Prices – Lessons-What to Expect

Before you read further:

Remember please that this is not something that I do in my spare time, or as a hobby. I am professional that takes knife sharpening very seriously, it is the only thing that I am interested in. I seriously doubt that you will find another knife sharpener like me:) 

I encourage you to check around though, do your homework.  I know that your knives are important to you, but they are important to me as well, you need to know that. Feel free just to call and some questions before you take a leap of faith, I love talking about what I do.


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

The cost of sharpening is:

(Note: Prices are based on the time it takes me to sharpen a knife, hunting knives and folders for example take a lot longer than the standard 203 mm (8″) chef knife.

Most kitchen knives are in the 203 mm range, (8 inches), my cost is $15.00.  (I do not charge tax for knives brought to me at my workshop/home)

Here is the breakdown, cost is based on blade length:

$10.00 for kitchen knives 5 inches and under, Paring Knives.

$15.00 for kitchen knives longer than 6-9 inches in blade length.

$20.00 for kitchen knives 10 inches and longer.

$30.00 for single bevel knives such as a Yanagiba.

Hunting knives, folders are $20.00

Why do I charge $15.00 for a knife, especially when you may have paid not much more than that for it in the first place?

I have a skill that not many people have, it is a skill that has taken me decades to achieve. I apply this skill to every single knife I sharpen, regardless of it’s quality. You are paying for my services, your knives are being sharpened by a knife sharpener who lives and breathes sharpening using the best Japanese Water Stones in the world. Your knives will come back to, in most cases, sharper than any knife you have ever seen.  NOW, if none of this is important to you, if all you really need are to have  your knives somewhat sharp and the process used is not something you are concerned about than I am not your man, you should search around.  I am very passionate about what I do, I encourage you to look around, do your homework, I’ll be here if you decide to “check me out” :). 


THINNING: $20.00 – Thinning is must for knives, there are different types but the most aggressive, the type that will have the most dramatic impact/improvement on knife performance is a lot of work. Passive thinning, i.e. thinning directly behind the edge during sharpening is something I do anyway but if your knife is thick behind the edge, ask me about “thinning”.

(If you are in the culinary industry or in the Military, just let the folks at the drop off spots know for a discount on knives in the $15.00 range, which are the most common knives. If you are Chef/Cook please let us know where you work.)

REFINISHING: Thinning and Refinishing blades is not an easy task, not easy for me anyway, I am sure other pros will claim that it is. However, it takes a lot of practice and lot of courage. Sharpening the knife is usually easy but thinning and refinishing, getting scratches out is not something that comes automatically, it’s a different skill…..but I love it. SO if you want me to try and refinish the blade which I normally do during a thinning process you have to let me know, you need to give me permission.  In every so far the results have  been very good but I am using abrasives on the softer, shiny part of the blade. However, that part is usually scratched up anyway, so it is possible for me to scratch that area, I haven’t yet but it could happen. If you don’t mind me doing my best to improve the way your knife performs and looks, then just say the word. As I said, sharp is easy, sharpen/thin/refinish is a skill that I am working on. So far, the results are very exciting, not perfect because it is difficult to reach every part of the blade due to the handle but the improvements have  been significant. 

I don’t charge extra for this by the way.

Repairs: $5.00 – $10.00 per knife for a damaged Edge. $10.00 for Tip Repair.

Lets talk about chip repairs. When a knife edge is chipped, when there is nick in the edge, the edge is repaired by removing metal along the length of the entire blade until the chip/nick disappears. Basically, I have to get to the bottom of that hole in the edge. So I moving upward from the edge towards the spine. The deeper the hole, the more I am moving the edge up into the thicker part of the blade. The blade tapers from the spine to the edge. So it isn’t just a matter of fixing the hole but to make the knife work the way it did before it was damaged, I have to re-establish the geometry of the blade behind the edge. I do this by thinning the knife, if I didn’t do this, the knife would be sharp but performance would suffer, the worse the damage, the more thinning is required. It is a lot of work and it is all done by hand.



(Yes, of course I do hand made Japanese knives, I get that question a lot from the owners. These knives are easier to sharpen than typical European knives such as Henckels or our own Grohmann knives.

(If you want a mirror finish on your folder, the cost is $30.00. I recommend the edge I normally place on the knives, I’m sure you will be pleased)

Traditional Japanese Knives: $30.00 (These are single bevel knives)

 (If you Google knife sharpening services in other provinces you will notice that my prices are on par or less expensive. Also, some place an emphasis on finishing grit being used as a determination of the cost, 5,000 grit finish being less than a 10,000 grit finish for example. In my opinion the finishing grit has to be determined by the knife, a 10,000 grit finish is not necessarily sharper than a 5,000 grit finish. In fact, most stainless steel knives are best finished at 1,000 grit, believe me, it will be extremely sharp. Further refinement can have a negative impact on edge retention.  However, if you desire a 10,000 or even 16,000 grit finish to see how it feels, the cost is the same, I don’t charge by the finishing stone used)


Cash or Cheque only please.  I’m just a small businessman who loves what he does and is driven towards keeping my prices fair and reasonable to both me and you.  Invoices and Receipts of course are absolutely no problem, I expect to be asked to provide either. (Cheques to be made out to Peter Nowlan please)


NOTE: Please do not ask me for a discount. It costs money to run a business and my prices are already extremely reasonable.  I offer a service that not a lot of people can offer. It took me many many years to get to the point where I am now, if you think 10 dollars is too much for a knife to be sharpened by hand on the worlds finest Japanese Water Stones that’s okay just don’t ask for a discount 🙂  (When you go to your favourite special restaurant to eat and you wouldn’t expect a discount, you know that the people in the kitchen are professionals with a passion for what they do, it’s what brings you there). 




Private lessons available at $100.00 for 1.5 – 2 hours or more if required. These take place at my home.

Lessons can be arranged at the Ikebana Shop on Quinpool Road as well, same price with HST additional.

The Ikebana Shop

Here is what we will cover:

* What makes a knife dull;

* What is necessary to change that, to make it sharp, what is happening during the process of sharpening;

* Basic knife knowledge, primary and secondary bevels, parts of a knife;

* Japanese Water Stones, I love them and I will tell you why they work so well;

* Burr Formation and Burr Removal – Critical Components of Knife Sharpening;

* Sharpening, the cool stuff, angles, holding the knife and what to expect, expectation management;

* Edge Maintenance,  minor repairs, Steeling and some myths and common mistakes you can avoid, tricky areas like the tip of a knife; and

d let me a have a look at it, or if you just have some questions, I am here.

What you Need:


You don’t NEED To buy anything for a lesson, just bring a knife ( it will be dull) and we can go over the purchase of Japanese Water Stones, what you really need to get started and beyond.

What to Expect:

* You will walk away with a level of confidence in your ability to sharpen a knife, to take it from dull to sharp and to be able to repeat that process over and over. The lesson includes any follow up questions you may have, for example: if you want to bring a knife back that you sharpened and work on it with me, no problem.

TUNE UP Lesson:

This is something that I think is important to keep your confidence level stable and growing.  If you would like to come back for a second lesson to fine tune your skills or just to make sure you are on track, it is very easily accomplished. Let’s say you just finished a lesson and in two months you think you are doing very well but you would like to come back out and sharpen with me just to be sure.  Or if you are having problems with a particular knife and you want to do it in front of me. Just contact me and we can set it up, there is no extra cost here, this is all part of my original lesson plan and your sharpening journey is just as important as mine.  If in a year from the original lesson you want to come back again, same deal.



Bascially, I don’t like to sharpen for restaurants and here is why. Most of the restaurants I have dealt with use inexpensive knives, and they have a lot of inexpensive knives. The problem here is that they will not hold an edge for long. I have spent the last five years studying edge retention and how to prolong it, angles, finishing grits etc. So what happens is that the young/old cooks who don’t a lot about knife sharpening start to see me as the problem, “My knives don’t hold and edge in professional kitchen for more than a week of heavy use” NO…..YOUR knives don’t hold the edge. To be honest, I am just fed up with it and won’t do the house knives unless there is a very good understanding between the folks using them and me.

This is not to say that I don’t do any personal knives, I do that of course, I do the knives for some of the best Chef’s in NS and have been doing them for years.


If  you own a restaurant and want to see if I can sharpen your knives properly, it’s no problem doing a free demo, no obligation. I understand that you may not know me and even though I have plenty of nice testimonials, it’s always good to see for yourself.

Bottom Line.. I have spent years improving my skills, I won’t be insulted by cooks who tell me my edges won’t last, THEIR edges wont last, there is nothing I can do about it unless they wanted me to come in once a week and do them and pay for that. If you are keen on getting your restaurant knives done by me, we just need to discuss the issue of edge retention, I need to manage expectations against the reality of steel.  If you have an understanding of edge retention and what impacts it, that’s great, it is sometimes an issue that can’t be beat, but we can work around it. In other words, I can’t make a $30.00 knife that is used for 8 hours a day 7 days a week cutting everything that needs to be cut stay sharp for more than a couple of weeks and that is if the user is careful. If the person is using it to cut heavy plastic or is steeling incorrectly or roughly than the edge retention will be degraded severely.


I can promise you this, if you are a chef and you are curious about my sharpening skills, you will be very pleased, if you are not, I will buy you a knife……I have never had to buy a knife.  Look at the Testimonials on my home Page…

Thank you for understanding, knife sharpening is everything to me so I’m not going to take risks from people who don’t respect what I am capable of and who just find it easier to talk about my edge retention rather than talk to me about it and forge a way ahead.


What to expect from my services.

I expect that you will have your knives returned in a condition that is at the very least as sharp as when it was new. Now this is difficult with some very worn serrated knives, I’m not going to lie to you, I can make improvements but I have had some bread knives that are very old, 15-30 years old that the serrations are almost worn down. I can’t do a lot with those. (Except re-profile the knife completely, remove the serrations and turn it into a normal edged knife.) Apart from this, you should and must expect to be completely satisfied with your knives. I will do my utmost to create an edge that is best for the steel used to make the knife and of course it will be sharp, very sharp, and if this is your first sharpening experience from me, it may be the sharpest knife you have used. I’ll do my best to make you very happy with the knife/knives.