sharpens in only one grind angle, and at 15 degrees, it’s more acute than most. Judging by the cutting feel and the knife’s low bevel height, however, we’re convinced its actual grind angle is much larger.
With the abrasives placed deep down and a little too far in the middle
of the openings, the Narcissus has difficulties sharpening knives with a short or narrow blade or those with a full bolster. It tends to skip about half an inch of the blade near the heel.
The coarse stones on the Narcissus aren’t meant for serrated edges. On the other hand, it has a stone and separate slots for screwdrivers and shears and scissors, which can be handy in the kitchen.
Ease of UseHow We Rated
Despite its simple-looking design, the Narcissus is a little trickier to use than most. Its grinding wheels are hard to reach, while the heat-protection mechanism only reacts when the temperature gets to a dangerous high, which happens every few minutes.
The only consolation is with the maintenance, as the machine comes with replacement abrasives.
Similar to most other electric sharpeners, the Narcissus is simple to set up. The only problem is that the power switch is in a hideous corner and you can’t see it when the sharpener is placed in the right position in front of you. It’s easy to forget where the switch is if you don’t use the machine very often. Also, the power cord is too close to it and we don’t feel safe touching the cord every time we switch the machine on or off.
The slits are wide enough and taper near the abrasive, so it shouldn’t have been difficult to get the right angle. Unfortunately, it seems that the abrasives are placed a little too deep down from the slits, and it was hit or miss to get the blade to the right position every time.
The Narcissus has a rectangular design and four small suction cup feet that do a good job of keeping it in its place during sharpening. That said, because of its light weight, it tends to move following your pulling direction if placed on a slippery surface.
Its abrasives, while removable, didn’t seem to shake, move, or get stuck during our tests.
The Narcissus can get very hot before it shuts down. The highest temperature we recorded with it was 145 °F or 62.7 °C. This level of heat can cause skin damage within a few seconds, so it’s a good idea to wear gloves while sharpening in case you accidentally touch the machine during use.
On the other hand, the Narcissus is slightly quieter than most. Its loudest noise level recorded was 93.4 dB, similar to that produced by a hairdryer. And because the machine shuts down so often, you’re not likely to expose long enough for this noise to damage your hearing.As the abrasives are deep inside the slits, it doesn’t send a lot of dust into the air either.
Though the brand claims on Amazon that they “always offer all customers 24 months after-sale service”, it’s stated in the user guide that the Narcissus is covered with a standard 1-year warranty.
Fortunately, the package includes a full set of replacement abrasives and the user guide covers the replacement instructions very thoroughly.
The Narcissus Compared to Other Products
The EdgeKeeper is in the same price range as the Narcissus and shares its heat problem but unfortunately not the thermal turnoff solution. The EdgeKeeper doesn’t pause, it simply dies off without warning. While the Narcissus’ short working time is annoying, it’s better than a machine that expires randomly.
For the same money, we think the Presto 08800 EverSharp is a much better choice. It’s faster, runs for longer, and while it doesn’t have the Narcissus’ neat, sleek look, it produces a stronger knife edge.
Cooks on a more generous budget may want to consider the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV. It sharpens to the same grind angle as the Narcissus (15 degrees) but has angle guides and creates a much nicer edge with more substantial bevels. It also accommodates more types of knives and can run for an hour without pause.