Once I gained some confidence in my angle-holding skills, I started using these cheap piece of crap diamond hones from Harbor Freight. My dad and I picked them up a couple of years ago, and I would doubt that we paid more than 10 bucks for the set...
When I got to where I could get a nice edge using those hones, I bought some "higher quality" (more expensive) ones thinking it would be an upgrade...
I always go back to those cheapo crap no name diamond hones... and I love them
This is how I like to sharpen most knives that aren't too beat up... YMMV:
1) 200 passes on one side using coarse diamond hone (to establish a burr)
2) 200 passes on the other side to even it out (this also moves the burr to the other side)
3) 200 alternating passes using light pressure to remove burr and establish initial edge...
4) 200 alternating passes on fine diamond hone using lightest pressure possible.
5) 200 alternating passes on a fine ceramic rod
6) Then I like to finish up with a two sided paddle strop... 200 alternating passes on the rougher side.
7) Then I take my hands and rub them on the finer strop (to get the natural oils from my hands on the leather) sounds crazy, but it works better for me than using the plain leather... then (you guessed it) 200 more alternating passes on the fine leather strop
8) Cut something!
For larger blades, I use paper wheels on a bench grinder. Then I finish with steps 6-8 above.
<message edited by brtaylor81 on Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:53 AM>