About Me/What I use to sharpen


First of all, I really appreciate you visiting my website, even if you never contact me I still need to thank you for being here. THANK YOU ūüôā

Also note that I am a one man operation, this means I am not always home sharpening, I have to go pick up knives on Tuesdays and Fridays and other things may pop up so please contact me before you come out just to make sure I am home. 

902 225 0579 or sharpenerpeter@gmail.com

I am a retired Naval Officer and a family man with a fantastic, supportive wife,  I have two boys who are both in the  Military and I am absolutely addicted to knife sharpening.

I¬†have been fascinated by knives and especially sharpening them for about 35 years.¬† My¬†dad gave me¬†a lesson which ignited the flame and it’s never gone out .¬† At sea, every sailor has a knife so I had plenty to practice on. I started¬†sharpening with oilstones. There was no internet,¬†no YouTube,¬† nothing to really go by except the lessons I had learned.¬†¬†Much later, I discovered¬†the beauty of Japanese Water Stones and have never touched an¬†oilstone since.¬† I had some lessons by¬†other sharpeners, the most¬†important¬†was from a Japanese knife sharpener that really had a huge impact on me.¬† I purchased the Edge Pro Professional, a precision guided device that uses the same stones and have since acquired a¬†good number of¬†¬†very high quality Japanese Water¬†Stones. These days, almost all my sharpening is by free hand, that is what gives me the most joy in knife sharpening and also produces the sharpest knives. ¬†I still get excited¬†every opportunity I have to sharpen a knife, and that happens every day .

I guess my sharpening biography reads like this:

¬† ¬† ¬† “At the age of 18 I became interested in sharpening knives and I started to learn slowly but my interest in the process continued to evolve. This went on for about 25 years and ¬†while I still sharpened knives here and there I was missing some key components that enabled me to produce razor sharp knives, again, this was all trial and error. In my spare time I was in the Navy. ¬†Around 2007 I was fully immersed in sharpening knives and by this time I had made a full switch to the wondrous Japanese Water Stone World and sharpened as many knives as I possibly could. I decided to open a business to support my obsession for water stones and it took off beyond my wildest dreams. In 2014 I retired from the Navy and I now enjoy the luxury of sharpening knives every single day. I gained the trust of some very well known Chefs and I was fortunate enough to be in the Newspaper which truly helped folks know about me and the benefits of using sharp knives. I now run my business from my home and I also teach sharpening to anyone interested and at the Culinary Institute occasionally. In my spare time I like to write about sharpening for my Blog and for Knifeplanet. My hobbies are reading books about sharpening to get a better understanding of metallurgy and the science behind the steel I work on in order to create not just sharp knives but knives that stay sharp for as long as possible. ¬†I plan to continue to sharpen and learn about sharpening until I can no longer do so, until someone pulls the water stone and knife from my cold dead hands”.¬†

(My sharpening dreams include a visit to Japan and to meet sharpening Masters and talk about sharpening until they ask me to leave).


Japanese Natural Stones:

I have tried several varieties of water stones from Japan and I have pretty nice collection, more than I need but most importantly, everything I need to sharpen any knife.  The brands of water stones I use are:
Naniwa Chosera and Naniwa Professional with stones ranging in grit from 400 to 10,000.  

I also use Naniwa Traditional Stones from Pauls Finest. I tested three of them, the 220, 1k and 2k and liked them all quite a bit. They are very reasonably priced as well. Paul is fantastic to deal with, and he is in Canada.


Shapton Glass – 220 to 16,000

Shapton Professional – 320 – 15,000

Arisyhama 6,000, Kityama 8000, Imanishi 4,000, Nubatama 150, Naniwa 220 and I also use an Atoma 140 Diamond plate to keep these beautiful waters stones flat. Almost everyone of theses stones were purchased online, I can’t get them here in NS.

I also have an amazing Yaginoshima Asagi Japanese Natural Stone in the 8,000-12,000 grit equivalency range. If you want  your knife finished on this stone, please let me know, the price will be a little higher of course, this is a very special stone. Recommended for hand made Japanese knives but not exclusive to those.

I also use leather strops to finalize my sharpening process. I have access to some beautiful strops if interested. There is a Link to them on the home page.


Here is a video of me using Japanese Water Stones.

Peter Nowlan Sharpening

Now one of my absolute favourite brands of stone, the Shapton Pro is available here at The Ikebana Shop, the owners, (great people) purchased them directly from Japan upon my request. They are the only place (Ikebana Shop) in Nova Scotia and perhaps anywhere in Eastern Canada that carries them. In small numbers but they do have the exquisite 5,000 grit Shapton Pro that is my favourite.


If this is all must mumbo jumbo to you and all you care about is if I can sharpen your knives and not ruin them. Yes of course, these stones gently fatigued metal from your knife, the metal that is making dull. They allow me to expose the fresh metal hidden underneath and sharpen the knife. I’ve been doing this for many years, it is all I am interested in and I have made many people happy since I opened my business several years ago. ¬†Machines are not the to sharpen a knife, gadgets are just that, gadgets and they are ineffective and in most cases cause more harm than good.


Still don’t believe me……not convinced? ¬† Thanks for visiting my site, come back anytime and call me if you have any questions at

(902) 225 0579



How long will the knife stay sharp?
This is the most common question I get and it is a question impossible to answer, honestly answer that is. I could tell you “one year” like I have seen advertised on some knives I have purchased, Shun for example. This is just not possible unless the knife is not used and even then, they seem to get dull just sitting in a drawer. The level of sharpness is another thing to keep in mind. When the knife is returned it is extremely sharp but that edge doesn’t hold out for more than a couple of months of normal use, that doesn’t mean it’s dull though. You’ll be spoiled by the edge you get from me and will notice when your knife it starts to lose it’s edge a little. There are just too many variables to provide and accurate time frame. The best way to avoid dullness is to have a sharpening plan in place. You need to know that your knife will get dull in 3 months, less if you use it every and you should so at the very least have it re-sharpened every 3-4 months. If you want to establish a sharpening plan with me, like others, I will provide a discount as a reward for you attention to this topic.


I do NOT sharpen  lawn mower blades, skates, grass shears, or nippers. I can sharpen scissors now and I am learning how to do straight razors.

Peter Nowlan



Thanks for reading this.