I've had great success keeping my knives razor sharp with a Smith's Arkansas stone and a 20 year-old Chicago Cutlery steel. The steel works so well that when one of my family (and no one ever 'fessed up
) dropped the steel and split the handle, I epoxied it all back together. It isn't as pretty as it used to be, but it still works beautifully and it very sturdy.
The steeling method I use usually suffices to keep the edges sharp. I heard it on a PBS radio program. I use about a 30 to 40 degree angle and stroke edge forward on the five times on each side, then four times, three, two, and one last stroke. I use light pressure, barely enough to hold the edge to the metal. It works amazingly well. I've taken what appeared to be a dull knife, steeled it with this method, and was amazed that it was very sharp again.
The only time I use the wet-stone is when steeling the knife edge doesn't bring it back. And then about 5 minutes of my time suffices to give me the edge I'm looking for.
If I wan't a very smooth adn sharp edge, like for slicing through delicate meats, I will get the edge very sharp with the Smith's stone, and follow it with my Crock Stick.
One of these days, I'm going to make a strop and see how that works. Also, a convex edge is far more sturdy and resists folding over better than either a convex, V, or chissel edge. The outside curve is far stronger than the other shapes. It also goes through most foods easier as well. The convex shaped (hollo-ground) edge is the weakest and the most difficult to push through hard foods such as winter squashes, mellons, etc.
I have a dremmel tool, and coarser stones if I'm starting with an extremely dull blade. But I've only used them for sharpening my lawn mower, a hatchet, my splitting maul, or an axe.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North