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The Presto 08800 EverSharp isn’t the fastest or most effective electric sharpener on the market, but it’s far from mediocre. It offers only one sharpening angle and does eat away lots of steel, but given its price and performance, this sharpener is a very good value buy.
Things We Like
- Quick sharpening
- Good bevel height
- Affordable price
- Simple setup
Things We Don’t Like
- It creates lots of fine dust
- Updated Nov 21, 2022:
The Presto 08800 Eversharp is one of the most popular electric sharpeners on Amazon. The affordable price gives it obvious appeal, but is there more to it? We bought the unit to test out in October 2021.
After one year, we updated our testing methods and ran the machine through the tests again. It has its quirks, but for less than $50, we reckon it’d be hard to find another electric sharpener that matches the EverSharp’s build quality or performance.
Presto Eversharp Electric Sharpener In-depth Review
The EverSharp gave us better performance than most. It’s quick to create a sharp, durable edge and can sharpen several knives in succession with no issues. Its biggest weakness is a tendency to grind away too much knife material.
Taking only 4.5 minutes, the Presto EverSharp was among the quicker ones to sharpen a knife from uselessness to beef-tendon-cutting sharpness. That’s almost 1.5 minutes faster than average. We didn’t have to put much pressure on the newly sharpened knife either.
The EverSharp produced a nicer edge than one would expect from such an affordable unit. The bevel texture is coarse and the edge not completely straight, but that’s understandable given the lack of fine stropping discs. However, it has a great bevel height — very close to that produced by the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV and almost double the Work Sharp Ken Onion. The bevel width is even on both sides too, which came as a surprise because the design makes it appear as though the sharpening angles are different on the two sides.
As can be expected based on the bevel height, the Presto EverSharp removes a great deal of material from the knife. We’ll keep our expensive knives away from this sharpener.
It’s also not a good idea to sharpen knives with full bolsters using the EverSharp. The small slits wouldn’t allow the knife heel in, so you’ll end up with some unsightly concavity near the heel.
10Continuous Operation Time
We didn’t see any information on how long the Presto EverSharp can run at a time, but it ran through the course of our test without issues. It did get quite hot, as we’ll discuss in the Safety section, but there were no signs of overheating. Given how quickly it can give a tendon-cutting edge to a blunt knife, you should be able to sharpen at least 5 knives in one go with this machine.
The Presto has a decent build with a simple, strong, and durable body. The abrasive wheels are the right size and shape to accommodate more types of knives than most, though it’s best for bigger knives. Its main weakness is its non-adjustable edge angle.
In the Box
- Presto EverSharp electric sharpener
- Instruction book
- Quick information leaflet
The Presto Eversharp electric knife sharpener comes in a nice cardboard box along with instruction papers. It seats neatly inside the box with foam pads. The user guide is in English but there’s a note indicating that you can find the Spanish version online.
The EverSharp sports a minimalist, function-oriented body. Without bright colors or sleek details, it looks a little dull, and the materials are really nothing to write home about. That said, it seems strong and robust, especially for an electric sharpener in its price range.
The grind angle isn’t mentioned anywhere on the company’s website or even in the instruction manual—we had to email to ask the company. Like most others, the EverSharp offers no other angle options.
The sizes of its stones and slot openings allow the EverSharp to work on bigger knives than most electric sharpeners. You can also sharpen small knives (shorter than 5 inches) with it; however, we found it challenging to keep the thin, small knife tip from being pushed away by the wheels.
The user guide suggests that you can sharpen serrated knives on Stage 2. While it’s doable, we found that the stone wheel is a little too coarse and will eat away all the teeth in no time. It should be used this way only as a last resort, when the only other choice is to throw your knife away.
Ease of Use
The Presto EverSharp is simple enough to work with, but the lack of dust-prevention features means you may have to wear a mask and glasses when sharpening with it. It comes with a standard warranty and isn’t overly demanding in terms of maintenance. We’re having a hard time tracking down potential major replacement parts, though.
The setup of the EverSharp is simple. Just plug it in and hit the power button. It may also be a good idea to add a piece of newspaper under the machine to catch metal dust if you’re concerned about the cleanup.
The lack of angle guides make knife placement more an art than a science. The unit is raised in the middle, so the slots closer to the center are slightly deeper. That gives you more control when sharpening one side than the other and makes it harder to maintain the knife position when changing slots. This, however, will improve with experience.
The EverSharp doesn’t have a handle area where you can stabilize it manually, but luckily, it doesn’t need one. As long as you’re not applying excessive pressure, the unit won’t budge.
The sharpening wheels, however, shook a little and sometimes locked up when pressure was applied. In our first sessions with the machine, the wheels got stuck a few times before they could finish the whole length of the edge. A quick search through Amazon reviews revealed we’re not the only users with this problem. Apart from being annoying, that also means you may end up with an uneven edge.
This happens when you try to exert too much control on the blade, so the trick is to relax with it. Let the blade rest against the slot and pull the knife through without applying pressure. The less you try to control the blade, the easier it is for the sharpening wheels to do their job.
The EverSharp is one of very few affordable electric sharpeners that are UL listed. That said, it can reach potentially dangerous noise and heat levels.
The loudest noise we recorded from this unit was 103.6 dB. Fifteen minutes of continuous exposure at that level can cause hearing damage. Fortunately, the machine only gets that loud for less than a second at a time.
The heat can reach 129 °F after about 15 - 20 minutes on the coarsest stage, potentially causing skin damage within 4 minutes. An accidental touch shouldn’t last more than a few seconds so it’s not likely that this machine will burn your skin, but safety gloves may still be a good idea. Though the user guide mentions sparks, we never saw any—perhaps because our knives were stainless steel and not carbon steel.
The biggest issue with this sharpener, as we see it, is that it throws a lot of fine dust into the air. Keep it away from your food prep area and wear proper safety masks and eye protection when working with it.
The Presto EverSharp comes with a standard 1-year limited warranty. It’s been in the Healthy Kitchen 101 lab for more than a year and is not showing significant signs of wear and tear after two vigorous batteries of tests. All we need to do to keep it in good condition is use a dry towel and a fine brush to remove the dust. If you sharpen frequently, it’s a good idea to remove the red plugs underneath the machine once or twice a year and shake the metal shavings out.
You can find minor replacement parts such as plugs and suction cup feet online. More major parts are harder to find, though.
How It Works
The Presto EverSharp Compared to Other Electric Sharpeners
The Presto EverSharp offers decent results at a very affordable price. In the same price range, the UPMSX Rechargeable Sharpener is a close competitor. The UPMSX can sharpen in half the time and create a smoother edge, though its edges don’t last as long. It’s also better at controlling the heat, noise, and dust. Its only major drawback is the poorly designed angle guides, which get in the way instead of supporting the sharpening process.
The Narcissus and EdgeKeeper can also bring your knife to a similar level of sharpness while removing less knife material. However, each of these have design flaws that make them difficult to work with. Neither completed our 25-minute continuous working time test: The former kept clogging and turning itself off halfway through while the latter overheated and died.
If your budget allows, the Chef’s Choice Trizor XV is the best choice for an electric sharpener. Heat, noise, and dust are not a problem with this machine. It features great angle guides and creates sharper edges with better aesthetics than most.