Profile photo of sledjockey

I am not too happy with using exclusively either stones, steels, or strops. I personally feel that you need all 3 to keep up with knife mainenance. There have been times when I have also used sandpaper or polishing wheels as needed.

When I roll an edge, I bust out the stones and then transition to my strop. If I am just touching up a meat cutting knife, I grab my steel. If I need to actually sharpen it because of an edge getting beat up I will start with a stone and then go to the steel.

My axes will start off with either a stone or water bath grinder to get the angles correct and then I will go to a ceramic, then strop.

It all really depends on what you are using the cutting tool for as to what angles you will use and what type of edge you are wanting. My bushcrafting knives for instance are so hard RC that I seldom need more than a strop, but they are not for shaving or cutting meat. My meat cutters are at a more acute angle and could be used as razors. My general use knives are just short of razor sharp, but will shave hair or cut paper edges ok. They are at less of an acute angle, but hold their edge much longer under heavy use. I also can put an edge back on them with only a few strokes on the back of a belt…..

SO….. In addition to the knife properties (steel type and edge grind) you also need to keep the intended use in mind when sharpening.

This is my $.02…….