About Me


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

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 from other sharpeners, the most important of which 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 has 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.  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 with 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.

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

About my Tools

Japanese Water Stones:

I have tried several varieties of water stones from Japan and I have a pretty nice collection, more than I need but most importantly, everything I need to sharpen any knife.  The brand of water stones I use are:

Naniwa Professional Stones – 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 every one of these stones was 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 handmade 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 homepage.

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 purchased them directly from Japan upon my request. They are the only place in Nova Scotia and perhaps anywhere in Eastern Canada that carries them.

If this is all just 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.

Peter Nowlan



Thanks for reading this.