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1) I'm not very good with sharpening stones.
2) This gadget here is not recommended (is the Lansky Blade Medic better by the way? I've ordered one).
So what should I do then (besides bringing my knife to a professional sharpener, which is a chore)?
1) You could use a ceramic rod (link here) and touch up your edge
2) You could use a very easy and effective sharpening rod system (link here). I have one and it's great. It's easier to use than this thumb cutter.
3) You could buy and use this thumb cutter and remember to be very gentle when making an edge.
These kinds of tools have been around for a very long time and though stones are the most efficient tool to sharpen something, stones are not the best. There is no best, but only what a person is best at.
The guy over at Sharpens Best will prove that small pull through sharpeners like these will work.
These little sharpeners are not for everyone but they do work if you take the time to practice and learn. Lastly, this is a nice little gadget for cheaper work knives that you routinely bare down on and need a quick touch up. If you have expensive knives, anywhere up from $35, go get them professionally sharpened if you don't know how to sharpen.
After thought: I don't have one of these. I wouldn't use one because I sharpen my knives at 20 degrees or less and I'm pretty sure this tool is set at 23 degrees.
Thanks. Awesome post. Honestly, I could probably not see the difference between 20 degrees and 23!
Illinois gave good advice. The only thing I'd like to add is that IF you're going to go with a pull through sharpener, the ones that use just ceramic rods instead of carbide bars would be a bit better.
Still use a gentle hand and more passes, rather than more pressure and fewer passes.